Cone Formally Launches Cause Branding SM for Nonprofits

BOSTON, January 9, 2007 – According to research findings released today by Cone, the nation’s leading Cause Branding consultancy, existing and potential nonprofit donors are looking for a full spectrum of engagement with their nonprofit of choice. When deciding the cause or nonprofit donors want to support, nearly six-out-of-ten respondents indicated that they want opportunities to get involved beyond dollar donations. The research also found that trust in an organization (82%) and measurable community impacts (81%) are key to decision makers when determining which cause to support.

Furthermore, philanthropic consumers believe that among the most effective ways for a nonprofit to reach them is through word of mouth (76%), media coverage (56%) and through companies from which they buy products or services (44%). Least effective communication tools include celebrity involvement (14%) and telemarketing (8%).

The survey findings were released today in conjunction with Cone’s formal announcement of its expanded Cause Branding for Nonprofit services. The agency offers nonprofits an enhanced menu of customized short- and long-term strategy-based and integrated marketing service solutions including brand positioning and communications; fundraising initiatives; social awareness campaigns; and corporate partnership development and outreach. Cone is also offering seminars and custom workshops to help nonprofits understand emerging nonprofit issues, learn about critical marketing trends and explore strategic branding options.

Cone is best known for its award-winning work with the American Heart Association Go Red for Women, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, ConAgra Foods Feeding Children Better, PNC Grow Up Great and JCPenney Afterschool.

“The nonprofit landscape is evolving and with 1.9 million charitable organizations in the United States alone, the competition for philanthropic dollars is intense,” explained Kristian Darigan, Vice President, and agency-lead for Cause Branding for Nonprofits. “Cone’s survey findings underscore the increasing sophistication of today’s donors. Focused on developing ongoing relationships with supporters, nonprofits are able to build long-term brand equity and champions for their cause. This, in turn, attracts corporate, public and media support.” Continued Darigan, “Our recent work creating and executing the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign has proven that an integrated and focused branding campaign can bring nonprofits short- and long-term returns that otherwise could not be realized.”

“Cone has been at the forefront of creating and implementing innovative, strategic Cause Branding programs for corporations and nonprofits for more than 25 years,” noted Julia Hobbs Kivistik, Executive Vice President, Cause Branding. Kivistik, who joined Cone in 2006 from Give Kids the World and Saatchi & Saatchi X, continued, “The leading nonprofits are focusing on building their brand by making it emotionally relevant to consumers. In today's environment it is critical they focus on how to stand out as a ‘nonprofit of choice.’ We are well equipped to help nonprofits improve brand equity, raise funds and gain significant social impacts.”

Cone is best known for its award-winning work with the American Heart Association (AHA). The agency was selected in 2003 to help the AHA position its brand and develop better corporate partnerships to support its mission. The team created Go Red for Women as part of a multi-tiered solution for the AHA. The campaign has been credited with sparking the women and heart disease movement, raising more than $100 million in new donations, earning more than three billion media impressions and winning more than 12 industry awards.

“With the formalization of Cause Branding for Nonprofits, our work has come full-circle,” noted Carol Cone, Founder and Chairman, Cone, Inc. “For years we have partnered with outstanding nonprofits such as America’s Second Harvest, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, YMCA, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Sesame Workshop to create powerful and sustainable cause brands and partnerships for Corporate America. To apply our knowledge in such a meaningful and powerful way to serve the social missions of nonprofits directly is a ‘win-win’.”

Cone bases all of its nonprofit consulting services on targeted, leading-edge industry research and offers nonprofit organizations a customizable service menu to meet unique marketing, fundraising and communications needs including:

Long-Term Solutions

  • Cause Campaign Development
  • Nonprofit Brand MaximizationSM
  • Strategic Partnership Development
  • Integrated Marketing
  • Fundraising Products and Services
  • Organizational Development
  • Leadership Positioning

Short-Term Solutions

  • Strategy Sessions and Workshops
  • Corporate Sponsorship Planning
  • Brand Audit and Planning
  • Cone Nonprofit Return on Investment (ROI) Tool
  • Cone Intelligence and Research
  • Board Development
  • Nonprofit Executive Educational Briefings


For more information about Cone and the company’s new Cause Branding for Nonprofit services, contact Kiva Starr at 617-939-8335,, or visit the company’s web site at

Survey findings are the result of a telephone poll conducted from November 3-6, 2006 among a national probability sample of 1,022 adults comprised of 510 men and 512 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United
States. The survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation International and has an error margin of +/- three percentage points.