If your brand deals with good causes and community involvement then you might want to watch for (or jump on) this one. It won’t cost you much other than some time and effort, and it can help boost local nonprofits and burnish your social cred at the same time. Plus it looks easy to get started and to use.
Cause.it is a new mobile app that connects local business, nonprofits, and volunteers. Here’s how it works: Do-gooders get points by signing up for either a “Say Cause” (liking it on Facebook or tweeting about it) or a “Do Cause” (volunteer at a real-world event, such as a Habitat build, or tree planting). These points can then be redeemed for coupons or discounts at businesses.
Everyone wins. Volunteers get discounts, nonprofits get volunteers and social publicity along with access to data and new emails for their lists, and businesses bring in new customers.
So how might a credit union get involved? By identifying which community non-profits you already are supporting or want to support, publicizing their good deeds and events to your members and the community, and giving points (free) to those who participate. Got a product you want to promote? Take points as part of the deal. Have business members? Get them to take points and promote their efforts. You get to support great local organizations, build your brand, and attract potential members who appreciate your connection to the community.
Keep in mind that this app is just getting underway, even though it’s already available through Apple’s App Store. The first roll-out begins later this month in Indianapolis, with Houston, Miami, Boston, Chicago, LA and San Francisco launches to follow. Look for a Droid app becoming available in May.
So far the biggest negative seems to be that it requires logging in via Facebook to activate the app — yet social media is a critical component in order to spread the word on behalf of the nonprofits, (plus it allows the app to collect the email addresses for the non-profits, without asking for the emails directly – pretty clever, eh?)
Yes, any app needs to go a bit viral to get noticed and actually used by people. But cause.it has already made a splash at SXSW, so with the national launch planned for May, expect to see even more attention from the national media.