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I gave to charity yesterday while I was shopping with my sister and daughter. Later in the day, my sister and I went out on the town and I gave to charity while she and I looked at the sunset and sipped wine.

And the best part of all my do-gooding is that it didn’t cost me a dime.

I used an app – CauseWorld – on my Android phone that lets me check in with nearby shops and restaurants in the name of my favorite charity. I let the app locate me, then touch a nearby merchant on my phone’s screen. I don’t even have to set a foot in the shop or restaurant. Being nearby is good enough. And I accrue Karma points every time I do this. This location data about potential customers is valuable to marketers so in exchange for my “check in” banks and other big businesses give to a charity in my name. All I’m doing is leveraging the customer data they want about me into Karma points. If I accrue enough Karma points, I can donate to Haiti or abused animals or whatever I feel needs a little help today.

And with the slight attention I paid to the app yesterday, I was able to give to three causes. Pretty cool. If I really got into it, I could really rack up the Karma points by scanning goods while I’m actually in the grocery store.

If you have an iPhone or Android phone, you can get in on the giving action too. Just look for the CauseWorld app in the iTunes store or Android Market. It’s free.

2 thoughts on “Shop for a Cause”

  1. Sounds like a very generous app. Do you know how much they donate in your name? I’m leaving for Haiti soon to donate my time.

  2. Wouldn’t that give really skewed results, if you’re not even going into the stores etc? If only people with Android/iPhones can “check in”? Seems like the companies would be paying for relatively low-value information…

    Love that it gives to charity, though!

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