Giving back - charitable ideas that engageBY Australian Retailers Association
Giving back has been a theme this year with many Aussies having a tough experience through bushfires and the pandemic. We share inspirational charitable ideas that retailers are adding to their store experience to help customers celebrate those in need this Christmas.
- Rounding up at checkout
A little goes a long way with this first idea. Suitable for both online and in store, giving your customers the option to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar is a fantastic way to raise money for a selected charity that aligns with your businesses core values.
ARA Member Cotton On has been doing this for many years now. Through the Cotton On Foundation, the organisation is empowering youth globally through the delivery of quality educational projects in Uganda, South Africa, Thailand & Australia. Since 2007, Cotton On has culminated over AU$100 million from customer support through various initiatives.
- Gold coin donation gift wrapping station
Make your customers feel extra special in the final lead up to Christmas with a gift wrapping station in store. All you need is a table, some wrapping supplies and some staff with a good eye for detail. Simply ask for a gold coin donation for wrapping that you can donate to a selected charity. Last minute shoppers on the go - perhaps heading straight to a family gathering or an office Christmas party - will really appreciate the added convenience of a gift wrapping station. We explored this topic in our gift wrapping and packaging ideas blog post that can be found here.
- Christmas gift tree in store
Having a Christmas tree in your store is not only a staple Christmas decoration, but it can also serve as a perfect place for customers and your community to donate gifts to those in need.
Case study: The Kmart Wishing Tree
ARA Member Kmart has a long standing partnership with the Salvation Army. The Kmart Wishing Tree appeal is Australia’s largest and longest-running gift collection Appeal and focuses on collecting gifts and raising funds for daily necessities, with financial contributions also going towards providing locally responsive support services and emergency relief. Thanks to the generosity of the Australian community year after year, the Appeal has raised more than eight million gifts for people doing it tough, with close to 400,000 gifts being collected and nearly $300,000 in funds every year. This year, the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal is needed earlier and more than ever before in its 33-year history. The collective impact of the Black summer bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic across Australia has led to an exponential increase in the number of Australians experiencing hardship, with many people having to seek assistance for the first time. The theme for this year's appeal – Big Heart, Small Gift – has been drawn from the unprecedented need for support in 2020, and encourages Australians to give what they can, however big or small. More information can be found here.
- Afterpay and Thread Together
In May, Afterpay partnered with Thread Together in Australia – with the aim was to help make a difference to those who needed it, especially during these challenging times.
One of the initiatives Afterpay launched was “Add $1 at the checkout”, which provided customers the option to add $1 at checkout, with the funds going directly to the charities they have partnered with.
Like Afterpay, Thread Together is an Australian startup charity with strong roots in fashion and is the only organisation in Australia whose main mission and focus is to source new clothing from fashion retailers and redistribute items to those in our communities that need it most. The partnership between Afterpay and Thread Together has been able to further support vulnerable Australians who have been impacted by COVID-19 as well as the bushfire crisis that occurred in January.
Overall, Afterpay customers raised over $330,000 and our ‘at the checkout’ initiative has helped increase much needed awareness and support.
Next time you’re checking out with Afterpay, look for the option to donate $1 of your purchase to Thread Together.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Australian Retailers Association
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $320 billion sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating, and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.