As Gloria Steinem put it, "We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs." But in our time-pressed daily lives, it's hard to make conscious choices whenever we go shopping. Even a simple visit to the grocery feels pressured when you're forced to choose between 30 kinds of peanut butter.
The benefit of living today is that your choices for any consumer product or service are nearly limitless. But how do you know that your purchases aren't subsidizing folks like Governor Scott Walker or Glenn Beck down the line? Arianna Huffington's Move Your Money Project helps shine a light on the banking industry and how you can make a difference with where you bank. Are there other ways our money can illustrate our values?
I think we need more information as progressive consumers on where best to spend our money.
Our progressive organizations are fragile -- a couple years ago the ACLU was devastated by the loss of just one major donor. Now Planned Parenthood is being threatened. And we all know what happened to ACORN.
Additionally, the progressive movement needs new and more sources of funding.
Put this all together and you have my new startup -- ShoppingforChange.com. For every purchase you make through ShoppingforChange.com, we give a portion of the sale to hardworking progressive groups across the country. When you click through to our merchants and buy something, the price is the same as if you visited their site directly. Also we'll do the research and inform you about progressive consumer options when doing things like selecting auto insurance, choosing a credit card, or simply buying a book. Or how and why to boycott companies like the M & I Bank and Koch Industries.
The funding crunch is real, and in this recession, worse than ever. Together we can harness the collective buying power of the progressive movement to make a difference. We may not have the deep pockets of the Koch brothers, but our spending can create change if we try.
Follow Laura Packard on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lpackard