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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ins and Outs of Cause-Related Marketing During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and, just as the following video points out, you are sure to find pink colored product wherever you go!

  Los Angeles Local News, Weather, and Traffic

So how do you evaluate which cause-related marketing efforts are worth supporting? Here are a few tips.
  • Authentic: Are there any perceived or real conflicts between the charity’s mission and the company’s values and products/ services? Is there a strategic partnership between the firm and the charity or did the company just color wash its product in pink?
  • Clear / Transparent Packaging: In examining the product’s packaging, avoid vague packaging and make sure you can you easily discern:
    • Charity: What is the specific charity involved in the partnership?
    • Value: How much of your purchase benefits the charity? Is there a minimum or a cap on the firm’s contribution?
    • Timing: When does the offer end?
  • Something You Need: Is the product/ service something you would buy even without the pink ribbon on it?
  • Value Compared to Competitors: Is the quality and pricing of the product as good as or better than other similar products?
  • Not All Breast Cancer Charities Are Alike: The reporter’s tip at the end of the video above is important. Remember, there are lots of breast cancer charities – more than 1,000 - doing all different types of work from research, to funding mammograms, to raising awareness. So, it is critical that you do your homework and make sure you know about the charity on the receiving end of your purchase by checking the charity’s:
    • Programs & Services:  Does it do research, advocacy, awareness or fund patient services?
    • Financial Health: Is it efficient? Is it financially sustainable?
    • Accountability & Transparency: Does it have a strong Board of Directors providing proper oversight? Does disclose its financial documents on its website? Does it have the proper policies and procedures in place to prevent unethical behavior?
    • Results Reporting: Does the charity provide any evidence of its results by reporting on its website?
Read our newly published Roundtable discussion with several well-known breast cancer charities to find out how they decide which products/ firms are a good fit for a cause-related marketing campaign and what they say is the biggest misconception donors/ customers have about cause-related marketing.

As a 501 (c) (3) organization itself, Charity Navigator depends on public support to help donors make informed choices. Please consider investing in the future of Charity Navigator by making a donation today.  Donate now >>

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great tips! David Hessekiel just did a similar post for Forbes. You can read it here.

As David points out, the month of October is one where we see many, many excellent cause marketing campaigns and, unfortunately, far too many poorly conceived ones.

The good news is that consumers are getting more and more savvy and asking more questions, as are corporate partners to their nonprofit counterparts.

Joe Waters and myself recently interviewed Dr. Samantha King, author of Pink Ribbons, Inc. for her thoughts on this pinkified month. You can hear our podcast interview here.