Good shopping: 6 apps that help buyers give back

Charitable apps are making it easier to effect change with spending power

Shopping is so much more rewarding when you know your hard-earned funds are going to a good place. Credit: Sids 1

Shopping is so much more rewarding when you know your hard-earned funds are going to a good place. Credit: Sids 1

When it comes to technology improving the consumer experience, there is no shortage of smartphone apps to help us scout sales and compare prices when we shop. And while the value of these deal-finders can’t be denied, a new class of more altruistic retail apps is emerging, taking a cue from the age-old mantra, “‘Tis better to give than to receive.”

Whether creating new platforms to educate consumers about which causes we support with purchases, or matching social media mentions with donations, these charitable apps are making it easier than ever for us to effect change with our spending power.

GoodGuide — “Together we can change the world.” 

Start any spree armed with GoodGuide — the app that allows you to scan more than 145,000 products — and see how they rank in terms of health, social and environmental impact. Each product is scored by a comprehensive team of experts on a scale of 0-10, with a detailed breakdown of the reasons behind the ranking. You can customize results by selecting issues you care most about like animal welfare or climate change.

Buycott — “Buycott helps you to organize your everyday consumer spending so that it reflects your principles.”

Buycott helps consumers spend their money on products that support issues they believe in and avoid giving funds to those that don’t. Users create campaigns and group companies within causes, which range from demanding GMO labeling to protecting bees. With the scan of a barcode, you learn how a product aligns with campaigns you have joined, and “buycott” or boycott accordingly.

OpenLabel (in beta) — “Share product knowledge with millions of consumers. Free.”

OpenLabel gives consumers the power to educate one another. Scan any barcode to find out what people are saying about a product, and filter reviews to show only ones from organizations and people that you trust. The app plans to create radical transparency in the marketplace with a massive crowd-sourced database and help consumers effect change with the trillions of dollars we collectively spend each year.

Donate a Photo — “You take a photo, we make it a way to do good.”

All these feel-good shopping memories­ — don’t forget to document them. Snap a pic to remember your retail excursion and share it on Johnson & Johnson’s Donate a Photo. You can share one photo a day, and each time you do, Johnson & Johnson donates $1 to a cause of your choice. That’s a reason to get snap happy if ever there was one!

Check-in for Good — “’Check-in at the places you love, raise money for the causes you care about.”

Keep the donations flowing. Check-in for Good gives you the opportunity to get discounts, rack up donations and shop at retailers that support causes you believe in. With a check-in at a participating store, buyers receive a discount on their purchase and the participating business makes a small donation to the cause or organization of their choosing. Retailers get the benefits of social media buzz and new customers who share the same core values as their business.

MOGL— “Fighting hunger with hunger”

A day of shopping is sure to work up your appetite. Keep the good deeds going with a trip to a restaurant that is on MOGL, the app that helps you feed others every time you feed yourself. MOGL give you a percentage of cash back after dining at participating restaurants and lets you choose how much to donate to a food bank in your city, helping pay for the transport and storage required to get food to those who need it most.

No buyer’s remorse here! Shopping is so much more rewarding when you know your hard-earned funds are going to a good place. Next time you go on a spree, take these apps with you, and remember just how lucky we are to have the resources and technology to help others as we help ourselves.

Greta Braddock
Greta Braddock brings years of fashion industry experience, including product design, trend forecasting and inventory management to her role as a writer for Tech Page One. Her work has been featured on
Greta Braddock
Greta Braddock
Tags: Industries,Retail