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June 01, 2009
Annual Halo Awards Are Given to Cause Marketing Partnerships of Companies and Nonprofits
    by Robert Kropp

The Cause Marketing Forum bestows its Golden Halo Awards upon Timberland and Share Our Strength for their use of cause marketing to achieve socially beneficial ends.

Since 2002, the Cause Marketing Forum has helped businesses and nonprofits collaborate in addressing important social issues, by such initiatives as its Cause Marketing Halo Awards. The awards are given to companies and nonprofits that demonstrate socially beneficial alliances between companies and causes.

Cause marketing refers to marketing campaigns that involve cooperation between businesses and nonprofit organizations, in the interest of serving some public good. An early example of cause marketing can be found in the marketing campaign led by American Express in 1983 for the Statue of Liberty Restoration project. In 2009, cause marketing spending is forecast to reach $1.57 billion.

The Cause Marketing Forum recognizes one business and one nonprofit organization every year for their cause marketing efforts by bestowing upon them the Golden Halo Awards. In 2009, the winner in the business category was Timberland, a new Hampshire-based footwear and apparel manufacturer. The winning nonprofit was Share Our Strength, a consortium of community groups, activists and food programs engaged in the eradication of child hunger in the US.

The Cause Marketing Forum cited Timberland for its environmental goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2010, and for its policy of encouraging employee voluntarism by providing 40 hours of paid community service time per employee as well.

Share Our Strength was awarded for its collaborations with the culinary industry to develop pioneering programs to help eradicate child hunger. Since its founding by Bill and Debbie Shore in 1984, Share Our Strength has raised more than $200 million and supported more than 1,000 organizations that are working to end hunger.

The Forum's award for Best Use of Social Media was given to TripAdvisor, a travel company that invited consumers to vote on how it should allocate a $1 million donation between five nonprofits. TripAdvisor's largest donation, of $392,000, went to Doctors Without Borders.

Other winners of the Halo Awards included New Belgium Brewing for an environmental campaign, Subway for its partnership with the American Heart Association, Procter & Gamble for its relationship with the United Nations Association’s Hero campaign, and the collaboration between Macy’s and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Cause Marketing Halo Award winners are selected from applications submitted by companies and nonprofit organizations.


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