Agency Sets Example for Corporate Giving

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Despite a challenging economy, Higher Power Marketing has been able to increase its charitable contributions by 63 percent from last year. The per-inquiry (PI) advertising agency donates 1 percent of the year's gross receipts from each client to one of that client's three designated charities - in the client's name. This year, 42 charities benefited from the program.

giving without asking for anything in return is the most compassionate way of giving.

Despite a challenging economy, Higher Power Marketing has been able to increase its charitable contributions by 63 percent from last year. Rather than pursuing a "one size fits all" approach to annual gift giving, Phoenix-based HPM surveys its clients each October, asking which three charities they admire and support. Based upon client feedback, the per-inquiry (PI) advertising agency donates 1 percent of the year's gross receipts from each client to one of that client's three designated charities -- in the client's name.

"Every single client responded this year, with the United Way, American Red Cross and Make-A-Wish Foundation being the Top Three recipients," says HPM President and CEO Peter Feinstein. "We find that our clients are all very big givers, to a wide variety of causes."

The result: a three-in-one gift - aid to the charity, recognition for the client and the opportunity for HPM to expand its range of corporate giving. This year, 42 charities benefited from the program.

Among the more unique recipients in 2008 were HOPE International, an organization that provides microloans in developing countries, and The Cat House on the Kings, a central-California animal sanctuary and adoption center.

"I feel strongly that a cookie-cutter gift wouldn't accurately represent how HPM does business," Feinstein says. "The best gift we can give to each of our clients is a donation made in their name to a cause they're passionate about."

In its own name, HPM donated about 2 percent of its gross revenue to the American Cancer Society, the ALS Foundation and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). This is in keeping with Feinstein's belief that "giving without asking for anything in return is the most compassionate way of giving."

Company background
HPM specializes in PI advertising - also known as pay-per-lead (PPL) or direct-response (DR) advertising. The agency has relationships with media outlets across the country - radio, television, print and mobile media - and access to their unsold inventories of ad space or time. A PI campaign puts ads in those spots until the agreed upon number of responses is reached, allowing a client to establish a stable, predictable cost per lead (CPL) - a necessity when money is tight.

The emphasis on results appeals to clients who care about how well their advertising works, not necessarily when or where it runs. "The client makes money; the media make money; and we make money," Feinstein says. "Everybody wins."

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