199: How One Vermont Grocery Store Raised $300,000 for Charity

Today on Cause Talk Radio, Megan and Joe talk to Allison Weinhagen, Director of Community Engagement at City Market, a 16,000 sq. ft. community-owned food cooperative in downtown Burlington, Vermont.

Anytime you check-out at City Market, you can choose to "round up" your total to the nearest dollar. Each month, the spare change collected during Rally for Change is split between three great non-profits that align with the co-op's mission. Since the program's inception, City Market has raised over $300,000 for charities.

On the show, Megan, Allison and Joe discuss:

  • How Rally for Change got started with a conversation with a local food bank.
  • Why did City Market choose a round-up instead of donation boxes or charity pinups?
  • How does the round-up work with the store's POS system?
  • How City Market distributes the money it raises to charities.
  • The initial customer response to the fundraiser was mixed.
  • What advice would City Market give to other businesses that want to replicate their round-up program?
  • How City Market communicates the impact they're having in the community.
  • The Rally for Change program includes a volunteer program.
  • Other ways City Market gives back to the community, and their plans to expand involvement with new stores.

Links & Notes