National Survey Finds Financially-Stressed Holiday Shoppers Look for “Gifts That Give Back” as a Way to Support Charities

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Tis’ the season of giving, but findings from a new nationwide poll of Americans’ plans for charitable giving may leave nonprofits feeling ho, ho, hum.  The results of this year’s Cone Holiday Trend Tracker, now in its eighth year, indicate that increased financial burdens, such as high gasoline and heating costs, will limit charitable giving this holiday season.  Furthermore, the poll finds that one-third of respondents report they will give less to charity at the holidays this year – citing previous charitable donations, including disaster relief, as a key factor. 

However, with more than 40 shopping days left, not all of the survey findings are “bah humbug.”  More than half of Americans say they intend on buying a holiday gift associated with a cause and/or will buy from a retailer that supports a cause.  Moreover, two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans say they are likely to look at a company’s reputation for supporting causes when deciding who to buy from this holiday season.

Americans’ plans for charitable giving this holiday season  (very likely/somewhat likely)

Nov. 2005

Financial factors such as gas and heating prices are limiting the amount I can give to charities this holiday season.


I will give less this holiday season because I have already given to the Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina relief or other causes.


I plan to do the following to support a cause, issue or charity this holiday season.

Nov. 2005

Purchase a product in which a percentage of the price is donated to a cause.


Buy from a retailer that supports a cause.


“These results indicate that while this holiday season comes amid increased financial burdens for many, charitable giving remains an important consumer driver at holiday time,” noted Carol Cone, Chairman and founder of Cone, Inc.  “Consistently, savvy consumers are seeking out opportunities to give back through their purchases.  Both charities and consumers are relying on Corporate America to provide opportunities that help them do good.”

Added Ms. Cone, “More than two-thirds (77 percent) of those surveyed said that they want companies to do more to tell them about the causes they are supporting this holiday season.  So for businesses, the lessons are to get involved with causes, create opportunities for consumers to do the same, and don’t be timid about communicating to the public about your efforts.”

For many holiday shoppers, giving back has never been easier.  Cause-related shopping opportunities abound this holiday season, including:

Customers can join Macy’s ‘Thanks for Sharing’ program for $25 and in return receive 10 percent off all Macy credit card purchases made during the holiday season. Additionally, store divisions donate $10 to charity for each ‘Thanks for Sharing’ program member.

Brooks Brothers
On Thursday, December 1 and Friday, December 2, Brooks Brothers will host its annual Holiday shopping event. The Make-A-Wish Foundation will receive 2 percent of the total sales from stores nationwide, up to a maximum of $50,000.

Make-A-Wish® Star Keepsake Box
Things Remembered will make a $5 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® with every keepsake box purchased.

Day-Timers “Go Red for Women” Organizer
Day-Timers is contributing 15 percent from the final sale price of every “Go Red for Women” Organizer through December 31, 2006 to the American Heart Association in support of its “Go Red for Women” campaign.

Via: (Cone, LLC)

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