How to Combine Social Fundraising with Cause Marketing to Raise More Money

A quick look at the Cause Marketing Fundraiser Matrix shows that the easiest and best ways to raise money with businesses are traditional tactics such as charity pinups, register programs, coupon books, donation boxes and round-up programs.

cause marketing matrix

As many cause marketers know, these tactics have been around for decades. And while still effective, more and more cause marketers are asking: 

How can we merge traditional cause marketing tactics with the explosive growth and potential of social fundraising (i.e. empowering one's supporters - particularly through social networks - to fundraise on behalf of a cause)?

We only have to look back at the incredible success of last summer's Ice Bucket Challenge to see the power of social fundraising (i.e. Peer-to-peer fundraising), and what happens when you ignite it with social media.

A focus on social fundraising may be especially important to small nonprofits that are faced with stiff competition from larger, better known organizations. 

Research by professors at the University of Buffalo and Arizona State University shows that size is less of an issue when it comes to social fundraising. They found that donors on social media don’t seem to care about how large a nonprofit organization is.

“Instead, they are swayed by what we called the ‘social media effect,’ which is an effect provoked by the size of an organization’s network of followers — that is, the number of online ‘friends’ or fans it has,” the team said.

One company that is succeeding in melding social fundraising with cause marketing is Boston-based Booster, a social fundraising platform where you can support a campaign for whatever cause you care about most by selling T-shirts you design.

Booster launched its first campaign in 2013. To date, They’ve launched over 100,000 "Boosters" and raised over $13 million for causes across the United States. 

denny's coupon book

Denny's and No Kid Hungry Team Up for Cause Marketing Fundraiser

Since 2011, 1,600 Denny's nationwide have sold coupons in support of Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry's efforts to help the more than 16 million American children struggling with hunger.

For a $3 donation, guests received $9 worth of coupons redeemable at participating Denny's restaurants. 

Since inception, Denny's annual campaign has raised $1.4 million for No Kid Hungry.

But Denny's wanted to save more children from hunger!

The restaurant chain had three questions heading into the 2014 campaign:

  1. How could Denny's raise more money for No Kid Hungry?
  2. How could Denny's boost employee excitement for the campaign?
  3. How could Denny's raise money from guests online with the same success they had offline?

The answer was Booster

How Booster Combines Social Fundraising with Cause Marketing

Booster began with a T-shirt design contest for Denny's employees. They submitted 100 designs! Three were chosen from team members in Texas, Nevada and Kentucky. The T-shirts sold for $10 each. 

Hundreds of Denny's franchises ordered T-shirts and employees wore them as uniforms to show their support for No Kid Hungry

Denny's, No Kid Hungry and Booster promoted the fundraiser via social networks and customers bought the T-shirts online.

Key Takeaways

no kid hungry booster

Booster is a social fundraising at its best. Combining the apparel everybody loves - T-shirts - with social fundraising and cause marketing is a win for businesses, nonprofits and donors. 

Booster builds excitement and participation. Denny's employees loved the design contest and wore the T-shirts with pride during the campaign. It showed in the results. Donations jumped thirty percent over the previous year.

Booster will help you raise more money. In addition to donations, Denny's raised $18,000 from T-shirt sales. A Booster fundraiser means happy customers, happy employees and more money for your favorite cause. 

Booster is just getting started. The Denny's program still has room to grow. A powerful addition would be a celebrity spokesperson to drive fundraising.

In a recent campaign for an 11-year-old diagnosed with brain cancer, actor Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreation, Jurassic World) encouraged his social media followers to support the boy's Booster Fear Isn't Real. Chris even shared pictures of fans wearing the Fear Isn't Real T-shirt. To date, the fundraiser has sold over 3,400 shirts and raised nearly $50,000 in sales and donations.

denny's booster tees

booster tag

This post is sponsored by Booster is a social fund-raising platform where you can support a campaign for whatever cause you care about by selling T-shirts you design. Visit their How It Works page, or contact Matt Reason at (978) 697-0880 or