SwipeGood: Social Change Through Little Change at All

Too many people around the world are suffering because they’re not getting the help they need. And donations to worthy causes suffer from the high costs of marketing, donor fatigue, and successive emergencies as we saw with Pakistan’s floods following the quake in Haiti. That’s why I’m excited about SwipeGood.


The need to scale positive social change is immediate and pressing. Too many men, women and children around the world are suffering, often needlessly, because they’re not getting the help they need. At the other end of the prosperity equation, donations to worthy causes suffer from the high costs of marketing, donor fatigue and successive emergencies as we saw with the tragic floods in Pakistan directly after the terrible earthquake in Haiti. That’s why I’m so excited about cause platforms such as SwipeGood.


The way SwipeGood works is simple. You just sign up your credit card, round up your purchases, and donate the change to charity. This model is powerful for several reasons:

1. It enlists the everyday wants and needs of people in the service of positive change and therefore makes change sustainable.

2. People aren’t expected to change their behavior or desires eliminating the need to make people to do something different.

3. There’s very little a consumer has to do once they have signed up which overcomes the issue of apathy, waning interest and a lack of time or motivation to help.

4. The billions of credit card transactions that take place every day have the potential to dramatically scale contributions to change.

5. The choice of charities allow people to personalize their contribution.


6. The integration of purpose into self-interested behavior allows consumers to feel good about themselves and their contribution.

Through a combination of these six factors, SwipeGood does away with the false separation between living and giving which does not serve an intimately connected global community facing so many global crises.

Yet the integration of profit and purpose through corporate social responsibility efforts, cause marketing, and employee volunteering, and the application of technologies such as Causecast, SocialVibe, SwipeGood or SocialVest, hint at what we can achieve when we work collectively to drive change.

The incremental damage done to the lives of others and the planet can equally serve their rehabilitation given the necessary technology and willpower to do so. All these companies are making that possibility a reality and they deserve our wholehearted support.

Do you believe profit and purpose needs further integration if we are to achieve meaningful social change? Or do you believe selfish motives will ensure we always fall short?

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Simon Mainwaring is a branding consultant, advertising creative director, blogger, and speaker. A former Nike creative at Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, and worldwide creative director for Motorola at Ogilvy, he now consults for brands and creative companies that are re-inventing their industries and enabling positive change. Follow him at or on Twitter @SimonMainwaring.

About the author

Simon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, the leading social branding firm that provides consulting and training to help companies use social media to build their brand reputation, profits and social impact. Simon is a member of the Sustainable Brands Advisory Board, the Advisory Board of the Center for Public Diplomacy at the USC Annenberg School, the Transformational Leadership Council and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London