Most professional advice businesses and principals at some time or another are asked to help out with charitable causes and many do, seeing it as ‘goodwill’ and ‘the opportunity to give back to the community’.
But did you know there is a specialisation in marketing called ‘Cause related marketing’?
Cause related marketing is like sponsorship, however it involves giving to a not-for-profit organisation to help them achieve their mission. In return, the business receives benefits, most usually involving the acknowledgement of their contribution and the opportunity to demonstrate their values and enhance their business reputation.
This makes it different from a charitable donation or philanthropy in that it’s not just about giving and receiving a tax deduction.
So if the idea of giving back appeals to you, how do you decide which causes to participate in, given there are so many worthy charities that do great work? Here are some ideas to help you with your thinking.
- Like all marketing initiatives, have focus. This means selecting one cause to develop a depth of relationship to show progress towards achieving the goal.
- Choose an issue that reflects the values you’d like your business to be associated with. Is it health, is it environment or is it challenge of society like homelessness or education.
- Choose an issue and charity that your staff can engage with. It’s not uncommon for many professionals to give their time as a part of the cause related marketing effort.
- Choose an issue and charity that your clients can engage with too. In this instance, it’s about sharing with them why you are involved with the issue and updates on the difference you are making over time, in partnership with the charity.
- Choose an issue or charity that reflects your community. If you are a big national service provider, choose a national issue. If you are a small to medium enterprise, then perhaps keeping it local to make a difference in your community makes more sense.
Many of us feel like that government do not do a good job on many of the issues affecting our communities, regions and states. Given this, cause related marketing might provide individuals and their businesses to bring about meaningful and lasting change.