Current online shopping trends create an unprecedented opportunity for non-profit fundraising

Current online shopping trends create an unprecedented opportunity for non-profit fundraising

The global pandemic we are all experiencing is shifting the health and viability of our current economy. During times like these it is important to step back and remember that we have weathered storms before. None of them were like this one, but we always come out on the other side of incredibly horrific times.

As we watch many industries take a hit like airlines, hotels, and restaurants (Forbes), we are also seeing others experience unprecedented growth. Online shopping is one of those segments. As of May 1st, we have seen an overall increase of 25% in online sales and more than a 100% increase in online grocery shopping (USA Today). The bulk of this spending has been focused heavily on necessities like food, pharmacy goods, and household items. That all makes sense. The interesting trend is where new, dramatic growth has occurred: in cookware, home office equipment, and home and garden (CJ). We’re also seeing the sales of shirts and blouses skyrocket, while pants sales are experiencing a dramatic decline (video meetings anyone, anyone?).

Retail Categories Performance by Week
source: CJ.com enewsletter

Okay, so online shopping is up in certain sectors: What does that have to do with charities and fundraising?

Charities are uniquely poised to make lemonade in a way they previously have not: by partnering with retailers. You’ve heard the adage to not walk away leaving money on the table. That is precisely what is going on here. By creating mutually beneficial relationships with online retailers, charities have a chance to meet consumers (aka donors) where they already are.

The relationship becomes a win-win with charities benefiting from the massive online shopping occurring and retailers gaining a built-in consumer base. Everybody needs window cleaner and paper towels for their homes. Wouldn’t you be more motivated to buy products from a retailer that is willing to donate a portion of that purchase? (Yes, please!)

When non-profits forge these partnerships they are creating a way to diversify their funding and stand on solid footing during any economic change.

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