9 Ways You Can Help Those In Need #allin1day

I give because I can.

Did you know?

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.*
  • The Red Cross has won three Nobel Peace Prizes, in 1917, 1944 and 1963.^
  • In 2013, the international Red Cross movement provided food aid for more than 6.7 million people and essential household and hygiene items for over 3.4 million people.`
  • The ICRC’s (International Committee of the Red Cross) water, sanitation and construction projects benefitted some 28.7 million people in 2013.`

Please join us in going #allin1day to help the Red Cross deliver essential aid to those in need.

How can you help?

I gave whole blood for six years before learning that I was an ideal platelets donor, which I moved to three years ago. I don’t give in memory or honor of a specific person, although it is amazing when you meet people who have needed platelets — cancer patients, car accident survivors or organ transplant recipients, to name a few.

Go all in with us on June 2, 2015.

CCC is in. Are you?

I give because I can, and I hope that if I ever need platelets, someone will give for me.

p.s. Did you know the Red Cross has several apps, including one for blood and platelets donations?

Statistics sources: *American Red Cross  ^International Business Times  `ICRC Annual Report

Pay It Forward,
Jaime

Let’s chat (on the Red Cross, Paying It Forward or otherwise):
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The Trapper Keeper Is Back! And Other Insights From Back-to-School Shopping

It’s officially back-to-school season, a $72.5 billion* celebration for retailers. CCC sponsored two kids through the United Way, a 1st grade girl and 5th grade boy. It was interesting to hit the stores for back-to-school shopping this weekend and see how much the supplies had changed, if at all.

It's back to school time!

Surprisingly little… While the smartphone cases were amusing, kids still need notebooks, crayons, rulers, etc. I was a little surprised by school lists being divided into two sections: bring to school and need at home. For example, the fifth grade student needed a protractor, but only for use at home. Are they considered safety hazards now? Or don’t they actually do in-class work anymore?

I realize that I was shopping for younger kids, but I was actually a little surprised at the lack of technology. There were no USB drives or electronic notepads, tablets or time machines (kidding on the last one). The only real additions to school lists of the past that I noticed were (low odor) dry erase markers and erasers. Schools must be replacing chalk boards with white boards. Otherwise, they were pretty straight forward.

One thing made me laugh: one school list specifically said, No Trapper Keepers allowed. They don’t fit in the desks. As a child of the 80s, Trapper Keepers were the coolest thing in school! I had no idea they were still around, so I had to look them up before writing this post. I may have to pick one up… for my kid, of course. 😉

trapperkeeper


Reader Participation

What was your favorite subject in school?

What was your favorite school supply?

Who was a teacher who made a difference in your life?

What did you learn in school that you remember today?

*statistic courtesy of the National Retail Federation

Cheers,
Jaime

p.s. Going back to school yourself? Don’t forget that CCC can help with resumes, cover letters, personal essays and more! Learn more.

Social media, marketing and writing, oh my! Connect with CCC.
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Make A Ripple… And Change The World

A ripple. It’s not much by itself. But it’s amazing what happens as more and more ripples gather together: they cause change. Whether you’re trying to make the world a better place, become healthier or advance your career, small acts and minor decisions do matter.

Hocking Hills Resevoir

Enough ripples can become a tidal wave.

We love dramatic reveals after makeovers, watching contestants reshape their bodies on the Biggest Loser and seeing people use a financial windfall to do good. The only problem is that these situations aren’t relevant for 99% of us, so we feel helpless. 

But we can make a difference — in our own lives, our communities and even the world. The key is to make small changes and commit small acts. They’re sustainable, we can incorporate them into our lifestyles and they add up to make a big difference.

What if every person recycled one plastic bottle a month? Would our landfills be lighter? What if you replaced one sugary drink with a glass of water daily? Would you be healthier? Think about this: If you replace one 12 oz can of soda with water every day, you’d save 51,100 calories a year and lose about 15 pounds. (Source)

It goes beyond your physical health. Has someone made your day recently with a small act of kindness? Maybe they held the door when your hands were full or let you pull out during the busy commute home. Or perhaps a co-worker brought you a coffee one morning or a friend made a minor repair to your car. Isn’t the power of kindness amazing?

Apparently, it doesn’t just make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. More and more evidence points to kindness actually making us healthier in a number of ways.

