Get ready for #GivingTuesday 2016

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With six weeks to go until #GivingTuesday, here’s what you need to know.

What is #GivingTuesday?

11-29-2016#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that takes place on November 29th. Created in 2012, #GivingTuesday was started by the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact team at the 92nd Street Y to celebrate and support giving during the holidays. In contrast to the commercial shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday that immediately precede it, #GivingTuesday encourages individuals to participate in a charitable act.

Entering its fifth year, #GivingTuesday has become a global movement. Last year, 700,000 donors across 71 countries joined forces to raise $116.7M in online donations.

What’s in it for my charity?

As a global day of giving, #GivingTuesday offers a huge opportunity to increase awareness of your cause and support for your organization while reaching out to new and current donors.

How do I get started?

Form a plan – Start preparations early to ensure your #GivingTuesday goes off without a hitch. Set your fundraising goals, train your employees and volunteers, prepare your donor outreach list, and schedule promotional communications leading up to the big day.  giving-tuesday-with-heartTake advantage of ready-to-use materials from the #GivingTuesday website that include a free toolkits, sample messages, logos, and more.

Set up your online donation pageLog in to your free JustGive nonprofit account to customize your existing donation page. Add #GivingTuesday as a program designation option, incorporate a #GivingTuesday graphic and messaging, custom donation amounts and special descriptions to remind your donors of the impact of their participation on this global giving day. (Check out 5 ways to customize your Donation Page.)

Tip: Once your page is customized, add our Donate Now button to your website, email signature, campaign emails and social media to link donors directly to your custom page.

Reach out to your network – Spread the word about your campaign through email communications and social media posts in the weeks leading up to #GivingTuesday – be sure to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag in all your online communication! Raising awareness early will give you momentum heading into the big day. (See our 10 Nonprofit Tips & Strategies to make your outreach as effective as possible)

97ddcf2f4b6125e3f1c7fe834ec12830On #GivingTuesday, share your page with your donors in the morning and keep them updated on your progress via social media and email throughout the day. You can even encourage your most engaged supporters to share these updates with their networks to drive donations!

Follow up with donors – While many of your #GivingTuesday donations may come from your regular donors, it’s also a likely that you’ll see new donors showing their support. Once #GivingTuesday is done, take the time to thank your donors, share the final total raised, and communicate the impact their donations will have. This is a great opportunity to engage regular supporters and turn new donors who are passionate about your cause into long-term supporters.

Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

Charity Gift Cards Thank Employees and Reinforce Company’s Values

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Last year, New England BioLabs (NEB) started using JustGive charity gift cards to reward employees and inspire them to embrace philanthropy. They joined the ranks of many companies who use our GiveNow cards in a variety of ways for employees and customers.

NEB was founded in the mid-1970s as a collective of scientists committed to developing innovative products for the life sciences industry. The company is now a recognized world leader in the discovery, development and commercialization of recombinant and native enzymes for genomic research.

NEB’s Corporate Controller, Brian Tinger, discovered JustGive while searching for ways to make donations on behalf of employees.

“We needed a partner to help administer the process,” he said.

“The company gives JustGive Charity Gift Cards to each employee at our bonus time to encourage them to embrace philanthropy, which has always been a core value at New England BioLabs,” Tinger told us.

NEB purchases JustGive Charity Gift Cards as downloadable claim codes, and then merges each claim code, its amount and expiration date into its own communication to every employee. Employees simply visit justgive.org to redeem their gift as a donation to a charity of their choice.

The idea to give charity gift cards to employees came after Tinger attended a Harvard lecture, “How to Buy Happiness,” by Michael Norton. (Norton’s also given it as a TED Talk.)

“The point of the lecture was that the act of giving is far more impactful than the act of spending money on yourself,” Tinger said.

He explained, “Our company has always been extremely generous with employee benefits, so we thought providing a charity gift card would be a perfect new concept to introduce to them. Since that time, we have also used JustGive to provide gifts to collaborators who have taken time to assist our company in scientific research and market research.”

Thanks to New England BioLabs for their support of JustGive, and for making philanthropy a part of doing good business.

Want to incorporate JustGive charity gift cards into your employee or customer program? Purchase gift cards online or contact us to find out more about how we can help.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

A Mother’s Pride: A Daughter’s Giving

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Kids are amazing. They notice everything. They question everything. They are curious.

