Gift cards are often used by companies in promotions. It tends to be a good fit: on one hand, they're giving a consumer value which is flexible. On the other hand, it's not quite as flexible as cash, so the promoter knows where it's going to be spent. We've see programs which exchange guns for gift cards, others offering gift cards for lowering a utility bill and often gift cards are used in order to entice consumers to make a purchase.
Panera Bread's Fundraising Effort
One of my favorite gift card promotions of 2010 utilized the Panera Bread Gift Card. In early December, 2010, Panera Bread held a fundraiser to support the Expressive Therapy Center which was under construction at Akron Children’s Hospital.
In short, Panera Bread offered a $5 Panera Bread Gift Card for each donation of $5 or more. We like how Panera made it easy to give by offering an even exchange for a $5 donation. Naturally, most donated more than just $5, but it's a great way to show that no donation is too small and really demonstrates the organizations support for the cause.
Furthermore, several Ohio Panera Bread locations participated. According to FallsNewsPress.com, the fundraising efforts took place at Panera Bread locations in Akron, Canton, Medina, Brecksville, Cuyahoga Falls, North Canton, Fairlawn, Massillon, and Stow.
Get A Gift Card For Free? Double Check The Fine Print
Anytime you receive a gift card during a promotion without paying for it, there is a possibility the gift card will expire sooner than the legal minimum set under state or federal law. That's because some states and the federal government specifically exclude gift cards given away for free from consumer protection laws. Interested in learning more? Take a look at our recently post covering Groupon and gift card laws.