According to a recent study, 41% of Americans have purchased a product in the past year because it was associated with a cause.

The nation’s ongoing economic woes have not deterred Americans’ social sentiment, nor their expectations that companies will benefit society. Eighty-one percent said companies should financially support causes at the same level or higher during an economic downturn. It appears business rose to this challenge – nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers believe companies responded well to social and environmental issues during the recession.

Americans’ enthusiasm for partnership marketing also emerged from the turmoil fully intact and continues to strongly influence their purchase decisions.

At a time when consumer voting campaigns have emerged as the partnership marketing tactic du jour, a majority (61%) of consumers say they would prefer to see a company make a long-term commitment to a focused issue rather than determining themselves which issue the company supports in the short-term. This does not suggest they do not want to be engaged, however. Buying a cause-related product (81%) continues to be the leading way consumers want to support a company’s efforts, but they also seek other higher-touch opportunities, such as lending their voices through ideas or feedback (75%) and volunteerism (72%).

The Rebecca Gordon Group is committed to working with nonprofit organizations to develop strategies that would leverage partnerships to build sustainable marketing opportunities.