The first time I was involved in cause marketing was nearly 50 years ago. I belonged to a teen group whose primary purpose was to do good works in our community.
Actually, from a very early age I loved giving back. I still do.
Over the years, I’ve done my fair share of cause marketing; everything from raising funds for animal rescue, elderly causes, AIDS fundraisers, and much more.
Many nonprofits rely heavily on cause marketing for their funding.

According to one definition on Wikipedia, Cause marketing or cause-related marketing refers to a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a for-profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. The term is sometimes used more broadly and generally to refer to any type of marketing effort for social and other charitable causes, including in-house marketing efforts by non-profit organizations. Cause marketing differs from corporate giving (philanthropy), as the latter generally involves a specific donation that is tax-deductible, while cause marketing is a marketing relationship not necessarily based on a donation.”
Cause-related marketing is big business for non-profits and their business partners. Trends indicate that cause marketing is on the rise.
With social media being what it is today, consumers have a much greater choice in where their dollars go. Whether it be a socially conscious restaurant that donates to educational programs, a garden nursery that uses only organic fertilizer in which a portion of sales are put back into programs to support community based farm programs, or solo entrepreneurs who funnel a portion of their proceeds into animal rescue or child trafficking reform programs, cause marketing happens in every industry imaginable.
The reality is, the way we do business has changed. Granted, not everyone has gotten on the cause marketing bandwagon, but as people become aware of just how powerful their buying and donation decisions are, all indications are massive change is on the way.
“In this new era of social responsibility, what you don’t do can cost you. “Cause marketing” is now the norm, and customers who visit your website and see your advertising want to know that you share their desire to make the world a better place by supporting an important cause.” writes Kim T. Gordon, owner of National Marketing Federation and is a multifaceted marketing expert, speaker, author and media spokesperson.
The bottom line is this; contributing and serving charitable causes is not only a great way to give back, it can actually become a deciding factor when customers and clients choose where to spend their dollars.
dustinOne recent project I started is Hoofing it For Horses and Dogs. The idea for this started with one simple conversation after a breakout session I facilitated at a recent conference. Most cause marketing campaigns start with a simple conversation.
Go ahead, check out what we are doing to raise awareness and funds for dog and horse rescue.
And while you’re at it, leave a comment below on what you’re doing with cause marketing. And of course, you’re welcome to share this post by clicking one of the social media links below.