My daughter J’Nyah is 7. Since she was born, I’ve been amazed as how quickly she learns things. When she was a baby, it was learning to hold her head, smile, or sit up.  As a toddler–crawling, walking, running. It felt like she went from speaking gibberish to full sentences in the blink of an eye.

One of the best things about your child growing up is getting to know them as a person.

Her caring, giving spirit started young

J’Nyah has always been very independent and a leader. The first time I realized what kind of person she was growing into, I was so proud. At 2 years old, on her first day of preschool, we walked in, met the teachers, and she saw  other kids she knew from the neighborhood and local parks. They all went right to playing.  My little girl was very interested in the “house” area and started playing with the dolls.

My DaughterThere was one little girl who wouldn’t let go of her mother and was crying, out of control. J’Nyah asked me, “Mama, why is that girl so sad?” I said she was probably scared because it was her first time in a new place and she didn’t know anyone. J’Nyah picked up an extra doll, took it to the girl and started playing with her. Before I knew it, the two girls were giggling. The other grateful mother gave her little girl a kiss and we slipped out. The girls are friends to this day.

This happened again on the first day of kindergarten and first grade. J’Nyah is always ready to help someone having a hard time and make them feel better. Knowing that she isn’t using her strong personality to bully people and instead, to include and take care of them, makes me proud every day.

One day while walking downtown, we saw a number of homeless people panhandling and sleeping. My curious 4-year-old was staring at people as we passed. I didn’t want people to feel uncomfortable, but I also didn’t want her to ignore them.

As we went into the subway station, her questions started, “Why are those people there? Why are they asking for money? Why do they have a dog? Why are their kids with them?” I explained they probably didn’t have homes or jobs so they ask for money to get food and things they need. J’Nyah thought about this a lot, especially the kids that might not have a house or food. And she decided that she wants to help them.

At age 5, she started raising money

jnyah_five_s_256_254Since I work for JustGive, making giving a part of everyday life is always on my mind. So when J’Nyah decided she wanted to raise money for the homeless for her 5th birthday instead of getting gifts for herself, I was SUPER glad to we offer the tools to make that happen.  I’ll admit that I planted the thought to raise money, but since the idea to help others was already there, she agreed right away.

At 5 years old, she raised $376 for a local organization, BOSS: Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficency, which provides resources and housing for homeless families. And the idea stuck with her.  She remembers.

When she was turning 6, they were studying seals and sea lions in school, and J’Nyah heard her teacher say the pups are often abandoned. So she asked, “Can we help save the seals and sea lions this year for my birthday?” I was very proud she wanted to do it again, and together, we looked online for the charities rescuing marine life.  We were lucky to find local organizations, the Marine Mammal Center (which we could visit too!) and Save the Bay.

jnyahsmile_s_259_275While we were looking at these charities, she saw an ad for the ASPCA with an abused dog on it. She was very sad to hear that other animals are homeless and added East Bay SPCA so she could help them too. That year she raised $735 for the 3 charities.

When she was getting ready to turn 7, I wondered what we would do to celebrate. She was going to a lot more birthday parties this year and talking about elaborate plans for her party. As we were planning her party, she surprised me and asked, “Who are we going to help this year for my birthday?”

We talked through her many ideas, and since dolphins are her favorite animal right now, she decided to help them. This year she raised $830 for Blue Voice, The Dolphin Project via Earth Island Institute, and Wild Dolphin Project.

Her giving example

jnyah7_s_259_259This Mother’s Day, I am so proud to have a child that wants to help others every day. I’m glad we’re talking about issues in the world and figuring out that making things better is something we can do together.  I know J’Nyah will grow up to make a profound impact in the world.

If we all had her giving spirit, can you imagine the good we could do in the world?

-Julia Hughes
Product Manager

Reviews Show Your Impact

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Our partner, GreatNonprofits, started in 2007, has become the Yelp of the nonprofit world. With a database of more than 200,000 reviews, GreatNonprofits is the leading provider of reviews and ratings for nonprofits throughout the United States.

