Wise Giving Wednesday: $749 Million Contributed at the Checkout in 2022

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calendar icon May 31, 2023

$749 Million Contributed at the Checkout in 2022

Last week, the NonProfit Times brought attention to the release of America’s Checkout Champions a biennial report issued by Engage for Good. This report shows that in 2022, American retailers raised more than $749 million for charities at various point-of-sale campaigns such as consumers rounding up their purchase to the nearest dollar with the overage going to charity. This was the sixth time Engage for Good has issued this report. This latest edition focused on 77 campaigns that each raised $1 million or more for charity. Examples of retailers mentioned in this report include eBay, Albertsons Companies, Walgreens, Costco Wholesale, and Walmart. The cumulative amount donated represented a 24% increase over what was raised in 2020.

Engage for Good also notes that 67% of the campaigns they researched consisted of enabling consumers to round off their purchases. While the most popular category of charity was children’s health, a variety of other causes were also featured such as hunger relief, needs in Ukraine, and disaster assistance. In addition, 43% of the companies featured were not part of the roster of participants they reviewed two years earlier, demonstrating a different mix of retailers was now engaged in these $1 million and above fundraising efforts.

In addition to the rounding up at the register donations, other campaign approaches include purchasing a paper icon for a fixed dollar amount that is displayed in the store, asking for a specified donation amount to be added to the amount paid by the consumer or a canister or similar coin collection device placed at the point of purchase.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance provides the following tips for consumers/donors invited to donate at the checkout:

Look for clarity in the ask. See if the retailer specifies which charities will receive the collected funds. If the campaign just references a cause, such as breast cancer, this may make it more difficult to find out how your donation will be used.

Don’t assume the charity has been vetted. If a specific charity has been named, we encourage potential donors to take the time to verify the trustworthiness of the selected charity. Visit Give.org to see the if the organization is a BBB Accredited Charity (i.e., meets the 20 BBB Charity Standards.)

If unsure, don’t be pressured to donate immediately. Be wary of excessive pressure to donate, even at the register. If interested, you can always donate at your next visit, after you’ve had a chance to find out more.

In turn, BBB WGA advises retailers to consider the following:

Make charity arrangements in writing. For various reasons, a company should have a written agreement with the specified charity giving the company permission to use the charity’s name and/or logo, specifying arrangements for when funds will be sent, and confirming that the charity will approve the disclosures made to consumers/donors in the campaign.

Verify accuracy of disclosures. Campaign transparency will be appreciated by customers but remember that they generally are the ones making the donation. The company usually serves as a go-between and forwards the cumulative funds that have been donated for the charity recipient(s). In 2022 a lawsuit was filed against a major retailer by a consumer who alleged the language used in a point-of sale charity campaign misled them.

Check out potential charity participants. Before engaging in a point-of-sale donation option, visit Give.org to find out if the potential charity partner meets the BBB Charity Standards.

Given its history and growth, BBB Wise Giving Alliance anticipates this form of fundraising will continue to grow in popularity both at brick and mortar retail locations as well as online.

Video of the Week

As part of the Building Trust Video series, BBB WGA is pleased to provide an interview with Robin Van Etten, Global Chief Operating Officer of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (a BBB Accredited Charity) which funds humanitarian assistance in Israel and around the world, provides aid to victims of war and terror and funds security programs, and helps Jews escape poverty and anti-Semitism by immigrating to Israel. 

Heart of Giving Podcast

This week’s Heart of Giving Podcast provides an interview with Nancy Brown, Executive Director and CEO, American Heart Association (a BBB Accredited Charity). Ms. Brown discusses her career and covers what kept her engaged and motivated to keep working with American Heart Association’s mission to spread awareness about heart disease and stroke.

Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to give.org/charity-inquiry if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

TAGS: Donations , Charity
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