Causes.com, the startup that helps nonrpofits find support on Facebook, is announcing a new feature called Give a Minute. This is a new way for users to get behind their favorite causes — and for Causes to make money.
One of the most direct methods to support a nonprofit on Causes is by donating money, but people don’t always have the financial resources to give as much as they want. With this new program, they can give some of their time instead, specifically by watching a video ad or by filling out a survey or a poll. Those activities serve as advertising and research for Causes’ brand partners, who will then donate between 10 and 50 cents per person to a nonprofit that Causes has matched them up with.
Causes has already run a pilot program where users filled out a survey for Lexus, then Lexus donated money to the World Wildlife Fund.
Vice President of Social Impact Matt Mahan said that from a business perspective, Causes is focused on connecting brands with audiences who are interested in things like social responsibility. The San Francisco-headquartered company already runs a “sponsored cause” program, and he said the new Give a Minute campaigns help “democratize” that concept, making it easier for companies that aren’t “a Fortune 50 or even a Fortune 500 brand” to advertise on Causes.
Mahan also described the Give a Minute program as embodying a new, improved kind of brand advertising. To find advertising for the program, Causes is partnering with online ad companies SocialVibe, TrialPay, and Y.
“We want to raise the bar for advertising,” Mahan said. “There’s a reason why cause-based marketing is the fastest-growing area of marketing dollars spent.”
San Francisco-based Causes was founded by Sean Parker (whose role in the early days of Facebook was dramatized in The Social Network) and Joe Green. It has raised $16 million in funding from Founders Fund, New Enterprise Associates, the Case Foundation, and others.