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America’s Charity Checkout Champions 2021 Report

What is this Report?

Engage for Good’s biannual report looks at point of sale fundraising campaigns that raise over $1M. The 2021 report looked at 76 campaigns that raised over $1M in 2020.

What are the key findings from the article?

  • Despite COVID-19, these retail fundraising campaigns have increased 24% from $486.3 million to $605 million in 2020. But the number of campaigns that raised over $1M went down from 79 in 2018,to 76 in 2020.
  • Employees were keen to participate in these campaigns. Again, it shows the importance of employee engagement in company-related fundraising.It helps with morale and helps raise more funds for a good cause.
  • Point of sale campaigns that were integrated with online shopping helped raise funds as well. This shouldn’t be too surprising since eBay for Charity still remains number 1 with $82M raised in the US alone in 2020 ($123M annually). Sellers and buyers can donate to charities of their choice. Albertsons Companies was number two with $67.8M a campaign for “Nourishing Neighbors” initiative. PetSmart and Panda Express came in number 3 and 4 with $44M for animal welfare and $40M for undeserved youths and disaster relief, respectively.
  • Hybrid models can also be effective. Dutch Bros. raised $1.39M for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in 2020 by allowing customers an option to donate online and by donating a part of the proceeds from a single day of shop sales.

What can I do as a result?

  • Donors want to give. Fundraisers need to ask. The increase in giving from 2018 to 2020 shows that people wanted to give and give in different ways despite COVID-19.
  • Make it easy to give to your organization. A recent Tampa Bay article notes that while these campaigns are effective, people don’t like them. But one takeaway is that people still donate. Making it easy to give is key.
  • While effective, misinformation is rife about these campaigns. Uninformed memes and articles have been written about how companies get to claim tax write off from consumer donations. This might provide some insight into why some people don’t like these campaigns. Companies and nonprofits need to ask, but also communicate how these campaigns work and the impact they have.
  • Technology is your friend. Adding a point of sale to online purchases with your corporate partners can be effective at raising funds.
  • Get creative with the campaigns. Dutch Bros raised a lot of money with the hybrid model of online as well as a percentage of days sales. It’s a great way to get people motivated to buy… and give.

Additional Resources