Buy Anything and Support your Green Cause 11/3/2010 8:20:46 AM

With the recession still in effect, finding simple ways to give back to one’s community can look like quite a conundrum. Fortunately, the marriage between capitalism and activism is an evolving mindset among a growing number of entrepreneurs around the world.

SocialVest is launching its online and in-store shopping platform that makes it easy for consumers to support non-profit organizations while making purchases. The free service works by rewarding users with cash back for purchases from retailers. Money earned by these users can then be donated to over one and a half million registered non-profits with the service.

Here’s how it works. Consumers sign-up for SocialVest with their info and credit card details and can then start shopping in its online mall or at physical stores with whom the company has partnered. The startup currently has partnerships with over 500 retailers including Target, Macy’s, Home Depot, Best Buy, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales.

When the user make a purchase at one of these stores using the registered credit card, SocialVest will give users a cash rebate ranging from 1% to 15% of qualifying purchase prices. Funds are accrued in users’ accounts, and can then be pledged to any non-profit.

SocialVest does not keep any of your donations. A small fee (2.5% of your total donation) goes to Network For Good, a non-profit organization, for verifying each donation and ensuring it is routed to the organization of your choice. In other words, if you make a $10 donation, Network For Good gets 25 cents and your organization gets $9.75.

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