Year in review: A look back at 2016

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Thanks to your support and dedication to making a difference, JustGive sent $32,494,501 to charity in 2016.

This year $6,828,513 was donated through a Donate Now button – up 13% since 2015. Other nonprofit accomplishments include:

  • a new payment report for nonprofits, making it easier to keep records and donor lists up-to-date by searching check numbers to find corresponding donation details
  • our very first webinar to introduce new nonprofits to our Donate Now button
  • newly designed Donate Now buttons:

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Our support from corporate partners remained strong with 45% of donations coming through social responsibility programs.

Take a look at some of the impact we made together in 2016.

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We look forward to continuing our important work with you and growing the world of giving for an even more impactful 2017!

Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

Don’t miss out on other helpful tips and tools: To automatically receive an email when we post more, subscribe to our Nonprofit Blog.

GreatNonprofits’ NEW Giving Basket

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About the author: Aimen Barma of GreatNonprofits, has more than 25 years experience in product management and marketing executive. She has served in CXO,VP or consulting roles for Fortune 500 brands and Innovative technology start ups, such as Microsoft, eBay, PayPal,and many others.

By now, you’ve fought the crowds on Black Friday and worked your fingers to the bone on Cyber Monday, sneakily ordering holiday presents while your boss wasn’t looking. But there are still others hoping to receive a gift from you, one that will enable them to continue their great work of improving people’s lives.

Since 2012, the giving season for nonprofits that runs through the holidays until the end of the year has officially kicked off on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—Giving Tuesday. Perhaps you were one of the donors whose generosity contributed to the $168 million raised this past Nov. 29, a 44 percent increase over last year’s Giving Tuesday total. But if you haven’t made your contributions yet—or you have and still want to do more—GreatNonprofits has worked hard to make your experience as easy as possible.

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Since 2008, GreatNonprofits has been the leading platform for community-sourced stories about nonprofits, stories submitted by those who know the nonprofit best—clients, donors, and volunteers. And our team of graphic designers and engineers are constantly striving to make the user experience as fun as possible.

And with that in mind we’ve recently launched a brand-new, more visually appealing page layout that’s sure to help a nonprofit’s profile capture attention. If a picture truly says a thousand words, then nonprofits will be able to tell a much more compelling story with the now-larger photos prominently displayed at the top of the profile.

Our reviews are also now in easy-to-read columns and displayed in their entirety—no longer just a snippet and needing to click a “read more” link to see the whole story. And it’s easy to start the process of leaving your own thoughts with the “Share Your Story” button at the top of the page.

These change are of course made with our ultimate goal in mind: To make sure that all the great nonprofits out there receive the attention—and donations—they deserve.

And on that note, we are proud to announce that we’ve streamlined the donation process with our new easy-to-use Giving Basket feature. After researching which organizations you’d like to contribute to, simply locate the large aqua blue “Donate” button conveniently located at the top of the page, as well as in the right nav. Upon clicking, you’ll see an overlay with the option to donate $25, $50, $100, $250, or “other.”

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Upon choosing the amount, simply click the “Add to Giving Basket” button to either give at that moment. . .

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. . . Or add additional nonprofits to your basket if you are feeling particularly generous that day!

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In the past, GreatNonprofits users would have to make a separate transaction for each nonprofit they wished to contribute to. But with the Giving Basket, you can donate to multiple organizations in one easy transaction!

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Thanks to the Giving Basket, making the world a better place has never been easier! It’s quick, efficient, and, best of all, simple to use, so log in right now and make this holiday season—and beyond­—a great one for your favorite organizations!

