There couldn’t be a better time to shop with charity in mind. Giving doesn’t have to stop just because the economy is bad. Almost every dollar spent on buying things that we need and want – like food, clothing and household items – are available from companies that give a portion of the proceeds back to charity. When consumer purchases support charity, shopping to shape the world into a better place is possible. Socially conscious shopping is the new way to give back. Social responsibility is the new way for companies to stand out in the market.
Fair trade organizations support fair conditions for the workers that produce items. Fair trade items that are available include coffee, chocolate, tea, almonds, olive oil, jewelry, clothing, and many other items. Around the world, farmers, artisans, craftspeople, and others rely on fair trade work to support their families. A fair trade purchase supports the market conditions necessary to keep the community economically self-reliant. Sometimes the best donation of all is one that provides workers an opportunity to support the family. A family that one may never meet in person, but is just like our own.
Shoppers that want to give closer to home can help schools can raise money for education by clipping Box Tops for Education coupons from participating brands. Each Box Top coupon can be clipped and redeemed for money for the child’s school. Last year, Box Tops raised approximately $59 million for education. The brands in this category include child friendly items like nourishing cereals, soups, and snack items. This program also has online retail partners for clothing and other items that donate a portion of sales to education.
Movie stars also lend their names to support charitable giving at home and abroad. One of the most notable celebrity charity brands is Newman’s Own, founded by Paul Newman. The Newman’s Own label donates 100% of its profits to worthy causes. Since 1982 over $300 million has been given to charity in the U.S. and abroad. The company also sells products at a discount and coupons are available in magazines and online. This is a two way give – the consumer gets a discount, and the charity gets the profits.
Shopping can be a value added experience. All it takes is a little spending with giving in mind.