In today’s globally competitive marketplace with an ever-increasing focus on social impact, cause related marketing (CRM) is a strategy not to be ignored. 

Standing for a cause that resonates with your customers, staff and clients can positively influence the way consumers view and engage with your brand. 

CRM at a Glance 

CRM is a mutually beneficial partnership between a company and non-profit organisation that has the DUAL goals of enhancing the company’s performance while contributing to the important work of the charitable cause. 

CRM benefits more than the bottom line 

CRM is a great way to support a cause you care about while adding long-term value to your brand and business. Benefits of a well-executed CRM strategy include: 

  • Boost to your brand awareness and perception 
  • Increased sales and/ or market share 
  • Increased customer loyalty 
  • Opportunity to engage with a younger demographic 
  • Greater differentiation between you and your competitors 
  • Improved staff engagement, loyalty and advocacy 
  • Access to new audience groups 

And here are some interesting stats... 

86% of consumers believe that companies should take a stand for social issues and 64% of those who said it’s ‘extremely important’ for a company to take a stand on a social issue said they were ‘very likely’ to purchase a product based on that commitment.  
2018 Shelton Group’s ‘Brands & Stands: Social Purpose is the New Black‘  

Nearly two-thirds of millennials and Gen Z express a preference for brands that have a point of view and stand for something.  (Kantar’s 2018 ‘Purpose 2020’ Report )

Trust is Key 

Starlight is Australia’s No1 Most Reputable Children's Charity and the 5th most reputable brand overall. (Source: Reputation Institute index 2018).

Enjoying 85% aided brand awareness, Starlight is one of the most well-known and admired charities in the country. Partnering with Starlight in a CRM campaign can help build trust and add value to your reputation while demonstrating your community credentials to your target audiences.

"Starlight Children's Foundation was chosen as Puma Energy staff's charity of choice back in late 2015 due to the amazing work they do to brighten the lives of sick kids. The enthusiasm and heart that our staff have for Starlight has continued to grow each year.

Puma Energy is happy to be able to contribute 1c a litre from all fuel sold in our retail sites on Starlight Day and 2019 is no different. This year we had our commercial fuels and lubricant business match the funds raised by our retail team and our bitumen business contributed up to $10 per tonne of bitumen purchased or delivered in the week of Starlight Day.

We deeply appreciate the support from our retail and business customers who have come on-board to join us in raising funds each Starlight Day." - Laura Bain, Puma Energy Australia Charity Chairwoman.


Maximising returns and fulfilling your social responsibilities need not be mutually exclusive. Both can be achieved through an effective cause-related marketing campaign. Here are our top tips to get the most out of your CRM. 

1. Choose Your Charity Partner Wisely

CRMs work best when there is a clear connection or alignment between the two organisations and their values.

Your partnership needs to look and feel authentic - it should make sense and feel like a natural 'fit' in the minds of your customers. When assessing potential partners, look for a cause that relates to your company, its values, products or services. For example, Virgin Australia are our Official Wishgranting Partner, and with this they generously provide Starlight with flights to help sick kids’ Wishes of travelling to a much-loved holiday destination come true. 

2. Give to What Matters

CRMs work best when you and your employees feel great about the difference you’re making to your selected partner charity.  

When assessing your CRM partner, select a non-profit organisation that you and your team believe in. Having a cause that resonates with your people will motivate and inspire them to feel a sense of ownership to make your CRM a success. In fact, input from your employees in the selection process can help maintain ongoing enthusiasm and commitment and as we see with partners EB Games, often leads to additional proactive support such as team volunteering or fundraising.

3. Contribute More than Dollars

The broader the support, the stronger the outcome. 

For many businesses, cause related marketing involves donating products or services and not simply writing a cheque. This helps to strengthen the connections between the two partners and shows the partnership in action. At Starlight, we have Partners whose staff volunteer on Starlight Day, or provide pro bono support helping our business with skills and resources we need.  

4. Define Success, Agree Goals and Objectives

Formalise how you will both recognise and promote the CRM partnership.    

