The (Red) Campaign is evidence of something even bigger going on here than just cause marketing. If our shopping in even a subtle tiny way can begin to make a difference, it makes me ask, “What else can?” I think that we are being provided the opportunity to look at fundraising and giving/donating as a lifestyle. The products we purchase the places we go can affect the world around us in a profound way.
One thing that (Red) has shown us is that businesses can do social good. I’ve been reading Bill Clinton’s book, Giving, and he has a chapter discussing this very issue.
“There are enormous opportunities for businesses to increase profits, and for NGOs to make contributors’ money go further, by organizing and enlarging [public good] markets.”- Bill Clinton, Giving
When businesses see a direct benefit to social good they start mass-producing this social good to a wider audience than the non-profit world has the ability to do. Look at the work that World of Good is doing. They have set up two organizations one that is non-profit and one that is for-profit. The non-profit organization sets up standards that any business can use to enact social good. The for-profit organization acts out those standards in a profit-making environment. They currently have a partnership with eBay setting up a community to highlight social good business ventures.
My point is that we live in a different world today where non-profits are having an impact in business. The (Red) Campaign in some ways is the forerunner of what I think the consumer world is going to demand more of. Already consumers tend to favor a product that is connected to benefiting a charity or cause in some way. As businesses continue to see this trend it could force them to take a real look at how they are giving. I think there is a real opportunity for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors based on how they run their foundations and charitable giving.