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Online Shopping for the Global Community

What if your shopping choices could change lives? What if you could then track the impact you have in real time? Weaving philanthropy into our everyday purchases, i=Change represents one of the most powerful opportunities to create new funding streams and positively impact underserved communities around the world through online consumer behaviour. Partnering with some of the biggest brands who are committed to creating long term social and environmental impacts, i=Change is a powerful online platform that empowers shoppers with the choice to determine where a portion of their sale goes. Online retailers also stand to reap the marketing benefits from engaging their customers with every sale. What begun as an experiment on the online store of the family’s olive oil business has now raised over $176,000. We speak with Jeremy Meltzer, Founder of i=Change to learn more about the impact they are having on the ground.

We had the pleasure of hearing from Jeremy Meltzer, Founder of i=Change about the impact they are having on the ground.

Why did you become a B Corp?

To become a B Corp made complete sense to us. i=Change exists to ‘give back’ as a fund-raising ecosystem for e-commerce. To be fully CSR compliant, ensures we can proudly communicate our credentials to the marketplace with confidence.

What does it mean to you to be a B Corp?

To be part of an exciting, fast-growing community of businesses, seeking to re-imagine and implement how business can become a ‘force for good’. 

It’s interesting… As consumers, we often have a combative, distrusting relationship with brands. Can this be replaced with trust - or even love - for the businesses we buy from? I believe B Corp goes a long way toward helping us as consumers shift our perception of business - from profit at any cost - to a model that’s far more attractive and enduring for all stakeholders.

How did i=Change begin?

As a simple idea at 3am one morning… How about brands commit a small donation from every sale, and after checking out online, their customers get to choose where it goes via a platform that pops up post-sale. 

I also believed cause-marketing could be done so much better. Seeing businesses try to communicate that they care, when it was clear their primary intention was marketing, was troubling. What if we could help brands do this with complete transparency, commitment and authenticity? This was the idea.

To test, we added an initial (clunky) version of the i=Change Platform to Yellingbo - our family’s olive oil site. Results were exciting. Sales increased over 6%. Social media flowed.

I wondered if this could be built into an independent solution for online retailers, so they could give back as well, and reap the benefits of doing so? I knew the majority of consumers - over 77% - want to buy from brands that give back. We just had to build a simple, plug-&-play cause marketing solution. Simple, right? This began a long journey to where we are today…

How do you choose the charities that you donate to?

We’re completely committed to the empowerment of women and girls. I recently returned from Rwanda, and was blown away to see how women and girls have re-built their nation after the Rwandan genocide. For example, there are now more women in the Rwandan parliament than any other nation on earth.

We do support other projects. Although, when as donors we invest in women and girls, their entire communities benefit. This has been proven over and over again. There’s simply a higher social return on the donor dollar.

Women and girls have been held back for centuries. Along with other exciting initiatives, like Chime for Change, we plan to play a very active role in channeling the new fundraising stream we’re creating into helping build a more equitable world.

How is i=Change impacting the communities you donate to on the ground?

I believe very directly. We partner with few organizations and focus on those doing extraordinary work in their fields of development. We’re committed to these organizations long-term, as they are to the communities they serve.

For example, I’m a big fan of Adara Development. The funds we’ve donated to Adara directly help prevent girls being trafficked in Nepal. We donate 100% of funds raised, (as does Adara), and know they use this to make the greatest impact possible.

How do you hope to continue to be a socially and environmentally conscious business?

Well, of course, we plan to remain a B Corp. (We’re just going through the process now of renewing our B Corp certification)!

We’re also planning to develop our own methodology around which NGO’s we fund and why? We hope in time i=Change can become a ‘gold standard’ for retailers to give back. As we’ve already proven with Nine West and others, i=Change drives significant marketing advantages, while offering them full transparency to build deep trust and credibility with their customers.

The value this brings to brands is enormous – for their customers to know their purchase has made a difference and be able to track the impact! This - we believe - is business as it should be.

Check out the amazing work i=Change are doing here

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