While many American consumers have been forced to scale back their charitable giving during the recession, their desire to give to those less fortunate has not wavered, according to a survey commissioned by Sears and Kmart.
In fact, 81% of the consumers surveyed said that, if they received a large sum of money such as a prize or gift, they would be likely to donate a percentage of the funds to a charity or non-profit/aid organisation.
As a result, with the forthcoming first anniversary of the Shop Your Way Rewards programme, Sears and Kmart have launched a 'What Would You Do with One Billion Points?' contest to give one loyal customer the chance to win up to 1 billion loyalty points, half of which will be donated to charity.
According to Scott Freidheim, executive vice president of operating and support businesses for Sears Holdings, "This contest is a fun way to engage our 17 million+ members while also giving them the opportunity to help others in a very big way."
Shop Your Way Rewards members can enter the contest by submitting a 45-second personal video message describing what they would do with 1 billion points.
All the videos received will be posted online, where American consumers will be able to vote for a winner. The prize pool will start at 100 million points and, for every video submitted, another 10,000 points will be added, up to a total of 1 billion points.
The contest winner will take home 50% of all of the points in the prize pool, and they will also be allowed to decide how the remaining 50% of the points will be donated to charity. For the charitable component, the winner has two options:
- To give all of the charity points to one or two of Sears' existing charity partners (those being Rebuilding Together, St. Jude, or March of Dimes);
- To give half of the charity points to a Sears charity partner and the other half to a charity of their own choice (that meets the contest's charity qualification rules).
Video submissions and the initial voting will continue until 5th October 2010, after which the top twenty will move on to a final round of voting which will result in a single winner, to be announced by mid-November 2010.
Sears and Kmart are also rewarding Shop Your Way Rewards members by making it easier for them to earn and redeem points at Sears retail outlets. For example, members can earn 10 points for every US$1 spent on qualifying goods and services at Sears, Kmart, Lands' End, mygofer and the great indoors, both in-store and online. Members can earn and redeem points for almost anything they buy, from a new swimsuit at Lands' End, to an oil change at a Sears Auto centre, to food products at Kmart, among other options.