In the Giving Spirit? 5 Online Tools That Let You Shop for Charity
You know it’s important to give back.
You wish you could give more to the causes you admire, but you’ve already maxed out your charitable giving budget.
Or maybe things are especially lean this year and you’re not sure how to carve out any extra money to give.
Don’t feel bad.
Thanks to a slew of what you might call “cash-back sites with a conscience,” you can donate to your favorite charities and causes — without spending a dollar more than you already spend everyday shopping.
5 Sites That Donate a Percentage of Your Purchase to Charity
Much like traditional cash back websites, these sites, extensions and apps help you donate a percentage of your online purchases to charity.
Why not put some of those dollars you’re already spending shopping on Amazon to good use by using AmazonSmile instead? Prices are the same as shopping through the regular URL, but a percentage of your purchase helps out a charity of your choice.
Simply designate your charity (there are nearly a million to choose from), and every time you make an eligible purchase, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase amount to your selected charity.
Tens of millions of products are eligible. Just look for the “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” marking on each product page.
One note: unlike the other sites on this list, if you don’t see your favorite charity listed, you can’t add it yourself unless you’re an organization administrator. But you can send the head of your favorite charity here if they’re interested.
Do good and save money by shopping through this charitable site.
Through Goodshop, you can shop at more than 7,000 participating online stores and support more than 114,000 charities and schools (you can add yours if it’s not there already). The site also offers over 25,000 discounts, deals and coupons to make giving even more enticing.
Search for the retailer of your choice to find out how much of your total qualifying purchase will be donated. Then click through to that retailer’s site and shop your heart out.
Qualifying purchases are determined by each retailer, so check out each store’s Goodshop page to determine which purchases it counts.
With more than 35,000 causes to choose from and more than 2,300 participating online stores, iGive is another easy way to be philanthropic with money you’re already spending.
Just sign up online for free and choose a cause you’d like to donate to.
Charities receive an average 3% of your qualifying purchases, determined by each retailer. Check out each store’s iGive listing for its particular exceptions.
Don’t see your favorite cause? List it yourself here.
EScrip allows you to select charities or schools to support. Earn donations by registering eligible store loyalty cards and debit/credit cards and using them to shop normally.
Earnings percentages vary by retailer — but can be as high as 16%. You can also earn donations by dining out and booking travel.
The site lists thousands of participating merchants, charities and schools. If you don’t see yours, add it here.
5. Giving Assistant
With Giving Assistant, your charitable donation is up to you.
You’ll earn a percentage (it varies depending on the retailer) from each eligible purchase you make through the site, but you choose how much you keep and how much you donate.
So you could use Giving Assistant as a combination of a cash-back site, personal savings goal fundraiser and charitable giving tool.
You can shop through the website or add the Giving Assistant extension to your web browser. Search the store you want to shop and you’ll be taken to a page that gives you all the info about the store’s policies, cash-back percentage and more.
Giving Assistant has thousands of participating stores and charities available.
Kelly Gurnett is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.