Charity Shop

I was sitting outside a retail shop yesterday (it was a carphone warehouse) and I began to wonder what the shop would look like if it was selling charity donations?

I began to think that it would be a wonderful experiment to set up a display shop, like earphone warehouse, where people could go in and browse and choose a charity they would like to support.

There would be pay as you go options (one off donations) and bill pay (regular monthly donations). The staff would be able to help customers choose which charity they would like to support as they browse the shop, asking them questions like “what are you looking to get out of your charity?”

Every charity would have the same small display space, so you would have to make noise in a busy space pretty quickly and be able to stand out, that would surely be a challenge.

As I write this I am wondering will you think “Conor has finally lost the plot!” well I hope not. I do think this would be a really interesting experiment that could work in areas of high footfall, especially at a “typically” big time for charities, like Christmas. There are, unfortunately, lots of shops in these areas vacant and if one of these spaces was donated for a couple of months, kitted out and staffed properly, perhaps organised by an umbrella body or interested group of charities, it could work.

Think too about the insight you could get from the experiment, even if your charity doesn’t get a lot of donations, you may learn some insights into why that is, test different things, and see what works.


9 thoughts on “Charity Shop

  1. Brilliant idea – Irish Aid might pilot it in O’Connell St. for international charities

    • Hi Mary,

      Thanks so much, I am so glad you like the idea, it would be fantastic to see this piloted in O’Connell Street.


  2. wow. Seriously impressed with your train of thoughts, Conor. I wonder if they’d take me in as a sales person. I’m seriously good at it 🙂

  3. I cannot belive I used ‘seriously’ twice in a very short sentence… Seriously, what’s wrong w me? lol

  4. Irish aid is not a good premises for this. You would need something on or just off Henry St or grafton St. Carphone warehouse would never dream of opening a shop where irish aid is. Good idea though.

  5. Being a complete techno philistine, my view on all the phones is that they’re pretty much all the same except for a few stand out products – iphone, 1st blackberry etc. This I believe would be the same with the charity shop. Too many “me too’s” with no stand out features or real impact. Who’s the current I-phone charity in Ireland and what features do donors want most from their charity or is it just brilliant marketing? Love your thinking Conor but I think we both need to get out more!

    • Hi Aidan,

      I think you are right, there could be a lot of “me toos”, but I think this could be a way to force organisations to find their differentiation and distinction.

      As for getting out more…I completely agree!!

  6. Conor, I believe you might be on to something. However a vacated premises with charity stalls would not attract the punter – in my opinion. How about a variation such as inviting corporates to show off their CSR wares (i.e. charities) at the venue. That way the charities gain, the corporates sponsor it and the punters experience might be more professional. Could just be a pilot to see if people would be attracted to visit rather than having buckets shoved in their face ! “just thinking aloud.”

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