Strategy: Corporate Support for Antiviolence Projects
Strategy Corporations contribute to or implement antiviolence campaigns using their products, services, and resources. The visibility of corporate community . . .
Corporations contribute to or implement antiviolence campaigns using their products, services, and resources. The visibility of corporate community members helps publicize antiviolence efforts, reinforce the marketability of nonviolent products, and demonstrate support for communities troubled by violence.
Crime Problem Addressed
The level of violent crime in the United States remains unacceptably high. Corporate America's resources and high profile provide a prominent platform from which to advocate nonviolence. In this strategy, corporations join with state, community, or national partners to promote antiviolence events, campaigns, products, and services.
Both on their own and in partnership with local groups, state agencies, or national organizations, corporations are increasingly promoting antiviolence messages and products. Joining others concerned about violent crime's effects on individuals and communities, corporations have sponsored local and national events, supported public education campaigns, changed their own marketing and sales practices, lent executives and services to violence-prevention groups, donated services and facilities to antiviolence causes, and contributed funding for specific programs. Their contributions are orchestrated through corporate foundations, marketing divisions, or training departments.
Corporate partners seek out local, state, and national projects to support and assist. The resources they can invest in public awareness campaigns often lead to additional support for the project or event.
Local and national antiviolence program coordinators must balance their interest in corporate sponsorship with the corporation's reputation and business practices unrelated to the program. As with any other funding source, overreliance on corporate support can leave a program vulnerable to decisions by corporate managers, who might decide to withdraw support for financial or other reasons.
Signs of Success
Since 1980 the Advertising Council has supported the National Citizens Crime Prevention Campaign (NCCPC). The print, television, and radio public service advertisements that they help produce feature McGruff, the Crime Dog, a popular character who advocates prevention of crime and violence. A 1993 evaluation of the campaign revealed that one in five persons who had seen the advertisements on TV took action to prevent crime in their community. The media outlets that run the ads contributed $92 million in donated air time in 1994 alone. A 1994 Advertising Council campaign on domestic violence cosponsored by the Family Violence Prevention Fund generated more than twenty thousand calls to the toll-free number during the campaign's first four months.
Radio Shack, marketer of consumer electronics and computer products through over six thousand stores nationwide, has entered into a partnership with the NCPC to provide six free training sessions on crime prevention to law enforcement and community groups at satellite locations throughout the country.
Applying the Strategy
Concerned about the effects of gun violence on youth, two of the nation's largest toy store chains decided in late 1994 to stop selling toy guns. Kay-Bee and Toys R Us, with one thousand and over six hundred stores, respectively, joined several other national retailers who stopped selling the toy weapons out of concern that using them reinforced in children violent behaviors that they witness in their neighborhoods and on TV.
USAA, a national insurance company based in San Antonio, Texas, encourages employees to volunteer for a company-sponsored mentoring program.
Allstate Insurance company served as the major corporate sponsor for the 1994 5K Race Against Violence: America's #1 Challenge. The proceeds from registration fees for the race, held in ten major cities, benefited local Boys and Girls Clubs and the NCCPC. In 1995 Allstate again sponsored the October event, contributing the proceeds to the NCCPC and to Big Brothers and Big Sisters organizations in participating cities.