Both retailers and solution providers are putting their creativity in the service of charities this season. Some programs feature celebrity tie-ins, such as Zappos’ linkup with Shaquille O’Neal’s charity. Others, such as the CS Hudson Pop-Ups for Good initiative, take a more community-based approach. All of these cause-related marketing programs can provide a feel-good alternative to the commercial rush of the holiday season, while also polishing the participating retailer’s image.
Following are just a few examples of retail charitable programs this holiday season:
- Zappos: Zappos has partnered with Shaquille O’Neal to help him prepare for Shaq-A-Claus, a gift-giving program O’Neal has been running since 1992. Zappos will run a toy drive by providing shoppers with pre-addressed, pre-paid shipping labels that can be used to ship toys directly to Zappos. The toys will then be distributed by Shaq at Boys and Girls Clubs in Las Vegas and Newark, N.J.;
- CS Hudson: CS Hudson has launched a social responsibility program called Pop-Ups for Good, which will create short-term retail pop-ups to benefit philanthropic causes. The company plans to open stores throughout the nation in the local communities it serves, and is currently seeking out and vetting interested nonprofits, brands and collaborators;
- Cra-Z-Art: Cra-Z-Art, a manufacturer and retailer of toy, activity and art products, has partnered with charitable organizations including Toys for Tots, The Toy Foundation and Filling in the Blanks to donate items to children in need during the holiday season. The retailer will donate approximately $10,000 worth of merchandise for children in the New York City, Philadelphia and Boston areas; and
- Lilly Pulitzer: The retailer will host its 13th annual Beach Bash Palm Beach, raising money for the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, a nonprofit sea turtle hospital, research, rehabilitation and educational institution. The event will feature more than 700 philanthropic influencers.
Some solution providers specialize in streamlining charitable giving programs. For example, ShoppingGives, which enables retailers to donate a percentage of online purchases to the shopper’s charity of choice, just received a $1.2 million seed investment. The company has partnered with 750 retailers, including Target, Macy’s, Walmart, Kohl’s and The Home Depot, allowing them to donate up to 40% of each purchase at no extra cost to the shopper.