Authors: Amar Shah and Sonia Nigam
As we enter the age of purpose, it’s no surprise that the rising generation of consumers look for value alignment from their favorite brands. Nearly 9 in 10 consumers today would switch brands to one associated with a cause. Even moreso, the purchasing power of the younger generation is only getting stronger as they enter the workforce. Meanwhile, brands are reporting that it takes 4-12 months to launch a giveback campaign. Even though social impact has become table stakes for companies to win over the modern consumer, it’s difficult for brands to launch gratifying giving experiences. Let’s kick off the new year with some donation opportunities and sustainable practices you can quickly launch for consumers to join your social impact!
3 Ideas for Engaging Consumers with Opportunities to Give
1. Take Donation Round-ups at Checkout to the Next Level
Over the holidays you were probably prompted to make a donation at your local grocery store – offering donation options at checkout is still one of the most common ways for companies to engage their customers. Whether you’re in-store or online, adding options like “would you like to round up your order and donate” is a familiar and effective way to get your customer’s attention. If you have a long-term nonprofit partner, checkout campaigns are an easy way to spread awareness for your mission and generate donations for a beloved cause. Consider taking checkout campaigns to the next level by offering localized nonprofit options based on zip code so that consumers will see the benefit go to the communities they live in. Because checkout is such a frequent customer specific journey, you can also rotate nonprofits to support ongoing movements, scheduled annual events, and critical disaster relief efforts. Additional donation checkout campaigns ideas include donation matches, or even carbon neutral shipping.
2. Differentiate your Customer Loyalty Program with Donation Rewards
Donation rewards are a great way to differentiate your loyalty program and meaningfully connect with customers. Typically, loyalty programs allow customers to redeem points for branded merchandise, gift cards, or product discounts. Introducing charitable options like “Donate a meal for 100 points” or “Sponsor school supplies for a child in need for 500 points” empowers your customers to easily and tangibly make an impact by being loyal to your brand. Ultimately, these rewards make for a more memorable experience because they align with what your customers value most. Learn what causes your most loyal customers support and empower them to continuously make an impact through your brand.
3. Introduce Unique and Charitable Product Features
From product features to internal programs, giving experiences can truly fit in anywhere. Many companies want to launch impact campaigns that are unique to their product – creating authentic and gratifying customer journeys. For example, in the last two years, we saw an uptick in corporate gifting platforms that historically allowed companies to easily ship snacks and swag to their employees. Many of these platforms have added the ability to add donations to every gift, empowering the company and employees to make a shared impact together. This small feature has transformed corporate gifting into a fulfilling user journey that connects the platform, company, and employee over a common cause. In fact, 93% of employees believe that companies must lead with purpose. Embedding giving experiences in your company is the best driver for your triple bottom line (profit, people, and the planet).
Track and record the collective impact between your corporate charitable giving, employee giving and consumer donations. Collect impact and outcome stories from your nonprofit partners to share with consumers to see how their donation is making a difference. One act of kindness can spark another, so even if you’re just getting started and you don’t have a million dollar donation story to tell, show your community that you’re committed to working together!