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VOL. 126 | NO. 230 | Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pearl and Mel Shaw

Cause Marketing Fulfills Circle of Giving

MEL and PEARL SHAW

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How do you say thank you? The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis says it with a Kroger gift card, preloaded with five dollars.

Take it to Kroger, add your grocery money to the card, do your shopping, pay for your groceries with the card, and Kroger will send the Women’s Foundation five percent of what you spent at the store. Five percent. That’s a lot. And you can reload your card, using it to buy groceries, gas and pharmacy items throughout the year. With every dollar you spend, five cents goes to the Women’s Foundation. It adds up quickly.

It’s a circle of giving. You give to the Women’s Foundation, they give you a gift card. You shop at Kroger, Kroger gives to the Women’s Foundation. Most importantly the Women’s Foundation gives back to women and children across our community by funding opportunities for leadership development and a road to economic self-sufficiency.

This is a great example of what we refer to as a mutually beneficial “cause marketing” program. It builds loyalty among supporters of the Women’s Foundation who are also Kroger shoppers. It creates a revenue stream for the Women’s Foundation. It provides Kroger with an opportunity to provide funding to an organization that its shoppers support. Everybody wins. Grocery shopping suddenly has a new meaning. And an impact beyond our families!

As fans of the Women’s Foundation – and developers and promoters of cause marketing partnerships – we signed up for a card right away and found it easy to use. We also found that having this gift card has focused us on shopping at Kroger because we want to support the Women’s Foundation. Again, a win for Kroger and a win for the foundation.

Wanting a “behind the scenes” look we asked Tracy Burgess, development manager at the Women’s Foundation how the program is working. She let us know they are promoting the cards with the slogan “Buy Now Give Now.”

“We wanted to focus on giving something to the people of Memphis that will allow each to be a philanthropist,” Burgess said. “In this economy the gift card gives everyone a way to give even though their own budgets may be tight. It expands the definition of what it means to be a philanthropist.”

Burgess also mentioned that staff are recording the names and email addresses of people they give a gift card to so they can be sure to follow up and let participants know how their use of the card is impacting the Foundation’s work. You know we like to hear that – at the end of the day it is all about stewardship. Saying “thank you” over and over again.

Join the circle of giving by calling Burgess at 578-9346 to receive your card or www.wfgm.org for more information.

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the owners of Saad & Shaw. They help nonprofit organizations and institutions rethink revenue sources. They are the authors of “How to Solicit a Gift: Turning Prospects into Donors.” Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com or call 522-8727.

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