3 Tips for Better Cause Marketing

The last time you went to the grocery store or your favorite fast food chain, you may have been asked to donate a dollar to a cause. These fundraising drives are one of many types of cause marketing.

Cause marketing is a partnership between a for-profit business and a nonprofit cause. These partnerships are mutually beneficial. The for-profit business shows customers that they care about more than the bottom line. Meanwhile, the nonprofit is able to raise needed funds or awareness in ways they may not be able to do on their own.

In 2019, cause marketing is projected to raise $2.23¬†billion¬†for charitable causes.* Regardless of whether you’re a for-profit business or a nonprofit, those impressive numbers are enough to make you consider a cause marketing campaign!

Below are 3 tips for better cause marketing. While these tips are aimed and oriented toward those in the nonprofit world, your for-profit business may also benefit from keeping these things in mind as you find a charity partner for your next cause marketing campaign.

1. Pick a good & logical partner.

Once you’ve created a list of potential partners for your nonprofit, think about your nonprofit’s mission. Does this mission fit well with the mission and public perception of the for-profit business you’re considering partnership with? Would partnership with this for-profit business hurt your nonprofit’s image?

For example, a nonprofit focusing on healthcare may not want to partner with a fast food chain (because of the implied endorsement of certain dietary choices). A grocery store or local business may be a more logical choice in partner. If, however, you’re a nonprofit unassociated with healthcare, a fast food chain may be a great choice because of their reach and influence.

2. Be clear about your mission & goals.

What is the mission of your nonprofit? What are your goals for a cause marketing partnership? It is important to make sure that your mission and your goals for cause marketing are not in conflict. Conflict between these two could result in your cause’s messaging losing its clarity.

It’s also important to make sure that your mission is being communicated clearly by a cause marketing partner. If your partner is asking customers to donate funds, they should be able to communicate in a few words what people are donating to. A small sheet with information about your cause could be a useful resource for those wanting more information about your nonprofit.

3. Get creative.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your cause marketing! Cause marketing is not limited to partnering with a for-profit business to raise funds.

Find a partner in the community who is interested in helping with an educational campaign or partner with a small business to find new volunteers.

Perhaps you need a space to host an event or to prepare resources. A small business may have space for events, training, or a volunteer work day. Allow them to donate the space. Like other cause marketing relationships, non-monetary exchanges are beneficial to both parties!


Whether you’re planning a cause marketing partnership or not, Stewardship is here to help you with all of your fundraising needs! Download our #GivingTuesday Guide today to help guide your fundraising this season.

*Engage for Good

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