Innovative Charity Sponsorship Website to Launch

CNN’s former digital brand manager is to launch a new venture in Ireland to help companies use their sponsorship of charities or social events to drive their bottom line.

John Healy - who is originally from Cork, but spent 17 years in New York - is planning to launch CauseHere in mid December and has moved to Ireland to develop the project.

"...a real opportunity for brands to be more serious about leveraging charities and social causes to drive the bottom line..." 

CauseHere is an application to help people connect with social causes in their area. It helps brands with their customer loyalty programmes, gathers support for charities, and provides media companies with a new revenue stream.

The website will live on other news websites and will allow readers, who are interested in social or charity projects, to get lists of events in their locality or in their areas of interest - for example, women’s health.

‘‘Brands would sponsor certain events and Cause Here would work with the brand to develop special discount and loyalty programmes to get civic minded people involved in their brands and products," said Healy.

‘‘This would involve giving these people discounts and bonuses above and beyond what ordinary people get because you, as a brand, want to reward civic-[minded] people."

A basic website to capture emails from interested parties went live yesterday at www. causehere.org. The idea for the project - which already has a verbal agreement with a major news organisation and a large charity - came from Healy’s time in CNN.

‘‘I was always socially conscious and so was my boss. I was driving a lot of cause marketing for CNN and what I realised since I came back from New York was that brands weren’t leveraging the relationships they had with charities in a systemic way to drive revenue and loyalty.

‘‘I know the power of social causes to drive sales, brand preferences and loyalty, but I don’t see it being used here. I realised that there was a real opportunity for brands to be more serious about leveraging charities and social causes to drive the bottom line," he said.

The idea for Cause Here was developed last May, at a National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) ‘start-up’ weekend where entrepreneurs, including Healy, pitched their ideas.

The best ideas are worked on by small teams, who try to build them into commercial ventures.

Healy had been in Ireland for family reasons. Because of his success at the start-up weekend, he has decided to relocate here full-time.

NDRC’s next start-up weekend is planned for next weekend, and tickets cost €74. For more information, visit www.dublin.startupweekend.org.

NDRC is an independent centre dedicated to accelerating digital research. It is supported by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

(source: Sunday Business Post)