What is Cause Marketing?

by | Sep 25, 2018 | Uncategorized

In this extraordinary era of transparency and social responsibility, consumers now hold businesses to much higher standards. The explosion of social media and increasing levels of activism across all demographics means businesses must do more to serve their communities, and help those in need.

In this evolving landscape of consumer expectations, businesses need to do more than just compete on price. They need to be a force for good and to drive positive social and environmental change.

In a 2018 Study, more than three-quarters (78%) of Americans believe it is no longer acceptable for companies to just make money, they expect companies to positively impact society as well. Nearly nine-in-10 (88%) of Americans say they would buy products from a company leading with purpose. Eighty-five percent of Americans say they would be likely to support a Purpose-driven company in their community while more than two-thirds (68%) say they would want to work for that company.

Cause Marketing can provide businesses with an opportunity to live up to consumer expectations while also improving their community and the world.


According to Wikipedia: “Cause Marketing is defined as a type of corporate social responsibility, in which a company’s promotional campaign has the dual purpose of increasing profitability while bettering society.”

One type of cause marketing that I’m sure you’ve witnessed first-hand, is known as ‘Point-of-Sale-Donation.’ If you’ve ever gotten to the register and been asked if you would like to add a dollar to your purchase to support a particular cause, then you’ve experienced a form of cause marketing.


  • Increased Sales
  • Differentiate Your Brand
  • Raises Awareness of Company/Product/Service
  • Helps to Connect with Consumers
  • Opportunity for Strategic Partnerships
  • Employee Retention
  • Attracts Talented Employees
  • Strengthens Your Community
  • Expand Your Network
  • Humanize Your Brand

Not sure how to implement cause marketing in your business? Depending on your industry or type of business, cause marketing comes in a number of different forms. However, there are a few things to consider in order to increase the likelihood of success in your cause marketing endeavor.



There is no shortage of organizations to support, but do your due diligence to make an informed decision. You should choose causes that are important to you and your employees. Having your staff fully on-board with the causes you’re supporting will encourage them to share your company’s story. This can help raise awareness about your commitment to having a positive social impact.


Every charitable organization requires funding and donations in order to operate and do the important work they do. Often times these organizations are run by leaders from the community. Contributing to causes and organizations within your community is a great way to establish connections and foster relationships with influential people. These connections provide a great access point to get more involved with the organizations. This can help a great deal in exposing your business to new potential customers and associating your business with worthy causes and reputable organizations.


There is no shortage of organizations to support, but do your due diligence to make an informed decision. You should choose causes that are important to you and your employees. Having your staff fully on-board with the causes you’re supporting will encourage them to share your company’s story. This can help raise awareness about your commitment to having a positive social impact.



Through their “Round Up & Donate” program they’ve raised over $8 Million.

Announced on May 1, 2017 Lyft announced its “Round Up & Donate” program allows riders to “opt-in” to have their fare rounded up to the nearest dollar, then donating the difference to a charitable cause. Individually the donations wouldn’t have much of an impact, but taken in aggregate their millions of riders’ collective impact is significant. This program contributes to a number of causes; from supporting veterans to fighting homelessness. Since implementing this program Lyft passengers have raised over $8 million for causes across the country.

Warby Parker

Through their “Buy A Pair, Give A Pair” program, they’ve distributed over 4 Million Pairs of Glasses.

2.5 billion people around the world need glasses but don’t have access to them; of these, 624 million cannot effectively learn or work due to the severity of their visual impairment. To address this problem, they work with a handful of partners worldwide to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.

To accomplish this, they employ two models:

1) Empowering adult men and women with training opportunities to administer basic eye exams and sell glasses for ultra-affordable prices.

2) Directly giving vision care and glasses to school-age children in their classrooms, where teachers are often the first to spot issues.

Alleviating the problem of impaired vision is at the heart of what they do, and their impact continues to expand. From Mexico to Zimbabwe, Bangladesh to Sri Lanka, their impact has reached over 50 countries across the globe.


Through their “100% for the Planet” & “1% for the Planet” programs they’ve donated over $74 Million.

As a producer of outdoor gear, it makes sense that Patagonia would be interested in preserving the environment. Far more than just an interest, Patagonia makes defending the world’s climate, air, water and soil a core operating principle. Since 1985, they’ve pledged 1% of their sales to non-profit environmental groups as a member of 1% for the planet. That’s added up to $74 million in cash donations given directly to thousands of organizations working in local communities around the world.

They took it to another level on Black Friday in 2016, when they donated 100% of sales to grassroots organizations working to create positive change for the planet in their own backyards. “We’re determined to use every means at our disposal to defend our world’s climate, air, water and soil. In these divisive times, protecting what we all hold in common is more important than ever before.”


This popular fundraising strategy has raised over $300 Million.

Now entering its seventh year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inception in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year along with a growing catalog of resources.


Kevin Sullivan

Kevin Sullivan

Marketing/Social Media Management

Kevin is an SEO & Digital Marketing Expert, and he recently moved from Boston to Phoenix, Arizona. While he still helps WAITT with updates to the website, his focus is on growing his own business, Cre8tive Digital Media LLC, an Arizona SEO & Digital Marketing Agency.

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