Posts Tagged ‘Cause marketing’

A new kind of speed: From zero to favorability in under 40 strategies


The Zenvo ST1 is among the fastest cars in the world and can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under three seconds. Among the slowest is the MIA Electric, reaching 60 miles per hour in a blistering 30 seconds. The poorly named Peel P50—because there’s no chance of ever peeling your tires due to excessive speed—can’t even reach 60 miles per hour.

While the idea of any kind of speed—car or otherwise—is thrilling in today’s fast-paced world, what really gets Joe Waters’ heart pounding is far more enduring than five to 30 seconds. Waters’ finish line is favorability. He can go from zero to favorability in under 40 strategies. In fact, if you choose only one of his cause marketing strategies from his latest book, Fundraising with Businesses, you’ll engage your business partner and nonprofit community more meaningfully and productively than you ever might have just holding out your hand.

Peel P50

Nonprofits must embrace the fact that companies are beginning to part ways with traditional philanthropy and gravitating toward opportunities where they can blend profit with purpose. Rather than simply writing a check, companies want to embed their giving into the purchasing experience through programs like point-of-sale that include donation boxes, register fundraisers, pinups and round-up fundraisers.  “Smart businesses of all sizes are listening to consumers. Their reward is a competitive edge that goes beyond product and price. Although most forms of marketing are about visibility, cause marketing generates favorability,” says Waters.

Why is favorability such a worthy goal? Because it transcends the awareness that most traditional marketing efforts accomplish. When a community favors you and your corporate partner as a result of cause marketing, people act on that favoritism in a variety of ways to support you.

We interviewed Joe Waters live via webcast earlier this year, and I wanted to share one of the sound bites with you. In this clip below, he provides listeners with the best way to approach businesses about a partnership.

Clip: Joe Waters’ Advice on the Best Way to Approach Bus

Fundraising with Businesses provides case stories, essential mechanics, helpful reminders and online examples to help you spot adaptable ideas you can customize for your organization. What’s more, the book’s final chapter shares seven steps for success to spur you into action when you close the cover.

Nonprofits willing to get creative and identify businesses that want to engage their employees and customers in doing good have much more to gain than charities that look at a list of companies for a check. Happy listening and may you reach favorability with great speed.

See also:

Cause Marketing for Nonprofits

Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding

Marketing Series I: Building a Persuasive Case, Seven Transformative Branding Principles, Multi-faceted Strategies and Bonding with Brands for Life

Image credits:,


Leave a reply

Six myths of corporate sponsorships debunked

More and more nonprofit organizations are using corporate sponsorships to bring in additional income. And for good reason: According to IEG’s  latest annual industry forecast, spending on sponsorship by North American companies was projected to increase by 5.5 percent in 2013 and globally by 4.2 percent–the equivalent of a projected $53 billion spent by companies worldwide.

Several factors account for this strong forecast, including an increase in nontraditional sponsorship opportunities and the consistent revenue growth companies and organizations that use sponsorships have seen from year to year. Despite this explosion in sponsorships, many executive directors, development staff and well-meaning board members still have an unrealistic understanding of what corporate sponsorship is and what it takes to attract those dollars. Too many think that sponsorship fees are similar to corporate contributions, but with a few more deliverables. In fact, from the perspective of the corporate decision-maker, there are few similarities between the two.

Here are six common myths about sponsorships that may be interfering with your organization’s efforts to secure corporate funding:

1. Sponsorship sales is fundraising.

Fundraising is about making the case for philanthropic support for your mission or cause; sponsorship is about marketing. In other words, sponsorship is about a company reaching and impacting potential customers through your organization and its constituents to achieve its marketing and communications goals. If you don’t intend to provide tangible rights and benefits to a sponsor (for example, on-site exhibits, use of mailing lists or ads in your event program), don’t go after sponsorships.

