I've noticed how these solicitations for donations have become either routine, spoken quickly and with little emotion, or an uncomfortable social interaction for both the cashier (not wanting to ask) and the customer (trying to find an “appropriate” excuse to say no.)
While I applaud these partnerships between charity and business, I fear this new practice has taken all the emotion and personal connection out of the process. Charitable giving seems more of an emotional investment, not a retail transaction.
In a previous position, I used a local animal shelter to provide “FREE” gift wrapping during the holidays. A table would be placed in a high-traffic area of the store, proper signage given, a donation jar front and center, pamphlets & brochures for the charity available, personnel from the charity working the table, and even adoptable animals from the shelter on hand. A connection was made, not just a donation.
Small businesses can often be a great outlet for charities to work with, especially smaller, lesser known charities. I would urge all small businesses to find a charitable connection in your community to get behind. Use your position to help raise awareness and funds. Have fun with it. Find things to benefit both customers and the charity. Most importantly, remember the cause – Keep the spirit and the emotion attached. It will provide greater benefits to everyone involved.
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Random thoughts, comments & opinions.