Guest Post: The Cause Marketing Handbook - 50 Resources for First-time Cause Marketers

Guest Post: The Cause Marketing Handbook - 50 Resources for First-time Cause Marketers

 If you and your organization are looking into cause marketing for the first time you probably have many questions. With so much information out there, its hard to know which resources to trust. To help you become more comfortable with the world of cause marketing, I’ve created a list of 50 of the most reliable books, blogs, organizations and media outlets that can help you out and get you pointed in the right direction.


Selfish Giving- The premiere cause marketing blog, Selfish Giving is maintained by Joe Waters, the undisputed Godfather of Cause marketing. Selfish Giving’s goal is to give small causes and businesses the tools and skills they need to execute win-win cause marketing partnerships.

CauseNation – The blog of CauseConsulting, an agency dedicated to strengthening business and impacting society through signature cause programs.

The Causemopolitan – Maintained by cause marketing maven Sloane Berrent, this site offers advice for cause-filled living, cause marketing campaigns, and social innovation.

WhatGives!? – An incredible source of information and tools to help nonprofits raise money and awareness of their campaigns.

Causeaholic – The blog of Steve Drake, president of Drake & Company, a firm advocationg cause-inspired partnerships between business and nonprofit organizations. Causeaholic is a great resource for associations and nonprofits interested in gaining greater knowledge about cause marketing.

Realized Worth – Employee engagement is an important side of cause marketing that never receives enough emphasis. The blog of employee volunteer expert Chris Jarvis, Realized worth is the premiere resource for tips, trends, and best practices for employee engagement in corporate citizenship programs.

Rally the Cause – this is the blog of Scott Henderson, Managing Director of Cause Shift, a highly innovative company dedicated to helping businesses to shift their practices towards a more sustainable future. Scott stands on the cutting edge of cause marketing, as does his advice.

Marc Gunther – A veteran journalist, speaker, writer, and (lucky for us) blogger, Marc Gunther is a peerless thought leader when it comes to matters of business and sustainability. Marc often weighs in on matters pertaining to cause marketing.

The GiveWell Blog – GiveWell is a nonprofit that evaluates charities and nonprofits then shares their findings and analysis online to help donors decide what organization they would like to support. It would benefit any emerging nonprofit to keep an eye on their metrics and try to learn what donors prefer.

John Haydon – A grandmaster of social media marketing that has devoted his considerable talents to assisting nonprofits with the unique challenges they face online. – The website of Alden Keene, this website is dedicated to dissecting the best and the worst cause marketing campaigns and promotions.

Barker – Our very own blog here at Brave One, (and what you’re reading right now!) Here our team weighs in on the latest in cause marketing trends, as well as offers our expertise in matters of sustainability and CSR.

Incouraged – Is the blog of marketing maven Megan Strand, Director of Communications at Cause Marketing Forum.


Cause Marketing for Dummies –  Authored by Joe Waters, the Godfather of Cause Marketing, this book offers the most comprehensive crash-course for first-time cause marketers. Subjects explored include how to build and sustain business and nonprofit partnerships, as well as social media strategies.

Robin Hood Marketing – The subtitle to this book reads “Stealing corporate savvy to sell just causes.” Written by Katya Andresen, a veteran nonprofit professional, this book breaks successful cause marketing campaigns into ten simple rules.

Cause Marketing for Non-Profits – The first book written geared towards educating nonprofit organizations, this book is an essential addition to any cause marketer’s library. If Joe Waters is the Godfather of Cause Marketing, this book’s author Jocelyn Daw is surely its Godmother.

The Future of Non-Profits – This is the instant playbook for any nonprofit looking to adapt its operations to the digital age. Authors David J. Neff and Randal C. Moss take old-school cause marketing strategies and show how they can be applied to twenty first century platforms and innovations.

Social Media for Social Good – The perfect primer for nonprofits looking to integrate twitter, facebook, and linked in through all levels of their communications and fundraising.

The Non-Profit Marketing Guide – Covering both offline and online strategies, this book can help your organization to choose and to scale a cause marketing strategy that fits with the size, budget, and reach of your organization.

Guerilla Marketing for Non-Profits – This book contains over 250 tactics for nonprofits to promote their causes, recruit more volunteers, motivate staff, and raise more money. This is a great resource for nonprofits with limited budgets or for those organizations that are looking to bring more unorthodox approaches to their cause marketing strategy.

The Dragonfly Effect – This books takes its name from the only insect that is able to move in any direction when its four wings are working in concert. It delivers hard and fast advice on how to use social media to drive social change. Also included are cause marketing case studies from global brands like Nike, Gap, Starbucks and Groupon.

Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Non-Profits – Offering profiles of some of the world’s most successful nonprofits, Forces for Good details what methods separated them from the herd. Nonprofits profiled include Habitat for humanity and the Heritage Foundation.

Storytelling for Grantseekers: A Guide to Creative Nonprofit fundraising – You can have the most well-executed marketing strategy ever conceived, it won’t matter a thing if your writing isn’t up to par. As I’ve advocated for years, the key to truly remarkable copy lies in being able to tell a great story. This book gives rock-solid advice on crafting captivating fundraising materials through employing storytelling.

Shift and Reset: Strategies for Addressing Serious Issues in a Connected Society – Written by Brian Reich, Senior Vice President and Global Editor for Edelman. This book is a must-read for any cause marketer looking to take advantage of rapidly changing technologies and new communication methods.


Barkley- The largest employee owned independent agency in the country, Barkley also has been the agency behind some of the world’s most famous cause marketing efforts, including one of the worlds most successful breast cancer cause campaigns.

Fenton – An agency that has served the public interest since 1982, Fenton creates powerful issue campaigns that have contributed to some of the most defining change movements of the past 30 years.

