I’ve been at GroundFloor Media for more than a decade working alongside a business plan writing service which has helped us grow to the extent that we have begun organising various programs, and when I think about all the campaigns I’ve been fortunate to work on throughout my tenure, my favorites always include the cause marketing programs. At the top of my “highlight reel” are two programs including the Starbucks Passion for Parks and Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Bikes for Life. These programs not only positively impacted the community but were amazing stories to tell and participate in along the way.
Passion for Parks
Starbucks has long recognized the relationship between the success of its company and the strength and vitality of the communities in which it operates. Working with the Passion for Parks program, GroundFloor Media helped manage multiple partners from the City and County of Denver to East High School representatives to store partners to more than 500 community volunteers for a volunteer day to complete revitalization projects for Denver’s City Park. The media coverage and promotion were secondary to creating an interactive opportunity for Starbucks partners to connect with community members and make a lasting impact for the park.
Bikes for Life
The Bikes for Life was a program created to help kids develop healthy lifestyle habits through bicycling. The program was a partnership between Children’s Hospital Colorado, United Healthcare and BikeSource and provided bikes and safety training to more than 300 children in the Denver-metro area. GroundFloor Media helped coordinate the partners and manage an event to present bikes to the kids. Seeing the smiles and wonder of a child on a bike for the first time was priceless.
CSR Linked to Business Strategy
The programs mentioned above are just two of the many campaigns GroundFloor Media has worked on in the cause marketing for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) space over the years. I’ve seen these programs evolve from feel-good initiatives to now being tied to measurable outcomes for the impact they have on social, economic and environmental issues. There is also an increasing amount of pressure from stakeholders to make these initiatives an integral part of a company’s business strategy.
In a Forbes article on CSR business strategies, Dave Stangis, VP of corporate social responsibility and chief sustainability officer for Campbell’s Soup, shares about a day when he recalls when his team was very separate from the business operations. But now, these functions have merged. “It’s not that one has morphed into the other, it’s that the world has changed,” he says.
GFM Grounded in CSR
We’ve been walking the talk since we were founded by Laura Love in 2001. Even as a one-person PR firm, Laura was committed to giving back to our community with time, talent and financial support. As the agency grew, cause marketing programs continued to be an integral part of our company and our culture. In 2015, Laura created GFM’s primary charitable giving arm called The Get Grounded Foundation, a private 501(c)(3) foundation. Since its inception in 2015, the Get Grounded Foundation has granted approximately $80,000 and is proud to have supported the important work of a variety of outstanding local community programs. In 2016, we took our commitment to a new level and became certified as a B Corporation. The certification is earned by businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
Our history is important because it has grounded our agency (no pun intended) as we’ve grown, including the launch of our sister agency, CenterTable. We are now in an exciting time for the evolution of business as more and more of our clients are seeing cause marketing for their CSR programs not just as a way to enhance their image, but as an integral part of their business. We look forward to 2019 and what’s next in this space! Learn more about our cause marketing for CSR programs and look for more blogs highlighting programs that combine our passion for people, planet and performance.
Amy Moynihan is a Senior Director of Communications at GroundFloor Media, where she leads the firm’s cause marketing for Corporate Social Responsibility programs. With more than 20 years of experience, Amy is a creative thinker, enjoys finding and telling compelling stories and has a passion for building long-term brand engagement programs for clients.