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5 Ways Retailers Can Give

Types of Donations From Retail Businesses


Retail businesses, especially the small independent retailer, are favorite targets of non-profits and community organizations when it comes time to find donations. And with good reason too. Retailers readily have both cash and merchandise on-hand.

Read on to learn other ways retailers can give to charitable organizations.

1. Gift Certificates

The giving of gift cards or certificates to an organization as a donation has its pros and cons. The major disadvantage is that this type of gift doesn't actually benefit the charitable group financially. On the other hand, giving gift certificates offer a couple of advantages for the retailer. The low cost and odds of redemption make this type of giving attractive to a business and may allow the retailer to give more often. If the gift certificate is used as a door prize or other giveaway, it encourages the recipient, who may not be familiar with the business, to come into the store to redeem it for merchandise.

2. In-Kind Giving

Donations made in the form of goods or services are called gifts in-kind. This is one form of charitable giving that all retailers can partake as we always have merchandise on hand. Donating big ticket items only costs the retailer the wholesale price and yet the charity can convert the item to retail value or raffle the item for a larger amount. Like cash gifts, ask for receipts when donating merchandise. This will be needed when accounting for the physical inventory at the year's end.

3. Cash Gifts

While merchandise and gift certificates can be donated on a whim, the giving of cash generally must be planned in advance for many retailers. Having a firm charitable giving policy in place can help determine when, what and where to give cash donations. Although this form of donating is referred to as a cash gift, please remember to use a check (or collect a receipt) when donating money to any organization.

4. Sponsorships

Hosting a benefit, sponsoring an event or group and other cause-related marketing can be an expensive form of charitable giving but it can also be a highly-visible form of support. A great way to ease the financial burden of the contribution for the retailer is to form a partnership with other donors. Ask vendors and suppliers for merchandise and other giveaways. Also consider asking a related business to split marketing costs.

5. Volunteer Time

Possibly not as abundant as merchandise, a retailer's time is another way to give to a local organization. There are several ways the entire store can become involved with community events.

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