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Identifying the Right Cause for Your Company

Some of the things that apply to a nonprofit finding a good company are also applicable to a company finding a good cause with which to partner:

  • Choose a cause with a good reputation.

  • Identify a cause that has a natural connection with the product or mission of your company (for example, a bedding company that works with local shelters to give mattresses to clients moving into new apartments).

  • Determine whether the cause’s donors fit the demographic of your company’s customers and prospects.

However, businesses should also use its own criteria when choosing a cause. Here are some examples of what you and your business should look for:

  • A cause that gets cause marketing: Just as it’s difficult to work with a business that’s never worked with a cause, the opposite is true, too. That’s why a cause should have a grasp of public relations, and some experience with the marketing of causes, corporate philanthropy, and sponsorship also helps.

    Couple these qualities with lots of enthusiasm and creativity, and your cause marketing campaign is positioned for success. If your partner needs brushing up on cause marketing, you can lend them this book!

  • A cause that understands technology and social media: If you discover anything from this book, it will be that the mobile web and social media will play a key role in the future of cause marketing. Fortunately, many nonprofits have been avid first adopters of social media. Still, many smaller nonprofits are just getting started with social media.

    To make the most of the advice in this book and to increase the chances of success for your cause marketing program, you should ideally partner with a nonprofit that is comfortable with technology and social media.

  • A cause that isn’t cause-centric: It is strange how causes are all about helping others, but all they can do is talk about themselves. A clear sign that a cause isn’t a good partner is when they show little or no interest in your business or in helping you.

    They’ll happily share every detail of their cause and pick up a check when you have one for them, but they don’t view your partnership . . . well, as a partnership! If you find a nonprofit that acts this way, do yourself a favor and look elsewhere.

  • A cause that has some assets: Given the choice between two causes that you admire equally, choose the one that already works with partners and has several established, well-attended annual events and a social media presence. Assets are like money in a marriage: You always wish you had some when the honeymoon is over.

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