Cone – Cone is a Boston-based strategy and communications agency dedicated to nonprofit marketing, corporate responsibility and cause branding.

BBMG – This agency boasts an impressive expertise in sustainability and a crack team of strategists, creatives, and technologists.

Causemedia Group – With over 500 cause campaigns to their name, Causemedia Group has raised over $50 million for nonprofits. Causemedia group is the parent company of the following three agencies:

Studio Good – Some of the most successful charitable social media campaigns have come out of Studio Good. One such example is the TwitChange, a campaign that utilized twitter as a means to fund the building of a home for special needs children in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Kompolt – An online auction agency for cause campaigns and charities, they have raised over $35 million for charities across the world, including over $4 million in 2010 alone.

Patron – An integrated agency run by Brian Powell, a highly regarded thought leader within the world of cause marketing.

CSRcopy – A communications firm dedicated to assisting both corporations and non-profits in their cause marketing, CSR and sustainability initiatives. CSRcopy has worked with everyone from Fortune 500 companies like Energizer and Capital One to nonprofits such as Global Impact and One Million Lights to help them communicate their social and environmental enterprises. An insightful white paper titled Corporate Storytelling and Your CSR Strategy is available for free via their website.

Communications 4 Good – A boutique PR agency specializing in sustainability, they help businesses find innovative ways to implement and share the changes they are bringing about in the world.

Do Well Do Good – Providing tools and enhancing the skills to help companies and nonprofit organizations to get the most out of their partnerships, Do Well Do Good partners with companies and nonprofit organizations to increase the positive impacts of their initiatives.

E.B. Alliance – Emotional Branding Alliance is a consultancy and global network that helps organizations connect to people, planet, and purpose. E.B. Alliance was founded by Marc Gobe, author of the book Emotional Branding.

FSG – Providing strategy, evaluation, research, implementation, and coalition building to organizations working to achieve greater social impact. FSG serves both corporations and nonprofits, as well as foundations, school systems, and governmental organizations.

CauseShift – A cutting-edge company that works with organizations to help them “cause a shift” within their business practices as well as in their cause marketing efforts.

Antidote Collective – Specializing in “socially conscious communications,” Antidote works with nonprofits, foundations, citizen groups and entrepreneurs to shape a more sustainable, healthy, and just world.

Cause Consulting – A strategy firm that helps businesses integrate corporate citizenship, business, and marketing disciplines to create new values for companies and their stakeholders.

Alden Keene and Associates – A boutique marketing and communications consultancy serving business and nonprofits. Their ‘house specialty’ is cause marketing and corporate social responsibility.

Impakt – Experts in helping corporations improve their community investment and better align their business and social outcomes.

Brave One – A communications agency founded by CSR and cause marketing veterans Lukas B. Snelling and Jesse Mayhew. Brave One may be the new kid on the block, but they already boast an impressive list of clients and services. From brand research and development, to copywriting and design, to the day-to-day management of PR and marketing efforts, Brave One works with both businesses and non-profits to assure they are optimally communicating their core values.


3BL Media- Your first and best resource for getting your cause marketing message delivered to a mass audience, 3BL media helps everyone from small start-up to multinational corporations to nonprofits get their cause marketing messages distributed across the globe.

Public Address System – One of the most promising methods at your disposal for marketing your cause in a quick, affective, and viral manner is through video. If your organization is looking to create a video detailing your cause, then you needn’t look any further than Public Address System. Run by Gary Breece, the ‘Spielberg of cause media’, Public Address System is a multimedia production company specializing in cause marketing and public affairs communications.

FreeWorld Media – This company was founded by Sean Wood, an expert in utilizing social media for social change. They have executed social media campaigns for companies such as Coke, Ritz-Carlton, and the American Diabetes Association. If you are looking for help in designing, implementing, and running cause-related campaigns through new media, FreeWorld Media can assist you every step of the way.

Cauzoom – a fundraising company that helps people invest in projects in their community and around the world.

VolunteerMatch – The preferred Internet recruiting tool for more than 79,000 nonprofit organizations, Volunteermatch makes it easier for people and causes to connect. Services are offered to nonprofit, volunteer, as we all as for-profit businesses.

Triple Pundit – A new-media company for socially conscious businesses concerned with the triple bottom line. They provide editorial coverage as well as group discussions to sustainable and ethical business practices.

Cause Marketing Forum – A platform dedicated to providing business and nonprofit executives with the practical information and connections they need to succeed with their cause marketing efforts. CMF offers both a newsletter as well as routine teleconferences with cause marketing experts.

Causecast – A technology, data, and service provider helping to connect nonprofits and businesses, enabling them to leverage one another’s strengths. Cause cast offers free fundraising tools to nonprofits as well as access to the CSR and cause marketing campaigns of its corporate clients.

Have I missed any other valuable cause marketing resources? Let everyone know in the comments section below.


This post originally appeared on Author Jesse Mayhew's Brave One Agency site. Click here to view the post there or for other work by Jesse Mayhew.

Prior to founding Brave One, Jesse owned and operated CSRcopy, a writing agency dedicated to helping corporations with their CSR and sustainability initiatives. Jesse has written and consulted for a vast range of companies including Capital One, Energizer, Freeworld Media, 3BL Media, Public Address System, and many more. A veteran cause marketing writer, thought leader and consultant, Jesse is the editor and primary contributor to Barker, The Brave One Blog. He is additionally the author of Corporate Storytelling and Your CSR Strategy, a highly regarded industry report dedicated to best practices in cause marketing and social media strategy. Jesse’s writings on Corporate Social Responsibility have appeared in The Washington Post, 3BL Media, and CSRwire.