Blog

  • The Death Knell for Cause Marketing?

    Many long-running cause marketing campaigns ceased to exist this year. Lee’s Denim Day, Yoplait’s Save Lids to Save Lives and Campbell’s Labels for Education to name just a few.

    So what’s going on? Could this be the death knell for Cause Marketing?

    At Rodman & Associates, we think not.  Companies–and their consumers–have become more sophisticated, and they are demanding more from Cause Marketing campaigns.  The evolving trend is for corporations to define and create a unique program that reflects the core DNA of the business itself.

    Outstanding examples include:

    • AT&T’s Texting Can Wait,
    • CVS’s decision to not sell tobacco products and their Quitters Always Win campaign,
    • H&R Block’s Budget Challenge, a free teen financial literacy program in the form of an online game, and
    • Dove’s Real Beauty campaign using real women in all shapes and sizes.

    These innovative examples of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) invite consumers to be the change. They add to the national conversation. And they allow the company to “Own” the issue.  All making for a stunning transition in CSR!

  • Austin American-Statesman: Rodman Report shows local businesses ‘give more than ever’

    A March 14 article in the Austin American-Statesman touts the results of the Rodman Report, providing a rundown of its key findings and gaining insight from two businesses that participated in the Survey of Corporate Giving.

    In “Survey says Austin businesses give more than ever,” Monica Williams wrote: “Business philanthropy continues to grow in Austin, with more local companies giving to nonprofits and increasing their philanthropic budgets, according to an annual survey by Rodman and Associates, a local philanthropic advisor.”

    Williams interviewed Steve Simmons, business development director for Amy’s Ice Creams, and Greg Pierce, owner and founder of Zuma Office Supply. Both companies were represented in the survey, and both Simmons and Pierce discussed how the ways that they support local charities and engage their employees in those efforts.

    The Rodman Report covers many different metrics of corporate giving in Central Texas. A few of the key insights include:

    Who spearheads giving. To find the decision-makers, start at the top of a company’s flowchart. In 44 percent of companies, owners or executives drive philanthropic efforts. In most other cases, efforts are led by directors/executives (17 percent), marketing/public relations (14 percent) or are employee-driven (12 percent).

    What they donate. Monetary donations (80 percent) still lead the list, but there are other significant ways that companies contribute. Many companies allow their employees to take volunteer hours (73 percent) as a way to support nonprofits.

    The causes they support. For the third year in a row, companies were most likely to cite education (70 percent), human services (58 percent) and health and wellness (55) percent as the types of causes they support.

    The study is endorsed by Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who provided an invitation message to business owners encouraging them to participate in the survey. Austin City Council Member Alison Alter, who is also a philanthropic adviser, supports the initiative, as well.

    “Austinites are proud of our philanthropy, and it’s only natural that we expect our culture of giving to be reflected in the choices made by businesses throughout the year,” Alter said. “We want to know that the companies doing business here and their leaders care about the health and vibrancy of our community. I’m pleased to say that I believe the results in the Rodman Report bear this out.”

    Alter noted that nearly all of the companies surveyed said they give back in some way, and a majority of them have a giving budget that grew over the last year.

    “That’s good news for the causes supported through monetary donations, volunteering or other means. And it is good news for all of us in Austin who believe that a spirit of giving and good corporate citizenry go hand-in-hand,” Alter said. “I hope that this data and the conversation it sparks will inspire more businesses to invest in our community and their employees through active philanthropic programs.”

    Download the 2017 Rodman Report.

  • Infographic: key results from the survey of corporate giving

    Lisa Rodman Report

    How do Central Texas companies give to charity, in what ways do they engage their employees in philanthropy, and which causes do they support? The 2017 Survey of Corporate Giving is complete, and our new infographic highlights just a few of the findings, such as:

    • Who spearheads giving: To find the decision-makers, start at the top of a company’s flowchart.
    • What they donate: Monetary donations still lead the list, but there are other significant ways that companies contribute.
    • The causes they support: Nonprofits focused on education, human services, and health & wellness are most likely to get companies’ support.

    Central Texas Companies: Philanthropy by the Numbers illustrates these and other key metrics. We invite you to share the infographic with colleagues and employees by posting it to your website or blog, and/or including it in employee newsletters and other communications. For questions or assistance with using this infographic, email scott@pattersonhughes.com.

    The full Rodman Report will be available for download the week of March 6. Make sure to visit RodmanReport.com at that time to get your digital copy!

  • Message from Austin Mayor Steve Adler 01/04/2017

    2017 Survey of Corporate Giving in Central Texas

    Message from Mayor Adler

    Austin is a vibrant, thriving city comprised of people who put their caring into action by enthusiastically supporting charities and nonprofits. I’m proud to say that our business community reflects these values, with results from last year’s Survey of Corporate Giving in Central Texas showing that most local companies have a philanthropic/giving budget, and the majority of those budgets increased from the previous year.

    The Survey of Corporate Giving is an annual project, and we need your help to continue measuring and communicating how businesses in Austin are a charitable force for good. This year’s survey takes 10 minutes to complete, the results are anonymous, and the findings will be published in the 2017 Rodman Report.

    What has changed since last year? What new trends will we discover? The 2016 Rodman Report revealed, for example, that 77 percent of companies engage employees through group volunteering – a great way to increase employee morale.