2. Sponsorship fees should equal the cost or expense of the asset.

Many nonprofits set the “fee” they are seeking based upon a fundraising goal or the cost to fund a particular program. However, with sponsorships, there is no correlation between the fee and the expense of the program being sponsored. Indeed, in most cases, the sponsorship fee is worth much more than the cost of the program. Instead, the fee should be based upon the value of the sponsorship rights and benefits package.

Generally, there are two valuations that go into determining a sponsorship fee: tangible and intangible values. The tangible value includes all benefits that can be quantified (e.g., advertising, mailing lists, event tickets). The intangible value is the worth to the corporation of being associated with your organization or event (e.g., prestige of organization, media interest, networking opportunities). Together, the two determine what a sponsorship opportunity is worth.

3. Sponsors are primarily interested in exposure.

Many nonprofits assume that the difference between fundraising and sponsorship is a banner—in other words, the corporate sponsor is really just looking for recognition. While recognition may be one of their objectives, the reasons for sponsorships are far more diverse. According to a recent sponsor survey conducted by IEG, a sponsorship consulting and research firm, the most common reasons for sponsorship are that companies want to:

Have a closer, personal impact on their customers/clients, as well as the opportunity for two-way communications;

Increase visibility;

Shape attitudes;

Communicate their commitment to a particular profession or lifestyle;

Differentiate their product from the competitor’s;

Entertain clients;

Showcase product attributes;

Combat the larger ad budgets of competitors; and

Increase sales.

4. Category exclusivity is generally not that important.

The issue of category exclusivity is where many nonprofits get stuck with sponsorships. Category exclusivity is the right to be the only company within its product or service category associated with the sponsored organization. Simply stated, if Coke is a sponsor, Pepsi is not allowed to be involved.

Sponsors demand category exclusivity because they want a marketplace free from “competitor noise.” Having more than one company from the same sponsorship category will greatly diminish the value of sponsorship and decrease the attractiveness of your event to a potential corporate sponsor.

5. Gold, silver and bronze are popular sponsor levels with corporations.

Contrary to popular belief, using sponsorship levels like gold, silver and bronze do not attract big sponsorships. As soon as a corporate sponsor sees a proposal with a precious metal designation, it assumes the request is just another fundraising appeal. Instead, the terms used for true sponsorship designations are “Title,” “Presenting,” “Associate” or “Official Supplier.”

6. Sponsorship sales is a loathsome responsibility.

Few really enjoy soliciting corporate sponsorships. The main reason is because oftentimes nonprofits don’t have a clear understanding of why a company would want to sponsor their program or event, or they simply don’t have the tools to effectively represent their organization.

Sponsorship sales is not rocket science. Know what you have to offer. Identify who you think might have an interest or need in what you have. Approach them about their needs, not yours. Present a clear, concise opportunity that is appropriately valued and priced. And once they say yes, take good care of them.

See also:

Fundraising with Businesses: 40 New and Improved Ideas for Nonprofits

Cause Marketing for Nonprofits: Partner for Purpose, Passion and Profits

Leveraging Good Will

Image credits:,,,

Leave a reply

Join us for 40 new and improved strategies for fundraising with businesses

Join us for CausePlanet’s author interview with Joe Waters about Fundraising with Businesses: 40 New and Improved Strategies for Nonprofits.

The interview will touch on the following book highlights:

Apply literally dozens of case stories, instructive reminders and highly creative ideas to incorporate business partnerships and revenue to your fundraising plan.

Yield incredibly rewarding company collaborations by adopting the author’s recommended ideas, visual examples and steps for implementation.

Gain inspiration for growing your corporate involvement beyond the single strategy of asking for a check and identify what companies want from nonprofit partners.

Tap into your business partner’s numerous assets, including customer loyalty and employees’ desire to engage the community.

When? Thursday, March 27 at 11 a.m. CST

Don’t miss this great opportunity to get your questions answered by one of the sector’s leading experts on fundraising with businesses!

See also:

Leveraging Good Will: Strengthening Nonprofits by Leveraging Businesses

Cause Marketing for Nonprofits


Leave a reply

What’s missing in most fundraising campaigns with businesses?

