Passion, Purpose, Partnerships: How Rixys Alfonso Helps Companies Amplify Their Social Impact

16 mins read

At PRNEWS.IO, we are continuing our “Her PR Journey” project by highlighting amazing women in the public relations field. Today, we have the pleasure of meeting Rixys Alfonso, a social impact and corporate partnership strategist who is making waves as a “causepreneur” and PR, marketing, and fundraising professional.

Rixys is the founder of CauseMo Marketing, where she helps brands connect with causes and consumers through creative strategies. With a passion for driving positive change, she has dedicated her career to championing social good initiatives and “cause-moving” campaigns that make a real difference in communities.

In this inspiring interview, Rixys shares her journey, insights on effective cause marketing, advice for aspiring women in the industry, and the powerful personal experiences that fuel her relentless advocacy work. 

Get in touch with Rixys Alfonso

Turning Adversity into Advocacy: Rixys Alfonso's Inspirational Path to Pioneering Cause Marketing

PRNEWS.IO: To begin, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey in the world of public relations, social impact, and corporate partnerships?

Rixys Alfonso: I began my career after I was forced to launch a Social Awareness Campign for what was then called the Titanium Rib Project. It was a clinical trical that would ultimately save my son’s life, and the lives of thousands of other children. Championing that campaign changed my life, and I decided to dedicate myself to social and community impact. 

    PRNEWS.IO: You’re known as an innovator in creative strategy for connecting brands with causes and consumers. Can you share a specific example of how you’ve helped a client achieve this connection?

    Rixys Alfonso: I had a client for years who was in the food business at a global level, and another client who served children, teens and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I came up with an idea to take on of their products which was sold in over 88 countries at the time, and created a campaign where for every bottle sold in a specific size a percentage of the sale would go back to the charity. Throughout the last 10 years, the campaign has raised close to $1M.

    PRNEWS.IO: What are some of the biggest challenges and opportunities you see in the space of social impact and corporate partnerships today?

    Rixys Alfonso: The market has definitely changed, companies are no longer interested in just having their logo plastered on marketing materials. They are looking for a way to engage their workforce in volunteering, and want to support programs that directly impact lives in the communities where they live, learn and work.

    Rixys Alfonso: The Changemaker Uplifting Brands, Causes and Communities Through Transformative Campaigns

    PRNEWS.IO: In your experience, how can companies develop CSR initiatives that are both impactful and strategically aligned with their brand identity?

    Rixys Alfonso: When it comes to corporate social responsibility, there is no magical one-size-fits-all process. In my experience, a successful partnership between a business and a non-profit organization (NPO) or community partner happens when the Company’s culture and business objectives align with the charity partner’s mission. Whether sponsoring a 5K to benefit a children’s hospital, hosting a recycling drive to support green initiatives, donating scholarships for students who can’t afford post-secondary education, or hosting an awareness and fundraising event to promote neurodiversity, it all qualifies as Corporate Social Responsibility.

    Nowadays, companies need to step up their CSR strategy to keep up with their competitors. Accounting for factors, like moral obligation, employee engagement, and reflecting your corporate values, will help your Company foster a more comprehensive and effective corporate social responsibility strategy.

    If a business does not have a CSR strategy, now is the time to get started!

    Develop your CSR Program from the inside out.

    To be successful, a CSR program should be embraced by employees and associates at all levels.  Your team needs to be motivated to buy into the Program. An effective way to master this process is to identify a diverse group of employees and associates and include them in a brainstorming session with a facilitator. Hiring an experienced consultant to moderate the process, categorize what individuals within your Company are passionate about, conduct market research, and strategically identify community partnership opportunities that align with your Company’s culture and values will help your Company to implement a sustainable program.

    Adopt the tactics that work for your Company.

    A vital decision is whether your Company as a whole will solely support pre-selected causes, allow employees to pursue their personal passions, or a mix of both. I’ve found that when companies are strategic in selecting pillars that align with their brand, for example, education, cause, and cure, health and wellness, employment pathways, etc. it sets a guide for employees and assures that both the Company and the employees have a stake in the game.

    Establishing Community Partnerships.

    Now it’s time to establish partnerships for the successful implementation of your CSR Program. A recipe for partnership success includes thorough research of the NPO’s background and financial stability. Agencies like GuideStar are always excellent resources when researching community partners. Always make sure to outline expectations with your community partners clearly. Communicate effectively, preferably by establishing a letter of agreement outlining mutual partnership responsibilities.

    Decide how you will promote your CSR Program.

    It is as valuable to communicate your efforts internally as it is externally. As a company, it is essential that you identify your communication strategy in alignment with your culture. It is imperative that you assess how best to communicate the Program to your employees; this will ensure fostering employee participation and engagement.

    Sustaining your Program.

    Establish milestones for the Program, and always celebrate your efforts and accomplishments while striving to grow your community investment. Measure how your CRS strategy is affecting your Company’s culture and public perception along the way.

    Once you’ve launched an active CSR Program, you can take it to the next level by echoing your Program’s core values in your Company’s organizational structure and corporate policies, the most effective way to foster sustainability is by creating a robust social initiative within your Company as a whole.  In the end, it’s all about finding the corporate social responsibility plan that works for your Company and your team; executing it and enjoying the rewards!

