Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jimmy Choo's funky line for the Elton John AIDS Foundation

When I find something good, something I really like, I share it. The Brand Philanthropy blog is one of them. Holly Wesselhoft blogs about luxury brands that do good with style. Since, givingadvice works with women owned, small-medium size businesses in the fitness, fashion, beauty and health industries; and professional women entrepreneurs, Holly's blog is a fabulous read. It's even better if you love luxury brands. So, if you are going to buy them, you may as well shop with those who are socially conscious and charitable minded.

Here is a how one luxury shoe brand partnered up with a celebrity to make a difference.

Jimmy Choo, the third member of the luxury shoe triumverent (Jimmy, Manolo & Christian) has joined the others in creating a line for charity. Read the story here at Brand Philanthropy blog.

Friday, January 22, 2010

3 Reasons Your Business Shouldn't Keep Your Giving a Secret

A few years ago, I was interviewed by a celebrity entrepreneur on small business giving. During the interview, I was asked if businesses should share their giving with customers and the community or if they should keep it a secret. For many business owners like yourself, giving can be a very private issue. Perhaps it is rooted in humility or a deeply held personal philosophy. These are to be respected, but do not serve a greater good. Keeping your business giving a secret is a motivationally selfish and supports no one by doing it except your own personal interest.

There are a few key reasons a business should contribute their giving message. If you understand the benefits of communicating your giving, you can quickly see the positive impact is has for you, your business, the cause, and your community. This is a big reason why I wrote my book, “Small Businesses Give Big: Why charitable giving is a great business strategy.” It is the idea that sharing giving stories inspires, motivates, and relates to others in any country and any language.

As a business owner, no matter how you give or what you give, not keeping your cause a secret can, in my opinion, have as much of an impact as the check you wrote or time you spent volunteering. The larger picture for sharing your giving is about creating awareness. The first step causes must take to increase their donor pool and prospects is not about asking for donations, rather it is about building awareness about the social issue they address, and how they are an agent of change in their community and the world.

There are three key reasons to reveal your business giving. They are:

1. Social Mission. By adding a social mission to your business and sharing it, you have just taken a pro-active initiative to support your business’s core values. Your social mission communicates the social issue you and your business stands for and is committed to helping solve. The social mission is cause-centric and communicates your humanitarianism. It is different from your regular business mission. However, it is aligned with it and works parallel to it.

2. Connection. Adding your social mission message to your business’s communication can expand the breadth of your outreach and touch the hearts and emotions of others. Today more than ever, customers and causes are seeking to connect with businesses that bring meaning and movement to social issues. By sharing your giving story, new levels of connection are created for you, your business, causes, and a community. These new connections can have long-term impact supporting your business and the causes you give to.

3. Awareness. At the grassroots level, both businesses and causes need to build awareness about what they do and the difference they make to improve lives. By creating awareness, both businesses and causes strive to increase either sales or donations and build their brand trust. Yes, even nonprofits strive to build their brand trust. So, by cementing your social mission-based marketing to your communication efforts, you have increased awareness about a cause to constituents and customers who otherwise may not have known about the specific charity. A new audience has been created through sharing your altruistic intentions in an authentic way.

Perhaps the greatest reason for not keeping your cause a secret is you have added significant social value to the world. So step out and be willing to share your business’s cause.

2010. Copyright. Maggie F. Keenan, Ed.D. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Clean Makeup for Clean Water

I get so excited when I see a favorite brand of mine engaged in a cause marketing campaign. One of the main reasons why this is exciting is because I am a woman loyal to only a few select brands and rarely ever do I switch a brand once I find one I l-o-v-e. I have stuck to some brands for more than 25 years.

One of my favorite brands has been and still is COVERGIRL. I love everything about their makeup products from the texture to the scents to the 'real life' face colors. I just pulled out a few of the products I use and have used over the years. My favorite foundation is their FreshLook (Ivory), Cheekers blush (Brick Rose), Perfect Blend PencilCrayon (Brun*Noir), Professional mascara, LipSlicks Lip gloss(Precious) and Dark Chocolate lipstick w/ SPF15. Oh, how I love this lipstick. When I run low, I go into the drugstore, head right to the rack and pick up the product. I can get what I need with no hassles.

