Using Round Up Donations To Increase Revenue at Your Thrift Store

by | Aug 10, 2023

A donation round-up is a simple and popular way to donate to a good cause. The donation round-up concept is straightforward. The customer receives their final bill’s total at the point of sale. Next, the cashier asks if the customer wishes to round up to the next dollar number to support a specific charity. 

Finding new income sources that complement the current ones is how thrift businesses may diversify their revenue streams. This can lower corporate risk, boost client retention, and open new markets. 

In 2022, the global market for thrift stores reached $177 billion. Thrift stores can benefit from this opportunity and maintain competitiveness by pursuing various revenue sources. This article discusses crucial information about round-up donations to increase revenue. 

Understanding Round-up Donations and how they work

Round-up donations are a simple and inexpensive way to help a worthwhile cause. According to research, customers are likelier to round up their purchases at the register than to make a full-dollar donation. Apps and platforms make it easy to make purchases and donate to charities. 

Psychological factors, such as feelings, rewards, social expectations, and personal beliefs, impact small, voluntary donations. Emotional bonds with the cause or beneficiaries drive donors, while rewards can weaken the donation’s intrinsic motive. 

Donors are also influenced by peers, celebrities, and experts, influencing their actions and standards. Personal ideals and convictions also motivate donors, making giving a means to show one’s identity and moral principles.

Benefits of Implementing Round-up Donations

Customer purchases are rounded up to the next dollar or cent as part of a fundraising approach known as “round-up donations,” any change is donated to a charitable organization. 

According to an interview BJ Breish, “with round-ups, but we saw over $20,000. That is just wonderful. Right, when you consider nickels and dimes.”

According to research, this strategy may benefit both the charity and the businesses involved in it in terms of their income models. For instance, the typical RoundUp App user gives $15 to $20 monthly and has an 80% retention rate.

The following are some potential advantages of including round-up donations in the revenue model: 

  • It can boost client retention and satisfaction by fostering a sense of social duty and choice.
  • By demonstrating the company’s dedication to social problems and ideals, it can improve the company’s reputation and brand image.
  • Without much work or expense on the part of the contributors or the company, it can produce a consistent and regular stream of cash for the charity.
  • It may allow businesses and charities to collaborate and cross-promote through marketing initiatives, events, or partnerships.

Building a Compelling Charitable Cause

Accountability and transparency are essential for building customer confidence and promoting business transparency. They help businesses communicate their values, demonstrate environmental and social responsibility, improve reputation, increase customer loyalty, and attract new customers. Charitable causes align with thrift shops’ mission, helping them raise funds, establish a bond with a charity, and serve as a role model for others.

Implementing Round-up Donations in Your Thrift Store

By requesting customers to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar or higher, businesses can request that they give the difference to the charity they choose. This is a quick and efficient approach to raising money for a worthwhile cause while boosting client happiness and loyalty.

These are a few thrift shops that apply this strategy:

Bepoz is a point-of-sale program that lets customers round up their purchase price at the register and choose from a list of charities. Bepoz also gives information on the contributions that were made and their results.

The Salvation Army is a network of thrift stores offering various social services and initiatives. The Salvation Army will accept customers’ rounded-up purchases at the register.

Tracking and Measuring Impact

Round-up donations allow donors to authorize charities to round up purchases to the next dollar, generating consistent income. Tracking and reporting round-up donations is crucial for accountability, transparency, and effect evaluation. Platforms like the RoundUp App offer tools for tracking donations. Software like TurboTax ItsDeductible, EventZoom, BidPal, and Silent Auction Pro help manage fundraising events, donor information, and donor reports.

Overcoming Challenges and Concerns

They might not trust the charity or the business to properly manage their donations, which is one potential customer objection or issue regarding round-up donations. They might not believe that their modest contributions have a big enough effect. They could favor supporting causes close to their hearts over those picked by the retailer.

You could: 

  • Provide detailed information about the organization and how donations ease any concerns.
  • Emphasize the strength of group donations and provide instances of their fruitful results.
  • Give clients the option to choose from various organizations or causes to help or decline the round-up option.

Addressing the issues you raised has a wide range of potential solutions. Here are a few examples:

You can employ data discovery and classification, firewalls, backup and recovery, antivirus software, intrusion prevention and detection systems, and other tools to secure your data and guard against loss or illegal access to your sensitive information.

You can implement open and accountable governance, efficient oversight and audits, strict adherence to laws and penalties, moral leadership and culture, and other safeguards against fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption.

You can overcome consumer reservations by offering a frictionless customer experience, providing excellent discounts and incentives, gathering and displaying reliable evaluations and referrals, comprehending your customers’ demands and pain areas, and responding to their concerns with confidence and empathy.

Looking Ahead: Long-Term Sustainability

When a customer makes a purchase, they are requested to round it up to the next dollar or penny and donate the difference to a charity. This is known as a round-up donation.

Some studies claim that because round-up donations appeal to consumers’ sense of convenience, benevolence, and social conventions, they are more successful than typical fundraising efforts.

However, several factors, such as the following, may affect how long round-up donations can last:

  • The regularity and variety of requests for donations; 
  • The charities’ openness and responsibility; 
  • The acknowledgement and feedback offered to contributors; 
  • The compatibility of the donation reasons with the values and preferences of consumers.

A recurring donation option that automatically allows fans to donate their spare change from regular purchases is one approach to increase the sustainability of round-up donations. In addition to increasing donor retention rates, this can give NGOs a steady cash stream.

The Bottom Line

Round-up donations are a fundraising strategy where customers donate their purchases to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to a charity. This method can increase customer loyalty, satisfaction, brand image, and reputation and generate a steady income stream for the charity. It can also create opportunities for cross-promotion and collaboration between businesses and the charity.