Charity Sector Glossary of Terms and Definitions

Ben Matthews

By Ben Matthews

In Blog

Reading Time: 27 minutes

It’s fair to say that the world of charity and nonprofits is full of lingo, jargon or any other term you prefer to use. With acronyms, initialisms and buzzwords flying around all over the place, it can sometimes be difficult to decipher the meaning behind these charity sector terms.

That’s why we’ve compiled this handy Charity Sector Glossary of Terms and Definitions for you to reference the next time you run into a term or phrase that mystifies you.

Also take a look at our Glossary of Good, for more in-depth definitions and context behind key cause-related terms, like Giving Tuesday, Equal Representation, Responsible Investment and Internally Displaced People.

Got a word that you think should be included in our charity sector glossary? Let us know in the comments.

In this article:


Activations are marketing activities a company conducts to promote a sponsorship. Money spent on activation helps to generate awareness of and consumer participation in a cause offering.


Activism is the doctrine or practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests, etc.


Advocacy is defined as a partnership in which a charity and a company work together to alter their operations, promote changes in public policies, support self-regulation, or endorse operating or ethical standards. Unlike promotional partnerships, advocacy tends to be aimed at internal audiences rather than promoted to consumers.


Astroturfing describes fake grass roots efforts that appear to be citizens but are actually paid “actors” by agencies.


Authenticity is the quality of being genuine, a best practice for successful campaigns. 


Awareness is percentage of population or target market who are aware of a given brand or company. There are two types of awareness: 

  1. unaided awareness, which measures the percentage of people who independently mention a particular brand when asked to name brands in a certain category
  2. aided awareness which measures the percentage of people who recognize a brand from a particular category when shown a list. 

Awareness-Raising Partners

Awareness-Raising Partners are corporate partners who aid an organisation in promoting a program and raising awareness. Referred to as a strategic gift in kind, often times, this partnership does not include a cash funding component. 


B-Corp is new class of corporations that:

  1. create a material positive impact on society and the environment
  2. expand fiduciary duty to require consideration of non—financial interests when making decisions
  3. report on its overall social and environmental performance using recognised third party standards.

Also referred to as Benefit Corporation.

B Lab

B Lab is the nonprofit organisation that provides the official B-Corporation Certification. B Lab is dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

Baby Boomer

Baby Boomer are the generation born between 1946 and 1964. Boomers have the largest population of any generation. Commonly described as optimistic, ambitious and loyal.

Belief-Driven Buyers

Belief-Driven Buyers are consumers who choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its’ stand on political or social issues they care about. 


A brand is a mixture of attributes, tangible and intangible, symbolised in a trademark. Comprised of a name, term, design, symbol, or other features, which identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. 

Brand Authenticity

Brand Authenticity is defined as sharing genuine user experiences that reflect a brand’s values to develop long—term customer loyalty to increase sales. The outward expression of the brand, including its name and visual appearance. Visible elements of a brand include colours, design, logo, name and symbol. Together, brand elements identify and distinguish the brand in the consumer’s mind. 

Brand Image

Brand Image is the consumer’s impression of a brand. It can include real and imaginary qualities and shortcomings. Brand image is developed over time through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme, and is authenticated through the consumer’s direct experience. 

Brand Personality

Brand Personality is the attribution of human personality traits (seriousness, warmth, imagination, etc.) to a brand as a way to achieve differentiation. The brand personality gives consumers something with which they can relate, effectively increasing brand awareness and popularity. 

Brand Philanthropy

Brand Philanthropy are defined as activities that associate a brand with a particular charity, cause or nonprofit organisation, also referred to as “cause marketing.” 

Brand Purpose

Brand Purpose is to strategically blend business and brand in ways that benefit the community. Brand Purpose is the organisation’s reason for existence beyond making a profit. 

Branded Partnership

Branded partnership is defined as when two brands form creating marketing synergy. Also referred to as co— branding. an alliance to work together.

Business to Business (B2B)

Business to Business (B2B) describes marketing and sales activities of businesses targeting other businesses with products and/or services. An example of a B2B promotion would be a paper supplier’s marketing efforts promoting their product to office supply retailers. 

Business-to-Business Sponsorship

Business-to-Business Sponsorship are sponsorship programs intended to influence corporate purchase / awareness, as opposed to targeting individual consumers. 

Business to Consumer (B2C)

Business to Consumer (B2C) describes activities of businesses targeting end consumers with products and/or services. An example of a B2C transaction is a person buying a pair of jeans from a shop. 

Buy One Get One (BOGO)

Buy One Get One (BOGO) is a common marketing offering whereby a consumer buys a product and gets a second product for free. 

Buy One Give One (BOGO)

Buy One Give One (BOGO) is a marketing practice grounded in social impact whereby a consumer buys one product and one is given away. This model is well-known thanks to Toms Shoes, which donates one pair of shoes for every pair it sells. This strategy offers consumers a powerful incentive to become customers while also contributing to the greater good. Also referred to as One for One or BOGO.


