Last month Coles launched their Sports for Schools promotion. In principle this is a great idea, where your local school can get some extra sports equipment in exchange for the Coles Sports for Schools vouchers which are collected at Coles at the rate of one point for every $10 spent in store. So how much do you need to spend to raise enough vouchers to make a valuable contribution?
Let's say you wanted to donate one volleyball to a school of your choice through this program. Your goal would be 650 points to buy a single match volleyball. This equates to a $6500 spend at Coles and even if they gave you all year to collect them, you would still need to spend on average $125 per week. Of course this promotion only lasts for three months so if you are going to reach your target then you'll need to spend $500 a week to gather those vouchers.
Maybe that's a little too much to spend so based on an average spend of $100 per week you will amass 120 vouchers in the 3 months of the promotion. So let's go shopping and for your efforts and instead you could buy 1 frisbee (70 vouchers) and 1 mini bean bag (50 vouchers). Of course there are special promotions that offer bonus vouchers but really this won't amount to much. In fact based on last year they give double vouchers in the last few weeks of the promotion so maybe leave your run until late.
Given that the promotion has a multi-million advertising campaign why doesn't Coles just donate the money directly to the schools as a gesture of goodwill? Then they could advertise in the local paper what your school had purchased with their allotment. Of course this doesn't directly equate to sales at the register but would still be good for the brand.
To be fair Coles have an open policy that leaves them to scrutiny which is a lot more than can be said for the closed door policy approach that Woolworths have taken with their comparable and even less inspiring Earn & Learn program.
So if you really want to help the schools with sports then a $50 donation may be a more sensible approach.