Public sprited fundraising

Howard Lake | 11 July 1998 | News

Public Spirit is an online shopping mall which donates 50% of its profits from purchases of consumer goods to nonprofits. The purchaser can choose the recipient organisation from the list of those that have signed up as members.

The “high-end” merchandise available includes items such as Leica cameras and Nikon sunglasses.
Member non-profit organisations receive a “virtual storefront” where visitors can purchase the shopping mall’s products. The nonprofits are all American, and at present merchandise is delivered only within the United States. Members have to prove non-profit status, but do not have to pay to join.

Why do they donate half their profits? First, it is the most that the US Internal Revenue Service allows companies to donate tax-efficiently. Secondly, Public Spirit’s founders currently serve in various nonprofit roles, from Executive Directors, to Board Members, to volunteers in their own communities. They say “we are aware of the restrictions placed on the fundraising methodologies of non-profit organizations, and of the ongoing need for funding.”

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