3 Mission-driven Loyalty Marketing Models.


Chitra Iyer

July 3, 2023
Let's Talk Loyalty

Consumers – especially Gen Z- prefer socially responsible brands. It’s time to support your corporate ESG goals by making ‘empowered giving’ a must-have in your redemption catalog.

We uncovered three insights from three distinct ‘loyalty for good’ models to inspire you.

1. The program:  MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet

A multi-award winning loyalty program that lets shoppers donate loyalty points to over 8000 beneficiaries across the region, including schools and charities that protect communities, animals, the environment, and the planet. 

The insight

Pieter Twine, General Manager of the South Africa-based program tells us that transactional loyalty is simply not strong enough to stand on its own. People expect more. Their data shows that over 70% of members were likely, or very definitely going to consider who they give back to as a community when they go shopping. Creating a single, seamless, friction-free app helps members personalize the choice of charity while making it easy to give ‘in the moment’.

The opportunity

Emotional loyalty and community loyalty can dovetail and aggregate into a change in behavior with transactional loyalty. Linking shopping behavior to charitable actions in real-time (with a robust mobile app like My School My Village My Planet) has the power to influence shopper behavior even as it strengthens emotional loyalty.

2. The program:  Points for Good

150 million members, over 20 retail bank partners, and close to 1000 corporate-reward programs participate in this pioneering charity-based program. A catalog of curated charities saves loyalty managers the effort of directly vetting and managing multiple charity partners and empowers program members to donate to charities of their own choice. 

The insight: People want to donate within their retail spending and shopping context. But getting members to look at the charity section of the redemption catalog can be a challenge. Instead, says Brian Almeida, use member data to prompt and remind members to redeem at the right moments.

The opportunity: Charity as a redemption option will soon be table stakes for most loyalty programs. However, timing is everything when it comes to optimizing points redemption towards charity. 

For example, frequent flyers with large points balances don’t (ironically) really need to redeem for flights. Similarly, members with too few miles to do anything meaningful with them, or whose points are close to expiry could be better persuaded to redeem points towards a charity of their choice. Finally, the vast majority of members who do earn and burn miles regularly could be prompted to add on some miles for charity right after they redeem a larger chunk for a leisure trip. 

3. The program:  GiveaMile

Over 36 million miles donated, close to 1000 flights given, and over 151 countries reached, GiveaMile is partnering with airline frequent flyer programs (FFPs) to facilitate people to go be with their loved ones at the end of their lives. They also have a program called Flight Hero, where an individual, team, or company can commit to raising a certain amount of miles which GiveaMile will match to people in need. 

The insight 

When people give their loyalty rewards to charity, they seek an authentic, tangible human connection in exchange. Founder Kevin Crowe says has learned the importance of connecting donors to impact as far as possible, so people know exactly who they have helped, how, and in which crisis

The opportunity

All the surveys tell us that consumers don’t just prefer to buy from brands that make the world better, safer, or cleaner; but they want to be involved in co-creating that effort. The more directly and tangibly brands can involve members and convey the impact of their actions as close to the source as possible, the deeper will be the engagement, emotional connection, and loyalty. 


Get the full episodes here: 

MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet



👉 Am I missing anything? Share your experiences with mission-based or charity-based loyalty below.

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About the Author

Chitra is an experienced marketer turned freelance B2B content creator. She writes about CX, martech, sales tech, ad tech, retail tech, loyalty tech, and customer data and privacy. Of her two-decade-long career, Chitra spent the first half in senior corporate marketing roles in India. She’s led communications, digital marketing, and marketing ops teams for companies such as Timken Steel, Tata Play Satellite TV, and Procter & Gamble (P&G).

She has served as the editor-in-chief for the pioneering martech site Martech Advisor, which she led through a successful acquisition by Ziff Davis. She also conceptualized and co-hosted three seasons of one of the earliest Martech podcasts, The Talking Stack, with renowned Martech experts David Raab and Anand Thaker.

As a freelancer, Chitra creates original, thought-provoking content for senior B2B audiences, and has authored over 500 articles, white papers, ebooks, guides, and research reports about Martech and CX for clients around the world. She writes monthly columns for CX publication CMSWire and HR tech publication Reworked; and teaches a course on freelance B2B content writing in association with the Himalayan Writing Institute in India.

Chitra holds a Master’s in global media & communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an MBA in marketing from the Institute of Management Development & Research, India.

In 2011, Chitra opted out of the city and moved to a farm in rural Punjab, in the north of India, where she and her husband breed thoroughbred race horses, grow organic food, and homeschool their two boys.

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