Whole Foods Market is running a promotion in which shoppers can donate at the checkout to support making micro-credit loans to impoverished people in the less developed world. As part of the promotion, the cashier at the aisle next to the one I was checking out this morning asked a shopper whether she would like to make a donation. “Not today” she said rather sharply. Then, after a few seconds, “I don’t think you should be doing this—I think you should be collecting money for the homeless, here at home. There are plenty of Americans who could use the help right now.”.
That got me thinking—poor economic times may well be polarizing people on everything from globalization to income tax changes. But I hadn’t quite thought about how carefully an organization like Whole Foods needs to think about the charitable causes it is supporting. Symbolically, they might get a lot more traction by keeping their charitable efforts closer to home.