Retail & Philanthropy
An interesting article brings a new perspective to Philanthropy. Helping others is a winning opportunity for retailers: supporting community, business and sustainability.
Ellen Davis, Vice President of NRF, the National Retail Federation writes about philanthropy and charity. Donating unsold products to organizations helping people and communities in need is a winning choice for retailers,demonstrated by the case of Good360. This organization assists retailers with donation procedures, from large retailers such The Home Depot, Walmart and Disney Stores to smaller retailers. Goods360 is listed by Forbes among the top 10 charities.
The concept of the retailer giving surplus inventory to charity is an evolutionary issue already touching some of the most known organizations in our industry. The evolution has seen the direction toward charitable giving from a simple point on the agenda to a strategic mission or choice. Advantageous, as well, as the donation of products may also represent an advantage both in terms of sustainability and tax concessions. Thus, retailers may achieve several objectives, including loss prevention, brand enhancement, commitment of the employees and the community, and capturing expense reductions in energy and expenses.
In addition to helping those in the need, retailers’ donations can have a positive effect on the environment as well. As Cindy Hallberlin, President of Good260, explains, a perfect example is "The Home Depot's Framing Hope Program", which has saved $1.4 million dollars in energy costs, about 2500 trucks of waste, and enough energy to power 119 homes a year as well as reserving 3.3 million kWh of energy consumption and CO2 emissions, the equivalent to 517 acres of pine forest!
The donation of products is becoming a real movement, but is actually a growing slice of the entire benefit pie. The economic situation shows that retailers now have less cash to donate but not less heart, and so the philanthropy of product offers an effective and convincing option.