SOURCE: SocialVest

SocialVest

September 21, 2010 07:00 ET

SocialVest Intros Innovative Cause-Based Shopping Platform

Registered Non-Profit Organizations Benefit When Consumers Shop With Favorite Retailers

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - September 21, 2010) -  SocialVest today announced the unrestricted beta of its robust online and in-store shopping platform that makes it easy for consumers to support their favorite non-profit organizations (NPO). The free service works by rewarding users with cash back for purchases from over 500 top retailers including Target, Macy's, Home Depot, Best Buy, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales. Money earned by SocialVest users can be donated to over one million registered non-profits, and donations are tax deductible. Consumers can sign up at now at www.socialvest.us.

Also today, SocialVest announced it has already raised around $500,000 from angel investors and other resources and is in the process of completing another financing round. The funds will be used to develop the SocialVest platform and partnerships, and to drive market awareness and additional retailer engagement. SocialVest plans to maximize users' charitable impact by leveraging social networks and corporate integrations to multiply total donation values. Already, SocialVest has partnered with Causes, the largest online cause community co-founded by Joe Green and Sean Parker that "provides tools for people to mobilize their friends for collective action, spread the word to friends of friends and acquaintances, and eventually launch movements that span local communities or even the globe." SocialVest will be the exclusive registered credit card shopping partner for Causes and will benefit from their large base of active monthly cause-minded members.

Using SocialVest is easy. Consumers simply sign-up at the SocialVest website and begin shopping at its online mall or at physical stores with whom SocialVest has partnered. To make online shopping ultra-simple, a SocialVest toolbar (http://bit.ly/d8cvdU) is also available. SocialVest then provides users with a cash rebate ranging from 1% to 15% of qualifying purchase prices. Funds are accrued in users' SocialVest accounts, and can be easily pledged to any non-profit at no extra cost to the consumer. SocialVest is a social enterprise that earns money primarily through collecting fees for connecting companies with cause-conscious customers.

According to research developed by marketing agency Cone, 83% of consumers have said they are willing to modify their purchasing habits if it would help make the world a better place. The research also confirms that social media drives brand imaging and improves sales. And research respondents identified peer recommendations and authentic corporate social responsibility as top motivating factors when purchasing. Consumers were particulary mindful of social responsibility around the holiday shopping season, as online conversations concerning "shopping for good" and "shopping to give back" skyrocketed from the previous year, per Cone research.

"Our goal is to create a platform that aligns consumer purchasing with the needs of non-profits," said Adam Ross, founder and CEO for SocialVest. "Having personally worked with several non-profits, I realized there was an opportunity to leverage consumer shopping power, social networking and corporate interest in enhancing customer loyalty, to fundamentally change the charitable donations paradigm. SocialVest makes it easy and convenient to invest in social good by empowering consumers with the tools they need to financially support their cause-based interests."

About SocialVest

SocialVest is the fastest-growing cause-based online and offline shopping platform benefiting worthy non-profit organizations. With over 500 top retailers to choose from, U.S. shoppers earn money that accrues in their Giving Account and can be donated to any combination of registered non-profit (approx. 1.5 million) at any time at no additional cost to the consumer. SocialVest users earn money through www.socialvest.us, shopping with participating retailers in-store or through the SocialVest toolbar, and may leverage their cause interests through a variety of social networking elements. SocialVest offers an opportunity to turn everyday shopping into extraordinary change by creating an easy fundraising channel for important causes close to home and around the world. SocialVest is a privately funded social enterprise founded by social entrepreneur Adam Ross. For more information, visit http://www.socialvest.us

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