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!

An introduction to JustGive’s Donate Now button: Webinar Highlights

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Today, JustGive hosted a webinar to introduce nonprofits to our Donate Now button. With Giving Tuesday less than three weeks away we thought it was important to give nonprofits helpful information about fundraising and get as many nonprofits as possible involved in the movement. Many of the features we offer can be implemented for Giving Tuesday. The webinar demonstrated how to customize their donation page in order to raise more donations and reducing fundraising fees.

If you missed the session, you can view it anytime here: An introduction to JustGive’s Donate Now button.

Webinar highlights

Features of the Donate Now button

Our Donate Now button gives nonprofits numerous ways to highlight their cause in ways that increase donations and the option of covering the fees which reduces fundraising fees. These features include:

  • Branding and messaging
  • Custom donation amounts
  • Custom program descriptions
  • Donor paid fees

Other features enhance the donor experience inspiring them to give more and more often. These features include:

  • Mobile responsive template
  • Recurring donations
  • Friendly customer service and support
  • Tax receipt and giving history
  • Gift and memorial designations

Setting up your Donate Now button is quick and easy

  1. Register with your EIN or tax Id number
  2. Upload your logo and enter your mission statement
  3. Customize your donation amounts
  4. Add descriptions of what donations can accomplish for your programs
  5. Add program names
  6. Create a shortcut url
  7. Launch button on your site or send link through email or social media postings

Reporting

Our reporting provides you with access to donor details at any time so you can acknowledge donors and stay in touch.

Next Steps

If you missed the session, you can view it anytime here: An introduction to JustGive’s Donate Now button. Hope to see you at any future webinars.

Andrea Lloyd, Business Development Director

Are There Service Fees for Nonprofits?

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Featured Nonprofit FAQ
Are There Service Fees for Nonprofits?

Here at JustGive, we offer services that help you fundraise and reach more donors, including the ability to process online donations. One question we’re often asked is if there are fees associated with our services.

Question
Is there a cost for our nonprofit organization to have a JustGive account or to use JustGive’s donation services?

Answer
There is no set up or monthly fee for nonprofits to use JustGive. It’s free for any 501(c)(3) organization to sign up for an account on JustGive.

Once you have a nonprofit account, you can also create a custom donation page for your organization, and place donation buttons and links on your website to collect online donations. We handle all the processing of those donations and mail your organization a monthly check for donations received.

When a donor makes a donation to your nonprofit through your JustGive donation page, button or link, we deduct a 4.5% processing fee to cover transaction costs and credit card fees. This fee is deducted from the donation before we send payment to you. (JustGive doesn’t bill you at any time.)

justgiveDonors have the option at checkout to cover the processing fee, which allows 100% of the donation to go to your organization.

For donations made directly through the JustGive site (www.justgive.org), there is an additional flat charge of $.35 deducted per donation.

But for nonprofits np_btn_donate_nowusing a JustGive Donation Page or custom Donate Now button or link, we waive the $.35 flat charge.

Find out more about collecting donations on JustGive.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

Living with the Threat of Breast Cancer

Living with the Threat of Breast Cancer

When I was two years old, my dad’s sister died from breast cancer. She was 42. Sixteen years later, my mom’s sister, age 50, was diagnosed.  These are not my only relatives who have had breast cancer. In fact, every woman in my family, with the exception of my mother, has had breast cancer.

My dad’s sister is a “first-degree” relative. And because a woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative diagnosed with it, I have to be very conscious about breast health.

Early Detection and Screening

My aunt was diagnosed at age 39, which led my doctor to suggest I start getting mammograms at age 29. I also do monthly self-breast exams. When she died, my aunt left behind two teenage daughters and a son. My female cousins and I have had many discussions about how we are each managing the risk. Because they are over 40 now, they both get yearly MRIs and mammograms.

We’ve talked about what we’d do if any of us found a cancerous lump. Would we consider radical mastectomy? What does early intervention mean? Even though these are very hard conversations, we all feel they are important: it’s the difference between life and death, and ignoring it or living in denial doesn’t make it go away.

Having a first-degree relative is not the only risk factor for breast cancer, but it’s one of the more serious. Women with inherited gene mutations (such as BRCA1 and BRCA2) have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime, and to be diagnosed younger. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you can be screened for these gene mutations. If they’re found, you can opt for more tests and begin to make some difficult decisions (like radical mastectomy).

When my dad went to see a geneticist, the doctor offered to test him for the BRCA genes for my benefit (and likely that of my cousins as well). Luckily, he does not have them.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to monthly breast exams and early mammograms, I’ve made some lifestyle changes as well. A few years ago, I was watching an episode of Oprah that featured Kris Karr, a woman living with an untreatable form of Stage 4 cancer. Her message was simple: change your lifestyle, because the products you eat and put on your skin could be killing you. I bought her book and was riveted.

Since then, I’ve read a few more books and consciously work on eating healthier. Research shows, almost unequivocally, that a plant-based diet can actually stop or even reverse cancer growth. So I don’t eat very much meat or dairy, and I include as many fruit/vegetable options as possible in my meals. Check out the documentary Forks Over Knives if you’d like an entertaining and informative introduction to treating disease with healthy foods.

In addition to dietary changes, I’m also careful about plastics and cosmetics. Chemicals such as BPA and phthalates, which are commonly found in plastics and cosmetics such as makeup and lotions, can cause cancer.  If you’d like to learn more about plastics, I recommend the documentary Bag It. The last part of the film is dedicated specifically to cosmetics and plastics we use in everyday life—it’s really eye opening. Wondering what’s in your lotion? Search this database to find out what’s in your cosmetics.

Breast cancer is an incredibly pervasive disease that has touched most of our lives: if not personally, through a friend or a family member. It’s important that all women know the risk factors, not just those of us with a family history.

Read more about breast health and self-examinations at breastcancer.org.

How You Can Help

Donate to charities that are educating women and working to find a cure. And spread the word. Here are a few of my favorites:

Breast Cancer Charities

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is committed to providing adults and children with cancer the best treatment available today while developing tomorrow’s cures through cutting-edge research. (Charity Navigator ranks it as one of the best breast cancer charities.)
Donate

Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)
BCRF supplies critical funding for innovative research into breast cancer treatment. More than 90 cents of every dollar spent by the organization goes to breast cancer research and awareness programs.
Donate

Working to Make Products Safer

Breast Cancer Fund
The Breast Cancer Fund has an amazing website with a wealth of information about the environmental causes of breast cancer. They’re working hard to raise awareness about the carcinogens in our everyday products
Donate 

Have any questions about breast cancer or my experience? Leave them in the comments, or join us on Facebook. I’d love to continue to the conversation!

–Sara Olsher, Marketing Manager