Friday, October 19, 2007
Supporting Change through Working Assets
For those who've ever tried 'voting with their wallet', you probably know how frustrating it can sometimes seem. There generally aren't that many options for where you can purchase your goods and services, and when there are, most of the choices aren't too much different. However, I recently became aware of a phone company which gives portions of its charges to progressive causes. The company is called Working Assets and claims to have given over $50 million to progressive organizations since 1985. Each year the customers of Working Assets vote on which organizations should receive support. There are many organizations which receive funding for this year, for example, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Amnesty International, Union of Concerned Scientists, Code Pink, Human Rights Watch, Democracy Now, Doctors without Borders, Americans United for Separation of Church and States, and many more.
Working Assets donates 1% of your bill (long-distance, cell phone, etc.) to these progressive organizations (the customers also vote on how the money will be divided up amongst the recipient organizations). But even better, Working Assets also has partnerships with a couple of organizations in which they give 10% of your wireless bill to the organization! These types of partnerships involve the organizations Amnesty International (Working Assets link), the Humane Society (WA link), Planned Parenthood (WA link), and Democracy for America (WA link). They may also have partnerships with other organizations in the future. This would be a good recommendation to any organizations that you're part of that you'd like to help contribute to with money that you're going to be spending anyway.
Working Assets plans are also competitive. Their wireless plan is the same price as the Cingular (oops, now AT&T, because the cell phone market was also just so damn competitive...) plan I'm currently on. And in terms of coverage, they actually use Sprint's network, so you should expect the same reception that you would get with Spring. Also, Working Assets will buy out your current plan up to $175. And I believe that the current price for breaking a Cingular/AT&T contract is $175, so that's perfect. I plan on breaking my contract this week and switching to Amnesty's Working Assets plan. It'll make me feel good knowing that ~$75 of my money each year will automatically go to supporting Human Rights and will also help combat the telecommunications monolopolies. Plus I've heard you get free Ben & Jerry's ice cream for signing up!