August 21, 2015
Community service and engagement shows your patients that you care. But you can’t have a major project or fundraiser every month when you need to focus on your patients and your business first.
Consider taking advantage of “checkout charity” by placing a small collection bin for change on your pharmacy counter. Or, set a larger bin nearby to collect donated clothing or other items.
Checkout charity demonstrates your ongoing interest in the needs of your community, or for larger national causes. Plus, those coins can add up to meaningful dollars to benefit charities, schools or other organizations close to home.
Checkout charity is an ideal way to supplement your community engagement, because it requires little work and virtually no cost. And, your participation can have a big influence on your community—and on your pharmacy’s reputation.
Asking for donations at the end of a sale can be a little awkward. Some patients might be turned off by those requests, and already programmed to say “no” before they even hear what charity or organization you’re supporting.
Having a small collection jar with signage and an explanation of the benefitting organization allows interested patrons to make a donation, or patients with a little extra change to toss it in.
Even if patients don’t make a donation, they’ll see the kinds of organizations you’re supporting and likely feel great about giving their business to a pharmacy that’s interested in giving back.
Be open and receptive to individuals in your community who would like to place a collection jar at your checkout. Maybe there’s a family who is having a particularly hard time covering medical expenses for an unforeseen incident, or your nearby elementary school is raising funds for new playground equipment.
It’s okay to say “no” to requests, but establishing a reputation as a business that listens to the community’s needs will make a positive influence on new and existing customers.
There are many organizations that could benefit from your checkout charity, and not just from collecting coins. Collecting new or gently used items can benefit the organization, but also allows your patients get rid of unwanted items.
For example, if you sell reading glasses at your pharmacy, consider contacting your local Lions Club to set up a collection box for used eyeglasses. That way, patients can drop off their old ones when they need a new pair.
Or, think locally by collecting items for your food pantry, or winter coats if you live in an area with harsh winters.
If your pharmacy specializes in helping high-risk patients, like those with HIV/AIDS or cancer, think about raising money for a charity that supports research into cures for those diseases.
Or, if you have a high volume of patients with diabetes, for example, investigate related organizations that you can help.