If your retail establishment wants to engage in fundraising efforts to raise money for a local or national charity, there are a number of ways to go about it. Working with other businesses in the community and making it as easy as possible for customers to donate funds can help you raise a substantial amount of money for the charitable organization of your choice.

Free Gifts with Donations

Encourage customers to donate to the charity of your choice by providing a small free gift with each donation. You can partner with other local businesses to offer clients items such as gift cards for free cups of coffee or discounts on movie tickets. You also can offer customers a sample of a new product you're introducing or a small sample of your best seller with every donation that goes over a certain amount. For instance, offering samples to customers who donate $10 or more will prompt clients to give more in support of the charity.

Participating in Community Events

If there's an event in your community that focuses on fundraising, find out how your retail business can participate. If there's a walk or run dedicated to donating money to medical research, set up a booth at the event location and offer product samples as well as cold water or energy drinks for participants. It's also beneficial to participate in charitable events within your business niche. For instance, if businesses in your city are hosting a back-to-school or holiday clothing drive, take some of the clothing from your inventory and donate the items to the event. This assists the charity you've chosen to support while bringing more awareness to your business.

Online Donations

Make it easy for customers to participate in your fundraiser by providing the option of online donation. Give clients a choice for their donation amount when they are checking out of your online store, or simply provide a donation button on the homepage of your website. Promote your fundraiser on your social networking pages, and provide a live link to your retail business' website.

Donation Drives

Host a drive that fits into your business niche, and make it easy for people to give. For instance, if you own a shoe store, encourage customers to bring in their old shoes from one or two seasons ago to be donated to a local or national charity. Place a decorated container at the front of your store for donations, and remind customers about the fundraiser on your website and social networking pages. You can offer prizes or discounts to the customers who donate the most items.

In-Store Events

Host an event in your store to raise money for charity. Work with other local businesses to provide food and beverages for the event, and hire a live band or disc jockey. Charge for tickets for the event, or allow vendors to sell their items in your store. It's also a good idea to sell your own items at the event. Donate most of the proceeds to charity, and take plenty of pictures to post on social networking pages to promote your business and the charity you're donating to.