Consumers Will Round It Up At Checkout

June 11, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

Some 71 percent of consumers donate to checkout campaigns, according to results of a new survey. Consultancy firm Good Scout Group surveyed more than 3,000 U.S. consumers to find out about their attitudes toward register donations.

“Despite perceived oversaturation of charitable donation at checkout campaigns, our findings prove that consumers are not only donating to charity at the register, but they actually like doing so and being asked to do so frequently, said Brittany Hill, vice president of research and insights for Good Scout, via a statement.”

Two-thirds of consumers donate less than $2, with the most common range being $1 to $1.99 (40 percent). About a quarter give less than $1. Some 19 percent donate between $2 and $5, and 15 percent donate more than $5.

More than half of consumers, or 55 percent, like being asked to donate at the register. “Of those that dislike being asked to give at register, they still give mostly because they feel guilty if they don’t donate,” wrote the authors of the report. Guilt was cited by 35 percent of those who dislike being asked. Other reasons include because the cashier asked them to (21 percent), peer pressure (12 percent), because it’s easy to do (8 percent), and other (24 percent).

The same percentage of those who enjoy being asked, 55 percent, want to be asked at least once per month. Only 26 percent of the respondents would rather not be asked at all. One-quarter would like to be asked once a week or more.

At 28 percent, charity brand recognition is the number one trigger of donations, followed closely by consumers identifying with a cause at 27 percent. Some 14 percent said they donate because the cashier asks, 12 percent because the cause is emotional, 10 percent feel peer pressure, and 9 percent cited another reason.

Between the cashier and the credit card machine, the cashier is the respondents’ preferred mode of solicitation. In total, 62 percent of survey respondents want to be asked by the cashier. That breaks out to: cashier asking to add a dollar to the bill, 32 percent; cashier rounding up the bill, 20 percent; and, 10 percent by the cashier via paper icon.

Brand recall is fairly strong, with 47 percent of respondents able to remember the last charity to which they gave at the register. Good Scout ran recall tests in the spring and in the fall. In the spring, the top three recalled brands were Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, March of Dimes and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In the fall, they were St. Jude’s, March of Dimes and American Red Cross. Retailer recall was even stronger. About two-thirds remember the last store that asked them to donate. Top stores include Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger and Albertson’s/Safeway.

Respondent demographics were evenly split by gender: 51 percent women to 49 percent men. Generation was also evenly distributed: Boomers made up 34.9 percent of the respondents, Gen X was 34.8 percent, and Gen Y was 29.8 percent. Gen Y donated to charity most at the register, liked being asked the best, and felt most positively about charities and stores when they were asked to give.

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