Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fundraising: Cause Marketing 3

So in my quest to find out more about cause marketing, I've found a plethora of resources on a website called...big surprise here... This is an excellent resources for folks like me who want to find out more without having to wade through tons of MBA marketing jargon. I've found their best practices section particularly interesting. With articles such as "The Ten Commandments of Cause-Related Marketing", case studies and conversations with cause marketers on both the nonprofit and corporate sides of these partnerships, this site is a great resource.

As someone with little business or marketing background at all, poking around on this site was a fairly eye-opening experience. For instance in The Ten Commandments of Cause-Related Marketing the author, Kurt Aschermann, Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director of Corporate Opportunities Group at the Boys & Girls Club of America, emphasizes the mutual benefit of cause-marketing. He points out that, though there may be some money to be had through traditional philanthropic requests such as foundation grants and workplace giving campaigns, the real money in a corporation is in their sales and marketing departments. Thus, if a non-profit can make the case that a cause-based partnership is good for business and not just pure charity, a whole new world of resources opens up. For Aschermann, who has had incredible success securing over $100 million worth of resources from a wide variety of companies, cause-related marketing is a simple partnership. Successful partnerships occur when both sides understand what they have to bring to the table. Knowing the unique value of our brand as a nonprofit and our ability to execute and our ability to articulate this to the corporation is what makes partnering with us worthwhile to a corporation.

For us, we bring 30+ years of experience in the youth tutoring/mentoring community and our position as a convener of leaders of over 150 tutoring/mentoring programs around the city. Given our leadership role in the Chicagoland tutor/mentor community, and our organizational history, corporations looking to maximize their impact through a city-wide strategy would benefit from engaging with our organization rather than any individual standalone program. We also have tools such as our Interactive Tutor/Mentor Program Locator that make it easy for companies to visualize potential leadership strategies using GIS mapping and determine the most effective course of action. Our focus on providing easily accessible, useful and constantly updated online resources via our numerous websites, means that we have a much higher level of visibility than other programs as can be seen by our high levels of web traffic and the fact that our websites and blogs are among the first hits that come up when you google keywords such as "tutor", "mentor", "golf benefit" and many many more. Plus our reputation as an organization dedicated to building not only our own organization but ensuring that comprehensive youth programs like ours across the city have the resources they need means that we have the kind of reputation that corporations looking to improve their image would want to associate with. Finally, our particular cause, helping inner-city kids succeed, is one that needs little justfication or explanation to most people. The grand majority of people understand the need for programs like ours and perceive them as necessary and beneficial without further explanation. For all these reasons and more, it seems that Cabrini Connections, The Tutor/Mentor Connection would be the ideal partner for corporations looking to form cause-marketing partnerships. Now we just need to get on their radar. Any ideas?

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