Socially responsible shopping

This holiday season, many time-crunched Americans are shopping with a cause in mind, says a new study.

Strategic-marketing firm Cone Inc., in Boston, reports that 68 percent of American shoppers polled will purchase a product in which a percentage of the price is donated to a cause. That's up 33 percent from 1997.

This type of shopping ranks second among the most popular ways of giving. The others accrording to Cone: donating personal belongings (82 percent), writing a check (53 percent), volunteering (41 percent), and attending a fund-raiser (31 percent).

Companies are catching on to this growing trend, by providing consumers with more opportunities to participate in cause initiatives.

Here are some examples:

*JCPenney will contribute $2 from each "A Very Rudolph Christmas" CD it sells to enhance after-school programs nationwide.

*Through Dec. 31, Chase Manhattan Bank will contribute 10 cents for every purchase made with a Chase credit card, up to a maximum of $500,000, to select children's charities.

*Sears donates proceeds from every purchase made with a Sears Card during the holidays to Gilda's Club, a cancer-support group.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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