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Spend for both commodities and causes with social impact app Beam

Lulu Chang
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Spending for a commodity doesn’t mean you can’t also spend for a cause. And now, it’s easier than ever to spend for both simultaneously thanks to social impact app Beam. On Wednesday, November 15, the app officially moved out of its beta phase and into the public domain, making its debut as the “first social impact app to turn everyday retail experiences into opportunities for social good.”

Beam seeks to empower users to donate not only their own money, but that of corporations as well. The app shows users partnered retailers in the area (like Dig Inn, Think Coffee, and Pinkberry in New York) supporting relevant causes from education to sustainability to public policy. Every time you visit one of these retailers, you can select an associated nonprofit, and have the company donate directly to that cause.

“We’re living in a very uncertain time, and there’s a huge demand, especially among young people, for more accessible ways to make a tangible difference, and create positive social change,” Beam co-founder Viveka Hulyalkar said​. “By turning routine purchases into a free way for users to impact issues they care about, Beam makes every day more meaningful and rewards brands that give back.”

By leveraging Foursquare’s Pilgrim SDK, Beam sends its users push notifications whenever they pay a visit to a partner brand’s store. Once this notification is opened, users will see four retailer-supported nonprofits, and have the opportunity to select the one that most resonates with them. The partner brand will then make a small donation (somewhere between 5 and 25 cents) to the selected nonprofit. And of course, the more you visit a store, the more of an impact you’ll be able to make.

Supported charities currently include Days for Girls, Hudson Guild, Chef’s Collaborative, Family Farm Disaster Fund (supporting farmers displaced by Hurricane Harvey), and International Rescue Committee (providing resources for refugees), though this list is expected to grow (as are partner retailers). While Beam is only available for iOS for the time being, we imagine that you’ll soon be able to find the social impact app on Android as well. You can download Beam for free from the App Store today.

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