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Cause-Related Marketing to Your List

I was in California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) the other day and spied this handcard as the waiter presented me with the bill.

The offer is straightforward. Have a party at CPK and they’ll kick back 20 percent of the total sales to your charity. CPK will even help you maximize attendance at the event by putting together a promotional flyer for your use.

It goes without saying that CPK didn’t invent this fundraising approach. You can find this same kind of promotion from many other restaurants, entertainment venues, and retailers.

In effect, this is one way of marketing… cause-related style… to your member list.

But what if you don’t have a CPK near you or if the restaurant doesn’t suit the people on your list?

Well then, simply approach an establishment that would be a better fit and propose that they match (or beat!) CPK’s offer. Not every business has CPK’s margins, so be prepared to negotiate the donation amount. Larger groups likely have more leverage than smaller ones.

And don’t limit your thinking to just restaurants. There’s no reason this promotion couldn’t be tried at a bookstore, an office supply store, or a bakery for that matter. Success hinges on the appeal of your cause, your capacity for mobilizing your membership, and the quality of the offer.
Sponsors could take this promotion to the next level by putting a little more elbow grease into it. CPK, for instance, could hold an annual charity night and reserve the restaurant for multiple causes.

Better still, they could market the night to their list, too. That would be as original as their famed barbecue chicken pizza, first introduced back in 1985.

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