Nonprofit Cause Marketers, Aspire to This

Einstein supposedly said that compound interest was the eight wonder of the world, or the gateway to the fifth dimension, or the sixth sense, or the seventh law of thermodynamics, or something like that. I say supposedly because is dubious.

Regardless, for causes the goal cause marketers ought to aspire to is the point at which you earn income even on nights and weekends.

That’s what’s happening in this effort from Nestle benefiting the Girl Scouts of the USA. This is almost certainly some sort of licensing agreement whereby Nestle pays the GSUSA a fee to use their logo on the package. The Girl Scouts sell several flavors of cookies that are, like this particular Nestle Crunch bar, peanut-flavored.

If you’re on the receiving end of a licensing fee, it can seem like a windfall. The GSUSA doesn’t have to line up manufactures to make the candy. Individual Scouts don’t have to sell them. The nonprofit has no distribution hassles. It may not even bother issuing a press release. After the marketers and lawyers have been through the licensing agreement, all the GSUSA has to do is deposit checks. It’s sweeter than a box of Samoas.

In short, the GSUSA is bringing in income with very little investment of time or treasure.

So for your cause, licensing fees ought to be goal.

But the GSUSA didn’t just waltz into Nestle headquarters and demand a deal.

In fact, the Girl Scouts have been selling cookies for 95 years, about 200 million boxes a year now at an average price of $3.50 per.

In short, Girl Scout cookies have a lot of brand equity. That doesn’t mean your cause has to wait 95 years to achieve a lucrative licensing arrangement. But it does mean that if licensing income is something your cause aspires to that you need to think hard about how to build the kind of brand equity requisite to eventually getting a deal like this.

Like Stephen R. Covey (RIP) famously said, “begin with the end in mind.”

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