One of the best ways to get people involved in helping charities online is to figure out how to integrate the option to give during their normal shopping activities. This idea is not new in the analog world of course. Grocery stores like Safeway and other department stores like K-mart also do this during the checkout process and have had programs like that in place for years. Honestly, I end up donating more money to these causes this because giving a dollar here, five dollars there, is easy and conveniently tacked onto my ATM/credit card during a process.
Back in September, SocialVest raised its first half-million dollars to spearhead an idea that makes it easier for shoppers to earn money by spending money with hundreds of online retailers. This however is not your ordinary rewards program.
Social giving is a growing industry within the social media space that is taking on a life of its own at a rampant pace. With research showing that 86 percent of consumers believe that companies and brands need to focus on their businesses and communities equally, it's obvious customers are ready and willing to help make this happen. The passion and desire to help others is prevalent in consumers and SocialVest has provided an excellent platform for success in helping non-profits and other causes benefit from online consumer behavior.
How it works
SocialVest does something similar to the store chains I mention above but on a much larger scale online, leveraging social media channels to spread the word even farther.
The premise of SocialVest is to provide a platform where users can earn back two to ten percent of their total purchase from SocialVest merchant partners like Target, Macy's, BestBuy and Home Depot (plus more than 600 other popular online retailers). The money earned goes into an online Giving Account that is created for every user after signing up.
Once you've built up some cash in your Giving Account, you then choose from a list of charities (SocialVest provides a list of over 1.5 million non-profits in the United States alone) and make your donation. Donations made through SocialVest to non-profits can then be shared on Twitter and Facebook for all of your friends and followers to see, raising awareness for any cause you've donated to.
If you shop online, I'd recommend signing up with SocialVest as you can get the same products from the same retailers you know and love while easily supporting everything from cancer research to helping homeless shelters to financing tutoring programs for under-privileged children. Every little bit counts!