Getting Internal Buy-In for Cause Marketing in Nonprofits

You’ve heard about cause marketing. You’ve seen other nonprofits execute really exciting campaigns and you’ve watched them build momentum for their brand and raise more money with their partners. You see the value of implementing a cause marketing program for your nonprofit, but your colleagues and managers barely understand the term, let alone understand the value of cause marketing for your organization.  So how do you get them on board?

Like with any other program, you have to prove the value of your concept. For many companies, and budget-restricted nonprofits, throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks is simply not an option.  Luckily, there are many resources to help educate your team on cause marketing and its value.


It’s an exercise in futility to try get your team to adopt a program they don’t understand. The first thing to do is help your team understand the ROI on cause marketing programs.  There’s plenty of research circulating to display pretty effectively that it’s a highly effective practice for nonprofits, and provides great results for partner companies as well. Share some explanatory blog posts like this one explaining the cause marketing revolution and this one depicting how cause marketing enhances corporate social responsibility programs. Be patient and available while explaining and answering questions.

Context is Key

Try to find examples of cause marketing initiatives from nonprofits that are of a similar size and mission to yours. Persuasion occurs through identification, and the more your colleagues and managers can relate to what you’re telling them – and make the connection to your own organization – the more likely you are to convince them to give cause marketing a try.


Start with a test program with one or two partners and see how the program works. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have some results to present to your team and you can expand your program once you’ve proven the concept. After running a test campaign, you’ll have hard internal numbers to share and work from when planning full scale campaigns.  You can start with a totally scaleable Sponsifi campaign and build upon your program as you incorporate sponsored incentives from partners and initiatives like dollar matching.  When you approach your partners companies, it can help to understand the keys to corporate crowdfunding success and position your campaign in a way that will help them achieve their goals as well as yours.