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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Shopping for a Change

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, Economic Development, International, International Economic Development, Microfinance, Philanthropy

Mission: Shopping for a Change®(SFAC), 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, focused on clean water, healthcare and education, as well as help fund U.S.-based charities of the consumer’s choice. Individual shoppers choose their nonprofit from a vetted list provided at checkout, while our corporate clients may choose any U.S.-based charity.

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. 2013: The Nutritional Empowerment Project is a collaborative effort between Shopping for a Change and the Faire Collection, formerly known as the Andean Collection. It was jointly funded with net proceeds from our 2013 sales, and an in-kind contribution by the Faire Collection. Our efforts are focused on supporting local Kichwa artisans in the Ecuadorian Amazon region in a sustainable farming project. The Kichwa's persistent issues with access to food and the effects of malnourishment are problems we are determined to help them solve. Details of the project are available as a downloadable pdf file. Click to Download. Read about how the project is progressing on our blog. Half of the net proceeds from our product sales during 2014 financed the opening of two new preschools in Cox’s Bazar, a seaside and fishing town on the southwestern coast of Bangladesh, on the Bay of Bengal. The Bangladeshi Preschool Project, was a collaborative effort between Shopping for a Change® and our partnering artisan organization, Pebble Child. Pebble employs over 6800 disadvantaged women, living in 65 rural places throughout Bangladesh. Beginning February 9, 2015, forty children, ages 3-6 whose mother’s handcraft Pebble’s adorable handknit toys and apparel, proudly began attending our two preschools in Sirajgonj and Mouliribazar, free of charge. Their preschool attendance will enable them when they are of age, to begin primary school as tigers, due to the head start in education they received at preschool. In early 2016 we funded the Future Looks Bright project, donating eyewear for 2500 artisans across three (3) continents, who needed glasses for their detailed work. In 2017 we funded high school scholarships for 10 orphans in Swaziland.

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.

Community Stories

71 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I purchased a beautiful necklace for an upcoming soiree! Rapid personalized service! I really like the incredible detail to packaging and hearing the wonderful back story to each piece. I hope to use this for some corporate gifts in the future!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

At first I purchased a few pieces of jewelry at a craft show, just to help the cause. I got so many compliments and felt so pretty wearing the few pieces.
Now, about 4 years later, give or take, this is my go to for holiday shopping. The customer service is top notch, all items are of fine quality and craftsmanship, and they arrive within days. The owner is responsive and extremely easy to work with.
Shopping for a Change is an exciting fun way to shop while drinking my coffee on a weekend morning, and I feel good about empowering women all over the world to make a difference for themselves and their families.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first found Shopping for a Change after returning home from Swaziland and wishing I had bought more textiles when I had the chance. SFAC had what I was looking for, and their unique business model spoke to me. I've purchased from them a few times since, and I am always blown away by the quality and care that goes into each piece (and the packaging!). I highly recommend Shopping for a Change to others who want their purchases to support many different entities and communities worldwide.

Jana R.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I would say "I FOUND"... but they really found me at a recent event.
Check out SHOPPING FOR A CHANGE!
As a Realtor, I honestly don't have much free time, so as a non- shopper I now have the BEST ONLINE shopping site!
Great products, for a great cause, doing great things for people in places all over the world.
Check it out -- the product quality is impressive. I am using items for self and for gifts!
And, my friends, family and clients are DELIGHTED with the gifts they are receiving from me :)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before I interned with SFAC, I knew it was a wonderful organization doing a lot of great work. But after I interned over the summer, I learned the dedication and hard work Stacey puts in behind the scenes to provide elite customer service and a personal touch to all her products. Even though many of the jobs I was tasked to required more individual work, Stacey still found a way to mentor me by elucidating all the business decisions and teaching me about the business model. SFAC is such a well run organization doing so much good that I hope to help out and promote their cause even after the summer is over!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I’ve known Stacey for a while and while I was not surprised that she started this wonderful non-profit, I was truly impressed with the quality and selection of goods offered, the partnerships created with the crafts-people, and the way the funds are distributed. It’s amazing the breadth of artisans she’s found to showcase and the beautiful creations they make. And including the option to support SFAC through AmazonSmile is a wonderful idea too. My purchases have gone smoothly and her team has taken good care of me and my orders.

