Silent No More
But in the awareness niche, ultimately youth is not where it’s at. Not far removed from our illustrious ‘40s era women’s auxiliary, modern women continue to lead the charge in giving and volunteering. An ongoing study by the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University reveals single women are 37 percent more likely to be donors than are single men. And when discussing awareness issues, one woman’s name quickly comes to mind: Susan G. Komen. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation began as a grassroots organization to help fight and find a cure for breast cancer. To date, the foundation has generated $1 billion for research, education and health services. With a new brand and updated Web site, the Komen foundation now boasts an online “marketplace” featuring nearly 70 awareness products, from T-shirts and key chains to jewelry and coffee mugs. This widespread success of the foundation directly translates into the “feel good” success of promotional product distributors who are willing to take aim at the cause. Hornstein explained what happens in the industry each autumn. “Around October, the world turns a rosy shade of pink. It seems that the entire promotional products industry literally turns pink. I’ve even seen pink tool kits. I have not yet seen that kind of attention paid to any other cause and would say that breast cancer awareness reigns supreme.”
Frank Rocco, vice president of Business Relations at Marathon/Prestige, New Philadelphia, Ohio, concurred with Hornstein, citing September and October as the busiest “awareness” months. But there are other causes that gain ground from time to time. At the moment, the “hot social issue” as Hornstein coined it, is a “green” one and it is giving “pink” a run for its money. Hornstein explained: “Currently, I think the ‘Save the Earth’ campaign has become a very hot social issue,” Hornstein explained. “Movies and concerts are being produced to raise awareness.” He also cited spikes in awareness orders in the winter months, coinciding with AIDS awareness in December, Blood Donor Month in January and American Heart Healthy Month in February.