    Once again, I would like to thank Austin Gives™, a program of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, for partnering in the effort to share the Survey of Corporate Giving with local companies. Please help us grow this study as it continues to be an enlightening measurement for businesses, nonprofits, community leaders, and all of us as charitable givers. By taking the survey today, you will be signed up to receive a free digital copy of the 2017 Rodman Report when it is published in March.

    Let’s keep proudly telling the world how businesses in Austin and our surrounding community are giving back. Thank you for taking the time to participate in the Survey of Corporate Giving.

    Sincerely,

     

     

     

    Mayor Steve Adler

  • Special Thanks to Our Partners

    Special thanks to our partners for helping to distribute the Survey of Corporate Giving:
    Austin Gives
    Austin Chamber of Commerce
    Austin Technology Council
    Real Estate Council of Austin
    Home Builders Association of Greater Austin
    Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce
    Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
    Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce
    Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
    Georgetown Chamber of Commerce
    Round Rock Chamber of Commerce
    Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce
    Bastrop Chamber of Commerce
    Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce
    Pflugerville Chamber of Commerce
    Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce
    Leander Chamber of Commerce

  • Survey Will Measure How Central Texas Companies Give Back

    Local businesses urged to provide feedback on corporate philanthropy for 2017 Rodman Report

    AUSTIN, Texas—How much do companies in Austin and the surrounding Central Texas area give back to the community, and which causes do they support? In January, the Survey of Corporate Giving will pose these and other philanthropic questions to Central Texas businesses.

    Results of the free, anonymous survey are published annually in the Rodman Report, providing a quantified look at Central Texas corporate giving. New data from the 2017 survey will be compared to previous findings, illustrating trends in local corporate giving and employee engagement.

    Among the findings from last year’s Rodman Report:

     

    • Eighty six percent of companies reported volunteer hours as one of their methods of giving, and more than three-quarters (77 percent) of companies surveyed engage their employees through group volunteering.

     

    • Philanthropic giving efforts are most often spearheaded by ownership (43 percent) or directors/executives (24 percent).

     

    • The types of organizations that companies were most likely to support are those involved in education (81 percent), human services (78 percent) and health and wellness (62) percent.

     

    This year’s survey will also ask new questions and widen the scope of the Rodman Report, which was first published in 2015. Conducted by locally based Rodman & Associates, the survey is presented in partnership with Austin Gives, a program of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and is endorsed by Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

    Last year, Mayor Adler wrote to local business that their input is needed “to make this survey a useful tool for all of us – business owners, community leaders and charitable givers.”

    “Austin has a vibrant business community with a history of giving back,” Adler wrote. “Thank you for taking the time to tell us how your organization makes an impact through philanthropy.”

    The 10-minute survey will be available in January at RodmanReport.com. Those who take the survey and opt-in to receive a digital copy of the Rodman Report will have an opportunity to get a first look at the survey results.

    Rodman & Associates was founded by Lisa Rodman, a 20-year veteran of the nonprofit arena. She advises and supports individuals, businesses and foundations on philanthropic initiatives and partnerships.

     

    Last year’s “2016 Rodman Report” contains insights on philanthropy at Central Texas businesses. Download the report (in PDF) at RodmanAssociates.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2016-Rodman-Report.pdf.

  • Study Finds Increase in Corporate Philanthropy, Volunteerism in Central Texas

    2016 Rodman Report Reveals Giving Habits, Trends of Local Businesses

    AUSTIN, Texas—A new survey has good news for nonprofits and others who depend on philanthropy in Central Texas: Most local companies have giving budgets, and those budgets increased from 2014-2015.

    That and other key insights on corporate giving in Central Texas are presented in the 2016 Rodman Report, available for viewing online at RodmanReport.com. This is the second year that Austin-based Rodman & Associates has conducted the survey, which is the only study of its kind that addresses Austin and the surrounding area.

    Some of the other major highlights of the Rodman Report include:

    Volunteering is key. The report found that companies are doing more to encourage volunteering among their employees. This year, 86 percent of companies reported volunteer hours as one of their methods of giving, compared to 66 percent in the 2015 survey. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of companies surveyed engage their employees through group volunteering. “Companies that take advantage of this method of giving find that group volunteering is a great way to engage employees, providing a team-building activity that increases morale,” said Lisa Rodman, founder and principal of Rodman & Associates.

    Tone at the top guides giving. Philanthropic giving efforts are spearheaded by ownership (43 percent) or directors/executives (24 percent), followed by human resources (13 percent), marketing/public relations (also 13 percent) or mid-level managers (4 percent). “This is an important finding for nonprofits and other fundraising groups to help them know who the corporate gatekeepers are in terms of potential support for their causes,” Rodman said.

    Certain causes generate the most support. Like last year, the types of organizations that companies were most likely to support are those involved in education (81 percent), human services (78 percent) and health and wellness (62) percent. “Companies, just like individuals, often look for causes that have the most impact and seem the most worthy of their dollars – and their time,” Rodman said.

    The results are drawn from the survey responses of 120 Central Texas companies who participated online between February 10 and March 8, 2016.

    The Rodman Report is available at RodmanReport.com, as well as an infographic for media use and distribution.

    Rodman & Associates was founded by Lisa Rodman, a 20-year veteran of the nonprofit arena. She advises and supports individuals, businesses and foundations on philanthropic initiatives and partnerships.