Nonprofit Spotlight: Bubble Foundation

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

At first blush, the Bubble Foundation seems like an unusual name for an organization that helps kids live healthy and happy lives, but then again…. Not wanting to pigeonhole their holisticbubble_logo efforts or be heavy handed about wellness, the name was chosen to keep it fun and focused on kids.

Funders ask about our name, says Executive Director Lizzie Redman, but never the kids. In fact, it’s a contagious echo in school halls where kids are heard chattering about “Bubble, Bubble.”

Bubble’s mission

Bubble believes every child in the United States, regardless of socioeconomic status, should have access to activities, food and information that helps them live healthy and happy lives. To accomplish this in New York City, they partner with schools in underserved communities, supplying core curriculum and program activities to fill a gap. They provide – free of charge – information, food and activities for schools, students and families who would otherwise get little or no health and wellness education.

School programs that deliver

The power of going directly into schools is how Bubble succeeds. Not just with kids, but their parents and school leaders too. Redman explains, “We reach kids while they’re young and expose them early on. We also bring in parents for family meals and workshops where we work with them about how to make healthy changes at home. We plant the seeds for healthy habits and empower school leaders to carry it forward.”

Bubble’s programs make “food, fun and fitness float”:

 

Bubble EATS is nutrition education delivered through weekly classes, cooking demonstrations and more from volunteer teachers. For instance, “kids may never have seen broccoli before, but they learn about it, cook it and find it enjoyable to eat,” describes Redman.

Bubble GROWS teaches the science of how food grows and basic farming and irrigation principles, and includes visits from farmers and to community gardens. Bubble brings portable grow boxes into classrooms and starts outside or rooftop gardens where there’s space available.

Bubble MOVES connects the school to other organizations and experts for fitness classes, recess programs, sports clinics, and special programs like yoga and African dance.

Results

Started in 2010 as a small organization to help one school – the Mott Haven Academy in the Bronx – Bubble will partner with eight schools during the 2015-2016 academic year. A few stats:

  • Bubble programs teach 1,200bubble2 students each week
  • Around 50 volunteers work for Bubble each semester – 30 teach weekly and 20 others support special programs
  • School partnerships last for 2 years (with support afterward)
  • Impact: 5 schools are successful program graduates, 6 schools are currently partners, and 4 more are being added next year

Giving practices

JustGive is proud to help the Bubble Foundation raise money online. “The ability to have a platform we can easily use is huge,” comments Redman. “And from a data perspective, to know where the money is coming from is valuable.”

Following best practices, Bubble has its Donate button built into every page of its website, and has customized its Donation Page, telling donors exactly what different size gift can do.

Check out how you can help the Bubble Foundation do even more.

- Candy Culver

Marketing Consultant

P.S. If you’d like to be featured in the JustGive Blog, submit your nonprofit!

KonectIDY: Bracelet Fundraising, Personalized

Image Source: KonectIDY

Image Source: KonectIDY

At JustGive, we help many large corporations incorporate philanthropy into their workplace or customer programs.

But we also work with many smaller organizations that have great ideas for driving more philanthropy. Like KonectIDY, one of our latest partners to use JustGive’s products to make charitable giving  part of their business.

Taking bracelet fundraising to the next level

KonectIDY takes the trend of fundraising bracelets and turns it on its head, breathing new life into what was once a one-size-fits-all movement.

On the KonectIDY website, consumers can create a personalized bracelet with various color beads representing the cause, loved one or organization they want to support. They can purchase one bracelet for themselves, or create a bracelet that others can buy in support of their cause.

Image Source: KonectIDY

Image Source: KonectIDY

Every time a bracelet is purchased, 20% of the proceeds go to the beneficiary organization.

“It’s like a hashtag that you wear,” says KonectIDY co-founder Tony Peluso. “Each bracelet has a story that needs to be shared.”

The IDY in the KonectIDY name stands for “Identify Yourself.” Instead of wearing the exact same bracelet as every other supporter, KonectIDY gives consumers the chance to personalize their wearable statement while showing solidarity with a cause.

