Skip to main content

Innovative Cause Marketing 'Inventory'

Selling cause marketing sponsorships… like selling radio or television airtime… means selling the intangible. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have inventory. Races have space on t-shirts and signs, telethons and radiothons have airtime, packaged goods products have packaging.

Keep brainstorming and other cause marketing inventory will become plain.

I advised a friend, a New York Times best-selling author with his own charity, to auction off the rights to name a character in one of his upcoming books. Shortly before I left Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals I was working on adding a kind of behind-the-scenes tour to my sponsors who achieved certain fundraising levels; never underestimate the degree to which people love to pull back the curtain on how “Oz” manages his acts of magic.

A really fun kind of alternate cause marketing inventory came across my desk recently.

In Raleigh, North Carolina Terramor Homes does a BBQ in support of the Duke Children’s Hospital Radiothon. The BBQ includes games, prizes, giveaways and a dunk tank. For an extra $5 to $20 at the BBQ you can sign one of the studs that will go into the ‘Miracle Home’ that Terramor and its partners is building and will sell to benefit Duke Children’s Hospital.

The local builder has made a $120,000 pledge to Duke Children’s Hospital and the ‘Sign a Stud’ promotion will help Terramor meet its promise. Unlike those hoary old name-a-brick fundraisers that have been a part of capital campaigns since time immemorial, the signed studs will almost certainly never be seen by the people who buy the home.

That said, signing the structural steel that goes into buildings has a long history in America. Honoring that tradition, President Obama and others recently signed the last pieces of steel going into the One World Trade Center Building on the site of the former Twin Towers. During WWII American workmen and women signed the airplanes and tanks they made. Doing so was a matter of pride.

In other words, this "inventory" has long existed. But, to my knowledge, no one had ever sold it as a part of a cause marketing sponsorship til now.   


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…