Cause marketing and corporate sponsorships

Over the past two years Outskirts Press has donated $15,000 to the Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book.  They hold two annual literary contests: The Student Literary Awards, and the Colorado Book Awards, both sponsored by Outskirts Press

In fact, today marks the deadline for the River & Words Poetry and Art contest, the winners of which are recognized at the Student Literary Awards. And the deadline for the Colorado Book Awards is January 15th.  Visit the Colorado Humanities website for more information, to participate, donate, or join.

And just like that we have another example of the gray area between philanthropy and cause marketing.  Yes, Outskirts Press’ donations to the Colorado Humanities have been for a good cause, and tax deductable.  Yes, as a Colorado-based corporation, we join Colorado Humanities in their mission to inspire the people of Colorado to appreciate their diverse cultural heritage.

And, by sponsoring the events, getting signage at the events, logos on their websites, attending the events, and in all other ways partnering with Colorado Humanities throughout the year, this is a perfect example of cause marketing — a for-profit business collaborating with a non-profit to a mutually beneficial end.  These benefits are both obvious ($15,000) and more subtle (numerous mentions throughout our social networks, including suggestions for donations – above).

Such collaborations can sometimes lead to exciting by-products. In this case, for example, last year’s publication of the 2010 Student Literary Awards Anthology – the royalties for which went to the Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book.

And speaking of book royalties going to charitable organizations, that is the topic for my next posting…