C-store Chains Among America's Checkout Charity Champions

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C-store Chains Among America's Checkout Charity Champions


CHICAGO -- There's a new study ranking America's top charity checkout programs and four convenience store retailers have made the list by generating millions in contributions.

Speedway LLC, CST Brands Inc., Circle K Stores Inc. and Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores have been recognized in America's Checkout Charity Champions, a new Cause Marketing Forum Inc. study recognizing an elite group of 63 corporate-backed campaigns that raised more than $358 million in 2012.

"American companies are bonding with consumers, turning on employees and raising big bucks for worthy groups by requesting donations at the point-of-sale," said David Hessekiel, president of Cause Marketing Forum. "This study is the first to recognize the leading programs, to measure how much they raise and to share the best practices that will help companies and causes produce even more successful point-of-sale fundraising campaigns in the future."

To identify these companies, Cause Marketing Forum combed through public data to identify the largest point-of-sale (POS) donation programs and asked companies and nonprofit organizations to provide campaign details this spring. To qualify for inclusion, a campaign had to invite consumers to make donations at the POS and raised at least $1 million in consumer donations in 2012. Only program activity in the United States was included in the study.

Children's health charities received 47 percent of total dollars, or $168.4 million, generated by POS donation campaigns. Two prominent beneficiaries were St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, which raises money for a network of 170 hospitals throughout North America.

Speedway, Corner Stores and Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores all chose Children's Miracle Network Hospitals as its charitable beneficiary, while Circle K chose the American Red Cross. In total, the four c-store retailers raised more than $11.5 million for charity last year.

Their individual contributions include:

  • Speedway, at No. 15 on the list, raised more than $6.2 million last year for Children's Miracle Network and has donated a total of $50 million since 1991.
  • At No. 41, Corner Stores, the operating banner of the recently spun off CST Brands Inc., raised more than $2.3 million last year and has donated more than $16.9 million since 1997.
  • At No. 48, Circle K raised more than $1.5 million last year and has donated $3 million since 2010.
  • At No. 52, Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores raised more than $1.4 million last year. 

The Cause Marketing Forum study found that large charity checkout programs have raised more than $2.3 billion in the last 30 years, and Hessekiel estimated there are hundreds of smaller campaigns fielded by businesses large and small, each of which raise thousands to hundreds of dollars annually.

Consumer donation campaigns can take many formats. The most popular are icons and pinups for a set dollar amount, donation requests and coin collections at the point-of-purchase.

A free copy of America's Charity Checkout Champions, including the honor roll of initiatives that raised more than $1 million in 2012, is available for download at www.CauseMarketingForum.com.

Speedway LLC is a division of Marathon Petroleum Corp., while Circle K is a subsidiary of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. CST Brands Inc. was spun off from Valero Energy Corp. on May 1.