Can your favorite cause produce a good effect?
Kids have it down pat.
Think lemonade stand on a hot summer’s day and a group of thirsty people walking through the neighborhood. A few glasses of homemade lemonade with ice and the kids are on their way to raising money to buy a new bike, a game or a trip to Disneyland.
The ones that tug at your heart strings, though, are the lemonade stands with a cause, such as raising money for cancer research, a classmate in need, supporting a local animal shelter, or helping a family whose house burned down.
This is cause marketing at its basic level.
Cause-marketing on a business level is a bit different.
“It is a marketing partnership between a company and a non-profit organization that raises money for that non-profit while promoting the company’s product, service or performance,” said Jennifer Lutz, manager of annual giving for the Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation.
According to a 2015 Cone Communications Millenial CSR (corporate social responsibility) study, nine out of 10 Millenials would switch brands to go with a company that is associated with a cause.
“We’ve seen more interest as cause marketing has become more popular,” Lutz said. “It’s good for building relationships with our business community and their customers.”
Atlantic Subaru of Bourne, one of the partnerships that was developed over the past few months, presented a check to the Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation in April for $12,563. The foundation was the retailer’s “Hometown Charity” choice through Subaru’s “Share the Love” national campaign.
Customers who bought or leased a new Subaru between November 19, 2015 and January 2, 2016 designated their charity of choice from a list of non-profits and Subaru then donated $250 to the customer’s choice.
More than 50 customers chose Cape Cod Healthcare. Levon Semerjian, president of Atlantic Subaru said they urged customers to choose the foundation.
“The fact that they convinced that many people to contribute to the Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation, doesn’t happen by accident,” said Ken Scanzio, sales operation manager of Subaru of New England.
Cause marketing can also be tailored to fit the business.
Helen Addison, owner of Addison Art Gallery in Orleans, donated $350 from her Valentine’s Day Weekend, “Art for the Heart” reception to support Cape Cod Hospital.
“The hospital is an integral part of our community, worthy of our support,” said Addison. “While the event raised some funds, it also served to introduce our collectors to Cape Cod Hospital and the hospital introduced new people to the gallery.”
Businesses can earmark the money they raise for a specific department, equipment, site or technology.
Beth Odence and Robin Kampmann Gunderson of Design No. Five in Hyannis decided they wanted to do something for heart month in February. Odence has been a patient at Cape Cod Healthcare’s Heart and Vascular Institute and wanted to support it.
They chose a heart pillow, designed by Karen Crocker, a local artist.
“Crocker not only designed them but made them,” said Odence. “We literally took it to heart.”
They made their fundraising a community affair by inviting Elissa Thompson, MD, a cardiologist at Cape Cod Healthcare, to speak about heart health to a gathering at the design shop. “It was well received,” said Odence.
“We have the shop, it’s not only good for our business but we support the community and are a part of the community,” she added.
The shop donated $500, earmarked for the Heart and Vascular Institute, from the sale of their pillows.
There are many ways to do cause marketing including customer donations at the cash register for high volume retail businesses, or a donation box where businesses deal with cash purchases. Incentives to customers who donate could be coupons or incentives with other businesses. For example, the Cape Cod Healthcare blood mobile donors receive a coupon from Wendy’s.
Lutz encourages businesses to think outside the box. One local restaurant sold pink chowder in October to highlight breast cancer awareness month.
“A cause that is tied to the culture/mission of the business is key,” she said.
Representatives from the Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation meet with prospective businesses who are interested in doing cause marketing.
“The Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation staff was most professional, made the planning fun and supported the event with online, in-house and printed marketing efforts,” said Addison.
“By investing in the health of our community, such as supporting a new emergency center or clinical program, business owners positively impact the lives of their family, friends, employees, and patrons,” said Lutz.
Further information is available by contacting Lutz at 508-862-5640 or her email at: jgaskins@CapeCodHealth.org.
[Featured Photo L-R: Ken Scanzio, sales operations manager, Subaru of New England; Kevin Ralph, chief development officer for Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation and Levon Semerjian, president of Atlantic Subaru.]