A campaign is defined as a set of coordinated marketing messages delivered at intervals with a specific goal.

Cash Mob

A cash mob is a trend in which people join together or use social channels to organise events that support local businesses. 

Category Exclusivity

Category Exclusivity is the right of a sponsor to be the only company within its product or service category associated with the sponsored property. 

Cause Alliance

A cause alliance is defined as a close association of groups, formed to advance common interests. Cause alliances are collaborative relationships between organisations, created to leverage each partner’s assets and capabilities to address shared interests.

Cause Alliance Campaign

A Cause Alliance Campaign is an integrated, collaborative campaign with multiple partners to advance a cause. 

Cause Branding

Cause Branding is a business initiative to integrate a cause into a marketing strategy to advance both business and social impacts while making a connection to stakeholders. Cause Branding goes further and attempts to create a permanent association in the eyes of the consumer between the company or brand and the cause or issue. 

Cause Licensing

Cause Licensing is a royalty-based relationship between a manufacturer or retailer and a charity or nonprofit organisation where a link is created between the sale of the licensed product and the cause. 

Cause Marketing

Cause Marketing is a business relationship in which a corporation and a nonprofit form a partnership that results in increased business for the corporation and a financial or marketing return for the nonprofit. Also referred to as Cause Alliances, Cause Partnership, Strategic Alliances, or Strategic Philanthropy.

Cause Promotion

Cause Promotion is defined as the corporate provision of funds, in-kind contributions or other resources for promotions intended to increase awareness and concern about a social cause or to support fundraising, participation or volunteer recruitment for a cause. Also referred to as Cause Sponsorship. 

Cause-Related Marketing

Cause-Related Marketing is a corporate commitment to make a contribution or donate a percentage of revenue to a specific cause based on predetermined consumer activity. Unlike philanthropy, cause marketing is a business expense, not a donation, and is expected to show a return on investment. Also known as Commercial Co—venture, Transactional Cause Marketing, Proceeds Partnerships or Proceeds Programs.

Cause Washing

Cause Washing is a term coined to describe inauthentic marketing-for-good, similar to “green— washing” which is defined as “when companies pretend to be environmentally friendly – when in fact they are not.”


Certification is an arrangement in which an organization grants its seal of approval to a branded product or service that complies with established standards. 

Certified B-Corporation

Certified B-Corporations have undergone a rigorous certification process developed by the nonprofit organization B Lab. Unlike traditional businesses, B—Corporations:

  • Meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards
  • Meet higher legal accountability standards
  • Build business constituency for public policies that support sustainable business.

Also referred to as a Certified B-Corp.

Civic Media

Civic Media is a form of communication that strengthens the social bonds within a community or creates a strong sense of civic engagement among its residents. 

Client Entertainment / Hospitality

Client Entertainment is defined as hosting key customers, clients, officials, employees and other VIPs at an event. Usually involves experiences, tickets, parking, dining and other amenities, often in a specially—designated area. Also referred to as Hospitality. 


Co-branding is when two brands form an alliance to work together, creating marketing synergy. Also referred to as Branded Partnership. 

Collective Impact

Collective Impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem, using a structured form of collaboration. 

Commercial Co-Venture

Commercial Co-Venture refers to a marketing campaign conducted by a co— venturer (the corporation),which represents that the purchase or use of goods or services will benefit a charitable organisation. Often referred to as ”cause marketing” though this is only one form of possible cause partnership. 

Commercial Co-Venturer

Commercial Co-Venturer is defined as any company who, for profit or other commercial consideration, conducts, promotes, underwrites, arranges, or sponsors a sale, or event of any kind which is advertised, and which will benefit, to any extent, a charitable organisation. 

Community Affairs / Relations

Community Affairs are the various methods companies use to establish and maintain a mutually—beneficial relationship with the communities in which they operate. Also known as Community Relations. 

Community Investment

Community Investment is proactive and primarily outcome-driven giving in which a corporation makes gifts that are simultaneously important to the long-term success of the business and serve a critical community need. 

Conspicuous Conservation

Conspicuous Conservation is defined as consumers who desire to show evidence of their conservation, such as driving a Prius. 

Consultative Selling

Consultative Selling is a style of selling in which a salesperson plays the role of a consultant. He or she first assists the buyer in identifying his or her needs, and then suggests products that satisfy those needs. 

Consumer Activation

Consumer Activation is used to describe the series of elements that lead to triggering an action from a consumer that results in a donation being made to nonprofit. Common examples include encouraging a consumer to ”add a pound” or ”round up” at checkout, tweet a photo or post a favourable comment. 

Consumer Activism

Consumer Activism is the practice of using social influence that leads to influencing business practices and outcomes, or that are seemingly safer and more readily available products or services. 

Consumer Product

Consumer Products are goods or services purchased for private use or for other members of the household. 

