Requests for donations at checkout may have surprising psychological effects.
For better or worse, surprises are rare at the grocery store. But occasionally, cashiers surprise customers by asking them if they would like to donate a small amount of money to a charitable organization. By most accounts, this practice of “embedded giving” has been quite successful; Safeway, for example, has raised millions of dollars for breast cancer organizations. Presumably, not all of those dollars would have been donated without explicit prompts from cashiers, suggesting that the program has been beneficial.