Partners in Profits: Small Businesses Move Slowly Into Cause-Related Marketing


  • Nora Ganim Barnes University of Massachusetts Dartmouth


Cause-related marketing (CRM) began in 1981 when American Express agreed to donate $I for every new credit card issued to the Ellis Island/Statue of liberty Restoration Foundation. Since then, the use of this strategy has been widespread and rewarding. Curiously, cause-related marketing has become associated with large corporations. The study presented  here confirms the lack of use of CRM among small businesses. This reluctance appears unfounded as those small businesses that have ventured into CRM agreements report success in terms of increased sales, attracting new customers and enhancing the store's image. CRM has gained in popularity and can be a viable strategy for small businesses looking to differentiate themselves. In a world of parity products  and services, this might be a key weapon in the small business arsenal.


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How to Cite

Barnes, N. G. (1998). Partners in Profits: Small Businesses Move Slowly Into Cause-Related Marketing. Journal of Small Business Strategy (archive Only), 9(1), 47–55. Retrieved from