Waitrose are running a really interesting campaign. When customers are checking out and have paid for their shopping they are handed a token (and a nice touch….children are given their own token when mum or dad checkout…love that. )They then get to decide on one of three local charities to support by placing their token in a bucket (picture below). The charities change every month and there is 1,000 pounds up for grabs each month.
James said he observed about ten people stand in front of the box and have a good think before they made their choice. It was fascinating to see how much time and thought they put into it.
With Thousands of tokens in each bucket this experiment (even though thats not what it set out to be) has provided a fascinating insight into local giving patterns. When James was in the store it looked like helping old people is more popular than helping people with learning difficulties which is, in turn, more popular than helping build school playgrounds.
Interestingly when James was told about the buckets he was told that the learning disability charity was lagging in third place, but when he went in it had risen to third. So he wonders whether, once they got to a certain distance behind, people started giving to them because of their lack of support.
He suggests that maybe sometimes it’s good to appeal on the basis that not many people give to you and that you’re not getting your share
Adam Rothwell of The Intelligent Giving Blog analyses the results further stating:
- It shows that charitites might benefit from the economic downturn.OK, so when people give in Waitrose, they’re not giving their own cash. But if public sympathy for struggling charities turns out to be a general phenomenon, then giving won’t suffer as much as some charity sages are predicting.
- It shows that people do think about giving in a serious way. Sometimes. One of the criticisms I often face as editor of this website is that, surely, nobody ever reads it, because nobody really cares about charities that much. And, though I can wheel out our visitor stats to my heart’s content, this ploy from Waitrose provides some more concrete evidence.