Cause Marketing for Dummies by Joe Waters and Joanna MacDonald

Cause Marketing for Dummies by Joe Waters and Joanna MacDonald

I’ll be honest, before I picked up this book my interest in Cause marketing was pretty much zero. But this book got me excited, thinking about possibilities for some organizations I’m currently doing work for.

I just received this book in the mail last week, and so far, I love it! I have gotten so much out of this book. You can see me here with the cat, who promptly started licking the book when i put it down. I guess that makes two of us who like it!

But good things need to be shared.

If you leave a comment below, I will enter your name in the drawing to win this book.

Here’s why I love this book.

Clear Definitions
Joe puts the difference between Sponsorship, Cause Marketing and Philanthropy as a difference of involvement.
At one end of the spectrum, Sponsorship, nonprofits do all the work and the corporation just shows up.
With Cause marketing, nonprofits and corporations do roughly equal amounts of work.
And with Philanthropy, the corporation does all of the work, and the nonprofit shows up to collect the check.

Three kinds of decision makers
One of my favorite parts is on page 100-102, where Joe shows you the kinds of people you are going to need to deal with as you convince corporations that it’s a good idea to enter a cause marketing partnership with you. The three kinds of people he has dealt with are Thinkers, Feelers, and Deferrers.

Thinkers want a low or no risk model, something where they don’t have to put in a lot of up-front cash.

Feelers will respond to a heartfelt story, but don’t over-do it. They also want to get hope, joy and compassion by being involved with you. They don’t want fear in the story.

Deferrers will wait and see if they want to get involved with you if you have a string of successes before this one. So if you have a celebrity on board, that will be an instant green light for deferrers. Or if you’re vetted by a local elected official, that will lend your proposal some clout as well.

Joe put in this equation that I loved, for Thinkers: Value + Free – Risk = Great Opportunity

You could apply this to sales in general, not just fundraising and not just cause marketing.

A focus on implementation
When you’re implementing your first cause marketing campaign, it can be daunting, and you might think, “How are we going to succeed with this?”

Well, you can start with Pinups. These are not barely dressed ladies from the 1940s, no, these are things that you can ask a local store to hand out and hang up for you. Around Valentine’s day, St. Patrick’s Day, or another holiday, you might see these all around your local starbucks or grocery store. If you’ve ever just seen a wall plastered with these, it can be impressive, and you might look closer to see what they are benefiting.

It doesn’t cost much to print these, and you can start with your local grocery store, asking if you could do a campaign for a couple of weeks to a month to get people engaged with your cause and make them look more like heroes too.

Joe says that people will give at the cash register if the cashier doesn’t just say, “Would you like to make a donation to MDA today?” no, the cashier needs to say something like, “Would you like to make a donation so a hungry family can eat tonight?”

But what if you’re an arts nonprofit? How can you make it compelling? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments.

In short, Cause Marketing for Dummies is a really smart book, and I hope whoever gets it really enjoys it and puts these theories into practice right away for their organization.