Associate your small business with a great cause

While I was in Toronto last week, I stopped in to meet the wonderful folks who run Breakfast For Learning, the nation’s leading non-profit dedicated to the development of child nutritional programs. In short, they offer meal programs and nutritional counselling in schools across Canada.

I was stunned to learn that one in seven Canadian children live below the poverty line. Breakfast for Learning served over 41 million meals last year to schoolchildren who had arrived without having breakfast, lunch or snacks. I love it when my mascara runs down my face.

Why the meeting with Breakfast For Learning? Because at GoForth, we’re looking for a cause. We want to give back; we want to show gratitude; we want to show our customers that we care.

For the past two years, I’ve been searching for the right cause to hang GoForth’s hat on. We’ve looked at a number of organizations both in Canada and in developing countries, and have shortlisted a number of noble and worthy causes GoForth could support.

The significance of cause-related marketing cannot be underestimated. If you’re in business, better get a cause. Don’t believe me? Read the CONE study, one of the first agencies to conduct research on consumers’ attitudes and behaviours toward brands and social causes.

Bottom line? Consumers are more likely to buy a product or service associated with a cause than one without a cause connection. If your market is primarily women, your need to connect your business to a cause is even more important.

Do you sell to millennials? Eighty percent of them would switch from a non-cause connected product (of similar price and quality) to another product if it was connected to a good cause. Harness their passion!

However, finding a great cause to support is not about throwing money at something and smiling for the cameras. Consumers can sense insincerity a mile away. Find the heart connection between you, your organization and a great cause. Discuss your needs as an organization and look together for innovative ways to blend your brand with that of the cause. Let’s make 2011 the year of “The Cause.”

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