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2018 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

84 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I discovered Shopping for a Change through an Instagram post by actress Daniela Ruah. The level of support S4AC provides to charities around the world is amazing. I love shopping on their website, knowing the proceeds benefit these wonderful charities. S4AC, please continue to keep up the fantastic work!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bought gifts from this organization over the years and they never fail to deliver. Love their work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Absolutely love everything about this organization. Its message, its mission, its impact, the products, the people.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have wholeheartedly supported Shopping for a Change since its inception. As a board member I have seen how Stacey has worked tirelessly breathing life into Shopping for a Change and sustaining it for nine years. Shopping for a Change has a strong commitment to improving the lives and well-being of the artisans we support, their families and their communities. Supplying people with clean water to drink, eyeglasses to help them to see, and education for their children are life changing events. Some of these have included statements that what Stacey and Shopping for a Change did, allowed an artisan to send their child to school. That changed the future for that child. We are touched every year by the testimonials we receive from those impacted by our annual community improvement projects. I am proud and honored to have been an integral part of this organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an exceptional experience with Shopping for a Change. At one of our major conference recently, Keller Williams was looking for a partner to support the local charity, Homeless to Home. Homeless to Home helps transition individuals and families who were once homeless, into their new homes. Stacey, the Founder of Shopping for a Change, devised a fantastic concept - provide beautiful items for welcome home baskets which could be assembled by our attendees. Along with assembling a basket, each person was able to write encouraging messages and best wishes to the recipients. It was heartwarming to see busy conference attendees stop, pause, and engage with this wonderful idea. Keller Williams purchased all of these items from SFAC, all carefully curated and selected by Stacey. Items included dish towels, breadboards, and other useful and beautiful home items recipients would probably not have been able to purchase themselves. The entire corporate project was thoughtfully put together with thought and heart. Thank you, SFAC!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've ordered several handwoven bracelets from Rwanda as gifts for friends. I just ordered another one for myself. I also order beautiful Namibian baskets. All of the items are so beautiful and unique. And it's a wonderful feeling to know I've supported these talented artisans. I recommend Shopping for a Change to everyone for the Holiday shopping this year!

Avi H.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Shopping for a Change is an amazing organization with a powerful mission and business model. Our goods are unique and high quality, and our customer service is impeccable. SFAC is always my one-stop-shop for gifts for all occasions!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donors to Shopping for a Change since its launch back in 2010. We really believe in their mission, the fact that they help employ and empower artisans around the world--especially women, and love the types of projects they execute each year with the proceeds from their product sales. We also really appreciate the fact that part of their proceeds from sales also stay here in the United States, benefitting nonprofits selected by their customers when they shop.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shopping for a Change DEFINITELY deserves a spot among the best non-profits! This has been my favorite “go-to” for earrings. The selections are unique and beautiful, and each has an inspirational profile of its artisans. I have yet to wear a pair without receiving compliments!

Customer service is excellent, and the mission is both compassionate and empowering for SFAC’s global communities of creative talent.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a fan of Stacey Horowitz, founder, since this organization's inception. She has remained committed to her mission, and determined to make the simple act of shopping a meaningful one. I have purchased many different products from the site, including beautiful coasters, earrings, and necklaces. They are all so unique, and I ALWAYS get compliments when I wear the jewelry. I also enjoy the stories about each of these objects, where they come from and how they are made. I will continue to support Shopping For A Change, definitely my favorite non-profit for purchasing that makes a difference!

Flarissa1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love this organization. They bring beautiful things from around the globe that benefit the actual artisans. It has revolutionized my gift giving. Not only that, their staff is amazing, no black hole, whenever I have a question, etc. there is always a real person to talk to.

Previous Stories

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We love supporting this charity which provides a venue to support women in their entrepreneurial endeavors giving them earnings and assistance within their businesses and benefits the infrastructure of their communities.

This organization empowers women and gives them a platform to sell their high quality artisan goods.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The mission and the many ways they serve have a global impact everyone can participate in.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I ordered a pair of earrings for a trip. I needed jewelry that could dress up for evening receptions and down for casual lunches and dinners. The earrings were perfect. Polished brass that were very high quality in their finish and design. They have become my favorites! The ordering and shipping were fast and easy. Also, I liked being part of making a positive change in people’s lives. There are so many items to choose from, this site has become a favorite for myself and for gifts.

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!