Over the last few weeks we’ve been sharing some local cause films with you featuring our colleagues, members and their local causes.

They’re part of our campaign to encourage more members and colleagues to log into their membership account and choose the local cause that matters most to them in their community.

For a while now we’ve noticed that lots of colleagues aren’t going online and doing this.

In fact, since we launched our Local Community Fund in September 2016, only 16,000 colleagues have chosen their cause.

We’d love to know why you’re not choosing. It could be for a variety of reasons.

  • Maybe you’ve forgotten your membership login details? All you need to do is press the ‘forgotten password’ on the membership login page. Or if you’ve forgotten the email you registered with please call 0800 023 4708
  • Maybe some of you would like your 1% to be shared between all three – we have tested this on the membership website but only a small number of members wanted this functionality added. It’s something we’ll look at again in future

Remember that if you don’t want to choose the three local causes in your area, you have the choice of others 15 miles from where you live.

Whatever the reason, please tell us in the comments below.

We’re already creating stronger communities

We’ve helped more than 12,000 local causes since our Local Community Fund started.

Not only have our members given their 1%, our colleagues and Member Pioneers have built close relationships with our causes.

These relationships have helped us understand more about the challenges they face.

Last week we published a report on what we found out. It’ll help us improve how we support our local causes in future.

Check out our press release and the report for more information.

David Luckin
Community Insight & Propositions Lead

Join the conversation! 69 Comments

  1. Hello all
    Thank you for taking the time to feed back. We’ve had a record number of comments on this blog post and we can see how important our community work is to all of you.
    It’s been really interesting to hear people’s views and we’re already thinking about many of the suggestions you’ve made for improvements, everything from enabling members to choose a cause in store to widening the range across which people can search for a cause from the current 15 miles. It’s good to know we are on the right track.
    Some changes are more difficult to make than others. For example, in store, we need to trade off the ease of cause selection at the till against the increases in transaction time which it would create. Just a few extra seconds quickly adds up to millions of pounds in additional cost across 2,500 stores.
    So, members do have to go online or phone the contact centre to choose their cause at the moment – but nearly 900,000 have done that since we launched Membership in September 2016, and we know that these members spend more with us.
    We are working closely with colleagues in the Digital team, and we’ll be thinking together about how we can address some of the points and suggestions you have made. In particular, we’ll be looking at the password reset issues that a number of you flagged up as a priority.
    Thanks again for taking the time to contribute – we’ll report back on any changes introduced as soon as we can.
    Dave Luckin

  2. Because it is impossible to log in

  3. I would love to nominate a local cause as this is a great support for local communities. Problem is as a Field Based Worker my local charities are near my home, yet I can only nominate charities close to Angel Square as that is my base location. I am glad that local charities benefit, but feel disengaged that they are not local to my home. If this could be sorted I would gladly nominate on a regular basis.

  4. Happy for mine to be spljt between the 3 so don’t want to choose one as that means the other 2 don’t get a share.

  5. I tried a few times and apparently the password my browser remembers is incorrect.
    The reset email never comes.
    I am sure I’ve jumped through the hoop of calling up before and I will probably end up doing that again.
    I’ve never had as many problems logging into an online account before…

    To put a long story short: it takes too much time.

  6. I want to choose my own charity, when I tried to suggest one I had to ring round stores to try to get them to sign up to it. it wasn’t worthwhile in the end.

  7. Have you ever tried to log in???
    System would not let me in to choose local cause contacted ‘forgot password section”
    After 5 days got an a mail telling me they had sent a new password to access the site.
    Checked my emails nothing/ spam nothing so still can’t access the site
    Is it no wonder people get fed up and just give up trying to access the site

  8. I trust the Co-op to split it between the local causes in the best way – I don’t want to choose between them.

  9. I wanted to choose a local charity that is very close to me for personal reasons but it’s outside the 15 mile radius so I can’t. Its a shame as they really could use the money!

