November 11, 2011, 3:28 PM

An e-retailer hopes to gain by giving back

WaterFilters.Net plans to donate 5% of its sales to charity.

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Water purification products e-retailer WaterFilters.Net is giving back this holiday season with a pledge to donate 5% of its sales to charity: water, a non-profit organization that brings clean water to developing nations.

WaterFilters.Net, No. 552 in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide, says the collaboration with charity: water is a natural fit, as the two organizations share a common goal of providing clean, safe water. The idea came from the retailer’s desire to do more toward this goal, says content marketing specialist Karl Rist. But the e-retailer also hopes to gain some standing with its customers, many of whom care deeply about the environment.

“Our core customer cares about the impact on the environment, whether they have a concern about pollutants or plastic waste,” Rist says. “What this can do potentially for sales is, instead of taking that money and investing in in traditional marketing campaign, we’re essentially saying we’ll give that money away and see if we draw a community and from that a community that will boost sales.”

WaterFilters.Net, which brought in $10.3 million in online sales last year, has already donated about $7,500 to the charity, Rist says. While the current agreement only runs through January, the e-retailer expects to continue donating 5% to charity:water as long as it makes sense for the retailer’s bottom line.

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