Purchased-Triggered Donation Cause Marketing Programs - dummies

Purchased-Triggered Donation Cause Marketing Programs

By Joe Waters, Joanna MacDonald

The concept behind purchased or action-triggered donation cause marketing programs (PTD) is a simple one. The consumer buys a product or service or performs some action, and a donation is made to a cause. But who’s making the actual donation. Sometimes it’s the company; other times it’s the consumer through the company.

When the company makes the donation

In action-triggered donation programs (ATD), the company makes a monetary — it can also be in-kind — donation to a cause in exchange for the consumer performing a specific action.

Here are three examples:

  • In Yoplait yogurt’s long-running “Save Lids to Save Lives” campaign consumers mail in pink lids, and Yoplait donates 10 cents for each lid to Komen for the Cure. Action: Mail in the lids. Triggers: Ten cents for each lid goes to Komen.

  • Cybex, a leading exercise equipment manufacturer, teamed up with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and offered participating athletic clubs a turnkey cause marketing program: Cybex would donate 10 cents for every mile logged on one of its customized pink treadmills. Action: Log a mile on a special pink treadmill. Triggers: Ten cents for each mile logged goes to BCRF.

  • Macy’s encouraged shoppers to support the Make-a-Wish Foundation by dropping letters to Santa into special letter boxes at Macy’s stores. The department store promised to donate $1 for each letter received to the cause. Action: Mail your letter to Santa at Macy’s. Triggers: One dollar for each letter goes to MAW.

When the consumer makes the donation

With purchased-triggered donations (PTD), a cause receives a donation when the consumer purchases a product or service. To be clear, the company is still the one making the offer, handling the money, sending the charity the check, and reaping the tax benefits. But it’s the consumer that triggers the donation through his or her purchase.

Here are a few examples:

  • When diners visit Chili’s Bar & Grill on a designated day, 100 percent of the profits from participating restaurants go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

  • On World AIDS Day, Starbucks donated 5 cents for every hand-crafted beverage sold at participating stores in the United States and Canada to Product (RED).

  • On National Pancake Day, IHOP gave away free short stacks of buttermilk pancakes and asked customers to donate what they would have paid to their local Children’s Miracle Network hospital.