  10. Passwords. I have more than I can remember. And cant be bothered to go through a reset process just to choose a charity when it defaults to a good cause regardless.

  11. There is an app. It’s been being trialled since October.
    It’s got a barcode you can scan at the till (though not all tills recognise it…) so you don’t need to have your card with you anymore, gives you a running total of how much you’ve saved, a breakdown of how much per transaction, and allows you to go search for and select a cause, tells you how much you’ve helped raise for your local cause, and you can even add a missed receipt if you weren’t able to use your card.

    But since signing up to the trial 8 months ago I’ve heard nothing more about it (and I’m on it!).

    What’s the update on this, Membership? Everybody’s crying out for it…

  12. And to think, we only spent about £20m putting that site together to do what other retailers do perfectly well with green plastic buttons.

    • Doesn’t cost £20m to put a site together. Divide that by 20 and detract a few more hundred thousands. Probably cost about £5k, unless I’m missing something.

      • Adam,

        Believe you me, you are missing something. I agree that site should have cost pennies. It didn’t. At one point there were a team of 100’s developing that site from five different third party companies

  13. Logging in is not only inconvenient it is a hassle. Internet Explorer has saved my details from the last time I used the site to ‘join in’, but now it is not logging me in – just keeps refreshing the log in screen – and does not tell me why. Does it not recognise my email? Is the password wrong? Why won’t it say?

    And also – I think everyone gets the email about picking a cause whether you have picked one or not. Can the email alerts be smarter and only get sent to those people who haven’t selected?

    Finally, because of the above it’s not clear to me whether my choice wasn’t saved or whether it is actually time to select a brand new cause because the next round of funding has started.

    If the email could say: last time you selected x cause, it is now time to select a new cause, this would be much more helpful. It just feels like I am forever getting emails about causes whether I select or not and now they have started to be ignored.

  14. we get links on the intranet homepage saying watch this video about this cause then straight after a sentence saying sorry but we know you cant watch instore why not do it at home, after a day spent instore the last thing about is going online to watch a video I cant see on a computer in work.

  15. I have personally chosen my local cause, however as a result of this article I went online to see how easy it is and it’s actually not that clear or visible how to change or update your cause once you’ve done it the first time. So potentially members whose cause has reached its target may not be aware of how to change their cause to a different one? It should be clearer online how to do this but also, as others have said, it really is reliant upon the member actually reading the email and then logging in. If there was an app for this where we could receive a notification and choose a cause directly on the app within a couple of clicks, that might see a much greater uptake.

  16. I agree with the comments others make about making the choice of causes a part of the shopping experience i.e. a digital version of competitors’ plastic coins. That way we’d engage with people every time they shop rather than a couple of times a year.

    The other biggie for me is the poor POS / promo materials in stores (about 5+1 generally and the community choices in particular). Often they look like tacky add-on messages which are competing with today’s latest deals on crisps or fizzy drinks. If 5+1 and community causes are at the heart of our Co-op, surely they should be at the heart of what people experience in the stores.

  17. The default should be the Co-op Foundation if other local causes are not chosen. As a colleague it would be hard to argue against it (I hope).

    • Again, thanks to everyone for taking the time to give feedback. I’ll make sure it’s shared with the right teams. ^Rachel

    • Absolutely disagree with this. The reason I haven’t selected any one of my local charities is that they are all good local causes that, as a member of my community, I am keen to support and I would like the money distributed amongst them equally. There’s no functionality to specify this so I have to leave it to the system to do this. I imagine many of our members would feel the same way. What I definitely wouldn’t want is for my donations to be swallowed up into some national slush fund which does not benefit my local area.

  18. When I am out and about talking to colleagues I ask if they have gone online to their membership account. There is so much great stuff on the website, including all the ‘join in’ campaigns as well as our ethnical and environmental difference. So if you do nominate your cause have a look at all the other stuff you can engage in including the Shape of Your Community Events coming up in the Autumn.

