by John Trybus, Managing Director

Coca Cola. Walmart. Bank of America. Safeway. Proctor & Gamble. Mattel.

These are but a handful of the A-list corporate partnerships that Kristine Templin, as the vice president of corporate partnerships at Special Olympics, manages. She’s this week’s social strategist.

Kristine is no stranger to the fast-paced world of cause marketing. She’s held positions with some of the most iconic cause brands in the world: including the American Red Cross and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, among other places.

To create successful partnerships nonprofit practitioners need to strive for mutual benefit and understand the corporate side of a relationship, according to Kristine.

“I tell my team that this is not charity…that’s just the benefit of the partnership,” Kristine explains in the interview. “This is a business relationship with a charitable benefit to it.”

Although Special Olympics is a nonprofit with a high level of name recognition, corporate partnerships help to increase the reach of this cause. But what exactly does cause marketing help to accomplish?

“Obviously it raises a lot of money for us, and we’re extremely grateful for that. But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg,” Kristine says. “Often times cause marketing provides the market scale that we would not be able to achieve on our own.”

Cause marketing is not just about the money and Special Olympics is proving just that.

“[Corporate partners] really become the voices, and they provide the platform for us to be able to share the message that we’re trying to communicate.”

Tune in to my interview with Kristine Templin to hear her answers to the following questions:

  • What characteristics does Special Olympics pay attention to when determining a good corporate partner?
  • How do you persuade a company to create a cause marketing partnership that leads to the highly desired unrestricted funds for a nonprofit?
  • Is cause marketing, and communicating about such partnerships, different outside of the United States?