A social enterprise that taps into the hidden world of online sales referrals allows us to give to charity without opening our wallets Through TheGivingMachine, charities that might otherwise directly ask for money are asking people for a small change in their online behaviour. Photograph: Alamy
Would you donate more to charity if it wasn’t coming out of your pocket? Thanks to the combination of several technologies and services, this is now possible through the social enterprise TheGivingMachine.
Every year, online shops pay hundreds of millions of pounds to other websites for sales referrals. This is a hidden pool of money to which we have all added by clicking on a link, buying a product and as a result unknowingly created a sales commission for someone else. TheGivingMachine taps into this established technique called affiliate marketing and enables you to generate a sales commission from buying what you were already going to buy from hundreds of the best known online shops. 75% of these commissions are then converted into free donations to the charities and schools you choose, with the remainder providing the income needed to operate the website and distribute the many donation payments every month.