  19. When I am out and about I talk to colleagues about going on their membership account – not only can you choose a cause but there are lots of opportunities to join in the ‘join in’ digital engagement. There is such great stuff on our website please do go and look today!

  20. Hi David,

    It’s good that you’re asking and you’re getting a good range of responses.

    The problem you’ve posed

    “For a while now we’ve noticed that lots of colleagues aren’t going online and [choosing their cause] …. only 16,000 colleagues have chosen ….We’d love to know why …. It could be for a variety of reasons. ”

    Is a great opportunity to mention our user research community.

    You may be working with them, but others reading this may be less familiar with them.

    They are some of the best in the UK at understanding user behaviour and especially working out what’s going on when they don’t do what you expect.

    Contact James Boardwell .

    This article might also be useful context.


  21. Too difficult to re-set email /pw

  22. The problem is one of accessibility and visibility. You have to first notice (and then read!) an email. Then log into a website and make a selection. That’s asking a lot more of people than sticking a plastic coin in one of three slots. People who are engaged and invested will do it but we need to capture the attention of the general public picking up their milk and bread.

    My suggestions would be:
    1. Find a way to advertise/publicise the causes in store (ideally the three local to each)
    2. Have some kind of app or portal available at the till. “Have you selected your local cause?” – swipe your card and pick one to support

  23. Similar to other posters – followed the process to reset my password yesterday and I’ve never received the email to reset my password. I’m locked out unless I have time to call the membership line and get it sorted out via phone call.

  24. The local cause I supported last time was very personal to me as it was for the hospice where my mum passed away. The one before that was for my local park to be renovated which has benefited hundreds of children in our community. The list I have to pic from this time will not impact the community around me.

    I do have some ideas that could benefit our community and causes that could be set up and would like to find out more on how this can be achieved.

  25. Novelty has worn off now. …

    PS my mum has no idea about any of this, she didn’t even know she has a 1% to allocate. When I explained it to her she said it all sounded too confusing.

  26. I have donated my 1% every time. I agree with some of the posters, though, if you see a local cause that resonates with your views. It is easy to support them. I do feel that the general membership are confused by the 1% and indeed the 5%, and routinely, every day help and advise customers as to what it means to them. I have discovered that most of the customers understand this better if it is explained to them that every time they shop with us, that they routinely swipe their card, even if they are not actually purchasing coop products. The benefit of doing so is that there is their pot of money on display on my till and should they be short of funds, even a few pennies, rather than having to remove items at the checkout they can pay what they have and use part of their balance to pay the rest. This has two benefits. 1) they get all they came in to buy from us, and 2) it keeps their savings plan active.
    I do explain to all that the 5% means for every pound they spend on coop products they get 5p added to their running total. And that the 1p in the £1 does not come out of their pockets, but is actually donated by the Coop.
    In my experience, the original documentation handed out with new membership temporary cards, is rarely read by the new members. There is too much information and poor explanation of the process and its benefit to the member or his/her/other local causes.

    John McCulloch, Grantown-on-Spey Coop.

  27. I’ve worked for Coop for over 14yrs. I’m proud of the Coop values and think giving to local causes is a great idea. But prefer other brand food such as M&S and Waitrose. You get much higher quality for only a little more expense. I never buy Coop own brand products because they are too expensive for their lack of quality. So I have very few points if any to share.
    Also my local Coop (Northenden Road, Sale) is a dump so I don’t use it often despite its convenient location.

  28. Perhaps one of the reasons is that since the sale of 180+ stores to McColls, there aren’t that many ‘community’ shops any more. I only live 11 miles from my place of work and the three stores I would pass on my to/from work are no longer Co-ops. I have chosen my cause but don’t have any particular affinity with it.