Their story

It all began when Hurricane Katrina hit and GreatNonprofits founder Perla Ni was publishing the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She wanted to write about nonprofits doing a great job providing supplies and help for great-nonprofitsvictims, but had a lot of trouble identifying them. It struck Ni that there needed to be an online “Zagat” for nonprofits, where people could tell first-person stories and share reviews about the work and impact of organizations.

Today, on the GreatNonprofits website, users can rate more than 1.8 million nonprofits – and these reviews are widely shared through partner sites like JustGive and GuideStar.

Making the most of your reviews

It’s clear reviews make a difference. According to Neilsen, 70% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

So, as an organization, how do you:

  • Engage your supporters
  • Collect more online reviews
  • Use reviews successfully

Tara Verner, Vice President of Marketing for GreatNonprofits, recently spoke about how to do just that. We’re sharing the slides from her presentation that provide great examples and tell you how. Enjoy!

 

If you’d like to watch the recorded session, here’s the YouTube video of the presentation.

– Candy Culver

Marketing Consultant

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.

 

My Dad Taught Me About Community—And Giving

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My Dad will turn 90 this coming September. As some aspects of his life quiet down, his character and his stories have become more vivid for us, his family.  The child of immigrant parents in the Italian-American community in San Francisco, he survived World War II in the South Pacific. And he has gone on to experience so much through his profession in corporate sales, his travels, and most of all through his lifetime of friendships. We often revel in his lively ongoing community.

Dad’s history of community has been as charitable as it is social. As a member of the Geneva Excelsior Lions Club in San Francisco for more than 50 years, he has, with his co-Lions, coordinated fundraising events to benefit charities for the blind, at-risk youth, scholarships, and more. Even though he lives many miles from where they hold their meetings and events, his commitment to the organization and those involved—who have become old friends—remains steady.roxdad2014 - Copy (2)

The Lions strive to recruit new members. And by many accounts, membership in fraternal organizations is in decline. Longstanding supporters are aging. Many younger people—potential new members—spend more of their time working or pursuing personal goals. Though I also have a history of volunteerism, in recent years I have opted for one-off opportunities over invitations to regularly attend meetings with local organizations, due in part to my “busy schedule.”

Although changing lifestyles make recruitment to service clubs more challenging, the trend also reflects changes in the ways many of us give these days. While online cause-based social giving and crowdsourcing may keep more people in their living rooms, these platforms have also galvanized effective new communities around giving and provided new ways to give.

Can online giving replace the warm camaraderie of three friends working in a neighborhood soup kitchen, or 500 people attending a neighborhood crab feed and charity raffle?  Not necessarily, but if an online database or shared events alert someone, for the first time, to a compelling charitable organization in their area—one to which they are inspired to donate or volunteer—then ideally, those online tools have indeed achieved something more personal.

Like my Dad, I have always found volunteering a wonderful way to contribute, network, and make friends. But decades ago, when his kids were finding our own ways in life, he urged us to “learn about computers.” My pursuit of his suggestion, along with observing his lifelong example of engaging with giving communities, have brought me to the work I do with JustGive.

This Father’s Day, I thank my dad for showing me how to be charitable and get involved in community. Following the example he set for me, one way I contribute is to maintain an online registry, for supporting causes that serve the local community where I live.

– Roxanne Gentile, Director of Technology

Mother’s Day – Musings on the Meaning of Mothering

image source: flickr: Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ

image source: flickr

As a child (and an only child, at that) I was frequently jealous of the attention, love and mothering my mom would give to other children in our community.

Working individually with kids at my elementary school (and later on in her long career in the juvenile justice system), my mom focused intently on helping children with special needs. She treated them all with love, kindness and respect, which is the very best way to teach those qualities. She did everything as a volunteer—from large-scale organizing to providing childcare and tutoring, and even raising awareness about diversity and body positivity—issues that continue to be important to me to this day.

Truly a mother to anyone who needed one, my mom was a lifelong nurturer. At home, she never said no to me . . .  even when I brought in a foundling stray kitten, or once, a pair of miniature aquatic crabs we found inexplicably crawling up Fillmore Street in San Francisco. In addition to the cat I have now adopted, her social justice work and her extensive networks of friends and family, my mom left behind a large number of rather brilliant abstract paintings, a sassy assertiveness I strive to emulate every day, and a deep respect for treating all living things with kindness and care that’s instilled in me.

