“Would you like to round up to donate?” is a question that is stated in many supermarkets by the cashier and more and more used in online commerce. Companies claim to use the micro donations for good purposes and forward them 100 % to non-profit organisations. But how do we really know where your contribution is going to?
This donation tool seems to be a very nice option to make a small contribution with very little effort. Many of us leave the store or the shopping cart in the online shop with a smile on their face being happy about having done a good deed for the day. However, some customers also start to take a closer look on that good deed. They wonder, if their small contribution is not just becoming a big contribution for the seller, if the NGO receiving the contribution is genuine and if this is all just about marketing and tax benefits.
The truth is, that this might be a big hassle to find out, especially considering that each donation is only worth a couple of cents.
So how do we know when this tool is used for scam?
First of all, the charities chosen must be genuine and information about them should be available e.g. in form of a website. Also the company enabling to round up should be offering specific information about the projects of their chosen charity. Furthermore, customers are more than happy to receive information about the result of their donation.
There are many good and as always many bad examples found online. We found the online shop: virblatt.co.uk for harem trousers and alternative fashion offering to round up for charity with the Magento extension Donations Ultimate v2.0.7 by MageWorx.
The CEO, Sabrina Wagner, is very proud of their integrated tool, stating that every third customer is rounding up their donation with an average donation of 0.57 GBP: “Within one year, we were able to donate to three different nonprofit organisations for their projects. This includes the installation of two water filters, a donation to a Nepalese fund after last year´s earthquake and the contribution to building a new fence in a children´s village in Northern Thailand.”
The charities are chosen based on personal relations: “Spending a lot of time abroad to follow the production of our alternative apparel, we get to know other expats and volunteers. Thus we know all the Charities personally and we admire the work they do. We started donating personally and came up with the idea to ask our customers for help as well.”
The company offers an interesting insight of the chosen Charities and the progress of their donations on their website.
At the end of the order, the round up is possible by just a click. For everyone who is interested in the donation, the link can be clicked to get more information about the default charity. Furthermore, the customer can opt for a different receiver than the default NGO or increase the value of their donation.
For further information about the success of their donation tool, virblatt uses their blog and their website, to keep the customers informed.
“This tool is a very nice way to enable everyone to make a small contribution. The sum of the micro donations is worth more than you would expect.” Sabrina Wagner concludes.
According to the European Commission, 81 % of the individuals in the UK have purchased something online in 2015. With a population of more than 65 million a total donation of more than 36 million GBP could have been collected, if every person shopping online would have rounded up their donation just one time within the whole year.