5 Easy Ways to Help the Homeless

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Many of us could be steps away from homelessness. The loss of a job, sudden illness, or family death could be the route to total despair. People on the streets and in shelters across America have lost their homes and been deserted by family and friends. Here are 5 super easy ways to make a difference that you can incorporate into everyday:

  1. Develop lists of shelters. Figure out where your local shelters are and what services they offer, you can find shelters through the Homeless Shelters Directory. Print them on some cards or papers and hand them out to homeless people that want that information.
  2. Carry extras. Keep stuff in your car or a few items in your bag and hand them out to people that need them.
    • Things like hats, gloves, socks, heat packs and blankets can go a long way in the winter. (Knit some stuff for fun instead of buying it!)knitting_unsplash_small
    • Feminine hygiene products are SUPER important, and can be difficult for homeless women and girls to get a hold of.
    • Walgreens or Starbucks gift cards, so they can decide what they need.
    • Keep some food items with you, try to be aware of common food allergies when you decide what to carry. When you pass someone who asks for change, offer them something to eat.
  3. Give them money. You never know a someone’s life situation just because they are on the street. Something you can give to anyone that is useful, lightweight, and portable is MONEY. That money can be used by a number of things. For more information on why money is important check out Lily A Rayne’s response to blessing bags which features a great response from a homeless person about what they really need.
  4. Volunteer. food_line_unsplash_smallThere are so many ways you can volunteer, pick what feels best to you: Shelters, follow-up programs and soup kitchens, can almost always take more help. Find out where you can provide your professional services or your hobbies (no matter what you are good at, you can find ways help the homeless with your talents and skills).
  5. Donate to nonprofits. One of the most direct ways to aid the homeless is to give money. Donations to nonprofit organizations that serve the homeless go a long way.

No matter what, don’t judge people you see on the street, you don’t know why they are there. A little compassion and kindness goes a long way…especially in winter. Go help someone today!

Are People in Your Neighborhood Going Hungry?

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43 million Americans are going hungry. Can you tell who in your neighborhood is going without food? 1 in every 8 people you pass by on the street could be missing meals.

The latest statistics on hunger from Feeding America tell us:

  • 1 in 8 Americans go hungry every day.
  • 1 in 6 children in the United States don’t have enough to eat.
  • 1 in 12 seniors in the U.S. struggle to access enough food.

Feeding America provides an interactive map of food insecurity in the United States. Check out your district to see how you compare to others. Is your neighborhood hungry? What can you to do change that? How can we make this better?

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Easy Ways to Make a Difference for Hunger

Donate Food. Find a local food bank that’s collecting food. Check their website or call and ask what food items they need, but them and deliver them to the food bank. Make sure to check their hours for accepting donations.

Start a Food Drive. Move for Hunger has great information on how to set up a food drive in your area. Check out their tops, find a great location and get your community involved.

Fundraise. Create an online fundraiser and get others involved in raising money for charities solving hunger issues. You can set one up in minutes on JustGive and post your appeal on social media to get your friends and family involved. When someone asks what’s on your holiday gift list, tell them gifts of charity for the hungry would mean the most to you.

Volunteer. Find a local food banks, soup kitchen or rescue mission serving meals and collecting food.  Find a few and call around to see who can use the help and set up a time to go. Their need is ongoing; offer to help as often as you can.

Give.  There are a lot of nonprofits doing great work to fight hunger, and your donation gives them the ability to do more. It doesn’t take much to make a big impact. We have a short list of recommended hunger charities on the JustGive site, and here are a few examples of what your gift can do:

Let’s take action today and do something for the more than 43 million Americans who don’t have enough food to eat . . . so no one goes hungry.

 

JustGive and JustGiving join forces: what this means for you

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We at JustGive are excited to announce we have joined JustGiving, the world’s largest social giving platform.  JustGiving operates the website www.JustGiving.com.

Both organizations were founded at about the same time over 15 years ago, with an identical goal: to grow charitable giving by connecting people with the charities and causes they care most about.

Headquartered in London, UK, JustGiving has helped 27m people in 165 countries raise $4bn for NPOs and grassroots projects since its launch in 2001. The company has built a solid reputation for its commitment to technology innovation and the early use of advanced analytics to grow charitable giving.

kendallOur CEO Kendall Webb said: “In the US, JustGiving is one of the non-profit world’s best kept secrets. Our new collaboration aims to change that. We are proud to be joining forces to grow our positive social impact by combining JustGive’s unique experience and knowledge with JustGiving’s ground-breaking platform.”

