ABOUT

Melissa's Headshot

OUR TEAM

CauseConnect® maintains a roster of qualified individuals who possess expertise in a variety of areas that support the firm’s events and projects for its corporate and nonprofit clients. This allows us to provide an array of services that integrate doing business by doing good.

CauseConnect® is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in helping companies and charities achieve business returns on charitable investments.™ Founded in 1999, CauseConnect began by providing unprecedented networking opportunities for corporate and nonprofit executives responsible for sponsorship, cause marketing, and corporate giving. Growing demand evolved into the CauseConnect of today, specializing in helping companies reach their target markets and fulfill CSR goals through signature community programs designed to engage employees, meaningfully connect with charities and causes, and uniquely incorporate the arts.

Areas of Expertise

  • Cause Marketing
  • Nonprofit-Corporate Partnerships
  • Cultural Productions Management & Marketing (museum exhibitions, speaker series, festivals, concerts, art tours, collector events, salons)
  • Special Events
  • Volunteer Engagement
  • Nonprofit Training Workshops & Presentations

President and Founder

Melissa Richardson Banks (mrb@causeconnect.net) specializes in creating strategic marketing partnerships for corporate and nonprofit clients. She is known for designing innovative, cost-effective solutions that produce results. She has a B.A. in journalism and communication studies from Texas State University and a master’s degree (and Ph.D. coursework) in educational administration (business and finance) from Texas A&M University.

Since 2001, CauseConnect has provided professional services to numerous companies, charities, and celebrities, including City National BankToyota Financial ServicesTarget CorporationCheech MarinMelrose Trading PostLos Angeles Education PartnershipPlaza de la Raza Cultural Center for the Arts & Education, and many more. Over the course of 18 years, the firm has helped raise more than $45 million from major corporations, small businesses, and other funders to support nonprofit projects. Prior to establishing CauseConnect, Melissa Richardson Banks worked for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles where she successfully started an inaugural corporate partnership program in support of the Los Angeles Public Library, resulting in nearly $5 million in cash, goods and services over four years and setting a new standard for marketing materials—visually compelling, cost effective, and results oriented. She also launched a major exhibitions program at Central Library, resulting in almost 30 major gallery shows in the Getty Gallery and First Floor Galleries for which she managed project teams, raised funding, and provided professional services such as sponsorship, marketing, community outreach, special events, volunteer engagement, contract negotiation, and budget management. She formerly worked at the Autry National Center where she launched an integrated marketing/sponsorship program to support exhibitions, festivals, concerts, and other cultural events; and at Texas A&M University where she managed an international executive education program as well as administered and funded programs affiliated with statewide business-school partnerships. Prior to the nonprofit arena, she worked in corporate sales, marketing, and Hispanic market research. She holds a B.A. in journalism and communication studies from Texas State University and a master’s degree (and Ph.D. coursework) in educational administration with an emphasis on business and finance from Texas A&M University.