“It’s ironic that there is a new piece of scientific research every week that shows the central role the emotions play in persuasion. For cause marketing, an emotional appeal has to be your vanguard, the thing with which you lead. So given the choice between asking the customer, ‘Please donate to X hospital?’ or ‘Would you like to donate a dollar to help a sick child?’ the latter is the more persuasive appeal,” answered cause marketing expert and author Joe Waters when we asked him about the importance of evoking emotion in fundraising campaigns.

Waters added, “I’m amazed how resistant nonprofits are to emotional appeals. They want to sanitize the appeal to make it more ‘acceptable,’ which is exactly what doesn’t work.”

Evoking emotion in 40 success stories

When he’s not advising clients on how to lead with more emotion in their appeals, Joe Waters is sharing success stories from his new book Fundraising with Businesses: 40 New and Improved Strategies for Nonprofits. Each of his 40 chapters is dedicated to a revenue strategy with companies.

It’s more than writing a check

Waters’ objection to nonprofits not embracing the emotional equity they have as nonprofits is part of his overarching message in the book: Nonprofits willing to get creative and identify businesses that want to engage their employees and customers in doing good have much more to gain than charities that simply ask businesses to write a check.

Why fundraising with businesses is more fruitful when you involve consumers

Waters claims this is a great time for nonprofits to begin partnering with businesses in more meaningful, engaging ways. “Consumers are driving the rise of cause partnerships,” explains Waters. According to the 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study:

90 percent of consumers want companies to tell them the ways they are supporting causes.
83 percent of Americans wish more of the products, services and retailers they use would support causes.
Support for cause-related partnerships is especially strong from two key consumer groups: moms and Millennials.

Clearly, consumers want to know the business that provides their product or service is rooted in support of its community and engaged in the well-being of those who need help. In other words, consumers are inspired by observing an emotional connection between the community and the company that thrives in it. Fundraisers must look for ways to engage their corporate partners beyond check writing not only because it will yield better results, but also they can leverage what research has already proven.

I’ve excerpted one of Waters’ 40 stories in his book to give you inspiration and a glimpse of why giving customers, employees and businesses a higher connection beyond the simple transaction is so successful:

Share Our Strength and Shake Shack use pinups to fight hunger

A great example of what Waters calls “a midsize partnership” is The Great American Shake Sale launched by Shake Shack and Share Our Strength. Over a few weeks in 2012, this modern roadside burger stand surpassed its original goal of $25,000 and raised over $135,000 with pinups. “A pinup, which is sometimes called a paper plaque, paper icon, scannable or mobile is sold in restaurants, department stores and any other place that has customers at a register,” explains Waters. Shake Shack’s success wasn’t a stroke of luck. The next year, they raised a whopping $285,000 for Share Our Strength. Here’s how:


They laid the groundwork: Share Our Strength CEO, Billy Shore, spoke with the Shake Shack’s senior management about their program to end childhood hunger, No Kid Hungry. The team was inspired and created The Great American Shake Sale.

They trained employees and had fun with it: Every employee was trained about childhood hunger and the importance of making the ask at the register: “Would you like to donate two dollars to end childhood hunger?” Many of the stores had fun with the campaign and created a party-like atmosphere.

They incentivized customers: For every $2 donation, Shake Shack gave a $5 coupon for a free shake.

The rest is history. In Waters’ book, you can read his meaty sections that follow this case story, such as “How It Works in 1-2-3,” “Things to Remember,” “Pinups 101,” and “Steal These Ideas!” Who wouldn’t want to read a section called “Steal These Ideas!” in each chapter? Brilliant.

Joe Waters’ 40 case stories—each profiling a different way to partner with companies—in Fundraising with Businesses will have you highlighting passages and writing notes in the margin. When you see businesses in your community, ask yourself how you might build a partnership where the employees and customers can be part of something greater—your cause.

