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Shopping For A Change

Rating: 4.91 stars   43 reviews 2,955

Nonprofit Issues:

Civil Rights, International, Philanthropy, Economic Development, Microfinance

Address:

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.

Results:

During our first year, as a result of support through purchases and direct donations, we helped to fundThe Tibane Water Project directed at enhancing the lives of our artisans in the Lavamisu Region of Swaziland, Africa. Now over 400 community members have clean water for the first time. Q1 of 2012 we funded the Enkutoto-Elangata-Enterit Group Ranch Education Project. Half our net proceeds from sales during 2011 have gone to provide a year’s salary for one teacher at the Enkutoto-Elangata-Enterit Group Ranch in Kenya, where the artisans of The Leakey Collection reside. With our financial assistance, their class size has gone from 1 teacher per 80 pupils, down to 1 teacher per 40 pupils. With the help of Katy and Philip Leakey, founders of The Leakey Collection, and their nonprofit organization T.R.A.D.E., Trust for Rural African Development and Enterprise, the student teacher ratio in the area has been lowered from 80/1 to 40/1. Currently out of the 23 teachers employed, The Leakey Collection directly funds 9 of them; and rural families at great financial hardship support the rest.

Target demographics:

artisans, primarily women, lift themselves from poverty

Direct beneficiaries per year:

Thousands of artisans and their communities in the regions of Africa, South America, & Asia. Also, US-based nonprofits which are chosen by our customers during checkout, receive one half of our net proceeds.

Geographic areas served:

Artisan groups in Africa, South America, Asia. We ship to the United States & Canada.

Programs:

our fair trade marketplace for them to sell their exotic, handmade goods. Each purchase through our website helps these artisans, mostly women, to consistently feed their families and send their children to school. In addition, our net proceeds help fund both community improvement projects abroad and select US based charities of the consumers' choice.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

(650)-488-7088
http://shoppingforachange.org/

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Reviews for Shopping For A Change

Rating: 5 stars  

High quality products that support sustainable development.

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

I love the items on Shopping for a Change! The jewelry, home goods and accessories are truly one of a kind and I plan on doing all of my Christmas shopping at this site. Not only am I giving back, but I'm also finding beautifully made gifts for my family and friends this season!

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

Shopping for a Change provides one of those instances where you can be both a consumer and give at the same time. The products sold on their website help to support and empower communities. It's a pleasure to shop with them.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This summer, I had an amazing experience interning at Shopping for a Change. I learned so much about the operations of small businesses, the technical mechanics behind an online store, and how to market to customers effectively- skills that will definitely help me later on. As a high school student, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of responsibility that the founder and CEO trusted me with; and by taking on impactful and sometimes challenging tasks I was able to learn so much more.

The products on the site are carefully selected and must not only impress customers but also align with the nonprofit's ideals. While searching for potential artisan groups, Stacey always ensures that they handcraft their pieces in underdeveloped countries (where underemployment is widespread) under fair trade conditions. She also offers great prices, and each item is incredibly beautiful and unique. Rather than taking a salary for the hard work she puts in, she selflessly directs profits towards community improvement projects, most recently funding a new preschool in Bangladesh.

Whether you're looking to volunteer or shop, I would highly recommend Shopping for a Change!

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?

Life-changing

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?

2015

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the privilege of volunteering as an intern with Stacey Horowitz, the founder, for two years, and the insight I have gained into the organization only furthered my admiration for it as well as Stacey! Shopping for a Change has an entirely different business model than any nonprofit I have ever worked with, and it is truly focused on empowering others around the world.

Shopping for a Change is committed to helping others in need, in the hope that they will be able to support themselves in the future. So much time goes into making sure all products is made with quality, and the artisans who make them work sustainably and ethically under Fair Trade conditions. Then, SFAC donates all net proceeds to community improvement projects that directly benefit the artisans and their families, as well as deserving US charities.

The work Stacey does directly impacts people around the world, and taking part is as simple as buying a great piece of jewelry! I hope Stacey and SFAC continue to make an amazing difference, and am thankful to have been a part of it!

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?

Life-changing

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?

2015

 
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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! :)

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

 
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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.

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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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

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

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

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
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.

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

 
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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.

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

 
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