Thoughts on Collaborative Social Innovation

This is Pensaola Beach, awash with tar balls from the Deep Horizon Oil Spill. Recently I ran across a phenomenal crowdsourcing initiative last week, Lego’s NXTLog Senior Solutions Challenge, which leverages robotic designs to create better living for the elderly. It was a brilliant blend of brand, cause and community that empowers customers to make a difference. I could not help but wonder how can B Corps and nonprofits and general do-gooders leverage the power of new models like the collaborative economy to share and make great things happen? Social good is no longer the domain of big donors or causes anymore, but we haven’t gotten much further than crowdfunding, social sharing, and participatory access to campaigns. There is a stiff […]

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The 4 Challenges of Cause Marketing

Want to be my guest at the Cause Marketing Forum this May 30-31 in Chicago? The best comment wins a free registration worth $1,045.00 for a business or $795 for a nonprofit, compliments of Razoo (also cross-posted on Inspiring Generosity). A decision will be made tomorrow morning based on comments on both blogs. Customers want brands to invest in marketing, that much is clear. There’s enough data out there that shows that people love brands that invest in their community’s general well being (skip ahead if you want to see the stats). Yet brands struggle weaving cause marketing and corporate social responsibility programs into the fabric of their marketing communications. Some of the cause marketing problems facing corporate brands include: […]

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Cause Competitiveness: Keep Your Eye On The Prize

by Estrella Rosenberg & Geoff Livingston If the last two marathon weeks of cause-related conferences are any indication, competition isn’t just something the for profit sector is thinking about – the cause community is too. How do we compete for market share? How do we compete for visibility? How do we compete for more money? Much has been said about competitiveness in the for profit sector, but what is the right role of competition in causes? Is there a right role? Some would have full on competition, while others would have singular causes or coalitions within each sector. Are either of these right? They both are in a way. Competitive spirit definitely has its place: Finding the fastest, most efficient, […]

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Return Cause Marketing to the Heart of Your Strategy

So many organizations feel like they need bring causes into their marketing, and similarly, need to add social media to the mix. It’s a bit of a checklist game, and thus the quick drive to add a contest with online voting or simply create a cause purchasing campaign with a popular charity like Komen or a safe one like autism. What’s often missing is an understanding of how causes can positively impact a corporate strategy and culture. Whether it’s furthering technology issues, addressing some of the ills a product creates, or simply rewarding your employees or customers with an investment in a cause that they care about, a smart cause marketing effort can infuse a corporate brand with some well […]

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How Much Give Can You Get?

Triple Pundit reviewed a study that shows altruism amongst green product purchasers declines rapidly. In the write up, author BC Upham says, “The study suggests people who have spent money on things they perceive to benefit society as a whole may feel they have “done their good deed for the day” and thus are more likely to choose less altruistically when presented with other ethical quandaries.” The University of Toronto study goes on to say in the new global ethic that the larger world seems to be espousing, people reactively give out of guilt. “This implies that virtuous acts can license subsequent asocial and unethical behaviors.” Then the study says, “Because purchasing green products affirms individuals’ values of social responsibility […]

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Authenticity in Corporate Social Responsibility

Social media continues to impact businesses and nonprofits in unforeseen ways. Perhaps the greatest trend of the moment is the fusion of corporate and philanthropic interests, which in turn is producing growing pains and change. It’s likely that the requirements of online transparency will demand a new era of authenticity in corporate community investment efforts. This trend results from demands for better corporate citizenship and community participation, transparency digressions, and frankly, very public cause marketing and corporate social responsibility programs that have exposed weaknesses in the social media realms. It’s a problem that keeps coming up, and won’t go away. This will force organizations and companies to become much more mindful about how they invest in their communities. This discussion […]

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Green, Blue and Red in the Fog by Geoff Livingston
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