Now here is the best part, COVERGIRL has partnered with The Children's Safe Drinking Program and just launched their Clean Makeup for Clean Water campaign. The beauty of this campaign is that it's brilliant and simple on many levels. First, it uses the word 'clean', enhancing the brand image, product line and the cause initiative. This is symmetric and easy to remember (Clean Makeup and clean water), so both the company and cause brand image win.

Another reason this campaign is brilliant is because it directly involves their customers on two different levels. The first level of involvement asks the customer to share a video about how they give back to make a difference. This is a super idea in that viewers can learn about causes and charities, and creative ways other women give which helps build awareness and inspiration. Another level of customer involvement offers women an opportunity to win! Who doesn't like to win something. They could win either a trip to Africa that is a humanitarian effort and aligned with the campaign (sending clean water to children in developing countries) or the chance to participate in a photo shoot. Either of these two possibilities are exciting.

I give this campaign two thumbs up! It's message, brand building, cause awareness, and customer involvement and call to action rock.


The Children's Safe Drinking Water Program provides clean drinking water to developing nations. Every day more than 4,000 children in developing countries die from diseases due to unsafe drinking water.
  • Contaminated drinking water is a major problem, especially in developing nations.
  • More than one billion people worldwide do not have access to safe water. Diarrhea caused by drinking contaminated water remains a leading cause of illness and death among infants and children in the developing world.
  • About 1.8 million children die every year due to diarrheal diseases. More children die from diarrheal illnesses like cholera and dysentery than from HIV/AIDS or malaria combined.
  • Beginning in 1995, P&G collaborated with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to develop the PUR Purifier of Water, a safe drinking water system that people can easily use in their homes.
  • Simple, low-cost interventions at the community level can improve the quality of household water and greatly reduce the risk of diarrheal disease and death.
  • Simply providing safe, clean, drinkable water can significantly help reduce deadly diarrhea and other devastating diseases.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Help Starts @ Home ~ No One Should Be Cold or Hungry

It all started late one evening. Lisa Manyon (Twitter handle @WriteOnCreative) and I (Twitter handle @MaggieKeenan) were being our social selves on social networks. Lisa and I have known each other for several years. We professionally have worked on projects together and we are real friends, Twitter pals and Facebook friends, too.

Lisa posted a question on Facebook that asked: “I think it would be fun to be a professional gift giver w/ an unlimited budget to delight others. What would you give & why?”

This sparked some interesting discussion and I know that Lisa and I both have a passion for giving and helping nonprofits.

Then the magic began. Lisa mentioned she was thinking about the recent Facebook craze of women posting their bra color in their social media status to support breast cancer. But what about taking action to REALLY make a difference. Lisa sent the link about the bra gig to me and I thought wow, what a cool, a very cool idea.

Lisa immediately thought about a blanket drive and then I thought about all the cold and hungry people within our own communities. We were both on the same wavelength.

I suggested we involve a young teenager, Zach Bonner ( @Zach_Bonner on Twitter). He’s a 12-year old and Founder of the
Little Red Wagon Foundation a charity organized to raise awareness and funds to help homeless children. I've been following Zach for over a year. Part of the proceeds of my book support his cause and I followed him last summer on his ATL-DC Walk.

Lisa and I are asking you to join us in supporting this new campaign and we are making it super easy for you. You can either donate your time, a blanket or some food to a charity in your community or nationally, or if you cannot donate your time or items, please consider sending Zach a donation.

Here’s how you can make it happen:

1. Post the information you’ll find below on your Facebook page, blog etc. to spread the word.

2. Take an action yourself. Select the best way to support this campaign.

3. Join our campaign on Twibbon as a supporter.

4. Then, post one of the status suggestions below in all of your social media status sections.

That’s it! So let's get started. Below is all the information you need to help out.

