Bakers Journal

Good Causes Make Good Business Sense

November 7, 2007
By Michelle Brisebois

Marketing consultant Michelle Brisebois examines cause marketing and how businesses are using it to their promotional advantage.

There’s something very satisfying about giving back. Embarking upon any promotional business activity that’s intended to financially benefit a non-profit organization is called “cause marketing.” It’s a classic win/win/win. The charity gets free publicity and money, the consumer gets a quick, easy way to donate, and the business gets the halo effect of the charitable promotion. 

Choose a cause that aligns with your brand: Perhaps a school breakfast program or the Heart and Stroke Foundation (coupled with your whole grain products) would be a good fit?

Partner with your intended recipient early: Non-profit organizations often have very strict policies regarding who they partner with, and how their logos can be used. Some organizations have minimum dollar thresholds established, and if your program doesn’t meet this threshold, use of their name and logo on your materials may not be allowed.


Bring your staff into the loop: Develop a Q&A sheet (question and answer sheet) to try and anticipate customers may ask staff about the campaign: “Exactly where is the money going?” or “What does the charity do for the community?”  

Put metrics in place: Think about what your goals are for the campaign. How much do you want to make for the charity? Do you want to move units of a specific product or do you simply want to create awareness for your brand? How will you measure the campaign’s success for the charity and for your business?

Promote the charitable campaign: Utilize e-mail, direct mail and in-store signage to put the promotion front and centre. Consider creating a limited edition collection or signature item to draw more attention and urgency to the promotion.

Today’s consumers want to know what companies do, as well as what they stand for. Think about how your operation can tap into this new way of doing business, and your bottom line will have a lot of heart.

Michelle Brisebois is a marketing professional with experience in the food, pharmaceutical and financial services industries.  She specializes in helping companies grow their brands.  Michelle can be reached at OnTrend Strategies by email at:

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