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Setting Up a Simple Percentage-of-Sales Program

One of the easiest and most economical cause marketing programs you can execute is a percentage-of-sale program. Simply stated, a business, usually a retailer, chooses a service or product from which a certain percentage benefits your cause.

For example, say your nonprofit has a partnership with a local chain of three candle shops. You ask them first to do pinups to support your organization, but they balk saying they don’t feel comfortable asking customers for money at the register. Plan B: How about a percentage-of-sales program?

Since Valentine’s Day is just a couple weeks away, you choose a special lover’s candle the business owner is sure will be a big seller. She agrees to give you 50 cents from the sale of each candle sold at her three stores.

The store owner sets up a special display for the promotion and signage at the register to let shoppers know they can celebrate their love while supporting a great cause by buying the candle. Keep in mind that cause products with a percentage-of-sale feature need more promotion — like signage — than a pinup that gets plenty of promotion from the cashier asking customers to donate.

Your cause helps spread the word by promoting the candle store and special cause marketing promotion to your internal supporters and stakeholders, helping to drive additional traffic to the stores.

At the end of the promotion, which could wrap up a couple days after Valentine’s Day, the owner tells you how many candles she sold, multiplies that number by $.50, and cuts you a check!

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