Small Change, Big Impact: How Your Business Can Help Heal Local Children

Nick Bhullar, NCASEF Executive Vice Chair

As a small business owner, especially as a franchisee of a well-known brand like 7-Eleven, our role in the community extends beyond providing convenient services and products. We are a pillar of support and a beacon of hope for many in our neighborhoods. And we have proven that over and over by participating in many fundraisers and other community events over the years.

At the end of 2023, our stores participated in the fundraising campaign benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Thanks to the unwavering support of franchisees, customers, and associates, we collectively raised over $18 million for CMN Hospitals in 2023. This remarkable achievement directly benefited 107 member hospitals across the communities we serve, providing critical medical care and support to countless children. Your dedication and generosity made a tangible difference, ensuring that local children’s hospitals have the necessary resources to offer life-saving treatments and improve the quality of life for young patients.

As we celebrate the success of our past efforts, I would like to request our community to once again participate in the upcoming round of CMN Hospitals fundraising. I call upon the entire 7-Eleven community to step up and participate in this noble cause. The upcoming round of the initiative presents another opportunity for us to come together and make a significant impact on the health and well-being of children in our local regions.

As we all know, children often form a significant portion of the customer base at 7-Eleven locations. Our stores are frequented by families, and many children enjoy visiting for snacks, drinks, and other kid-friendly products. When parents and community members view 7-Eleven as a partner in supporting children’s health, they are more likely to choose your store over competitors. The sense of a shared mission enhances customer relationships and reinforces the idea that 7-Eleven is more than just a convenience store—it’s a community ally dedicated to making a difference in the lives of local children.

One impactful way to make a significant difference is by participating in money round-up programs to help children in your local region receive critical medical attention. A money round-up program is a simple yet powerful fundraising initiative where customers are asked to round up their total purchase amount to the nearest dollar. The difference is then donated to a specific cause. In this case, the proceeds would go towards CMN Hospitals for children in your local community who are in need of surgeries or other medical interventions. By participating in money raising programs focused on children’s health and wellness, we can align our brand with the values that resonate deeply with their community.

Now, I know we are all thinking, “It’s easier said than done.” So, we have gathered some helpful information from participating franchisees that have had huge success in achieving customer and employee participation. The first and most important step is to train your sales associates to explain the program to customers. They should be able to clearly articulate the purpose of the program and how it helps children in the local area. Role-playing scenarios can help associates practice and become more comfortable with these conversations. It would also help if you provided a simple, effective script for your sales associates to use. For example: “Would you like to round up your total to the nearest dollar to help local children receive medical care? Your small change can make a big difference!”

You can also help your customers understand your mission and objective behind the cause by displaying informative flyers, posters and success stories of children who have been helped by the program. Personal stories resonate with people and can motivate them to contribute.

It is also crucial to set goals for your employees and to celebrate them once those goals have been reached. To further motivate and engage your sales associates, please consider implementing a reward program based on the amount of money raised through the round-up program. Setting achievable milestones and offering incentives—such as gift cards, extra paid time off, or recognition awards—can drive enthusiasm and commitment.

For instance, you could set a goal of $500 raised within a month and reward the team with a catered lunch or a special acknowledgment ceremony. Recognizing and rewarding your employees will boost morale and establish a team-oriented environment where everyone is committed to making a difference in the community. This added incentive will encourage your staff to be proactive in promoting the round-up program, ultimately leading to greater success and a more impactful contribution to children’s medical needs.

By adopting these strategies, 7-Eleven teams can carve out a unique niche in the convenience store market. Unlike other brands that may only focus on the transactional aspect of their business, 7-Eleven can be seen as a community-centric, socially responsible brand. This reputation not only attracts more customers, it also generates long-term loyalty and trust. And by asking customers to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar, we can continue to support our local children’s hospitals and provide essential medical attention to those in need.

 Let’s unite once more in this mission and show that the 7-Eleven family is committed to building healthier, happier communities. Together, we can make a difference, one round-up at a time.