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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Charity Malls: A Good Excuse To Spend Money?

Charity Malls are becoming more popular as a means of fundraising for charities, and have received some attention because of it. Charity Malls let users donate money to their favorite charities simply by using a specific website as a starting point for their shopping, and selecting the charity of their choice as the recipient for any money they have ‘raised’. As a result, many of you have asked us to rate these online malls, and asked us about the validity of the charity malls’ claims that merely going about your regular online activities will somehow result in donations to the charity you specify.

The Charity Malls that purport to help charities raise money must earn money in order to pay the organizations. Charity Malls receive a percentage of revenues from the stores where purchases were made, and in turn, donate a portion of that percentage to the charities.
While it does no harm to use these sites, be aware that most of them are set up as for-profit companies, and as such, we are unable to evaluate them. In addition, it is sometimes hard to find out exactly how much of revenue is donated to charity (for examples see Benevolink, The Hunger Site, and Buy for Charity.), and the majority of charity malls do not vet the charities allowed to benefit from use of the site.
Therefore, if you choose to use one of these types of websites we suggest you research which charity mall to use, and that you pick a benefactor that has been highly rated by Charity Navigator. And since only a very small percentage of a charity’s revenue is generated via charity malls, don’t let your shopping experience be a substitute for writing the charity a check with a tax deductible donation.

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My2Cents said...

Actually the main problem with most Charity Malls is the fact you are paying HIGH prices for the goods. It doesn't matter whether they are Non-Profit or not, it just doesn't make since to spend more money with only a very small fraction of the sale going to charity.

You should consider services like www.powerofgoodnetwork.com which is like a Discount Charity Mall, that only donates to legitimate charities.

P.S. That is my 2 cents, which is only worth 1 cent because of the current value of the dollar.

What LinkMosaic..? said...

It is hard to convince people to visit charity mall sites when they do shopping, I have such a site( www.linkmosaic.com) and have been promoting it for three years and this my conclusions:
1) People (family, friends) want to help, but they forget to go to the site because most will get the buy impulse as they think of something and just go to the store directly… they forget at that “exciting” buy moments about the site.”
2) Visitors who are don’t know you are worry about the Internet security, etc… so they will not trust you as much.
3) even offering coupons and discount deals, point 1 and 2 seem to take over most of the time.
Best of luck.