Here’s a suggested post you can use on your blog and to send to friends on your social networks to spread the Help Starts @ Home ~ No One Should Be Cold or Hungry.

Help Starts @ Home ~ No One Should Be Cold Or Hungry

People in your community are cold and hungry. You might not see them on the streets in your community but they are there. Or you may live in a community where it’s more than obvious (Hello, Seattle, Los Angeles, Detroit…). Maggie Keenan (@MaggieKeenan –twitter) and Lisa Manyon (@WriteOnCreative –twitter) are no strangers to giving. They’re challenging you to do the same. So, donate a blanket or food to someone who needs it. Perhaps someone you see on the street or contact your local organizations. There are Community Partnership Act programs across the country, homeless shelters and food banks, too. Or, if you cannot donate an item, donate your time to a local soup kitchen or other shelter. Let’s make a difference.

The Help Starts @ Home movement was inspired by the social media craze of women posting their bra color to support breast cancer. Maggie & Lisa support breast cancer too BUT they’re taking this a step further and challenging you and your family to take action and make a difference.

Help really does start at home and no one should be cold or hungry. Post this to your Facebook wall, pass it on to friends, add it to your blog, send it to your newsletter subscribers & when you’ve taken action, post this in your status on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or whatever social media platform you choose.

Think of the impact we can ALL make. Oh, and if you really cannot find the time to take action and donate a blanket or food, please consider sending a donation to the The Little Red Wagon Foundation. Zach Bonner (@Zach_Bonner – Twitter) is the founder. He’s 12-Years old and dedicated to helping homeless children. Check him out on Twitter or at .

Go forth and GIVE. And, when you do, add our Twibbon to your
your Twitter profile to show united support for Help Starts @ Home.

Help Starts @ Home ~ No One Should Be Cold Or Hungry ~ I donated to (insert item & name or organization here)

Help Starts @ Home ~ No One Should BE Cold Or Hungry ~ I donated a blanket & food today

Help Starts @ Home ~ No One Should BE Cold Or Hungry ~ I donated to

Help Starts @ Home ~ No One Should Be Cold Or Hungry ~ I volunteered in soup kitchen today

Help Starts @ Home ~ No One Should Be Cold Or Hungry ~I volunteered in a homeless shelter today

Help Starts @ Home ~ No One Should Be Cold Or Hungry ~ I volunteered at a Food Bank today

Thanks for your support! Someone somewhere will appreciate you!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cause Marketing: A fresh start for 2010

Happy New Year! There is always something so fresh about the beginning of any year. And, it seems all the more fresh with cold-crisp air, and a new snowfall.

At givingadvice, I've begun to put fresh, new ideas into the plan which will roll out this year. Even the business giving model and services will be taking on a new twist which I am really excited about. Most of this will be shared first with my givingsuccess! community. If you are not yet a part of my givingsuccess! community, you can subscribe here. It's free.

Part of fresh starts is getting back to basics. In early December, I posted a response about getting back to the use and understanding of philanthropy and cause marketing terms. My concern was that many in the field do not know the definitions of some of the terminology and use it incorrectly. And let's be honest, the general public probably hasn't a clue what the difference is between charity and philanthropy. Moreover, there are companies that don't know the difference between strategic philanthropy and cause marketing. This can muddy the waters and make just about anyone as confused as the next.

So... I am particularly grateful to Joe Waters (@joewaters) for beginning a fresh new year by setting the record straight. Here is his recent Selfish Giving blogpost on "What is Cause Marketing?" If anyone knows, Joe knows. And, as he says, "If Joe says it's true and Maggie says it's true, then it's true." He gets down to the basics about what cause marketing is and is not.

In the Fall, 2009 I gave a talk "Cause Partnerships that Do Good for Good" and if a mirror could be held against Joe's post and my talk, they mirror each other (although I am better looking and a faster runner than he - our inside joke with one another).

Here is to a fresh, new year with a crisp-clean and clear definition of cause marketing. I wish you giving success in 2010. Give me a shout out if I can support you on your journey to making an impact in this world.