By Denise McMahan, Founder & Publisher, CausePlanet

See also:

The End of Fundraising: Raise More by Selling Your Impact

How to Write Fundraising Materials that Raise More Money

The Influential Fundraiser: Using the Psychology of Persuasion to Achieve Outstanding Results

image credits:,,

Leave a reply

Tired of asking for a check?

The single strategy of asking companies to write a check is tired. You can leverage a corporation’s involvement in many other creative ways that will help raise more money for your organization.

Nine themes

Joe Waters, cause marketing expert, gives 40 specific, practical strategies you can implement now to further your profitable relationships with businesses. They fall into nine categories: point-of-sale, physical go-tos, social media online, deals, direct gifts from businesses, money from employees, required actions from consumers, nonprofit celebrations and special opportunities.

Seven steps to success

If you follow Waters’ seven steps, you can increase your business fundraising results. They include looking at your assets, targeting your supporters, getting your boss’ blessing, focusing on your brand, maintaining a diversified fundraising plan, preparing for competition and seeking professional fundraising help. Waters offers invaluable advice from 20 years of fundraising experience.

Join us!

REGISTER NOW! Join me for a lively discussion about practical strategies you can use to fundraise with businesses with author Joe Waters.

Questions in this interview will touch on the book’s following highlights:
Apply literally dozens of case stories, instructive reminders and highly creative ideas to incorporate business partnerships and revenue into your fundraising plan.

Yield incredibly rewarding company collaborations by adopting the author’s recommended ideas, visual examples and steps for implementation.

Gain inspiration for growing your corporate involvement beyond the single strategy of asking for a check and identify what companies want from nonprofit partners.

Tap into your business partner’s numerous assets, including customer loyalty and employees’ desire to engage in the community.

Image credit:,

Leave a reply

Waters’ new book gives you license to steal

“To be successful in anything you need inspiration. It’s what drives us to keep pushing and excelling. Without it you just hit a dead end. You stop learning and exploring,” explains cause marketing author Joe Waters.

Joe Waters recently inspired us with his new book Fundraising with Businesses: 40 New and Improved Strategies for Nonprofits, which tells a great success story in each of his 40 chapters dedicated to a revenue strategy with companies. I’ve excerpted one of his stories to give you inspiration and glimpse of Waters’ numerous featured partnerships:

Hashtag fundraiser

Over the holidays in 2012, global supermarket chain Lidl offered to donate five four-course Christmas dinners to food banks in Belgium for each tweet with the hashtag #luxevooriedereen, which is Dutch for “luxury for everyone.” The campaign went viral and spread rapidly on Twitter. While Lidl had privately committed to only 1,000 meals, they graciously increased their donation to 10,000 meals.

License to steal!

Waters advises you that when your nonprofit uses hashtag fundraisers and social media in general, you have to plan for the unexpected and be clear on your donation. After Waters explores the case story, some of the meaty sections that follow are “How it Works in 1-2-3,” “Things to Remember,” and “Steal These Ideas!” Who wouldn’t want to read a section called “Steal These Ideas!”? Brilliant.

Too big, too small or just right?

Despite the fact that cause marketing has been in existence since the early 1980s, author Joe Waters is still surprised by the amount of confusion surrounding this idea. Additionally, smaller nonprofits that represent the bulk of our sector are misdiagnosing why great cause marketing partnerships are passing them by and going to the bigger nonprofits. Too often, smaller charities approach businesses for cash gifts when they could be leveraging much more if they are willing to get creative.

“Just because you’re small doesn’t mean you have to think small,” says Waters. He asks, “What if the business is new or struggling?” Does your strategy account for the other assets the business may bring to the table if it can’t write a check? Or, if the company does have money to give, can you see beyond the check and realize the enormous amount of possible donations from customers and employees through an innovative campaign?

Welcome pieces of advice

Each of Waters’ chapters are further bolstered by advice boxes where Waters shares best practices in areas such as “Three Types of Decision Makers,” “Four Ways to Turn Unwanted Gifts Into Nonprofit Gold,” or “Ten Fundraising Ideas for B2B [Business to Business] Companies.”