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Zarine Kharas, co-founder of JustGiving said, “Our belief is that giving is global, and we cannot wait to grow our community of users, NPOs and corporations in the USA, and help them raise more money together for the causes they are passionate about.”

What will change for donors?

Nothing about the website or donor accounts will change, apart from the changes to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. www.justgive.org will still be the place for donors to make contributions to their favorite charities, and to search for and donate to over 2 million U.S. charities. JustGive.org will also continue to offer charity gift cards, charity fundraisers (including wedding fundraisers), and all the other helpful features that make it easy to donate to charity.

What will change for the Nonprofits that use JustGive’s services?

Nothing at all will change, apart from the changes to our NPO Terms of Use, Donor Terms of Service, and Privacy Policy. In particular, our fees are not changing.  If you are an NPO you will continue to receive donations through JustGive.org, your npo.JustGive.org donation page (if you have set one up), and our various other partner programs. When a donation is made to your organization we’ll still send you a check on the 10th of the following month for the donations that were made in the previous month.

Please take a moment to review our updated terms which reflect the fact that your JustGive service will now be provided by JG US, Inc, JustGiving’s US subsidiary: You can find our updated terms here:

We are excited for this new chapter for JustGive, and continuing our mission to increase charitable giving by connecting people with the charities and causes they care most about.

Kendall Webb
Founder and CEO
www.justgive.org

Contributions pour in for victims of the Orlando shootings; here’s how you can help

Thousands gather during the Sunday evening vigil in San Francisco's Castro district to mourn and honor the victims of the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. Photo: Gabrielle Lurie, Special To The Chronicle

Thousands gather during the Sunday evening vigil in San Francisco’s Castro district to mourn and honor the victims of the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. Photo: Gabrielle Lurie, Special To The Chronicle

In the early hours of Sunday, June 12, a gunman, who has now been identified as Omar Mateen, killed 49 people and wounded 53 more in an attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The nightclub is one of the most popular LGBTQ clubs in the city.

As authorities comb through evidence and Matten’s background to determine the why and how’s of the tragic event, millions around the world are mourning the tragic loss of life in what has become one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. The tragedy has also inspired great acts of charity and kindness from around the nation.

As of Wednesday afternoon, a gofundme campaign to aid the victims of the shooting (families of the deceased and those injured) has raised over $4.5 million dollars. The campaign was started by Equality Florida, statewide organization advocating for gay and lesbian rights. The donations have come from nearly 97,000 individual donors.

Another organization, Lutheran Church Charities based in Chicago, IL, sent their K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, composed of 12 golden retriever dogs, down to Orlando to comfort first responders, mourners and victims who were hospitalized after the shooting. The canine crew has been working through Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Orlando, which has an outreach ministry aimed at the local LGBT community.

The Walt Disney Company announced a donation of $1 million to the OneOrlando Fund that benefits non-profits in the community. The purpose of the Fund is to provide a way to respond to the needs of the Orlando community, now and in the time to come, after the effects of the Pulse tragedy.

The National Compassion Fund is also distributing 100% of the funds received directly to victims, which has already totaled over $4 million. Pulse, the nightclub where the shooting took place, has also started an Employee Recovery Fund to provide financial assistance to employees while they are out of work.

JustGive sends our condolences out to all victims and their families of the Orlando shooting. To contribute to any of the above efforts for Orlando, use the links below:

Pulse Victims Fund – GoFundMe
OneOrlando Fund
Pulse Employee Recovery Fund
The National Compassion Fund

– The JustGive Team
http://www.justgive.org

High Magnitude Earthquakes Hit Ecuador and Japan

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It’s Monday morning and rescuers are searching for survivors and missing people in Ecuador and Japan. Over the last few days both countries have experienced high magnitude earthquakes resulting destruction, death and injury.

