Charities that are tired of the endless solicitation for donations and sponsorships from local businesses can try a new creative approach , a cause marketing partnership. Non-profits can propose a plan to their business supporters that can bring mutual benefits to both parties. The non-profit can bring more customers to the business, advertise the business on their own sites, and share in some of the advertising and promotion costs.
Success stories such as the RED campaign or the Susan G Komen for the Cure, show that when charities approach businesses with a cause marketing proposal that works for both sides it can become as a successful fundraising avenue for the charity and a great marketing approach for the business.
But as in any new approach it needs consideration and planning.
Michael and Shirley Tomberlin's blog site: causemarketing101, has great posts about non-profits using cause marketing relationships for their fundraising. In their latest post: "How Does Cause Marketing Work" defines cause marketing and lists the basic steps non-profits need to take to set up a cause marketing partnership. They are:
1. Find a company and a program that fits your goals and form a partnership.
2. Publicize the partnership to your members and the community. Make them aware of how they can support your ‘cause’. (The company can help with this)
3. Provide your members and the community at large a way to purchase the products. (A good company will do this part)
4. Go about your daily activities of supporting your cause and let the company handle all the money and inventory and delivery problems.
5. Use the funds generated to do the ‘good’ your non-profit was set up to do.
Business donations to charity have taken a tumble, but cause marketing has had a big surge. This has created some wonderful opportunities for innovative approaches in business philanthropy using cause marketing that even small businesses can take advantage of.