When my mother passed away unexpectedly on April first of this year, I created a charity registry in her name, to raise funds for animal rescue and nonprofit veterinary organizations ASPCA and Pets Unlimited, plus our local Make-a-Wish chapter. And you know something? Each heartfelt donation and sympathy message that came through my registry made me feel incredibly cared for and loved. It’s amazing that even someone who might not be related to me, or know me very well, can give me that kind of love, strength and support with a simple gesture. It’s certainly made this time a lot easier.

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Source: Alex Mechanic

I honor my mother by striving to carry on her legacy of compassion, in the warm, giving spirit remembered by all who knew her. And the best feeling lately has been having that same warmth and generosity offered to me by all the various people in my life who I know in so many different ways. They have all been caring for me like one of their own.

Anyone can nurture like a mother does. It doesn’t depend on gender. It doesn’t even have to entail raising children. Caring and compassion are universal: Every one of us can give love and nurturing to anyone else – a child, adult, plant, or animal.

My good friend Sara can’t help but rescue a dying houseplant whenever she comes across one. It doesn’t matter what type of plant it is, she revives them back to health with a little work and TLC. That’s a perfect example of someone taking time to nurture the world around us in just the way a mother might.

So while it’s in my mother’s honor that I remember to smile and say hello to my neighbors and their kids, offer a listening ear to anyone I see having a bad day, and will continue to adopt as many animals as fit in my house, my models of mothering extend beyond her personal example.

I will never have children of my own, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to be mothering, and nurture everyone I share this earth with for some finite time. We can all do it. All we need to do is care for each other.

—Alex Mechanic, Service Team Manager

Five Charitable Causes That Need More Help During the Holidays

image source: flickr

image source: flickr

During the winter months, charities need extra assistance as they work with the challenges of cold weather and the holidays. These five causes need additional help right now, and can do more with your donations of supplies and money.

1. Children

Low-income and foster kids have an especially hard time during the holiday season, when a lack of money can mean no Thanksgiving or holiday meals, and no toys under the tree.

How you can help

2. Animals

This time of year, many animal shelters are overrun with animals, and, cold weather means they face even more challenges. .

How you can help

3. Hunger

In a season that revolves around food, charities that help the hungry are stretched to fill food packages and supply meals.

How you can help

4. Homelessness

The homeless need extra care during the freezing-cold winter months. Help them stay warm and provide the basic necessities.

How you can help

5. Disaster Recovery

Many victims of recent natural disasters lost all their possessions and may have no place to live during a time of year that should bring comfort and joy. Give them a reason to smile this season by helping them recover.

How you can help

Donating supplies may seem like a great idea, but an influx of tangible items is often difficult to handle and to deliver after a disaster, when systems are overtaxed. Donating money is a better choice and allows nonprofits working in the area to provide what survivors need most—even sourcing items locally that can help rebuild their economy.

Donate money to help survivors recover from:

This holiday season, put your money in the hands of the charities making a difference for these pressing causes. That creates a happy holiday for you and for those in need.

Three Meaningful and Unique Father’s Day Gifts

Fathers are notoriously hard to shop for. They usually don’t need more ties or another coffee mug, and after a few years, even the latest gadget feels, well…uninspired. So what can you buy for dad that will touch his heart? Is there a personal gift that says thanks and shows him he’s taught you what’s important in life?

Check out our Top 3 most thoughtful Father’s Day Gifts that give back. . . and give Dad a gift that changes the world!

ONEHOPE Wines

Does your dad love wine? We recently discovered ONEHOPE Wine and fell in love. ONEHOPE has a partnership with Robert Mondavi and donates half of their profits to charity. To date, they’ve donated over $1 million to their partner charities for a variety of causes, which range from autism to animals. Send your dad a bottle directly from ONEHOPE, or sign him up for their wine club. Too close to Father’s Day to have it shipped? You can also find ONEHOPE in stores like Whole Foods and Raley’s.

