Black Friday and Charity: Are retailers really helping out or just cashing in?


As shoppers across North America line up outside big box stores before daybreak, crouch over laptops, and swarm their local malls this week, it’s not only retailers hoping for a Black Friday bonanza.

Charities that benefit from point-of-sale partnerships also hope to see buyers in droves, donating everything from a portion of their purchase, to rewards points, to a dollar or two at the cash register.

But while fully two-thirds of Canadians say they engage in these kinds of charitable donations, they are mixed about the efficacy of this type of giving.

The first installment of a four-part study from the Angus Reid Institute and CHIMP: Charitable Impact Foundation reveals more Canadians have responded to a request for a dollar or two at a cash register in the last two years than have donated in response to any other type of appeal, and most have participated in other corporate-sponsored fundraising events as well.

This first wave of public opinion research shows that while Canadians generally feel positively about this kind of giving, they also express significant skepticism about the motives of the businesses involved.

More Key Findings:

  • Two-thirds of Canadians (66%) have donated a dollar or two to charity at a cash register in the last two years, more than report responding to any other type of charitable appeal in the same time period
  • Most Canadians (55%) say corporate-sponsored charitable events have a “fairly meaningful” impact on the causes involved, but relatively few say their impact is “very meaningful” (17% do)
  • Canadians can be sorted into four groups based on their charitable behaviour: The Non-Donors (14% of the total population) who give almost nothing, the Casual Donors (31%) who give slightly more, the Prompted Donors (34%) whose giving is considerable – but mostly happens in response to specific requests – and the Super Donors (21%) who give large amounts in a variety of situations

Link to the poll here: