Is your shopping centre building credibility and support by helping non-profits?

If you own or manage a shopping centre and have never hosted a pop-up stand for a non-profit organisation such as Save The Children, Surf Life Saving Australia, or even the local neighbourhood centre, you really need to start thinking about why.

It is common for non-profit organisations such as these to be given free or heavily discounted space within a shopping centre as they try to increase their profile, raise funds and attract new supporters. The pay off for the shopping centre simply cannot be overstated as it signals loud and clear its support for causes which matter to their consumers. This is called Cause-Related Marketing (CRM) and represents a true win-win scenario – when done well. There is possibly no better example of this than the good old-fashioned Bunnings Sausage Sizzle.

While not everyone buying a sausage sandwich will look to see what non-profit is working the sausage sizzle that day to raise valuable funds, they do know that a local cause is benefitting. They may not however, stop to think about the reputational benefit and increased foot traffic for Bunnings.

If it’s a Saturday morning, you need to go to a hardware store to buy a shovel and happen to be hungry, you are much more likely to head to the local Bunnings than the independent hardware store where you can get a shovel, but not a sausage sandwich.

New York-based marketing agency Amra and Elma (reputable Australian data is hard to find)

released 2023 statistics on Cause-Related Marketing which found that “91% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that supports social or environmental issues”.

Other interesting stats from their research include 81% of consumers believe a brand has to earn their trust; 64% of Americans make decisions around boycotting, switching or choosing a brand “based on its stand on societal issues” and; CRM spending in the US was expected to come in at around $3.96 billion in 2022.

If we extrapolate this data, we can confidently state that a shopping centre supporting causes which are of value to those who visit their centre, is likely to have a favourable impact on those visitors, potentially impacting their choice in which shopping centre to spend their money at.

Importantly, the Amra and Elma data also shows that “brands are most credible when an issue directly impacts their customers (47%), employees (40%) and business operations (31%)”. With this being the case, it would be impactful for a shopping centre to host a fundraiser for a local community group such as the neighbourhood centre, but negatively impact credibility if they were to enter into a partnership with a neighbourhood centre which has nothing to do with their local community.

Strictlymarketing has long helped shopping centres develop and execute Community Marketing Campaigns including Cause-Related Marketing and the scope for this is much larger than may seem immediately obvious.

Hosting Christmas Carols sung by the local school choir is almost certainly going to bring its own audience with it including parents and grandparents who could decide that while they are in the centre, they may do a spot of shopping or enjoy a meal together at one of the in-centre eateries.

CRMs campaigns are often low cost and highly engaging, targeting specific community groups depending on the demographic of the shopping centre.

Some of the CRM campaigns Strictlymarketing has developed across Brisbane recently include:

  • Harmony Week, celebrating diversity Park Ridge Shopping Centre;
  • Random Acts of Kindness atKeperra’s Great Western Super centre;
  • Gratitude Blooms, celebrating the work of Health Care Providers at Aspley’s Robinson Road Marketplace;
  • Sporty Saturday, where all local sporting groups are invited into Robinson Road Marketplace for sign on days and to showcase their activities;
  • New Hope Care, providing food for the homeless across many properties including Albany Creek Village;
  • The creation of Donation Cages for many of our properties where donations of food, clothing, bedding and other essential items are collected to give to the poor.

If you would like to know more about CRMs and other community marketing campaigns, get in touch with Strictlymarketing’s Managing Director, Bev Strickland, at or phone 0417 761 966.