The Challenges Of Being A Cause Marketing Professional

Over at The Huffington Post, Jake Brewer, Director of Partnerships for, makes the case for the skills of nonprofit marketing professionals.

Professionals who make the decision to work in the nonprofit sector are often seen by their corporate counterparts as “nice folks who can’t cut it in the real business world.” The funny thing about that myth is many Directors and VPs of Marketing for nonprofits left the for-profit sector because they got sick of peddling widgets, and wanted their professional lives to be about something they cared more about (imagine that). To the bigger point, though, winning hearts, minds, AND wallets is freakin’ hard – harder than corporate marketing – particularly without a multi-million (or billon) dollar budget. In fact many organizations that serve you and your communities have a marketing budget of $0… and yet you know about them and contribute to them. These guys are damn good.
I’d love to take a team like Wal-Mart’s marketing department, strip it of any significant budget, and see just how good they are combating poverty, the climate crisis or HIV/AIDS. It’s possible they’d be pretty good… but I bet they’d be met with stark reality.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. I began my career in the non-profit sector, working for environmental groups in Washington, DC.
    While Brewer’s argument is sound on paper, I personally find it more difficult to deal with clueless account people and the clients they so willingly serve at any cost. Clients with lots of money to spend have lots of rope to hang themselves with. In this business you end up dealing with tons more crap, waste, arrogance, etc.
    To shift gears a bit, I’d like to point out one major flaw in non-profit marketing. When you do give to a cause, you are automatically bombarded with direct mail and telemarketing calls. What a waste. How can groups like Greenpeace or NRDC–I’m a member of both–not have an obvious do not solicit preference?