One day, I’ll solve the planet’s problems while I’m out shopping!

Published on 17/04/19

77% of French people consider that businesses have the power to drive social responsibility in areas where the government is blocked (Opinion Way Study 2017). The message has been taken on board by retailers who are upping their involvement in local charities as well as national, humanitarian and environmental causes.

You + me + us...

It’s not such a small gesture when there are millions of us doing it! This is MicroDON’s basic principle and it’s already well entrenched: when he goes to check out (physical or digital), the customer is invited to round up his payment to the nearest euro. The money is donated to a charity chosen by the supplier. Rouge-Gorge, Nature & Découvertes, Biocoop, Naturalia…Since its launch in 2009, 400 businesses in France have become partners and raised over 11 million euros for some 1,200 charities.


It makes sense.

Kusmi Tea wants to conserve mountain water, Jules looks after male health, Sephora fights against violence towards women…each retail brand supports a cause that directly effects its target customers. In doing so, it demonstrates its investment in society and goes beyond its role as retailer. It’s another way of showing its commitment, gaining customer loyalty and bring meaning to the purchase.


Micro donation but maxi effect.

Cashless, painless and easy…there’s no downside to micro donation. It benefits from a ripe environment: there’s the customer, bank card in hand, the amount requested is negligible on the receipt and the shop assistant is trained in dealing with a public who are sensitive to the cause. Considering that just 14% of charities have a salaried employee, imagine the benefit brought by this network of hundreds of points of sale and thousands of employees working there.


1 micro donation every 20 seconds in France

Faced with reductions in public subsidies and the donor population getting older, micro-donations have arrived at the perfect time! It makes the most of new cashless payment methods and it occurs more often, outside fund-raising campaigns which are often expensive for charities’ budgets. And it works, with, on average, 1 micro donation every 20 seconds – charity is thriving!


Ethical and local

Even less painless than micro donation are ethical products. The UK supermarket chain The Co-op (the largest chain of co-operative shops in the world with over 123,000 employees), already highly involved in Corporate Social Responsibility, has set up an ethical fund dedicated to local charities. The principle: the retail brand donates 1% of sales of a selection of products to charities chosen by the customers themselves. It makes sense for everyone!


All together tomorrow?

There’s something in it for everyone! Consumers and retail brands alike go beyond their roles as “buyers and sellers”: they are responsible and engaged agents. Moreover, charities benefit, seeing a new form of generosity through spending. We can only celebrate!

Photo credit: microdon