Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Classy Awards To Honor the Best Philanthropic Achievements

They're back! The Classy Awards will be happening again this year on Sept. 17th in San Diego. Last year, two of our featured businesses were nominated, Give Something Back and The Sweets Truck.

The Classy Awards, the largest philanthropic awards ceremony in the country honors the best philanthropic achievements, as decided by public voting and judges in several categories, including philanthropic businesses.
The Classy Awards are hosted by, a Social Fundraising platform that offers powerful fundraising and communications tools to nonprofits without any upfront charges.

This year we are happy to report that again two of our featured businesses, have also been nominated:
Panera Cares and Comcast's Care Days, which we mentioned in our post about back to school corporate volunteerism. In addition Panera has been named as a finalist!

There are so many nominees and finalists in all the categories including business philanthropy that are worthy of receiving the award - I congratulate all of them and wish them good luck.

I look forward to the hearing who all the chosen winners will be at the ceremony. This year I have been invited as a guest to attend the Classy Awards and will get a chance to personally meet the nominees and the winners. This will a terrific opportunity to meet the founders and the creators of these businesses and  philanthropic programs and learn firsthand about their mission to make their communities and the world a better place through their business and their employees.

Check out the stories about their featured nominees and come join me at the Classy Awards. For tickets to this fun and inspiring event check out their site.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One Town Helps Support Children's Hospital With 25,00 Dairy Queen Blizzards

The small town in Madison, SD, comprised of only 6,000 residents, raised more than $60,000 for their local children’s hospital. The town bought more than 25,000 Blizzards (equating to four-plus per person) from their local Dairy Queen as part of a campaign called Miracle Treat Day, a day dedicated to raising money for 170 children’s hospitals across the nation through the sales of Dairy Queen Blizzards.

The town’s success was led by a hometown hero, DeLon Mork, the owner of the Madison Dairy Queen. DeLon is so passionate about the cause that he set the goal of selling 25,000 blizzards this day, which seems impossible for just one store to do. They not only met their goal, but exceeded it beating out all other locations including those in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago in donations. DeLon will now join the Police Chief in jumping out of an airplane to fulfill his promise to his staff for meeting their goal (this is the now the talk of the town).

Anyone can still donate to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at

Friday, August 19, 2011

Where Good Deeds Are Always In Style

High, a website that features very cool stories about trendy retail with a focus on e-commerce has provided fashion aficionadas with philanthropic tendencies with ever more reason to buy from their favorite designers.

As they wrote to me: "Trends may come and go, but a good deed’s always in style.  The cheese factor of that statement aside, it’s true — which is why we saw fit to compile the best philanthropic initiatives coming from the fashion industry.  These are endeavors seeking to improve a variety of issues, from domestic violence to AIDS to the lack of clean drinking water in many countries. "

You can check out their gallery in their story, 7 Philanthropic Leaders in the Fashion Industry  to learn more about how some standout retailers are making an effort and how consumers can be become part of these initiatives.

Included in this gallery are (of course the well known to our readers,) TOMS Shoes, as well as: Donna Karan's Urban Zen Project; Edun, founded on the commitment to encourage trade with Africa, Liz Clairborne's Love is Not Abuse Program; Giorgio Armani's Acqua For Life, Marc Jacob's Aid for Aids Charity Tee Shirts, and Diane von Furstenburg who supports an array of causes and non-profits.

Not only are good deeds always in style, but never has looking good and doing good felt better.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stinky Kids Helps Books, Bears, & Bonnets, Inc. Bring Smiles To Cancer Patients

