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Cause Related Marketing (CRM) is so much more than a good marketing opportunity – it’s a highly effective way to grow your business!

64% of people (increasing to 76% for Gen Y) expect brands to support a social cause, especially when it makes sense for their business & is aligned to their values.*

What is CRM? It’s a mutually beneficial collaboration between a commercial business and a non-for-profit or for-purpose organisation. Done well, Cause Related Marketing will:
  • Bring your business and brand values to life
  • Build positive associations
  • Give back to the community
  • Drive brand awareness
  • Showcase your products or services
  • Improve employee engagement and staff retention
  • Help create a sense of shared purpose
With dozens of different options from sports to charities, environmental causes to social causes and health issues, it’s crucial to identify a cause which fits with your strategy, is aligned to your business values and holds meaning for you customers. Always start by being clear on what you want to be known for, the more focused the better!
Once you’ve identified your ideal for-purpose space or partner, there are a number of potential approaches you can take:
  1. Accreditation: Seeking accreditation from an established, credible for-purpose organisation or industry body is a great way to signal your values & give clients confidence in your business. This enables you to make a genuine contribution to cause/s you feel strongly about and can be a great first step.
  2. Partnerships or Sponsorships: Rather than just adding your logo to their event signage, consider how you can invest to help your for-purpose partner meet their objectives and establish a partnership that’s designed to grow over time. Consider the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter, or the Witchery Ovarian Cancer campaign.
  3. Volunteer/Community Engagement. A great way to raise your profile within the community while doing good is to volunteer. This can be a one off, or as a regular planned individual or team building activity. Consider combining volunteering with donations, sponsoring their events, funding additional training or infrastructure and offering your business’ expertise to help them grow their organisation.
  4. Policies: Incorporating your values into your business policies and internal operating framework not only sets expectations for your team and clients but also demonstrates a commitment to areas of focus. These policies outline your values, guidelines and any additional support such as leave entitlements. For example in addition to sponsoring a white ribbon lunch, you could offer a free day of leave for staff to volunteer at a local women’s shelter; donate used office equipment; encourage pre-tax workplace donations; provide a professional training program for survivors of domestic violence; and update your leave policy to support those who are finding their way out of a domestic violence situation.
Our top tip? Consider how you can really integrate your partner cause through everything you do and amplify it! It can be as simple as testimonials, pics & videos in market, signage and content on your website, and social media channels.

When you start with identifying the best strategic fit, Cause Related Marketing will work for your business and adds value to the for-purpose organisation beyond a one-off cash injection. Think long-term as you put your agreements in place, plan to invest in amplifying your partnership (including factoring in staff time, media and advertising budget) and bring your CRM initiatives to life through every aspect of your business. It’s a win-win!

Want some help? With extensive experience from sponsoring local sporting teams to implementing major charity partnerships to creating national advertising campaigns, charity events and major sponsorships, we’ll help develop a tailored CRM plan that will grow your business. Contact [email protected] today!


*Sources: Sprout Social, YPulse