Traditionally, a checkout donation occurs when a cashier at a checkout counter asks a consumer to contribute to a charitable cause. Typically, the ‘ask’ includes a specific, low-dollar amount and a rationale for giving. For example: “Would you like to donate $3 to the local food shelter to help feed hungry children?” or “Would you like to round up your meal purchase to the nearest dollar with the resulting price difference going to research seeking a cure for epilepsy?” Technology innovations have extended those asks from one-on-one interactions to checkout counter pin pads, online shopping carts, billing statements, and ATMs.
Consumers are more likely to donate and respond favorably toward the provider when practical services and frivolous goods are paired with causes perceived to have a strong functional fit. Conversely, consumers are more likely to donate and respond favorably toward the provider when frivolous services and practical goods are paired with causes perceived to have a weak functional fit.