The Perfect Pitch

Thanks to our friends at AOL, Citizen Schools was the topic of discussion at the Cause Marketing Forum in Chicago on May 31. Organizers devoted a session to "The Perfect Pitch," a reality-show-style contest to illustrate different styles of presenting causes to businesses looking for marketing partners. Three expert salespeople were given the task of persuading judges posing as insurance executives that they should team up with Citizen Schools as their non-profit of choice.

The event played a little like Goldilocks and the Three Bears-Dan Cohen from KaBOOM! stuck to the facts, Simon Mainwaring of We First waxed poetic, and consultant Mollye Rhea (the overwhelming favorite) zeroed in on why an education-focused cause would be a competitive advantage in the insurance market. (Read what Network for Good's Katya Andresen had to say about the session.)

After the contest, a breakout group broke down the lessons learned. Facilitator Stephanie Smirnov from DeVries PR shared insights about balancing emotion and information when connecting non-profits to companies. Members of the Citizen Schools staff from three different cities attended and took ravenous notes.

And nearly 500 conference participants from the corporate and non-profit worlds had a chance to ponder the unique connections Citizen Schools makes between the two.