Content Curation

Content Curation is the process of identifying relevant content for a n audience from multiple sources, modifying or editing that content to reflect their needs and delivering the content to through multiple distribution channels.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is the practice of creating relevant and compelling content in a consistent fashion to a targeted buyer, focusing on all stages of the buying process, from brand awareness through brand evangelism.

Content Strategy

Content Strategy is the framework including people, process and tools to deliver the content your audience seeks, in all the places they search, for each stage in the buyer journey.

Core Competencies

Core Competencies relates to particular areas of skill and competence that best contribute to its ability to compete. 

Corporate Community Partners

Corporate Community Partners are those who have provided funding or in-kind donations to an organisation in exchange for sponsorship privileges; a joint partnership between a corporation and a nonprofit.

Corporate Contributions

Corporate are defined as the variety of ways that a corporation can support community organizations. Typically includes funding, grants, in-kind donations, and volunteer programs. Also known as Corporate Donations.

Corporate Donation Section

Corporate Donation Section is a unique section on a nonprofit or charity website defining how corporations can donate or support the organisation. 

Corporate Foundation Grants

Corporate Foundation Grants are defined as donations to a nonprofit from a foundation arm of a corporation. 

Corporate Funding

Corporate Funding is sponsorships, grants, or other monetary donations that are given to a nonprofit from a corporation’s marketing, community relations, or corporate social responsibility budgets. 

Corporate Fundraising

Corporate Fundraising is where companies raising money for nonprofit partners through organised activities and by soliciting funds from customers or employees. 

Corporate Identity

Corporate Identity refers to the visual identity of a corporation (logo, marks, etc.). Often understood to mean a corporation’s presentation to its stakeholders and the means by which it differentiates itself from other corporations. 

Corporate Philanthropy

Corporate Philanthropy is defined as direct contributions from a corporation to a nonprofit, the widest umbrella term to describe most traditional forms of corporate support. Also referred to as Corporate Foundation Grants or Corporate Grants.

Corporate Relations

Corporate Relations is where some nonprofit organisations refer to their work with corporate partners as Corporate Relations and often give staff responsible for this function a Corporate Relations title.

Corporate Social Marketing

Corporate Social Marketing is defined as corporate support for the development and / or implementation of a behaviour-change campaign intended to improve public health, safety, the environment or community wellbeing. 

Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR refers to operating a business in a manner that accounts for the social and environmental impact created by the business. CSR means a commitment to developing policies that integrate responsible practices into daily business operations, and to reporting on progress made toward implementing these practices. It is the sum of all activities including Cause Marketing, Community Affairs and Responsible Business Practices. Related concepts include Corporate Reputation, Corporate Citizenship, Triple Bottom Line.

Corporate Volunteerism

Corporate Volunteerism is a practice that harnesses the valuable network of employee interests, talent and time to create value for nonprofits. 

Corporate Volunteer Program

Corporate Volunteer Programs are where corporate-led opportunities for their employees to participate in volunteer activities in support of a nonprofit partner. Can be organised by individual, skills-based, micro or team volunteer activities. 


Co-sponsors simply means the sponsors of the same property or asset. 

Cost / Benefit Ratio

Cost / Benefit Ratio is the ratio used to determine the amount of value received for each pound invested in a campaign. 

Creative Disruption

Creative Disruption occurs when a traditional marketing message is flipped to attract attention. Does not necessarily connote negativity, and this approach is increasingly popular for brands today as they try to become more memorable. 


Cross-Promotions are defined as a joint marketing effort conducted by two or more partners using the sponsored property as the central theme.


Crowdfunding is the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together to support efforts initiated by other people or organisations. 


Crowdsourcing refers to the harnessing and enthusiasm from a large number of people who are prepared to volunteer their time contribute content or skill to solve a problem and/or create positive impact.


A Curator is someone who searches, finds and filters the best content on a topic from multiple sources providing an interpretative service. 

Customer Journey

The Customer Journey is defined as the plotting a customer’s experience of interacting with a brand which includes touch-points along the way. 

Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is exhibited when a customer repeatedly prefers and purchases one brand over others in the same category. Loyalty can be positively (or negatively) affected by cause marketing. 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) involves tracking customer behaviour for the purpose of developing marketing and relationship-building processes that bond the consumer to the brand. Typically uses software and systems to provide one-to-one personal contact between the organisation and the customer. 

Customised Programs

Customised Programs are corporate partnership elements that have been customised and/or provide the opportunity for customisation based on shared objectives and goals. 

Data Visualisation

Data Visualisation is defined as using visual elements such as infographics, timelines, charts, graphs and maps to illustrate patterns, trends and correlations. 


Demographics are the description of outward traits that characterise a group of people such as age, sex, nationality, marital status, education, occupation or income. Decisions on market segmentation are often based on demographic data.

Differential Advantage

Differential Advantage is a feature of a product that is valuable to customers and is not found in other products of the same category. 


Differentiation is defined as the creation or demonstration of unique characteristics in a brand compared to those of its competitors.


A Differentiator is any tangible or intangible characteristic that can be used to distinguish a product ora company from other products and companies. 


