Cause Marketing Versus Sponsorship

What is the difference between cause marketing and sponsorship?

Legislation may apply when fundraising for charities through your business. Here I explain the difference between cause marketing and sponsorship–so you can determine which is best for your business.

You can read this post or watch a short video I’ve recorded on this topic below.

Cause Marketing

Cause marketing is where a business runs a charitable sales and marketing campaign with the intention of raising funds for both themselves and a charity. For cause marketing, the charity is effectively giving permission for its name or brand to be associated with your business activities. For example, Innocent drinks donate 10% of profits to charity, often through a foundation. This is deemed cause marketing, as is the case when it runs its Big Knit campaign raising funds for Age UK.


Sponsorship is the opposite. Sponsorship is where the business pays to have its name associated with a charity’s activities. For example, Virgin Money sponsors the London Marathon, which is organised by a charitable foundation.

So one of the core differences between cause marketing and sponsorship is which party authorises their name to be associated with the other’s activities. With cause marketing, the charity is allowing its name to be associated with the business activities, whereas for sponsorship the company is paying to have its name associated with charitable activities.

I hope this has clarified the difference between cause marketing and sponsorship. I explain more about cause marketing and tips for growing a business by supporting causes in my Give-to-Profit Blog and my Give-to-Profit Book.

I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts–please do share your comments and questions below.

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Often described as one of the most authentic and inspiring souls you can meet, Alisoun is on a mission to empower business owners and entrepreneurs to grow fulfilling profitable businesses that make a difference in the world.

Alisoun’s keynote talks, training, mentoring, and best-selling books Give-to-Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities and Social Causes and Heartatude: The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success have favorably changed the good fortune of thousands of people worldwide. She loves doing humanitarian work, fundraising and living by the beach in Scotland.

Alisoun is also the founder of The Heartabiz Hub a business training academy and has written the following free ebooks:

  • 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business (click here)
  • 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
  • The 9 Secrets to Signing Up Clients Without Selling (click here)

You can connect with Alisoun here:

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