The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Aquadots and Oil Spills: “Packaging” your message this holiday


This is a great photo from the Dogwood Alliance.

Here’s the story behind it. During the MarketingProfs Book Club, I posed this question to all the savvy marketers in the club:

One of the points I made in the book is that good marketers seek open-minded moments for delivering their message — moments when people are in a time, place or state of mind when our message is most relevant and attractive. Nonprofits, because of their limited budgets, can make their promotion dollars go further if they spend them on open-minded moments. Better to concentrate and inundate with a message than to “spray and pray.”

So here’s my question. It seems this holiday, we might have some kind of open-minded moment for charities that protect our health, products and environment. Aquadots, toxic Barbies, Bay Area oil spills and global warming are prompting consumers to think more consciously about how they spend their money in the store. How can charities also gain attention at a time like this?

I got a great response from Scot from the Dogwood Alliance:

An example from our organization during the holiday season… We are currently running a campaign to tackle the packaging problem. The average American throws out 300 lbs of packaging per year. We our wasting our natural resources and degrading our environment to make packaging that is not even an integral part of the actual product.

So this holiday season, we are running a contest asking people to submit photos of over-packaging during the holidays. We will create a slide show of the photos that we post on line and ask our audience to vote on the best ones.

For us, this is a great way to raise awareness about an important issue, tap into the holidays and have fun… a win-win-win combo (we hope!).

The above picture is last year’s winner. And it’s a winning example of using open-minded moments.

This holiday, if your organization has anything to do with safety, health or the environment, tap into consumer and media attention to these issues with some timely tie-ins. As I like to say, it’s easier to attach your cause to something that has buzz rather than trying to generate buzz for your cause.

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About This Blog
Caryn Stein hi res

Caryn Stein
Vice President, Communications and Content, Network for Good

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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