When you're shopping online this holiday season, consider doing it through something like GoodShop, a portal that allows consumers to donate to favorite charities while they're stimulating the economy.
Sure, you could just benefit yourself, through services like Ebates or SkyMiles Dining, but if you want to feel good about helping others in a relatively painless way as you go about your regularly scheduled shopping, this is one way to go.
It's an easy set-up: go to goodshop.com, register through a social media connection or email address, type in your favorite charity, and if it isn't already on there, go ahead and add it. (And it looks like you can only donate to one cause at a time.) Then, shop away. Over 2,500 stores participate in GoodShop, including big names such as Lands' End, Staples, Amazon and Best Buy.
GoodShop then donates a percentage of each purchase to the charity or school of your choice. And, because it knows there's nothing like the incentive of a bargain, it also provides $2 million worth of coupons and free shipping deals.
More than 103,000 organizations are receiving donations from the site, which also shares similar formulas with sister sites GoodSearch and GoodDining. About 13 million people are using all three sites.
Every search conducted on GoodSearch (powered by Yahoo) earns a penny for penny match to a user's designated charity, which can add up: Just 500 people searching four times a day will earn approximately $7,300 a year. GoodSearch has already donated more than $8 million to charities and schools using these sites. GoodDining rewards charities through users who eat out at participating restaurants (10,000 right now) and register up to five credit or debit cards.
Ken Ramberg (the former founder of JobTrak, now a division of Monster.com) and JJ Ramberg (an MSNBC anchor and the former director of marketing at Cooking.com) founded GoodSearch first in 2005, which donates 50 percent of its sponsored search revenue to the charities and schools designated by its users. GoodShop was added in 2007 and GoodDining in 2011.
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
GoodShop gave us some examples of organizations that have benefited from the site, including top earner ASPCA:
- Supporters of the ASPCA have raised over $43,000 to help animals in need
- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has earned more than $15,000 to find cures and save children
- The National Inclusion Project, which helps children with disabilities, has used the money it earned to send more than 250 children to summer camp
- A single purchase at Gaiam resulted in a $284 donation to the Motion Mania Dance Theater in Maryland
So, if there's a charity on your gift giving list this season, just make a stop here first before the dollars start flying.
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