#TAKE3 with Joe Waters [Corporate Fundraising]

Joe Waters, author of SelfishGiving.com and Cause Marketing for Dummies, shares best practices for corporate fundraising and establishing effective nonprofit partnerships.

1) What key trends have you observed over the last year in causes, tools and strategies for corporate fundraising? What can we expect in the future?

Mobile, mobile, mobile. Mobile is the future of nonprofit marketing and fundraising. Our smartphones and tablets are becoming the remote control of our lives and causes will be closely linked with what people call The Third Screen (the television and PC were the first and second screens, respectively). For cause marketers like me, mobile means fewer in-store promotions and more promotions where people are and where they care. Both nonprofit and business brands will be focused on connecting deeply with consumers and mobile will be the conduit.

Further Reading: 4 Ways Nonprofits Can Get Started with Mobile (and 4 Ways They Shouldn’t)

2) What cause marketing campaigns do you find most effective, year-round or campaign-based?

Both can be effective. What’s important is that nonprofits work closely with their partner to choose a promotion and time frame that works for BOTH partners. Rome wasn’t built in a day. These year-long campaigns we admire and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars locally and millions of dollars nationally took years to develop. The important thing is to get started, but most nonprofits and businesses never do.

Further Reading: Getting Started with Cause Marketing

3) What best practices can you share for selecting a nonprofit for corporate fundraising programs?

A lot of companies gravitate to what I call “Garanimal” cause marketing. They look for a nonprofit that’s a “good match” for their business (e.g. A restaurant works with a food pantry, a real estate firm works with a housing charity, etc.). It’s not a bad first thought, but there are more important things to consider. One of them is the value the nonprofit brings to the businesses. Does the nonprofit communicate effectively with its supporters? Do they have a donor base that will support and reward a corporate partner? The essence of cause marketing is win-win. Believe it or not, it’s the company that usually short-changes itself.

Further Reading: How to Choose a Cause for Cause Marketing

#TAKE3 is a blog series dedicated to quick, yet insightful, takeaways for the corporate responsibility realm. Each feature includes an interview with an industry leader that addresses three questions on best practices and trends influencing the triple bottom line.

Missed the last #TAKE3? Click here to read past entries.


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