blog post photo 10.23.17

Giving Back: Today, It’s As Much About the How As It Is About the Why

Giving Back. It’s become table stakes for most corporations today — at least the ones that have understood and embraced the importance of Purpose. Arguably as well, it’s become the mantra of an entire generation, that of the millennials, that measure not only their self-image but their affinity to brands by the degree to which they can align their behaviors to their values.

And recent events — ranging from the dire images of hurricane-wracked communities to the moral bankruptcy of many of our institutions — have also served as a steady reminder that our ability to make a difference, to contribute to making the world a better place, requires fulfilling our duty to give back and, in doing so, to be true to the better angels of our nature.

And yet despite the fact that charitable giving has reached nearly $400 billion annually in the US, and notwithstanding the recent growth of the now very cluttered giving tech industry, one startling fact remains: charitable giving represents only around 2% of GDP here in the U.S. and it has been at that level since 1971.

Pretty crazy right? Since 1971, we haven’t gotten any more generous as a society? With all the noise and attention that swirls around our crowd-funding platforms, our ice bucket challenges and our celebration of newly minted billionaires giving away fortunes to charity, social good and the causes that need our support (now more than ever) are only growing at the same pace as the economy as a whole.

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Picking Purpose at the NFL Draft

The 2017 NFL Draft is upon us.

That means, starting today, hundreds of thousands of football fans will flock to Philadelphia to watch their favorite college athletes officially turn pro. Last year, the NFL Draft Experience saw over 225,000 visitors over the long weekend. And this year, with the Draft being held outside in an open-air theater for the first time ever, Philadelphia is expecting to see the largest live audience in history to view the team selections.

But that’s not all that’s new this year. For the first time ever, in/PACT is excited to partner with Bud Light to allow NFL Draft Experience attendees to give back to their favorite local Philly causes, simply by enjoying a beer with friends.

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For the Social Entrepreneur, Angst is Good.

For anyone looking at the world today, angst is a highly appropriate and proportionate response. Whether it’s the economy, politics or society in general, things seem seriously akilter.

For the social entrepreneur, that underlying sense of angst is a powerful motivator. The gnawing recognition that things are seriously broken gives rise to a desire to fix them.

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Charity Shaming: There’s A Better Solution Than “Checkout Charity”

We’ve all become accustomed to that by now ubiquitous and generally annoying phenomenon of checkout charity — being asked, just as we’re settling our bill, to make an additional contribution to charity. According to a recent Good Scout Group study, nearly three out of four Americans have given this way. And even more astounding is this: according to a separate study from the Cause Marketing Forum, over the last 29 years, these sorts of campaigns have raised more than $2.3 billion for charitable causes.

Clearly, checkout charity works. But what about the downsides? Although companies and brands have come to consider this a sure-fire, go-to method to show their commitment to a charity (by asking their customers to dig into their wallets), the negative side effects are often overlooked.

The truth of the matter is this: most instances of checkout charity rely for their effectiveness upon charity shaming (it’s true: just ask South Park). And whether or not we realize it, we’ve all been exposed to those embarrassing moments of truth: to give, or not to give?

While shaming people into giving may work, in the short term — according to almost every study, most people do actually reach into their pockets to give as requested — in the long term, the method will not contribute positively to a brand’s relationship with its customers.

And here’s why.

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2016: Another Year in the Record Books

Another year for the record books!

365 days have passed since we sent our last Year-in-Review update. So many things have changed, yet so many have remained the same. To quote the exact line we began last year’s update with: “all of us here at in/PACT come to work each morning with one simple mission: to help companies activate their purpose and change the world through people-empowered giving.”

That hasn’t changed. And we’re very proud of that.

What has changed are the new clients we’ve signed, the amazing activations we’ve pulled off, the connections we’ve made and the awareness we’ve generated within the industry. It’s been another incredible year at in/PACT, and 2017 is shaping up to be ever better. Take a look at some of our favorite milestones below, as well as the exciting things next year has to offer.

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Technology at the Heart of Purpose: Doing Good at Infinite Scale

Technology enables marketers to create a one-on-one relationship with their customers, which has often been recognized as the holy grail. We send personalized content, promotions and product recommendations through this type of application. But what about brand purpose? How does technology play a role in connecting our customers with what we stand for beyond our products?

To date, brand purpose has sat above the marketing stack. By its very nature, brand purpose is typically executed in a push style format, aligning with causes and sharing social good efforts in mass communication formats.
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11-29-2016

The #GivingTuesday Survey Results Are In… And They’re Good

Entering its fifth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season.

Every year, we try to celebrate #GivingTuesday in a way that’s authentic to our company, helpful to others and impactful in the way we distribute our annual donation. Last year, we allowed local Charleston consumers to direct a donation to the nonprofit of their choice for shopping in select local establishments. This year, we decided to engage with consumers in a new way: by generating insights that would be valuable to our partners and clients about customer buying and giving habits.

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in/PACT Selected as Finalist in Mastercard Start Path Program

in/PACT, an interactive purpose activation platform that works with brands such as Red Bull, L’Oreal, The Super Bowl and The Miss Universe Organization, has been selected from over 600 applicants to pitch their solutions at the Mastercard Start Path pitch day in Miami on November 30th and December 1st. They are competing against 12 to 14 other finalists for the opportunity to join the Mastercard Start Path virtual mentorship program.

Mastercard Start Path partners with commerce and fintech startups from around the world to help scale their businesses. The program enables companies to gain access to Mastercard’s global ecosystem and to break new markets through relationships with Mastercard and their customers. A hybrid model designed to help solve key operational challenges for companies, Start Path provides immediate access to experts and resources from across the organization and the opportunity to dive deep with Mastercard’s internal and external networks. The Start Path program has helped to accelerate other commerce startups, such as ZenCard, Penny Owl and APDS.

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Why and How You Give Matters as Much as What You Give

One of the most remarkable and, honestly, dispiriting aspects of the 2016 election — a dystopian exercise in democracy that historians will be studying for years to come — was the utter lack, in the words and actions of the candidates and their supporters, of even the most basic spirit of generosity.

Generosity was lacking, certainly, among the candidates towards each other; among their supporters towards other fellow citizens of a different political persuasion; and most notably — and this not only on the rabid fringes of this highly fraught campaign — there was a disquieting lack of generosity, in general, for “The Other,” meaning simply understanding and empathy for people who are different from and often less privileged than ourselves. If generosity towards others is one of the hallmarks of humanity, this was a decidedly inhumane political season.

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