Arturo Garcia

@arturogarcia

Social change at your fingertips: 3 browser extensions for social good

July 16th 2018

Today’s generation has become more passionate about giving something back to society, be it in the form of a donation or volunteered time. In 2017, Americans donated $410 billion to charities, a 5 percent increase from 2016’s figures, while about 63 million people in the U.S. volunteer their time, talent and energy.

And you can hardly find an excuse not to contribute anything given the available tools at our fingertips. Technology has made donating fast and simple, especially now that almost everyone has a mobile phone. For instance, people can send donations to a charity by sending a text message. It has been a popular option over the past decade.

Then, there’s the internet which makes online donation a breeze. Last year, online donations to charities were estimated at $31 billion, up 23 percent from the previous year. Nonprofits also earned $1.13 per website visitor.

Even Alexa now can donate to charities with the user’s voice command and a four-digit voice confirmation code. Amazon has listed 40 charities so far.

Aside from text messages and other charity donations apps, there are also browser extensions you can install and use to support a cause.

XPO2 Cashless Contributions

Exponential Inc. (XPO2) is a cause-related tech marketing firm founded by French-American entrepreneur, Dom Einhorn. The company provides vetted small and medium-sized nonprofit organizations a platform to raise the funding they need in order to make a great net social impact (or the amount of good a contribution can do).

XPO2 has a cashless contributions extension that you can add on your internet browser. Users can utilize the extension when shopping online for their needs through XPO2’s partner e-commerce merchants. A portion of the purchases, as an affiliate commission, goes directly to the user’s chosen charitable organization.

This method enables people to support a cause while also being able to buy their needs. In addition, XPO2’s platform ensures that donations go directly to where they need to go rather than in the pockets of executives, as in the case of other huge charities.

While XPO2 has just started disrupting the fundraising industry, the company has been active in affiliate marketing since the industry’s early stage in 1994. Einhorn and his companies have generated over $200 million in sales on behalf of various retailers such as Amazon, Macy’s, Expedia, Walmart, Best Buy and eBay, among others. This provides XPO2 a profound knowledge of the industry and what the merchants, the affiliates and consumers need.

This very knowledge guided the company to develop its cashless contribution platform, which it believes will make a huge impact for thousands of NGOs and millions of consumers across the globe. With that, XPO2 is well-positioned to capitalize on the fast-growing e-commerce industry, which is projected to reach $4 trillion by 2020. Consequently, it can help more charities, organizations and associations raise funds to accomplish their social goals.

Gladly’s Tab for a Cause

How about raising money each time you open a new tab on your browser? That’s what Gladly’s Tab for a Cause browser extension can do — effortless donating that does not even cost a user anything. This extension replaces your new tab with a beautiful page with customizable bookmarks and notes and two small banner ads, which in turn raises money from Gladly’s sponsors. The money is then given to a favorite cause, such as Unidos Puerto Rico, Educate, Room to Read and Save the Children, among others.

Last year, Gladly provided a year of clean water to 5,688 people through Water.org and protected 182 acres of rainforest through Conservation International. In March, the company announced that its Tab for a Cause has raised over half a million dollars for charities, which is a milestone for the company. The figures for the first quarter of 2018 puts the company on track to raise more than twice what it amassed at the same time in 2017.

“Tab for a Cause offers an easy solution for people wanting to make a big impact,” Jamie Cross, Vice President at Conservation International, said.

Impakt

Aside from donating to charities, people can also contribute to social changes by becoming an ethical shopper. New York-based startup Impakt is developing a web browser extension that will help online shoppers buy products from ethical companies, or those that pay proper wages, promote equality, protect the environment, and so on.

Using public data such as government data, industry reports and news articles, Impakt provides online shoppers with streamlined information about the companies. According to Mashable, when an online shopper adds a product to his shopping cart from an unethical company, the extension will alert the user and provide alternatives from a brand with better records.

Impakt had a successful funding run on Kickstarter, and 602 backers have pledged over $31,000 to help bring Impakt’s project to life. Its development is ongoing.

These inventive plug-ins that XPO2, Gladly and Impakt have developed are making it easier and simpler to contribute something for social good. With just a click of a button, people can help make a difference.

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