By Rieva Lesonsky
Toms Shoes, Warby Paker…We seem to be at an inflection point where more and more companies are finding that it just makes sense to make “giving back” a part of their DNA.
Scott Garell is the CEO of Goodshop.com, which works with more than 30,000 retailers to offer the best coupons and deals and donates a percentage of the purchase at many of them to the cause of the shopper’s choice.
I sat down with Scott to find out more about the company and how it fits into this ecosystem of socially responsible companies.
Rieva Lesonsky: I read somewhere that you said, “Goodshop makes you feel good about your online shopping.” What do you mean by this?
Scott Garell: Well, we think about feeling good in two ways. First, everyone loves a deal. So, we have a team of people gathering the best coupons for thousands of stores like Macys, Apple and Target so that you never miss a chance to save money.
Second, you know how you feel when you buy a pair of TOMS Shoes or glasses from Warby Parker? That your purchase is about more than just the product—it’s about doing something good for the world as well. We wanted to create a way for you to feel that way with every purchase. We work with thousands of stores so that a percentage of what you spend is donated back to your favorite cause.
Taken together, we feel that if you can save money and give back at no extra cost to you when you shop online that, one day, everybody will shop at Goodshop and feel good.
Rieva: What causes do you work with?
Scott: We work with more than 100,000 organizations ranging from the American Cancer Society to local dog shelters and schools. We were very deliberate when we launched this company that we wanted to create a way for people to support the cause that is closest to their hearts.
I’ve heard some really amazing stories from our organizations of what they’ve done with the money. A local library in Brookport, IL was destroyed by a tornado and used the money to rebuild. A dog shelter in New Mexico was going to have to shut its doors because they couldn’t pay their bills when they received their Goodshop check which let them stay open. The stories go on and on. It’s very humbling to hear.
Rieva: Let’s talk numbers. Have any to share?
Scott: We’ve saved people more than $100 million and have raised nearly $12 million for good causes. But let’s get to the nitty-gritty to show you how this actually works. Let’s say you want to buy a gift. Last Mother’s Day, for instance we had a coupon for 20 percent off at 1800 Flowers on the site and 7 percent of what consumers spent was donated to the cause of their choice. So, if you spent $100, you got $20 off and $5.60 was donated to your cause. That may not sound like much, but that is just one purchase. Think about how much you shop online in a year! And then combine it with everyone else who cares about your cause!
Rieva: Any famous Goodshopppers?
Scott: We’ve been lucky that word has gotten around. Some celebrities have come out to encourage people to use the site on behalf of their causes. For example: Jessica Biel for Much Love Animal Rescue, Kellan Lutz for Saving Innocence and Shannon Elizabeth for animal protection causes.
Follow Scott at @scottgarell.