While many companies and residents look for ways to help others during the holidays, a new approach to advertising known as “Cause Marketing” has some businesses working year-round to raise funds or awareness for social issues.
As Loaves & Fishes grows, they’re looking for ways to increase their income. Right now 5% of their yearly revenue comes from cause marketing, and staff say they know doing more of that can help the food pantry.
“It’s one way of us getting out to the community in front of new audiences that we might not have been in front of before,” said Vicki Verboom, Director of Development at Loaves & Fishes.
Many companies donate to Loaves & Fishes but that’s not cause marketing, it’s philanthropy. James Epstein-Reeves is the founder and president of Do Well Do Good, LLC, a company that studies cause marketing. He says it’s supposed to engage people for a social issue that drives a result.
“Cause marketing is a great way to gain customers and raise awareness about your brand,” he said. “It’s a great way for not-for-profits to expand their network and get more people involved in the mission of their organization.”
Loaves & Fishes has partnered with Anderson’s Bookshop in the past to sell a cookbook. It drives customers into the store, and the funds from the book go to Loaves & Fishes.
“We may not necessarily be on that consumer’s mailing list at home or their charity list they give to annually but we can introduce the charity or the cause to something they’re doing every day,” said Verboom.
Another tip is to stay true to your organization’s mission. One of the core values of Whole Foods Market is to care about the community. That’s why when the store here in Naperville is looking to partner, they always choose a local not-for-profit.
“We like to make sure that the money stays in the community,” said
Deb Kwiatt, Marketing Director at Whole Foods Market. “We really believe in choosing organizations where the money will make a difference.”
To achieve these goals, Whole Foods hosts one day every three months where a chosen not-for-profit in the area receives 5% of the profits. They also have one dime at a time days, where ten cents goes to a charity. Both of these days drive customers to stores.
“Of course there is a spike on those days,” said Kwiatt. “The more sales that we have that day, the more money they get.”
And by working together, the relationship for both Whole Foods and the not-for-profit of the day is mutually beneficial.
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