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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Butler-Madden

12 Ways to Approach Cause Marketing

I want to bust the theory that cause marketing is just about a transactional approach.

There are so many different ways to approach it, so I wanted to share some of these methods and examples with you. Here are 12 different approaches to whet your appetite.

Smart operators use a combination of approaches to max their impact.

1. Sponsorship/licensing/co-branding

eg. Cricket Australia’s Pink test

The Pink Test, also known as Jane McGrath Day, is held each year in January at the Sydney Cricket Ground on day three of Cricket Australia’s test match. It is held in honour of Glenn McGrath’s late wife who died of breast cancer in 2008. Everyone is invited to wear pink and fundraise to help meet an overall target amount. In 2018, the 10th year anniversary, the target - which was achieved - was $1.3 million, to fund 10 McGrath Breast Care Nurses for a year, to support 1,000 families through breast cancer.

2. Transactional (portion of proceeds)

eg. Baker’s Delight Pink Bun Campaign

Since 2000, Bakers Delight has raised millions of dollars for BCNA, directly supporting thousands of Australian women and their families through their breast cancer journey.

The Bakers Delight Pink Bun campaign runs annually across all Bakers Delight bakeries across Australia. During the campaign period 100 per cent of sales of pink finger buns and BCNA Pink Ladies are donated to BCNA to fund ‘My Journey Kits’ that are distributed to women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

3. Fundraising

eg. Caltex Star Mart Wish Drive for Make-A-Wish Australia

Between 2013 to 2016 Caltex supported Make-A-Wish Australia by raising funds through the Star Mart Wish Drive. The campaigns involved local store marketing, in-store barbecues, gala days and driveway service days to fundraise across their stores. Some of Caltex’s suppliers also donated a percentage of sales on marked products to Make-A-Wish. The 2015 campaign involved 598 Star Mart stores participating and raised over $513,000!

4. Awareness driving


In 2016, Uber teamed up with Purina’s Pets at Work mission to bring UberPUPPIES to eight cities in Australia via local animal shelter organisations in each city. In a single day event, Uber customers were invited to open their app between 12pm and 4pm and request the ‘PUPPIES’ option. If puppies were available, an Uber driver would bring one to your workplace for 15 minutes of puppy love. People paid a $40 snuggle fee and Uber and Purina in turn supported the participating animal shelters. Plus, every puppy snuggler received an Uber and Purina gift bag. All puppies were also up for adoption.

5. Product donation

eg. Dulux Surf Club Project

Since 2011, Dulux has been a partner of Surf Life Saving Australia. The Dulux Surf Club Project provides all surf clubs in Australia with 100 litres of free Weathershield paint every year, for the duration of the program, to paint the interior and exterior of their surf clubs.

A great example of a cause partnership which reinforces Dulux Weathershield's product benefits of durability against the worst elements of Australia's weather.

6. Match donations

eg. Patagonia Australia’s The Double Down Campaign

Hosted on Pozible, The Double Down is Patagonia Australia’s matched donation campaign that saw crowdfunded donations to six grassroots environmental groups matched dollar-for-dollar by Patagonia up to a combined total of $100,000.

7. Action facilitation

eg. Optus Rockcorps

Optus RockCorps invites Australians to volunteer four hours of their time on community projects and, in return, they get access to an exclusive concert that is for volunteers only.

8. Charity sticker promotions or pin-up campaigns

eg. Coles and Redkite

Coles and Redkite have been partnering since 2013. One of their many fundraising activities invites shoppers to pay $2 for a Redkite sticker which is then displayed on a wall in Coles to show their support.

9. One-for-One

eg. Zambrero Plate for Plate

Plate 4 Plate is Zambrero’s way of tackling world hunger. For every burrito or bowl purchased at Zambrero, a meal is donated to someone in need.

10. Brand Activism

eg. Ben and Jerry’s Fight for the Reef Scoop Tour here

In 2014, in response to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Marine Park Authority approving a plan to expand a coal port and dump three million cubic metres of dredge spoil in the GBR marine park, Ben & Jerry’s launched its Fight for the Reef Scoop Tour in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Australia. Their goal was to give out free Ben & Jerry’s, raise awareness about the dangers facing the GBR and encourage Australians to join the fight to save their landmark.

11. Purpose-driving

eg. Dove Real Beauty

A purpose-driven brand stands for something and consistently supports that cause through everything it does. In the case of Dove - in a world of stereotypes, Dove recognises that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and celebrates this.

12. Merchandise for Sale

eg. Daffodil Day merchandise

One of the oldest ways that charities and NFP partners generate fundraising – by providing branded merchandise to retail partners for sale to their customers at the point of purchase. An example of this is something like Daffodil Day pens which you might find at a retailer's check out.

I hope these examples provide some inspiration and give you ideas for marketing your own brand.

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