A recent New York Times articles states that retailers can realize increased revenue by linking their sales efforts with charitable enterprises.

“After decades of treating charity as an afterthought — and using cheap trinkets as an incentive for shoppers to give — retailers across the country are putting philanthropy at the center of their product lines, whether it is clothes, books or shoes,” states a Times article by Michael Barbaro.

This new type of business model can drive sales, while giving charitable ventures much needed capital and exposure.

Barbaro cites several corporations cashing in on this retail model among many:
  • Saks Fifth Avenue is selling a leather jacket from Kenneth Cole for $795, with a percentage of sales going to Help USA
  • Bath & Body Works – Elton John scented candle for $16.50, with 10 percent going to the Elton John AIDS Foundation
  • Gap, Apple Computer and Motorola – Limited edition red-colored products to benefits AIDS charity (Product) RED


Given the recent high-profile business scandals, consumers are putting greater stock in the charitable contributions being made year-round, says Barbaro.

“It is a cost of doing business today,” said John Morris, a stock analyst at Wachovia Securities who tracks retailers, in the New York Times article.