As a small startup, founders Tony Peluso and Peter Ettenborough knew they wanted their sales to benefit charity, but didn’t know how to make that a reality. If you’re not a nonprofit organization, how do you ensure donations reach the charities?

Donation Processing Solution

That’s where JustGive came in. As a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), JustGive is set up for a very specific purpose: to distribute charitable donations from individuals and companies to nonprofits.

For KonectIDY, that simply requires providing JustGive with the data each month about which charities should receive donations and for how much. We take care of disbursing funds to the charities, and making sure the nonprofits know the donations are coming from KonectIDY customers.

“JustGive seamlessly facilitates the entire process so we can focus on our business and our purpose,” Peluso said.

More of KonectIDY’s story

The idea behind KonectIDY started close to home for Peluso, when a young girl named Aine in his community died suddenly, devastating the family and neighbors. They produced 600 bracelets to memorialize Aine, and sold out of them at a fundraiser for the foundation created in her honor. Now Aine’s supporters wear the bracelets around town, displaying their support and shared experience.

KonectIDY, launched in the summer of 2013, has already powered bracelet fundraisers for some significant causes like The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Fund. Every “Legacy of Hope” bracelet helps support Nelson Mandela’s final wish to open a children’s hospital in South Africa.

Image Source: KonectIDY

Image Source: KonectIDY

Proceeds from the “Ghandi for Children” bracelet support the Ghandi Worldwide Education Institute, fighting childhood labor in India by advocating for children and supporting education.

So that’s how KonectIDY is making a difference. Want to talk about ways to make charity part of your business? Just contact us.

- Sarah Bacon

Director of Product

P.S. Visit KonectIDY to create your personalized bracelet and tell your story while supporting your favorite cause, right from your wrist.

 

Disaster Giving: American Express

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Image Source: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

When natural disasters strike, generous people around the world open their wallets to give to organizations helping victims. Here at JustGive, we are lucky to partner with companies like American Express® who enable their cardholders to quickly provideAmerican Express Logo support.

After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, American Express reached out to JustGive to find a fast, easy solution for their cardmembers who wanted to help.

Timely Disaster Campaigns

Within 24 hours of each disaster, JustGive launched online fundraisers so American Express cardholders could donate to charities directly providing victims with emergency services, shelter, healthcare and food.

Cardholders simply visited the American Express MembersGive website to donate using their American Express credit card or their Membership Reward points.

JustGive helped American Express identify and vet the key charities aiding victims for each disaster, whether they were U.S.-based organizations offering aid (like the American Red Cross), or other charities local to the region where the disaster took place.

American Express supported its cardholders’ generosity by covering all credit card processing fees. That meant that 100% of each donation made it to the charities making a difference.

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

The result? Hundreds of thousands of dollars from American Express cardholders were donated to organizations helping disaster victims recover and rebuild.

In its one year post-report for the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, the American Red Cross recognized American Express as a member of its Disaster Responder Program for contributing at least $250,000 annually.

In the last decade American Express has provided assistance for more than 50 disasters in 35 countries, through such leading disaster relief agencies as the American Red Cross and International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and the United Nations World Food Program.

We’re proud to make it possible for American Express and its cardholders to respond quickly and effectively to tragic disasters around the world. It’s one way JustGive helps companies make an impact with charitable giving programs for their customers or employees.

- Sarah Bacon

Director of Product

 

 

2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference Highlights

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Image Source: Flickr

I remember attending an annual NTEN conference for the first time, in San Francisco. The sharing between very large companies like Blackbaud through individual IT consultants working for a cause demonstrated the tremendous resources offered—not just for nonprofit organizations (NPOs), but to the broad community serving them.

Launched in 2000, NTEN, The Nonprofit Technology Network, aspires to a world where all nonprofit organizations use technology skillfully and confidently to meet community needs and fulfill their missions. The organization serves scores of volunteers, tech workers, IT managers, “progressive geeks” – all resourceful individuals striving to keep philanthropic operations viable.

