Choose Charity Shops
Choose Charity Shops: 14th to 19th May 2012
Choose Charity Shops is a nationwide campaign, which launched on the 14th May 2012, to encourage more people to donate directly to charity shops. Charity shops thrive on donations, but their number one concern at the moment is not having enough second-hand items to sell. We know that most people have items they aren’t using in their homes and that the majority of people have at least one bag of unused clothing in their wardrobes. These items could be put to use by charity shops – adding to the £200 million of annual income they already generate for a huge range of charitable causes.
Successes of the Campaign
We had almost 6,000 shops participating, putting up posters in stores for one big-branded push, and some running events as well. At least 70 MPs making donations to the shops of their choice - including Nick Clegg, Eric Pickles, Ed Vaizey (pictured below), Harriet Harman and Theresa May - along with various other comics and TV personalities. We made it to the national news, with coverage in print - in publications like The Sun and the Daily Telegraph - as well as online outlets such as the BBC, the FT and The Guardian. Head of Press Wendy Mitchell and CEO Warren Alexander were kept extremely busy, with a series of radio and TV interviews and shop visits, for the BBC, Sky and Reuters. Having the campaign underpinned by regionally-specific research on shopping and donation habits definitely helped generate more media interest, and the success of charity-shops during a period of Recession proved a very zeitgeisty story. Anecdotally, we have been told of shops whose stock levels did rise as a result of the campaign, which is really great news. We want it to be automatic for charity shops to be the recipients of sale-able goods which are no longer wanted or needed by a household, and that the public take them directly into a shop, during opening hours.
Over half the charity shops in the UK participated in Choose Charity Shops, including: Oxfam, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Sue Ryder, YMCA, Shelter and British Red Cross. There were also a whole host of smaller and medium-sized shop chains involved, including those run by local hospices and other regional charities. You can find a full list of our members on our website at this link.
What can I do now?
Though the launch week has ended, charity shops remain keen to get in your donations. You can locate your nearest charity shop by searching in the Find A Shop box, on the top right of the screen.
If you work for a charity shop, it would be great for us to know if you got a rise in stock during and immediately after the campaign week. We’ve never tried this kind of campaign before on this scale, and it would really help us to measure whether it is successful in generating extra stock.
Where can I find out more?
We have lots more information on the rest of the website, from latest news and supporter charities to the MPs who made donations in the campaign week. We have linked to news coverage as it comes in, as well.