Building Stronger Economies through Retail Philanthropy
Why is retail philanthropy so important?
Because it drives economic growth, spurs innovation and fosters accountability.
It drives economic growth through active consumer participation - whether it is powering your community through paying your electric bill via Sponsor Energy, buying a GIVE card instead of a traditional gift card for a friend, or being rewarded with a coupon by donating to a corporate charity campaign. In all three of these examples, the consumer is not changing their buying habit or purchases, rather she is leveraging her dollar to support her community.
Giving apps like Goodpin and crowdfunding apps like Fundrazr all stemmed from an observation around the need for digital innovation in the philanthropy marketplace. In these examples it is tech innovation that is tapping into the consumer mindset for philanthropic purposes. By supporting these types of companies you are helping small businesses employ people, deliver new products and goods, generate new charitable dollars and foster an environment of innovation which leads to the creation of new businesses.
Fostering accountability between consumers and charities is always the hardest part. In large part because this is so subjective - to one donor it might mean that they have good leadership and governance, and to another donor it might mean that the funds are allocated a certain way. New solutions in the retail philanthropy space can shorten the connection between the consumer and charity because it removes the middle layer. How often are you asked at the till to make a donation to a charity and questioned how much of your donation actually gets to that charity? The new retail philanthropy consumer wants to see his donation activated in real-time; it is no longer about buying the pink t-shirt, or dropping a coin in the box, or participating in a cause marketing campaign. Retail philanthropy integrates direct consumerism with everyday purchases.
As a company we are so proud to be a part of the #BeLocal movement working with small and medium sized businesses to help them navigate the sometimes complex waters of philanthropy, social impact investing, and social enterprise. To learn more about the BeLocal Awards, and how we work with businesses supporting their retail philanthropy efforts please click here.