Like it or not, ‘tis the season for lots (and lots) of holiday shopping.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could harness at least some of that consumerism to help benefit environmental and social causes?
Cause marketing guru Olivia Khalili believes we can.
Earlier this month, Khalili launched iGiveTwice, an online Twitter campaign designed to encourage people to choose gifts that have social or environmental benefits.
After all, stop and think about it for a minute. When you go out shopping, you usually have plenty of choices, right? So, why not choose a gift that is
- ethically sourced, or
- naturally grown, or
- fair-wage and fair-trade, or
- one that donates a portion of its sales?
If you do, you’ll actually be giving twice –once to the person who receives the gift, and a second time to the environmental or social cause the product is helping to promote.
Simple, isn’t it? But, don’t stop there.
Once you have made your “purchase with a purpose,” as Khalili calls it, she hopes you’ll do one more thing: Tweet about it, using the hashtag #iGiveTwice. The simple act of letting your Twitter followers know about your gift choice will help build awareness about the growing power consumers have to affect positive change, Khalili says.
It’s an uncomplicated and nearly effortless campaign. But, Khalili feels iGiveTwice can have a significant impact, thanks to the reach of social media.
“The main function with iGiveTwice is to raise awareness and change the way people shop,” she says. “Collectively, we can make a difference.”
To help kick-off the iGiveTwice initiative, Khalili teamed up with the non-profit MyContestSite.com, where Twitter users can enter to win a 16GB iPod (PRODUCT) RED –a fitting prize choice since Apple gives a portion of the purchase price from every (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition iPod to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.
An iPod (PRODUCT) RED is one example of a gift that gives twice, but there are plenty of others, too. In fact, Khalili says that compared to a few years ago when she created Cause Capitalism, it’s much easier now to find products that have a social or environmental benefit.
“The do-gooder products really have made the transition from granola to mainstream,” she explains.
If you need a few ideas to get you started, Khalili suggest you consider these:
Recently recommended products on iGiveTwice:
- Naumes Fruit Gifts donates 1 pound of fresh fruit to a food bank for every pound you purchase.
- Timbuk2’s (PRODUCT) RED special edition optic print messenger bag. 5% of sales from the product are donated to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.
- ONEHOPE wine donates 50% of profits to AIDS, Autism, Breast Cancer, Troops or the Planet based on the varietal purchased. $250,000 has been given to more than 150 charities.
- Kate Spade Colorblock Mittens are handmade by Bosnia war survivors through a partnership with Women for Women International.
- Kiehl’s KAWS Crème de Corps Ltd. Edt. Designed by graffiti artist KAWS, 100% of net profits from the product line benefit pediatric arts non-profit RxART.
Resources for Gifts that give back:
- Gifts Without Guilt, Joanne Fritz for About.com.
- Make Giving to Charity a Family Affair at the Holidays, Joanne Fritz
- (Com)Passionate Valentine’s Day Gifts, Olivia Khalili for Intent.com
- eBay’s World of Good marketplace has more than 22,000 products that empower individuals and support social and environmental causes.
Although she launched iGiveTwice during the holiday shopping season, Khalili intends to keep the campaign running year-round.
“Cause capitalism is the way to affect positive change,” she says. “And I think something like iGiveTwice shows that it doesn’t necessarily have to take a big effort to make a difference.”
I raised $1 for @Heifer by tweeting this gift idea [link of product on site] from @WorldofGood_com Join me #iGiveTwice! Start now iGiveTwice.com
I raised $1 for @Heifer by tweeting this gift idea [include link of product on site] on @eBayGiving Join me #iGiveTwice! Start now iGiveTwice.com
$1 will be donated to the nonprofit Heifer International until 2,500 tweets ($2,500) are reached.
I suppose that means that this holiday season, people who use Twitter can purchase one gift and actually give three times!