by John Trybus, Managing Director

A simple call to action and a big idea create a cause marketing partnership made in heaven

Give us your coats!

That’s the simple and clear call to action that has put One Warm Coat on the map and inspired a number of very successful and high-profile cause-marketing partnerships for the organization, including the Warm Coats & Warm Hearts Drive currently taking place with Burlington Coat Factory and ABC’s Good Morning America.

This week’s episode of The Social Strategistfeatures a conversation conducted in San Francisco, Calif. with Sybil Hunt, One Warm Coat’s community outreach director.

We spoke about the structure of this innovative organization, the great need for coats in the United States (did you know that the U.S. Census reports that an estimated 671,850 Americans experience homelessness on any given night?) as well as the innovative cause marketing partnership mentioned above.

Why is One Warm Coat so successful? In one word: simplicity.

One Warm Coat has only been in existence for ten years yet expects to receive its three millionth coat donation this year. (Photo courtesy of One Warm Coat)

“It doesn’t take any money to participate in what we do; it just takes a coat,” Sybil explains in the interview.  “And people are really, really inspired by that. And they’re also inspired by the heart factor, wanting to give back in their communities.”

If you have been watching Good Morning America lately chances are you have already heard of the Warm Coats & Warm Hearts Drive. The drive, which will conclude on February 13, is in its fifth year and is a daily feature on ABC’s flagship morning program.

So how effective has the partnership been? Extremely successful.

Consider some of the successes of the Warm Coats & Warm Hearts Drive campaign:

  • On track to collect the one millionth donated coat this year
  • Received more than 401 million media impressions
  • Created a partnership with a well-respected media outlet as well as Burlington Coat Factory, a company with more than 440 stores in 44 states
  • Attracted extensive celebrity participation
  • Won a Halo Award from the Cause Marketing Forum in 2008

“It’s more than anyone could have dreamed it to be,” Sybil told me.

Listen to the full interview with this week’s social strategist, Sybil Hunt to learn more about the campaign and what communication professionals can learn from this cause marketing partnership to apply to their own organizations.