  29. I haven’t chosen a cause as the three available in my area I couldn’t care less about. There are a number of causes and clubs which struggle for funds not just locally but nationally (scouts and girl guiding in particular) which I’d love to support in my local area but can’t as either they’ve not registered or have applied and were unsuccessful. . . .so I don’t chose between the 3 available as I just don’t care enough about them to spend the time to logon and chose one.

  30. People should be able to do this at the till. It wouldn’t be difficult to add a screen that pops up when a membership card is swipped. There should be options to choose a charity, add a missed reciept or skip questions. I imagine charities and members have lost out on a large sum of money due to having to go online or phone up to add a missed reciept. In my working day i throw away many reciepts from members who dont have their card to hand. They usually say it is too complicated or forget when they leave the shop.
    Also staff have no input into choosing the local charites and the only information about them is on a screen in the shop or online.
    The 5% and 1% is the main reason people sign up as members, it is not easy to explain the benefits when the customer is at the till and they want to get on with their day. An option on the till seems the quickest and easiesy option, the whole process is done instore.

  31. I would if the logging in process and then the choosing process were easy and logical but they’re not, far from it. It’s just not worth the frustration to try yet again. The money is split so that’s good enough. You’ve got a long way to go to make this functionality decent.

  32. I have chosen my cause (Co-op Foundation, our lovely national cause, hooray!). But if I weren’t a colleague and very engaged with all this, I bet I wouldn’t have taken the time to log in and choose. I think that some sort of interactive tool (not sure what! Tablet?) at the checkout when you swipe your membership card and pay, if you haven’t already chosen a cause. It could prompt you and offer you literally a sentence about each cause and you could choose there. You could then get periodic reminders to choose a new cause. This could work especially well at self-scan tills where you’re already engaging with a screen in front of you.

  33. I’d like to option to be able to donate ‘my’ 5% to the 1% so when I used my membership card 6% would go to charities. Is there any chance this option will be available in future?

  34. We were advised at the launch of membership we would be able to eventually select a cause anywhere in the UK so long as they were registered for that round of funding. Sadly this hasn’t materialised & I can only search up to 15 miles from my home store.

    While I live in one area I want to support an area up to 60 miles away & the causes where I’m originally from. Unfortunately this currently isn’t the case & I’m unable to do this. I’m also not that passionate about the causes I can currently select.

    For me the membership offer needs to reflect what was originally promised

  35. I want my 1% to be split between the three local causes. I would like to actively be able to choose this.

  36. I did choose mine, but barriers are a) logging on to a website and b) having any clue what ‘one percent for my community’ means. I still believe it’s a good thing in principle, but it’s killed by complexity and seems designed by and for managers at 1AS.

    On the first, having to log on through an online portal a barrier for many people, and it’s hard to see why you’re incentivised to. On the second, five and one percent? What does that even mean to anyone? What’s that, 10p, a quid? a tenner?

    I’m fortunate enough to work in a white collar job where I still use maths most days, but it still means very little to me, so what does it possibly say to the (last I read) 4 out of 5 UK adults who aren’t generally numerate??

  37. What is 16,000 as a percentage of eligible colleague members?
    What happens to the 1% when they do not choose a cause?

    • Hi Lisa. We’ve got 62,000 employees who are also members, so that’s 26% who’ve chosen. At the moment, if someone doesn’t choose, the money is split between all three equally. Thanks ^Rachel

  38. I changed my postcode on my member account so I could allocate my 1% to my nephews Scout Group in my home town (which I moved away from 18 years ago) I knew how to achieve this, but others who may have a group they would like to allocate to, but can’t because they aren’t in a 15 mile radius of the group.

    I have told all of my family about the 1%, it took my dads wife 1h 30 mins with the Membership helpline to change her name first, to then link her card to her surname and then be able to log in to her membership account to allocate her 1%. We don’t make it easy for people, if we had an app for this I think it would make it a lot more accessible.

  39. the local cause I wanted to support wasn’t listed. so when the next round of applications was open I sent my cause the details. They applied and were accepted. And they applied the next time and were accepted again. You can make a difference with simple actions. Inaction and negativity won’t change anything.

