Integrating a marketing campaign or promotion with a charity can be an extremely effective way to drive engagement with your product or service as well as help raise awareness and revenue for that cause. We see these in the market every day and can range to local, community based campaigns, national campaigns like the NFL and American Cancer Society with NFL Pink to global initiatives such as Pepsi Refresh Challenge.
These types of campaigns are referred to as Commercial Co-Venture (CCV) promotions. A CCV, simply put, is a way to structure a promotion that drives benefits for non-profit as well as for-profit organizations. CCVs range from short term marketing campaigns to strategic, multi-year (and multi-dimensional) alliances.
When done correctly and with authenticity, CCV promotions can also have the impact of evolving your brand's perception from the benefits of your products and services to the intrinsic values embodied in non-profits’ missions and activities.
Tactically, CCVs are structured to increase sales to consumers and businesses of the for-profit, while benefiting the collaborating charity.
In structuring charitable relationships and CCVs, here are a few key considerations:
Individual states vary in their regulation of CCV activities (e.g., filings, registrations, approval process, fees, bonding and post-CCV reporting)
The logistics of circulating CCV documentation for officer-level approvals can be daunting and time consuming, requiring good planning and creative solutions to timely comply with these requirements (e.g., limited powers of attorney, etc.).
You will also want to verify your corporate relationship agreement with any non-profit is consistent with your planned marketing activities, including any CCVs.
A central consideration, sometimes overlooked, is that you cannot communicate and execute charitable promotions by misleading potential participants as to the effect of their purchase.
For example, if you say, "We will donate a [insert value] for every Like on Facebook up to $50,000…" and your corporate relationship agreement with that non-profit says you will donate $50,000 no matter how many likes you receive, this is not in compliance as the actions of participants does not impact the outcome.
As a rule of thumb, you may want to plan 60-90 days in advance if you are looking to integrate a CCV based campaign into your marketing mix (assuming your charitable alliance agreement is in order and permissions CCVs).
Please contact us if you'd like more guidance on this process.
For more details on the battle against cancer, please check out the American Cancer Society