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Target Loyalty Members Help Direct Company’s Charitable Giving

Target Loyalty Members Help Direct Company’s Charitable Giving

A new perk for select members of retailer Target's free-to-use loyalty program, Target Circle, is a rare opportunity to help direct the company’s nonprofit and community giving.

The Target Circle loyalty program gives member-shoppers 1% back on every purchase, redeemable during their next trip to the retailer, lets them enjoy special savings and perks, and, in a new bid to give shoppers an opportunity to make a positive impact in their communities, now provides the ability for Target Circle loyalty members to earn votes on every purchase. The votes shoppers earn on each trip to the retailer are cast during special voting periods to help decide which nonprofits Target awards grants to through the company’s corporate giving and philanthropy programs

During the voting process, Target provides Circle members with six pre-selected nonprofits to vote on. The amount of money eventually distributed to each of the six organizations by Target is determined by the proportionate number of Circle member votes cast in that organization’s favor. Target works closely with two partners, in/PACT and the GoodCoin Foundation, to research, select and welcome the non-profits that participate in Target Circle’s Giving Program. Nonprofits must apply through the Good Coin Foundation to be considered for inclusion, and those that are selected for the Giving Program are chosen based on their local presence and prominence within the community, their good standing with the IRS, and whether they meet or exceeding Target’s own internal vetting and non-discrimination policies.

While Target Circle is available everywhere the retailer maintains a store presence, the Giving Program is still being tested solely across pilot markets. Still, despite the limited geographic presence, nearly $250,000 in Target Circle member-directed giving has been distributed to Dallas-Fort Worth area nonprofits, one of the first pilots of the new program, and the loyalty initiative has also recently expanded to Target Circle members and communities in the Charlotte, Denver,  Indianapolis, Kansas City and Phoenix markets. Pending success, the program will be rolled out nationwide. 

Each nonprofit selected for participation in the Giving Program is guaranteed a minimum of $200.0, and multiple store locations may be tied to a single Giving Program. The initiative is meant to offer members more benefits and attract new shoppers, while also deepening the big box store’s relationship with its communities and encouraging more repeat visits. 

PSFK researchers have noted the increasing trend of brands providing their consumers with more of an ability to have their voices heard, often through unique offerings within their loyalty and membership programs. 


This article originally appeared in PSFK’s research paper, Elevating Loyalty Beyond the Transaction