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Social Movements for Good: How Companies and Causes Create Viral Change by Derrick Feldmann

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Chapter 7Delivering Hope Abroad

For less than a cup of coffee a day, you can help a child.

—Sally Struthers, CCF Ambassador, 1987

In the travels I have made, most cause marketers and fundraisers comment on one single issue that has plagued them over the last five years, especially when the subject becomes movement building. So many wonder how and why international causes have been so successful in garnering the attention of so many people in the United States to help those overseas.

In looking back beyond the last five years, we see that international development support has been an important part of the U.S. giving culture for decades. From the early days of giving, we have discovered that so many people have been moved over the years to support causes and issues that bring water, education, basic human needs, and other support mechanisms to those who need it most.

But why, in particular, does the American public get so revved up for international causes?

In some of our research projects, we like to track the behavior and actions of some of our research participants. These subjects allow us to follow them throughout the year, see how they give and serve causes, engage with issues with their peers, and monitor their behavior and actions as they move up the engagement pyramids. During these projects, we like to ask at the beginning of the year, what kind of causes and issues they want to support in the next 12 months and why. We will also seek their opinions about the issues ...

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