So the time is nigh (are we in the holiday spirit or what?) to get serious about doing some shopping for your staff, family, and/or friends. What are your choices?
- You could fight the crowds
- You could wait till the last minute and get frantic, or
What if I were to tell you that there was an easy way to shop and moreover, in the process, earn money for your favorite charity, or the favorite charity of your employees? Might that make the experience a bit better? You bet. Well, you can, and it is simple.
GoodShop.com is an online shopping mall which works with more than 1,300 retailers like Amazon, Gap, Best Buy, and so on, to give a percentage of each purchase back to the shopper’s favorite charity – and at no extra cost to the shopper. On average, the retailer gives between 3% and up to 20% of the purchase price to the charity of your choice when you shop either through the GoodShop website or by using the GoodShop toolbar.
Here’s how it works: As with any sort of affiliate program, when you shop at, say, Best Buy, via GoodShop, Best Buy pays GoodShop a commission. Well, the good folks at Goodshop developed a way to track these shopping-generated revenues and earmark them to chosen charities.
And note: The experience of shopping through GoodShop is just the same as shopping from the retailer directly; you will get the same prices and the same service. The only difference is, and it is a big one, a percentage of your purchase price will go the charity of your choice. GoodShop currently works with more than 84,000 nonprofits, ranging from The American Red Cross to Tom’s Shoes, from groups that save endangered species to local animal shelters.
So in addition to your normal holiday activities at the office, why not pick a charity that you all believe in, and then encourage your staff to do at least some of their shopping via GoodShop? The more you shop, the more you earn for your charity.
But don’t stop there; the GoodShop people didn’t. Its brother-in-arms is GoodSearch, an online search engine that also raises money for the charity of your choice. Every time you or your employees search using GoodSearch, a portion of the money generated goes to charity.
The idea is essentially the same: Search engines make money from businesses that pay a fee when users click on links during a search. If you use GoodSearch for a search and click on a sponsored link for, say, Amazon, Amazon pays GoodSearch a fee for that lead. So GoodSearch developed a patent-pending way to track and direct those search-generated proceeds back to charities that you have chosen to support.
Here is what you do:
- On the GoodSearch homepage, choose your desired organization from their list, or add your favorite cause to their list
- Search just like you normally would
- 50% of the revenue generated from advertisers is shared with the nonprofit of your choice
Or how about this: By adding the GoodSearch toolbar to all of the browsers in your office, each time one of your staff searches the Internet, roughly a penny will be donated to your favorite charity.
This is an easy and potent way to make a difference, no? Because it's powered by Yahoo!, you get proven search results, and because the money GoodSearch donates to your cause comes from its advertisers, it costs you nothing.
I hope you have yourself a very merry e-holiday.