week #5 give through online shopping

trolleyIf you’re anything like me, you enjoy a bit of ‘e-tail therapy’. I often think that it has become too easy to spend money, especially when it involves a few simple clicks and days later a little (or large) parcel is delivered straight to the front door. Perhaps, like my husband, you enjoy the thrill of the odd online auction; bidding, waiting until the last few seconds, bidding again, throwing your hands in the air and shouting, ‘Winner!’ Sound familiar? As the nature of shopping continues to move away from the High St or shopping centers, it is predicted that we will spend £69bn online this year in the UK alone*. If, at times, your online spending leaves you feeling guilty, you will be pleased to know that there is a way in which your habits can benefit others too.

I have recently come across some wonderful websites that allow you to give to charity simply by shopping online. And it doesn’t cost a penny (or a cent) more! Give As You Live allows you to register and download a small add-on which pops up when a website is willing to donate a percentage of your spend to your nominated charity. If a website you frequent is not yet signed up to this scheme, why not try another giving site such as The Giving Machine? Through a few simple searches I have found that most large online retailers will donate a portion of consumer spend to charity via similar websites.

Another really simple way to give is by using a search engine which donates to charity as a result of each web search you run. There are many of these sites but a few I have found are Everyclick, Helpuu and one for the South African ‘small changers’ Search2Support.

The reason I love this idea so much is that it only requires that I be willing and remember to shop or search through one of these giving sites. I am going to set one of them as my homepage so that I am reminded to go through these channels whenever I open my browser. As for what I am purchasing…well…that is another matter entirely….



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