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Catalyst launches research into 'Consequence Marketing'

What public benefit do charities achieve, and can they market this effectively? Catalyst Communications is working with six national charities to research the effectiveness of what they call ‘Consequence Marketing’.

Marketing and communications agency Catalyst Communications believes that few voluntary organisations are confident enough to talk, from a marketing point of view, about the consequence of their activity and the difference it has made.

Yet impending legislation means that there will be increasing pressure for charities to demonstrate their public benefit. It is against this background that the agency has joined with six charities to commission research into what it calls ‘Consequence Marketing’.


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Catalyst define consequence as “immediate and long term sustainable change” and accord it four elements: impact, effectiveness, public benefit, and value for money.

The agency accepts that the charity fundraising environment is complex and demanding: but it believes that supporter loyalty and commitment will only be increased through strengthening charity brand by clearly communicating charity impact and value for money to existing and potential supporters. This is Consequence Marketing.

But can and does this approach actually work? What are its hallmarks? Action Aid, Action Medical Research, Crisis, Sight Savers International, Terence Higgins Trust and WWF have joining with Catalyst to undertake a research programme to find out. It will help identify and verify that developing a Consequence Marketing approach will enhance supporter recruitment, retention and development – bringing them closer to the organisation and building their brand loyalty.

Rob Wells, Catalyst Director, said: “Charities need to be at the forefront of change – ahead of the game. We know charities are going to have to demonstrate public benefit, impact and value for money. Let’s see hard evidence of how donors respond.”

The research is due to take place in the autumn and will be carried out by Frank Research on behalf of Catalyst and the participating organisations.