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Do Good Points is Changing the Landscape of Cause Related Marketing

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By: Bill Hanifin, CLMP™ |

Posted on March 27, 2024

Founder’s story: An executive interview with Andy Choi

Andy Choi is the Founder and CEO of Do Good Points, the only platform “where you don’t have to spend a single dollar to do good.” Its mission is to activate and empower the next generation of “do gooders” and the company estimates that every donation made through its platform brings in 2x the donations and engages 4 new people to take action over time. They call this the Return on Giving (ROG).

Andy founded the company with a clear foundation:

  • Doing good is something that can be a part of our everyday lives and a desire to do good already exists in all of us.
  • There is power in community — it can motivate, support, and empower us to do more good.
  • The business of giving should be intentional, responsible, and effective and each of us has the ability to make the world a better place.

This interview with Andy will give you insight into the future of Cause Related Marketing and open your eyes to the possibilities of its intersection with Customer Loyalty.

Wise Marketer (WM): Who is Andy Choi and what's your background in loyalty?

Andy Choi (AC): I am the CEO and founder of Do Good Points, a loyalty program for doing good. My background in loyalty is primarily in the travel space. I worked at Dynata, where I was a Director of Business Development and Partnerships for loyalty programs, collaborating with some of the largest loyalty companies, ranging from legacy travel brands like American Airlines and United to retail brands such as Best Buy. 

My work encompassed market research, surveys, email, and performance marketing campaigns, as well as overseeing other digital assets including performance networks in mobile gaming, with over 25 million active users per month. My experience in loyalty revolves around engagement, data, market research, and the understanding that deep relationships with brands and customer retention require a solid loyalty foundation.

WM: Tell us about Do Good Points and how it’s unique in the cause related marketing sector?

AC: Do Good Points is the only platform where you don't have to spend a single dollar to do good. Our mission as a company is to activate and empower the next generation of do-gooders. We believe that the younger generation has an opportunity to really take social impact philanthropy to the next level, especially with the massive opportunity presented by the transfer of wealth happening from the current generation to the next. 

WM: What is your mission at Do Good Points?

AC: Essentially, we are in the business of doing good. At Do Good Points we seek to activate and empower the next generation of “do-gooders.” Do Good Points is a social enterprise that consists of both a 501(c)(3) foundation and a for-profit technology company, so we bridge the gap between nonprofits and the private sector.

On the nonprofit side, our mission revolves around what we call ROG, or Return on Giving. We invest in technology programs, digital marketing, and various other resources to support and uplift the greater nonprofit industry. We aim to address significant challenges, such as how a nonprofit can become profitable to solve the world's most pressing issues, how we can drive growth and sustainability, and how to attract top talent to the sector. 

On the for-profit side, we develop technology and solutions that enable nonprofits to thrive. We strive to make the majority of our products and services either free or very affordable for nonprofits, while also creating programs that demonstrate how nonprofits can build a sustainable business and solutions within the private sector to foster growth and business development.

WM: What is your “founder’s story”? What inspired you to start the company?

AC: Honestly, this is not an industry that was on my roadmap. I've been a serial entrepreneur my entire life, starting my first company at 14 and having launched seven different startups since then. Some were successful, while others were challenging and expensive learning experiences. 

During my last corporate job in loyalty and digital marketing, I felt a calling to bridge the gap between my professional endeavors and my personal values. I've always thought I would make a lot of money first and then give back. But as time went on, I realized that there's never "enough" time or money. What I truly invest in is my work, and I wanted to align that with my ideology. 

This led me to run digital campaigns for nonprofits, marking the genesis of Do Good Points. It was more about uplifting the space and empowering the next generation to do good, rather than competing in the industry. It has been a long, difficult, but ultimately rewarding journey to make the world a better place.

WM: Can you share your greatest achievements to date on your journey?

AC: The greatest achievement, I believe, is the ability to work with and build a team that is deeply passionate about our mission. Doing good is challenging and working in the nonprofit sector doesn't always feel rewarding every day. What sets us apart is the mission and the people committed to building something greater. 

This pursuit itself is an achievement—challenging ourselves to care about a greater mission, making sacrifices, investing in, and dedicating ourselves to this cause. It's a significant achievement considering the long journey ahead.

WM: What do we need to know about the state of cause-related marketing today?

AC: Cause marketing is no longer just a nice-to-have; it's essential. The data is clear—86% of people believe companies should speak on societal issues, and 68% of Gen Z are more likely to purchase from brands that contribute a portion of their profits to charity. 

Studies and cases, like Unilever's, show that brands leveraging purpose-based marketing grew significantly faster. This illustrates that brands can do good and still enhance their bottom line, embodying profit with purpose. 

In today's world, companies must stand for something meaningful, as failing to do so means you effectively stand for nothing.

WM: What is the bigger picture of customer loyalty that intersects with your work?

AC: The bigger picture of customer loyalty is the million-dollar question everyone's trying to answer, especially regarding trends we are seeing that drive brand loyalty with the younger generation. It's evident that Gen Z and millennials don't exhibit the same loyalty behaviors as boomers. However, human behavior hasn't really changed; it's evolved. 

Today, brand loyalty is shaped by value, identity, and community. Loyalty is fundamentally about engagement and retention, which are built on trust. And how do you build trust? By finding common ground and aligning with something greater than oneself. 

Cause marketing is crucial in this context because it establishes a deep connection with customers by reflecting their values. Almost 70% of Gen Z say they'll pay more and stay loyal to brands that mirror their values. It's clear that brands which are not adopting this approach into their strategies are not only missing a massive opportunity but are also risking their relevance and business health.

WM: What else do we need to know that you would like to share?

AC: It's important to understand that establishing a cause marketing strategy and communicating values authentically doesn't happen overnight. Authenticity is key. It's okay not to have everything figured out from the start. This is where we step in to help develop those programs. 

The journey toward building a relationship with your community and customers, thereby driving brand loyalty, is about being authentic and evolving together. Having the right resources and investing in this process is crucial. However, inauthenticity, especially highlighted during events like COVID, where brands suddenly claimed solidarity without a prior history of support, can damage trust. 

Brands, like people, should avoid being merely reactionary. Building a foundation true to your identity, unique to each brand, requires work, intentionality, and investment. Our role is to facilitate these discussions and assist marketing and loyalty teams in intentionally developing programs that enhance brand equity, loyalty, and, ultimately, profitability.

WM: Thanks for your time. Now go out and do some good!

AC: That’s the plan. Thanks!

Editor’s Note:

Andy Choi is on a path to solve several challenges in customer loyalty that have begged a solution for many years. Creating trust and solid relationships that lead to long term brand loyalty is something many people talk about while struggling with a practical solution to apply. Cause related marketing is an advisor’s favorite for recommendation but making it work in practice is the hardest part of the equation.

The sincerity of purpose that Andy expresses about Do Good Points is powerful and he and his company are ones to watch as this sector evolves. 

During the course of our conversation, we uncovered two resources that you can tap to add perspective to the mission at Do Good Points and as inspiration for your own cause related loyalty marketing strategy.