Advertising for Humanity, a creative agency whose clients are all social-benefit organizations, was started by social entrepreneur Dan Pallotta, author of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential.
Among the takeaways from Pallotta's book is that forcing nonprofits to work with a low overhead prohibits them from obtaining the exposure needed to make large-scale social impact. If we could apply business principles like advertising to the nonprofit world, however, they too could create market demand.
Instead of just questioning the system, Pallotta devised a solution with Advertising for Humanity. The agency offers top grade creative services to nonprofits including business strategy consulting, branding, digital and print tools, CSR, event design, media planning, and board and donor transformation.
“We help humanitarian organizations succeed by transforming their brands. We help consumer brands succeed by transforming their social initiatives," Advertising for Humanity says on their site. "We marry marketing and meaning.”
In less than 10 years, Pallotta's event marketing model -- "the long-distance, multi-day pilgrimage model" -- has been able to raise $582 million, and raise over $1 billion by inspiring others to start their own movements. The marketing practices delivered by "Humanity's ad agency" have already benefitted organizations like the National Breast Cancer Coalition, Kourage Athletics, Gulf Coast Foundation of Community, Helmsley Charitable Trust/Glu, Breast Cancer 3-Days, AIDSRides USA, Kidney Foundation of Alberta and the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
"For decades the nonprofit sector has not been taking market share away from the for-profit sector," Pallotta says in an video about Advertising for Humanity. He points out that if our aim is to solve major world issues, we will need more donations, and to get those, we'll need to create a demand through powerful marketing.
"This is our business, yes," he says. "But Advertising for Humanity is always our cause. On behalf of it and in search, we are Advertising for Humanity."
Advertising for Humanity website
Advertising for Humanity on Twitter
Advertising for Humanity on Facebook
Dan Pallotta's Harvard Business Review blog