Is McDonald’s “Clowning Around” with Ronald McDonald House Charities?
Diane R. Edmondson, Cheryl B. Ward, Don P. Roy
January 1, 2017
Strategy & General Management
marketing, branding, non-profit marketing, cause-related marketing, social responsibility
Journal of Critical Incidents
This critical incident describes a situation in which Jane, a loyal McDonald’s drive-thru customer, was frustrated after finding out how little McDonald’s actually donates to their name-sake charity, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). She frequently dropped her loose change in the donation boxes at her local McDonald’s; however, this new information made her question her donations to RMHC. It also had her questioning why she should patronize a corporation that appeared to use their relationship with RMHC for their own benefit. Jane wondered how much RMHC benefitted from the relationship with McDonald’s, or whether the relationship was actually more beneficial for McDonald’s than for RMHC. What were the advantages and disadvantages this relationship had for both McDonald’s and RMHC? Jane believed that many McDonald’s customers wanted a better understanding of where their donated monies went and how they were used. She also questioned whether to continue her support of both McDonald’s and RMHC.