New Survey Reveals What Resonates Most With Philanthropic-Minded C-store Customers

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New Survey Reveals What Resonates Most With Philanthropic-Minded C-store Customers

06/11/2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With communities suffering from the economic downturn amid recent events, consumers seek more engagement from local businesses, including convenience stores.

According to a national survey conducted for NACS by PSB Insights, more than half of consumers said they would feel more favorable about a retailer that contributes to community or charitable groups. At least one in three said that they would be much more likely to shop at that retailer.

The philanthropic questions asked in the latest survey were designed to help retailers define what may work best for their organizations — as well as how they could tell their stories to the communities they serve.

Consumers were asked: For each of the following initiatives, how much you would like to see each action taken in your community? If you saw a convenience store in your community participating in these initiatives, would you be more likely to shop at that store?

Results showed:

  • Distributing excess food to children and families in need: 68 percent are very favorable to the action taken and 44 percent are much more likely to shop the store
  • Donating masks and medical supplies to local hospitals: 65 percent are very favorable to the action taken and 42 percent are much more likely to shop the store
  • Offering free breakfast or lunch to children in need: 63 percent are very favorable to the action taken and 43 percent are much more likely to shop the store
  • Providing free beverages or food items to first responders: 59 percent are very favorable to the action taken and 39 percent are much more likely to shop the store
  • Providing grants and donations to local food banks: 58 percent are very favorable to the action taken and 40 percent are much more likely to shop the store
  • Providing direct monetary relief and support to medical personnel: 53 percent are very favorable to the action taken and 38 percent are much more likely to shop the store
  • Celebrating local workers serving the public during the pandemic: 51 percent are very favorable to the action taken and 37 percent are much more likely to shop the store

The survey also found that the more direct the donation, the better. According to respondents, consumers say that any philanthropy is welcomed right now, but distributing food (30 percent) and personal protective equipment (18 percent) directly to those needing them rated the highest when consumers were asked to name the most important donation — ahead of grants and donations to food banks (16 percent) or monetary contributions to hospital workers (11 percent).

If retailers are doing charitable work, consumers most want to see it on the local news (69 percent), far ahead of social media (42 percent), national news (36 percent) and in store (35 percent).

Consumers are also interested in opportunities to work with retailers for the greater good. When asked what actions they would take as a result of a store doing charitable work, 39 percent of respondents said they would tell others about it. And it may also spur a movement: 34 percent would donate directly to that charity and 29 percent would join a fundraiser.

"We know that convenience retailers are very active in community giving. But we also wanted to know what is of most interest to consumers during times of need so that we can share ideas with our members, as well as examine future partnerships on a national level to support member activities," said NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard. "The great news is that consumers are well aware of how our industry serves communities. A record 78 percent of consumers now say that convenience stores share their values and do business the right way."

Conducted online by PSB Insights from May 15-18, NACS surveyed 1,100 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month.

Alexandria-based NACS is the leading global trade association dedicated to advancing convenience and fuel retailing. It has more than 1,500 retailer and 1,600 supplier members from more than 50 countries.