Shopping for a Change

Rating: 4.89 stars   38 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, International, Philanthropy, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: 951 Mariners Island Blvd Suite 240 San Mateo CA 94404 USA

Mission: Shopping for a Change®, a web-based non-profit organization, is a fair trade marketplace where artisans, predominantly women from developing countries, sell their handmade creations, enabling them to earn a sustainable income and lift themselves from poverty. Our net proceeds subsidize community improvement projects abroad as well as help fund select U.S.-based charities.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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Rating: 5 stars  

Shopping for a Change really is one of those phenomenal companies that is growing exponentially and completely deserves it. My family has worked with many nonprofits and charities in the past, but none of their business models can even compare with Shopping for a Changes'. The updated website is so professional that it feels just like you're shopping at your local department store- except with SFAC, you're actively making a change!

Stacey, the founder, is an extremely hardworking, smart woman who is never satisfied with anything less than the best. All of the products are examined in detail before SFAC chooses to carry them, so they are always trendy and unique. Everyone should keep an eye out for this nonprofit; they are destined to thrive! :)

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 5 stars  

Shopping for a Change is not only a great idea but it's extremely well-executed. It's purpose is admirable but there are many worthy causes out there. Shopping for a Change also provides beautiful merchandise that's well-marketed. It's wonderful to feel that you are supporting people who are working to improve their lives -- and to buy something beautiful and useful. Frankly though the "support" is completely earned. These artisans create products that are high quality, interesting, and less expensive that what you'd find for comparable items in traditional stores. It's wonderful that Shopping for a Change can bring these goods to market and let us all appreciate them.

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How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 5 stars  

I’m a serial entrepreneur and an investor in start-up businesses. I was the first donor / investor in Shopping for a Change (SFAC), in 2010. I worked closely with the founder, Stacey Horowitz, during the conceptual and early organizational stages of SFAC. Stacey asked if I would be willing to write a letter supporting SFAC’s application to Catapult, and I told her that I’d be honored to do so.

I first learned of SFAC when Stacey asked to meet with me to share her ideas about a new kind of charity that provides self-fulfilling opportunities for community development and empowerment on a global scale. By providing artisans in developing countries access to consumers in established markets, SFAC helps underserved communities help themselves by fostering new sources of revenue and economic opportunity. This benefit is compounded by SFAC’s direct support of important community development projects and domestic charities.

I believe that SFAC represents a new wave of socially responsible ventures, so I was immediately intrigued. Stacey’s unique business model, professional experience, artistic talent and keen sensibility for marketable handicrafts, prompted me to make an unsolicited offer to seed her philanthropic venture. I initially donated $50,000 to help launch SFAC. In its inaugural year I served as a board member, and during the past two years I have served as an advisor. Stacey and I continue to meet at least once annually, and communicate throughout the year.

SFAC gives something very unique to the communities it supports - it provides hope. By enabling artisans to create viable means of self (and family) support, SFAC lays the groundwork for sustainable improvements in basic life necessities - clean water, adequate nutrition, health care and education - things that all parents want for their children. Rather than simply donate cash, SFAC does something much more profound and lasting - it helps foster the micro-enterprises necessary for real, bottom-up community transformation.

In addition to providing opportunity for disadvantaged artisans around the world, SFAC turns the shopping experience itself into an act of giving. The management team, with input from partners and customers, targets high-impact projects in artisan communities, and allocates proceeds from online sales to help fund those projects. I have watched SFAC successfully implement their first two community improvement projects, with its third project being funded through the current year’s sales.
SFAC has been strategic in their choice of projects to fund—with a focus on clean water, education and health care—three areas that have a real impact on living conditions within the community, and which appeal to shoppers on the site. Staying true to their mission, they have partnered with artisan groups and local NGOs to assure that the funds were being utilized effectively and as promised.
SFAC is successfully building partnerships with other nonprofit organizations, to help these charities raise additional funds through the website and at live events. These partnerships help SFAC as well, by building awareness, web traffic and incremental sales. And, of course, every new sale, whether online or at a live event, helps the artisan and her family.
Finally, the SFAC board of directors annually adds a select group of nonprofits with goals similar to theirs--supporting children, health, education and communities, to the list of nonprofits from which the consumer can choose to direct half the net proceeds, during the checkout process.
Launching and operating a high-quality e-commerce site is very challenging. Transforming the shopping experience into a catalyst for real community development is even harder. SFAC has invested years of work into online merchandising and sales, consumer support, artisan representation and global partnerships. The organization has accomplished a tremendous amount, and has truly helped improve the living standards and prospects of communities world-wide. In true entrepreneurial fashion, SFAC has done this with minimal investment and maximum hard work. There are no fancy titles, jet planes, NFL boxes or other perqs at SFAC. Just a passionate and consistent focus on the mission of improving lives one sale at a time.

