ShoppingGives Nabs Funding From Serena Williams VC Firm

By Thomas Price Friday, December 25, 2020

As 2020 comes to an end, holiday shopping has been mostly taking place online. However, during this shopping, consumers have been paying far more attention to the ethics of a company than ever before. The desire to properly spend money on companies that have a conscience, so to speak, has become a much larger concern for shoppers in recent years than perhaps ever before. As a result, many companies have been trying to make a larger effort to improve ethics in the business through charitable support or other ventures. Chicago-based startup ShoppingGives is making that easier for retail businesses through the integration of nonprofit donations right into an online purchase. So, how exactly does ShoppingGives work, and why has Serena Williams’s venture capital firm backed them?

What Is ShoppingGives?

ShoppingGives is a startup that helps businesses integrate charitable donations right into a retail purchase. Businesses participating with ShoppingGives, will have widgets and an integrated platform that will pair shoppers with over 1.5 million different nonprofits of their choice.

When a shopper makes a purchase, they will be able to select any one of the offered nonprofits, and the business will then make a small donation to the selected one. Once the purchase has been processed, it will cost the consumer no extra money, and the donation will be placed by the business itself.

The benefit for the business comes from the donation data it then receives from the consumer. By seeing which nonprofits have been chosen by each individual shopper, the company can then create better, more tailored marketing toward them, boosting engagement.

On top of this is building the perception of strong ethics in the company as well. By giving the consumer a choice of nonprofit as well as showing the company’s philanthropic efforts, they build consumer trust. ShoppingGives also offers a variety of features to businesses who partner with them, including native integration, data and business insights, Return on Donation Spend, fully managed donations, impact-driven personalization, and integrations with current CSR partnerships.

Beyond this, ShoppingGives is also growing. In fact, the startup is already recommended by Shopify and is a current partner with the PayPal giving fund. As a result, many major companies have already begun using ShoppingGives on their own online shops, including Kenneth Cole, the Blind Barber, Neighborhood Goods, Highline Wellness, Solstice Sunglasses, Tomboyx, Fresh Clean Tees, and Natori, among others. Due to these many different companies, ShoppingGives has already facilitated donations to over 6,000 different nonprofit organizations, all chosen specifically by the shoppers. The clear interest in this has resulted in strong funding and even the attention of tennis star, Serena Williams.

ShoppingGives and Serena Ventures

ShoppingGives’ effectiveness and facilitating donations to so many nonprofits has interested Serena Williams into investing in a seed round through her own venture capital (VC) firm, Serena Ventures. The amount invested in ShoppingGives remains undisclosed. To date, Serena Ventures has invested in over 30 different startups, which all share similar values of diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity, and opportunity. This, of course, now shows that ShoppingGives reflects those same ideals in their work to Serena Williams.

In a prepared statement on the matter, Williams said, “ShoppingGives aligned with my values of investing in businesses and entrepreneurs who are making a difference. By creating opportunities to grow social impact with a seamless approach for retailers and brands, ShoppingGives is charting the course for all businesses to stand forth as agents of change in our society.”

Not including the amount Serena Ventures has invested, ShoppingGives has currently raised $8.2 million in total funding, with expectations for more to come as the startup grows.

Final Conclusions

ShoppingGives allows for a series of major developments to happen through the integration of their product. First and foremost, it provides a platform for businesses to donate to nonprofit organizations that most clearly reflect their customers’ beliefs and values. Beyond that, it allows customers to support causes they care about while they shop. Finally, it gives an ethical standard for these businesses that is clear with every single purchase made and dictated by the shoppers who use them the most. Especially with attention from Serena Williams, ShoppingGives looks set to see continued growth in the near future.

About the Author

Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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