I encourage you to indulge in a little guilt-free stealing and experiment with Waters’ Fundraising with Businesses. Your bottom line won’t be sorry.

See also:

The End of Fundraising: Raise More by Selling Your Impact

How to Write Fundraising Materials that Raise More Money

The Influential Fundraiser

Leave a reply

Let impact do the talking in your cause marketing campaign (Audio)

We recently had a live author interview with Jocelyne Daw about her book, Cause Marketing for Nonprofits: Partner for Purpose, Passion and Profits. One of her answers stuck with me and I wanted to share it with you.

Nonprofits and their corporate partners tout the portion of each purchase that goes directly to the cause they support when consumers actually want to know what impact the purchase makes. Daw discussed a cause marketing campaign example where Pampers helped UNICEF eliminate a deadly disease.

Pampers tested their messaging prior to launching their campaign. One message emphasized for every pack of Pampers purchased, five cents would go to UNICEF. The other message claimed for every pack of Pampers purchased, a newborn would receive a vaccination against neonatal tetanus.

Which message do you think resonated more with consumers? Ask yourself what will additional resources actually enable you to do? How can you literally connect the consumer’s purchase with the outcome?

The Pampers/UNICEF campaign started in 2008 and is expected to eliminate a disease that’s been killing newborns or the mothers by 2015. An HBR blog about the campaign highlights four key factors that contributed to the campaign’s success. Among the four factors was “The aligned content between the two brands makes a distinctive competitive message that connects cause, consumer, and choice.”

Look into Daw’s Cause Marketing for Nonprofits and her more recent book, Breakthough Nonprofit Branding. You can also visit Jocelyne Daw’s new website to learn more about her consulting services and books.

Leave a reply

Building a social purpose brand: the new nonprofit imperative

If the 2000′s was the decade of “why,” 2012 and beyond will be about social purpose and creating a clear value proposition for your nonprofit organization. How do you create this and engage your stakeholders in your social purpose and the value you create for society? It starts with discovering and expressing your organization’s higher purpose and focusing on outcomes, not activities!

Organizations that stand for a clear and inspiring social purpose and bring commitments to life through outcome-driven action will deepen relationships, foster loyalty, build sustainable organizations and achieve positive social change.

To infuse asocial purpose into your organization, define and demonstrate a three-dimensional brand value proposition:

  • Head: Articulate your leadership position–Identify what your organization stands for—the unique, differentiated idea that sets it apart and explains what the organization does better than others.
  • Heart: Express your social purpose–Forge an emotional and personal connection with your core stakeholders. Elevate your leadership position to a higher purpose with specific outcomes—something bigger than organizational activities, something your constituents care about and believe in.
  • Hands: Rally your community–Use your social purpose to create a sense of community–inside and outside of the organization–to rally and inspire action. Unite people around shared commitments, values and interests that add meaning to their lives and help change our communities and the world for the better.

This new approach requires a profound shift in philosophy. It calls for a deep commitment to ensuring that what your organization stands for–its social purpose–is communicated and lived through every stakeholder interaction. This is a shift from:

Standing for everything to articulating a clear purpose: In an effort to satisfy multiple stakeholders, nonprofits often try to be everything to everyone. To truly break through, a nonprofit finds and expresses what it stands for–its higher social purpose. It uses that bigger purpose to tell an enduring story that helps unify its actions from year to year.

Reporting activities to demonstrating outcomes: There is an old saying that states, activities tell and benefits sell. Rather than just reporting on activities, a BNB (Breakthrough Nonprofit Brand) focuses its communications on the benefits and outcomes that deliver value. By issuing compelling, personally relevant offers, a breakthrough organization makes association with its brand a top choice over all other alternatives.

Undertaking transactions to building relationships: Traditionally, nonprofits emphasize annual numbers and dollars raised. An organization that invests in and rewards staff for building long-term relationships will break through. It takes the time to engage in a meaningful dialogue with donors. This ongoing conversation helps illuminate what the organization means to its supporters and what their involvement says about them to others. It creates a true community of believers.