It’s fair to say that in 2015, we are reliant on IT resources for operations and outreach more than ever. NTEN’s impact in galvanizing our essential, cause-based community as we seek ways to integrate the best technology for our organizations is immeasurable.

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Image Source: NTEN

NTEN held its 15th annual conference in Austin recently. Featuring a roster of collaborative workshops and information, session tracks included Communications, Fundraising, Leadership, IT, Product Demos, and more.

If you weren’t able to make it to the conference this year, or would like a recap from a few valuable sessions, here are three highlights.

Leadership. The Challenge of Making your CEO’s Visions an IT Reality – Read thoughts from the CEO and IT decision makers and get an Executive Director’s perspective.  (More about the session and panel of presenters here.)

Communications. Is it Worth it for Nonprofits to Build Branded Apps? Notes from this session detail what it takes to build and promote a successful app from scratch.  (More about the session and panel of presenters here.)

Fundraising. 50 Fascinating Nonprofit Statistics – See all the stats, covering everything from a global nonprofit perspective to giving trends, including a wide variety of stats about mobile giving, retention rates and more. (More about the session and Blackbaud Director of Analytics presenter here.)

To read more about the wide variety of topics covered in discussions, take a look at the entire 15NTC Community library here.

NTEN, like JustGive, is celebrating 15 years of dedication to its mission this year. Congratulations NTEN! If you’re not a member yet and would like to join visit their site to sign up.

- Roxanne Gentile

Director of Technology

The Corporate Citizenship Difference

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Measuring the results of your citizenship efforts (environmental and social) can be a challenge. You want to know: What difference does it make? In addition to the indicators you build in to measure your own programs, the research from the Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College can help answer that question.

For the first time in more than a decade, in the 2014 State of Corporate Citizenship report, a majority of executives (across all industries) confirm that corporate citizenship helps their business succeed. Here are three key findings from the research.

  1. Corporate Citizenship delivers real business results.  According to the study, executives believe corporate citizenship not only helps their companies achieve strategic goals like increasing market share, it also improves financial performance and returns value to their shareholders. Achievements they gave are impressive: Companies that integrate their citizenship efforts into business initiatives are 2.2x more likely to gain access to new markets and 2.3x more likely to be successful with employee retention than companies that don’t.
  1. Over the next three years, executives plan to
    StateofCorpCitizenship14-Infographic

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    increase corporate citizenship resources.  Executives see the value of corporate citizenship and are putting their money behind it—investing in environmental, philanthropic and social programs that deliver. As the economy has recovered, they have found their citizenship efforts strengthened in many ways, including helping them compete globally and address the pressure for long-term financial returns.

  1. The long term approach to corporate citizenship pays off.  Ninety three percent of the executives in the survey report that citizenship efforts supported for four years or more achieve the biggest gains: They are 3.9x more likely to report success in reducing employee health care costs and 3.6x more likely to report success with reducing waste as a result of long-term citizenship efforts.

The bottom line: Being a responsible leader and good corporate citizen makes a tangible difference – not just in your community and with your employees, but also in the financial success of your business.

If you’d like to start or build on your company’s citizenship efforts with philanthropy, we can help. Contact us today.

To download the Executive Report and read more about this study visit the Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College website.

 

- Andrea Lloyd

Director of Programs

The Diabetes Epidemic: Risks & Resources

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Image Source: Flickr

Each year, the American Diabetes Association designates a day in March as Diabetes Alert Day. It’s a wake-up call for all of us to find out if we’re at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. And that’s important since 1 out of 4 people with diabetes don’t know they have it!

Every 17 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes. To you, that may sound like just another statistic – but it’s personal for me. I live with someone who has diabetes and wasn’t diagnosed until his late 40s. He’s one of nearly 30 million American children and adults with the disease (10 percent of the U.S. population). Worldwide, nearly 400 million people are living with diabetes.

The bad news: Diabetes can develop at any age for both Type 1 (previously known as juvenile diabetes) and Type 2.

