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Introducing the Giving Plugin: The Simplest Way to Make the Largest Local Impact

We’ve been raising awareness and funds for children’s hospitals since 1983, when our signature Red Balloon “pin-up” campaign launched in checkout lines across the U.S. We’re proud that what was then a novel concept has now become a key fundraising method for nonprofits large and small.

Now, we’re taking another step forward and extending our mission online with a brand-new tool. Powered by GiveWorx, the Giving Plugin is the first secure e-commerce plugin to collect donations from online shoppers at the point of sale. Like the Red Balloon does for our in-store partners, the Giving Plugin helps online merchants build affinity and strengthen customer relationships by empowering shoppers to support their local children’s hospitals with every online purchase.

But why go online? We’re so glad you asked.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales in the third quarter of last year accounted for nearly 10% of total sales. All indications are that it’ll only go up from there. E-commerce is no longer a differentiator—it’s an expectation. And as our CEO John Lauck explains, companies who once hung their hat on making products available to shoppers online are now jockeying for new ways to stand out in the increasingly crowded space:

“Connecting online shopping to the needs of children in customers’ communities deepens customer relationships, builds affinity and encourages repeat business, lending local appeal to e-commerce businesses across North America.” —John Lauck

How can a Plugin accomplish all this? Here’s what you need to know:

Simple to Integrate, at No Cost to Businesses

We believe it should be easy to do the right thing. That’s why the Giving Plugin is simple to start, seamless to use and effortless to maintain. The proof is in the name itself: Just plug it into any existing e-commerce website. Then, after a customer completes an online purchase, a window will appear asking if they’d like to make a donation to their local children’s hospital. They then select an amount and the donation will be securely routed straight to the hospital, at no cost to the merchant. Plus, the Giving Plugin maintains industry-leading PCI-DSS compliance to ensure that all sensitive customer data is safe.

Close to Home for Customers Anywhere

The way most shoppers see it, if a purchase comes in a package dropped in a mailbox—it came from somewhere far away. The way we see it, that doesn’t have to be the case. The Giving Plugin uses geolocation technology to identify each customer’s local children’s hospital, then personalizes the donation window with its name. A name the customer recognizes. Likely a place they’ve driven by on many occasions, or even gone inside. So suddenly, that customer can connect the experience of shopping on that site with the feeling of giving back to support children right in their hometown.

Immeasurable Impact

There’s a reason they call it “making a difference.” People—and companies—who throw their support behind charitable causes do so because they want to have an impact. And now, with the Giving Plugin, it’s possible to make a difference in communities far and wide with just one cause. Donations raised through the Giving Plugin benefit a network of over 170 children’s hospitals across North America. Together, these hospitals treat more than 10 million children every year—touching the lives of countless parents, teachers, neighbors, friends, and customers in the process.

Like our Red Balloons, the Giving Plugin is more than a corporate social responsibility program. It’s an opportunity to make every purchase that touches it mean something more.

A laptop is not just a birthday present. It’s a chance to help new parents sleep a little more soundly following their newborn daughter’s heart and lung transplant.

A toaster oven is not just a kitchen upgrade. It’s a token of support for a pair of brothers receiving treatment in a pediatric burn and trauma unit.

A pair of loafers is not just something to wear to walk to the office. It’s a small vote of confidence in a program that, right now, is working to help children born with Spina Bifida one day do the same.

And all it takes from you is a phone call and a few lines of code on your e-commerce site.

To learn more about how your business can make a difference with the Giving Plugin, visit us here.