Don't Expect Too Much of Your Cause Marketing Partner

The operating definition of cause marketing is a partnership between a for-profit and a nonprofit for mutual benefit. The dictionary definition of what a partnership is: the association of two or more persons who cooperate for profit. That’s why partnership is included in the definition of cause marketering. It’s also no coincidence that the words “mutual benefit” have been included.

But one of the quickest ways to ruin a cause marketing pact is for one partner to overburden the other or to not set clear expectations.

Sometimes the company makes too many demands for unnecessary material to promote the program or for incentives for employees. Causes overburden companies when they expect the business to do everything, except pick up the check when it’s ready.

Cause marketing programs require equal effort from partners. A company supporting a cause, minus an engaged cause partner, isn’t cause marketing; it’s philanthropy. A cause promoting a company, minus an engaged company partner that isn’t involving its company isn’t cause marketing; it’s sponsorship.

A work-work, win-win partnership between a nonprofit and a for-profit for mutual profit is cause marketing.

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