New eCommerce Fundraising Program Triples Nonprofits' Earning Power

Jun 07, 2010, 11:34 ET from

CHICAGO, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- In the post-recession, nonprofit world, donations are down, demand for services is up, and NPOs everywhere are avidly searching for new, more powerful fundraising vehicles.

Enter, a new twist on ecommerce fundraising that—according to co-founders Jack Schacht and Jim Novak—pays nonprofit partners 3-4 times more commissions than traditional affiliate marketing programs.

Sure, there are already dozens of online malls that offer commissions to member NPOs. But these programs, by their own admission, deliver an average of just 3% of gross sales. (Don't let their "they pay up to 30% commissions" claim mislead you. The reality is, only very few retailers in such programs pay at the highest levels.)

"The affiliate marketing model only takes you so far," says Schacht, Managing Partner, who built the largest independent U.S. barter exchange in the 1980s. "We conducted research, then collaborated with nonprofit professionals to develop an original business model."

Instead of basing commissions on gross sales, Shop As You Give bases commissions on gross profits. A full 30% of gross profits, to be exact. The company, which cut aggressive deals with more than 100 top manufacturers, employs a 50%-60% retail markup. NPO partners share 30% of that markup. Do the math, and it translates to 10-12% of gross sales, as opposed to the standard 3%.

"Our nonprofit partners can request an additional donation at check-out, a benefit other programs can't duplicate," notes Leticia Villalon-Soler, who chairs the firm's Nonprofit Advisory Board and is a professional fundraiser at a major university in the Northeast. "This can make a significant difference in earnings."

And that's just for starters. In addition, with Shop As You Give:

  • Each nonprofit can essentially create their own online store, by branding its web pages with its own logo.
  • NPOs can easily eliminate categories or sub-categories of products that conflict with their mission.
  • While the store is stocked with thousands of products—including apparel, jewelry, electronic, and pet supplies—there's a special emphasis on natural, organic, and eco-friendly products, as well as items that are American made.  
  • Prices are competitive. Shop As You Give developed proprietary software that allows it to regularly compare its prices to those of other online retailers.
  • Participating NPOs will receive ongoing promotions and discounts, which make it easy to publicize the program.  

To participate in the program, nonprofits must be licensed 501(c) organizations. The form is posted on

In the process of launching a 60-day Beta Test, the firm is enlisting the aid of 500 NPO test partners. Participating nonprofits will receive an extra 20% commission—for a total of 50% of gross profits—during the test period.

Nonprofits interested in learning more about Shop As You Give or participating in the Beta Test program can email for more information.