Raise More Money from Businesses with Shopping Days

Success Story Downtown Business Plan.jpeg
Success Story Downtown Business Plan.jpeg

Are you a local nonprofit that has a downtown business district of mom and pop stores? Shopping days may be the fundraiser for you. Generally, there are three components to a shopping day program.

Here's how they all work together.

Working with these small businesses you pick a day or weekend to have a shopping day event. Prior to the event, downtown businesses agree to sell pinups or donate a percentage or portion of sales from a product or service (or they could do both!). The goal is help raise money for your organization and to promote the shopping day.

To make this program work you'll need to secure one more thing from your business partners: a discount for shoppers that participate in the shopping day.

While your business partners are busy planning their fundraiser for you, you'll be busy recruiting walk participants. In a shop walk I did many years ago, we asked participants to raise a minimum of $250 to participate in the event. In exchange they got a pink canvas bag with the shop walk logo on it, which was all they needed to get discounts at participating stores.

Everyone wins with a shopping day. Your nonprofit raises money. The business owner gets new customers. Participants have a great time raising money for your organization and saving money on their purchases.

A good example of a shopping day fundraiser in action is a Shop Local for a Cause from the National Association of Local Advertisers (NALA) that will benefit The Greatest Generation Foundation. NALA is giving small businesses all the tools they need to host a shopping day event on August 18, 2012. Below is an example of a participating store from their website.


The only piece missing from NALA's Shop Local for a Cause is the walk fundraiser. This is one area where local nonprofits have an advantage as they have boots on the ground - staff and supporters - in the community who can execute an event fundraiser.

Shopping days are fun and perfect for a downtown business district. Have you done a shopping day in your community? I would love to hear about it!