Business partnerships seen boosting causes

Partnerships with trusted businesses help draw attention to nonprofit causes and are more likely to make consumers feel good about the causes and actively support them, a new survey says.

Seventy-eight percent of Americans surveyed for the 2010 Cone Nonprofit Marketing Trend Tracker believe a partnership between a nonprofit and a company they trust makes a cause stand out.

And 56 percent of consumers say they are more likely to feel positively about the nonprofit and actively support it.

Conducted for Cone Inc. by Opinion Research Corp., the survey interviewed 1,055 adults and found 59 percent of Americans are more likely to buy a product associated with the partnership, 50 percent are more likely to donate to the nonprofit; 49 percent are more likely to participate in an event for the nonprofit, and 41 percent are more likely to volunteer for the nonprofit.

“Leading nonprofits are transforming their missions into breakthrough cause brands by harnessing the power of corporate partnerships to rally new supporters with a compelling call-to-action,” Alison DaSilva, executive vice president at Boston-based Cone says in a statement.

“While we have seen many companies reap the benefits of cause-related partnerships, these results reveal the same benefits hold true for the nonprofit brand,” she says. “Strategic corporate partnerships can help nonprofits stand out and create new, loyal ambassadors.”

The survey says 61 percent of consumers actively look for partnership details before deciding to advocate for a cause or donate to it, while 75 percent want to know the results of the partnerships, and only 45 percent believe nonprofits and companies disclose enough information about their partnerships.

And Americans continue to see traditional channels of communication as effective ways for nonprofits to reach them with a message or call to action with 81 percent saying word-of-mouth from family or friends is effective and 80 percent saying traditional media are effective, for example, compared to 59 percent saying email is effective, 49 percent saying social media channels like Facebook and Twitter are effective, and 29 percent says mobile devices and text-messaging are effective.

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