As we come into the giving season — October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and a cause close to many — retailers have the opportunity to create events and programs that allow them to give back to the community as well as charitable causes they and their customers care about.
Giveback programs create good will in the community and can also create marketing opportunities that lead to more exposure and new customers.
The following are a few creative ideas for charitable efforts home furnishings and lighting retailers can implement to give back and build business:
6 Creative ways to bring charity home
Local Charity Partnerships: Form partnerships with local charities or nonprofit organizations and create donation stations in your store where customers can contribute. Offer a discount or a small gift as a token of appreciation for donations. For retailers centered around home furnishings, Habitat for Humanity is often looking for donations or volunteers. Create a team with employees and customers to help build homes, or donate merchandise.
Charity Shopping Days: Designate a specific day or weekend where a percentage of your sales is donated to the charity of your choice. Charity shopping days can incorporate your entire inventory or you can use it to move select items or categories. You can promote your shopping days via social media, newsletters, physical mailers and local media to attract more customers. Make it a party so customers have fun while giving back! Don’t miss out on such nationally recognized charity days like Giving Tuesday — the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
Round-Up Programs: Round-up programs are a great way to turn change into an effective donation strategy. Choose a charity or two that resonates with your clientele and then ask them to round up to the nearest dollar at the register. Asking customers to donate a few cents to charity adds up quickly and can help your customers feel good about their purchases with little out-of-pocket expense. Create a finite timeframe for each round-up program, and let your customers know just how much they helped you raise when you send the donations off to the charity of your or their choice.
Themed Fundraising Nights: Organize themed fundraising nights or events in your store, such as a wine and cheese soiree, a holiday extravaganza or bring in a local designer to share home decorating tips. Pair these events with shopping, and let your customers know that a percentage of the proceeds will benefit a local charity.
Dine and Donate: Partner with nearby restaurants or food vendors in the community to organize a “Dine and Donate” night. A portion of the restaurant’s sales during a specified time can be donated to a charity of your choice, and you can offer a percentage of profits from that night’s register rings to the charity as well. Efforts like this not only create goodwill within the walls of your store, it builds a sense of community and collaboration with other local businesses and gives participating customers a fun night out.
Cause-Related Products: Develop — or purchase — and sell products that are designed to support a cause. For instance, create a special product line where a portion of each sale goes to a charity. An example: Uttermost’s Pink Sea Coral mirror (right).
Remember to be transparent about your charitable efforts and promote them actively through marketing channels. Your efforts should be shared within your community and on your social media. These efforts can enhance your store’s reputation and customer loyalty. Be proud that you are giving back and helping your customers feel good about their participation as well.