Cause Marketing Guidelines & Questionnaire

Thank you for your interest in supporting the Ian Somerhalder Foundation

Please take a moment to review the following guidelines which will help determine if participating in a cause marketing promotion with ISF will meet your business objectives. If you feel your company meets these guidelines and that a partnership with ISF might be a good fit, we invite you to complete our Cause Marketing Program Questionnaire

ISF Brand and Trademarks:

ISF owns certain trademarks (collectively the “Licensed Marks”). Written permission from ISF is required for the use of any of these Licensed Marks. Any party that wishes to use these Licensed Marks must execute a written contract with ISF that outlines how the Licensed Marks will be used. All instances of the ISF brand being represented in sponsor or partner materials must meet ISF branding guidelines and needs to be approved by ISF prior to creation or use.

Criteria for Businesses Seeking Partnership with ISF:

  • A minimum of one year in business is required for any party seeking a partnership with ISF.
  • To ensure that all cause marketing promotions benefiting ISF are consistent with best practices, ISF recommends a guaranteed minimum financial commitment of $10,000 in the first year.


  • Although ISF is the beneficiary of donations through its partnerships, we have no ability to sell or distribute products for our partners. ISF may publicly acknowledge its corporate partners but, because of our non-profit status, we cannot advertise for our partners, promote our partners or promote our partners’ products and services.
  • ISF does not endorse (direct or implied) products or services.
  • ISF does not designate sponsors or partners as "exclusive providers" of products or services.
  • ISF does not sell partners' products via its website.
  • ISF does not enter into promotional agreements for campaigns contingent upon the solicitation of ISF supporters, donors, volunteers, vendors, partners or employees.
  • ISF does not distribute, sell or loan supporter, donor, vendor, partner or employee mailing lists.
  • Promotions cannot utilize door-to-door sales, telemarketing, direct mail or vending machine sales.
  • ISF must retain ownership of all ISF initiatives, program campaigns, content and materials.
  • ISF is not currently accepting proposals that include or are within the following categories:
    • Adult entertainment brands/establishments
    • Dangerous products/firearms
    • Political parties or political candidates
    • Tobacco
    • Toxic substances

ISF’s Charitable Mission:

In connection with all cause marketing promotions benefiting ISF, we require partners to help us raise awareness and educate the public about our charitable mission. We ask all partners to publish ISF’s website ( on all partner promotions, events, marketing packaging and related advertising materials.

Disclosure Regulations:

Cause marketing promotions that benefit ISF are regulated by applicable state commercial coventure laws, by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability, as well as by the Five Best Practices for Transparent Cause Marketing implemented by the New York Attorney General. These regulations and best practices require full disclosure to the consumer regarding the benefit to the charity when donations are raised through a consumer purchase on all packaging, advertising and promotional materials in clear and unambiguous terms. We require that your company also comply with these requirements.

If your promotion is approved, ISF will work with your company to suggest appropriate disclosure language. To provide maximum transparency to consumers, ISF requires the use by its partners of a “donation information” label on products or websites used in cause-related marketing promotions.

For more information about the BBB Standards (including Standard 19, which applies to cause-related marketing promotion disclosure), please visit the BBB website. For information about Five Best Practices, please click here.

Registration as a Commercial Coventurer:

Your business may also be required to register in certain states as a “commercial coventurer” if conducting a cause-related marketing promotion. A commercial coventure is a cause marketing relationship in which a business advertises to the public that it will donate a portion of the purchase price on a promoted service or product to a designated charity. Specific requirements for commercial coventures vary from state to state. Although ISF cannot give legal advice to third parties, we recommend seeking legal counsel to ensure compliance with applicable state requirements.

To demonstrate the impact and dedicated commitment our cause-related marketing partners are making in support of ISF’s charitable mission, it is recommended that a minimum contribution of 5-10% of the product’s retail price be applied to all commercial coventure programs.

If you believe that your organization and proposal meet the above guidelines, we invite you to complete this questionnaire explaining your concept/idea. Once received, we will review your information and respond to your inquiry as soon as possible. 

2 MB maximum allowable file type: gif jpg png
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png.
2 MB maximum allowable file type: gif jpg png
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png.
Please outline the EXACT percentage/dollar amount that will support ISF's mission. ISF will not accept or approve any promotions or promotional materials that state "a portion of the proceeds" or any other vague statement. (Please Note: The percentage or dollar amount should be based on gross sales. No costs shall be deducted from the gross sales in calculating the royalty)
(i.e., online, print, in-store, on-packaging, radio/TV, etc.) Please be as specific as possible as to how this program will be supported and include any proposed media spend.

ISF is continuously creating and developing corporate partnerships, cause marketing programs and fundraising ideas that may be similar to your materials or ideas; please do not submit information that you consider confidential or proprietary. It is possible that the idea you wish to submit has been considered previously, is in development, is being tested or is being implemented. If you submit an idea, you do so with the understanding that ISF cannot accept information other than that which you intend to share freely, without any compensation to the submitter. By receiving information on your idea, ISF is not obligated to enter into a corporate partnership, cause marketing program or fundraising program with you.