I got a “personalized” email today from United Airlines asking me (a customer!) to join their efforts to leverage support for China earthquake relief through their partership with the American Red Cross.  I liked they were proactive in sending out the request to their huge network of frequent flyers and offered me an easy way to get involved to do my little part to help out.  I also liked that they said “no contribution is too small.”  They are offering 500 miles as an incentive for a minimum $50 donation which helps spur me to action – how about you?

Dear Ms. Susan Hyatt,

On May 12, a powerful earthquake struck Sichuan province in southwestern China with a devastating impact on the lives and livelihood of millions of people. Our customers can assist the response effort by contributing through the American Red Cross to the China Earthquake Relief Fund.

Mileage Plus customers who donate $50USD or more will receive 500 miles as a one-time bonus. The United Airlines Foundation will support customers’ donations with up to 5 million miles for this bonus mile offer. In order to receive the miles, email your electronic American Red Cross receipt to ChinaRelief-Miles@united.com

No contribution is too small.

We thank you in advance for your support and generosity, and for partnering with United to make the world a better place to live, work, travel and do business.”

Nicely done, United! Are there causes YOUR company cares about for which you could leverage your networks to provide greater assistance/support than you could using only your own philanthropy budget? The name of the game is to think partnership…not just with nonprofits, but also with customers and other stakeholders.