Who wouldn’t like to give more? Sometimes when I am feverishly hunting for a bargain, it occurs to me that I could be applying that energy toward something a little more humanitarian. A smart shopper, however, knows that it’s possible to do both. How would you like to donate to your favorite causes just by going about your regular shopping? Whether you’re shopping online, in brick and mortar stores, or even just searching the web, you can give back without spending extra money or time.
7 Ways to Give to Your Favorite Causes without Spending Time or Money
- Amazon Smile – Just about everyone shops at Amazon, so this one is a no-brainer. To set up your AmazonSmile account, go to smile.amazon.com, then search for and select your favorite charity. Now whenever you shop at Amazon, start at smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to your selected charity. (Or, of course, you can support your favorite bloggers by buying through their affiliate links!)
- Shoparoo – Shoparoo allows you to earn towards donations to a school of your choice. Shoparoo is similar to a lot of rebate shopping apps: you make purchases at any store that sells groceries, take a picture of your receipt with your smartphone, and submit the receipt to Shoparoo. Shoparoo then gives a cash donation to your selected school. Note that you don’t have to actually buy groceries; you just have to make the purchase at a store that sells groceries. For example, you could buy greeting cards at a drugstore or furniture at Costco, and the purchase would qualify.
- Kroger Loyalty Card – Did you know that you can link your Kroger loyalty card to a non-profit of your choice? You can enroll your card here. Then just shop as usual, making sure to swipe your loyalty card at the time of purchase. All your spending will earn rewards toward your selected charity.
- Upromise by Sallie Mae – Okay, the money earned by shopping through Upromise.com goes to your kids’ college savings, but charity begins at home, right? Shop at partner retailers online, book travel, or eat at partner restaurants, and you earn 5% cash back. You can invest those rewards in an eligible 529 college savings plan, use it to help pay down an eligible student loan, or transfer it into an FDIC-insured Upromise GoalSaver account.
- Giving Assistant – A feel-good version of Ebates, so to speak. Giving Assistant is a shopping portal which has partnered with thousands of online stores. When you buy through one of their affiliate links, you earn cash back (at pretty generous rates, in most cases). You choose how much of your rebate you want to give to charity. On top of that, if you use one of the coupons featured on the site, Giving Assistant donates a meal to a needy family.
- iGive – Another shopping portal that gives a percentage of your purchases to your designated cause or charity. You can either go to iGive.com and shop through their affiliate links, or you can install the iGive button app on your browser. iGive reports an average donation of 3% of every purchase.
- Goodsearch and Goodshop – Goodsearch is a search engine powered by Yahoo. Select a cause you want to support, then use Goodsearch for your web searches. Every time you search, you earn a penny for your designated charity. Goodshop is another shopping portal, which pays a percentage of your spending to the non-profit of your choice.
None of these will take more than a few minutes, and shopping is never more gratifying than when you know you’re also doing the right thing. How do you give back?
This post contains affiliate links.