Stacey’s passion and commitment to support these communities while also giving back, both internationally and domestically, is inspiring. I look forward to checking out the site periodically to see what new artisans and items she’s found to include!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as an intern for Shopping for a Change this summer, and my experience there was wonderful. The organization supports such an amazing cause, and Stacey's drive and motivation was inspirational. I was able to learn about the hard work that goes into making this brilliant organization run, and Stacey has become an invaluable mentor to me. SFAC has fostered my passion to give back to other communities and my own, and I hope to contribute more to their cause and others in the future!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The hats I ordered as new baby gifts were fabulous! They were high quality, adorable, exactly as pictured on the website and they arrived quickly. I've ordered other types of items from this website before -- you can trust that you'll be happy with anything you purchase here!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have shopped with this nonprofit for a few years now. I first learned about it through a story I saw about Stacy on a local television station. I was inspired by her hard work in getting recognition for hard working creative mothers in under privileged countries trying to provide for their families. I went to the Shopping for a Change website and saw all the beautiful products that are hand made. Everything from clothing to accessories. I ordered jewelry and some children's clothing. The service was superb. I received my purchases in a couple of days via Priority Mail and was very happy with the workmanship and detail that had gone into the making of the products. I have ordered from this nonprofit many times for unique gifts, knowing I am helping women in many countries give a better life to the ones they love. I have even spoken with Stacy, who is a hands on boss. One of the children's sweaters I wanted was on back order. She called me to ask if it was OK to wait for it or did I want to cancel the order or get something else. She was very personable and wonderful to speak to. I will definitely be shopping from this nonprofit for many years to come.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just found Shopping for a Change. Will definitely support this nonprofit! Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I ordered several items that were BEAUTIFUL and reasonably priced. I then returned to purchase a few more as holiday gifts for friends and family. Stacey was wonderful to work with and Shopping for a Change will be my new go-to for gift giving. Wonderful!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I ordered a necklace and bracelet for my mother for Mother's Day from this organization and the service was excellent. Great customer service with a personal touch and the products were really well made and beautiful as well. I received my order super quickly too. It's a wonderful organization for a great cause and I will be shopping for a change again for sure.

Board Member

Rating: 5

AMAZING! From the jewelry, to the baby clothes, to the home goods, and MORE, Shopping for a Change has it all! Gorgeous, one of kind items lovingly handcrafted by artisans from around the world! I’ve found that their products make wonderful gifts for family members, friends and clients. The customer service is impeccable, and the products are true works of art. I have been stopped numerous times on the street by complete strangers asking where I got the gorgeous, Tagua Bib necklace. But the best part of Shopping for a Change, is that the funds they raise are used to transform lives around the world. As a buyer, I am excited to know that one half of the net proceeds from my purchase directly benefit the communities in which these artisans live and work, while the other half goes to US, non-profit organizations of my choice. As a result, Shopping for a Change is the first place I turn to when looking for something truly special, and unique. I recently purchased the teak cutting board, and copper cheese tools for a wedding gift. The newlyweds were blown away by the exquisite materials used in the crafting of these items. I am proud to give a gift that is not only beautiful, but helping empower people all around the world.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I ordered a wonderful wooden bowl from Shopping for a Change. The experience has been wonderful. Stacey kept me informed on the progress of my order and ensured I had complete satisfaction. I recommend Shopping for a Change to help make a difference in the lives of those in need. Thank you Stacey!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I ordered a beautiful wrap (at the last minute) to wear to my daughters wedding. I am currently at our cottage 2 hours north of Toronto ( live in Charlotte, NC) Trying to figure out how to get it in time was a challenge. Stacie was amazing - texted me with updates and options until we sorted it out. I can't remember when I last had such amazing service. I would shop here everyday if I could. Can't wait till I get my wrap!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I absolutely love Shopping for Change. I am complimented all the time on the beautiful products I purchase for myself and have gained kudos from friends for the great gifts they receive from me as a result of Shopping for Change. When I had an issue, their support staff was great and personable. I am proud to support such a great organization. Angelina

Client Served

Rating: 5

I contacted Shopping for a Change to assist with client gifts for my hotel over the holidays. I wanted to go in a unique direction providing our clients something useful and gender neutral that they would really like while also giving back to the artisans in their country and a local organization of my choice. Shopping for a Change provided me with several options, and I chose a beautiful bamboo bowl with our company logo engraved on the back which my clients absolutely loved. They also designed a card that we included in the packaging which described the origin of the bowl, and who the proceeds benefited both internationally and domestically. It was the most well received corporate gift of my career and I can't wait to purchase more from Shopping for a Change.

Michelle374

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Such a wonderful organization. From the people that shop for a change to the volunteers to the board, and of course, their founder, Stacey, this organization has all the right pieces to change the world.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Shopping for a change is the kind of charity I love! They empower people to start their own businesses and become self sufficient. They then sell high quality products from these businesses on their web site. I've purchased many of them for myself, family, and friends. They make great gifts too!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shopping for a change is a unique kind of nonprofit in how it aids those in developing countries. It makes it so that artisans in these countries can feed their children and plan for the future instead of always worrying about the present. My experience with this nonprofit has shown me the positive impact that a customers purchase can have - from contributing to paying for a year of high school for teens in Swaziland to helping women who have escaped sex trafficking in the Philippines - Shopping for a Change empowers people all over the world. Not only are the people I've worked with in this nonprofit some of the kindest and most caring people I've met, but there is a definite feeling of purpose. Everything that is done is done to try to make the organization the best it can possibly be with countless hours poured into every detail. Ultimately, I would highly recommend Shopping for a Change as it is a nonprofit that strives towards and succeeds at making the world a brighter place.