For Type 1, the body doesn’t make enough insulin and there’s no known way to keep it from happening. For Type 2, the body can’t use insulin properly. At least one out of every three of us will develop Type 2 diabetes in our lifetime.

The good news for Type 2: In most cases, it’s preventable.

Are you at risk for Type 2 diabetes?

It only takes minutes to take a Risk Test and answer a few questions about weight, age, family history and other risk factors.

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

If the test says you’re at increased risk, talk to your doctor. There are several definitive ways to diagnose diabetes.

While there is no cure yet for the disease, you can manage it. From my nearly 10 years of experience living with someone who has diabetes, it’s not that hard. Balancing the food you eat with exercise and medicine (if prescribed) helps control weight and keep blood glucose levels in the healthy range. Many people with diabetes live long and active lives.

You can make an impact for diabetes

There are many charities helping educate us about diabetes, providing services, and working to find a cure. Here are three:

American Diabetes Association: The American Diabetes Association delivers services to hundreds of communities, helps fund research, and is a go-to source for information about diabetes.  Raising awareness is one of the organization’s main efforts, guided by its vision of a life free of diabetes and all its burdens.

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Diabetes Research Institute Foundation: The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, founded in 1971 by a small group of parents of children with diabetes, has evolved into an international coalition of families, patients, business leaders, celebrities, scientists, clinicians and more. Its sole focus is on finding a biological cure.

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Joslin Diabetes Center: In 1898, Elliot P. Joslin, M.D., launched the effort to understand, treat and potentially cure diabetes. He started by taking his written patient observations to the lab to conduct research. Today, Joslin’s research team of more than 300 scientists make it the most comprehensive program dedicated to diabetes in the world.

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Want to get involved in diabetes efforts in your community and volunteer? Check out events in your community from American Diabetes Association. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes is currently the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of more Americans every year than AIDs and breast cancer combined. Let’s change that – and give of our time and money to make a difference.

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-Candy Culver

Marketing Consultant

One From the Heart – February is American Heart Month

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Image Source: Flickr

I’ll be the first to admit it. I get stressed.

Stress affects our health in many ways, but heart disease is a common result in the United States, particularly among women. As a woman, this is a stressor in itself. Worries and perfectionism aside, what are some simple, everyday ways you and I can decrease our stress and be kind to our hearts?

A plant-heavy or plant-based diet is a wonderfully heart-healthy eating plan. Personally, I switched from a vegetarian to a vegan diet 2 years ago, and everything I continue to learn about its health benefits encourages me to keep at it. Avocado and olive oil are my favorite plant-based ways to lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol while leaving heart levels of “good” (HDL) cholesterol intact.

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Hobbies that include movement are a low-stress way to get your heart pumping stronger. Dance class (or dancing around the house), gardening, vigorous cleaning and yoga or stretching are some relatively low-impact and low-cost ways to get your circulation up and flex your heart muscle.

But what about the mental stress? It’s the biggest factor in many of our busy lives. Mindfulness meditation is one way to change your mindset and even regulate the rhythm of your heart. Look for a zen or yoga center in your area for more information. Lucky for me, San Francisco is home to a beautiful Zen Center that hosts a variety of programs, classes and retreats.

My personal favorite fact about preventative heart health? Doing good for others lowers your stress levels.

This is something we can all do anytime and it doesn’t have to cost money – sharing time is just as valuable.

Image Source: Flickr:

Image Source: Flickr

If you’d like to find volunteer opportunities in your area, you can use our Act Locally search option and contact local charities to see how you can help. Bonus points on volunteering: It gets you outside – and being in nature is another great de-stressor.Even if you live in a city, you can likely find an urban gardening project to volunteer your time. Check out The National Gardening Association’s Kids Gardening program, which empowers every generation to lead healthier lives, build stronger communities, and encourage environmental stewardship through gardening programs.