Digital describes electronic technology that generates, stores and processes data. 

Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling is defined as a short, compelling narrative that is com posed using emergent forms of digital technologies. 

Disaster Philanthropy Plan

A Disaster Philanthropy Plan is an overall strategy developed and shared in advance by companies in order to respond more effectively to natural disasters and to help affected employees and communities recover. 

DIY Fundraising

DIY Fundraising is when an individual determines the type of activity they choose to undertake and fundraise to benefit a cause or nonprofit. Organisations provide flexible resources that support a variety of athletic and/or social activities (run, walk, dance, motorcycle ride, bake sales, etc.) 

Donations in Kind

Donations that are made in goods and services rather than in money. Also known as Gift in Kind. 

Double Bottom Line

Double Bottom Line refers to businesses’ attention to both conventional profit and loss as well as to social good.

Editorial Calendar

An Editorial Calendar is organised content to be published by topic and channel across time. 

Editorial Coverage

Editorial Coverage is defined as exposure that is generated by a media publication or third party, typically this type of coverage is referred to as unpaid media coverage. 

Editorial Guidelines

Editorial Guidelines are the identification of the types, tone and topics of content to be selected for a given channel.

Emotional Engagement

Emotional Engagement is the level of involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence an individual has with a brand over time.

Employee Activism

Employee Activism is where employees follow issues that affect them while taking note of where their employers stand as they straddle the role of brand ambassador and concerned citizen. 

Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement refers to the involvement of employees and the emotional connections created by connecting the employee to the corporation’s chosen charitable activities.

Ephemeral Marketing

Ephemeral Marketing is defined as temporary content, primarily images and videos that are only accessible for a brief period of time such as Instagram Stories or Snapchat.

Event Marketing

Event Marketing is a promotional strategy linking a company to an event (sponsorship of a sports competition, festival, etc.)

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is Information and marketing materials developed that are valid for a long period of time without being continuously updated.

Facebook Fundraisers

Facebook Fundraisers is an in-app fundraising tool that allows nonprofits to collect donations and enables supporters to fundraise and engage their community

Fair Trade

Fair Trade is defined as a market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability. Also, a social movement and certification. 

Foundation Funding

Foundation Funding refers to grants or other monetary donations that are given to a nonprofit from a private, family or corporate foundation.


Friendraising is a form of fundraising that involves befriending an organisation or individual for the purpose of helping support the financial aspect of a charity. 


Fulfillment is defined as the delivery of benefits promised in the partnership agreement. 


Fundraising is defined as the organised activity of raising funds for a charity, institution or cause.

Fundraising Partnership

Fundraising Partnership are the use of a company’s assets and outlets as collection points for donations. 


Gamification is the use of game playing and design techniques to enhance non-game contexts, products and services. Gamification encourages users to engage in desired behaviours by taking advantage of a human’s psychological predisposition to engage in game playing. 

Gen X

Gen X is the cohort of people born between 1965 and 1984 (following boomers and preceding Millennials). Generation X is often characterised as independent, resourceful and self-sufficient. 

Gen Y

Gen Y is often interchanged with the term Millennial, the age range varies by source. Some say it is the group of people born between 1978 and 2000, others say it begins at 1982. Most agree Gen Y is the last generation of children wholly born in the 20th century. Also referred to as Millennial. 

Gen Z

Some define Gen Z as the cohort born between 2001 and present, others use the term to refer to people born between 1994 and 2004. The distinguishing characteristic of Gen Z is that they have likely never known life without the internet, mobile phones or YouTube.

Gift ln-Kind

Gifts In-Kind are a type of charitable giving in which, instead of giving money to fund goods/services/ or program support the actual goods/services are given. Often includes marketing assets to help raise awareness of a cause. Also referred to as GIK.

Giving Platform

Giving Platform are an online or mobile fundraising site where individuals can raise money for a cause. Similar technology is offered, often co-branded, by nonprofits to enable individuals (such as walk or other event participants) to raise money from their personal networks. Also referred to as Online or Mobile Giving Platform, Social Giving Platform. 

Good Washing

Good Washing is term coined to describe inauthentic marketing for good, similar to “green—washing,” which Urban Dictionary defines as ”when companies pretend to be environmentally friendly – when in fact they are not.” See Cause Washing. 

Government Funding

Government Funding is grants or other monetary donations that come from a state or federal agency. 

Grassroots Marketing

Grassroots marketing starts from the ground up. Instead of launching a message to appeal to many people, a marketertargets a small group to spread the message to a much larger audience.

Halo Effect

The halo effect is a term used to describe the bias shown by customers towards certain products or brands. As it relates to cause, it is the positive or altruistic reputation received by a company that supports a nonprofit or cause. 

Holistic Marketing

Holistic Marketing is a strategy which considers the business as a whole and not as an entity with separate parts in order to convey a positive united image to consumers. 


