Cause Marketing: Incredibly Rewarding and Profitable

Hi, Mindy McHorse here to share how you can get involved in the wide-ranging, profitable, and incredibly rewarding niche of cause marketing.

If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically a partnership between a nonprofit and for-profit organization to promote a social or environmental cause.

Yoplait's "Save Lids to Save Lives” is a pretty good example. In that cause marketing campaign, customers mail yogurt lids back to Yoplait. The company donates 10 cents for every lid they receive — up to $2 million — to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.

I’m getting ready to ramp up my cause marketing business again — and I’m inviting you to join me. It’s a great fit no matter where you are in your writing career, because you can do it part-time, full-time, or as an add-on service for your existing clients.

This week, I’m going to show you

  • How to spot and go after clients with cause marketing campaigns
  • How to write things that connect with hearts and minds … and get folks to open their wallets
  • How to avoid certain pitfalls when working within this specialized market

Start by looking around. Any time you see a company sharing information about their involvement with a nonprofit, it's likely driven by a cause marketing partnership. Details can be found on websites, on product merchandise tags, in emails … everywhere.

Just today, I saw a “Box Tops 4 Education” campaign in a Facebook ad from General Mills. Another campaign was mentioned in the small print of an email I got from The Container Store.

Pay attention and you’ll gradually spot them everywhere, from local businesses to national chains. The next step is to write down the names of the company and nonprofit involved, the cause, and the details of the campaign. You should also keep as much of the copy from the campaign as you can. (You could start a cause campaign swipe file.)

From there, study it closely. What language is used in these ads and announcements? What emotions does the campaign tap? What kinds of stories do they tell? What details do they share about how the money gets allocated? Have you noticed any cause campaigns recently? Tell me about them here.

Taking time to notice these specifics gives you an idea of how cause campaigns work. Plus, your notes will be a great resource as you write your own cause marketing copy.

Copywriting for a Cause

Copywriting for a Cause: How to Profit as a Writer and Make a Difference in the World

In today’s market, consumers expect businesses to do well while doing good. They want companies to be good citizens. That means businesses need copywriters who understand how to write for a cause. Learn More »


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Published: September 2, 2013

3 Responses to “Cause Marketing: Incredibly Rewarding and Profitable”

  1. Almost daily I receive emails from moveon.org or biodiversity.org, Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, Weston A. Price Foundation (Wapf.org). There is also Farmandranchfreedom.org.
    What a great idea, Mindy! I'd love to make money while helping a worthy cause.

    Guest (Jenny Hohmann)September 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm

  2. Mindy, you mention that cause marketing involves a partnership between a non-profit organization and a for-profit corporation. I always thought cause marketing was more like writing for just a non-profit (e.g., a religious or environmental organization). Is there a difference?

    Guest (Jeff Soufal)September 7, 2013 at 1:15 pm


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