Many corporations are using cause-related campaigns to market their own brand and (hopefully) support a worthy organization or bring public awareness to an important issue. Some great examples of this include Starbucks’ “Create Jobs for USA Fund” crusade where you receive a wristband when you donate $5 to the Fund.
The Internet and every other form of media help spread this kind of marketing. Everyone has seen the BP or Chevron commercials talking about their “environmentally sustainable” practices. It’s a very common occurrence and it seems that every company wants in on it, especially those who have gotten bad press. Something that is not as common is ‘cause-related mapping’.
cause-related mapping /cause re•la•ted mapp•ing/
noun: The act of using maps to inform and engage the public in support of an important issue.
The potential to raise awareness with a map has become greater now that maps are available via the Internet on laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Maps are interactive storytellers that allow the user to understand experiences. Every issue has a geography. Think of poverty in Africa, job creation in the rust-belt, and even climate change in Antarctica. Maps help people visualize the issues but few organizations actually use maps to show why an issue is important and how you can help.
Thousands of nonprofit organizations run projects all over the earth but people are still unaware of the enormous scale of these operations. Wouldn’t providing an interactive map that engages donors and volunteers be a great idea? What if you could access a clickable map that shows in near-real time the success rate of the movement you are involved with? What if you could see in near real-time where the issue is and where relief effort should focus?
Remember, people like tangible things and people like images. And most people like maps.