Posts Tagged: Charitable Donations

How Can They Do That? A Question Many Commercial Co-Venturers Love to Ask

Advertising lawyers when giving advice to clients on promotional programs and advertising disclosures are always asked by their clients, why must we do it that way when XYZ company isn’t?  The answer is usually somewhere between I don’t know why XYZ company is doing it that way and XYZ company is doing it wrong.  The task is even more difficult when dealing with commercial co-ventures, since the regulations seem to slip the mind of many a brand.

I recently came across an ad for the new Apple® iPhone 8 (PRODUCT) RED™ which lists on the Apple website for $799 for the 64gb version and $949 for the 256 gb version (for those of you who would like to film a remake of The Ten Commandments).  The Apple website states under a picture of the phone as follows:

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition are now available.  Every purchase contributes directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.”

When you scroll down to the bottom of the page, it says “A portion of the proceeds from every (PRODUCT)RED purchase will go the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.” (more…)

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Commercial Co-Ventures What a Charity Needs to Know

Yay!  Big brand wants to team up and donate part of the purchase price of its sales to your charity.  Do you just have to sit back and watch the money come pouring in?

Procedurally, no; substantively, (mostly) yes.  Even though the “work” in a commercial co-venture may be done primarily by the commercial company in terms of registrations and actual product selling, a charity has a number of its own obligations that cannot be ignored.

A short primer:  Buy this + we donate that = commercial co-venture.  Simple. (more…)

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Should Your Company Engage in Cause Marketing? Here’s What Consumers Think

Cause marketing is good marketing according to a recent study.  

The marketing research firm Toluna conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults and here’s what they had to say:

  • Almost half felt that “it’s a great way to bring attention to different national or global issues.”
  • Over half said their favorite way for companies to engage was to “donate some portion of their revenue to a recognized charity.”
  • The most popular cause was “hunger, homelessness or medical relief” followed closely by “education.”
  • A significant majority favored domestic causes over international causes.
  • Nearly two-thirds said they regularly or sometimes sought out brands that support certain causes.
  • Most said that it does not impact their willingness to purchase if they don’t agree with the cause.
  • But almost half of millennials surveyed would seek out a brand that aligned with a cause they agreed with.
  • Millennials were a little more skeptical of cause marketing, but still 80% were not skeptical.
  • Almost half of the millennials surveyed said they would spend time researching brands to see what causes they support and would be willing to pay more for these products. And 30% would even sacrifice quality for a good cause.

Once again, the surveys show that cause marketing should be a critical part of a brand’s activities.  And according to this survey, any cause marketing is worthwhile, but apparently the best thing to do is target millennials, use your revenue to make donations, support hunger, homelessness or medical relief when possible, stay domestic, and let the public know what you’re doing.

 

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The Three Dirty Words A Company Involved in Cause Marketing Doesn’t Want to Hear

George Carlin had seven dirty words.  Spongebob Squarepants had 13 bad words (7 regular/6 sailor).  And New York State has 6,942 dirty words that can’t be used on vanity plates.  But commercial co-venturers should be aware of three dirty words: Professional Fundraiser, Professional Solicitor, and Fundraising Counsel, because if your cause marketing campaign drifts into these areas, you may want to scream another dirty word.

These categories are treated differently from commercial co-venturers under charitable solicitation laws because these people get paid for their fundraising activities and therefore, the state regulators are more cautious and have imposed much more stringent registration, bonding and reporting requirements.  (more…)

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Guidance From Commercial Co-Venture Caselaw: A Unicorn of a Topic

There are not many court decisions concerning commercial co-ventures.  In fact, there are perhaps five.  This is far less than the number of decisions involving unicorns (seriously).  Nevertheless, these few court decisions provide some guidance on how a court may look at claims involving alleged violation of commercial co-venture laws.  Let’s take a look:

Attorney General v. Bach, 81 Mass. App. Ct. 1126 (2012):  Company sold tickets to a “show house” with proceeds to go to charity.  No contract with charity.  No registration (note: MA).  Show not a big hit.  Company went under.  Unknown if donation actually made.  Two years later, MA attorney general brought action against the owner personally.   Court found owner violated CCV laws.  Permanent injunction issued precluding owner from failing to comply with the act. (more…)

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