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Panera Cares, Customers Rise to the Occasion

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 13, 2011 04:00 PM

Panera Bread Co. will open its third "pay what you want" cafe on Monday, marking its third such endeavor — and test of the public's integrity. Panera Cares is billed as a community cafe concept, and a non-profit arm of the US restaurant chain. Its new cafe in Portland, Oregon, follows launches last year in Clayton, Missouri, and Dearborn, Michigan.

"In some ways it is a test for humanity," Panera founder Ron Shaich tells AP. "Will people step up and help each other or will they take advantage?" So far, yes. About 20% of visitors to the first two locations leave more than the suggested amount, 20% leave less and 60% pay the suggested amount.Continue reading...

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Launches First Fundraising Campaign

Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 13, 2011 01:00 PM

With over 100 years of service, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is one of those top tier non-profit brands that has a high level of awareness. Yet most people think the organization needs volunteers, not money.

In these challenging economic times, however, Big Brothers Big Sisters, which often turns to corporate partners for financial support, is doing something it has never done before: reaching out to the general public for donations. In a campaign starting today called "Start Something," Big Brothers Big Sisters is using a mix of television and print advertising, outdoor media, online advertising, and social media to get its message across. Continue reading...

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UNICEF Ambassador Selena Gomez on Haiti's 1st Anniversary

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 12, 2011 11:15 AM

Today is the one-year anniversary of the earthquakes that hit Haiti. UNICEF Ambassador Selena Gomez taped this promo to draw attention, particularly among kids and teens, to the continuing impact of that devastation — and to draw attention to a special website, unicefhaiti365.org.

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The Dignity Project: Salvation Army's Striking Holiday Appeal

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 23, 2010 11:00 AM

The Salvation Army in Canada is winning kudos for The Dignity Project, its new outdoor, print and TV campaign to support those who are down on their luck this holiday season. Take a closer look after the jump.Continue reading...

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Social (Activism) Media: Connecting With On-Brand Causes

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 13, 2010 10:15 AM

While charities are increasingly using not just the web, but social media, to spur donations, cause-wired philanthropy is coming of age for brands, too.

Startups like Social Reality evangelize to major brands the value add of becoming involved, while the powerhouse that is Facebook's Causes campaign has seen massive success connecting brands with consumers around a worthy cause.Continue reading...

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Green & Black Sends Consumers to the Source

Posted by Jennifer Sokolowski on December 8, 2010 11:00 AM

Chocolatier Green & Black is taking it to the people − both customers and suppliers. The organic and Fair Trade Certified chocolate producer has announced a program in which 10 residents of the U.S. and U.K. will be named Global Ambassadors and taken on a 14-day adventure challenge next spring in the Dominican Republic rainforest, where they will work with the local cocoa farming community and help build a gravity-fed water system.

Those interested have until Jan. 3 to apply; the company will select ambassadors based on what they have done for their own communities. The winners will also receive $1,000 for a local-community building cause of their choice, and they will be tasked with blogging about their experiences on the trip.

This isn't the first time Green & Black has made an effort to get its consumers involved in the company.Continue reading...

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Share the Wealth: Interbrand Gather for Change

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 1, 2010 02:30 PM

Speaking of holiday campaigns (re BMW's e-card, below), BC parent Interbrand today launched Gather for Change.

Instead of sending a traditional holiday card this year, Interbrand offices are collecting donations (big or small) and crowdsourcing the recipient.

Find out more in the video above, and click here to nominate a worthy non-profit organization.

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Brands Turn (RED), Celebs Turn Dead for World AIDS Day

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 1, 2010 10:00 AM

Stars and brands are aligning to promote World AIDS Day. In addition to Lady Gaga and other celebrities' "digital death" social media log-off (above) spearheaded by Alicia Keys, Annie Lennox was named London's "HIV Ambassador" and released a PSA for World AIDS Day.  

Bono kicked off the (RED) campaign to virtually and physically "turn the world red" today (the message: an HIV-free generation of babies by 2015) with a kick-off event in Sydney, and a reminder that brands including Nike, Starbucks, Gap, American Express and Armani create and sell products exclusively for (RED) year-round.Continue reading...

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