Cause Marketing encompasses a wide variety of commercial activity that aligns a company or brand with a cause to generate business and societal benefits.


Good morning, world! Today marks the first official launch of The CM Paradigm, a place where we can all come together and celebrate Cause Marketing campaigns in any industry and throughout the world. In order to begin, for those of you that do not know, the Cause Marketing Forum defines Cause Marketing as:

Cause Marketing encompasses a wide variety of commercial activity that aligns a company or brand with a cause to generate business and societal benefits. The best way to describe it is in one simple sentence:

“Doing well, by doing good.”
-Benjamin Franklin

Basically, Cause Marketing is when a company partners up with a non-profit or a cause in order to provide them with a monetary donation in exchange for positive brand image and recognition through their involvement in the cause. For my friends who are not involved in marketing, I’ve explained this as a company who borrows the positive association from a non-profit in order to encourage customers to choose their company product or service. Or better yet, let’s give an example:

Imagine you’re in a store, two products on the shelf, both equal in price and quality, but one has the logo of a non-profit on it. The label explains that a part of the proceeds of that item go to that non-profit. Which do you choose? If you’re anything like my family, you’ll pick the item with the cause ribbon on it.

That would explain the multitude of pink appliances we’ve all seen, and we can thank Cause Marketing for the limited edition (red) products too! I bet that if you thought for a second, you could name at least five Cause Marketing campaigns that you’ve seen over this past holiday season. Maybe you didn’t even realize it at the time!

Cause Marketing is not only something companies can utilize. The other half to the Cause Marketing coin is the non-profits, and what more they can do to spread their message. Imagine if your non-profit brand could become as recognizable as the iconic pink ribbon. The power that comes from a strong brand image for a non-profit would be the ability to command more donations, and ultimately be able to help more people and animals.

That’s the point of all Cause Marketing: to help. Companies improve their brand image, and hopefully sales/profits, while non-profits reap the benefits of increased donations in correlation to those sales. That’s the payoff of Cause Marketing. Ultimately, if we can encourage companies to give more, then more people get access to services they need, animals can get the care they deserve, and perhaps we can save the planet.

Each week, I’ll be focusing on a company or nonprofit in order to highlight examples of Cause Marketing. More importantly, I hope to get some feedback from everyone on what you like, what you don’t like, and what you’d like to see more of. Essentially, the only reason that companies engage in CM is because of us, so let’s chat about what we like and what we don’t like.

Lastly, check out the page for “CM in Action.” I’ll be featuring your pictures and comments on Cause Marketing examples that you see around your neighborhood. Once we get rolling, I’ll be featuring the CM pic of the week and celebrating the reader that sent it in!

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Cause Calendar
What's My Ribbon?
CM at Non-Profits - In this section, we discuss CM execution for non-profits in their brand building efforts and CM partnerships.
CM at Business - In this section, we focus on CM campaigns taken on by businesses, both large and small, and we discuss the campaigns' details and effectiveness.