If you’d like to support their efforts:

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The most sobering fact I uncovered in my research: women are more prone to suffer from undiagnosed heart disease. Women’s symptoms tend to differ from men’s, and women are more likely to suffer a silent heart attack.

In fact, heart attacks are responsible for the loss of half a million women per year in the U.S. alone. Heart disease is the number one killer of women even though many women are more afraid of breast cancer.

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

I lost a friend and community member, far before her time, to silent heart disease. After her untimely passing a few years ago, another friend organized memorial donations in her honor to WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. It’s a charity that provides support and research and was started by three women who have personal experience with heart disease issues. Women Heart was the first – and is still the only – national patient-centered organization focused exclusively on women’s heart disease.

If you’d like to donate to help WomenHeart carry out its work:

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Education, information and advocacy are our greatest weapons against killer heart disease. Together, we can multiply our strengths in fighting the battle against heart disease with a unified front. We have to watch out for each other, right?

-Alex Mechanic

Customer Service Manager

YEAR IN REVIEW: A LOOK BACK AT 2014

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Thanks to your giving and support, JustGive expanded philanthropy and sent more than $30 million to charity in 2014!

We passed a major milestone in May, processing our 1 millionth donation, and are proud that 24 percent of giving came from 2013 donors returning to use the site. We also saw charity gift card purchases grow by 9 percent. To be more accessible and expand our services, we launched our mobile responsive site and added the ability for companies to independently buy a quantity of gift cards.

Here’s a glimpse of our impact—and what we accomplished together—this year.

We’re charging into 2015 eager to do more good, fulfilling our mission to make charitable giving a part of everyday life. Here’s to making more of a difference!

Help us kick off the year in the best way possible: Set up an automatic monthly donation to your favorite charities today.

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Thank you for giving.

—Andrea Lloyd, Director of Programs

THE MANY FACES OF HOMELESSNESS: HOW YOU CAN HELP

blog_title_image_homelessnessKnowing how to help a homeless person can sometimes feel difficult, confusing and overwhelming. The dollar you give might be used to buy drugs or alcohol. Even offering food can be a problem – imagine handing an apple to a homeless man and then discovering he has no teeth. Just as there are many reasons people become homeless, there are also many ways to help. Understanding the leading causes of homelessness is often the best way to learn what the homeless need and how you can make a positive difference in their lives. The chronically homeless, who often struggle with mental health or substance abuse issues, need a safe and stable living environment where they can get counseling and health care. To help them, consider volunteering at a local shelter or halfway house that provides longer-term housing. Donating clean towels, pillows and blankets can also help create a comfortable and safe living environment. The majority of homeless youth bw_homeless_teens_21461332have been kicked out of their homes or abandoned by parents or guardians. Others who left on their own accord have suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their families. For many, trusting another adult or authority figure can be difficult. One of the best ways to help is to simply ask them what they need. Maybe it’s a hot meal, a warm coat or a clean pair of socks; or maybe it’s information on how to get into foster care, enroll in a drug and alcohol detox program or register for the GED. Taking the time to listen to their needs, and to follow through, can go a long way in helping them regain their trust in others and get off the streets. imm needs housing homelessFor many veterans, physical disability, mental anguish and post-traumatic stress can make readjusting to civilian life very difficult. This can lead to drug and alcohol addiction, the inability to hold down a steady job and homelessness. Because many veterans have very specific needs to help them get back on their feet—job placement services, medical services, housing assistance, counseling—there are numerous ways to get involved. Consider donating your time or money to organizations which help homeless vets:

While we need to address the problem of homelessness as a whole, the more we can understand each person’s individual circumstances, the more we can help. Before making assumptions or judgments, take the time to ask some questions and do a little research. It can make all the difference. The Face(s) of Homelessness

  • Number of homeless in the United States: 610,042
  • Number of chronic homeless: 109,132 (18%)
  • Number of homeless youth under 18: 380,000
  • Number of homeless veterans: 57,849 (9%)

For more charities helping the homeless with shelter, counseling services and job training.

-Amelia Glynn, Marketing Contractor