Monday, March 21, 2011

Donate In Ways that Encourage Others to Donate

According to a recent posting, many retailers who are currently contributing to disaster relief efforts for Japan are no more than self-serving. The evidence is the press releases they’re issuing to announce their contributions.
     But what if the publicity motivates others to contribute as well? Or what about the situations where a retailer uses contributions to build sales?
     For instance, among the more effective techniques for convincing customers to start using an unknown brand is to tie their trial to you contributing to a charity. Findings from University of South Florida indicate that pairing charitable contributions with the sale of brands unfamiliar to the customer will boost sales of those unfamiliar brands.
     When a vendor asks your business to purchase a selection of the unknown brand, negotiate with the vendor to share with you in sponsoring the charitable contributions. After all, building sales is in the interest of both the supplier and you. However, you’ll get better results in convincing others to join you in donating if you publicize the sponsor as being your store. Research at Michigan State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, and University of Texas-Austin suggests that when a store rather than a brand is publicized as the sponsor, consumers are more likely to see the sponsorship as a charitable act rather than only a selling technique.
     Limit how frequently you announce that you’ll be pairing a contribution to charity with the purchase of an item. Just as with price discounts, if it’s done too frequently, it becomes less likely to boost sales.
     One way to encourage others to donate along with you is to get senior citizens involved as volunteers. Researchers find that altruism is especially important to elderly consumers. Seniors like to give their business to retailers who are compassionate, and they like to view themselves as generous. Whenever you organize a charitable activity, offer a variety of ways for your older customers to pitch in to help.
     In all of this, remember to explore your motivations for the promotion. If a retailer believes that this pairing of contributions with sales completely fulfills the ethical obligation to help others, the retailer might be flimflamming themselves. Then it is no more than a ploy. On the other hand, if the donations are part of the retailer’s program of charitable giving, I’m thinking that meets the concerns about shameless self-promotion expressed in the piece.

Click below for more:
Pair Contributions with Purchases
Introduce Unknown Products with Charity
Peddle Unfamiliar Brands Using Contributions

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