The day after tomorrow is Black Friday, the “official” retail kickoff of Xmas shopping in the U.S. I bet a bunch of you have started shopping already. Well, a few days ago I was filled in on this website called GoodShop. It’s by the creators of GoodSearch, the search engine where ad revenue from your searches goes to charities of your choice.
GoodShop works similarly. They have hundreds of participating stores, and thousands of participating charities. All you do is go to the website, choose your charity, and pick the store you want to shop at. You make your purchases as normal, and a certain percentage of your purchase goes to your charity of choice. The amount is determined by the retailer. For example, 1.5% of Amazon purchases go to your charity, it’s 3% for Barnes and Noble, and so on.
There are a bunch of feminist and other progressive organizations on board, including Planned Parenthood and their affiliates, RAINN, Lambda Legal, Women for Women International, Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection, American Domestic Violence Crisis Line, League of Women Voters Education Fund, National Organization for Women, Men Can Stop Rape, SAFER, and many, many more. There’s even a “Women” category when you browse organizations — just please be aware that many crisis pregnancy centers are listed, so be sure to choose an organization that you know.
Is it the most radical or effective way to give and make a difference? Um, no. Definitely not. So please don’t stop here. But I do think it’s significantly different from many other consumer-based “charitable” programs in the sense that you probably weren’t going to buy that Gap tee-shirt anyway. It’s not about using this as an excuse to buy more crap you don’t need, but about seeing that a bit of your money goes someplace a little more admirable when buying crap you were already going to buy.
I was already going to do the vast majority of my Xmas shopping at Amazon, like I do every year, so there’s no reason for that 1.5%, small as it may be, to not go to an organization I love. Amazon sure as hell doesn’t need it. Thinking many of you might feel similarly, I thought I’d let you know.