'Real Time Good': PlowShare, Run Launch Programmatic Trading Desk For Non-Profits

Public Service Advertising firm PlowShare on Thursday announced the launch of a programmatic trading desk, dubbed Harvest RTG, for non-profits. Some PlowShare clients include Girl Scouts, American Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund and Wounded Warrior Project.

The RTG stands for “real time good,” per Josh Millman, VP, digital media director at PlowShare. I’d say -- given what it stands for -- we should be okay with the introduction of this new acronym.

PlowShare has partnered with Run, a mobile-focused demand-side platform (DSP), to launch the trading desk. Run also houses a data management platform (DMP), which PlowShare will use to create audiences. PlowShare clients will have access to Run’s inventory sources.

This is not Run’s first venture in the world of cause-related advertising. The company has its own “Run Fund,” through which Run helps certain causes to reach potential donors.

I caught up with Seth Hittman, co-founder and CEO of Run, to talk about the new trading desk, and to see why the company is fueling such a unique venture and ask how working with non-profits changes the approach, if at all.

Hittman said Run views non-profits in a way that is similar to how the company views “any premium brand.” He said all of the brand safety features and technology are applied to campaigns for non-profits.

Ultimately, Hittman said, the non-profits are interested in their audience, as that's “the lifeline to their business.”

“They are a unique set for sure,” he said of the non-profits. “They are very hands-on; they want to understand what’s happening and where their dollars are going -- how it’s supporting their efforts.” Through Run, the non-profits will have access to a real-time analytics dashboard to help them track where donors spend time and money.

However, Hittman gives PlowShare the bulk of the credit for launching the trading desk.

“[Plowshare] did most of the work on the traditional side of the equation. They have a niche and are experts in Public Service Advertising and working with non-profits,” he said. “We have come together to give them the support to own and operate their own trading so they can support non-profits in their own unique way.” 

He said the trading desk will cover all the bases, supporting real-time bidding (RTB), private marketplaces and programmatic direct across multiple formats including mobile, desktop and video.

But PlowShare chose to partner with Run for more than just its tech. As previously noted, Run has the “Run Fund,” which Hittman said has been in existence since day one. At the end of each quarter, Run takes a portion of their proceeds and gives it to a non-profit of their choice, allowing that non-profit to run campaigns and buy ads through Run using the donation. The company is currently working with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“We share a lot of the same core values as to what’s important and how we give back,” Hittman said of the two companies.

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