Chapter 24 Cause Marketing Partnerships

“The problem with many cause marketing programs is that there’s too much cause and not enough marketing.”

—Billy Shore


Cause marketing partnerships are corporate initiatives designed to do well by doing good, meaning that a company does well by driving sales or enhancing its image, while a nonprofit benefits through additional income and awareness of its cause. We see frequent examples in today’s world: buy a yogurt, return the lid, and the company will donate 10 cents to fight breast cancer; donate to a cause when checking out at the grocery store and get a coupon for a future discount; tweet a picture using a branded hashtag and the company donates a dollar to charity; etc.

Cause marketing allows companies to align with good causes, create and deepen relationships with target audiences, and give themselves a competitive edge with today’s increasingly conscious consumers. Research firm Nielsen discovered that, as of 2014, more than half of Americans want to align their spending and values, and this important trend creates huge opportunities for nonprofits willing and able to partner with corporations.

In most cases, the amount of money that companies spend on marketing dwarfs their philanthropic contributions. By going beyond traditional corporate grants and sponsorships (see Chapters 19 and 23, respectively), your nonprofit can tap into much larger pools of money, while generating huge awareness with people who may not ...

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