Social Giving: The Street Store

Here’s a great idea to incentivise charitable giving. The Haven Shelter in Cape Town has created a pop-up clothes store for the homeless, The Street Store, that makes the act of giving public and dignifies the process of receiving for the homeless. And the best thing – it’s really simple.

Each Street Store is made entirely of cardboard clothes hangers and product displays left on pavements; members of the public are invited to hang their unwanted clothes or accessories on these and homeless people are then able to “shop”, helping themselves to items they like from these very public “shops”.

Check out a video of the project here

Aside from the simplicity, what makes this so powerful is the psychology it leverages.

We’re constantly influenced by the actions of others, following the “herd” often unknowingly. By making the act of giving really visible (nothing says “everyone’s giving to charity” like a public display on the street) The Street Store exploits this peer effect brilliantly to generate donations.

Thanks to its simplicity and cost it’s also really scalable. To date multiple Street Stores have popped-up across South Africa and beyond. To find out how you could host one head to

Date: March 04, 2014