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Fundraising Resources

Featured Idea:

Cause Marketing: Partner Your Campaign With Business

Corporate investment in cause marketing partnerships could hit $1 billion this year and Cause Marketing Forum, Inc., is doing a great deal to educate individuals and organizations about this powerful partnering strategy.

A novice can begin with articles as basic as Cause Marketing 101 while seasoned professionals can tap into more advanced materials related to marketing a cause with the help of a business partner.

“Cause marketing is the development of mutually-beneficial marketing relationships between companies and causes,” explained David Hessekiel, founder and president of CMFI.

The "mutually beneficial" element of cause marketing is behind their explosive popularity around the globe. Businesses and corporations can distinguish themselves from competitors, increase visibility and sales through successfully promoting awareness about worthy causes. Their images are burnished by demonstrating responsible "citizenship" through giving back to communities. Depending on the nature of the partnership, nonprofit causes can receive benefits such as funding, media coverage or advertising time that they could not have budgeted for on their own.

How important is cause marketing in the corporate and nonprofit sectors today? According to Carol Cone and her colleagues at Cone, Inc., their 2001 study asked the core question: "Price and quality being equal, would you be likely to switch brands if the other brand were associated with a good cause? In October 2001, 81% of respondents said they would be likely to switch - a record score!" These results demonstrate an increasing expectation of responsible corporate citizenship.

Individuals and organizations can educate themselves through a wide spectrum of offerings in the free CMF Resource Center at www.causemarketingforum.com. The variety of practical information, professional recognition, and hands-on training offered manages to bridge the gap between beginners and masterful practitioners of the art of marketing a cause.

The website also provides information on upcoming CMF programs such as the annual Cause Marketing Forum Conference and Workshops. The 2004 conference will be held June 15 - 17, 2004 at The Yale Club in New York City.

This summer CMF will launch a series of year-round teleclasses ranging from introductory courses to live interviews with the world’s leading cause marketers.

Until very recently, public recognition for impressive cause marketing campaigns was very limited. The Cause Marketing Halo Awards changed all that. They were inaugurated last year by the Cause Marketing Forum and were commemorated in a special section of Advertising Age magazine.


Halo Award judges from left to
right: Donna Feiner of the Ad Council, Patricia Lippe Davis of Good Housekeeping, David Hessekiel of Cause Marketing Forum, Sheila Charton of amfAR, Susan Arnot Heany of The Avon Foundation, and Stu Seltzer of Marketing on Demand.

This year the award categories are Best Transactional Program, Best Joint Message Program, Best Health-Related Program, Best Environmental/Wildlife Program, Best Social Service/Education Program, Best Cause Marketing Print Creative, and Best Cause Marketing Event. In addition, each year CMF honors one corporation and one nonprofit with the Cause Marketing Golden Halo Award to recognize a record of excellence and leadership in the field. Last year the winners were the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and General Mills. This year the awards go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and American Express.

“Cause marketing is a diverse and varied field and the Cause Marketing Forum tries to provide actionable information that will be helpful to beginners and veterans,” said Hessekiel. (Please see sidebar for an overview of available resources.)

Those uninitiated in the philosophy and practice of cause driven marketing campaigns should not feel intimidated. With resources provided by the Cause Marketing Forum, Inc., a basic grasp of the concept can expand to a graduate level understanding and cause marketing campaigns worthy of a doctoral dissertation.

-- DeWayne Lumpkin

Read More About:
Cause Marketing Forum, Inc

 






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