(RED) Campaign Apple iPods

Go (RED)! In case you haven’t heard about the campaign: (RED) was started in 2005 by Bono (of U2) to help end the AIDS epidemic in Africa. There are many (RED) products, which donate a portion of their proceeds to AIDS charities working in Africa. Since it takes only 40 cents a day to keep someone living with HIV in Africa alive, one purchase can make a big difference. Check out their online assortment for men, or visit retail stores like Apple and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Father's Day Charity Gift Guide

Or skip the retail hassle all together, and give directly to his favorite cause. JustGive has many gift options that make charitable giving (and receiving!) a joy. Our new Charity Gift Guide has 12 tangible and “manly” gifts of charity, so it’s easy to find one that fits your Dad. For example:

Another great option (besides donating in his name) is a personalized charity gift card—upload a special photo of the two of you and have it delivered to his email inbox. (You can even schedule it to arrive on Father’s Day!) You choose the amount, he chooses the charity to support.

Dads may be hard to buy for, but that doesn’t mean you need to settle for a boring gift. These are our three favorite inspired ideas. For more, see our Great Charitable Products guide on Pinterest. (And don’t forget to follow us!)

—Sara Olsher, Marketing Manager

The World’s Best Mother’s Day Gifts

Great Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

image source: Flickr

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re like me, you haven’t gotten a gift for your mom yet. If you’re waiting to find just the right gift, look no further – we’ve got six great ideas you’ll love.

First, something we’re very excited about: our new Mother’s Day Charity Gift Guide.

Filled with 12 tangible gifts of all sizes, our Charity Gift Guide has great options for your mom: feed an abandoned puppy or kitten ($20), help survivors of sex trafficking ($50), and more. Check out the Charity Gift Guide for more charitable ideas that are sure to touch your mom’s heart—and make a difference in the world (like she’s done in yours).

Help young girls become strong women

If something from the Charity Gift Guide doesn’t fit well for your mom, here are five more suggestions that surely will. Check out these other thoughtful Mother’s Day gifts:

A small gift and a big gesture

The best gifts for Mom show you care – so get her a small gift, and make it part of a bigger way your express your appreciation. To inspire you, here’s are five of the Best Mother’s Day Gifts:

5. Offer a helping hand

Has your mom been asking you to help her with the computer, paint the house, or organize the garage? If so, Mother’s Day is a great occasion to actually do it. Making her life easier is a great gift. If your mom isn’t the type to ask for help, think of things in her life that are giving her grief. Can you remove the spyware on her PC? Teach her how to Skype? Send the family photos to be digitized? There’s a whole world of ways to make Mom’s life a little brighter.

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4. DIY a special book of memories

My friend Mary recently put together a book of photos and memories for her mother. What a great idea! Two thoughtful options: A book capturing her life (photos of childhood to current day) or a book of your history together (your birth to today). You don’t have to be crafty to make something special – use Blurb.com to easily create a custom photo book (just allow a couple of weeks to receive it from Blurb). Then sit down and go through it with her on Mother’s Day. She’ll love the trip down memory lane.

3. A spa day and nice family dinner

For a mom that doesn’t have time to herself very often, give the gift of a massage or a facial. While she’s out getting pampered, get in the kitchen and cook her a delicious  meal (and I mean cook – the effort you put into it means a lot more than a dinner out, even if you’re no gourmet chef!). Have a beautiful table set to enjoy it with her when she returns.

2. Show your support for what she cares about

What causes are close to your mom’s heart? If she loves animals, make a donation to an organization she cares about and take her to play with the pups at your local humane society. Is she passionate about the environment? Why not create a charity “gift basket” of four charities that work for her cause, and organize a beach cleanup of her favorite spot? What Mom doesn’t love seeing evidence that you’ve actually been listening when she’s lectured you about what truly matters? 😉

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1. Quality time

For people like Anneka (a friend of ours on Facebook), the best gift for Mom is time – her mom always asks to go on a hike with her kids. Making memories and having a close relationship – isn’t that what most mothers want most? Make a date to spend time with your mother doing something she loves this Mother’s Day – organize a hike, take her out for lunch, or go to a movie she’s been wanting to see.

Unfortunately, my mom lives in another state (just for now, though, right Mom?), but this Mother’s Day she’ll be receiving something extra special to show just how much her daughter and her granddaughter both love her and appreciate all she’s done for us–especially in the past few months.

What are you giving your mom this year? What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever given or received? Share it in the comments below, or post it on our Facebook page!


– Sara Olsher, Marketing Manager