One Hope Saves Many Lives

Have you ever purchased something because you knew that a portion of the proceeds would go to a certain cause? Breast cancer stamps, Paul Newman salad dressing, Yoplait yogurt?

There’s a new for-profit company called OneHope that was created to sell a product and reserve 50% of the profits for a specific charity. The founders decided to create a specific product, designate a cause and find a market and allow the product to sell itself.

The founders decided to take their winemaking talents and produce merlot to benefit AIDS research, sauvignon blanc supports the environment and zin supports the U.S. troops. In 2009 they raised over $1.5 million in sales and donated money and in-kind contributions to over 150 charities.

Although the idea of setting aside profits for a cause is not new, the mission behind this organization is unique. The idea that each product will benefit a certain cause has them looking to produce more products and create a cause-oriented lifestyle brand.

When someone needs to bring wine to a party or give as a gift, which do you think they’ll buy? I know I would buy the one that benefits a charity. In fact, I’d probably buy several.

Cookies for Kid’s Cancer is a website that offers information on how to have a charitable bake sale including recipes, banners, and links to vendors and products to help make the event successful. The site sells cookies and 70% of the proceeds go to fund pediatric cancer research at cancer centers in the U.S.

Other companies can take the lead and create a ‘charity-related’ product with a new look and logo. Nabisco mint oreo cookie sales could announce they plan to promote The Trouble with the Alphabet book to increase awareness of the plight of children across the world. Nestles could create a line of bottled water that benefits water projects across the world. Purina could get creative and establish a line of dog food and give half the proceeds to the humane society or help animals during a crisis (a hurricane, forest fire, heat wave, etc.). Calvin Klein could team up and design a unique line of prescription glasses and send proceeds to a struggling school district or create scholarships with the money they raise.

Consumers are already making the purchase and will tend to purchase the product that benefits a cause. Wine, beer and liquor industry continues to skyrocket. Sales in 2009 reached over $455 million and in many cases wine is chosen on how pretty the label is designed. Adding a note that describes OneHope’s objective will help make the choice and sale easier than ever.

Thinking outside the box is outdated and overrated. Thinking in a circular fashion allows the flow of ideas to touch, connect and grow in a fluid motion. As budgets are reduced, jobs are eliminated and money is in short supply, it makes sense to create a product that the public buys anyhow and share the proceeds.

It looks good for the company, it adds dollars to the charity and it’s a no-brainer for the consumer!