Lyft is instituting a new charity donation program for its riders, though the focus of the donations isn’t very well defined. The program is called “Round Up & Donate” and the company is promoting it by telling its passengers that they can “take a seat to take a stand.” The program offers riders a chance to round up their fares to the nearest dollar, so the difference can be donated to charity.
Where it gets confusing is in the description of the charities to which Lyft will donate the money. There seems to be no way to determine where each passenger’s money will go. The funds will go toward organizations fighting for causes that are “impacting everyone everywhere, from climate change to the pursuit of equality,” according to the company.
Even the phrase “pursuit of equality” is vague, leaving more questions about the program.
For riders eager to participate and give back to their community, signing up for the donation program is easy. The rider simply logs into the app and a single tap will opt them into the program. Unless they go back to change the setting later, they will remain in the program in the future.
For users unsure about joining the program, Lyft posted a description of the process. It may help passengers to know just how the donations will be adapted.
“If a passenger has opted into the program and their fare is $12.75, we’ll round up the total to $13. That difference of $0.25 will then be donated to a charity,” reads the description on Lyft’s website.
Lyft isn’t the first place to offer this type of donation. Many grocery stores and some fast food restaurants offer the option of rounding up your bill for charity, especially near the holidays. The few cents donated by each person adds up across the board. While it may not feel like a great sacrifice, that change multiplies and leads to a significant contribution.
In a New York Times print ad, Lyft advertised the “Round Up & Donate” program as a way for people to take care of their own communities. The ad points out that participating in the donation program will help every rider give back.
In a separate statement, Lyft said they will be monitoring the progress of the program to determine its effectiveness and popularity.