Cause marketing is defined by Wikipedia as “a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a for profit business and a nonprofit organization.” Further, “cause marketing differs from corporate giving as the latter generally involves a specific donation that is tax deductible, while the cause marketing is a marketing relationship not necessarily based on a donation.” In this article we will show that while cause marketing might be beneficial to the corporate partner it is actually detrimental to both the nonprofit organization as well as the individual donor.
The tangible benefits for corporate cause marketing participants are clear. According to a Bob Gilbreath, chief marketing strategist at Bridge Worldwide, in a speech in 2010:
- 71% of consumers are giving as much or more now as they were before the economic downturn.
- 87% of consumers would switch brands based on association with a good cause.
- 50% of consumers would pay more for products from brands that support causes.
Companies might look to engage in a cause marketing campaign to attract consumers and to encourage the customers to spend more money on their products. But, that is only half the story.
The nonprofit organization, as well as the individual, is actually harmed by the cause marketing relationship. Let’s look at the nonprofit first. In a scientific study entitled “Can Supporting a Cause Decrease Donations and Happiness?” “The Cause Marketing Paradox” by Aradhna Krishna, the Dwight F. Benton Professor of Marketing at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, she concludes that “cause marketing, whereby firms link products with a cause share proceeds with it, reduces charitable giving by consumers, even when it is costless to the consumer to buy on CM (versus not); further, instead of increasing total contribution to the cause, it can decrease it.” A consumer is likely to believe that when they purchase a Cause Marketing product they are fulfilling their charitable quota and are therefore less likely to make future donations. The more that the individual spends on a cause marketing item the less they will donate to a nonprofit in the future.
Dating back thousands of years it has been known, and now scientifically proven, that charitable giving has a significantly positive effect on the donor, making them happy. However, Professor Krisha concludes that, “consumers appear to realize that participating in cause marketing is inherently more selfish than direct charitable donation, and are less happy if they substitute cause marketing for charitable giving. Our results suggest that egoistic and empathetic altruism may have different effects on happiness.” Put simply, since the individual in not giving time or money directly to the nonprofit, emotionally they will not reap the reward.
Therefore, individuals who are seeking a method whereby they can support a specific cause that has meaning in their life should visit the www.1purpose.com website. Therein, they will find a program that meets their giving objectives while combining with the attainment of personal goals.
The 1purpose.com website was designed to motivate its participants to live an inspired life. It is our belief that a person can achieve any dream or goal by insuring that their daily actions are consistent with their core beliefs. The individual is assured of success because positive life changes are in harmony with their value system and motivated by their desire to aid their favorite charity or nonprofit through a charitable giving program. As the individual encounters daily success they begin to realize that they are in control of their life, able to make proactive and positive decisions, and gain self-confidence.