To make your CRM a win-win for everyone, work with your non-profit partner to define how it will help your business meets its goals eg increased visibility or brand awareness. For example, at Starlight we support our partners to raise their profile through initiatives like our corporate newsletter 'The Spark' and through our web site and social media channels. Agree how you will use the organisation's name and logo in your marketing campaigns, and how they in turn, will use your name and logo in press releases, digital marketing and other promotional materials. 

5. Market, Market, Market

Develop your go-to-market strategy. 

Success in cause related marketing often means motivating an audience to take action, such as purchasing a product or service. With a dedicated CRM campaign, you can reach and persuade your target group while also raising awareness for your business and its commitment to social responsibility. For example, we can help position your organisation through sponsoring Starlight's "Sugar Free Me" helping Australians live healthier and happier lives. 

6. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

The communication element can be easily overlooked but is one of the most critical parts of a successful CRM strategy. Communication between you and your non-profit partner should be frequent, open and transparent. Sharing learnings and results and will help develop a sense of pride and ownership in what the partnership has jointly achieved. 

"Soul Origin and Starlight is a relationship is felt by everyone from all levels of the "SOUL" business. It permeates down from the CEO to our support centre and explodes at store level, where our franchise partners and their teams bring it to life for all to see. The energy and sense of community that the relationship with Starlight brings to our organisation is priceless, add this to the light we can shine on those who have some challenges in their lives means everyone is a winner. 

Late last year, Chris Mavris (CEO Soul Origin) came up with the idea of donating one their most prized assets and customer facing touch points - their coffee cups. For the month of May, 1 million coffee cups were rebranded with Starlight branding and colours. Chris says "What better way to raise the profile of Starlight and drive donations than by putting Starlight front of mind to well over 1 million Australians. We hope this can assist Starlight by raising awareness to help support so many more children, teenagers and the indigenous communities.

Soul Origin is able to provide over $100,000 annually in funding and this is heartfelt association, we hope the coffee cups can help raise significantly more funds to shine a flood light on all those families that need some support."

Looking for some inspiration?

Here are some of the more popular CRM Strategies that meet mutual goals of the corporate and non-profit partner. 

1. Product Sales  

Starlight partner Pfizer has raised over $1m, over a 10-year period by simply providing a percentage of sales from their children's cough medicine product. 

2. Round-up-your-Sale  

This popular and often high ROI, campaign takes place at the supermarket and retail checkouts and online. Customers simply add a donation as low as $1 to their final bill, and the store donates the money to their non-profit partner.  

Williams-Sonoma, a relatively new partner of Starlight’s, have run a Christmas campaign in their stores, involving this mechanic, plus they offer Christmas gift wrapping with a gold coin donation coming to Starlight. 

3. Licensing of the non-profit's logo, brand, and assets

Licensing runs the gamut from products that are extensions of the non-profit's mission to using its logo on promotional items such as t-shirts, mugs, or in the case of Starlight, we have our Starlight Dolls, Wands, and other branded merchandise. Soul Origin are a master of this and created incredible coffee cups for Starlight Day. 

4. Co-branded events and programs 

At Starlight, we have many opportunities that fall into this category where sponsorships are available for your brand to aligned with the Starlight brand and cause. Great Adventure Challenge, Kick for Kids, Tour de Kids, and the list goes on. 

5. Social or public service marketing programs 

Social marketing involves the use of marketing principles and techniques to encourage behaviour change in a particular audience. Starlight did our very first community social fundraiser Sugar Free Me Challenge encouraging people to go sugar free for 30 days for a healthier and happier life. 


Working together with Starlight, we can find the best opportunity to benefit your organisation whether that be team engagement, sales/market share, customer and client relationships or brand credibility. Here's just a few ways: 

  • Event Sponsorships: Five Chefs/Star Ball 
  • Program Sponsorships: Partner  
  • Get Active Events: Great Adventure Challenge 
  • Customer Engagement 

If you're interested in discussing how your organisation can partner with Starlight in this manner, or any other way, please contact

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