By Jocelyne Daw
This past spring my colleague and friend, Boston-based Joe Waters of Selfish Giving and I had a chance to work together with a leading Canadian restaurant chain and their national charity partner. Our task? - To elevate their cause marketing program and take it to a new level.Joe and I love collaborating to give do-gooders, nonprofits and businesses the tools and strategies they need to raise more money, deepen engagement, build stakeholder loyalty and change the world. We are specialists and seasoned practitioners in cause marketing. In fact we’ve done so much, we’ve literally written the books on it! (Joe – Cause Marketing for Dummies, Jocelyne – Cause Marketing: Partner for Purpose, Passion and Profits). We’re always ready and happy to help your organization too!We define cause marketing as a partnership between a nonprofit and for-profit that, when done well, delivers mutual benefit and value for all. One of the easiest and most lucrative forms of cause marketing is 'checkout charity' also known as point of sale (POS) donations.Checkout Charity is EverywhereCheckout charity campaigns at retailers are everywhere - you can hardly go into a grocery store, pharmacy, or corner store without being asked if you want to participate. Charity Check out programs include charity pinups (cutouts), donation boxes, round-up and add-on donations and purchase-triggered donations. These programs are usually called point-of-sale (POS) programs. While some consumers find them annoying, the fact is charity check out programs raise important revenue for many non-profits across North America and are value creators for companies. Some leading new research confirms our experience - people like them! Supporting a charity at the checkout is seen as easy, convenient and all for just a few dollars added onto your bill! It’s hard not to say yes!Not only do customers like to support charities at the checkout, but they felt more positive about the charity (79% to be exact) and the retailer, 60% more, after they have given at the cash register. In fact, the research shows customers don’t mind being asked regularly – 55% stated they preferred to be asked at least one a month or more! Leaving Value on the TableJoe and I are both fans of checkout or POS (point of sale) programs. But we believe that many organizations leave value on the table because their campaigns miss some key elements that ensure the greatest success. What are they? We’re happy to share some principles, but first a few surprising facts about these ubiquitous but effective fundraising and brand and loyalty building campaigns. Some Surprising Facts About Checkout Charity Campaigns! (INFOGRAPHIC)See our infographic that is based on the recently released (May 2015) Good Scout “Change at The Checkout” report. Download the full report here.Three Key Principles: Easy, Relevant & AuthenticCheckout charity remains one of the easiest and most rewarding ways for customer facing businesses to contribute to charity. Statistics like these confirm that checkout charity isn’t going away anytime soon! So what are few key principles Joe and I recommend?
Make it EasyWhen you get the opportunity to interact with people, make it easy to get them to act immediately – donate, buy something, spread the word. In the Good Scout study 62% of respondents agreed that they prefer to be asked by the cashier as they checked out. The preferred means of donation? Add a dollar (or more) to the bill came in at 32% of those asked, followed by 20% of people who appreciated rounding up their bill.
Make it RelevantWhile consumers say they like giving at the cash register and are willing to do it regularly it’s important to understand that different age and sex segments are motivated differently. Customize your campaign and above all don’t forget to communicate your results! Too many companies don’t successfully communicate the impact that customers’ contributions make!
Make it AuthenticBrand and brand alignment is important in cause marketing. To begin with, the #1 reason customers give at the check out is recognition of the charity’s brand. Closely followed by the cause being important to them. Secondly, the more there is a natural alignment between the charity and the company the easier it is for customers to understand why they are working together.
A Universal Truth: “Win-win’ AND ‘Work-work’Regardless of core principles, one universal truth still prevails. A true cause marketing partnership must create mutual benefit and value for each partner and the community, in other words, win-win. But success also includes work-work! Each partner must willingly put in substantial effort and resources to support the partnership and their partner; only then can it be truly be a success.Two Great Examples of Cause Marketing CampaignsGreat examples abound, but here are two of our favourites – one American, the other Canadian!
Denny’s & No Kid Hungry: Denny’s has had a long standing relationship with No Kid Hungry, but they really wanted to help employees become more engaged in the initiative. Denny’s partnered with Booster, and allowed employees to design T-shirts for the campaign. 3 shirts were chosen as winners and franchises around the United States purchased them for staff to wear as their uniforms. The staff loved the shirts and instantly became more engaged! To take it one step further, Denny’s encouraged customers to buy the shirts as well, and donations jumped over 30% from the previous year! A great example of customizing your campaign and engaging employees in the fun!
Tim Horton’s Camp Days: Every first Wednesday in June, Tim Horton’s, a coffee and donut shop raises money to send underprivileged kids to camp. The camp involves Tim’s restaurant franchisees donating the cost of every coffee sold. This year they added the opportunity for customers to donate as well. Customers could round up their bill or purchase cut-outs of tents and camp cabins, all tin support of this very good cause.
Cause marketing is a great way to create shared value for your company, your partners and the community. Strategically design a cause marketing campaign that engages all involved and really makes a difference in your chosen cause.Let us help you! Check out our books on cause marketing, Cause Marketing; Partner for Purpose, Passion, and Profits , Cause Marketing for Dummies, or contact us today!