Before Giving Forward, there was We-Care, a for-profit cause marketing company which generated $8.3 Million in revenue for nonprofits with it’s eCommerce-driven cause marketing platform..
2007: Kevin Lee and David Pasternack co-founders of Didit launch We-Care.com a for-profit eCommerce cause marketing platform. We-Care’s “Shop with Purpose” platform in partnership with Amazon and 1700+ other merchants using the affiliate marketing platforms as the foundation to the technology.
2012: The We-Care platform generates over $7 million dollars in cause marketing donations to the nonprofits selected by We-Care membership, Amazon, We-Care’s largest merchant partner requests an A/B split test to quantify the changes in consumer behavior as a result of the shopper’s favorite cause benefiting from a transaction. Shortly after presenting VERY positive results, Amazon specifically modifies the associate program TOS to prohibit We-Care’s technology, effectively terminating the relationship.
2013: Amazon launches SMILE. Coincidence? The We-Care team was disappointed, but remembered Oscar Wilde’s quote “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” 😉 OK, so AWS and the Amazon business are far from mediocre, but we had to console ourselves somehow.
2018: Seeking to apply the cause marketing model to online publishing, Kevin Lee, Dave Pasternack and Didit bid on Gawker with the intent to pivot the defunct website into Gawker for Good (Ad Age article). In the final Gawker.com bankruptcy auction, Didit loses Gawker to Bryan Goldberg at Bustle (BDG).
2019 Giving Forward Founded: Kevin Lee teams up with the founding Board of Directors to start Giving Forward, a nonprofit to deploy the cause marketing powered publishing business model in a non-profit publisher scenario. The mission to create programs and technology platforms which: generate social impact through marketing, advertising, publishing, events or commerce. Revenue is derived largely from advertising, the monetization of time and attention of consumers engaged in the consumption of great, fun and informative content. Another way of thinking about it is that consumers (a silly marketing term) “volunteer” their time and attention, generating ad revenue which is shared with other nonprofits.
When the first Giving Forward initiative of Cause Marketing Powered Publishing is successful, Lee and the Board of Directors have plans to launch several additional platforms and products, all of which generate revenue for other nonprofits in non-traditional ways, primarily cause marketing and innovations in volunteerism, The development and deployment of these additional platforms will be accelerated through your DONATIONS.