With competition fierce, charities are finding that savvy marketing is a must
The Empire State Building will glow red for an evening in February. Niagara Falls will run red for a day. And on Feb. 3 newscasters will don red dresses. It's all part of a grassroots campaign to remind women of heart disease risks that has drawn employees at thousands of companies to hand out Red Dress pins plugging the American Heart Assn.'s National Wear Red Day. Backed by marketing hustle worthy of a new car rollout, recognition of the pin could come to rival awareness of the pink ribbon as a symbol for breast cancer research.
With big-name endorsements and flashy events, the 'Go Red for Women' effort will use all the tricks of a big ad campaign for a shampoo or an SUV. Increasingly, nonprofits are finding it's a game they must play. Amid an explosion of causes competing for attention, even trusted charities like American Heart have had to rewrite their fund-raising playbooks to cut through the din."