Everyone wants to know that their money is going to something special. That's what cause marketing is about. Cause marketing is a way for commercial companies to help nonprofit organizations meet their fundraising goals. Let's take a look at how charities can benefit from cause marketing.
What is Cause Marketing?
Cause marketing occurs when a commercial enterprise partners with a non-profit organization or a special interest cause, with the goal of benefiting both. An example might be when a pet store sells products and services but donates a percentage to a non-profit organization dedicated to the adoption of animals from the shelter.
What are the Benefits of Cause Marketing?
Cause marketing will generally raise more money than traditional fundraising campaigns.
For a non-profit organization, cause marketing is driven through commercial enterprise. The commercial enterprise generally has more reach and is also providing a valuable product or service.
In the above example, an individual can potentially donate $10 to an animal shelter. Or they can buy a $60 bag of dog food and donate $10 to the animal shelter. In both examples, that individual is still "paying" the same amount to the animal shelter. But in one, they are getting a tangible good, they feel good about themselves, and the amount being donated disappears amongst the larger amount.
For the commercial enterprise, sales can increase because people feel better about the sales. Someone choosing between two $60 bags of dog food might very well choose to pay $70 instead to give to a good cause.
In any case, the non-profit organization is often going to be exposed to far more individuals than if they ran traditional fundraising campaigns.
How Can You Run a Cause Marketing Campaign?
Building relationships with corporate sponsors is essential to a cause marketing campaign.
First, nonprofits should reach out to companies they already have relationships with. Second, nonprofits should look for companies that have audiences that most overlap with their own.
Cause marketing is very attractive to corporate sponsors. But nonprofits should still have a pitch formed and be able to show companies how they will benefit.
Many companies want to engage in cause marketing because it improves their reputation, inspires customer loyalty, and also increases sales.
Are There Challenges Involved?
Cause marketing can be a little more complex to setup than a traditional marketing campaign because there is a third party involved. There will need to be negotiations, marketing initiatives, and contracts drawn.
Nonprofit organizations can start with small, local businesses rather than larger enterprises, and can work their way up within their community. When cause marketing, the nonprofit organization should be careful to align themselves with businesses that have a good overlap of audiences — otherwise the marketing will not be as effective.
Cause marketing is only one type of fundraising campaign. While it doesn't have to replace traditional fundraising campaigns altogether, it's a very alluring type of campaign to include in a broader, overall fundraising initiative. Many nonprofits can not only raise a lot of money but increase the awareness of their organization through cause marketing.