By: Mollye Rhea
Everyone likes to be involved in a cause that helps the greater good. This is true when it comes to an organization and its suppliers. Today, there is a greater focus on the relationship between procurement and CSR as companies consider reputation and social responsibility when choosing partners for their supply chain. So, why not invite vendors to take an active role in your cause marketing campaign?
Incorporating supplier activations into cause promotions creates a multiplier effect that can significantly boost fundraising. This can be done via corporate partner’s vendors and or/business partners.
And, there are benefits for both parties. Partners who serve together get better acquainted, and also tend to develop deeper, more loyal business relationships. For many vendors, it’s an opportunity to be part of a larger campaign with bigger brands and partner with major nonprofits otherwise outside of their funding scope.
How to actively engage vendors in your cause campaign:
- Donation – ask for a guaranteed minimum donation to participate
- Awareness – enlist vendors to promote campaign online via their unique channels
- Product Incentives – vendor provides incentives for consumer donation
- Employee Engagement – engage vendor employees in joint volunteer activities
Walgreens developed a program for its vendors to participate in Red Nose Day. Suppliers such as Mars invest in premium in-store real estate and incorporate unique donation elements into the campaign. Vendors gain visibility and participants have experienced a 5% increase in sales.
Ted’s Montana Grill
During September, Ted’s Montana Grill offers guests who donate $5 or more to No Kid Hungry a $5 thank you gift for their next visit. Bison Ridge wine, a Ted’s vendor, donated $0.50 for every glass of wine purchased and $1 for every bottle. Ted’s matched all donations.
As part of Walmart’s “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign, each participating item purchased at Walmart, Sam’s Club, or online unlocked a donation from the supplier equivalent to at least one meal—donations were directed to local food banks across the country. For each transaction made with the Walmart CC, at Walmart or Walmart.com, one meal was donated by bank partner Synchrony Bank (up to $750K).