Corporate giving, as my friend and colleague Morra reminded me, has been the bedrock of philanthropic efforts since at least Andrew Carnegie and his cohort. And for that, I am grateful, as matters of social justice (poverty, equality, opportunity, universal education, health) are gravely important to me, as a member of a community (or several overlapping communities). As such, I don’t want to paint all “pink” efforts to fight breast cancer as bad or ineffective — they certainly aren’t — and I’d like to give the most promising ones equal time here this week.
To that end, what “pink” promotions appeal to you this month? What has impressed you? What do you like? I’ll take a look into them if you haven’t yet, and find out what percentage they give per sale, if they cap their donations at a certain amount, and where the money goes — and I’ll post the results here throughout the week.
Here is an example of a clear campaign that is making a significant donation per action:
- Varian Medical Systems invited the public to write “letters to cancer,” donating $50 to the American Cancer Society for each letter written, up to a maximum of $100,000. They also guaranteed a minimum donation of $100,000, which I appreciated, so I wrote a letter to cancer as a thank-you to them for this campaign. Thank you, Marty, for highlighting this on Facebook and Don’t Take the Repeats.
My new friend Jenny (from Get out, Gertrude!) likes the Tim Tam campaign in New Zealand. Their site explains:
- “Tim Tam Breast Buddies is continuing its support of the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition. The funds raised will go towards their goal of providing a ‘Step by Step’ kit to all 2500 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer each year (in New Zealand). The ‘Step by Step’ kit provides information and support resources to help women through their journey. Tim Tam Breast Buddies will kick start the fundraising with a donation of $10,000 and in addition will match every other donation received dollar for dollar… up to $55,000.” Tim Tam gets credit for clarity, for stating minimums and maximums, and for explaining clearly where the donation goes and what its impact will be. (Plus, Kate and Jenny say Tim Tams are delicious!)
The pink ribbons are a nice thought throughout the year, as they (ostensibly) remind people do do self-exams, and show support for breast cancer survivors/fighters. When they come all at once (like Sunday’s comics insert), it can be pretty overwhelming. But I really liked how one comic strip took it to the next level:
- Rhymes With Orange featured one of its characters talking frankly about her mastectomy to a friend, saying, “One thing I discovered with my mastectomy is that I had to reassure everyone I’d be all right….” which is true and real and painful and awesome all rolled in together. And when the character showed confidence and poise by following it up with a joke, I smiled in recognition of all my brave, brave friends, who face this head-on, and who honestly do want to make it easier on their friends and spouses, who shouldn’t have to — but do — suffer along with them. (Note: the strip also features a link to BCAction.org, the parent group of ThinkBeforeYouPink, and King Features encourages donations to cancer charities on its comicsgopink site.) Thanks for taking it beyond the pink, Hilary Price.
And in the category of most improved:
- Dannon yogurt. Dannon clearly identifies the donation (10 cents per lid), minimum ($500,000) and maximum ($1,500,000) donations, and the beneficiary: National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. AND this year, you don’t have to waste postage mailing in slimy lids — just write down the code under the lid and enter it at www.cupsofhope.com. That’s a huge improvement, and one I would support. (The previous method often had us spending more in postage than the company donated to the cause.)
What campaigns have impressed you so far this year?