By Rachel Jackson
thegivingmachine.co.uk is a website that allows it’s users to generate free funds for schools, charities and good causes of their choice, simply by shopping on-line. It harnesses the sales commissions generated for website referrals and converts them into free donations for the causes the users (called Givers) have selected.
It was an idea between four friends, who over pizza and beer, decided they wanted to make this free un-capped reoccurring income-stream accessible to thousands of good causes. Initially it was set up as a Social Enterprise in 2007 and became a Charity in 2014. They have recently won Most Trusted Social Enterprise 2015 by the Trust Awards and are finalists for the Herts Business Awards 2015.
There are currently over 86,00 registered “Givers” who have generated over £1million to date for over 8,500 causes. As internet shopping continues to increase so does the amount of money that can be raised in this way.
There are over 2,000 retailers listed on the site including all the names you would expect such as Amazon, John Lewis and Sainsburys’. The product search tool directs you effortlessly to the retailers offering the items you wish to purchase. If you prefer to Google the items you are looking for, the Shop&Give reminder clearly shows you which retailers are participating in the system, and would therefore generate a donation, by the purple heart which appears next to their listing.
Being a charity means they are able to pass on 75% of the sales commission to your chosen cause, with the remaining 25% being used to cover the running costs of the charity. If you are a UK taxpayer you can also register for Gift Aid to be claimed on your behalf which increases the donation percentage to 85%.
There are other websites that provide a similar service but these are operating for profit and therefore unable to pass on such a high percentage. TheGivingMachine also differs in that each giver can select up to four causes to support, and spilt the donations however they choose.
A GivingMachine ap is in development and is to be released in the very near future ensuring it is as easy as possible for people to shop online and raise money as they do.
Founder and CEO Richard Morris says “When you put giving into the economic model it changes the value of money”. Before founding TheGivingMachine he had a successful career in Silicon Valley and a background in building internet infrastructure and services. Richard has also written and published “Givenomics” where he shares his experience of setting up TheGivingMachine, the concept and how it unites companies, customer and communities so all can contribute and thrive. “Givenomics makes money work harder and better for everyone”.
To find out more about TheGivingMachine, and register as a giver, visit their page https://www.thegivingmachine.co.uk/