The Corporate Connection | npENGAGE

The Corporate Connection

By on Feb 19, 2007

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(originally posted on BlogBaud)

The 2007 running of the Daytona 500 brought with it a lot of advertising and promtions from the multitude of NASCAR corporate sponsors. Amid the flurry of comercials were promotional ads for The NASCAR Foundation’s annual NASCAR Day fundraising event.

NASCAR Day is now in its fourth year as the major public-facing fundraising initiative of the The NASCAR Foundation. In exchange for a $5 donation, participants receive a commemorative NASCAR Day lapel pin. The majority of the donations come from the many corporate partners and sponors affiliated with NASCAR and its participating motorsports teams. 

This is the second year in a row that the organization has partnered with Blackbaud Interactive to develop an online micro-site to promote the event. Last year’s NASCAR Day was the largest and most succesful to date with over 3,000 companies across the country participating to help sell over 100,000 pins worldwide.

The growth and success of the event is in large part due to the Foundation’s ability to mobilize individuals acting as a “Crew Chief” within companies. A NASCAR Day Crew Chief is responsible for registering their company and collecting donations for a minimum of 25 NASCAR Day pins. To help Crew Chief’s out The NASCAR Foundation provides an online pin ordering system, downloadable marketing materials, and a participation kit to make running a local fundraising campaign as easy as possible.

The number of philanthropic efforts that involve partnering with corporations is on the rise. The (PRODUCT)RED campaign has successfully partnered with companies like American Express, Apple Inc., Motorola, and The Gap to raise money for The Global Fund. The money helps women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. (PRODUCT)RED) uses a variety of Web 2.0 tools like weblogs, MySpace, and Flickr to engage supporters online. Their partner companies have specially branded “(RED)” products and the entire effort is an example of effective integrated communication in action.

This speaks to the power of distributed fundraising with the Internet acting as a tool to streamline communication and participation. In the case of NASCAR Day, it also helps that the Daytona 500 race had a television audience in the tens of millions. (The Web site statistics went through the stratosphere.) The ads will continue to run during races up until the May 18th event.

Corporate accountability to the public markets and the general public continues to be an important issue. Partnerships with nonprofit organizations should continue to increase and the Internet will be a major factor in the success of these efforts. The NASCAR Foundation is hoping to put a new spin on an old cliché: Win on Sunday. Donate on Monday.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve MacLaughlin is the Vice President of Data & Analytics at Blackbaud and bestselling author of Data Driven Nonprofits.

MacLaughlin has been featured as a fundraising and nonprofit expert in many mainstream publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, USA Today, The NonProfit Times, Bloomberg, and has appeared on NPR.

He is a frequent speaker at events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), American Marketing Association (AMA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Giving Institute Summer Symposium, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), Institute of Fundraising National Convention, Civil Society Conference, Resource Alliance’s Fundraising Online, and a keynote speaker at such events as the Crescendo Practical Planned Giving Conference.

Steve serves on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and supports its focus on both the growth and professionalism of the nonprofit technology field as well as building knowledge and information sharing capacity throughout the sector.

He is a frequent blogger, published author of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets. His latest book, Data Driven Nonprofits, became a bestseller in 2016.

Steve earned both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Indiana University.

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