FAB (Frequently asked Beam)

What is Beam?

Beam is a social impact tech company that enables you to turn your spending power at mission-led brands into direct funding for high-impact nonprofits.

We’re curating a community of hundreds of the most socially responsible brands around- from apparel, to undies, to skincare, to cleaning supplies, to food delivery - where you can make stuff you need to buy anyway fund causes that matter to you. 

There are two ways to use Beam: the first is via our integration when you’re checking out as usual. In cart, you’ll get the ability to choose a vetted nonprofit from a set curated to reflect what the brand stands for and how they operate. The brand donates ~1% there for you, at no extra cost. You can track exactly how your $ is going towards impact you can see, like 2 hours of free therapy for LGBTQ+ teens, and how that adds up to big impact across all of us (e.g., funding 20,000 hours of free therapy).

The second way to use Beam is via our iOS and Android app, which lets you explore our crew of mission-driven brands *actually* walking-the-walk for causes you believe in–not just turning their logo rainbow for Pride. You can filter by stuff you need to buy and/or causes that matter to you, see a preview of the entire community’s impact + learn more about the brand’s operating practices, and shop directly. It also lets you track the impact you’re making across *all* of your everyday spending and recommends places to keep turning more of the spending you’re doing anyway into funding for the same issues. 

Beam is a female-founded company recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30 for Social Impact.

What is Beam’s mission?

We’re on a mission to shift $10B from brands to high-impact nonprofits and increase every person’s perception of their power to make an impact in their everyday lives.

So many of us feel powerless. We’ve heard from thousands of young people, “I vote, I donate, but I never feel like I’m doing enough.” But the thing is, there is a type of power we do use every day–our spending power.

When Beamers use their spending power at mission-driven brands in our community, we’re not just shifting massive amounts of capital to nonprofits–we’re also helping brands who walk-to-the-walk win. The more people that use Beam, the stronger we get in our ability to decide which brands win and lose based on their impact (or lack thereof). At scale, by holding brands accountable to act in ways that reflect our values, we can shift the private sector in the direction of progress–and that matters in a world where the private sector is responsible for 70% of global emissions and so much more. 

What nonprofits do you work with?

Beam curates a list of nonprofits from both our existing network and new nonprofits that align with the mission, values, and product of our brand partners.

Every organization we support is a registered 501c3 nonprofit (or the equivalent if based outside the US) that has been vetted by trusted third parties like CharityNavigator, Guidestar, and local government recommendations. This means that they’ve achieved the gold-standard in impact and transparency, with at least 70 cents on every dollar donated going directly to programming vs. overhead and more.

How do the nonprofits get the money?

Every time you choose a nonprofit, your choice is recorded in our backend, and the progress bar tracking collective progress towards the nonprofit’s goal gets closer to 100%.

Donations are then made in aggregate on a quarterly basis to PayPal Giving Fund, an
IRS-registered public charity, which then grants the donated funds to your nonprofit
partners, subject to its policies. This is easier for nonprofits to manage than getting a
tonne of smaller grants, and the entire 1% donation goes to nonprofit partners (we
never take a cut).

Where do these goals come from? 

These goals are supplied by our nonprofit partners as representations of what they could fund with donations of various sizes. When a goal is hit, the progress bar resets and we can work to that goal again!

What brands do we work with?

We only work with brands that are consistent with our values (see below), and we make sure Beam brands are walking-the-walk beyond just how they donate.  Today, we have hundreds of partners across Apparel, Beauty, Home, Health and Wellness, Food and Beverage, Petcare and more.

We work with two types of brands: the first is brands that are already leaders in impact, using trusted certifications like B-Corp, 1% for the Planet, Climate Neutral, Plastic Neutral, and Leaping Bunny, and more to identify brands walking-the-walk. We also love to help brands start on their impact journey that are just starting out, and we conduct an extensive media audit and speak directly with brands about their business practices, values, and commitment to impact within and outside of their company if they’re at the beginning of their impact journey. 

Why do brands do this?

The brands we partner with believe in these causes and think that giving back to things their customers care about, too, is the best way to build long-term relationships.

We’ve seen that Beamers shift more of their dollars to brands in our network, buying more of what they need with brands on Beam over less socially responsible options when they see how their dollars are funding meaningful outcomes. This proves that all brands should give back–not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it helps brands grow in a sustainable way.

How is Beam Free?

Our founders made Beam because they realize a lot of us want to make a difference every day, and we have to buy stuff all the time.

With that, most of us (91%!) would prefer to spend our money with brands that are *actually* mission-driven (directly donate to nonprofits, consistent business practices with the values they show on social media, etc.) but it’s tough when you’re not really sure which brands are walking-the-walk, rather than just talking-the-social-impact-talk. And for the brands actually donating to causes, they’re having a hard time reaching people who care about those same causes. That’s where Beam comes in.

Brands pay to partner with Beam, using our technology to let their customers (you!) choose nonprofits and track the impact of their donations. Beam doesn’t take a cut of the donation and is solely committed to driving our mission of $10B to high-impact nonprofits.

How do you get paid? Do you take a cut of the donation?

No, we’re a mission-driven company and never take any part of the donation. Our partner brands pay us for the volume of new customers we drive to visit for the first time, and the increases in loyalty they see from existing customers.

Do you sell my data to make money?

No, your personal information and data is never shared with anyone.

The only data we do share is at an aggregated level, like “X% of Dos Toros customers support women’s empowerment.”