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Archive for Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The World Company finalizes purchase of Lawrence Give Back Program

January 5, 2011

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A Lawrence firm that markets the value of locally owned and operated businesses has been bought by the parent company of the Lawrence Journal-World.

The World Company finalized a deal this month to purchase the Lawrence Give Back Program, which offers loyalty cards to shoppers who can use the cards to get discounts at a host of Lawrence merchants while having some of the proceeds from their purchases donated to local nonprofits.

“We plan to bring this exceptional program to a larger audience,” said Edwin Rothrock, director of market strategies for The World Company.

The Give Back Program was founded by Lawrence businesswoman Constance Wolfe in early 2009. She will serve as the program’s manager for The World Company.

Wolfe said the major details of the program will be unchanged. The Give Back cards will remain available free of charge at participating businesses and at the Journal-World’s offices. When consumers present the card at the time of a purchase, 1 percent to 5 percent of the purchase price is donated to a nonprofit of their choice. Cardholders also will receive points that can be turned into store credit once they’ve hit a certain level of purchases.

Participating businesses will be limited to locally owned and operated companies.

“What we’re trying to strive for here is economic sustainability,” Wolfe said. “If consumers in Lawrence could just shift 10 percent of their annual spending back to Lawrence, that would be a tremendous boost to the economy.”

Currently the program has about 50 merchants and about 100 nonprofits that participate. Since its inception, the program has distributed about $100,000 to local nonprofits and about $85,000 worth of store credit to cardholders.

Comments

Steve Jacob 3 years, 8 months ago

I am trying to figure out how the card makes money for the world company? Do store owners that accept the card pay them?

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May Soo 3 years, 8 months ago

Yes, business pay annual fee to be in the Give Back program. They also donate a percentage of the sale to a non-profit organization when customer use the card.

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jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

Did they pay this fee all along or only with the transfer?

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 8 months ago

Currently the program has about 50 merchants and about 100 nonprofits that participate. Since its inception, the program has distributed about $100,000 to local nonprofits and about $85,000 worth of store credit to cardholders.

---simple: "give back" is just a promotion operator that happens to use nonprofit giving as its distinctive/motivator.
... next?

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jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

I think this is an excellent program - it is an easy way for most people to give to charity, it encourages patronizing local businesses, and after spending $200 on the card, you get a $10 credit.

Let's hope that this purchase and expansions doesn't change the program for the worse.

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sherbert 3 years, 8 months ago

It'd be interesting to know how much they bought it for?

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Phil Minkin 3 years, 8 months ago

Will we accumulate points when we pay our LJW bill?

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Joseph Jarvis 3 years, 8 months ago

I hope World Co. is more transparent about how much goes to charity. I think GB has been eating their cake and having it too. The public is left with the impression this is all about charity. But unlike true charities, GB is coy on how much they keep. Ask and the story suddenly switches to "this is a private loyalty card business, not a nonprofit, and we can't disclose the details of private contracts with merchants." True charities would disclose non-programmatic expenses. GB does good for the community. But it abuses the public trust by riding the charity-private business fence as it's convenient. Why else would World Co. buy unless there were money to be made from exploiting this public misunderstanding.

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