An innovative website blends charitable giving with online shopping.
Elizabeth Kelsey | December 2011 Issue
Those hoping to fit shopping and charitable giving into their holiday budgets this year may find a solution in goodshop.com. Founded in 2007 by siblings Ken and J.J. Ramberg, the website features 3,000 online retailers such as Apple, Best Buy, Macy’s and Sephora. Shoppers designate their favorite organizations and click through to their preferred stores. A percentage of every purchase goes to customers’ selected causes.
Charities receive as much as 30 percent of proceeds; consumers take advantage of 100,000 coupons offered by the online mall. Jamie Grossman of Santa Monica, California, uses GoodShop to support the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). Linsey Lebowitz of Durham, North Carolina, supports Best Friends Animal Society through her GoodShop purchases. “For a lot of fundraisers, you have to buy something specific,” she says.
“GoodShop also let me pick the charity I wanted instead of dictating where the money would go.”
GoodShop is an expansion of the Rambergs’ original initiative, GoodSearch, a Yahoo-powered search engine that donates 50 percent of revenue to user-designated charities. When you shop at GoodShop through one of its retail partners, GoodSearch is paid a commission that is redirected to charities. Customers receive the same prices and experience as if they had shopped directly from the retailer.
To date, GoodSearch and GoodShop have raised nearly $8 million for 100,000 non-profits. UNICEF has used money from the programs to provide clean drinking water to 200,000 children. Supporters of the ASPCA have raised $40,000 to help animals in need. And the National Inclusion Project raised $16,000 through GoodShop purchases—enough to send 250 disabled children to summer camp.
To direct as much money as possible to charity, GoodShop minimizes advertising and relies on word of mouth. So when your friends receive their fabulous gifts this year, be sure to tell them they weren’t the only ones who benefited from your generosity.