All of these “checkout charity acts” add up.Domino's Pizza plans $174 million for St. Jude Hospital


The world's best-selling pizza chain is betting big on the generosity of its customers. It's not alone.

Domino's Pizza recently pledged to donate $174 million over the next 10 years to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and the funds will be used to give customers the difference between their total purchase price and the next highest amount. It hopes to benefit from its long-standing Roundup campaign, which calls for donations. The pizza chain has already raised more than $126 million this way over the past 20 years for his ALSAC, a Tennessee-based hospital fundraising vehicle.

Domino's Pizza is the latest and greatest success story of 'checkout charity'. According to the professional organization Engage for Good, this fundraising tool is among the highest-grossing programs.In 2022 it raised 24% more money than in 2020, bringing the total to $749 million. Reached.

That staying power gives franchisees hope that consumers will continue to shell out change despite the shift to online shopping, economic headwinds and concerns that frequent solicitations will cause fatigue. ing. Meanwhile, some retailers are taking shape in partnerships first formed after 2020's desegregation push corporate citizenship to the forefront of business practices.

Why is it effective?

Research shows that asking customers to round up is generally more effective than requesting a fixed amount, even if the totals are the same. The reason for this, according to a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, is that framing makes it less painful to part with money.

“The pain was reduced,” said Katie Kelting, a marketing professor at Saint Louis University who led the research team.

The timing of an appeal brings with it several other psychologically powerful factors, said Ike Silver, a marketing professor at Northwestern University. Buyers tend to imagine purchased items in whole numbers. For example, a $24.75 bill would be coded as $25.

Additionally, the act of donating becomes “a little more mindless,” Silver said. Shoppers rushing through the checkout line don't have much time to think of reasons to object to a donation.

“They're taking advantage of the inertia of just spending money and buying without really thinking about it,” Silver said.

Help PetSmart save animals

Proponents of this strategy believe that it has a low barrier to entry, an approachable form of giving, and requires potential donors to engage with them every day. This practice is so common that shoppers' cumulative gifts are an important source of funding in some publishing sectors.

PetSmart Charities reports that more than 80% of cash donations are made through the PIN pad at checkout and is considered the largest grantmaker of animal welfare efforts. This pet superstore has been running an ongoing PIN pad donation program for 20 years, asking customers to donate a fixed amount starting at $2.

This funding will support activities directly related to pets, such as improving access to veterinary care and animal evacuation services during natural disasters. PetSmart His Charities Chairman Amy Gilbreth says that genuine connection is one of the reasons he believes his average donation is just under $3, and by the end of this year his donations will be It is expected to reach up to $40 million.

Without a tightly aligned mission, Gilbreath expects it will be a little harder to get customers to donate.

“It's much easier for people to say yes when someone says, 'I came shopping at PetSmart.' I love pets. If you donate to PetSmart Charities, you're showing a family in need. We’re going to support pets and we’re going to support pets in other ways,” she said.

In fact, Mr Kelting said the alignment between charities and sellers was “huge”. Researchers say customers may perceive in-store solicitation as a violation of their social contract with a company, but partnerships between like-minded organizations are viewed more positively.

Donations are made based on your REI connections

REI Co-op, a specialty retailer of outdoor clothing and supplies, launched a member-supported public charity in 2021 to help make outdoor spaces more inclusive. The goal was to put more resources into surrounding communities as they emerge from COVID-19 shutdowns.

At our 185 U.S. locations, sales associates often strike up personal conversations with buyers about their upcoming travels. Squire Simpson, director of the REI Cooperative Action Fund, said this unique connection with customers who are nature lovers opens the door to donation requests at the register.

REI cashiers are supposed to end the conversation with an open-ended question that allows the customer to decide whether to round up or donate an arbitrary amount. Simpson said the stores raised about $2.2 million from 1.3 million individual donations last year, an increase of 2.5% compared to 2022.

Grants include a Pennsylvania organization that promotes bicycling among Black women and an Alaska nonprofit that provides therapeutic recreation for people with disabilities.

“This is not a broad-based corporate beneficiary,” Simpson said.

“Checkout Charity” Fa

Teague?

Still, with like-minded programs lining up checkout lines across the country, some observers worry that good intentions won't stop the faucet. Northwestern's Silver wonders whether “checkout philanthropy” will be less effective as it grows in popularity.

“If that really happens every time you swipe a card, one of the risks is that people start to notice that and start to feel a little bit manipulated,” he says.

Misinformation doesn't help either. Contrary to a popular internet meme, tax policy experts argue that stores cannot deduct customer in-store donations because they don't count as company income.

Domino's Pizza leaders are confident in their company's well-thought-out strategy. With the iconic St. Jude Child printed on Domino's Pizza boxes, this established partner is already one of the best-known partners when it comes to in-store donations.

Above the checkout widget is a summary request that includes images of children. During the 11-week year-end campaign, customers will be greeted with a “click-and-go” pop-up asking for $2, $5, $10 or $20. The request details St. Jude's activities and features overall donation tracking.

Domino's Pizza raised $8.9 million through Roundup last year. The company's management believes that number will further increase under its new five-year strategy to expand its customer base.

While CEO Russell Weiner described it as an “absolute goal” that's not necessarily a “slam dunk,” the high-dollar philanthropic commitment adds new incentive to meet the latest nonprofit benchmarks.

ALSAC CEO Rick Shadyac said Domino's Pizza's additional funding will help St. Jude's team triple the survival rate of children with the six most common forms of childhood cancer in 80 countries. He said it would be helpful in his efforts. That includes the rollout this summer of a program that will eventually provide free cancer treatment to 30% of the 400,000 children living with the disease worldwide.

“If we increase sales and store count, what does that mean? It means we have more customers,” Weiner told The Associated Press. “The better we do there, the more people we can raise money for St. Jude.”

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