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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shop As You Give: An Interview with Joanne Leone

Joanne Leone is a person of many talents and abilities. She received her BA in Communications and Creative Writing from Chapman University, as well as AAs in Computer Information Management, Office Information Services, and Business Management from Saddleback College.

In the past, Joanne started the first Women’s Committee and was President for several years for McHenry County, Illinois. Joanne was also on, and Chairman for two years, of the McHenry County ‘708’ Tax Board Committee, in charge of distribution of the 708 taxes to nonprofits in McHenry County.

Joanne is also a writer, professional speaker and Master Prosperity Teacher. Her first book, Life is A. B.L.T. (balance, love, trust), has helped many seekers find truth. Recently, Joanne has been using her wonderful gifts and talents to help a great organization called Shop As You Give help nonprofits.

Shelly Rachanow: Tell us more about Shop As You Give.

Joanne Leone: Shop As You Give was a 'divine' idea of my brother's. He is really the entrepreneur's entrepreneur for certain. When he was young and in college he purchased old clunker cars and rented them out to other students for their dates. It probably had the first rental car idea--who knows! He's also had other businesses, the latest of which was the largest barter business in the United States. He was known as the Barter King! The other two partners have been in the computer technology and investment business for many years and bring many talents into the business. I bring my communication, shopping, computer and people skills.

The idea behind Shop As You Give was to 'give back' to people, mainly assist nonprofits in making money without doing any extra work on their part.

The site http://www.shopasyougive.com/ is geared to bring in shoppers in 2 ways. First, a nonprofit who is an affiliate can have a link from their web site to their own specialized store. In this instance, the nonprofit is in a position to even choose any category of product they do not wish to have in their linked store. And, when their supporters check-out, a percentage of the monies goes directly to that particular nonprofit. If a supporter of that nonprofit goes to our store directly, they choose their particular nonprofit from the list of nonprofits at check-out. It is so easy.

Another help to the nonprofits is that we send out two special promo emails to them weekly, for them to forward to their supporters, encouraging their supporters to shop, as well as highlighting different categories of products available. It is entirely up to them if they send one or two of these out a week.

Any person can shop at http://www.shopasyougive.com/ to find fabulous products. They can choose to have a portion of the sales go to a nonprofit or not.

Shelly Rachanow: So many non profits are struggling these days. How can Shop As You Give help?

Joanne Leone: Shop As You Give gives the nonprofits a full 30% of the gross sales, and this amount is paid every month, when the monthly amount accrues to $25 or more. If not, the amount is carried over to the next month. It is more helpful than only getting paid once a year. Also, all the nonprofit has to do is spend about 15 minutes to get the logo link set up, after they sign-up on line. One of our associates helps with this easy process. After that, all the work is done by us:  sending them weekly specials, follow-up, customer service, etc. There is nothing else for them to do but collect the money.

Shelly Rachanow: What makes Shop As You Give different from other programs like it?

Joanne Leone: As mentioned, each nonprofit who signs up to be an affiliate receives a full 30% of the gross profits from what their supporters purchase. This amount is an unheard of amount in the industry; it is usually only about 5%. We are able to do this by being choosy with which vendors we choose, picking fabulous products (including eco and American made), and keeping our prices at or below other on-line stores. It takes a lot of work, but is worth it! Also we have an Advisory Board, made up of nonprofit people, who have guided us in what they believe nonprofits want in their stores.

Shelly Rachanow: How can people or nonprofits who want to get involved do so?

Joanne Leone: If someone would like to join all they have to do is go the home page of http://www.shopasyougive.com/. At the top of the page they will see the "nonprofit resources" category. All they have to do is fill out an Enrollment Form. At the bottom of the form, they can use me, Joanne Leone as the IFA reference, and #89 as my IFA number. After that, all they have to do is go to the "Setting up your Store" category. There is a link to the IT people and directions of 'how and where' to send their logo.

Also, if there are product categories, (for example, fragrances) they do not wish to carry in their store, they can send these along as well and they will be deleted from their nonprofit store. Listed under the 'nonprofit resources' is also a W-9 form to forward so they can legally get paid and a whole list of marketing materials. For instance, there is an example of an introductory memo to send to their supporters telling them about the on-line store and how it will help the nonprofit. Besides this, one of our associates will telephone them to answer any questions and see how they are doing.

Shelly Rachanow: What do you want people to understand most when it comes to making a difference and making our world a better place?

I believe people need to understand we are 'all' just people, and we are all important to the survival and well-being of each other and the planet.

Shelly Rachanow: And last, the 'If Women Ran the World Blog' question for everyone - What would you do if you ran the world?

I would continue to live as I do now and try to be the best example of a loving, compassionate, giving person, living in integrity and Truth, in this big 'ole world. The world will continue to be a more loving, peaceful place if we each do our part. As it has been said by others, it's an inside job, you know!

For more information, visit http://www.shopasyougive.com/.

See also http://www.zippycart.com/ecommerce-news/1606-you-get-they-get-new-ecommerce-solution-pairs-spending-with-giving.html

Shop As You Give is an "accredited" business partner with the Better Business Bureau, and has been given the highest rating available (A-) to new members.

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