Hospitality involves hosting key customers, clients, key stakeholders, employees and other VIPs at an event. Usually involves unique experiences, tickets, parking and other amenities, often in a specially designated area. Also referred to as Client Entertainment. 

Impact Reporting

Impact Reporting is defined as communicating the difference you made to the people you are trying to help, or to the issue you are trying to improve. Impact reporting often takes the form of an impact report or annual report. 

Impact Washing

Impact Washing occurs when companies claim impact or seek to wash themselves in the Ianguage of social good really doing anything substantive; similar to greenwashing. without 

ln-Kind Sponsorship

ln-Kind Sponsorship refers to the payment (full or partial) of sponsorship fee in goods or services rather than cash.

Intangible Marketing Benefits

Intangible Marketing Benefits is the qualitative benefits of a marketing program or cause partnership. Includes critical elements, such as audience loyalty, which do not have an easily measurable quantitative component. 

Integrated Partnership

Integrated Partnerships are a multi—faceted relationship whereby the corporate partner is seeking a return on investment (ROI). Integrated partnerships ultimately leverage many corporate assets and budgets to support the partnership and business goals.

Internal Brand Engagement

Internal Brand Engagement is the process of linking internal culture and employee behaviour to business goals. Authentic brands are often built from within, starting with an organisation’s people and culture. 

Licensed Merchandise

Licensed Merchandise are goods produced by a manufacturer (the licensee) who has obtained a license to produce and distribute the official marks on products. Cause licensing requires a legal agreement and typically includes royalties or other fees


A Licensee is a manufacturer that has obtained a license to produce and distribute licensed merchandise. 


Licensing is a relationship between a manufacturer and a property, which can be a nonprofit, where the property grants the former a license to produce and sell merchandise with its logos and terminology. The property receives a royalty on each piece of merchandise sold; there is often also an upfront payment made to the property. The manufacturer (licensee) does not have the right to use the property marks and logos anywhere except on the licensed merchandise. 

Marginal Social Cost (MSC)

Marginal Social Cost (MSC) is the total cost to society as a whole for producing one further unit, or taking one further action, in an economy. 

Market Segment

Market Segment is a group of customers who (a) share the same needs and values (b) can be expected to respond in much the same way to a company’s offering, and (c) command enough purchasing power to be of strategic importance to the company. 

Market Share

Market Share is a company’s share of total sales of a given category of product on a given market. Can be expressed either in terms of volume (how many units sold) or value (the worth of units sold).

Matching Gifts

Matching Gifts are offered by corporations to encourage and promote charitable giving by employees by matching individual donations with a  corporate gift.

Matching Grant

A Matching Grant is when a funder offers a certain donation based on the condition that the same amount (whatever the declared amount is) also be raised from other sources. 


mCommerce refers to the buying and selling of goods or services via a mobile device (rather than e— commerce, which is online sales). Mcommerce has become an essential business strategy. 

Media Sponsor

Media Sponsors are broadcast, online, print, out-of-home and outdoor media suppliers that provide advertising time or space to a property in exchange for official designation. 


Metrics are a measurement used to gauge some quantifiable component of performance. Also referred to as return on investment (ROI).


Micro-donations are small charitable donations. In the past, they have been limited to collecting spare change at registers and checkouts. Micro-donations as a valid philanthropic strategy has increased due to the advent and popularity of online and mobile. 

Micro-lnfluencer Marketing

Micro-lnfluencer Marketing is the practice of engaging people who have a smaller social media reach than traditional influencers, but can often deliver higher quality leads to recommend products or services. 

Micro Volunteering

Micro Volunteering is markedly different from traditional forms of volunteering. Micro volunteer opportunities generally do not require a long-term obligation and are flexible, resulting in only a short commitment of time and talent. 


Millennials are often interchanged with the term Gen Y the age range varies by source. Some say it is the group of people born between 1978 and 2000, others say it begins at 1982. Most agree Gen Y is the last generation of children wholly born in the 20th century. Also referred to as GenY.

Minimum Guarantee

Minimum Guarantee is where a partner agrees to pay a specific minimum sum, regardless of the actual result of the cause promotion. If sales (or other calls to action, i.e. tweets or posts) do not trigger the anticipated amount, the company makes up the difference

Mobile Giving

Mobile Giving is the practice of enabling multiple mobile channels and social networks for charitable giving.

Native Advertising

Native Advertising is online advertising that takes on the form and function of the platform it appears on, to make ads feel less like ads, and more like part of the conversation.

New Business Development

New Business Development is the term used to describe all the activities involved in realising new business opportunities.


Newsjacking occurs when an organisation capitalises on a news story and puts a spin on it to draw attention to their content/opinion in order to boost engagement and marketing.

Niche Marketing

Niche Marketing is marketing adapted to the needs, wishes and expectations of small, precisely—defined groups of individuals. A form of market segmentation. 


NGO stands for nongovernmental organization, an entity apart from business and government sectors. 


Offering is defined as what a company offers for sale to customers. An offering includes the product and its design, features, quality, packaging, distribution, etc. 


