Shopping centre collections
Shopping centres, particularly larger ones, have developed a role extending beyond that of traditional retailing, to become a focal point for community services and activities. In effect, they have replaced the village square or town centre and, as such, attract a large number of visitors on a regular basis.
Clearly, the high pedestrian traffic flow makes shopping centres an increasingly attractive location for fundraising related activities.
As such, a wide range of organisations are approaching shopping centre managers for space to conduct fundraising. Competition for such space is increasing and, typically, demand exceeds the availability of desirable fundraising locations within shopping centres.
The following guidelines have been prepared to help both fundraisers and centre manager’s deal with requests for fundraising space. It must be stressed that these are guidelines only and centre managers retain the right to manage their property in a manner they think appropriate for the mutual benefit of retailers and owners.
It is the right of the shopping centre owner/manager to determine who shall conduct fundraising activities within the shopping centre, as well as where and when.
Groups wishing to conduct fundraising in shopping centres need to recognise and abide by the conditions laid down by the shopping centre owner/manager.
In turn, the shopping centre owner/manager should clearly outline in writing the conditions that will apply to approved fundraising activities.
Commercial fundraising agents acting on behalf of non profit organisations must name the intended beneficiary(s) of funds raised and should advise what proportion of funds raised will go to the organisation(s).
An organisation wishing to conduct fundraising in a shopping centre should give consideration in its application as to how it could benefit that centre.
Applications for fundraising space
Organisations wishing to use space in a shopping centre for fundraising, or related purposes, should put their request in writing to the centre manager as early as possible. Given that the allocation of the limited space available is often made up to twelve months in advance, by lodging an application at an early stage an organisation is more likely to achieve its preferred outcome.
It is desirable that centre owner/managers use a standard form that can be filled in by organisations requesting fundraising space.
It is recommended the following documents be attached to any application form:
- Raffle permit (where appropriate)
- Letter of authorisation from beneficiary
- Evidence of necessary insurance cover.
Responding to applications
Centre management should acknowledge requests for fundraising space as early as is practicable after receipt of the application. Dates and times allocated for the fundraising activity, along with any other relevant details, should be confirmed in writing.
It is recommended that a policy statement be developed which outlines the conditions that apply to, and procedures to be followed by, organisations wishing to conduct fundraising activities within the centre. This could be attached to the standard application form.
The development of a policy statement should address such matters as:
- Allocation process
- Policy on fee charging
- Procedural arrangements
The process adopted for allocating fundraising space may vary from centre to centre and is influenced by a variety of factors, some universal and others unique to a centre.
Nevertheless, the information included on the application form should provide centre management with sufficient information to be able to assess the relative merits of requests.
Policy on fee charging
The approach adopted may range from no charge through to normal casual mall leasing rates depending on a variety of considerations. Each centre will of course develop its own policy on charging, however, a critical consideration is the net return to the beneficiary from the fundraising activity. The higher the return to the beneficiary, the more desirable it is that no or very low charges be applied.
Any such policy document should include details relating to arrangements such as entry times; set up procedures; the location of the allocated space; any restrictions regarding signage, furniture, lighting, etc; arrangements for the display of prizes. Unless otherwise arranged, the fundraiser should provide all furniture and equipment requirements.
How fundraisers could support shopping centres
In order to make a proposed fundraising activity more attractive to shopping centre management and hence assist the application/negotiation process, fundraisers may wish to think of ways in which their activity can also bring benefit to the shopping centre.
Possible examples could include:
- by including the name of co-operating shopping centres and/or retailers on the back of raffle tickets or literature associated with the fundraising activity;
- the display of a sign, recognising the centre's support of the fundraising activity;
- ensuring the presentation and conduct of collectors is of a high standard;
- by promoting the fundraising activity and its location as widely as possible thereby also promoting the centre;
- by actively attracting additional customers to the centre at the time of the fundraising activity; and
- by entering into some form of fundraising or sponsorship relationship with particular retailers within the shopping centre, or shopping centre management.
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