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

 

 

Your year-end checklist: Resolve to give back starting now

I’ve noticed in recent years that resolutions have become a thing of the past. People don’t want to create unrealistic goals and feel the let down of not living up to their own expectations. Or perhaps they just find it cliché and instead resolve not to resolve.

For me, December 31st is a simple marker in the year where I can stop and reflect on what I have accomplished . . . and what else I hope to do moving forward. This year, I’ve done more writing and photography than ever, moved to a new apartment in San Francisco, and paid off a lot of my dreaded student loans.

But one of the most important things I’d like to do more of next year—especially now that I’m moving out of a “student” lifestyle and into some financial stability—is to give back. So far, I’ve managed to find ways to give here and there: buying charity gift cards, volunteering, and giving a few individual donations. But I haven’t yet made it a part of a personal giving plan.

Ring in the New Year on a positive note…

Join me and create your own giving plan. We can start now, with three steps to finish 2011 right. And we can kick off 2012 with a resolution that feels good all year long:

1. Donate by December 31 – I’m getting in my last donations for 2011 and adding to my charitable deductions for the year. Do the same: Give to your favorite charity, donate in someone’s name, or buy a charity gift card as a New Year’s gift —they choose the cause and you get the deduction.

2. Get it on the Record – JustGive creates a Giving History online for every donor with convenient access to charitable information needed for taxes. I’m able to do all my giving in one place and can easily keep track of it. Whether I’m donating or buying a charity collection, sending a gift card, or making a charity or wedding registry gift, it’s all recorded and stored for me online.

3. Plan to Plan – I want to make a bigger difference with my giving in 2012. By ticking the recurring box on any donation, I can affordably budget my charitable gifts throughout the year. JustGive automatically sends my donation each month . . . and I check ‘charity’ off my resolution list instantly!

Questions?

Still not sure about how to make charity a part of your own budget in 2012? Visit our Giving Wisely page for more info and things to consider as you develop a plan that works for you and supports the causes you care about.

P.S. Let’s get the buzz going: How do you plan to make a difference with your giving? Which charities do you support and why? Tell your story on Facebook – and we’ll spread the word about the good work being done across the country. 


– Michelle Koffler, Marketing Coordinator