As any provider of nonprofit audit services will tell you, it is ideal to have a diversity of funding sources. When your nonprofit can rely on multiple types of funding, your more likely to avoid budget shortfalls and better positioned to expand your services as you need. Cause marketing is an innovative way to develop a new funding source that can benefit both your organization and the business you partner with.
A mutually beneficial partnership
Cause marketing can take many forms, but in general, it refers to a short or long term partnership with a business that generates visibility and money for your nonprofit. As you explore this approach, consider the multiple benefits of an effective cause marketing campaign.
For your organization:
By joining your resources and network with those of a business, your nonprofit will have the opportunity to expand its reach to a wider audience. This greater visibility can create a platform to educate more people about your cause and inform your community about the services you provide. Not only can this help more people who need your services to learn how to access them, but it can also help your volunteer and donor pools to grow. Additionally, the business you partner with likely has a robust network of vendors, employees, and other stakeholders that may generate further opportunities for private-sector and community investment in your nonprofit.
When you determine an ideal business to partner with in cause marketing, it is important to pitch the potential benefits for them. Unlike with tax-deductible donations or charitable giving programs, cause marketing benefits businesses by publicly aligning it with a worthy cause. This can generate goodwill for their brand, elevate their public image, attract customers who also value your cause, and strengthen customers’ loyalty to their business. Cause marketing is a win-win.
The types of campaigns and partnerships
Shape your cause marketing campaign structure based on your nonprofit and the business you work with. Here are three common types:
- Transactional giving (For example, a percentage of customer purchases are donated.)
- Message promotion (For example, the business uses its resources to promote a cause-focused message.)
- Licensing agreements (For example, the business pays your nonprofit to use your name and brand on products.)
Finding the right partners
Because cause marketing puts your nonprofit and its cause together with a business and its brand, it’s important to choose your partner wisely. Be sure to research potential businesses thoroughly and evaluate which forms of cause marketing will be the best fit. It is also important to bring in outside professionals – like attorneys, CPAs, California nonprofit audit providers – to review any contracts and to ensure the impending funding is correctly documented and optimally utilized.
Ernst Wintter & Associates LLP specialize in California nonprofit audit and tax preparation services. Contact us today for help with your non-profit audit or tax prep needs.