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The four big supermarket charity token schemes

Sainsbury’s is once again asking customers to vote for their store’s new local charity partner for 2017/18, so here’s a look at the big supermarket charity token schemes, as well as some of the other similar schemes other on offer.

Sainsbury’s Local Charity of the Year

The Local Charity of the Year scheme has run since 2009 with over £13 million raised so far. The goal is to donate more than £400m to charity by 2020. This year, the scheme’s ninth year, Sainsbury’s expects to raise around £2m for more than 1,200 new charities. Each year, representatives from local charities are able to nominate their organisation, with Sainsbury’s staff from each branch then shortlisting them down to three. To choose their store’s 2017 Local Charity of the Year partner, customers are currently being asked to choose from their store’s local shortlisted charities by voting online or in-store with the winning charity partners to be announced on 10th July.

Asda Community Life programme Chosen by You

Asda’s green token scheme provides funding for local charities and good causes nominated by Asda customers and colleagues. So far this year, it has raised over £3 million, with 2017 also seeing a £1 million investment from the Asda Foundation, which will support over 10,000 local charities and good causes within the Asda Mile of local stores or depots.

Waitrose Community Matters

Since its launch in 2008, Waitrose’s Community Matters green token scheme has donated £14 million to local charities chosen by customers. Shoppers are given token at the checkout, which they place in the box of the good cause they would most like to support. The more tokens a cause gets, the bigger the donation they receive. Each month every Waitrose branch donates £1,000 (£500 in Convenience shops) between three local good causes chosen by customers.
Every three months, Waitrose.com also shares a Community Matters donation of £25,000 between three national charities that customers have the opportunity to vote for at the checkout when they shop at Waitrose.com.

Tesco Bags of Help

So far over £27 million has been invested into local projects through Tesco’s Bags of Help token scheme, which lets customers choose where the money raised from the 5p bag charge should go. Customers are given a token at the checkout to use to vote for their favourite of three community projects in each local area. The projects change every other month, and at the end all three projects receive funding in each local area. The amount of funding available for individual local projects ranges from £1,000 to £4,000, and the scheme is administered by Tesco and Groundwork.
Other supermarket schemes helping local causes:

Co-op Community Fund

Slightly different, rather than tokens, Co-op donates 1% of what customers spend on selected own-brand products and services to local causes through its Local Community Fund. Money raised through carrier bag sales also go into the fund and customers who are members can also choose which local cause they want their 1% to go to. So far, more than £14 million has been raised. Local causes can apply to participate in the Fund, with Co-op choosing up to three projects to support in each community over a giving period of usually six months. The next round of applications will open in late June.

LIDL Community Works NI

LIDL Community Works asks people to nominate a local cause or project that they think deserves funding. These are whittled down to a shortlist of three for each of LIDL’s 38 Northern Ireland stores, before customers vote to decide which one should receive £4,000, with the two runners up receiving £1,00 each. Now in its fourth year, LIDL Community Works has £228,000 to invest in this year’s programme.

East of England Co-op token scheme

The East of England Co-op also supports local communities by running a token scheme across its food stores that gives local good causes a share of a £1,000 donation every three months. The funding is split into donations of £500, £300 and £200, depending on the number of tokens customer have given each local cause. Local causes can apply to be considered for the scheme online but must be an East of England Co-op member.