Our Method Profile blog series now has a sibling. We’re launching a new series that is…
Similar in content: Highlighting social enterprises
Different in style: Less formal
Yet, the two series share the same intent: “Inspiring greater social change in the world.”
In this series, called ALL Ways, we’ll grow to know social enterprises by their charming points. We say “charming” to refer to branding and approaches that help us see another way to manage social entrepreneurship. We’ll also suggest ways to interact or use these charming points in our own involvements with social enterprise (personally and professionally).
This post is an outside observation of a company for inspiration in social enterprise interaction and engagement.
In today’s post, we look into the generous Giving Assistant handing a win-win to companies and consumers. Giving Assistant is a cashback rewards program that allows online shoppers to earn money and donate to nonprofits.
Knowing the Company
Giving Assistant is a shopping rewards platform that works as a cashback rewards program and a charity loyalty program. On record, the initiative is a Certified B Corp based in San Francisco, CA.
Shoppers can buy from over 3,000 online brands registered on Giving Assistant. Deals and promotions on items help shoppers save money, and the partnership between the brands and Giving Assistant transfer a cashback reward to shoppers. Here, the “cashback” is a portion of Giving Assistants sales commission.
Each shopper has their own profile where they can dedicate a portion of their cash rewards to any of the 1.2 million 501(c)3 nonprofit and charitable organizations in the US. Nonprofits can build a personal organization landing page to direct supporters to join Giving Assistant. Once a supporter signs up, that nonprofit is automatically added to the shopper’s Giving Assistant donations.
Many famous, well-known brands that people use everyday are listed on the site, such as GrubHub, H&M, EBay, Home Depot, Adidas, Sephora, and Walgreens. Most of the brands are not necessarily known for being related to social impact, so this gives both the brands and shoppers a way to shift into social good.
What Surprised Us
Making life changes to support social good can seem overwhelming to some people who get drowned in the amount of choices and causes in social impact. When switching to zero-waste or changing eating habits, suddenly switching after learning so much information may put people through multiple rounds of analysis paralysis. Giving Assistant hands you a way to start doing good based on something you already do everyday: spend money.
A unique bonus is that the initiative’s platform doesn’t include one form of shopping. Shoppers who spend on clothing, food, travel, and a variety of purchases can find discounts on Giving Assistant. Other brand examples that are on the platform include Ancestry.com, Fiverr, Travelocity, Hertz, and Hulu. On top of all that, Giving Assistant includes a browser extension that notifies shoppers when sites are part of Giving Assistant deals.
Profiles on Giving Assistant are flexible and make the platform more easy to navigate. Conveniently, the platform suggests coupons to your profile rather than you having to search through all the selections yourself (which you can still search manually if you want). People don’t need to feel pressured about purchases or savings. Giving Assistant literally encourages you to “Keep some. Share some.” You’ll find a tool to help you set the percentage split of your cashback rewards between you and the nonprofit(s) you support.
What is the benefit for good?
As a social enterprise, Giving Assistant is sustaining the initiative on brand partnerships while supporting numerous causes worked on by nonprofits. Positioning the initiative as a reward program allows social impact a more casual way to tap into mobilizing people. On the about page, the initiative describes their mission as the following: “Giving Assistant’s mission is to transform everyday shopping into charitable action.”
When taking a step back, you see that Giving Assistant is providing a win-win-win balance to shoppers, brands, and nonprofits. Shoppers save on spending, earn cash back, and get to support social good. Businesses connect with more consumers, increase sales, and get to support social good. Nonprofits are able to continue doing social good. Adding on, Nonprofits will greatly benefit from having another lane of revenue to grow closer to a more self-sustained organization model. To help everyone understand this impact, Giving Assistant writes the following on their about page:
“For nonprofit organizations, Giving Assistant provides a more consistent, long-term model to increase donor engagement and donations by employing the power and reliability of e-commerce. We aim to encourage and inspire other businesses to do more by giving back.”
Now social impact causes can access more support. Not only one cause, but a diverse set of causes have access to a supportive base. They also are able to provide long time supporters a new option in giving. It’s almost like the perfect excuse to spend, and the lowest barrier to donating. On Giving Assistant’s homepage, you’ll realize they feel the same when one of the first things you see is this:
“The easiest way to save money online and pay it forward to causes you care about, transforming good deals into great deeds.”
We like to encourage actively participating with positive initiatives. Each person making their own choice to participate adds up! Whether you engage for fun, inspiration, or expression, here are our suggestions for engaging this initiative:
- Search for 3-5 of your favorite brands or brands you use daily on the Giving Assistant platform (no profile needed)
- Shop with Giving Assistant deals
- Read Giving Assistant’s Media Kit for more of a look into their platform and business model
- Examine what ways your initiative provides benefits for multiple stakeholders like Giving Assistant supports shoppers, brands, and nonprofits.
People Helping People Podcast is seeking methods clearly supporting an effective impact. Observations and discussions on happenings in the social enterprise community is a significant part of our contribution to social good. Continue to check-in for more conversation-starting content.