Cause marketing is a relationship between a for-profit and a nonprofit that brings in money and resources for the nonprofit, while providing credibility and goodwill for the business.
According to the IEG Sponsorship Report, this category grew to $733 million in the US in 2001. There are a number of reasons for that growth.
A Cone Communications survey found that:
- 80 percent of Americans have a more positive image of companies that support a cause they care about
- nearly two-thirds of Americans say they would likely switch brands or retailers to one associated with a good cause
- more than half said they would pay more for a cause marketer’s products or services
- 87 percent of employees at organizations with a cause marketing program feel a strong sense of loyalty to their company as opposed to 67 percent of those at companies that do not support causes
As you can see, adopting good causes can be beneficial, but your company’s involvement should be planned just as you plan any other business activity. Here are seven steps to developing an effective cause marketing program.
Perform Due Diligence. Once you have identified the cause, check out the individual charities involved in that cause just as you would any other strategic ally. Do they deserve your support? What is their public perception? Are they well run? What are their objectives, goals, successes and failures? Who are their executives and board members? Do they have any complaints lodged against them? How much of their money goes to salaries and overhead and how much actually gets to those it serves? Are they capable of helping you access intended target markets? Below is a link to a site that helps you evaluate charities. http://www.give.org/index.asp
Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover ink PR, http://www.hoover-ink.com/. He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning, Carolinas AGC, New World Mortgage, North Carolina Tourism, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX and Verbatim.
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Article Submitted On: November 16, 2004
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