Cause marketing has evolved for some companies into collaborative partnerships that provide shared value for the participating corporation and charity.
Mary MacDonald of EarthShare, a federation of nonprofits involved with environmental issues, says many corporations are looking to collaborative partnerships to solve problems, not just donate money.
In a blog post on GreenBiz.com, MacDonald cites the example of The Nature Conservancy and Coca-Cola collaborating on ways to reduce water usage and conserve watersheds around the world.
"Water scarcity is a growing problem," MacDonald writes, "and water is the primary ingredient in every can of soda Coca-Cola produces."
The collaboration involves The Nature Conservancy quantifying the water consumed by Coca-Cola bottling operations, then offsetting it with watershed conservation projects the company sponsors worldwide. Coca-Cole reports it will hit the 42 percent mark by 2013, including preservation of a 1.7-million acre wetland in Vietnam.