The island of Kyushu, Japan has been experiencing powerful earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks since April 14, 2016 when a 6.2-magnitude quake struck the island. The worst the island has felt was a 7.0-magnitude quake on April 16th.  Rescuers in Southern Japan are working to help injured and displaced people while hoping the death toll doesn’t rise higher than its current 42.

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The coast of Ecuador was also hit Saturday, April 16, 2016, with a major 7.8-magnitude quake along the coast. With nearly 300 dead in Ecuador and more than 2,500 injured, rescuers are rushing to find survivors.

It is devastating to see these quakes happening at the same time. Rescue forces are in place.  Please make a donation to support the relief efforts for Ecuador and Japan:

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-Julia Hughes
Product Manager

Giving From Your Heart

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Follow your heart. Listen to your heart. Your heart knows the way.

There are a lot of clichés that encourage you to be guided by what you feel and take action based on what you believe in your heart. And in this National Heart Month, rather than focus on physical heart health, let’s talk about emotional heart health.

15910043680_5b040e7726_mYou never know when one word or one helpful gesture or act of kindness can mean the world to someone else. Giving them reason to go on, to believe in goodness again, or to get through a rough patch. You don’t know when a smile hides incredible sadness and pain, and how reaching out in some way when the inclination strikes you can change the course of a life. The best we can do is to follow our hearts and try . . . not shying away from feelings, but paying attention to ­­­­them.

The emotions and beliefs we have about giving are not something we talk about as much in the business world as in nonprofit circles. Disasters and deaths, though, can break through our veneer and are when we more publicly express emotions.

When it comes to charity, we give because of the good it will do—and the impact it can make. We also give because something that happens in life gets to us, and we want to make things better. We give because we care.

I’m borrowing from a familiar credit card commercial message, but I believe giving from your heart is “priceless.”

3211153569_b93ba33f2a_mI know we’re a month past making resolutions for this year, and actually, I’m not asking you to make a new resolution for 2016. I’m asking you to make a resolution for your life: make giving from your heart a part of how you show up in the world.

I’m not going to try to sell you on the benefits of giving or why it makes us happy. I’ll just say this: giving money away can improve your health and is, quite literally, good for your heart.

And this heart month, I challenge you to listen, find what connects for you, and take action. Starting now.

Support what touches your heart

Have you lost a loved one to a terrible disease or personal tragedy? Give to help find a cure for the health issue that has personally touched you, to keep tragedy from striking other families, and to provide support for someone else who has to deal with it.

kitty_love_unsplashAre the commercials that show abused animals so hard to watch you switch the channel? Don’t push those emotions away, do something about it. If you aren’t in a position to give money, volunteer your time or donate old blankets—doing what you can for something you feel so strongly about. Put your energy to work so the day comes when there’s no reason for those commercials to exist.

Are you frustrated by our education system, worried that kids don’t have all the resources and opportunities they need to succeed, and concerned about what they’re not getting at school (food, support, exposure to the arts, more)? Give them access to what they need to change their lives.

Do you believe we need to make sure the basic needs of others around the world are taken care of?  Support the nonprofits sending them global aid—for better health and life-saving services that we too often take for granted.

I have a sensitive heart. I feel things deeply, and family members and friends know that about me. But I don’t make any excuses for who I am. And I hope I’m known for being true to who I am, all the time. When I care, it’s sincere. When I feel it, I react. And when I give, it’s from my heart.

This month, I challenge you to do the same.  Give from—and for—your heart. For your life.

If you need help finding a charity:

And if you want to help with today’s pressing issues, read our blog. Better yet, subscribe and we’ll automatically send you an email every time we post a new blog.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Year in Review: A Look Back at 2015

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Thanks to your giving and support, JustGive sent more than $30 million to charity in 2015!

