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

Charity Gift Cards: Company Gifts with More Meaning

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Gift Cards. They’re the ubiquitous, go-to gift in our modern age. They work for the person who has everything, or for that hard-to-gift friend or family member. They’ve even become common rewards in the corporate world for employees and loyal customers.

But what if a gift card could also give back? That’s exactly what our GiveNow charity gift cards do. When you give a JustGive charity gift card to someone, they can redeem it on our site to donate to any charity (more than 1.8 million online). It’s the ultimate pay-it-forward gift.

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

We’ve helped dozens of companies incorporate charity gift cards into their employee and customer programs. On our site, it’s easy to purchase large quantities of charity gift cards in just a few minutes. You can send them via email to your recipients, or download gift card claim codes and use them into your own communication.

BONUS: Gift card purchases are tax-deductible donations.

You can turn a gift-giving or reward opportunity into one that makes your employees or customers feel good, and empower them to make a difference for causes they care about. Here are several ways companies have done just that.

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Work Anniversaries

A major tech company purchases JustGive charity gift cards every month to give to their employees on their annual anniversary with the company. Employees then visit a website we’ve branded with the company’s logo and messaging to redeem the gift card and donate to a charity of their choice.

Gift with Purchase

An online retailer wanted to run a promotion offering a free gift with purchase, but wanted a gift with more meaning than cash back or additional merchandise.

They decided to offer our GiveNow charity gift cards to customers who made an online purchase of $100 or more. As soon as their purchase is completed, the customer receives a gift card claim code in their order email and visits a branded website on justgive.org to redeem it.

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Tradeshow Booth Giveaway

Job website Monster was looking for a unique incentive to attract customers to their tradeshow booth. JustGive supplied charity gift cards to hand out at the booth, and designed a branded donation website where attendees could redeem their cards. After entering a unique code, attendees selected a nonprofit to support from an approved group of charities.

Nearly 20,000 people participated and more than $1 million dollars was donated to charity. The program also raised Monster’s brand awareness among its most valuable enterprise customers.

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Image Source: Flickr

Client Gifts

A portfolio manager at a large financial institution was looking for a meaningful gift to give to his clients for key milestones in their lives, like the birth of a new baby, a new home purchase or other celebratory moment.

He discovered JustGive charity gift cards and now purchases them in bulk to keep on hand as gift opportunities arise. Clients have reacted positively to the cards and he feels like this gift helps him build stronger relationships.

On-Package Promotion/Giveaway

For its 100th anniversary, Life Savers candy wanted to create a way for its customers to donate online through a Connect for a Cause campaign. JustGive provided claim codes that were printed on Life Savers packaging, and customers visited a Life Savers-branded website to redeem the code for a donation to one of the featured charities in numerous cause areas.

The program ran for 4 months, brought in thousands of donations from Life Savers customers, and raised nearly $60,000 for charity.

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Holiday Gifts

SEER Interactive wanted to find something besides the standard gift basket to give clients for the holidays. SEER purchased our charity gift cards, which were personalized with the company’s logo and custom message, and emailed directly to clients. With just a few clicks, they could quickly donate online to their favorite charity through justgive.org.

After receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from clients, the company now purchases charity gift cards as their meaningful holiday gift every year.

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

P.S. To receive the latest news and trends in company philanthropy, subscribe to our newsletter.

Celebrating Ten Years of Giving

 

Our Founding Team

Our founding team in 2000—Lynda Greenberg, Orla McKiernan, Claire Bowen, Kristin Kennedy, Kay Kirman, Doug Abrams, Kendall Webb, Kirsten Johnson, Jen Chapin

 

My son’s first birthday is less than a month away. Turning one is a momentous occasion that he will enjoy, but won’t likely remember. It’s our community of family and friends that will keep the memories with them. We’ll have a small party, but aren’t expecting or asking for gifts. Our photos and shared experience will make it special. This month, JustGive is reaching a milestone that we’re just starting to celebrate: We turn ten years old!

Our Story: Becoming The Destination for Online Charitable Giving®

Back in the days before giving online was a “normal” thing to do, our founder Kendall Webb started JustGive to help create a new way for people to give. According to Kendall, our first office initially sported a Spartan setup of “three walls of tables” and “garbage cans as chairs.” Ten years later, JustGive is a leading innovator, developing new ways for people to give in their everyday lives.

JustGive started and survived due to the generosity of many supporters, including  Lexicon, a company whose staff conceived our name pro bono. In fact, in our first year, we received more than one million dollars in donated services! In the early years and tough times, the generosity of board members and donors kept JustGive going.

