Cause marketing has changed consumers’ buying habits

The first time I was involved in cause marketing was nearly 50 years ago. I belonged to a teen group whose primary purpose was to do good works in our community.

Actually, from a very early age I loved giving back. I still do.

Over the years, I’ve done my fair share of cause marketing; everything from raising funds for animal rescue, elderly causes, AIDS fundraisers, and much more.

Many nonprofits rely heavily on cause marketing for their funding.

According to one definition on Wikipedia, Cause marketing or cause-related marketing refers to a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a for-profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. The term is sometimes used more broadly and generally to refer to any type of marketing effort for social and other charitable causes, including in-house marketing efforts by non-profit organizations. Cause marketing differs from corporate giving (philanthropy), as the latter generally involves a specific donation that is tax-deductible, while cause marketing is a marketing relationship not necessarily based on a donation.”

Cause-related marketing is big business for non-profits and their business partners. Trends indicate that cause marketing is on the rise.

With social media being what it is today, consumers have a much greater choice in where their dollars go. Whether it be a socially conscious restaurant that donates to educational programs, a garden nursery that uses only organic fertilizer in which a portion of sales are put back into programs to support community based farm programs, or solo entrepreneurs who funnel a portion of their proceeds into animal rescue or child trafficking reform programs, cause marketing happens in every industry imaginable.

The reality is, the way we do business has changed. Granted, not everyone has gotten on the cause marketing bandwagon, but as people become aware of just how powerful their buying and donation decisions are, all indications are massive change is on the way.

“In this new era of social responsibility, what you don't do can cost you. “Cause marketing” is now the norm, and customers who visit your website and see your advertising want to know that you share their desire to make the world a better place by supporting an important cause.” writes Kim T. Gordon, owner of National Marketing Federation and is a multifaceted marketing expert, speaker, author and media spokesperson.

The bottom line is this; contributing and serving charitable causes is not only a great way to give back, it can actually become a deciding factor when customers and clients choose where to spend their dollars.

dustinOne recent project I started is Hoofing it For Horses and Dogs. The idea for this started with one simple conversation after a breakout session I facilitated at a recent conference. Most cause marketing campaigns start with a simple conversation.

Go ahead, check out what we are doing to raise awareness and funds for dog and horse rescue.


And while you're at it, leave a comment below on what you're doing with cause marketing. And of course, you’re welcome to share this post by clicking one of the social media links below.

Hoofing it for horses and dogs

Most people have no clue how many horses are neglected, abandoned and abused yearly in the United States.

horse1According to an article on, “Rising grain and gas prices, as well as the closure of American slaughterhouses, have contributed to a virtual stampede of horses being abandoned — some starving — and turned loose into the deserts and plains of the West to die cruel and lonesome deaths. Horse rescue projects, which are mostly small, volunteer operations with limited land and resources, are feeling the consequences of this convergence of events. In the meantime, many now unaffordable horses are being sold to abattoirs south of the border where inhumane methods of slaughter are practiced.”

The cruelty to horses is on the increase each year rather than the other way around. Yet, there are those who are doing all they can to minimize the problem.

Add to this the abuse, cruelty and abandonment of certain breeds of dogs and the problem is literally out of control. Pit Bulls are one of the most misunderstood breeds. Many people assume they are incredibly vicious and only used for fighting. This is so far removed from the truth, yet, the lack of understanding continues to grow. Sadly, many of this breed are tortured, euthanized unnecessarily and feared.

There are those of us doing what we can to raise awareness and money to help. I am amazed at the number of entrepreneurs involved in some type of animal rescue. Whether it be through the donations we make, the animals we take into our homes or being spokespersons for raising awareness about what is going on, we find we do have a voice that can help.

Delaney BeforeOver the last couple of decades, Karen and I have adopted horses, goats, cats, dogs and even a ferret. We have taken in many stray animals who otherwise would have died a terrible death. With us, they found their forever home.all-three

In addition, Karen and I have donated thousands of dollars to various nonprofits specific to animal rescue. I don't say this for any other reason than to ask you to join in on a cause that is near and dear to my heart.

Over the last few months I’ve been training for the Eugene Marathon on Sunday, May 10, 2015. My initial plan was to participate as a way to celebrate my 61st birthday (which takes place a few days after the marathon).

It was shortly after my presentation at NAMS13 in March, I was given the idea to use my participation in the 26.2 mile event o raise funds for two very worthy animal rescue organizations. You can read about where the idea came from at

It didn’t take more than a few seconds for me to jump on the idea. Although there are any number of organizations to choose from, I selected two that I have donated to and believe in; Emerald Valley Equine Assistance and Villalobos Rescue Center.

EVEAHR is dedicated to horse rescue while Villalobos Rescue Center has rescued thousands of Pitbulls and other breeds of dogs over the years. Both are 501c3 organizations so any donation you make is deductible.

My goal is to raise awareness and at least $1,000 for each organization through contributions to support my efforts in the marathon. Would you be willing to join in the efforts and sponsor my 26.2 miles? Any amount is appreciated.

Delaney of Delaney's Story – From Dumpster to Diva is the spokesperson for this.

My goal is to not only raise funds, but to raise awareness for both of these amazing organizations.

I truly wish there wasn’t a need for these organizations to exist, but that is wishful thinking. Not only is there a need, but the need continues to grow every day.

For this reason, I have decided to use my marathon efforts as well as my marketing knowledge to raise funds and awareness for the horses and dogs that have not voice.

All I ask is that you go to, read Delaney’s story and if you feel the calling, donate any amount to support these animal rescue organizations.

When you choose which one to support, be sure to send me a picture of your rescue critters. I will be posting these on Facebook on Delaney’s page. Information on where to send your donation and pictures are at