Our charity gift cards continued to be popular in 2015, showing a 300%+ increase thanks in part to a much-improved process for companies and individuals to order gift cards in bulk through the JustGive website.

This year, we redesigned our Fundraisers product, making it easier to raise funds for charity through a nonprofit campaign or for a special occasion or cause, an upcoming wedding, or in memory of a loved one.

We also improved the Nonprofit Services section of our website to make it simpler for our member charities to use JustGive’s online donation tools to collect and track their donations.

And we’re proud to have helped our many partners by developing and supporting corporate giving programs as part of their social responsibility efforts.

Here’s a glimpse of our impact—and what we accomplished together— in 2015.

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We’re working hard in 2016 to do more good, and continue fulfilling our mission to make charitable giving a part of everyday life.

Thank you for giving!

– Andrea Lloyd
Director of Programs

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Real Help for the Homeless

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Living in California for the last 20+ years, I see people who are homeless more than I ever have in my life.  As the weather gets bitter, I shudder when I think about men and women sleeping on cardboard in San Francisco. I’m also haunted by the growing number of homeless teens I see hanging out at a local gas station. And I know there are so many more….

It is not my imagination that there are more homeless people in the Golden State. Latest statistics show five states—California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Massachusetts—accounted for more than half of the homeless population in the United States. This past year, according to US Department of Housing and Urban Development, California experienced the second-largest increase in the number of homeless people among 50 states.

The Face(s) of Homelessness

 

On any given night, the National Alliance to End Homelessness says nearly 579,000 Americans are homeless. Of that number, more than 362,000 are individuals, and over 216,000 are people in families.

While homeless young people are more transient and challenging to count, it’s currently estimated that about 50,000 youth in the United States sleep on the street for six months or more.

homeless-man-552571_pixabayIt’s hard not to look away from the homeless—in person, and in my heart. Whenever I’m asked for money or read a sign someone is holding at a light or freeway ramp, I get skeptical and wonder how they’d use any money I give.  So I pause.

The most recent data shows, in general, that the number of people sleeping in shelters and transitional housing is increasing.  This suggests communities and nonprofits are doing a better job getting people off the streets and under a roof. To me, that seems like a good place to start helping.

Three Ways to Make a Difference for Homeless People

Donate food and items.
The next time you’re in an area where you expect to see a homeless person, bring along an extra cup of coffee, sandwich, or a meal package with protein-rich foods like trail mix and beef jerky (the most sought-after food). If you have the time, take the homeless person to a nearby fast food restaurant to order the meal they want.

Contact your local shelters and ask what they need. (You can find one in your city here.) Are there specific food items they’re short on? Or are blankets, clothing, socks, band aids, lip balm, lotion, children’s toys or something else more in demand? Share the season’s spirit of giving; get your family involved in buying and dropping off a holiday care package.

Volunteer.
It’s easy to help prepare or serve a holiday meal at a local shelter or church this time of year. But volunteers are needed year round. What skills can you contribute? Consider volunteering on a regular basis, and offer to clean or help rehab buildings, design a website, provide accounting support, play with or tutor children, write resumes or help prepare a homeless person to interview for a job—depending on your talents. Access this directory to find an agency near you.

Give money.
One of the most direct ways to help the homeless is to give money. Donations to nonprofit organizations can go a long way:

  • At Front Steps, $25 takes care of basic hygiene needs. Donate now
  • With $60, the Covenant House gives a homeless child clean clothes and cozy bedding. Donate now
  • For $100, Big Sunday supplies 25 bags of everyday essentials for homeless people. Donate Now

For more charities helping the homeless, check out the JustGive Guide.

More Ways

These are a few ways to help the homeless—here’s a list of many more.

wanderer-814222_pixabayIf you’re not in a position to do any of these things, remember that a smile, kind word and respect go a long way. People who are homeless deserve our empathy.

As for me, I’m re-training myself not to ignore homelessness, and in any way I can, to help. Just as there are many reasons why people become homeless, I know there are just as many ways to start making things better.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant