Statistics Every Cause Marketer Should Know

If you're a cause marketer, you undoubtedly need quick access to research to support your daily work.  Here are some statistics from 2008 to 2016 that shed new light on doing well by doing good. Want to stay apprised of all the latest cause marketing statistics? Join the CMF LinkedIn Group or sign up for our FREE Monthly Newsletter.


The Numbers - Cause sponsorship is predicted to reach $2.00 billion in 2016, a projected increase of 3.7% over 2015.  IEG Sponsorship Report

Point of Sale - 72% of consumers have donated to charity at the register and 65% of consumers felt positively about the retailer after giving. Of the 28% who do not donate at the register, 44% say it was because they "don't know anything about the cause". Catalist's Revelations at the Register.

Employee Engagement - 93% of employees surveyed want to work for a company that cares about them as an individual; 51% won’t work for a company that doesn’t have strong social and environmental commitments and 74% say their job is more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact at work. Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study

Global Attitudes on Social Responsibility - 80% of global consumers agree that business must play a role in addressing societal issues. Edelman Trust Barometer


The Numbers - Cause sponsorship is predicted to reach $1.92 billion in 2015, a projected increase of 3.7% over 2014.  IEG Sponsorship Report

Consumer Preference - 90% of U.S. consumers say they would switch brands to one associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality.  Cone Communications/Ebiquity’s 2015 Global CSR Study

66% of global respondents are willing to pay more for sustainable goods, up from 55% in 2014 (and 50% in 2013). Nielsen's The Sustainability Imperative

Point of Sale - 71% of consumers have donated to charity at the cash register, according to Change at the Checkout by Good Scout Group. Cause Marketing Forum's America's Charity Checkout Champions found that more than $390 million was raised by a group of 77, million-dollar-plus charity checkout champions in 2014. In total, these campaigns have raised over $3.88 billion over three decades.

Millennials and Employee Engagement - Six out of 10 Millennials said a sense of purpose is part of the reason they chose to work for their current employer.  The Millennial Survey 2015 (Deloitte)

91% of millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause (vs. 85% U.S. average); 66% use social media to engage around CSR (vs. 53% U.S. average) and 62% are willing to take a pay cut to work for a responsible company (vs. 56% U.S. average). Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study

Giving and Happiness - In an experiment out of Harvard Business School by Michael Norton and Elizabeth Dunn, people were randomly approached and given either $5 or $20 to spend by the end of the day. Half were instructed to spend the money on themselves (personal spending) and half to spend the money on someone else (prosocial spending).

That evening, people who had been assigned to spend the money on someone else reported happier moods over the course of the day than did those people assigned to spend the money on themselves. The amount of money the participants received had no bearing on their happiness. Happy Money, The Science of Smarter Spending


The Numbers - Cause sponsorship hit $1.85 billion in 2014, an increase of 3.9% over 2013.  IEG Sponsorship Report

Cause Differentiates - 89% of U.S. consumers is likely to switch brands to one associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality. 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study

Cause May Drive Premium Pricing - 42% of North American respondents reported they would pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact. 2014 Nielsen Doing Well by Doing Good

Slacktivist to Activist - 64% of Americans are more inclined to support issues offline after first “liking” or “following” an organization online (for millennials, this number is 80%). 2014 Cone Communications Digital Activism Study

Millennials Want to Be Involved - 69% of global millennials want businesses to make it easier for consumers to get involved in societal issues. MSLGROUP Future of Business Citizenship


The Numbers - Cause sponsorship was estimated at $1.78 billion in 2013, an increase of 4.8% over 2012.  IEG Sponsorship Report

Cause Compels Consumers to Move91% of global consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, given comparable price and quality. 2013 Cone Communications/ Echo Global CSR Study

Consumers May Pay More - 50% of global consumers said they would be willing to reward companies that give back to society by paying more for their goods and services (44% in the U.S. and 38% in Canada). Nielsen 2013 Consumers Who Care Study

Consumers Report Confusion  - 70% of consumers are confused by the messages companies use to talk about their CSR initiatives. 2013 Cone Communications/ Echo Global CSR Study


Purpose is Ever-More Embedded in Purchases - 47% of consumers have bought a brand at least monthly that supports a cause, representing a 47% increase from 2010. Over the years, consumers have taken increased action on behalf of brands with Purpose:

Expectations Don't Align with Performance - While 87% of global consumers believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on business’ interests, less than a third believe business is performing well in addressing societal issues. Edelman goodpurpose 2012


The Numbers - Although it's difficult to quantify cause marketing spending, IEG's numbers put corporate cause sponsorship at $1.68 billion in 2011, predicted to grow to $1.73 billion in 2012. IEG Sponsorship Report

Consumers Crave Communication - Ninety-three percent of consumers want to know what companies are doing to make the world a better place and 91% also want to be heard by companies.  Unfortunately, 71% report being confused by the message companies use to talk about their efforts and impacts.
2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Study

Millennials: A Critical Cause Demographic - Millennials, more than Non-Millennials, prefer active engagement in cause campaigns, such as volunteering their time (31% versus 26%), cause-support purchasing (37% versus 30%), encouraging others to support a cause (30% versus 22%), and participating in fundraising events (27% versus 16%). Thirty-seven percent of Millennials report being drawn to products co-branding with cause campaigns where their purchase is a form of support, such as Tom's Shoes One for One CampaignAmerican Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation


Consumer Expect Marketing with Purpose Globally – Eighty-six percent of consumers around the world believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on societal interests as on business interests.  2010 Edelman goodpurpose

Marketing Experts Agree - Two-thirds of brands now engage in cause marketing (up from 58% in 2009) and 97% of marketing executives believe it is a valid business strategy. 2010 PRWeek/Barkely PR Cause Survey

Communication is Key - 90% of consumers want companies to tell them the ways they are supporting causes. Nearly two-thirds (61%) don’t think companies are giving them enough details about their efforts, including the amounts donated and the length of the promotions.  2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study

Hispanics and African Americans Respond to CM - One-third of Hispanic and African American consumers report that they almost always choose brands that support causes they believe in, compared to just one in five Non-Hispanic Whites. Yankelovich MONITOR Multicultural Study 2010


Consumers Punish Companies with Bad Reputations:   72% of US consumers say they have avoided purchasing products from companies whose practices they disagree with.  2009 BBMG Conscious Consumer Report

People Seek Authentic Corporate Commitment
-  Globally 66% of people believe it’s no longer enough for corporations to merely give money away, but that they must integrate good causes into their day-to-day business. 2009 Edelman goodpurpose Consumer Study

Consumers Believe Companies Can Make a Difference - 60% of US consumers say businesses are in the best position to impact social issues, as opposed to government (14%).  2009 Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Consumer Research

Marketers Are Sticking With It
- 61% of CMOs say they plan to maintain their level of cause commitment in spite of the recession.  2009 PRWeek/Barkley Cause Survey


Cause Marketing Increases Sales - Behavioral research demonstrated a 28 to 78% increase in actual purchase within the toothpaste and shampoo categories.  2008 Cone/Duke University Behavioral Cause Study

Cause Increasingly Creates Differentiation - 79% of Americans say they would be likely to switch from one brand to another, when price and quality are about equal, if the other brand is associated with a good cause (compared to 66% in 1993). 2008 Cone Cause Evolution Study

People are Cause Conscious in Many Aspects of Life - 89% of Americans state it is very/somewhat important to know about the values of companies they come in contact with - whether through buying products, working for them or living in a community in which they operate.  The 2008 MS&L Global Values Study