Blog Post
August 24, 2020

How to Champion Your Cause: The I.D.E.A. Method Part 1

How to Champion Your Cause: The I.D.E.A. Method Part 1

Cause marketing or cause-related marketing refers to a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a for-profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. In short, it’s when a brand and a non-profit partner for a common cause. Once you’ve identified the cause the question remains: How do you stand out and make your cause stand a chance? 

A recent International Events Group (IEG) Report (2012) released updated sponsorship information that stated cause-partnerships represent 9% of the overall sponsorship market, generating over $1.7 billion annually. I believe that using the I.D.E.A. Method is a great way to create cause partnerships. 

Branded as an acronym, ‘I’ represents the process to identify or prospect a potential client for business activity. ‘D’ describes the next phase in cause marketing by instituting the proper protocol to develop a client relationship. ‘E’ outlines a savvy approach to engage all of your resources and tools to influence the foundation of a profitable deal. ‘A’ is the fourth and final piece of the puzzle explaining how to activate a cause partnership and position your sponsorship for annual renewal.

In order to think sponsorships, you have to think like a global business. Sponsorships can deliver increased awareness, brand building and propensity for customers to purchase if positioned correctly. Efficient corporations identify sponsorship opportunities that package media exposure and offer activation platforms including print, digital and multi-channel marketing. For the nonprofit sector to develop corporate sponsors, it has to attract new clients. Without customers, it’s difficult for an organization to survive.


Today, an increasing number of nonprofits are competing for the same dollars. Simply put, traditional forms of fundraising have become antiquated and less dependable. Nonprofits are seeking cause partnerships to align with corporations to help achieve bottom-line for results. According to the IEG Report (2012), sponsorship spending grew slightly more than traditional advertising. When competing for corporate dollars, the only things your client is concerned with are themselves and their challenges. In cause marketing, a client will do a cause partnership with you for one or two reasons: To feel good; or to solve a problem.

As a result of evolving market conditions, the best way for a nonprofit to advance its mission going forward is through corporate sponsors (Davis, 2009). Ideally, cause marketing is used to create fresh strategies and civic opportunities that maximize a company’s needs (Waters, 2012). 

The easy-to-follow steps will be expanded upon in our upcoming series dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations maximize value in the community and corporate space. We believe that meaningful initiatives have a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on monetary partnerships. Power is in partnerships. Revenue can be found in relationships. We will help your organization identify both partnerships and new relationships. 

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