More on Corporate Canada and the Asia disaster — giving without seeming like you're trying to benefit

My colleague Paul Waldie takes a look in today's Globe and Mail at one of the challenges for businesses that wish to donate: How to give without seeming like you're trying to make a buck on the giving yourself.

When executives at Best Buy Canada Ltd. considered how to help victims of the devastating tsunamis in Asia, they wanted to do something that involved their customers but did not make the company look opportunistic.
“It's a very fine line,” said Lori DeCou, a spokeswoman for the 144-store chain, which includes Future Shop outlets.

The Burnaby, B.C.-based company decided to make a $50,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross.
It is also encouraging customers to come into one of its stores and make a donation, which the company will match up to an additional $50,000. Ms. DeCou acknowledged that some people might view the campaign as a crass way of attracting customers, but she said the firms is genuinely trying to help.

One company, Showcase, which sells gifts and gadgets at its 31 stores across the country, is donating seven per cent of all sales made at its stores this weekend — perhaps a better example than Best Buy's of an initiative which seems to say, “Help boost our bottom line and then we'll donate.”
The Showcase press release also has an extra pitch: “As an added encouragement, customers will also save the GST on all of their purchases during this donation period.”

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