Skip to main content

Matching Cause and Sponsor in Cause Marketing

Trey Watson owns a fruit tree nursery in East Texas called Legg Creek Farm and so naturally when he decided to do some cause marketing he choose congenital heart defects. During the week of Feb 7-14, 2013 Legg Creek donated 10 percent of gross sales to several congenital heart defects causes.

Wait a minute, you say, a fruit tree nursery and congenital heart defects? How does that track?

In general, research shows that customers prefer to be able to easily understand the relationship between the cause and the sponsor. But certainly that isn’t always the case.

Target, the big retailer, doesn’t have an obvious connection to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Kohl’s doesn’t sell only to children, so why is their cause called Kohl’s Cares for Kids?

IKEA is an international retailer, but that only addresses half the reason for their support of the UNHCR, the United Nation’s relief agency.

All these retailers can break the usual rule because either they support what I call the “universal cause,” or children. Or, because the cause they support has a great deal of affinity among customers.   

But none of that answers the case of Legg Creek Farm’s support for congenital heart defects causes including, the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Association and The Children's Heart Foundation.

But the second paragraph of the press release I saw does: “My daughter was born with a congenital heart defect,” Watson said. “She's three months old and she's had one heart surgery so far. She'll need two other surgeries before she's three years old.”

As long as Legg Creek does this or other cause marketing promotions, there will need to be a paragraph of explanation like that. But people will understand the connection between a nursery and two congenital heart defect charities.

And I’ll bet Legg Creek Farm’s cause marketing bears fruit.


Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.

Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Five Steps To Nurture a 30-Year Cause Marketing Relationship

Last Monday, July 22, 2013, March of Dimes released the annual results of its campaign with Kmart... now in its thirtieth year... and thereby begged the question, what does it takes to have a multi-decade cause marketing relationship between a cause and a sponsor?

In the most recent year, Kmart,the discount retailer, donated $7.4 million to the March of Dimes, bringing the 30-year total to nearly $114 million. March of Dimes works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Too many cause marketing relationships, in my estimation, resemble speed-dating more than long-term marriage. There can be good reasons for short-term cause marketing relationships. But most causes and sponsors benefit more from long-term marriages than short-term hookups, the main benefit being continuity. Cause marketing trades on the trust that people, usually consumers, put in the cause and the sponsor. The longer the relationship lasts the more trust is evidenced.

There's also a sponsor finding cost that…