What is cause marketing?

ven if you’re not familiar with the term “cause marketing,” it’s likely you’ve contributed to a cause marketing campaign. The “buy one, give one” model, a donation at your local checkout, a retweet of a social media post that nets a donation are all different forms of the increasingly popular tool.

Put simply, cause marketing is a mutually beneficial promotional partnership between a for-profit business and a nonprofit organization. By working in concert, for-profits and nonprofits can leverage each other’s brands and audiences to increase their exposures, amplify their messaging, and grow their customer and donor bases, respectively.

More and more, consumers expect companies to take an active role in making the world a better place. According to a 2017 Cone Communications study, 78 percent of Americans want companies to address important social justice issues, while 87 percent will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about. Cause marketing serves as a vehicle for companies to publicly respond to social issues and align with nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity.

At Habitat, each of our diverse cause marketing campaigns provides a platform to bring in new supporters and resources that allow us to further our vision of a world where everyone has a safe, decent place to live. In turn, our cause marketing partners enjoy a strengthened brand, which can boost stakeholder confidence, help retain employees and attract customers. All while creating positive outcomes for families — both those who are able to build and improve places to live through Habitat and those who bring the company’s products and services into their homes.

In an attempt to expand on the individual successes of these cause marketing initiatives, Habitat created a momentum-building, monthlong campaign named Home is the Key. This award-winning approach brings together sponsors, celebrities and community leaders to drive support for and raise awareness of the critical need for affordable housing.

Home is the Key is funded by strong partners and propelled by everyday people and purchases. Throughout April, consumers take part and drive change by buying products from participating partners, donating directly at habitat.org, and sharing their support on social media using the hashtag #HomeIsTheKey.

Cause marketing campaigns like Home is the Key are a proven way to unite and empower individuals and businesses to improve the world around them. Working across industries and sharing brand stories allows Habitat to secure the resources needed to increase access to housing and to plant seeds of strength, stability and independence among the families we work alongside.

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