Nonprofit forays into the for-profit sector are increasing in frequency but remain a contentious issue. As charities struggle to bring in adequate funding to work toward their goals, many are choosing to risk criticism and form partnerships with businesses in order to sell products that raise money for their causes. This is called cause-related marketing (CRM). Critics of CRM condemn it for encouraging the consumerism and capitalism that they believe causes social problems in the first place. They worry that it promotes the idea that purchases alone can change the world. These fears are not entirely unfounded, but when nonprofits are careful about which companies they partner with and make transparency a priority they can benefit greatly from the effort. CRM is not a panacea that will fix everything, but it can help more people get involved in activism and allow more voices to be heard. Most importantly, CRM can provide much needed sustainable, unrestricted funding for nonprofits that are bogged down by the constant struggle for resources. The potential influx of money allows for adaptation and expansion of services and the ability to serve more people, making CRM a positive influence and a useful tool for social change.

First Advisor

Pierre Ly

Degree Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2013