FAQ - What is Ethiq?

Ethiq® is a tool designed to help you make purchases more aligned with your beliefs and values; to Vote With Your Wallet®. Our core mission is transparency through objective, factual data.

How does Ethiq match me with compatible companies?

An Ethiq user submits their opinion on a variety of prompts relating to ideological positions, on-the-record positions and statement by politicians, specific bills, ballot measures, etc. As you do this, Ethiq’s propriety algorithm tracks the sponsors, authors and votes related to these prompts, cross-referencing your responses with a dataset that links corporate money and its paths to these individuals and groups, both directly and indirectly. Currently, Ethiq offers customized rankings in 4 key consumer categories: Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Department Stores, and Fast Food Restaurants. Please let us know if there which additional categories you’d like us to add.

Where does Ethiq lean on the political spectrum – across political positions, ideologies and party lines?

Ethiq is a tool designed for Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, and everything in between. There are values-driven consumers on all sides of the political spectrum. The results Ethiq outputs, depending on your unique responses, should be equally valid to every user. Try for yourself! Click “Start Over” in the prompt box, and answer the prompts as your ideological opposite. You’ll soon see how the results match the “new you.”

Where does Ethiq’s data come from?

Ethiq’s data is primarily sourced from Federal Election Commission and IRS 527 filings, with additional data and assistance from the National Institute for Money in State Politics (www.followthemoney.org).

Why should I trust Ethiq’s rankings?

Every attempt has been made to present prompts and results in the most unbiased way possible. However, creating a ranking engine such as our requires different datasets to be weighted against each other. For example, Ethiq must consider the effects of money originating directly from a company’s associated PAC to a candidate vs. money that first flows through a committee or party before reaching a candidate. Or, money that was routed to a candidate from a company’s associated PAC 5 years ago vs. 5 months ago. Since there is no “right” or “wrong” answer on how to weight these factors, Ethiq starts with a set of weighting factors, and uses your input and feedback to further refine our engine, and your scores. The more users provide input and validation, the stronger the ranking engine becomes.

I thought corporations weren’t allowed to give money directly to federal candidates and officeholders. Is this true?

True. Although certain states allow corporations to give money directly to candidates and incumbents, this is not allowed at the federal level. Ties between corporations and federal officeholders are made via a company’s associated Political Action Committees (PACs) and executive-level employees.

What is a “Why Trail”…..and why does it matter?

As you click on the “WHY” button to the right of each company, you’ll often see a Why Trail appear on the right of your screen. This consistently updated trail allows Ethiq to explain to you, in clear, actionable language, why companies have the scores they do.

Why do you need my zip code?

Different states feature different retail locations. Although certain corporations (Starbucks, McDonald’s, etc.) can be found in all 50 U.S. states, others are region-specific. By sharing your zip code, Ethiq can present you with geo-specific businesses relevant to your location. We encourage you to enter a new zip code to see results from a different part of the country. Currently, Ethiq is available only to users in the United States.

When can I download the Ethiq app?

A mobile-ready version of Ethiq’s app, which will be available for both iOS and Android, is currently in development.

Who do I contact with questions, complaints or suggestions?

Ethiq welcomes your feedback! Please email us at info@ethiq.org or use the feedback form on our main page.