As we gear up to buy Uncle John his favorite tie or Aunt Cheryl her favorite sweater this holiday season, the U.S. economy will get a $717 billion injection in consumer spending. Many of us will simply click a few buttons on our desktop or tablet and have a person from UPS or Federal Express deliver our package to the front door. In fact, last year 78% of Americans researched what they wanted to buy on the internet and 40% purchased their holiday gift online.

For those of us who clicked our way to purchasing a holiday gift, we contributed $101.9 billion to the economy.

Online purchases, especially during the holidays, have seen massive growth over recent years. And now, new technology available has introduced ways to expand the online shopper’s experience by allowing consumers to make charitable donations to their favorite causes while they shop.  Imagine our favorite stores like Target, Walmart, J Crew or Apple deciding to empower us to give to our favorite charity at no cost to us.

Thanks to visionary minds and excellent coders we are at the cusp of this game-changing revolution whereby every purchase online in the U.S. and around the world can become a charitable event. Imagine the impact on girls education in Pakistan or Syrian refugees if just 1% of the total global e-commerce of $1.67 trillion was a click away from reality.

This is why I was inspired to create the Sparo app – I saw an opportunity to allow all merchants to do good (and while they are doing good get a tax break and lower their cart abandonment rate), and for all online shoppers to affect positive change and provide charities and causes with the resources to do the good work that they do day in day out.

For example, Cheryl lives in Maryland but loves the Asian motifs sold by Citron Clothing based in California. She goes to www.citronclothing.com and shops for that favorite blouse, goes to checkout to pay the $200, and selects the Maryland Food Bank as her favorite charity. Since Citron Clothing has decided to give back 10% of each purchase to its’ shoppers selected charity, the Maryland Food Bank gets $20. Everyone wins: Citron gets a sale, Aunt Cheryl finds her blouse and the Maryland Food Bank now has $20 to help feed a family in Baltimore.

Through this new technology that marries e-commerce and charity, and through our hundreds of charity partners around the globe, as well as our merchants, online shoppers this holiday season now have the opportunity to purchase a holiday gift and chose the charity of their choice to make a donation – for free.

So as you start booting your computer, browsing the website of your favorite brand and select that gift for your loved one, remember that one more click and you can extend that love to someone right around the corner from you or to someone across the globe.

Rob Sobhani headshotBy Rob Sobhani, Ph.D, the Founder and CEO of Sparo

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