Lawrence Braitman

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Was your donation impactful?

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How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter had the opportunity to do summer internship with “Shopping for a Change” last year, and she continued this work during the school year as well. She worked under the guidance of the founder Stacey Horowitz. Overall, she had a wonderful and rewarding experience! The work was very interesting and had a lot of variety. She wrote blogs, articles, and descriptions of merchandise, did internet marketing via social media and search engines, interviewed artisans and social leaders from distant parts of the world, and organized fundraisers and exhibitions. She enjoyed every bit of it and came out as a more responsible, and more sensitive individual with greater empathy for disadvantaged people. She improved her written as well as verbal communication too, and I can see her more confident in her leadership endeavors. It was a great exposure to not only a non-profit but also to a small, start-up type business environment. The work environment was very constructive and
positive, and a lot of fun as well. The hours and the workload were just right. I would like to
thank Stacey for a very well organized, highly motivating and educational experience she created
for the students, and strongly recommend this program to other high school students.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I work for a non profit and we are always looking for different ways to raise funds. We discovered Shopping for a Change back in 201q and started promoting it to our parents. What an amazing way for us to raise money for our school - while helping to support a great cause! I have a bracelet and a set of earrings that I wear almost every day and get complimented on all the time. I recently had a baby and can't wait until he fits into the darling animal sweaters!! He already has the stuffed hippo - one of his best friends :) The animals are very well made. Shopping for a change has raised several hundred dollars for our school just through our parents shopping and buying gifts online.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

It has been great working with Stacey- she works to promote our goods which in turn helps employ our knitters. For every sweater sold, a woman is able to proudly provide for her family. We really appreciate all that is done for us!

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 5 stars  

We recently worked on the redesign on the website for Shopping for a Change and it was a great experience not only working with Stacey and her team, but learning about some of the awesome and unique products and people all over the world that they work with. This was a great experience even for our experienced team. Thank you Stacey and great work.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 5 stars  

Not only does Shopping for a Change have great and unusual merchandise at a reasonable price for the shopper, but serves a valuable purpose. Knowing that a portion of the price goes to a nonprofit is a win-win situation for everyone. I like knowing that someone else is being helped. It is a wonderful organization.

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How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 5 stars  

I first became aware of Stacey and Shopping for a Change when she was given the Jefferson Award by KPIX 5 last December. I really loved what she was doing--empowering women in impoverished countries by giving them an outlet to sell their wares, thereby improving their lives immensely. I have purchased many items from Shopping for a Change, and the products are all so beautiful! I have bought children's clothing and tote bags and a really cool purse made from recycled pop tops!! Everything is very well made and they are truly one of a kind.
Stacey is very hands on when it comes to the products and service. She called me personally on the phone when I had placed my first order. One of the items was on back order and would I mind waiting for it. You almost never receive an actual phone call from anyone anymore. I was very impressed with her personality and willingness to work with whatever time constraints I needed. I have and will continue to recommend Shopping for a Change to every one of my friends (and strangers who have admired my purse). I believe in what she is doing and admire her spirit immensely.
And I'd like to add that I haven't bought or carried a purse in over 30 years---the item was THAT GOOD!!
I am so happy there are people like Stacey Horowitz in the world. She has made many women feel better about themselves knowing they can provide for their families through their beautiful crafts, which otherwise would never be seen.
Thank You Stacey!!

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a client of Shopping for a Change for a while.
Stacey Horowitz is doing so much good around the world
& I am happy that I can share in that experience. Every
item I have purchased from her has been created with
love, care and consideration. I am proud to be a customer
& am sharing that with others I know.
Gratefully, Barbara

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have a 1,000 more of Stacey Horowitz

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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