20th October 2000 at 01:00
Go-help is the latest online shopping site promising to donate money to schools when customers use it. Shoppers simply log on and choose products from one of more than 50 retailers, including Ticket Master and WHSmith Online. If they buy something, a school of their choice will receive a set proportion of the purchase fee.

Before getting involved, it's worth finding out which stores offer the best percentage rates as it can be between one and 20 per cent (the rates are listed on the site).

Go-help has a database of all UK schools, and headteachers have been given theoption to opt out of the scheme. For the similar portal at MoneyTin (www.moneytin.com), schools are added to the site following a customer nomination and the school's approval.

These sites seem to offer an easy way to raise extra funds, but there are drawbacks.To raise serious money, schools have to publicise the sites to parents and this could lead to problems should they become dissatisfied customers. And until cybershopping gains popularity, headteachers should expect a limited cashflow from online trading.

Find out more by tapping in www.go-help.co.uk

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