Social Startups: PopNod Connects Your Spring Shopping with a Cause



After being pent up during the long, cold winter in most of the United States, consumers are ready to get out and shop. According to NRF’s Easter Spending Survey, the average American celebrating the holiday will spend an average of $ 137.46 on apparel, food, candy, and gifts.

But if you’re not celebrating Easter, you’re probably shopping to refresh your wardrobe after giving your closet a good spring cleaning, especially if you’re rejoicing over a nice, big tax refund. Either way, springtime brings a feeling of renewal and new beginnings. So what better time is there to breathe new life into your charitable giving than while you shop for stuffed animal bunnies or spring clothes?

Whether it’s chocolate eggs or floral sundresses, the NRF survey also found that many will use smartphones or tablets to check off their Easter shopping list. And the crowdfunding startup PopNod puts all these eggs into one basket. It gives access to nearly 300 popular stores online, including big brands like Nordstrom and Best Buy as well as small boutiques. Plus it gives you a chance to turn cash back savings (typically from 1 to 10 percent) into donations to 100 charitable organizations. Another egg you can add to the basket is if you invite your friends to PopNod, you can earn 10 percent of their cashbacks forever. And there is no limit to how much you can earn.

Once you sign up on the site, select a store, start shopping, and PopNod will reward you with cash back. You can then donate all or a portion of your cash back rewards to a cause of your choice.

Image“When I married my husband, we decided to make donations to the American Diabetes Association and American Cancer Society in lieu of wedding favors,” says PopNod founder and CEO Stephanie David. “Since then, we would look for ways to integrate giving seamlessly into our everyday lives. We found that there was no platform out there that truly satisfied this need. Why can’t giving be a way of life and combined with something people already do, like shopping?”

While PopNod gives the freedom of choice to shoppers—from shopping at any store to supporting any cause and donating any amount—it drives repeat giving for nonprofits and organizations.

“Fundraising can be very costly and time consuming for organizations, so we strive to put the fun and simplicity back into it,” says David, who founded PopNod last spring. “We especially enjoy working with nonprofits and organizations that are smaller, and don’t necessarily have the infrastructure or reach as the larger, more high-profile organizations. We help those organizations get their names out more broadly by allowing them to tell their story through PopNod and having our members learn more about their causes.”

PopNod includes charitable organizations that are 501(c)(3) nonprofits or whose fundraising efforts are largely focused on individual donations. This may also include educational institutions, PTAs/PTOs, and church groups. The organizations must be in good standing and do not support any negative behaviors. Image

“We plan to reach out to businesses and gauge their interest in piloting PopNod for their employee giving programs,” David shares as a Social Media Today sneak peek exclusive. “We would love to talk with businesses to help them execute effective programs that provide employees increased giving options. We believe that offering employees the power of choice—to integrate giving into something they already do and to enable them to donate when the time is best for them—will result in repeated giving, more engaged employees, better attraction and retention of talent, and a happier workplace.”

David’s PopNod inspiration also comes from the 2011 TED Talk, “How to Buy Happiness,” where Harvard Business School Professor Michael Norton revealed that money can indeed buy happiness—when you don’t spend it on yourself. So whose lives will you change today while you get your Easter shopping done? Perhaps this YouTube video on PopNod will inspire you to connect your spring shopping with a cause.

“We are happy to hear suggestions for stores and causes that people would like to see on PopNod. We encourage people to contact us with their feedback or suggest their favorite cause.”  

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