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How do I value Cause Marketing activities?

Are there any standard approaches to value the benefits reaped from Cause Marketing? For example, we might advertise that every time you buy one of our products we will donate $X to "Y" charity to end world hunger, fight a disease, etc. How do we calculate the benefit to us because we are affiliating ourselves with that cause? How do I determine how much we should pay the charity for using their name and cause in our business activities? I assume there are factors such as the public's awareness of the charity (the more well known the charity, the greater the "warm & fuzzies" our customers will feel about us). How about the cause itself? Does it make a difference if it's saving lives versus improving independence, etc.? What else comes into play? Does the size of my company matter in terms of employees feeling good about the good their company does. Responses of general valuation principles are appreciated, but I would be most grateful to first hear about any methods developed specifically toward Cause Marketing / Corporate Social Responsibility. Many Thanks P.S. Before anyone blasts me for hypocricy, I'm not asking this to maximize ROI to the shareholders. By knowing how much benefit the company gets back, you and I can advocate for giving MORE because of the benefits the company realizes. Also, developing common standards will help charities determine what they should ask of companies wanting to use their name in promotions.

Answers

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Personal opinion......

Hypocrisy is not the word I'd use. Misplaced values/priorities is close.

Measuring the returns (and selling the returns as a reason for giving) shifts the motivation. Sincere companies who really want to help charities/causes "give" because they really want to help NOT because they expect anything back. So I think the premise for your post is flawed. If there is anything to be measured, it would be "reputational" value of the company that is earned through time.

Companies can evaluate and rationalize their charitable giving by prioritizing the values/causes that they want to help or dear to them and NOT the "returns" they will get.

Example....
How will a company decide if a cause/effort that is very dear to them approaches for a straight donation and another one that is NOT so important with a buy 2 donate 1 kind of proposal?

Personally, I will take offense if a charitable organization pitches me a partnership who's context is similar to what you are thinking and highlights/"sells" to me the "returns" that the company will be getting instead of the cause I am helping....but that is just me.

Can you do it? Sure! Every company is free to do what it wants. And a lot of companies do! You just measure the ROI (part of what you get) like any marketing expense that just so happened to go to a charitable organization.

Again, in my humble opinion, you sell the "cause" and the need for the company to help and NOT the returns.

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

A more concrete example that just I thought of ....

You canNOT convince Chick Fil A to a "buy 2 donate 1" deal that benefits the LGBT community no matter how humongous the returns can/will be.

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