What's Your Cause Marketing Schema?

One of the defining characteristics of many of the very best cause marketers is that they have a basic cause marketing schema that can be modified and used again and again in multiple contexts.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, for instance, does walks and runs very well. They’re very good at branded products, too.

Proctor & Gamble’s ‘Buy One, Give One’ approach to cause marketing is well-honed across that behemoth company’s many divisions.

St. Jude’s radiothon... Country Cares for Kids... is terrific example of that fundraising approach. In addition, St. Jude is exceptional at all the back-office elements of cause marketing campaigns, much the way that Wal-Mart excels at logistics.

Children’s Miracle Network raises tens of millions a year using their Miracle Balloon paper icon, which they can customize for almost any retail setting.

Such schema’s form the backbone of the cause marketing efforts for those entities.

For charities the power of having a basic cause marketing schema is that the charity can easily demonstrate to prospective sponsors that if they do X, the campaign will almost certainly succeed. Moreover, the very best cause marketers have driven all the costs out of their basic schema.

I can all but guarantee you that Komen can do a walk/run more cheaply and effectively than any other charity. I know for a fact that CMN pays much less than a penny a piece for their paper icons while less experienced charities struggle to get their per-icon costs to under a nickel a piece.

The ad at the left from the membership magazine of the AAA of Northern California shows me that the Arbor Day Foundation has a basic schema, too.

I’ve seen variations of this same schema from the Arbor Day Foundation. For instance they did a similar campaign with T-Mobile.

So what’s your basic cause marketing schema?

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