Omnichannel is similar to multi-channel marketing but with the goal of providing a seamless, consistent, holistic, effortless customer experience over multiple devices and channels including physical stores. 

One for One

One for One is a marketing practice whereby a consumer buys one and one is given away. This model is well-known thanks to Toms Shoes, which donates one pair of shoes (or other product) for every pair it sells. This strategy offers consumers a powerful incentive to become customers while also contributing to social good. Also referred to as Buy One, Give One. 

Online Screening Process

Online Screening Process is an area on an organisation’s Website where interested partners can submit requested information to the organisation as a first step toward the possibility of partnering. 


Optics are the aspects of an action, policy, or decision (as in politics or business) that relate to public perceptions. 

Organizational Readiness

Organizational Readiness is a comprehensive assessment of organisational functioning and readiness for change.

Partner Summit

Partner Summit is a cultivation tool that brings together representatives from current and potential partners for education / information sharing and networking/relationship building. 

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising (P2P)

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising (P2P) is a growing one—to—many model and fundraising channel based on the premise of empowering individuals to fundraise on behalf of a cause or nonprofit. A passionate individual serves as the connector and opens up his or her network to garner support. P2P success is often achieved through leveraging a number of digital resources and communities. 

Personal Fundraising Page

A Personal Fundraising Page is a fundraising tool available on an organisation’s or corporation’s website where individuals can create their own customised pages to raise funds in support of a cause via their personal and professional networks. 


Philanthropy is defined as the support for a nonprofit or cause where no commercial advantage is expected. 


A Pinup is any point-of-sale item used for cause marketing donation programs such as paper cutouts, scannable icons, etc. and typically posted somewhere within a visible, bricks and mortar location. The Marie Curie daffodil pin badges are the classic example.

Positioning Statement

A Positioning Statement is a written description of the position that an organisation wishes itself, its product and / or its brand to occupy in the minds of a defined target audience. 


Premiums are merchandise produced to promote involvement with a property, often customised with the names / logos of the sponsor and the property. 

Presenting Sponsor

The Presenting Sponsor is a sponsor who has paid a fee with entitlement for their name to be associated either above or below that of the sponsored property.

Primary Sponsor

The Primary Sponsor refers to sponsor paying the largest fee and receiving largest package of benefits when a property has no title or presenting sponsor. 

Product Donations

Product Donations is when a nonprofit accepts or a corporation donates products as a form of donation. 

Product Proceeds Program

Product Proceeds Programs are designed to allow a nonprofit or cause to benefit from the sale of products / services by a corporate partner. At the point of solicitation, details of the agreement must be made clear to the consumer. Partners should disclose:

  • the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the charity (eg. 5 percent will be contributed to XYZ charity for every product sold)
  • the duration of the campaign (eg. the month of Decembe)
  • any maximum or guaranteed minimum contribution amount (e.g. up to a maximum of £100,000).

As an example of compliance, a disclosure statement might read: “5 cents will go to XYZ Charity for every XX sold in December up to a maximum of £100,000.”

Promotional Partnership

A Promotional Partnership is an alliance in which a company or media outlet promotes a cause and its message. While typically no cash changes hands, the promotion builds the nonprofit or cause brand via amplification by the company. The company benefits from the halo the cause brings to its brand. 


Property is defined as a unique, commercially-exploitable entity, (typically in sports, arts, events, entertainment or cause). 

Pro Social

Pro Social are voluntary actions that are intended to help or benefit another individual or group of individuals. 


Psychographics are quantified psychological profiles of individuals, based on their attitudes and behaviour. 

Public Domain

A work enters the public domain when it is donated by its creator or when the creator’s copyright expires making it available to the public.

Purpose Based Marketing

Purpose Based Marketing is an umbrella term used to describe how organisations define and market their purpose and what they stand for— other than making a profit. Can be targeted toward internal and external audiences or both. Typically involves raising awareness and / or funds for a cause, clearly—defined goals and reporting specific metrics toward achieving social good. Also referred to as Purpose Driven Marketing. 

Purpose-Driven Brand (or Organisation)

Purpose-Driven Brand (or Organisation) is a brand that consciously conducts its business according to its purpose and consistently communicates its values and what it stands for to consumers and employees. 

QR Code

QR Code is the trademark name for a type of black and white matrix barcode arranged in a square pattern on a white background, designed to store virtually any kind of data. QR Codes can store URLs, donation links, etc. Quantifiable

Register Campaign

Register Campaign are a cause campaign that uses either a traditional or point—of—sale checkout option to ask for a donation and raise awareness. “Add a pound” or “Round Up” to the nearest pound are both traditional register campaign asks. 

Responsible Business Practices

Responsible business practices refer to those corporate activities whose main purpose is to benefit individuals, a community, or the environment. They may be one or several of the following: cause partnership, sponsorship, grants, product donation, corporate volunteering, community engagement. The goals of having a social business strategy in place are to deliver an impact, further a cause, or gain a positive public image. 

