Shopping, giving, and making a difference

In 2015 alone, Americans gave a record $373.25 billion to charities, up 4% from the year before. So have you ever wondered how much of that giving happens at the cash register? The answer is almost $400 million, and that number is on the rise.

Here are three things you need to know about making a contribution to charity when you’re doing your grocery shopping or visiting your favorite retailer.

First, if you enjoy giving at the register, you are not alone. 72% of American consumers have done it at some point, and 65% felt positively about the retailer after they made the gift.

Second, if you don’t give at the register, you might be one of the 44% of non-givers who take a pass simply because they don’t know anything about the cause. That’s a perfectly legitimate reason not to give. Focusing on the causes you love is the best way to do good for others and make sure you feel good, too.

Third, don’t forget that there’s another way to shop and give. Look for brands where a portion of every purchase goes to support a cause. TOMS Shoes has made this famous with its “One for One” program where every item purchased helps a person in need.

Your community foundation understands that each person has a unique social impact personality type. Giving plans look a little different for each person. Your community foundation can help you add charitable giving to the mix of other activities you enjoy in the community, including not only purchasing products that support a cause, but also volunteering, recycling, serving on boards, donating food and clothing, celebrating at events, sharing with people in need, marketing a favorite cause, and even caring for your own health and wellness. It's all good. 


IDEAS FOR USING THIS ARTICLE 

1. Purchasing products that support a cause is a fabulous photo op! Consider posting this article on social media and then following it up with a mini social media campaign called "Products We Love." Take snapshots of products that support a local cause and include information about the charitable organization next to the photo. Don't forget to link back to this article so you can reinforce the value of your community foundation as the focal point for all philanthropy! 

2. Make a point to stock your break room and conference room with products that give back. Then, create a version of this article that includes those products and the causes they support. Create a quick one-pager to place next to those items in your conference room. Your visitors will be impressed that your mission is well-rounded and reflective of all of the ways people "do good" in today's social impact culture.

3. Use the article to launch conversations with donors. Finding out what products they purchase is a fabulous way to get to know your donors on a more personal level and understand what motivates their desire to make a difference in the community.