Good Scout’s Change at the Checkout Research Study Reveals How Consumers Really Feel About Giving to Charity at the Register

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Good Scout Group delves into the current state of one of the nonprofit sector’s most effective fundraising methods.

In a groundbreaking new consumer study, social good consultancy Good Scout Group digs into the minds of American shoppers in order to determine how they feel about donating to charity at the register. The findings of the Change at the Checkout Report illustrate specific consumer preferences, sentiment and motivations around donating at the register.

The report finds that 71% of the survey respondents have donated to charity at the register. Also referred to as “donation at point-of-sale,” this fundraising tactic has been highly lucrative for nonprofits for over a decade. According to America’s Charity Checkout Champions report, $350 million was raised for a variety of causes through charitable checkout campaigns in 2012.

In recent years, there has been speculation in the cause marketing community regarding the perceived oversaturation and consumer fatigue in regards to charitable donations at the checkout line. Good Scout conducted an online survey to 3,030 Americans across all age, gender, ethnicity and social backgrounds to delve into this issue, and found that quite the opposite sentiment exists—the majority of Americans enjoy donating to charitable causes at the register.

“Whether at a grocer, pharmacy, clothing retailer or even a fast food chain—our study found that consumers ultimately enjoy being given the opportunity to donate to a cause while conducting an everyday activity,” said Maureen Carlson, President of Good Scout.

Consumers surveyed listed “charity brand recognition” as the number one reason they feel compelled to give to charity at the register. The second leading reason is personal connection to the cause.

In the Change at the Checkout Report, Good Scout also examined consumer recall—that is, whether shoppers are able to recall the specific charities to which they donated at the register. According to the report, nearly half of American shoppers do indeed remember the last charity to which they donated at checkout, and 79% felt positive about their contribution.

“Despite perceived oversaturation of charitable donation at checkout campaigns, our findings prove that consumers are not only donating to charity at the register, but they actually like doing so and being asked to do so frequently,” said Good Scout’s Brittany Hill, VP of Research & Insights.

“Furthermore, nonprofits should look at retail donation campaigns not merely as transactional fundraising opportunities—instead, as true platforms driving organizational branding and consumer engagement opportunities.”

For complete statistical findings and additional insights, download the Change at the Checkout Report (

About Good Scout Group
Good Scout Group creates and integrates cause platform campaigns, social responsibility brand-building strategies, celebrity and entertainment cause initiatives, and ongoing education and enhancement services that focus on stakeholder activation and engagement with bottom line impact. For more information, visit

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Brittany Hill
Good Scout Group
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