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Shop Local Week 2013 will include Charity Cash Mob

Shop Local Week 2013, a week-long event dedicated to promoting local businesses and raising money for nonprofit organizations, will be held November 30 through December 8. This is the third year for Shop Local Week; this year's event includes a Charity Cash Mob—cosponsored by Think Local First DC (TLF) and local startup Causetown—and a Made in D.C. pop-up market. 
"People are realizing they can vote with their dollars," Stacey Price, executive director of TLF, explains, about the reason behind Shop Local Week and shopping local in general. "They have a direct effect on their neighborhoods. People in D.C. realize that D.C. is unique."
This year's integration with Causetown should make it easier than ever for shoppers to support their favorite causes by shopping local. Founded 18 months ago by Dan McCabe and based in Alexandria, Va., Causetown is an online platform for independent businesses that want to support nonprofit organizations but don't have the time to manage the transactions. "Everyone wants to help their favorite charity or school," McCabe says. "Local businesses are giving two or three times as much as their national counterparts."
"Causetown creates a trackable mechanism," Price adds. "We know that businesses are already giving money [to nonprofits]. Causetown allows businesses to create more out of those partnerships."
During the Charity Cash Mob, shoppers need only visit participating retailers and mention that they are shopping for their specific nonprofit and a portion of their purchase will be donated to that nonprofit. "If the nonprofit is a 501(c)3, it's already in Causetown," McCabe says. "We encourage nonprofits to register anyway because it will drive people to their site, but it's not required." Businesses, nonprofits and shoppers can all track how much money has been raised.
In addition to the Charity Cash Mob, TLF will be holding a Made in D.C. pop-up market on December 6. TLF will also be publish a searchable online guide to participating retailers in the coming weeks.
Independent business owners who operate in D.C. can attend a meeting Thursday at iStrategy Labs to learn more about Shop Local Week and how to get involved.

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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