Oct 05, 2009

When Fundraising Is Too Successful: Pink Ribbon Overload

A fascinating article in the Boston Globe discusses how the combination of fundraising and cause-related marketing embodied in the pink ribbon (which indicates that a portion of a product's proceeds will go to breast cancer charities) is a victim of its own success.

Yes, the pink ribbon raises money for cancer research and education. But it also boosts corporate profits, creates an increasingly visible to reminder to women suffering from a disease they'd like to forget about once in a while, and for some, is just too much pink!

There's no easy lesson to be drawn here -- and many charities wish they had the problem of their cause having become overly visible -- but it is a reminder that mixing charitable work and business can create some unexpected public relations issues.