- Sat, August 06 2011
- Filed under: Cause-related marketing
One of the classic mistakes we make when we try to interest companies in supporting our cause - or in joining forces in cause marketing - is to focus on what we want from the company. We forget we must make a case for what we can do for the company. Partnerships work best when each party gets a benefit. This isn’t simply about our winning funds - it’s about creating the proverbial win-win on both sides.
My colleague Kate Olsen recently posted on her blog advice for companies on selling cause programs internally. Her thoughts are super helpful in getting inside the brain of a corporate partner and making a fantastic pitch for partnership. Here’s how I would translate her advice for companies for you, the nonprofit trying to make a case to that company.
1. Show your relevance. Figure out the top business and philanthropic agendas of the company, and show how your ideas speak to them.
2. Set some goals that get the company excited. Ask your prospective partner what return on investment (ROI) they are seeking and then set an achievable goal that shows a partnership can deliver real results.
3. Start small if big isn’t selling. Propose a simple, quick and relatively low-cost campaign pilot. An easy, affordable project is easier to get approved - and it’s a good foot in the door.
4. Tell stories and use examples to bolster your case. Case studies of partnerships that work give you credibility.
5. Come with proof their community wants their company to care. Any research you can do that shows a natural affinity for your cause within their market is helpful.
6. Inspire them with the great impact they will have —and the stories their brand will be able to tell. Put a human face on your cause - and link it to the real people in their market.