With this week’s news that AmazonSmile will close as of 20 February, here’s a quick round up of alternatives and how they work.
The Giving Machine
The Giving Machine offers a range of ways for charities to raise funds. Its Shop&Give raises funds by converting sales commissions into free donations for shoppers’ chosen causes.
Charities can register for free. They also get free materials to help them promote the service to supporters, and a dedicated page where they can see their earnings.
The Giving Machine has raised over £2mn so far, supporting just over 10,000 good causes.
When customers buy through Charitable Shopping, its partner shops and service providers pay it a ‘thank you’ fee, which it transfers over to the charity of the shopper’s choice. All a charity has to do to benefit from their supporter’s online shopping is be registered with JustGiving. The donations are sent through JustGiving to the charity directly. Supporters can register, select their charity, and start donating straight away.
Easyfundraising partners with over 7,000 brands who pay it a commission when people start their shop via its site or app. It then turns this into a donation for the shopper’s chosen cause. The shopper can see how much they’ve raised for their charity and gets updates on when the cause gets paid. There’s also a donation plug-in that they can use, which will pop up and remind them when a donation is available. So far it’s raised £44,601,192.75 for good causes.
Charities can register on the site, and it’s free to use. Providing they have raised over £15, easyfundraising totals up all the donations raised by those supporting every three months and sends them by bank transfer or cheque. There is no charge for this. If £15 hasn’t been raised in the previous three months, the amount rolls into the next payment instead.
Give as you Live
Give as you Live has helped raise £23,980,276 for UK charities so far, generating donations from people shopping online with over 6,000 stores to choose from. It turns commissions into donations for shoppers’ chosen causes and there are no joining or payment fees for charities. Again, donations are paid every three months – as long as they’ve reached over £15, and roll over to next time if that’s not the case.
It offers free marketing tools including buttons, QR codes and posters, reports, branded webpages, and a charity support team.
GiveShop is a shopping gateway that serves as a fundraising and sponsorship platform for groups and businesses, with a free fundraising app that people can use when they shop with partner businesses online or instore. It works by getting businesses and brands to sponsor groups – such as charities – so that each time someone shops with one of them, a percentage goes to that group.
Charities get the help of a dedicated support manager, as well as marketing and social media support, and can register here.
With Nucha, people can buy, sell, donate and interact with shops and individuals in one place, with every interaction generating income for a good cause – in this case small charities. People can buy from charity shops and regular shops where a minimum of 2% goes to a good cause. They can also sell used and new items and donate all or part of the proceeds to a cause, and donate as a one-off or on a regular basis. Charity shops can set up a campaign page, and list items from their shops with interested shoppers being notified instantly. As another option, people can also use the platform to set up a campaign and donate the proceeds to their chosen cause.
Kindred for Business
Kindred users give a % of their cashback to charity/green initiatives. Kindred sends this to directly to them, and also gives its partners the opportunity to plant a tree for every online transaction of their users, or to carbon offset an estimate of the amount of carbon released from a purchase. It supports 22,000 good causes, and charities can get in touch if they would like to be involved.
Savoo offers over 20,000 voucher codes and deals for fashion, travel, homeware, and health and beauty brands. Every time someone uses a deal, Savoo donates to charity with over 400 for the shopper to choose from – giving up to 50% of the affiliate commission. Brands can also choose a specific charity to support – a ‘Spotlight Charity’, and sometimes Savoo runs site-wide campaigns, where it picks a partner charity to donate 10% of all commission on every deal to for the duration of the campaign: ‘Featured Charities’. Savoo customers can create a profile for themselves to track how much they’ve raised for their chosen cause, and can change who they want to support at any time. Savoo also donates a penny each time a user searches the web with its search engine.
Charities can join by emailing ch*******@sa***.uk. Payments are made via PayPal. There is also a charity toolkit available to help charities promote the opportunity to supporters.
With Altruisto (a CIC), people just have to install its Chrome extension and then when they buy something online through one of its partners’ stores (Microsoft, Etsy, Booking.com, and AliExpress), it generates support for a good cause. Altruisto receives a portion of the price paid – usually between 2% and 6% – and donates its profits to its selected charities.
Users can choose a cause area to support – extreme poverty or animal suffering – with charities chosen by Altruisto those recommended by either GiveWell or Animal Charity Evaluators. Currently these are Against Malaria Foundation, Schisotomasis Control Initiative, GiveDirectly, and Anima International.
LoveReading.co.uk & LoveReading4Kids
Benefitting schools only. When book lovers buy from the LoveReading and LoveReading4Kids bookstores, 25% of the cover price (15% from ebooks) is donated to a school of their choice with thousands of schools across the country signed up. Funds raised have to spent on LoveReading. Shoppers also get 10% off the RRP.
If a school is allocated funds by a customer, the school is invited to become a member, and can then benefit from those funds and all future funds to spend on LoveReading. Schools that sign up as members of the LoveReading community will earn 25% of any orders delivered and allocated to them. This money can then be spent as credits on LoveReading. If a LoveReading customer does not dedicate their commission to a particular school, 10% of the sale will go into the pot designated for schools, and will be split amongst its school members, with a percentage prioritised for schools in particular need. Schools can email sc*****@lo*********.uk to become a member.
Charitable Bookings is a free membership platform that provides donations to good causes when people use it to a booking with one of its partners. These include Booking.com. Expedia, Rentalcars.com, and Trip.com. Bookings of car rentals, accommodation, and combinations of car hire, accommodation and flights generate an average £5 donation for the member’s chosen cause, with 15% of honoured bookings made with Expedia and Booking.com being donated. There are benefits for members too, and it also plants trees.
Charities can apply to be listed here.
The people that run Charitable Shopping also run Charitable Travel, a social enterprise travel agency. Here, UK holidaymakers can donate a portion of their holiday price to the charity of their choice. Charitable Travel donates around half of the commission gained on the holidays sold. Customers can also choose to donate 5% of their holiday price to the charity of their choice, providing it is registered on JustGiving. Once this donation has been paid, the organisation discounts the cost of their holiday by the same 5%, effectively making the customer’s donation free.
Charitable Travel offers a range of marketing and promotional opportunities for its charity partners (including free promotion in its magazine. It builds and maintains a landing page on its website for the charity, as well as a bespoke offers URL with the charity’s branding, and produces marketing collateral to use.
The demise of AmazonSmile is an excellent opportunity to work out just how valuable it is.
And to consider whether you could use this change to generate more income.
You could write to supporters to tell them about the change, thank them for supporting your charity in this way, and then invite them to make a donation to help make up the difference. In fact, given AmazonSmile was an ongoing programme, why not ask supporters to make a monthly donation.
If you find you then generate substantially more than you ever received from AmazonSmile, you won’t be the only charity in that position.
More on the AmazonSmile announcement here.