Last night I went to an event at Liberty's in London and I feel compelled to tell you all about it ASAP as if the word gets out quick then a lot of charities can benefit from all the online Christmas shopping that will be done between now and the day itself!
I clocked off with the kids yesterday at 4.30pm and handed over the reigns to my OH. I felt mildly sorry for him as the end of the day is usually pretty fraught, but as I made my way to the train station, I was getting excited about being in London again (something I usually complain about when I work there everyday!) and looking forward to finding out about 'Give as you Live'.
I was welcomed by Polly Gowers founder of 'Give as you Live' and CEO of Everyclick, a fundraising technology company, which enables people to give to any of the UK's charities (from the smallest hedgehog related charity (!) to the biggest Cancer related charities) through everyday online activity such as online shopping.
Give as you Live is Polly's latest initiative. What is it?
Give as you Live is an online shopping app that turns every pound supporters spend online into funds for their favourite cause. How does it work?
Quite simply you go to http://www.giveasyoulive.com/ and download the app to your PC, this takes seconds and on restarting it will be present on your computer. Once restarted the Give as you Live app should start up and ask you to register all your details and also select the charity that you would like to benefit from your online purchases. I chose Myeloma UK as my Dad has this condition and the more money they get the bigger the strides towards a cure. Once you have an account registered you can regularly check how much you raise just by shopping.
You then shop online and if you shop at a store that is part of Give as you Live (which shouldn't be hard as there are over 1500 retailers linked up) then a window pops up and asks you if you want to give on this shop. You tick the box, do your shopping and rack up money for charity. The beauty of it is that you are not putting your own hand in your pocket, just by doing your usual shopping (Christmas or otherwise!) you will earn your favourite charities some valuable funds. It is the retailer who will be making the donation.
There are too many retailers involved to mention them all but most of the big ones are, including Boots, Sainsbury's, Debenhams, John Lewis, Liberty, House of Fraser, Topshop, M&S and soon one of the biggest online retailers Amazon will also be joining the throng!
An example of how much charities can benefit from this, 5 gifts and how much can go to charity if you Give as you Live:
iPad2 costs £399 and £5.99 would be donated to charity
iPhone 4S costs £499 and £7.49 would be donated to charity
Scrabble costs £14.99 and 58p would be donated to charity
Kindle costs £89 and £4.45 would be donated to charity
Twilight Box Set costs £8.49 and 21p would be donated to charity
This isn't just a Christmas initiative, it works all year round but it's worth saying that in this country last December, £6.8 billion was spent shopping online and if everyone had used Give as you Live £170 million could have been raised for UK Charities. If you're a fan of charity starting at home then you really should make the effort to shop in this way!
Go to Give as you Live and start your Christmas shopping and feel good knowing that you're doing your bit for charity.