Being well-known to being well-owned: Being better-known does not equate to being better-understood or valued. A breakthrough organization appreciates the importance of awareness and fundraising but spends just as much time engaging internal and external communities in the higher purpose. It believes in the power of many and meaningfully engages a critical mass of people in its cause. Inclusive, not exclusive, it creates owner-based relationships with constituents and encourages creative engagement. By empowering an army of supporters who call the organization their own, it causes people to take another look and creates waves of new recruits eager to commit to the cause.

Moving from organizational silos to integration: A high performance nonprofit uses its clear social purpose as the force behind everything the organization does, making it the central management preoccupation for the CEO, board, executive team and all staff and volunteers. It is at the heart of governance, operations and mission achievement. A concerted effort is made to break down internal silos and bring the organization together around the social purpose for operational effectiveness.

With the leadership of the CEO and senior management, a social purpose brand can become the catalyst for continual self-assessment and innovation. It is a must-do to create a unique organizational identity infused with passion and trust. Forward-looking senior leaders ensure this brand-centric philosophy is embraced by the whole organization. They leverage the brand to strengthen donor loyalty, recruit top executives, rally staff members, meaningfully engage volunteers, drive diversified funding streams and ultimately, make a greater social impact.

A powerful social purpose brand conveys the organization’s focus, credibility and unique contributions. In today’s environment, it is critical to focus on ways to stand out and win head, heart and hands. This approach maximizes trust, forges stronger relationships and secures a continuous flow of resources to fulfill critical mission objectives. Social purpose branding is the new nonprofit imperative.

See also:


Cause Marketing for Nonprofits

Married to the Brand

Image credit:

Leave a reply

Get smart on QR Codes with Joe Waters

They’re everywhere from billboards to business cards. They’re gaining momentum so people don’t mistake them for decorative designs anymore. QR (Quick Response) Codes are the latest technological advance and now with Joe Waters’ assistance, you can access them with ease. Waters’ new portable edition of QR Codes for Dummies covers everything you need to know, including how to access them, create them, troubleshoot and use them effectively.

Even though Waters honestly admits QR Codes may not stick around forever, as technology is fickle and fast-paced, their purpose will always serve. They are a way to “link the offline world with online content” or simply, they are “offline hyperlinks.“So, the codes may be replaced with other devices or methods, but this new wave of “offline hyperlinks” through some type of code/method is here to stay. Waters asserts the “third screen,” i.e. the one found on smart phones, is taking over, which is where you access QR Codes.

The basics

With illustrations and extensive, clear explanations, Joe Waters shows you how to download a QR code reader, scan it and link to the site. He even provides codes with which to practice. The benefit of QR codes vs. bar codes is they store more information and link more easily online. He also explains how to create your own QR code by choosing and downloading a mobile generator. Other available features include abilities to test, accessorize and track the codes. One of the most useful pieces of a QR Code is the ability to track its use, including where and how often it is scanned. Waters’ constant advice, though, is to keep it simple and non repetitive. Make sure your QR Code links to new information on a website or URL. For example, if a restaurant provides a menu with a QR Code, the code should not link to another copy of the menu online, but should give more information, such as ingredients or how the food is specially prepared.

General uses

“In 2011, a survey of 415 smart phone users by marketing firm MGH in Baltimore, Maryland, showed that consumers would scan a QR Code for these top reasons [most used to least used]: 1) to get a coupon, discount, ordeal; 2) enter a sweepstakes; 3) access additional information; 4) make a purchase; 5) sign up to receive more information; 6) access video; and 7)interact with social media properties.” If you look at this list, you can see the trend is catching on with consumers, as you are seeing them in grocery stores, in businesses and most recently, in women’s magazines. (Interestingly, in 2011, women’s magazines led in QR codes’ use).

