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Getting Started With Cause Marketing

In a recent post – Can Small Non-profits Succeed at Cause Marketing – I interviewed Joe Waters (SelfishGiving.com) to get his candid opinion on whether and how small organizations could enter the cause marketing arena. Joe insists that cause marketing isn’t just for national charities and big business – but that small companies and causes can also be successful with cause marketing.

What is Cause Marketing?

In the book, Cause Marketing for Dummies,  that he co-authored with Joanna MacDonald, Joe defines cause marketing as “a partnership between a nonprofit and for-profit for mutual profit.”  The Cause Marketing Forum suggests "cause Marketing encompasses a wide variety of commercial activity that aligns a company or brand with a cause to generate business and societal benefits."

Getting started

So if you are keen to explore the possibility of launching a cause marketing program at your non-profit, just how should you get started? First and foremost, you need to find out more about this type of initiative:  what it’s all about; who’s doing it; and is it right for your organization?

Cause Marketing Resources

Of course, a great place to start is the new book - Cause Marketing for Dummies. In addition, in the book the authors recommend the following cause marketing resources:

Targeting Millennials With Cause Marketing

One reason you might want to explore cause marketing is to target millennials. A recent Marketing Daily article, Millennials: Big on Cause-Marketing, Not on TV, reported on the findings of a survey of 5,000 Millennials on their attitudes about cause marketing, grocery and their retail and social media habits. It notes:

Millennials (a/k/a Gen Y) are more aware than Americans of other generations of campaigns such as Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty (33% versus 21%) or Gap RED (26% versus 9%), according to a new study of this cohort from the Barkley marketing agency, Service Management Group and The Boston Consulting Group.  Millennials also report greater exposure to such campaigns through social media (40% versus 22%) and online news (28% versus 22%).

As we noted in a recent post – Engaging Younger Supporters – the oldest Millennial is now reaching 30, so non-profits need to start building relationships with this group, since they will be prime donors, supporters and volunteers in about five years.

Help in Connecting Brands and Non-profits

But for small non-profits that don’t have a dedicated marketing professional or corporate sponsor to help them activate cause marketing efforts, Causecast  is a good place to turn for help. Causecast has pioneered technology that makes it easy for brands and nonprofits to connect. They offer a single portal that has screened, curated and facilitated partnerships between nonprofits and corporations. Causecast also offers nonprofits a host of free resources, including fundraising tools and no-cost donation processing. Their new complimentary service for nonprofits currently features the following campaigns for its members (as well as other opportunities too numerous to mention here):

  • Change the Equation - Initiative to answer the call of President Obama’s Educate to Innovate Campaign. Causecast is looking for nonprofits in the Science Technology Engineering Math space.
  • Salute to Service - Campaign that supports veterans, servicemen and women, and their families with donations of time or money to a veteran and military nonprofit organizations.
  • Startup America Partnership - A White House campaign to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. Causecast provides information about nonprofits that encourage and support entrepreneurs.
  • The Huffington Post - Causecast powers widgets on the Huffington Post that provide volunteer opportunities with local nonprofit organizations.
  • Virgin Mobile The RE*Generation - Virgin Mobile USA and Virgin Unite invite volunteers who donate time to homeless youth organizations near Baltimore to earn tickets to FreeFest.

Causecast’s Offer:

The cause-based tech company says that any 501(c)(3) organization that creates a free Causecast profile is eligible to apply for inclusion in active cause marketing campaigns that they power for their corporate clients and partners. In addition to access to cause marketing campaigns, Causecast offers nonprofits free fundraising tools, no-cost donation processing and an extensive resource library to help nonprofits achieve their mission’s goals and online fundraising objectives.

The complete list of Causecast’s active campaigns can be viewed at http://nonprofit.causecast.org/campaigns.

Are you new to cause marketing?  Keep us posted on new initiatives at your organization in the comments below.

Photo credit: Big Heart of Art on qthomasbower's flickr photostream

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]
Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]
Published Wednesday, 14 September 2011 at 9:52 AM
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