GreaterGood.com, Seattle, last week said it will offer any nonprofit organization in the country the opportunity to set up its own shopping village within its Web site free of charge and receive between 5 percent to 12 percent of all purchases made by consumers.
Unlike many of the other sites launched last holiday season promising nonprofits a percentage of the purchases made through specific retailers, consumers do not have to access the retailers or choose the nonprofit they are donating to through GreaterGood.com. Online shoppers can enter these shopping villages directly through the Web site of the nonprofit organization.
According to Leslie Brazeau, director of marketing, that consumers can shop directly through the site of the nonprofit will make them more comfortable and confident that the designated percentage of their purchase will end up with the organization of their choice.
Consumers participate in the program by clicking on the program announcement button on nonprofit's site. They are taken to a jump page where they will either be given a directory of 11 categories — including school and office, gourmet and grocery, health and beauty, and books and music — or a directory of categories accompanied by a list of the participating retailers within those categories.
By clicking on the retailer, consumers will be linked directly to their home page where they can begin shopping. Any consumer accessing a site this way will be flagged as having come through GreaterGood.com, which will then receive all of the purchase information.
After reaching the home page of a retailer, a reminder of the program and a direct link back to the home page of the nonprofit will be at the top of every page.
Consumers also can choose one of the registered nonprofits through the www.GreaterGood.com site and may shop on behalf of a nonprofit which is not listed. Consumers mail their receipts to GreaterGood.com, which will then inform the nonprofit that a consumer has purchased an item and made a donation on its behalf. The nonprofit will have the choice to enroll in the shopping village program.
There are 15 nonprofits that have been participating with GreaterGood.com since its February test launch, including Save the Children, Special Olympics, the Humane Society of the United States, The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund.
“GreaterGood.com enrolls, sets up and maintains the shopping village all free of charge for the nonprofits,” said Jennifer Dejoy, senior associate at APCO Associates, Seattle, the public relations firm working with GreaterGood.com. “The entire process is free for both the nonprofit and the consumer.”
For every purchase made at a participating retailer, that retailer pays an affiliate fee to GreaterGood.com for referring a customer to them. That fee is then split equally between GreaterGood.com and the chosen nonprofit. That fee can fall anywhere between 5 percent and 25 percent. GreaterGood.com will deliver the funds raised to the nonprofits on a quarterly basis.
The 33 online retailers taking part include j.crew.com, Amazon.com, eToys, OfficeMax, DogToys.com and 1-800-Flowers.com. Brazeau said she expects more companies to be added soon.
GreaterGood.com provides marketing tools for the nonprofits to help promote the shopping villages to their members, donors and constituents such as developing e-mail campaigns. It is promoting the program at philanthropy conferences, in philanthropy publications and on National Public Radio as well.
Brazeau said the site contains a consumer bill of rights describing how the donated funds are distributed to the nonprofits.