Two Services Help Causes, Companies Raise More Online

07/05/2011 06:05 pm ET | Updated Sep 04, 2011

I've made it my mission of late to find good online cause marketing options for small companies and causes.

Thanks to attending the Cause Marketing Forum Conference two weeks ago, I've found two more. I'm a little embarrassed that I'm just learning of MissionFish and Benevity. But better late than never, right?

MissionFish, which was just acquired by eBay in May, has a tagline that says it all: "The way to fundraise on eBay."

There are several ways to use MissionFish within eBay. Nonprofits can sell in-kind items online and collect the money. eBay users can also make a donation directly to the nonprofit via PayPal. Finally, eBay sellers can list any item for sale and have a portion or percentage donated to a nonprofit.

MissionFish's offerings are great to promote to staff, volunteers and donors. They can sell items on eBay and your nonprofit will benefit!

The best thing about MissionFish, of course, is that it has the backing of 95 million eBay users around the world. You have an instant audience of engaged buyers! That's powerful. MissionFish is a good addition to the cause marketing toolbox.

MissionFish is also cause marketing approved. MissionFish and eBay have won not one but two Cause Marketing Halo Awards. And with good reason. eBay users have raised more than $230 million with MissionFish.

But what if a company didn't want to support a cause on the eBay/MissionFish platform? What if they want to support good causes directly from their own online shopping site?

That's when you call Benevity.
  • Using Benevity, any retailer can turn their online shopping site into a charitable giving machine. A portion or percentage can be donated to good causes, or shoppers can add a donation at checkout, if they choose.
  • Benevity has lots of flexibility and options for partners. They can offer real-time matching offers and charitable gift cards to motivate consumers to give, among other things. Benevity also allows shoppers to choose their cause from 750,000 charities in the United States and 85,000 in Canada.
Online photography provider iStockphoto is using Benevity-powered platform on their site. Certain purchases on the site trigger a donation from iStockphoto.

According to Benevity, the next step for iStockphoto is to allow photographers to differentiate their imagery by whether it gives back, enabling a portion of the purchase price or royalties to be directed to charities chosen by buyers and sellers. This is ideal. The company donates when consumers buy credit packages, but individual users can leverage the platform to support causes they care about.

The best thing about MissionFish and Benevity is that both services work well with companies of all sizes. The web has been a great boon to small businesses. Now MissionFish and Benevity have turned that boon into rewards for the causes businesses love.