Many corporations would like to “give back” and share the benefits of their financial and/or human capital to promote charitable causes that resonate with the company’s leadership, staff, and customer base. Large corporations often have a foundation or formal charitable giving program and encourage nonprofits like the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) to apply for grants. However, there are a number of other ways for companies to partner with CRI. Consumer donations at checkout and corporate donations of a portion of an item's sale price are two examples of how retail merchants can encourage their customers to participate in charitable causes. We were very excited when a company approached us with an idea that would promote their new product line while raising money and awareness for cancer immunotherapy research.
Cupid Intimates, a leading manufacturer of shapewear and other intimate apparel, spearheaded an initiative that generated a $10,000 donation to CRI’s immunotherapy research programs. The campaign was centered around promotion of a new color (English Rose) for one of the company’s best-selling products, the Naomi & Nicole® Wonderful Edge® panties. Cupid Intimates generously offered to donate $3.00 for every pair purchased, up to a maximum of $10,000. The campaign ran for almost a full year, from September 6, 2016, to August 23, 2017.
David and Marilyn Welsch (Cupid Intimates) presenting the check to Sharon Slade (CRI).
Like CRI, Cupid Intimates has a well-established history. The company was founded in 1942 and has been a leading manufacturer of shapewear for 75 years. Thus, the company’s leadership appreciated CRI’s legacy of 65 years as a leader in our own space. Like CRI, Cupid Intimates has maintained corporate headquarters in New York City since its inception.
Cupid Intimates is known for giving back to the community, including previous fundraising events for cancer organizations. A number of their employees have been touched by cancer, so this cause is important to them. In 2016, they decided they wanted to expand their fundraising efforts and “do something bigger.” They developed the idea of a campaign that targeted a new product offering, to widen their reach from their employees to their customer base. Inspired by the promise of immunotherapy, they sought to raise money to promote more of this groundbreaking research. They liked the idea of directing their efforts toward a cause that would benefit all cancers, rather than to any one specific cancer. In searching for an appropriate recipient of their fundraising drive, they were impressed not only with CRI’s history in the field of immunotherapy, but also with our high ratings from Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.
This aspect was important to Cupid Intimates and consistent with their own approach to business. The company is unusual in that it makes its own products—it doesn’t employ external contractors to create their garments—and in doing so it also abides by or exceeds WRAP’s 12 Principles of responsible international workplace standards. It is only natural, then, that Cupid Intimates should hold any recipient of its charitable efforts to similarly high standards. This is another example of the importance of CRI’s transparency and fiscal efficiency, which earn high marks from charity watchdog agencies and demonstrate our effectiveness in deploying donor funds to good use. Because of our high ratings, partnering with CRI can give an additional boost to the credibility of a corporate social responsibility campaign, in addition to providing a rewarding experience for a company’s staff and customer base and raising money for much-needed research in effective cancer treatments.
We are very grateful to all of Cupid Intimates’ employees and customers for supporting this tremendous fundraising effort and helping CRI to continue to advance the field of immunotherapy!