‘Cause it makes good sense to team up

in Cause Marketing

Cause Marketing helps Year-End FundraisingIt’s good business sense to team up with a retailer or other for-profit company to help your nonprofit cause.

Yup. Cause-marketing is alive and well. And it’s also a way to boost your year-end fundraising.

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A recent article in Retail Online Integration, “Pay it Forward,” shared results from the 2012 Edelman goodpurpose study which include:

47% of consumers have bought a brand at least monthly that supports a cause. (By the way, that’s a 47-percent increase from 2010.)

9% increase in the number of consumers who said they would switch brands if a similar brand supported a good cause

39% more consumers are saying they would recommend cause-related brands to friends.

What does that mean for your nonprofit?

If you’re tied to a brand, and more consumers are buying and promoting that brand because it’s tied to your cause . . . then you raise more money in at least two ways.

1 – Definitely raise more because you get some cut of each sale (depends on the deal you struck with the brand).

2 – More people know about your cause from the packaging, the ads run by the brand, consumers telling friends, etc. There’s an excellent chance you’ll acquire some new donors this way.

As the article points out to the retailers (target audience for the article), Facebook is a good place to promote cause marketing. And you’re on Facebook right? So are many retailers and other businesses of all sizes.

Oh, and in addition to Facebook, I recommend you add as many other channels as possible for promotion: YouTube, Twitter, online press releases (more than one), direct mail (perhaps post cards), maybe your area newspaper and media stations will run a story for you (or a PSA), email, signs in the retailer’s store, their ads and promos, and on it goes.

An idea for charities of ALL sizes

I believe even local and regional nonprofits could team up with smaller area retailers this way. It doesn’t have to be only the Macy’s, Kohl’s and IKea’s teaming up with large national and international charities.

Work together with smaller retailers and other businesses. Help each other come up with an idea for a promotion – especially as we close in fast on the holiday season. They’ll be receptive to ideas that help them boost sales. Just don’t go there begging and expecting them to do all the work. That’s no partnership. That’s not a team effort.

If you’re stuck for ideas, read the article in Retail Online Integration. And just because these examples are on a larger scale, doesn’t mean you can’t do something similar on a smaller scale. Brainstorm. Get creative. Be open to trying something new.

Act fast

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NOW is the time to team up with a for-profit company and get ready for the holiday season.

Just as year-end is when the most money is raised for charities . . . it’s also the most important time of the year for retail sales. And October 1st (the fourth quarter) is only two months away. That’s why I urge you to act now.

Very important tip: As you approach a for-profit company to team with you in cause-marketing, remember to point out the benefits to them. Don’t assume that just because you have the greatest cause in the world that the business will rush to partner with you.

You’ve got to raise enough money to cover expenses and support your mission. They need to raise money to keep their doors open, serve customers, cover expenses, and make a living. So spell out the opportunities for them. Apply the principle of reader-centric copy and put the business in the spotlight.

For example: Product reviews are important to retailers and businesses. Perhaps part of the promo is that for every product review written for a purchased item (advise consumers on where to post them) the consumer gets a coupon.

The “Pay it Forward” article also has a sidebar with a four-step checklist on how a business should choose a cause to support. Share that with businesses as part of your sales pitch. Be sure to credit the article where you found it. They’ll see you’ve done some homework and are striving to understand their perspective. That’s always appreciated.

The 2012 holiday shopping season is almost upon us. Act fast to team up with a business to boost revenue for them and your nonprofit during the fourth quarter of 2012. Cause-marketing, done correctly, is a win-win for everyone including consumers and donors. Happy Holidays!

More cause-marketing ideas found in these related posts:

Diverse help for charities

Charitable solution to unwanted stuff

Cause marketing: Restaurant company partners to help solve hunger