Retail Orphan Initiative, IBM Team Up for Charity

The Retail Orphan Initiative, RetailROI, in collaboration with IBM, has launched a national campaign designed to make it easy for retailers to raise money for charities at the point of sale (POS) by allowing shoppers to round up their checkout total and donate the change to the charity.

Using an Auto RoundUp feature powered by IBM's SurePOS ACE retail software, shoppers can choose to donate change from their transactions to RetailROI's Round-up for Orphans campaign or other charities supported by their local retail establishments. Retailers simply "round up" transaction totals to the next whole dollar automatically during checkout. IBM ACE software with Auto RoundUp is installed at more than 90,000 checkout lanes worldwide.

"RetailROI applauds IBM's commitment and leadership with this POS platform feature," said RetailROI donor trustee Vicki Cantrell. "Working together, retailers and customers can make a huge difference by helping either vulnerable children through contributions to the orphan program, or by contributing spare change to other worthy causes."

Instead of having a jar for donations, the donations are tracked through the point-of-sale system. The retailer then makes a single check on behalf of consumers. Retailers can then choose to match all, or a portion, of the donations provided.

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RetailROI's Round-up for Orphans campaign provides funding for orphan care (food, shelter and clothing), adoption, mentoring, and child rescue from human trafficking. According to UNICEF, somewhere in the world a child dies every 5.2 seconds, and every 14 seconds, an orphaned child ages out of a government protective system (if there is one).

A recent study from analyst firm IHL Group, "Why Charity in Retail is Good Business," indicated that 65 percent of consumers say they are influenced to shop at stores that support community charity initiatives. Yet, only 28 percent of shoppers know if their community stores are actively involved in charitable giving.

Nashville, Tenn.-based RetailROI is a charitable foundation under the umbrella of the Giving Back Fund, established to help the 400 million orphaned and vulnerable children worldwide; RetailROI provides grants to charities that provide hands-on efforts in the following areas:


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