After Merrily Ansell lost her sister, Emily, to cancer, she channeled her grief into helping to ease the suffering of those with the same affliction. In fact, she made it her life’s mission. In 2000, Merrily created Books, Bears & Bonnets, Inc., which donates gift boxes to various hospitals for patients of all ages undergoing treatments for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
For five years, Merrily watched her sister undergo multiple treatments to help her beat her cancer. After Emily passed, Merrily decided to encase her passion for helping others into a thoughtful and meaningful box that would be delivered to as many hospitals that would take them. Each box, hand-assembled by Merrily and volunteers in her community, contains a book, a stuffed bear and a “bonnet” or hat of some sort for the patient. The book is for the patients to read and keep them occupied during the long days of treatment. The stuffed bear is meant to bring the patient comfort and something to hold during treatment procedures. Finally, the “bonnet” would help hide the after effects of the different treatments of various diseases.
Since its inception, Books, Bears & Bonnets, Inc. has donated approximately 21,000 gift boxes to many hospitals. And according to Merrily, that doesn’t mean that only 21,000 people were affected by them.
“If you multiply that number by four, that math gives you a more accurate total number of people affected by these comforting boxes,” said Merrily. “Patients usually open their boxes with at least one person with them, whether it is a nurse the patients have bonded with or their entire family. These boxes reach more than just the patients.”
Merrily often receives cards telling her that patients do not always keep the boxes for themselves. Fighting cancer is a group effort. Parents undergoing treatment, for example, often share a part of their gift boxes with their children or possibly a nurse that they have grown attached to. Merrily hopes to have touched the lives of at least 84,000 people.
Books, Bears & Bonnets, Inc. receives their funds through donations from private individuals in their community and those that have been affected or have received one of the gift boxes Merrily so lovingly assembles. Only one franchise donates to this noble cause. StinkyKids, created by Britt Menzies, Merrily’s daughter, donates 10% of its profits every year towards the efforts of Books, Bears & Bonnets, Inc. StinkyKids is a doll and book franchise that teaches children to be “leaders of good” and help the “little stinkers” solve their way out of sticky situations. The StinkyKids will be expanding into a musical as well as animation soon. A line of 12” plush StinkyKids dolls is manufactured by Madame Alexander.
For more information regarding Books, Bears & Bonnets Inc. or StinkyKids please visit:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cause Marketing for Meals on Wheels is Rolling Along

Meals for Wheels seems to have caught on as a popular cause for businesses to help support. This may not be as splashy as the pink, or the red, or other colored ribboned causes that businesses have taken on. Meals on Wheels focuses on the needs of a somewhat neglected population, the elderly. We have mentioned here before a partnership with Gallo Family Vineyards and Meals On Wheels that helped feed homebound senior women on Mothers Day.

Amongst other companies that are supporting Meals On Wheels with funding and by buiding awareness are:

Walmart Foundation is donating more than $1 million to 20 Meals On Wheels programs through their Building the Future Vision Grant Program.

MetLife Foundation has awarded $200,000 to the Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) for the creation of a new program that helps MOWAA develop a self assessment tool to evaluate the operations of their programs. Using  the program's self-assessment model, MOWAA will develop training modules in several cities to help the address any program deficiencies implement changes.

And keeping up with the times of social networking cause marketing, MOWAA has announced a competition on Facebook. Twenty one amazing Meals On Wheels volunteers from across the country are now competing to become the Meals On Wheels 2011 American Volunteer. In this third year of the competition some of the nominees include a 94-year-old woman who has volunteered for her Meals On Wheels program in her home state for 25 years and a Vietnam War veteran who never misses a day volunteering for his hometown Meals On Wheels program.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Honest Tea Gives Proof of Honesty As Well of Their Own Giving

Remember when sceptics of Panera's Cafe's "pay as you go" social giving experiment, suggested that people aren't honest enough for it to work? Well now, Honest Tea has put that question to the test and found that a surprisingly high proportion of people will pay for what could be an opportunity for a freebie drink.

In twelve cities,Honest Tea set up pop up stores with their tea on the stands and a sign suggesting people drop a dollar in the box for every bottle they took. Most cities were in the 90th percentile of honesty, which was a bit of a surprise to Seth Goldman,CEO of Honest Tea.

Now that Honest Tea has tested Americans’ honesty in twelve cities with our Honest Cities campaign, it was time to decide where all those honest dollars would go. They polled their Facebook fans and asked who should receive the money. Out of 4,980 votes, City Year is our winner with 56 percent of the total vote!

Here is the full breakdown:

* City Year – 2,779 (56% of the vote) will receive $5,000
* Share Our Strength – 1,451 (29% of the vote) will receive $3,000
* Rails-to-Trails Conservancy – 750 (15% of the vote) will receive $2,000

No one even mentioned the fact that no one ran off with the money!