Right of First Refusal

Right of First Refusal is defined as the contractual right granting a sponsor the ability to renew sponsorship rights during a specific period of time in the sponsor’s product category. 

Sales Rights

Sales Rights is when a sponsor is granted preferred supplier rights to sell its product or service to the property or its attendees or members. One example is pouring rights at an event. 


SEO, or Search engine optimisation, is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or ”earned” results. Take a look at our guide to SEO for charities for more.

Share of Mind

At its most precise, share of mind measures how often consumers think about a particular brand as a percentage of all the times they think about all the brands in its category. More loosely, share of mind can be defined simply as positive perceptions of the brand obtained by market research. Whereas market share measures the width of market position, share of mind can be said to measure its depth. 

Share of Voice

Share of Voice is defined as the measurement of exposure a brand gets; often used in a competitive analysis to gauge visibility among a specific audience. 

Share of Wallet

Share of Wallet is the measure of how much a customer spends on a particular brand compared to others in the same category. Metric used to demonstrate preference and loyalty.

Shared Responsibility

Shared Responsibility is defined as the collaboration between all members of a team or partnership. 

Shared Value

Shared Values are policies and practices that enhance the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously advancing the economic, and social conditions in the communities in which it operates. 

Shopper Proceeds Program

Shopper Proceeds Programs are when a consumer uses the charity’s link to complete a transaction, the charity receives a percentage or portion of the purchase amount.


Signage is defined as a proprietary, branded fundraising initiative with multi—partner potential owned by a nonprofit. 

Skills-based Volunteerism

Skills-based Volunteerism is volunteering that leverages the specialised skills and talents of individuals to strengthen the infrastructure of nonprofits, helping them build and sustain their capacity to successfully achieve their missions. 


Slacktivism is a mashup of the words “slacker”and “activism”. Considered a pejorative term that describes ”feel-good” measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction. 


Smarketing refers to the practice of aligning sales and marketing efforts to positively impact the bottom line through coordinated communication. 

Smart Content

Smart Content refers to personalised content that is designed to meet a consumer’s needs. Generated by marketing automation tools and technology with tailored messages and content. 

SMS Donations

SMS Donations are secure mobile text—based donations using a keyword or shortcode. 

Snackable Content

Snackable Content is short—form content like Instagram stories and Facebook videos that are created to be consumed in small, bite-sized pieces that are engaging and easily digestible. 

Social Capital

Social Capital is a concept that refers to the good will and positive reputation that flows to an entity through diverse relationships with others in social networks. 

Social Causes

Social Causes is a field of work within the nonprofit sector, such as climate change, education, health, etc.

Social Change

Social Change is defined as a significant alteration in the patterns, values or structure of a social group or society, Le, a change in the social nature, institutions, behaviours or relations of a society. 

Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise is defined as an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximise improvements in human and environmental wellbeing rather than maximising profits for external shareholders. Social enterprises can be structured as for profit or nonprofit. 

Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship is the practice of simultaneously pursuing both a financial and a social return on investment. 

Social Giving

Social Giving is defined as raising funds through social media networks. 

Social Good

Measured in many ways, social good lies at the intersection of technology, advocacy and the ability to affect change in a positive, measurable way. Social good implies more thanjust moneychanging hands. Campaigns often combine the ability of technologies to find, introduce and bond communities around a common interest.

Social Impact Partnerships

Social Impact Partnerships is a partnership, usually between a business and a nonprofit, with a deliberate goal to address a pressing social challenge and create a significant, positive change as a result. 

Social Marketing

Social Marketing is the application of marketing concepts and techniques applied to achieve specific behavioural goals for a social good. Sometimes confused with social media marketing. Classic examples are marketing campaigns promoting smoking cessation or changing the batteries in smoke detectors to save lives. 

Social Media

Social Media is defined as a means of communication disseminated through social interaction via apps and networks designed to be simple to use, highly accessible and scalable. Popular platforms include Facebook, Instagram Twitter and Linkedln. 

Social Media Optimisation

Social Media Optimisation is a set of practices for managing and promoting a brand (or campaign, product, etc.), raising awareness and encouraging sharing content that continues to attract more publicity through social media, online communities and networks. 

Social Networking

Social Networking is the act of socialising in an online community via websites, apps and networks. 

Social Proof

Social Proof is defined as people seeking direction from those around them to determine how they are supposed to act or think in a situation; in social media, the idea that if others are sharing something or following someone, it must be good. 

Social Return on Investment (SROI)

Social Return on Investment (SROI) refers to the nonfinancial returns sought by a social entrepreneur. 

Socially Responsible Business Practices

Socially Responsible Business Practices are business practices and codes of conduct with the main purpose to provide benefit to a particular audience or social cause. Also known as Social Responsibility. 

Sole Sponsor

The Sole Sponsor is a company that has paid to be the only sponsor of a property. 


