Uplifting and supporting America’s teacher community has always been at the heart of the LOFT brand. This dedication to educators is reflected in LOFT’s corporate social responsibility strategy and signature charitable partnership with DonorsChoose. Through DonorsChoose, public school teachers request resources to help their students learn, and funders give any amount to projects that inspire them.
Last school year, LOFT rallied support for America's teachers. During the back-to-school and holiday seasons, LOFT hosted an in-store and online point-of-sale campaign, encouraging customers to give to DonorsChoose classrooms. LOFT customers could purchase $25 LOFT Cares Cards during March; 90% of the purchase price supported DonorsChoose classrooms, and customers unlocked a 20% discount on qualifying purchases for a limited time.
LOFT has a long kindship with teachers, as they embody the spirit of LOFT's core customer: optimistic, family-oriented, professional women who want to show up as their authentic selves. Knowing that teachers need to be recognized all year round, LOFT offers an evergreen 15% discount to educators. On social media, LOFT tells authentic stories that elevate teachers and drive support to DonorsChoose. By making their DonorsChoose partnership core to teacher messaging, LOFT ensures they show up authentically for teachers and support their classroom needs.
2022–2023 school year goals:
To drive attention and engagement to the in-store and online DonorsChoose activations, LOFT took to their primary social media platform: Instagram. Using primarily Instagram Stories, LOFT showed timely, engaging information and stories with clear calls to action. Focusing on Instagram Stories allowed for more creative, organic connection and storytelling to on-the-go customers.
Telling meaningful stories about individual teachers was at the core of LOFT’s storytelling strategy. LOFT was driving vast impact through their fundraising — supporting thousands of classroom projects — but understood that telling a few specific stories would paint a better picture of the impact customers could have beyond quantitative data alone. This personal storytelling served an internal purpose as well; hearing directly from teachers inspires store associates, in turn making them more connected to the mission of DonorsChoose, more likely to fundraise effectively, and overall more engaged as employees.
LOFT executed four storytelling touchpoints throughout the year. To identify teachers who would be interested in being featured by LOFT, DonorsChoose created the opportunity for teachers supported by LOFT to opt in to being contacted by LOFT for potential media and storytelling opportunities. DonorsChoose curated teacher profiles of teachers who could be featured on social media. These teachers answered a set of survey questions, and LOFT sent participating teachers free outfits to submit photos. When needed to achieve storytelling goals, LOFT contributed additional classroom funding to celebrate and surface these great stories.
Black History Month
Teacher Appreciation Week
During the back to school and holiday seasons, LOFT exceeded their fundraising goal by 3%, increasing their fundraising from the year prior by 5X, and raising nearly $1 million dollars for DonorsChoose to make an impact in local classrooms across the country. Over the course of the year, they raised over $2.5 million for classrooms, which helped fund 4,675 projects from 3,439 schools — the majority of which are historically underfunded and within 20 miles of LOFT stores.
LOFT succeeded in partnering with more than a dozen teachers of diverse backgrounds from across the country to hear how they bring learning to their students and how they’re making their classrooms more inclusive. In addition to supporting the resources teachers need, LOFT was able to give teachers a platform to share why and how they are achieving learning and growth with students.
LOFT received the following notable replies from teachers on their stories: