Cause Marketing Partnerships

Cause Marketing Guidelines with Food & Friends

Cause marketing (or a commercial co-venture) is a marketing partnership between a company and a nonprofit organization that raises money for the nonprofit organization while promoting a product, service or performance from that company.

The purpose of these guidelines is to maintain positive cause marketing relationships, protect Food & Friends’ and our partners’ reputations, comply with applicable state laws, and meet the Better Business Bureau’s “Standards for Charity Accountability.”

General Guidelines

Mission alignment & good standing in the community

  • Any promotion must fit with Food & Friends’ mission and reflect positively on the organization.
  • Cause marketing partners must have and maintain a positive reputation in their communities.
  • All cause marketing promotions to benefit Food & Friends must follow all applicable laws as well at the Better Business Bureau’s Standards for Charity Accountability.
  • Cause marketing partners cannot advocate violence, or use violent references / images.
  • Cause marketing partners cannot tolerate or promote racism, religious / national typing, sexism, use sexual references / images / vulgarity, or provide any materials deemed offensive to our supporters.
  • Cause marketing partners cannot promote gambling or other controversial subjects.

Cause marketing agreements & promotion

  • Agreement¬†
    • Cause marketing partners must have a signed and approved contract with Food & Friends before any promotion begins.
    • Cause marketing agreements must clearly state at the point of sale or contact with consumer to include the:
      • Amount per sale or the percent of sale that the partner will donate to Food & Friends (also, if applicable, any specific maximum or guaranteed minimum donation);
      • Products, services or performances that are included; and the duration of the promotion.
    • The cause marketing partner must maintain an accurate and current accounting of each promotion and retain records for three years after it ends.
    • All cause marketing promotions to benefit Food & Friends must follow all applicable state laws.
    • Food & Friends does not provide legal advice and encourages partners to seek their own legal counsel. T
    • The cause marketing contract must be filed by the company or by Food & Friends in some states. In some states the company must register as a commercial co-venturer.
  • Promotion
    • In accordance with generally accepted cause marketing standards, Food & Friends may engage in activities that acknowledge its’ partners through a variety of online and offline channels; however, Food & Friends does not engage in activities that could be considered advertising or endorsing its partners.
    • Cause marketing partners must submit to Food & Friends the final design of promotional materials containing the Food & Friends name or logo for approval before online or offline production or publication.
    • Promotions must not imply Food & Friends’ endorsement of a product or service.
    • Cause marketing partners cannot take a political stance.
    • All promotional materials must disclose:
      • The cause marketing partner’s name and contact information;
      • Food & Friends’ name and contact information;
      • The amount or percentage of sale that will be donated, products or services included in the promotion and duration of the promotion; and
      • If applicable, the maximum limit or guaranteed minimum of the donation.


To discuss partnership opportunities, please contact Lisa Huffman at (202) 269-6880 or