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Cause Marketing

Cause marketing or cause related marketing are terms used to describe a strategic partnership between a for profit and non profit organization. Support is given to a charitable cause in such a way that it also promotes the business interest or image of the for profit company.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, defines cause marketing or cause-related marketing as a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a “for profit” business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. The term is sometimes used more broadly and generally to refer to any type of marketing effort for social and other charitable causes, including in-house marketing efforts by non-profit organizations. Cause marketing differs from corporate giving (philanthropy) as the latter generally involves a specific donation that is tax deductible, while cause marketing is a marketing relationship generally not based on a donation. Source:

Interestingly, this style of marketing is relatively new with one of the first campaigns which started in 1979 with the Famous Amos Cookie Company. Company founder and owner Wally Amos became the national spokesperson for the Literacy Volunteers of America from 1979 until 2002 when they merged with the Laubach Literacy Council to create ProLiteracy Worldwide.

In 1983 another successful cause related marketing campaign was introduced by American Express which touted their partnership with the now famous restoration project for the Statue of Liberty.

According to Tom Watson, Publisher of onPhilanthropy, cause marketing campaigns spend over one billion dollars each year, and each year this figure is on the increase. Companies are all seeking to identify with their consumers and establish some point of difference. Studies have shown that if consumers think a company is associated with a “good cause” or if the company is “socially responsible” this may reason enough for the consumer to choose one brand over the other assuming the products in question are comparable in both price and quality.

Likewise, there is also cause a related marketing myth that has been circulating for years associated with the National Kidney Foundation concerning the pull tabs or top tab on aluminum cans. The original source of this myth/rumor is unknown but the ongoing claim states that pull tabs have some special redemption value for time on a dialysis machine. This unfortunately is FALSE!


Nonprofit Expert

Sponsorship Network has been providing clients across the country with sponsorship solutions for over 15 years. From single event tie-ins to cause marketing campaigns to venue naming rights, we’re passionate about creating profitable sponsorships for our clients. Services include: creating, planning and selling sponsorships as well as coaching and training.  They also share their expertise at regional and national conferences.

In short, they help you approach and secure sponsors by providing insights into the changing world of sponsorship.

When thoroughly researched, thoughtfully planned and properly executed, sponsorships deliver revenue to the bottom line and so much more. The right corporate sponsors increase awareness, build credibility and improve advocacy.

Whether seeking sponsors for arts programs, concerts or major sporting events, the professionals at The Sponsorship Network bring mission and sales together to create ethical sponsorships that deliver results.

Our assistance is always strategic in nature and usually begins with an on-site visit. It’s amazing how many pieces come together in a face-to-face meeting. It’s not essential that we sell your sponsorships. Many clients hire us to create Strategic Sponsorship Plans. Plans vary in size and scope. Most clarify marketing benefits, calculate fair market value and identify top prospects.

Sponsorship means different things to different people. When everyone shares the same sponsorship knowledge, sales increase. It’s just that simple.

Sponsorship Network tailors sponsorship presentations that educate, inspire and motivate. Because we sell sponsorships for clients nationwide, training is real-world.

Trainings are tailored, interactive and fast-paced.

For details call the Sponsorship Network at (716)565-6900 or visit them online at: Make sure to ask for their free simple training questionnaire.

Additional Resources:

Foundation Center – What is cause-related Marketing?

Cause Marketing – Dedicated to Highlighting And Dissecting The Best and Worse Cause Marketing Promotion Campaigns

Cause-Related Marketing by Steven Van Yoder

“Cause-Related Marketing”: Why Social Change and Corporate Profits Don’t Mix
Submitted by Inger Stole

Cause Marketing Forum, Inc. was founded in 2002 to help companies and nonprofits do well by doing good and to advance and expand cause marketing in America.

Hunting for Cause Related Marketing’s Charitable Impact By Sandra Miniutti

Cause Branding In the 21st Century by Carol Cone

Rethinking Smokey Bear by Barry Schoenfeld

Cause Marketing Pros & Cons by Bill Goodwill

Cause and Effect by Richard Earle

The Wider Benefits Of Backing A Good Cause by Sue Adkins

When the cause is just by Harvey Meyer

Michael J. Fox Foundation breaks the “rules” yet comes up with a winner!

Cause and Effects Marketing

Buy a Lipstick and Better the World by Patrick J. Kiger

Corporate Sponsorships – The New Media Hybrid for the 90’s by Bill Goodwill

Non-Profits Get Market Savvy by Jeff Smyth

Cause Related Marketing, Doing Well by Doing Good

Not Just a Worthy Cause by Paul T. Carringer

Turning Good Deeds Into Good Business by Michael J. Major

Cause and Effect by Noreen Brubeck

A New Twist to Cause Marketing by John Garrison, President National Easter Seal Society

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