Newsletter: Sponsorship vs Cause Marketing Smackdown πŸ‘Š ; The Last Toy Store Standing πŸš‚ ; 'Obscene' Charity Campaign Raises $500K 🀭


I get asked all the time what the difference is between cause marketing and sponsorship. It can be confusing! πŸ˜• But here are the two basic differences.

With Sponsorship... The money comes from the company's coffers. They write you a check!

With Cause Marketing... The money is raised from the customer. For example, a chain of coffee shops will use donation boxes to raise money from customers at checkout.

With Sponsorship... A company sponsors your nonprofit's event or program so that they can market their business to your supporters.

With Cause Marketing... A company markets your cause to their customers to raise money for your organization. The company benefits too as they earn a "halo" with stakeholders that may increase sales and build brand loyalty.

Of course, after explaining this, people invariably ask: Which is better, sponsorship or cause marketing? Here's my definitive answer: it depends.🧐

Cause marketing is more lucrative than sponsorship, but it's also more complicated to execute. And while almost every organization has an event that is suitable for sponsorship, fewer organizations are suitable for cause marketing, which generally requires a higher brand profile. (That's why I'm always talking about things that can build your brand like content marketing!)

If pressed, I would say sponsorship is a better focus for most nonprofits. So let me ask you:

Are you successful with sponsorship?

Do you know how to identify, cultivate and close sponsors?

Do at least 25% of your event revenues come from sponsorship?

If you answered NO to any of these questions, you need some help!

That's why I'm partnering with sponsorship pro Chris Baylis to bring his full-day, online conference to you on April 19th. That's just two weeks away! Thanks to the people who have already signed up! Still interested in signing up AND saving a few bucks? Use the discount code WATERS at checkout to save $50!

Folks, this course will not be repeated so now is the time. Chris said if he EVER OFFERS THE COURSE AGAIN he'll have to wear this for a month! Frankly, I would love to see that... πŸ˜‚

Learn more about the April conference & register for it NOW!**

New Stuff from Me 😊

1. This week on CauseTalk Radio, Megan and I talk to Chris Baylis πŸ§”, President & CEO of The Sponsorship Collective, about all things sponsorship! Chris is a leading consultant to nonprofits and businesses on sponsorship and how to build win-win partnerships.

2. Did you make the Measuring the Impact and Success of a Non-Profit/Corporate Partnership last week? No worries if you missed it. Here's the recording. We got some great feedback from participants: they want more real examples of how nonprofits are leveraging data to showcase impact. WE'RE ON IT! If you click on this link for the recording, you'll be added to the list of people Catalist will be sending these examples to.

Cause Marketing Notes πŸ“

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1. This past weekend, 305 National Trust πŸ°properties across England, Scotland and Wales hosted the 11th annual Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt πŸ°. Participants were asked to either pay a small fee or make a donation to take part in a hunt, with all proceeds going back to conserving properties. The campaign has raised over Β£4.1million over the past 10 years.

2. Retailers are racing to automate stores as they are feeling the heat from Amazon Go. Changes are coming to point-of-sale programs. A few thoughts on what's next.

3. Produce For Kids πŸŒ½πŸŽis celebrating its 15th year of cause-marketing with a new campaign Lettuce Squash Hunger. (Get it? It took me like ten minutes.πŸ˜‘) To-date, Produce for Kids has raised almost $6.5 million raised for programs that benefit families and children.

4. Can you bear 🐻 the suspense? With Toys R' Us closing, only one major toy store is thrivingin retail.

5. Holy πŸ’©. Since 1992, RE/MAX πŸ‘has donated over $167 million to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.🀯


6. Navigation app Waze πŸš—launches local ads. This could be a boon for some location-centric nonprofits. Ads could promote nonprofit locations and/or charity partnerships.

7. Whether your donation box has a power cord or not, there are some good suggestions here to raise more money with coin canisters.

8. A new cause marketing effort between the Girl Scouts and The North Face includes a new platform for sharing stories of women in exploration, $250,000 for and 12 new badges for scouts to earn.

Marketing Your Cause πŸ€‘

1. 15 tools to help you create better content. Let's see. I use BuzzSumo, Google Alerts, Docs & Analytics, Quora and Trello. But I want to give Dropbox Paper and SentiOne a try.

2. That traffic that's coming to your website? It's probably coming more from search than social. Double down on email marketing, blogging, Instagram and Pinterest - I can help.

3. There is a right and wrong way for companies to publicize their CSR efforts.

4. I know: you work in emotional appeals like a painter works in oils. But Millennials are especially good at sniffing out appeals that are more sentimental than authentic. Be sincere. Be brief. And be seated.

Cool Jobs in Cause** 😎

1. Manager, Corporate Partnerships, National Audubon Society (NYC)

2. Officer, Corporate Development, Habitat for Humanity (Atlanta)

3. Officer, Events Corporate Sponsorship, Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)

**Have your cause-related job featured here? Hit reply or email me at

Brain Food 🧠🍌

1. Local libraries are bringing small-town news back to life. In smaller communities starved for local coverage, some libraries are playing a hands-on role.

2. I had a bruising argument with my wife over this article. I lost! πŸ€•What do you think of the $500,000 charity campaign for wealthy ex-FBI official Andrew McCabe? Do you agree with the author that it's "obscene".

Upcoming Awesomeness 🀩

"I was highly skeptical due to the cost of this webinar, but I didn't know how much I didn't know! Wow, I highly recommend this webinar and Joe Waters was extremely knowledgeable...The best parts were that he offered very tangible advice that nonprofits can use right away, and he offered a lot of great tools and support after the event! Great webinar for nonprofits of any size and cause."

Harvard University, Marketing Social Change, Keynote, Boston, April 8th

Georgetown University, New Strategies Conference, Keynote, Washington, D.C., April 24th.

Minnesota Serves, Keynote, Minneapolis, MN, May 2nd.

CharityHowTo.comHow to Sell Event Sponsorships - A Step By Step Guide, Webinar, May 8th & 16th.

Engage for Good Conference, Mastermind Leader, Chicago, IL, May 22nd.

Can I speak for you organization? Contact me. Visit my speaking page for more details.

Need some help? Have a question, story suggestion or category you wan to see covered? Just leave a comment. πŸ™


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