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Cause Marketing: The Button Soup Model

Cooking Up Fame and Fortune for Small Nonprofits that Have a Big Vision

The Button Soup tale is the perfect metaphor for how small nonprofits can achieve transformational results. Their vision for a better future is the magic button they can use to mobilise a network of partners.Explore the art of the possible in this workshop focused on a proven four-partner model for rallying a community around your cause. You’ll learn one of the most effective recipes for creating a transformational level of awareness and financial support – a level that you probably didn’t think was possible for a small organization like yours.

You don’t need a lot of resources to get started, but you will need to leverage some of your organization’s greatest assets – your strong vision for a better future, your organization’s most passionate supporters, and your ability to work well with a community of contributors.

Getting Inspired

You organization has greater assets than you realize.  To prove that fact and show how you can leverage those assets, Karen will start the workshop with her favorite version of the Button Soup story. In this tale, the hero is cash-poor but rich in vision and relationship-building savvy. In fact, he’s rich enough to rally an entire village using only a loose button and his astonishing but engaging vision of what that button can do for the community.

Getting Real

Next, participants hear the real-life version of this metaphor – Karen’s case study in which a small charity managed to raise $1 million and significantly increase issue awareness across Canada. The charity achieved this transformational outcome despite the fact that they had only about a dozen staff members in total and they hadn’t pre-planned for a cause marketing campaign. You’ll hear all about the four types of partners that came together, what each type of partner contributed and gained, and the “magic button” they rallied the partners around.

Making It Your Own

The final portion of the workshop builds on the energy and deep sector knowledge of the participants in the room.

Together, we work through strategic thinking exercises to help your participants apply the Button Soup Model to their specific situation and tap into their own creativity as well as the sector’s strengths. They will even start developing core campaign elements and messaging that you can build on, test, and refine later.

In case you’re not sure how to test and refine messaging, Karen will share some resources so you can work through those crucial next steps with confidence too!

Getting It Done

It’s so easy to feel like this type of campaign – and the transformational results it can yield –is out of reach for small organizations. It’s not.

In fact, building partnerships like the ones explained in this workshop is an essential strategy for small nonprofits that want to kick-start their growth process and avoid being permanently too small to really meet the community’s needs!

During this workshop, your participants will receive:

  • Karen’s real-life case study of a charity that raised $1 million and boosted awareness across the country, without an advertising budget or a big marketing department.
  • A piece-by-piece breakdown of the model behind this inspiring true story of marketing and fundraising success.
  • Tools to apply the model to your cause.
  • Handouts summarizing Karen’s unique mix of creative exercises, drawn from diverse disciplines such as marketing theory and copywriting, public relations, and even literary stylistics.

Participants can use the worksheets and exercises to develop effective, memorable campaign messaging – again and again!

The Ideal Afternoon Session for Association Conferences

This workshop will have the most benefit for a network – formal or informal – of nonprofit leaders, marketers, and fundraisers who share a common cause or issue.  

It is an ideal afternoon session to hold at your association’s annual educational conference or capacity-building day, because:

  • The Button Soup model highlights the value of the network members are connected with through your association.
  • After hearing inspiring examples, your members will come together in collaborative exercises to brainstorm partnerships and solutions that your sector really needs. They will learn the model and related theories through practical applications you can actually build on to move your cause forward.
  • Because of this approach, your members will leave the conference energized and excited to continue working together for true transformation in your sector.
  • After the workshop, Karen will send you a document summarizing the brainstorming that took place in the workshop. You will have all the tools you need to keep building on the momentum from an energizing and inspiring day.  

In a Nutshell

Ideal workshop size:  Approximately 20 to 40 people

Ideal Workshop length: Approximately three hours. Please speak with Karen about possible adaptations if you are interested in a similar experience but need a different timeframe.

Ultimate benefit: The ability to leverage supporter relationships and build partnerships for greater impact than any of the individual organizations participating had thought possible. Awareness of your issue, name recognition for your organization, money raised for your work, and valuable long-term partnerships developed.

Contact Karen at 647-287-4344 for more information or to book a session.