Novelist Doug Abrams says, “JustGive has made my giving so much easier, faster and more joyful. I can give to all the causes I care about (like Ocean Alliance), find new ones, and keep track of everything in one place. It’s made me a more generous person.” He appreciates that JustGive not only accepts donations but also “encourages innovative giving like using American Express points and charity registries for weddings.”

But more than any donation, JustGive exists today  because of the will of Kendall, the staff, and this one big, sticky idea: to constantly seek and develop new channels of giving through creative, innovative online solutions.

Over the years we’ve grown, (Visit here to learn more about our story) and our community of nonprofit and corporate friends has grown with us. From a landmark rewards programs with American Express, to pioneering charitable wedding services, we are proud to have sent more than $130 million dollars to tens of thousands of charities in the past decade. We remain firmly dedicated to helping donors give when, how, and as often as they want to more than 1.8 million charities working throughout the world.

We do this work for one reason: To increase charitable giving. We believe in the power of nonprofits that our users support.

Terrie M. uses JustGive exclusively because she can donate anonymously and eliminate solicitations. But to her, the biggest benefit is that charity gift card recipients can choose the organization to receive money. “That makes it truly a personal gift,” she explains. “My favorite charity is Prison Pet Partnership Program, which has women in prison train shelter dogs for service,” Terri comments. “With JustGive, it’s safe going online and donating to them.”

You are our community. We want to celebrate with you! And we would love, more than anything, is for more people to know about online giving. Will you help us spread the word? Take a minute to share with your friends, your family—your community— one of the ways they can give to the causes they care about through JustGive.

Visit us on Facebook and let the world know how we helped you give!

Or Tweet (@JustGiveOrg) #JustGiveis10 with your favorite way to give

We’ll share our ten favorite posts/tweets/responses!

11,000 people celebrate a birthday every day in the US

Mine is next month. Instead of an expensive dinner and flowers, or jewelry that will sit in a box, when friends and family ask, “What can we give you this year?” I tell them what I really want are GiveNow charity gift cards.

Gift cards give me the freedom to choose the charities I want. At a time when so many need a little extra help, the best present is one that lets me give back to others. The animal adoption organization I volunteer for was recently raising funds for a kitten to have surgery to make her healthy enough for adoption. With GiveNow cards I can give throughout the year to projects that need it most.

As summer winds down and you’re getting together with friends and families—building sandcastles at the beach, enjoying a BBQ in the backyard, or listening to a concert at the park—you may be celebrating someone’s birthday too. Or an anniversary or wedding. Or you may just want to thank your host in a special way. For any of these occasions or reasons, JustGive’s GiveNow charity gift cards are a great choice.

And right now, it’s a hot gift that comes with some cool saving. Through the end of August, you can Buy one charity e-card and you’ll get each additional one free!

Summer Sale

This special JustGive summer offer and a new selection of e-cards for every occasion and cause make it easy to select the perfect gift. Saving you money ($2 on each additional card) while giving your recipients the freedom to choose their favorite charity.

Pass it along: Tell a friend how to give a hot gift and enjoy cool savings while making the charity choice.

– Sarah Myers, Program Manager

$10 can change lives

Gustav, Hanna and Ike tore through the Carribean and Southeast U.S. leaving little more than debris and loss in their wake. Flooding in Haiti washed away crops ready for harvest and livestock relied upon for survival in a country already facing a food shortage.

Millions of people have already donated to disasters both at home and overseas. Many experience what might be described as “disaster fatigue” and are reluctant to continue giving. Not to mention already difficult financial times – a shaky stock market, gasoline and groceries prices through the roof, unemployment rates and home foreclosures at record highs.

What can I do? The crisis is so big and I don’t have a lot to give

By making a $10 donation to a charity already providing relief you can make a difference in the lives of people who have lost everything.

How many people are on your email list? Make a donation and let everyone in your address book know about it. Your generosity inspires a friend, co-worker or family member. They donate $10 and pass around the link to others. Before you know it, your donation has inspired 100 people to donate $10 each. You helped generate $1000 towards food, fresh water, rebuilding homes, and providing temporary shelter. Most importantly, you give hope to people who have lost everything.

Wow, that was easy. So, how else can I help?

Have a friend with a birthday coming up and don’t know what to get them? Make a dedicated donation and honor their commitment to their favorite cause.

Getting married and don’t need another toaster? Create a charity wedding registry and ask friends and family to make a donation in your names.

Find a local charity and ask about volunteer opportunities.

Want to spread the word? Tell a friend.