Have Some Heart with Cause- Related Marketing

It’s Heart Month and Valentine’s Day so I thought I’d use this opportunity to talk about giving back through cause-related marketing. During tax season, our sister company Peoples Tax hosts a backpack drive for a local charity called Connor’s Heroes.

Connor’s Heroes is a non-profit that gives support and companionship to children in cancer treatment and their families. They help each family identify needs and then respond quickly and appropriately by engaging community volunteers in personal support services.

Every year, we put out a bin and a list of suggested supplies for children Connor’s Heroes supports. We also offer our tax services for free to parents who are supported by the organization. It’s a great way to promote the work Connor’s Heroes does, it helps children who are undergoing cancer treatment, and it brings people to our office!

How Cause-Related Marketing Works

Cause-Related marketing is a mutually beneficial collaboration between a business and nonprofit for the purpose of promoting both parties. It’s usually tied to a specific campaign designed to drive donations and awareness around the non-profit.

Some examples of campaigns are:

  • Matching donations.
  • Offering an incentive for a donation (like a percentage off or exclusive swag.
  • Donating a portion of your proceeds to the charity (for example 5% of your fee).
  • Offering your services for free to people supported by the organization you choose.
  • Your team spends a day giving back to the organization in some way.

The Benefits

By running a cause-related marketing campaign, you are not only giving back to another organization but spreading awareness and showing your community and employees that you care. Here are some of the many benefits to running a cause-related campaign.

  • Employee engagement (employees feel good about their work when they know they are benefitting others).
  • Your company gives back and helps another organization and the people it serves.
  • It boosts your reputation.
  • It could lead to great PR.
  • It helps distinguish you from the competition.
  • People are more likely to engage with you online through a cause-related marketing campaign (by sharing your posts, participating in your campaign, etc.)
  • It increases sales by incentivizing people to do business with you.
  • It increases the reach and funds of the non-profits.

Things to Avoid

Any cause-related marketing you do needs to be both genuine and beneficial to the organization you are using in your campaign. People see right through publicity stunts and poorly planned campaigns. Not being intentional and thoughtful about your campaign could lead to a lot of negativity around your company. Here are some things to avoid when planning your campaign.

  • Don’t exploit the people you’re helping. Be sure to ask permission with regards to information and photography.
  • Make sure the relationship is mutually beneficial.
  • Honor your commitments and offers. When all is said and done, track your campaign and keep your promises.
  • Discuss any design ideas and copy with the organization to make sure you are presenting them properly and using authorized imagery that will resonate with the intended audience.

Cause-Related marketing is an excellent way to help your community while marketing your own business and services. Tax pros should consider this powerful form of marketing this tax season and beyond!