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While consumer pressure is managing to push some businesses towards social responsibility, competition will favour those companies that can leverage good deeds to increase their bottom line. That means reliable, unbiased good news has to reach consumers, and eventually influence their purchase decisions. Denver-based Tuggl aims to facilitate just that, by bringing consumers and nonprofits together to rate and review businesses so that companies who display a commitment to both the community and their customers get the recognition they deserve.

Tuggl lets customers rate companies according to service, price and quality, while nonprofits can score their for-profit supporters on donations, pro bono behaviour and volunteering. Tuggl then calculates an overall score for the business, which affects its placement in the rankings when people use the site to search for a local service. Recognizing consumers’ need for personally relevant reviews, users can sign on to the site through Facebook and see how their friends rate local businesses. Tuggl is leading by example: when users join the site, they select their chosen social cause. Then, according to how active the user is on the site (reviewing, inviting friends etc.), Tuggl will reward the user with a badge of honour and donate money to their chosen cause—up to USD 500 per person.

The site further aids nonprofits by enabling them to track how much their positive reviews benefit their benefactors, making it easier for charities to present their side of the bargain to other potential corporate donors. It’s this kind of concrete return-on-investment data that Tuggl hopes will prove to companies that “doing good can be good for business”. Currently, the site is focusing on the Denver/Boulder area—where 130 local charities have already recognized over 1,300 local businesses—although listing is open to businesses and nonprofits in other places. (Related: Crowd clout meets eco persuasionThe Goodness 500.)