At CCC, we’re big believers in the Pay It Forward movement and try to make a difference every day. We’re not making million dollar donations or ending poverty (we wish we could), but we are saving lives by donating platelets and volunteering our time and talents.

What small act are you committing to make a difference in your own life or your community? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below to help inspire others to join the movement and make our world a better place.

p.s. Need a reason to smile? Search the #PayItForward or #UNselfie hashtag on your favorite social platform to read about the good going on in the world. (Add your own story!)

Paying it forward,
Jaime

Let’s connect (and change the world):
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It’s All About the #UNselfie

–> It’s All About the #UNselfie <–

Today is #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to giving back and helping others succeed. Immediately following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s a great way to remember what’s important in life.

This year, it’s all about the #UNselfie. Yep, you read that right. The #UNselfie.

 #UNselfie

Need a smile today? Click on the link above and scroll through the #UNselfie stream on Google Image Search. It’s heartwarming, fun and exciting to see all of the good going on in the world.

No matter which social platform you prefer, search for #UNselfie or #GivingTuesday hashtags to see how others are helping those in need this Holiday season, and every day.

Take and post your own #UNselfie to help spread the word about this awesome holiday and International movement to focus on the positive and create lasting change in our world.

Remember, you can change the world. Every effort counts.

#UNselfie image courtesy of GivingTuesday.org (the home of all things GivingTuesday)

Cheers,
Jaime
–Proud social media ambassador for the #GivingTuesday movement

Posting an #UNselfie? Share it with us!

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4 Reasons #GivingTuesday Is Succeeding, And You Can Too!

November 27, 2012, the inaugural #GivingTuesday. It makes sense, really. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday dominate headlines, America has long been committed to giving, especially during the Holiday season. Finally, some generous minds came together and dedicated a day specifically to giving back, kicking off the giving season.

#GivingTuesday

Here’s four reasons why they’re succeeding, and how your company or brand can too…

  • Find support –> The minds behind #GivingTuesday knew this idea would be much more successful with others dedicated to its success too, so they reached out to a slew of like-minded organizations, groups and companies. Over 2,000 companies responded to officially become #GivingTuesday™ partners! Plus, even more companies and donors have stepped forward to match donations to specific charities and causes, making even more of a difference. When so many people, organizations and companies are committed to an idea’s success, it’s more likely to happen.
  • Be genuine –> #GivingTuesday is all about helping others. You can donate money, volunteer your time or skills or share the news about this effort with your social networks. The folks who got together to put this idea into motion want to help Americans (and those all over the world) give back, no matter what they have to give. This movement is about working together for the common cause of helping those in need. Be transparent in your motives: today’s digital world and social media landscape make it difficult to hide alternative agendas, which helps those who are real.

What will you give?

  • Spread the word –> While jumping on Twitter this morning, one of the first things I saw was a tweet from Bill Gates about #GivingTuesday. That certainly got my attention, and with 8,908,437 followers, a few others noticed it too. A few others, as in 6,812 retweets and 729 favorites. You don’t have to be Bill Gates though. #GivingTuesday makes it easy to become a social media ambassador, share its news and get involved. Remember, a great idea isn’t much good if nobody knows about it.
  • Make it easy to participate –> Point #3 delves directly into this… it doesn’t do much good to spread the word if you don’t make it easy for people to participate. At www.givingtuesday.org, you can easily locate a cause to support, utilize your social networks for good or take some course of action. Those on Twitter can search the #GivingTuesday hash tag to locate opportunities, and participating companies are encouraging employees to get involved. While you’re busy drumming up support, don’t lose momentum by making it difficult for people to participate. Remember, make it easy and people (businesses and customers) are more likely to jump in!

Learn from this wonderful and successful movement by noting the four keys above and applying them to your brand or business. Also, get involved and support a cause close to your heart! We can all make a difference no matter who you are or what you have.

Image credits: #GivingTuesday website, the gates notes (Bill Gates blog)

Happy #GivingTuesday!
Jaime

Cause-Related Marketing: Support or Scam?

Cause-related marketing campaigns seem like a win-win situation. Consumers and businesses help support wonderful causes while the benefiting organizations raise much-needed funds. Do they really make a difference though?

As in most cases, cause-related marketing brings both good and bad. As a consumer, you can ask a few questions to ensure you really are supporting a great cause.

Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives program

Since 1997, Yoplait has donated more than $34 million to breast cancer awareness through the Save Lids to Save Lives program, Race for the Cure and other initiatives.
Photo courtesy of Miss a Liss via Flickr

1) Is the cause meaningful to you? Do you believe in this organization and its mission? Target causes that you truly believe in and are close to your heart.

2) Who does the campaign benefit? Make sure that your purchase will support a reputable organization that will put the funds raised to good use. Charity Navigator is one place to check out nonprofit organizations that you’re not familiar with.

3) How is the program structured? Understand exactly how the charity will benefit through consumers’ purchases. For example, the sponsor may make a donation per purchase. Is the amount stated (i.e. 2% vs. 10%)? Is there a limit on the sponsoring company’s donation (i.e. first $100,000 raised)? Or is there a minimum amount to be raised before the company makes any donation?

4) How will the charity use the donated funds? Nonprofit organizations should be very clear on where their funds go, whether it be research, education, assisting those affected by their cause, administrative costs, etc.

5) Is the sponsoring company committed to the cause? If you’re not familiar with the company, review the packaging, display, in-store signage and/or literature for more information on its goals. Does it regularly support this cause? Does the company seem committed to making a difference?

Cause-related marketing programs can be a tremendous asset to nonprofit organizations or they can really be a scam. Do a little research to ensure that you are actually helping a worthy cause and that your hard-earned money wouldn’t be better spent.

For additional information:
Changing with the Times (MediaPost looks at what causes are hot in 2012.)
Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives Program
Charity Navigator
Best Practices for Taking Up the Cause

Happy Boss’ Day to all of the great leaders out there!

Jaime

Sponsorship: Your Name Here

I was sitting at an Akron Aeros (AA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians) baseball game the other night when a hitter broke his bat. Shortly after he was thrown out at first (and the pitcher danced out of the way of the jagged bat head), the PA announcer said, “That broken bat was brought to you by MDF Bats. For major league quality bats…” Seriously.

Your Name Here!

Sponsorship opportunities are virtually limitless.

Sponsorship opportunities abound around nearly every turn, from sports to events and beyond. Some companies will do anything to see their name in lights while others question the ROI (return on investment) of such a commitment. Does your company utilize sponsorships as part of your marketing mix? How do you gauge success?

My association with sponsorships started young although I didn’t realize it at the time. No, my parents didn’t sell my forehead space to a company for $XXX. As most t-ball and little league players, my team was sponsored by a local company (which basically meant paying for the shirts. If they splurged for ice cream once in awhile after a game, that was a bonus). Of course, I didn’t think of the company as a sponsor; it was just a name on the front of my shirt (which was usually covered in enough mud or dirt to wipe out any exposure on my end). Hey, I was a catcher.

In high school, I became seriously interested in racing, especially NASCAR. Anyone familiar with the popular racing series knows that sponsors are essential to the sport today. That led to seeking sponsors for charity and/or non-profit events which eventually spilled into my marketing and event planning position where finalizing sponsors for our events was vital.

Can you measure the ROI of sponsorship?

Companies measure the ROI (return on investment) of sponsorships in different ways and some don’t measure them at all.

So maybe I’m biased, but I believe that sponsorships can really pay off if they’re a good fit and are marketed correctly, preferably on both sides. Speaking of the Aeros, I became familiar with my current HVAC company, Blind & Sons, due to their sponsorship of the team. Also, I recognized at some point that I patronized sponsors of NASCAR drivers I liked without even realizing it. Apparently most NASCAR fans do… According to studies, NASCAR fans buy over $3 billion of licensed products annually and are 3 times as likely to try and purchase sponsors’ products and services. In fact, NASCAR fans are considered the most brand loyal in all of sports. [Source: Race Day Sponsor]

As someone who solicited sponsors, I always tried to ensure the companies I worked with received as much value and exposure as possible. I also tried to target companies who were a good fit for a particular opportunity and would market the sponsorship on their end as well. To me, those were the sponsorships that made everyone happy.

So, have you worked with a company you noticed through sponsorship? If so, what were the results? (As the saying goes… you can have the best marketing in the world, but if the product or service doesn’t live up to expectations, ultimately it doesn’t matter.) I have worked with companies found via sponsorship and sold companies successful sponsorships, so I’m a believer in the process, if handled correctly. Besides, who can resist their name in lights?

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on sponsorships as a buyer or sponsor.

Cheers,
Jaime