Cause Marketing: There’s Now An App For That
Peter Panda

Have you checked out this app? In their own words, Cause.it connects cause with commerce in your community. It’s Sparked + Groupon but local. In short, users can complete volunteering tasks (the ones there now are mostly posting messages to your Facebook account) to help charities. For each task you complete, you earn points. Local businesses have offers listed that can be redeemed with certain amounts of points. Here’s a little more: an infographic on why they built it.

My mind is racing. Not only is this currently only in Indianapolis (so while I can still earn points, I can’t redeem them unless I’m up for a road trip), but I am so curious about where it’s going! Of course GOOD Magazine has covered it, so I learned that their founder is just 20 years old, and the app made its recent debut at SXSW (Austin is the next city slated to be able to participate). I could register on it through Facebook only (hopefully more options are in the works) and I found about five to six volunteer opportunities and three places where I could redeem any points that I earned. It’s a pretty simple concept that will not only boost small business, but will give them a tax write-off, encourage community philanthropy, and let cause marketing finally be measured.

Will future volunteer opportunities be physical acts, not just digital contributions? Will you be able to redeem some of the business offers online? Just as a side note, their interface and website are clean, visually pleasing, and easy to use. So there’s that.

If you are a nonprofit, would you participate? And what if you are a small business? And as a citizen, will you get this app? So far, I see it as a win-win-win, and I’m excited to watch their story unfold.

This post originally appeared on 501Connect.

Peter Panda

Pioneering social media panda bear Tagawa “Peter” Panda was born on a Chinese game reserve in 1969. He emigrated to the United States in 1987 speaking no English, with only the fur on his back and $97 stored in a Jansport fanny-pack wrapped around his waist.

In 2003 while searching for food on the campus of Washington University, he discovered a computer lab where he would ultimately teach himself web development, graphic design, and immerse himself into the growing digital media evolution that was erupting at the time.

With his trademark surly demeanor developed during beatings on his boat ride from China to the U.S., as well as having a penchant for eating vast quantities of bamboo, and enjoying Scotch and cigars, Peter is broadly recognized for coining the phrase “social media” in 2004. He joined Elasticity in late 2009 as the agency’s director of social media strategy and wildlife relations. Friend him on Facebook here.

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