  40. I don’t find any of them relevant as in my area there are next to no co-op shops except on the far border of where I live. So the charities chosen do not impact any of my friends or family or have any connection to me. I would rather you just dish out my 1% as you see fit. One less thing for me to manage online. I don’t want to spend time doing yet more online admin work at home.

  41. I’d imagine one of the main reasons is that the whole process is just overly complicated. From registering on the co-op members site and linking your card through to picking your charity. This all feels particularly clunky when Waitrose, Tesco and Asda have boil the process down to a single token that you put in a box as you leave the store.

  42. I love the 1% going to causes. But I wish I could support LUPUS UK. I’ve severe Lupus which causes me to have lots of obvious rashes – very embarrrssaing!. None of the Avon creams I’ve used have worked. I hope that LUPUS UK can one day help ladies like me!!!

    • Thanks everyone for sharing – keep them coming. So useful to hear what colleagues think and ideas on improvements to the current way of doing things. It will help the team make things better in future. ^Rachel

    • There are many fantastic organisations and charities that would benefit from our fantastic scheme and now with the application spectrum being widened there’s a greater chance of more causes being selected so my advice contact your chosen cause and explain to them how our membership schemer works and advise them to apply when the next round opens. all the relevant info can be found at coop/membership.co.uk
      Crookes Coop

  43. Had no say in what the three causes are in my community so no buy in, also if the process to select was available in store via an I pad or some other method then a lot more of our customer members would choose as well.

    Not a priority for busy people when they get home to either phone or go online to choose

  44. Same problem as colleague here – i’ve tried numerous times to reset my password but never receive the email to do so.

  45. Be interesting to know from the wider membership community how many members choose a cause. Colleagues represent a small fraction. From the lack of hits the site gets I imagine not many. Simple fact of the matter is that people see the value is negligible. We are a convenience retailer, top-up shopping. People don’t accrue values in their wallets that are really that meaningful in the cause pot. If the average member cause balance is a couple of quid people see it as an irrelevance and just won’t bother. Surely this was thought through at the start ??

    • As someone once said, “every little helps”. With over £20 million raised so far, the accrued values are certainly meaningful, and this is the message we try and get across to customers in store.

  46. I think people would be far more likely to choose if they simply got an email with the three causes and then just had to click to choose within the email. I know, in my case, I don’t always have the time to go in and do it and mostly Ive forgotten my sign in details and don’t want to follow the process to get them. There is very little need for anyone to log in as their current balance is displayed when they get a receipt.

    • I agree with this, it would be much easier and could have a little info about them all. We invest a lot of money into creating assets and videos, which unfortunately aren’t utilised by colleagues as we live in a world were time is precious (same as our customers!!!) and we are all about ease and simplicity. Plus it’d be nice to see more in store what the 1% is delivering rather than the total, how is the money being spent or what has it bought, I’d rather see marketing spend driving this in store than on videos.

  47. I agree completely with Sally-Ann Fielding above.

  48. The local cause I want to donate my money to is not on the list. I want to be able to select the cause I want not the cause you have accepted.
    It would be great if there was an option to select the bank account of my local charity and I can then transfer my money there.

  49. I selected in the first two rounds, but I’m just not passionate about any of the local options so want my money to be split. I’d like to see an ‘active engagement’ button for me to make that choice (especially as, so I understand it, we’re drip-feeding the money to the causes over this year – but those with no selection can’t be ‘allocated’ until the end. So by not having an active ‘share mine across all three’ choice, we’re actually not enabling the causes to get the money early).
    Also, if I, as a member, had a say up front to choose which three causes would be supported in my community – rather than it being down to the local store manager – then I’d feel more engaged.

  50. I have repeatedly tried to reset my password but I never receive the email with the link to re-set it, I do ot have time to go through all the steps it would need to get IT to sort it out so gave up!

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