Tips to Make your ‘Cause Marketing’ efforts Worth it!

When it comes to new and unique promotions for your company, it’s sometimes difficult to generate ideas that won’t make you yawn with boredom. You’ve done coupons

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When it comes to new and unique promotions for your company, it’s sometimes difficult to generate ideas that won’t make you yawn with boredom. You’ve done coupons, you’ve done free gifts with purchase, and heck, you’ve even celebrated ‘National Golf Month’ with golf-themed giveaways. What’s left?

How about a little cause marketing to boost not only your employees’ morale, but to help out your community at the same time? You’ve probably read that major companies use this style of marketing at some point. And why not? Everyone comes out a winner from it! It deserves to be considered for your next promotion.

Find a cause you can get behind.

The cause you choose doesn’t have to be directly related to your company’s industry. If you’re a car dealership, don’t assume that the only cause you can fight for is collecting and recycling old tires. Sure, it’s a great idea, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it. Be as creative as you’d like. If you’re stuck for ideas, ask your employees if they volunteer with an organization or know of a good one.

As long as you agree with the organization’s mission, then there’s no wrong answer to the question of which cause to raise money for. Raise money for an animal shelter and then go and volunteer at it for the day (my company did this last year, and it was a huge success). Or, pick a park in your community that needs a little TLC and bring along your employees and their families to help fix it up. The more people you can get involved, whether by having them donate their time or money, the more publicity it may receive and the more good you can do!

Get out there and raise awareness.

Whether you hop on your Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ accounts and get people’s attention that way, or put an ad in the local newspaper, just make sure your efforts are known. Adequate advertising will ensure that enough funds can be raised, enough volunteers can be found, and enough publicity can be raised.

It may be difficult to put your brand second, but you should put the cause and your community as your first priorities. Don’t worry, people won’t forget the generosity of your company’s efforts when the event is all done.

Plan, plan, plan, and then plan some more.

If you’re working directly with a non-profit organization, then make sure you keep them in the loop on your progress. No doubt you’re excited to get your company’s name out there and help them out, but be prepared for anything that may happen. For example, what will you do if it rains during an outdoor event you’re hosting (like a fun run or a concert)? If you’re going to a public park, are there any rules that apply to you? How will your volunteers know their jobs; will you assign them days before the event, or on the day of? There’s nothing worse than witnessing an unorganized event. Come prepared for anything that may fly in from left field!

Put in everything you’ve got.

When the day of the event arrives, don’t stress out. Take a deep breath and get ready for organized chaos. Everything may not go exactly according to plan, but that won’t make it a failure. Stay calm and do your best! While you’re running around, don’t forget to take a step back and remember why you’re really there. You’re helping out this wonderful cause that can continue their mission because of your generosity. Getting bogged down with details and chaos will happen, but try to enjoy your efforts at some point during the day.

Take a bow.

After all the planning and executing of your plans, smile and look around at the accomplished efforts from you and your volunteers. You not only helped out a worthy cause, but you also increased employee morale and got your company’s name out there to customers who may have never known you existed before. If you didn’t raise as much money as you were hoping for, don’t give yourself an ulcer over it. Remember, you raised money for the organization that they didn’t have before, so it’s already a success. At next year’s event, try to double your total!

Cause marketing is one of those wonderful things where everyone comes out ahead and a winner. The organization you’re raising funds or awareness for doesn’t have to put in additional man power to accomplish everything that your company can help them with. And your brand will be seen by so many new potential customers! What have you got to lose? Give cause marketing a try for your next promotion.

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Amy Swanson

Amy Swanson is a part of the marketing/content department at Quality Logo Products and regularly contributes to their promotional products blog. She is a self-professed newspaper nerd, business buff, and TV enthusiast who cites 'Parks and Recreation' as one of her favorites. But don’t ask her to put in a good word with Ron Swanson – she unfortunately can’t help you there.

Reader Interactions


  1. Jana Quinn says

    Great post, Amy! I think lots of companies can make names for themselves in their local community with these type of fundraising efforts.. Not only is there a nice boost in productivity in the office once you return from a day of volunteering (nothing is more refreshing than a change of scenery!), but there’s also the positive press, the additional social media content, and increased brand awareness. And all of that isn’t even mentioning the warm fuzzy feeling of being a decent person. Nice tips!

    • amy swanson says

      Thanks so much, Jana! The lists of benefits for companies to do some “cause marketing” for their next campaign far outweigh the sore back you may get after some manual labor. Companies don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on their next marketing effort, just roll up those sleeves and get ready to work. It’ll go a lot further with customers than hearing from you again about how “fantastically-wonderful you are to work with”.

      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  2. Mandy Kilinskis says

    Excellent post, Amy! Cause marketing is definitely a great way to spread some brand awareness and help your community all at the same time.

    Helping out in your community makes you and your employees feel great, and it really puts a human face on your company. You can bet that word-of-mouth will spread from your employees, the charity/cause volunteers and workers, and cause supporters. Customers will absolutely patronize a business that’s helped out their community.

    • amy swanson says

      You’re so right about helping out in your community helps put a human face to the company. It’s one thing to see employees out working/volunteering, but when you include the president of the company getting their hands dirty too, that really goes a long way with people. It shows the human side of your company rather than just a brick-and-mortar building with people inside.

      I’m so glad to hear you liked the post, thanks so much for reading!

  3. Jeff Porretto says

    I know that I – a habitual cheapskate – I can almost feel my wallet trying to give up the goods whenever I see a company raising money for a cause I care about (especially puppies. THAT’S my kryptonite). I’ll go out of my way to buy something i even just marginally need/ want if it’s for a good cause. So I’m glad you’re dolling out some good advice to make it happen even more here!

    Thanks Amy!

    • amy swanson says

      I’m the same way, Jeff! Tide always gets me to buy the larger size laundry detergent because of their ‘loads for hope’ campaign. I took this directly from their website, “The Tide Loads of Hope program provides relief by means of a mobile laundromat. One truck and a fleet of vans house over 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day. We wash, dry and fold the clothes for these families for free.” When you buy a specifically marked bottle then proceeds go and help this wonderful cause. It’s one that’s always been dear to my heart, so I try to help out whenever possible.

      Small companies can use this same tactic as well; for every product ‘X’ that’s purchased, they’ll donate money to cause ‘Y’. New customers will be flooding the doors to help out. I’m really hoping this type of marketing catches on, literally everyone wins!

  4. John says

    The main thing about PC to phone calls is that it can be made anytime. Now-a-days people use smart phones, which has internet, thus people can make a call anytime and talk to their loved ones.

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