I am a shopaholic. No doubt about it. But I also have a big heart, even though I don’t think about donating money as much as I think about spending it. When the opportunity is put in front of me however, I always add to my bill–at PetSmart, on the Tory Burch website, on the Bobbi Brown website, when ordering online from Pizza Hut–all of these brands have prompted me to add a few dollars to my cart at checkout, and I have done it without hesitation. I love having this opportunity because it makes me feel a little less guilty about the money I am spending on myself.
If every brand did this, we could raise significant dollars for organizations that do good and give back. This was an idea I actually pitched as a product at the G60 pitch competition in Little Rock several weeks ago. Then last week, Amazon announced Amazon Smile. When you purchase from Amazon Smile, you can select a charity and Amazon gives .5% to your bill to that organization. Brilliant! I am an Amazon Prime member and if I can find what I want or need on Amazon, I will buy it there before anywhere else. I might place three Amazon orders a week. Since they announced Amazon Smile, I have been using that site to place my orders and give to an organization close to my heart, Carry The Load (here is why). It is so easy. I just have to remember to go to the Smile site instead of the regular Amazon site (it is the same site and my cart carries over, you just go to the separate URL to trigger the giving addition to your order at checkout). I already loved Amazon and now I love them even more and will encourage others to shop there.
Even better than donating money is purchasing cool products that help people in need. There are two online stores where this is happening and I want everything they sell!
The GO Exchange is part of the Global Orphan Project (GO Project). I traveled to Haiti with the GO Project through their GO Adventures program over Labor Day weekend and learned a lot about the story behind the goods that they sell. All of the money you use to purchase the goods that they sell goes back to the organization to care for orphans around the world. I have purchased scarves, bags and bracelets from the GO Exchange. Not only are the products beautiful and stylish, they are a high quality. I am proud to wear, carry and use these products and am always anxious to tell the story behind the making of each product when I get compliments on them. And I know the money I spent is given to a good cause.
This week, TOMS announced its one-for-one Marketplace. I have long been a fan of the TOMS brand and written about the company in this space for several years (and own more pairs of TOMS shoes than I care to admit!). With the Marketplace, TOMS has curated products that have a platform for giving of their own and is selling them on the TOMS website. In exploring the Marketplace, I was pleased to find many brands that I already love and have purchased. Now they are all in one place!
My wish is that every brand that I buy from or interact with will give something to those in needs for the purchases that I make. And the world will become a better place.