Shopping for a Cause: Why Is It Prevalent?
More than ever, shopping is made more meaningful and fun. We can now shop right at our fingertips, pre-order products that are not even available at physical stores, and save money by either getting discounts or earning credits/points. For some though, there is more significant reason to why they shop—to make a difference.
Today, many physical and virtual stores carryout goods and services for a cause. There are charities for the underprivileged, organizations to save the environment, and communities to aid the sick. There are also those who support groups such as local entrepreneurs, home-grown farmers, the elderly, children, and more. In fact, there’s a long list of advocates, each trying to solve, or at least minimize effects of a social dilemma. And when you support these shops—avail their goods or services—then you are shopping for a cause.
Shopping for a cause is prevalent. Many reasons contribute to this phenomenon. Three of which are explained as follow:
First, helping others is a human nature. When we can buy our needs and can help at the same time, we grab that opportunity. This is what biologists believe when they concluded that we are born with the urge to help. They observed that even children who are not taught by their parents have innate tendencies to help when they see that adults are in need of it. With this in mind, both young and adults also tend to resort to more meaningful purchases by choosing shops that support causes.
Second, shopping for a cause is our way to fulfill a desire. According to Dr. Peter Noel Murray, shopping is a “pursuit of pleasure” and goes “beyond just acquiring things.” He believes that we buy in search of happiness. Meanwhile, psychologist Daniel Kahneman sees this reasoning lacking, so he added that happiness in this sense, can be either momentary pleasure—the happiness someone experiences the moment he/she sees or receives a product; or life satisfaction, the glee someone experiences after achieving a long-term goal. Hence, we buy and donate because we think that’s what makes us happy.
Third, we might be directly or indirectly affected by the social issue/s: we wanted to make a change. No matter what our status, gender, or culture is, we all witness the adversities in the world. For instance, we might not have cancer, but a close friend might have, so we started supporting platforms that provide aid to this specific group. Or we might be once a victim of hunger or poverty, thus, helping organizations that gives a portion of their sales to those who are pressed by these predators. In other words, our experiences pushed us to extend our acts based on our current capabilities.
Charitable shops attract many consumers and philanthropists due to these primary reasons. Meanwhile, other factors also help these shops prevail in the market. These are, but not limited to, quality, availability, and advertisement.
Story of GreaterGood
One of the most trustworthy charitable organizations is GreaterGood. It is a network of “greater-good-cause” sites that deal with critical issues affecting health and welfare of the three P’s: people, pets, and planet. They are also a partner to over 5,000 charities worldwide. This allow consumers to select the causes that are the closest to their hearts and visit, purchase and donate to it. Due to this, the GreaterGood community expanded to millions and still counting.
GreaterGood was officially established in 1999. Long time activists Tim Kunin (CEO and Co-founder) and Greg Hesterberg (President and Co-founder) both has an eye for a goal that can catalyze positive change through empowering millions to benefit worthy causes. This inspired them to use the internet to an advantage and lift humanity.
The platform started small. They first were aspirants of the advocacy site called The Hunger Site. Both Kunin and Hesterberg were avid supporters to then, a network site of GreaterGood. Due to this, they created CharityUSA.com. Later on, they acquired GreaterGood and merged the two organizations. It is now one of the largest charitable online platform today.
GreaterGood calls its sites their community. Some of this focuses on animal rescue, breast cancer, veterans, persons with alzeimer’s disease, and more. The wide variety of their causes actually involve all people of ages, races, culture and statuses.
The skeletal framework of GreaterGood is also occupied by not just highly skillful individuals. Their people, from the founders to the artisans are people of passion. Everyone is hands-on, especially its backbone.
The online shopping site of GreaterGood, is a platform that caters crafts of artisans that are ethically and responsibly sourced and made. Their products are over 7000 from clothing, footwear, jewelry, bags and home goods. Most of these products are hand-made and are from small craftsmen around the world, mostly from economically poor countries.
To find a product in the store, you may use the menu button or key-in a product in the search box. They also provide easy access buttons to promo codes and sales. A variety of choices are also available. Details about the goods and sourcing of the products are also disclosed. In addition, ratings from customers are visible for reference purposes.
If eyeing for a specific cause, such as helping the veterans, persons with Alzheimer’s disease, rescued animals, or the rainforest, go for the various site stores.
- The Animal Rescue Site Store – This is a store that sells merchandises (e.g. shirts, earrings, and flip flops) that has animal print or design. The proceeds from this store is automatically for funding rescued animals.
- The Breast Cancer Site Store – Buying under The Breast Cancer Site lets fund treatment of cancer patients.
- The Veterans Site Store – This includes a collection of patriotic apparel, jewelry and gifts. Proceeds from this store funds basic necessities of homeless and hungry veterans.
- The Rainforest Site Store – This store gives you a collection of eco-friendly home décor, women’s apparel, jewelry and gifts. The proceeds are used to protect vital habitat and land.
- The Hunger Site Store – This gives the collection of fair trade goods. Each item you buy from this store funds at least 50 meals for the hungry.
- The Literacy Site Store – Proceeds from these store provides free books for children.
- The Autism Site Store – This store has the collection of autism awareness goods. A purchase in this store funds research and treatment to kids with autism.
- The Alzheimer’s Site Store – Purchase of any item from this store helps fund programs that support people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
- The Diabetes Site Store – This includes diabetes awareness products. Every item purchased from this store aids funding of leading diabetes research.
- The Earth Site Store – This features eco-friendly products from GreaterGood. Proceeds will fund planting of tress.
- Creative Kidstuff – The store for kids’ arts and crafts.
How Does GreaterGood Work?
You can contribute for the causes of GreaterGood through their “Click to Give” and “Shop to Give”.
Each GreaterGood site has a large button located on its homepage. For instance, if you visit The Hunger Site, a large rectangular yellow button labeled with “Click to Give – It’s Free” is found. Clicking them will show a Thank You message. It will not cost you anything because donations are paid by the website’s sponsors.
2. Shop to Give
“Shop to Give” works differently. When you visit one of the GreaterGood Stores and purchase, a portion of your purchase will go to a charity. Choosing a specific GreaterGood store lets you donate to the sector you care the most.
In addition, the products sold in the stores comes from underrated artisans. So aside from proceeds to charity, you also help the artisans and their families with their basic necessities.
GreaterGood is a remarkable platform. First, its goal to empower millions for social causes is admirable. With its many channels each focusing on specific aims, many are involved and benefited. Second, their products are ethically and responsibly sourced. They are protecting and supporting the artisans and their crafts. Lastly, the array of products available satisfies not only your urge to help, but also your fashion and style. All in all, GreaterGood is a platform that treats their suppliers, customers, and beneficiaries as major reasons for their causes.