Cause marketing or cause-related marketing can be a very powerful marketing model because it involves cooperative efforts between a “for profit” business, a non-profit organization, and the media, which all collaborate for mutual benefit. The reason this is such a powerful model is that the sponsor (for profit business) typically buys media time and space on behalf of the non-profit, rather than having the media provide it for free. This in turn, gives the non-profit much better exposure (reach and frequency) than they would otherwise get; the media gets paid for its time or space; and the sponsor gets the halo benefit of associating with an important cause.
In spite of the fact that it is a multi-billion dollar business and nearly every major corporation practices some form of cause related marketing, there are not a lot of resources dedicated to this growing field. The major force in the profession is the Cause Marketing Forum (see Resources below), which has a Knowledge Center, holds an annual meeting, and offers online telecourses.