12 Cause Marketing Examples

Data from Sprout Social shows that 70% of consumers say it’s essential for companies to take a public stand on social causes and political issues. In fact, dozens of reports show that customers increasingly care about a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Corporate giving is actually driving customer loyalty, especially among Millennials and Gen-Zers.

One way businesses take part in CSR is by implementing cause marketing campaigns. Need help thinking of a cause marketing example to understand this marketing strategy better?

Well, we’ll show you 12 models of cause marketing below! Just keep reading.

What Is Cause Marketing?

Cause marketing is when a for-profit business and a nonprofit organization or charity create a partnership for mutual benefit. The idea is to simultaneously promote business sales and a charitable cause so that both organizations receive positive publicity and new customers.

The term can also include for-profit businesses that engage in socially conscious behavior to bring awareness to different social issues or start their own foundations.

12 Cause Marketing Examples

Now that you understand the definition of cause marketing, let’s explore 12 successful cause-related marketing campaigns.


TOMS shoes have a different business model than most other organizations. It’s called the “one-for-one” business model. For every pair of shoes they sell, they give a pair to a child in need.

Additionally, since the company has been so successful with fundraising, it started investing a third of its profits in “grassroots good” organizations. TOMS shoes now also focus on issues such as:

  • Access to opportunity
  • Mental health
  • Gun violence

2. Starbucks’ College Achievement Program

Starbucks started this program in 2018 to allow eligible employees to attend university for free. The company wanted to highlight the inequality of college affordability while helping employees improve their skills and advance in their careers.

With Arizona State University as its partner, employees can choose from 80 undergraduate programs and schedule their work schedule around classes.

As the biggest coffee retailer worldwide, the program has helped increase brand loyalty among Starbucks employees.

3. 1Voice Foundation

The 1Voice Foundation provides educational, emotional, and financial support to pediatric cancer families. They’ve partnered with AmazonSmile, a program that allows Amazon customers to support their favorite charitable causes every time they shop.

AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of all eligible purchases to shoppers’ chosen nonprofit organizations.

4. Ben & Jerry’s  – Democracy Is in Your Hands

Ben & Jerry’s has always cared about creating brand awareness through being outspoken on social issues.

Another excellent cause marketing example is Ben & Jerry’s “Empower Mint” ice cream flavor. First launched in 2016, the campaign empowers individuals in the fight for democracy during major election seasons. Along with the ice cream, buyers can receive information about:

  • Civic duties
  • Voter suppression
  • Voting inequality

5. Uber – Move What Matters

When the COVID pandemic began, Uber started the “Move What Matters” campaign to encourage customers to stay home. Through the campaign, the company donated 10 million rides and food deliveries to:

  • Healthcare workers
  • People in need
  • Seniors

They also donated $5 million to restaurant and delivery workers. Additionally, Uber’s freight service helped move supplies and critical goods with zero profit pricing.

6. Walgreens – Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day raises money for impoverished children. This cause-related marketing example uses social media to generate awareness.

Here’s how it works: purchase an iconic red nose from Walgreens, take pictures wearing it and wear it to fundraising events.

Walgreens donates all the proceeds to its nonprofit partner, Red Nose Day.

7. Chili’s – #Createapepper

Since 2002, Chili’s has been a partner of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Chili’s customers purchase a Chili’s logo pepper color sheet for donation, which they can customize and hang in the restaurant.

With the rise of social media platforms, Chili’s created “Share a Pepper” to gain even more awareness. The campaign has been so successful that in 2007, Chili’s pledged $50 million to fund the seven-story Chili’s Care Center.

8. The Body Shop – Time to Care

During the COVID pandemic, The Body Shop wanted to thank healthcare workers, so they started the “Time to Care” campaign to donate items like cleaning supplies and care packages to shelters and assisted living communities.

Their marketing efforts included the hashtag #TimeToCare to spread awareness. To date, they’ve donated more than $4 million worth of products.

9. Bandcamp – Bandcamp Fridays

Bandcamp is a website where musicians sell music directly to fans, and record labels host eCommerce stores. The site is geared toward smaller, independent artists, who often earn next to nothing from streaming services.

In 2020, Bandcamp started Bandcamp Fridays to offer better payment to artists. The company waives its share of sales every Friday. The program is a massive success with its target audience.

10. General Mills – Box Tops for Education

The Box Tops program started in 1996 and is a worthy cause that is still going strong almost 30 years later. The program partners General Mills with schools to receive money.

Previously, participants could cut Box Tops off of marked packages, like cereal boxes, and donate them to a school. But today, participants can use a mobile app to scan their grocery receipts to find products that have Box Tops instead.

Schools then redeem the Box Tops for money to help buy essentials. Box Tops can also help fund library books or new playground equipment.

11. Warby Parker – Buy a Pair, Give a Pair

Warby Parker is an eyewear company that provides vision care for those who cannot afford it, especially school children.

Warby Parker’s campaign is an example of cause-related marketing similar to TOMS. For every pair of glasses the company sells, they donate a pair to someone in need.

However, they paused their program during the pandemic so that they could purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and preventive health supplies for healthcare workers instead.

12. Yoplait – Save Lids to Save Lives

The yogurt company Yoplait created this cause marketing strategy to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s fight against breast cancer.

They manufactured pink yogurt lids with a simple call-to-action for consumers; each lid sent to the company would raise 10 cents for breast cancer research. The campaign ended up extending to other brands and raising $26 million!

Talk to Us About Cause Marketing

Cause marketing is a popular marketing strategy that consistently delivers results for businesses of all sizes. And the benefits of cause marketing are immeasurable!

So let’s start a conversation about which cause marketing example your business can try. At Slice, we’ll help your digital marketing campaign by creating something truly unique for your business.