    Related article: WHEN WE PRACTICE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, EVERYONE BENEFITS!

    Sparking Movements: Rixys Alfonso's Innovative Approach to Forging Impactful Corporate-Cause Alliances

    PRNEWS.IO: You’ve achieved great success in a field that can sometimes be male-dominated. What advice would you give to aspiring women who want to make a difference in PR, social impact, and CSR?

    Rixys Alfonso: Never take NO for an answer, do your research, educate yourself, learn everything you can about the client, from its Founders to their current leadership so that you are always one step ahead. Everything is FIGUEROUTABLE, LOL!

    PRNEWS.IO: Can you elaborate on the services offered by CauseMo Marketing and how they help clients achieve their cause-related marketing goals?

    Rixys Alfonso: Our specialties include:

    Crafting customized marketing and public relations strategies based on client’s individual needs to generate placements in print, online and broadcast media.

    Creating community and brand awareness through strategic social media communications. 

    Consultation and education on the importance of community investment through cause-related marketing. We specialize in both local and national programs.

    Initializing and executing strategic partnerships with other brands in ways that help increase public awareness and generate measurable results that surpass expectancies and drive incremental sales.

    Producing custom-built engaging events as a supplement to a comprehensive public relations and marketing strategy or as a product or company launch.

    Networking our extensive network of influencers to deliver a measurable Return on Relationships!

    PRNEWS.IO: What led you to establish Onward Strategies Group, and how does focusing on strategic communications and advocacy complement your work with CauseMo Marketing?

    Rixys Alfonso: The Onward Strategies Group was founded as a result of a particular client’s need for guidance and support through their advocacy projects. It is a consulting practice, we work one-on-one with clients to guide them in their processes. CauseMo Marketing is a boutique PR/marketing and Events Firm that specialises in working with clients who want to achieve a connection to their communities through their marketing efforts. My life is all about advocacy, as you can see by my work traveling throughout the United States as a spokeswoman, giving the Hispanic community a greater voice on issues affecting people with disabilities and rare disorders. I was appointed by the Honorable State of Florida Governor Charlie Crist who recognized my commitment to advocacy. As a result, Crist appointed me to serve a four-year term on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council. I was reappointed for an additional term by Governor Rick Scott in 2015.

    Passion, Purpose, Partnerships: How Rixys Alfonso Helps Companies Amplify Their Social Impact

    PRNEWS.IO: Your story as a community activist advocating for your son is truly inspiring. How has your personal experience shaped your approach to social impact work?

    Rixys Alfonso: My greatest WIN of all was my triumph over adversity when an orthopedic surgeon gave my two-year-old son Devin a terminal diagnosis. I found the Titanium Rib Project, a clinical trial in San Antonio, Texas, that saved my son’s life. Robert M. Campbell Jr., M.D., FAAP, the inventor of the Titanium Rib, and I built a great bond. We joined forces to work with U.S. Senator Chris Dobbs out of Connecticut. I provided testimony on Devin’s rare genetic disorder. My emotional testimony prompted debate on U.S. Senate Bill 830, which later became known as “The Pediatric Medical Device Safety and Improvement Act of 2007.” It encouraged the development of medical devices for use by children.

    Consequently, in 2010, I petitioned U.S. Congresswoman Debbie-Wasserman Schultz, resulting in Federal House Resolution 1499. The bill honors Dr. Robert Campbell and calls on the Food and Drug Administration to continue supporting and incentivizing other medical advances to save children’s lives threatened by rare disorders.

    These experiences led me to launch CauseMo Marketing, they made me relentless in the pursuit for championing causes!

    PRNEWS.IO: What are you most excited about in the future of social impact and cause-related marketing?

    Rixys Alfonso: I recently had the opportunity to work with the amazing team at the David Posnack JCC on the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games@ & Access. This amazing movement brought close to 2,000 Jewish Athletes from all over the world to Broward County, After working on the games, I have begun working with international clients, let’s just say that Zoom is now one of my favorite tools! For me, sky’s the limit! I welcome challenges, and look forward to the future and everything the universe has in store for me!

    PRNEWS.IO: How do you stay motivated and continue to learn and grow in this dynamic field?

    Rixys Alfonso: I stay very active in my community and beyond. I try to take every opportunity to serve as a Keynote Speaker at Conferences and Events throughout the United States so that my network continues to grow and flourish!

    PRNEWS.IO: What strategies do you use to demonstrate the effectiveness of your work to clients and stakeholders?

    I share Case Studies, Testimonials and Client Feedback, Before-and-After Comparisons, Storytelling, as well as Industry Recognition and Awards.

    Awards: The Sun-Sentinel named me a Top Workplace Professional, and I was honored as Hispanic Woman of Distinction, presented by Latina Style Magazine. In addition, WPLG-Local 10 recognized me as a recipient of the “Heart of South Florida” award and most recently I was honored alongside other Hispanic leaders from South Florida for my contributions to society by the U.S. Congress at the Congressional Hispanic Heritage Month Leadership Symposium at the Library of Congress.

    Television Appearances: I have appeared on CBS’s The Doctors, TLC’s Amazing Medical Stories, and Despierta America, CBS South Florida Today, among other nationally syndicated shows.

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