Businesses Can Boost Sales by Asking for Charitable Donations

iStock/Thinkstock
iStock/Thinkstock

(PHILADELPHIA) — Have you ever been asked to donate a dollar to some charity while make a purchase at the checkout counter? While some customers can’t be bothered, others willingly contribute a dollar or more.

As it happens, this is a very effective way to raise money for good causes. In fact, researchers from Temple University and their colleagues from China and Sweden say that businesses can boost their own sales when asking for charitable donations.

In their study, a mobile service provider sent out messages that either advertised a new movie at an IMAX theater or the same message but with an addendum that part of the proceeds went to a charity to help students from low income families pay for college.

Business, it turned out, was more robust when people purchased tickets they thought also helped the disadvantaged.

Another finding: sales were best when a moderate discount was offered to those making donations. However, if the discount was larger, sales tailed off, presumably because people believed less of their money was going towards charity.

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