Does Cause Marketing Really Depress Giving?
I suspect I'm not alone. While cause marketing may depress giving for some donors, I'm sure it also encourages others to make further donations and get the thinking about philanthropy. I know that at times, I've been guilty of donating that extra dollar or knowing that part of my purchase was going to a cause and being content with that, never contributing anything else to those causes. But other times, like on Sunday, that cause marketing promotion pushed me toward exploring the campaign further and ultimately donating even more.
When it was all said it done, it came down to relevance, the core of every fundraising campaign. Donors will donate their time and/or money to causes that resonate with them. Some will resonate more than others. I suspect that it isn't necessarily cause marketing that depresses giving, per se, but cause marketing that doesn't resonate with those donors.
No two donors are the same. No two nonprofits are the same. And no two cause marketing campaigns are the same. The report very well may represent more people and more campaigns than I suspect, but I'm not sure that it should scare fundraisers away from exploring cause marketing relationships. Because when done right, it can help raise significant amounts of dollars for your cause and help critical programs do good.
What do you think? Am I way off on this? Does your organization avoid cause marketing? Has your organization had success with cause marketing? Should I be staying as far away from fast food as possible? Please let me know!