If you are a football fan like I am, you couldn’t miss the American Red Cross ads that ran throughout the games this past weekend.

They were encouraging everyone to text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to their Disaster Relief Fund.

That’s a great idea. And it’s working.

As of a couple days ago more than 700,000 people had donated money, raising more than $7 million dollars.

There are lots of other places you can donate too. See a few of them at the end of this blog post.

We’re all looking for ways to help.

If you want to do something beyond donating money, this blog post is about ideas you might copy.

I know, it’s not exactly marketing.

But in a way, it is.

If you copy one of these ideas and share it with your customers or your list, you’re showing that you are a good world citizen. Everyone wants to do business with good people.

And you’re getting in front of your audience with a solid message. That has value too.

So check out some of these ideas and see if you think any of them are worth copying…

Give away your products to people who donate money

MJT Net and Perfect Table Plan, both small software companies, will send a free license for their software to anyone who donates money to Haiti Disaster Relief. You could do this with services too. In fact, we’re doing it at JMR. The web page should be up in the next couple of days.

Auction off a product and donate the proceeds

Olivia Wilde, Meryl Streep and others are auctioning off the clothes they wore at the Golden Globes through Artists for Peace and Justice. The auction will be run through eBay, which is handling similar auctions for other organizations, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. If you sell products on eBay, this wouldn’t be hard to do.

Donate a percentage of sales

Designate a period of time (maybe one day or one week in January) and donate a percentage of that week’s sales. John Bartlett, owner of a NY mens clothing store did that this past weekend.

Donate products

If you have products that can be used by the people of Haiti, contact a local relief organization to see if anyone is putting together a shipment. See if your customers or partners want to contribute anything along with you.

When you raise the money to donate, here are a few organizations you can feel comfortable sending it to:
American Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders
Plan USA
Save the Children