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Think Outside the Collection Box for a Successful Charity Retail Campaign

23 August, 2018

One of the most popular components of a charity retail campaign is the charity collection box. Charities place these boxes at a variety of establishments, like local shops, pubs and workplaces, to collect donations from patrons to raise money for their important causes, bit by bit.

While placing charity collection boxes at check-out tills or point-of-sale locations is a great strategy, retail campaigns today can be so much more. It may be time to think outside the charity collection box! For example, we’re seeing many charities teaming up with favourite retailers on specialised product development and marketing strategies. This post looks at how some innovative cancer support charities have gone outside the charity collection box to create highly effective and long-lasting campaigns. We hope it inspires new ideas and campaigns for your charity this year.

Charity Retail Campaign: Breast Cancer Now

In 2015, Breakthrough Breast Cancer joined forces with Breast Cancer Campaign to form Breast Cancer Now, the largest breast cancer charity in the UK. The charity has a long-standing partnership with major retailer Marks & Spencer, which began more than 15 years ago with Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s ubiquitous “pink ribbon” campaign. Marks & Spencer sells these ribbons, as well as pink ribbon badges and keyrings, at its many point-of-sale locations.

breast cancer now collection box

The collaboration between the charity and the retailer has led to other specially designed products, including a special pink bra for last October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign. A portion of the sales of these items go to breast cancer research. The campaign has raised £2 million each year and an impressive £26 million to date for breast cancer research! In the 2009 campaign alone, Rocket Charities proudly produced over 750,000 badges and 200,000 trolley keyrings for the campaign.

Charity Retail Campaign: Look Good, Feel Better

Look Good Feel Better is an international cancer support charity focused on helping survivors with the more visible side effects of cancer treatment. Its aim is to “greatly increase people’s confidence and self-esteem at a very difficult time in their lives.” And so, Look Good Feel Better teamed up with multinational retailer Debenhams to help spread its important message with unique fashion bracelets. For the campaign, which coincided with Feel Better Week, Debenham’s displayed the charitable bracelets in its beauty halls and used them as canvases for perfume samples to help get them in front of customers.

Look Good Feel Better Bracelet
Credit: Look Good Feel Better
Debenhams sells the lovely bracelets for just £2 each, making them a perfect low-cost accessory and gift option with broad appeal. It is a practical yet innovative way for Look Good Feel Better to get noticed by a wide range of people. Rocket Charities is proud to manufacture the brilliant bracelets, which each featured a different print from fashion designer Matthew Williamson.

Charity Retail Campaign: Clic Sargent

Clic Sargent is a UK-based cancer charity for children, young people and their families. In 2017, it teamed up with supermarket leader Morrisons to make a life-changing difference to families facing cancer. Through colleague fundraising, match-funding, and a series of fundraising campaigns the partnership raised more than £3 million in just under a year.

One of the most successful fundraising campaigns of the year centered around World Cancer Day on 4 February 2018. Clic Sargent and Morrisons teamed up to create three exclusive (and very collectable) Band Against Cancer wristbands to help raise awareness and boost fundraising efforts. The wristbands were made available for purchase within Morrisons stores across the country and coincided with a nationwide fundraising day that was held across the company itself. In fact, the campaign was so successful that it sold out of the bracelets!

Clic Sargent Charity Retail Campaign

The charity and retailer duo will team up again in 2019, a fact that Morrisons proudly promotes on its own website. “We’ll be working together in 2019 to raise awareness of how cancer affects children and young people – as well as vital funds. Look out for more information on how you can get involved nearer the time.”

Ready to Plan your Own Charity Retail Campaign?

One smart way to approach a retailer is to talk about how the campaign will benefit their own business. The Marks & Spencer partnership with Breast Cancer Now, for example, has generated positive public relations through extensive media coverage. In fact, the retailer has a special page on its website to promote its charitable items, complete with the videos, photos and personal stories of breast cancer campaigners. M&S calls the partnership its most successful to date!

And don’t just take our word for it! A campaigner with Breakthrough Breast Cancer (which merged with Breast Cancer Campaign to form Breast Cancer Now) said, “Working with Rocket is fantastic – the team have always delivered our projects on time and with great products, nothing is ever too much trouble, no matter how many small changes I go back with!”

No matter what type of retail campaign you come up with, let us know how we can help. We’ll draw from our vast experience in creating top-notch charitable merchandise to design the perfect products for you and your retail partner. Best wishes in thinking outside the collection box this year!

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