A Sponsee is a property available for sponsorship. Sponsor: An entity that pays a property for the right to promote itself and its products or services in association with the property. 

The Sponsor ID is the Visual, digital and audio recognitions of sponsor, e.g., sponsor name/logo on participant clothing, equipment, in publications and advertising mentioned in public address and broadcast.


Sponsorship is a cash and/or in—kind fee paid to a property (typically in sports, arts, entertainment orcauses) in return for access to the exploitable commercial potential associated with that property. 

Sponsorship Agency

A Sponsorship Agency is a company that specialises in advising on, managing, brokering or organising sponsored properties. The agency may be em ployed by either the sponsor or property

Sponsorship Fee

Sponsorship Fee are payments made by a sponsor to a property as stipulated in the partnership agreement. 


Storytelling is a powerful tool that enables marketers to understand what is going on in the marketplace and what that means for the customer, consumer, society, brand, and organisation. Storytelling isn’t just a creative approach to marketing, it allows consumers to connect with your brand.

Storytelling as Currency

Storytelling as Currency are stories that create lasting connections have become important currencies as consumers look for brands they can believe in and that echo their personal beliefs.

Strategic Gift-ln- Kind

A strategic in-kind donation from a corporation provides an organisation with a budget-relieving good or service that aids in executing its mission in lieu of a cash donation. Examples include advertising space, office furniture and airline miles.

Strategic Partnership

Strategic partnership is a formal alliance between two enterprises. Typically, organizations enter into strategic partnerships with the intent to leverage shared assets to achieve shared goals. 

Strategic Philanthropy

Strategic Philanthropy are philanthropic decisions that are integrated with corporate citizenship and other key strategic performance-related decisions. Also referred to as Strategic Giving or Tactical Philanthropy. 

Superficial Cause Marketing

Superficial Cause Marketing is a hollow attempt that undermines consumer trust of well-executed cause marketing social good programs.


In general, Sustainability refers to the ability to live, build and create systemsthat provide quality of life without damaging resources and the environment today or in the future. Can also mean the ability to continue and sustain a certain practice.

Sustainable Development Goals

Created by the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. Find more information about the Sustainable Development Goals on the United Nations website.

Tangible Marketing Benefits

Tangible Marketing Benefits are the quantitative benefits of a marketing program or cause partnership. Includes measurable elements, such as earned and paid media.

Target Market

Target Market is the market segment or group of consumers an organisation aims its marketing activities.

Third Party Online Giving Platform

Third Party Online Giving PlatformA way to generate funds for a nonprofit organisation via a provider that offers an on— line fundraising platform.

Title Sponsor

Title Sponsor are a sponsor that has its name incorporated into the name of the sponsored property.

Transactional Cause Marketing

Transactional Cause Marketing is a marketing strategy that includes a call to action by the company that triggers a donation to a nonprofit or cause. Often tied to a purchase, social media share, post, etc.Unlike philanthropy, cause marketing is a business expense and is expected to show ROI for both partners.

Transformative Cause Marketing

Transformative Cause Marketing are one-off promotions are replaced with transformative cause programs that are proactive, brand-centric and, in most cases, grow overtime and have long-lasting impact. Companies and causes are making the shift from a transactional to a transformative mindset. 


Transparency is open, clear communication with information readily available for public consumption, transparency is a required component of successful cause alliances. 

Triple Bottom Line (TPL)

Triple Bottom Line (TPL) is a framework for measuring business performance that captures values that organizations embrace to benefit people, planet, profit. Also referred to as TBL or 3BL.

Turn-Key Programs

A turn-key program is strategically constructed to be turned over to an organisation in a ready-to-implement condition.  Also refers to something that is ready for immediate use. A cause campaign that could launch with little human capital investment or other expense.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Unique Selling Proposition (USP) are attributes or benefits that uniquely differentiate and set apart a brand from its competitor. A USP is seen as strategic and critical in defining an organisation’s competitive advantage and branding.


Upcycling is the practice of taking something and transforming it into something of greater use and value. 


Valuation is defined as the accumulation of data and knowledge to accurately provide an assessment and value of any campaign opportunity. 

Venture Philanthropy Funds

Venture Philanthropy Funds takes cues from venture capitalists and translates those business and investment concepts to achieving philanthropic or social impact goals.


Volunteerism is defined as the practice of providing time or talent without being paid. Can take many forms and often is grounded in community service.


Win-Win is a term used to describe a partnership whereby both partners – company and charity – receive benefit. 


Win-Win-Win is used to describe a partnership whereby both partners – company and charity – and the consumer receives a benefit too. 

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is an umbrella term used for dozens of techniques that can be used to engage and energise customers.

Workplace Giving Initiative

Workplace Giving Initiative is an employee engagement activity executed by a company that encourages its’ employees to make a donation to a selected charity. Often times the company incentivises the employee with a perk and/ora corporate match to drive participation. 

Wrap-Around Event

Wrap-Around Events are a series of activities that surround and support a cause campaign or peer to peer fundraising initiative.