Cause Marketing & Corporate Sponsorship

What the heck is it?

The term “cause marketing” has several different meanings, but basically it is used to describe promotions where a business provides financial support to a nonprofit organization in exchange for limited use of the organization's name and logo.

What is the difference between “cause marketing” and “corporate philanthropy” or “corporate sponsorships?”

"Corporate philanthropy" takes place through direct monetary gifts to a nonprofit. It is often made through a corporation's own foundation. These donations are often for a particular program that the nonprofit will run and can be of short or long duration.

"Corporate sponsorship" is a bit closer to cause marketing since the corporation gives the nonprofit money, or in-kind payment of property or services, to hold an event, run an art exhibit, or other time-limited activity.

Whether a corporation engages in cause marketing, philanthropy, or sponsorship, there can be no arrangement or expectation that the corporation will recieve any "substantial return benefit," as described by IRS regulations.


Why is cause marketing a good thing? 

Cause marketing lets the public know that your company is socially responsible and interested in the same types of causes as your consumers. It can help your company to target key customers, attract and keep employees and increase your reputation and sales. Consumers can support their favorite charities, while raising awareness and funds.

Nowadays, consumers expect companies to participate in cause marketing, and they want to see them taking action that will positively impact their communities. Despite economic hard times, research shows that consumers like buying cause-related products:

  • 85% have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about; and,
  • 80% are likely to switch brands, similar in price and quality, to one that supports a cause.


Why should our company partner with ISF?

ISF’s charitable mission: to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures, inspires an incredible level of passion and activity on the part of our supporters around the world. Our corporate partners benefit from the global impact, audience and brand awareness of ISF. Our unique structure offers companies the opportunity to conduct a global campaign that can be executed at the grassroots level. We believe in creative collaborations that bring together different types of expertise from the nonprofit and corporate worlds. We work with companies to adapt their vision, methodologies, and tools for charitable purposes.

ISF enjoys a unique social media presence that enables us to reach millions of enthusiastic supporters in countries all over the world.  ISF supporters are dedicated change makers who consistently use their voices to support the foundation and our charitable mission. They cast online votes to earn grant money, create grassroots projects that produce quantifiable results and spread the word about our programs and initiatives.


ISF welcomes all companies, big or small, who share our vision and reflect our values to inquire about creating a cause marketing program with us. There are many ways to partner with ISF including: 

  • On-site fundraising efforts
  • Point-of-sale programs
  • Commercial Coventure (% of proceeds, $ from every sale)
  • Product licensing
  • Sponsoring an ISF event
  • Custom programs

Please check out ISF's Cause Marketing Guidelines and Questionnaire to learn more and get started!