Imagistic Grantastic Awards 2012

Imagistic, an innovator in technology and marketing services, is taking holiday giving to a new high. The company, located in Westlake Village, CA, has expertise in business technology strategy, technology forensics, RFP/RFQ/RFI consultation, internet and custom software development, content strategy, project management, design, and information architecture. They have designed and built some fantastic projects for Hollywood.com, CarsDirect and Network for Good.

Until last year, they did like most agencies do and sent holiday gifts to clients to thank them for their business. Being on the client side I have received these gifts too and love it when I get something really creative and useful. From reading my blog you my might foresee that I love the idea of giving to charity in lieu of tangible presents. And that’s exactly what Imagistic has done.

Imagistic has created a grant worth $20k in consulting services and will award the prize by selecting from the best applications. I’m honored to be a judge for 2012 and to help to select the project that will contribute the most impact toward bettering our planet.

From the Imagistic website: Grantastic from Imagistic

We would bang our heads trying to think of cool and innovative holiday presents to send to our clients and partners. We’d done it all – Mugs, Red Staplers, Canvas Bags, Feel Good Bundles (tea, incense and organic goodies) – you name it, we’d sent it.

So last year we decided that we were finally going to do something different. Rather than sending a cool tsotchke (one that will most likely end up in a landfill), we decided it was time to give away something with value – something that gives and keeps giving. We realized the idea was right in front of us. Why not give “ourselves” away?

So we decided to offer a grant of our services to one company or organization that doing something to better our planet. Isn’t that fantastic? We think so – in fact. we think it’s Grantastic!

I’m so impressed with the generosity of this agency and their clients who share this value and forgo their luxurious gifts in order to contribute to the winning cause. Applications have been submitted and are ready for the 2012 judging. By the end of March the winning project will be awarded $20k in technology and business services, the results of which will benefit the world for years to come.

Reinventing a Company Toy Drive with Social Media

Learnings from my latest cause marketing program at WellPoint December 2011

I’m very proud of the success and fun we had with our WellPoint holiday toy drive providing happiness to the families at the RAIN center in Camarillo, Ca. This was the first year we used social media for our internal Blue Crew programs. I designed the social media strategy using Yammer to seed our message to company employees. Using an Amazon Wish List helped make the wishes more real and provided reporting and tracking on the gifts that were received or needed.

Outreach was driven through Yammer (facebook for companies) where we created a new group for the Blue Crew and enlisted our colleagues to join and spread the word about the online forum. Building this group created an opt-in audience for our future campaigns too. Employees who provided toys or furthered our cause were awarded badges and called out on the news feed. Every day we would highlight a special wish reminding everyone how little it costs to make a difference. And with the Amazon wish list we eliminated the hassle of shipping so all employees from New York to San Diego could participate- and heavier toys (like a skateboard for Angela that came from a colleague in Maine) were not left out.

The program also acted as a Yammer sign up campaign though I don’t have the stats on that. Because the conversations we hosted were engaging and viral, we saw daily new sign-ups to the Yammer site that had been online for over a year.

Our Intranet editor posted this out to the company:

The Blue Crew had another great success with its holiday toy drive for RAIN transitional living facility located in Camarillo, California. WellPoint associates from across the country heard about the toy drive and donated 64 gifts for the children and families, far exceeding the wish list of 27 items. Many thanks go to Vicki Karayan, Marketing Coordinator, Sr. who organized the drive while Suzanne Appel, Internet Marketing Manager, drove internal awareness for the drive. “Day by day the Amazon boxes arrived and we saw the kids’ wish list fill up. It was so exciting to feel that kind of generosity from these amazing WellPoint Associates,” said Suzanne. RAIN supports families in our community trying to get back on their feet in this tough economy. Way to go!!

Amazon Wish List for Rain

RAIN supports families in our community trying to get back on their feet with in this tough economy. The RAIN Transitional Living Center has provided housing and services to families and single adults in Ventura County, California, to help with the transition from homelessness to permanent housing. You can learn more about them at http://www.raincommunities.org

Learnings:

  • Make it easy to donate, and make it real to know where the money is going
  • By removing the shipping issues we were able to make great gains on a short 2 week campaign at the holiday time
  • Technology isn’t for everyone so make sure to provide tips for people who prefer offline channels
  • Creating a universal, up-to-date wish list allows you to see your progress daily, add to the inventory, make adjustments as the prices change and delete items when someone notifies you they bought an item offline
  • Having the audience is critical, having the right message will help you grow that audience
  • When you love what you’re doing you’ll thrive to innovate