Amidst a lot of marketing topics that have been touched upon, a topic that seems to always be overshadowed is cause marketing. What is precisely the purpose of cause marketing? To market or promote a cause? That is what a layman would rightly assume. But in order to simply clear my mind of any misconceptions or perceptual errors, I have done my bit on researching on cause related marketing.
According to cause-marketing consultant Jocelyn Daw, cause-related marketing (CRM) is a mutually beneficial collaboration between a corporation and a nonprofit in which their respective assets are combined to:
- Create shareholder and social value
- Connect with a range of constituents (be they consumers, employees, or suppliers)
- Communicate the shared values of both organizations
(Source: Foundation Center)
Jocelyn Daw has further explained examples, one of which include Public awareness campaigns for HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, and other causes. But the question that has always lingered in my mind is, shouldn’t the success of a cause related campaign be measured via the eradication or some what massive impact on the eradication of the cause? I suppose one way of measuring the success of a cause related campaign may be in terms of the number of people who have actually participated in the awareness creation. Or when it comes to social networking sites and the campaigns run on websites like Facebook, the success may be subject to the number of people joining the page or group. Then again, this is just my perception and can be open to criticism.
One such campaign that has recently initiated on Facebook is Hands of Hope, which is aimed at eradicating child beggary. A cause that maybe several people must have initiated in the past and one that is not new for the masses but still exists and requires much needed attention. The idea behind the name Hands of Hope revolves around tiny hands of our street children that are being raised to beg rather than to pray for a better future. These children who we call our future (and not just today, but since the time our parents were at their age) have been seen begging us for money. If you offer them food instead of money, they will not decline your offer and will willingly agree to food. If you start communicating with them on why they are begging, their replies will be genuine and from their heart. But what can we do to put an end to this form of beggary? Are we to shun them away? Should we give them a penny or two so that they can find some food for themselves? Or will this money trigger the formation of a life long act of habitual beggary?
I have often spent time questioning these young beggars on why they are begging, whether they go to school or not, where their parents are, who sent them here, what do they do with the money etc. And the responses I have got have been ultra depressing. They have included simple answers like “Mujhay parhna tha baji but paise nahi hain”, “Ghar pe aatta lejana hai”, “Amma ghar per hain, shaam ko lene ayay gee” and also, “Baji aap khana hee khila dain main kissee aur se paise maang longa”.
But the point that has always confused me is, should we give them money or not. The answer that is suggested by Hands of Hope, is No. Alternatives should be sought, alternatives that would probably be in line with Shahzad Roy’s model of child schooling. These children can be asked to sell stuff but not at the cost of their right to education. I might not be able to do much in this regard but can definitely contribute by not giving them money but instead giving them food or getting them enrolled in smaller schools. Somebody has to take charge…
Hands of Hope is a social media venture by Students of SZABIST and to contribute to educating the masses, feel free to visit and join their facebook page: Hands of Hope on Facebook
Or you can email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org