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Cause Marketing Success Factors: Realistic Expectations

No nonprofit or business lives by cause marketing alone. Causes raise money in a variety of ways, including grants, direct mail, major gifts, and through cause marketing. The mix is different for every cause. Some professionals have had causes increase their revenues 5 to 15 percent using cause marketing.

So if you’re a $2 million organization, it’s possible to raise $100,000 to $200,000 more from cause marketing. You may raise more or less money, but if you expect to raise an additional $2 million from cause marketing, you’re not being realistic.

Even cause marketing powerhouses, such as Komen for the Cure, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network, and Muscular Dystrophy Association, raise relatively small amounts from cause marketing compared to other, more lucrative fundraisers.

Companies need to be realistic on how much cause marketing can impact their bottom line. Plenty of studies show that cause marketing is an important and legitimate part of the marketing mix for businesses. But it’s only one piece of the puzzle, and it doesn’t replace a comprehensive marketing strategy.

A company relying on cause marketing as its only marketing tool is being as unrealistic as a cause that expects it to double its revenues with it.

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