A new tech-based charity scheme has been launched that encourages the public to transform the simple task of online shopping into a donation.
US-based Data Does Good allows Amazon.com shopping histories to be turned into hard cash for good causes — at no extra cost.
The initiative – only available in the US at the moment – takes an anonymous and encrypted shopping history and sells it to brands and retailers looking for trends and valuable marketing information about its consumers, like gender and age.
As a public benefit corporation (essentially a hybrid between a for-profit company and a nonprofit), Data Does Good earns money to make the business sustainable, but it donates the majority of its proceeds to any charity of your choice.
The tool aims to use technology and data to change the way people donate, and also increase financial support for worthy causes.
The founders – two students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business – commented on the initiative’s website that “Data Does Good was founded on the belief that digital fundraising has failed to reach its full potential. Hashtags and viral videos are great at raising awareness. But what charitable organisations really need is funding. And that’s not something most social media campaigns can provide.
“So, we wanted to find a way to help everyday people raise money for causes of their choice without having to write a check, volunteer their time, or change their behaviour.
“We both have experience in market research and know that online shopping receipts are valuable. When pooled together with others, they reveal trends about consumer behaviour that businesses are willing to pay for.
“So we developed a system that allows people to donate their online shopping history and choose which charitable organisations will benefit, all while protecting people’s privacy. It’s a simple yet innovative idea that we hope will raise millions of dollars for charitable causes around the world.”
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