Nonprofit sector specific uses

The nonprofit sector, as in any business, needs to spread the word about QR Codes, explaining what they are and how to use them. They can place them on email signatures, on all marketing materials, in presentations and at conferences. These codes could link to a nonprofit’s website or other pertinent information. Joe Waters focuses on using QR Codes with fundraising and cause marketing in the following ways: The QR code can link to pictures, video, etc. that tell your organization’s story or educates your visitor. The codes can link to a donation page, thank-you page, petition page, frequently asked questions page or informative page about a demonstration. They can also link to your Facebook page so scanners can like your organization. Finally, QR Codes are the best option right now for mobile giving. Waters suggests as a service to connect to a donation page and a link to your PayPal account. The advantage of a QR code over a text campaign, says Waters, is you can donate any amount you want versus a set amount with a text.

Waters, in no uncertain terms, states that nonprofits can lag in the latest technology use, suggesting it could help them with their good work. QR codes are an easily accessible, growing way to market your cause effectively and the best way to connect people with your online newsletters, donation page and other information. Getting the word out is half the battle, which can be fought with another weapon, the QR Code.

Waters has extended a special promotion for our CausePlanet readers. Please email him, telling him you read about his book on CausePlanet, and he will send you an entire chapter of “QR Codes for Dummies” free. His email is

You can follow more of Joe Waters’ cause marketing insights at

See also:

Fundraising with Businesses

Image credit:


Leave a reply

The four great truths of cause marketing

Cause marketing is the talk of the town, and with good reason. Cause marketing,  a partnership between a nonprofit and for-profit for mutual profit,  is a progressive fundraising strategy that can help nonprofits raise money, build awareness and diversify their support from corporate funders. But to succeed with cause marketing, nonprofits need to accept the four truths of cause marketing.

First, the reality.

Cause marketing is a life preserver not a lifesaver. Nonprofits need to be realistic about how much they can do with companies and how much their partnership will raise. The bad news is that cause marketing won’t solve all their financial woes. It will help, for sure, but we’re not talking about a mountain of money. Jocelyne Daw has a good rule of thumb on this: 5-15% of your total revenues: that’s what nonprofits can expect to raise from cause marketing. So, if your nonprofit has a $500,000 budget, you can expect to raise between $25,000 and $75,000. It’s not chump change, but it may not be as much as you expected.

Second, follow the money.

The real money isn’t in the companies. It’s in the customers. People often make a big mistake with cause marketing: they confuse it with sponsorship. They talk about logos and billboards and companies cutting fat checks. For every cause marketing program that is funded by a company, there should be three more that allow consumers to give through or because of a company. The reason is quite simple: you’ll almost always raise more money from consumers.

Third, walk toward the light.

Skip ahead to mobile. You need to jump ahead with mobile technology and tap text messaging, location-based services and QR codes. (Here are some posts to get you started!) Don’t get me wrong, I love traditional tools like point-of-sale and purchase-triggered donations, but the future is in the mobile. And I wouldn’t begrudge any nonprofit that looked ahead instead of over its shoulder.

Finally, forget cause marketing. Really.

It’s about philanthrotunity. It’s not about cause marketing. It’s about nonprofits thinking innovatively about their unique assets and how they can leverage them creatively and lucratively with companies, consumers and donors. Cause marketing is just another hammer in the toolbox. You may need to choose something else to get the job done.

Nonprofits need to reorient themselves to rediscover who they are and what they do to survive. Henry David Thoreau, the father of environmentalism, set off to live a deliberate life in the woods but journeyed just two miles from his mother’s house in Concord, Massachusetts. No matter. Thoreau’s journey was within, not without.

Nonprofits don’t need to sell their souls to save themselves, but they do need to adjust their thinking and work inside out or deny themselves a better future. But it won’t happen by itself. As Thoreau extolled, “Only that day dawns to which we are awake.”

See also:

Fundraising with Businesses

Cause Marketing for Dummies

QR Codes for Dummies

Image credit:

Leave a reply

Welcome! Please provide your log-in information below.
Forget your password?
Enter your email or user name and your log-in information will be sent to the email on file.