Marketing Charities With Products

Fair Trade Coffee [Photo by nyoin] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Marketing charities with products has become a popular trend today. There are many examples of this model which come to mind, such as Starbucks Ethos water and Project Red, which give part of their sales proceeds to their charity partner.

make trade fair! [Photo by laihiu] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Cause related marketing is the term used to describe these sorts of campaigns, which have been widely acclaimed for raising awareness of the charity and increasing donations. However, a professor at the University of Michigan has challenged this notion by focusing on cases where cause related marketing may not benefit the charity.

She organized a study on campus with a booth set up to accept donations for the American Cancer Society. The next week she set up another booth selling cans of Red Bull with 50 cents going to the ACS. Surprisingly, the donations-only booth raised five times the amount and accounted for 79% of the donations.