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.

 

YEAR IN REVIEW: A LOOK BACK AT 2014

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Thanks to your giving and support, JustGive expanded philanthropy and sent more than $30 million to charity in 2014!

We passed a major milestone in May, processing our 1 millionth donation, and are proud that 24 percent of giving came from 2013 donors returning to use the site. We also saw charity gift card purchases grow by 9 percent. To be more accessible and expand our services, we launched our mobile responsive site and added the ability for companies to independently buy a quantity of gift cards.

Here’s a glimpse of our impact—and what we accomplished together—this year.

We’re charging into 2015 eager to do more good, fulfilling our mission to make charitable giving a part of everyday life. Here’s to making more of a difference!

Help us kick off the year in the best way possible: Set up an automatic monthly donation to your favorite charities today.

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Thank you for giving.

—Andrea Lloyd, Director of Programs

THE MANY FACES OF HOMELESSNESS: HOW YOU CAN HELP

blog_title_image_homelessnessKnowing how to help a homeless person can sometimes feel difficult, confusing and overwhelming. The dollar you give might be used to buy drugs or alcohol. Even offering food can be a problem – imagine handing an apple to a homeless man and then discovering he has no teeth. Just as there are many reasons people become homeless, there are also many ways to help. Understanding the leading causes of homelessness is often the best way to learn what the homeless need and how you can make a positive difference in their lives. The chronically homeless, who often struggle with mental health or substance abuse issues, need a safe and stable living environment where they can get counseling and health care. To help them, consider volunteering at a local shelter or halfway house that provides longer-term housing. Donating clean towels, pillows and blankets can also help create a comfortable and safe living environment. The majority of homeless youth bw_homeless_teens_21461332have been kicked out of their homes or abandoned by parents or guardians. Others who left on their own accord have suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their families. For many, trusting another adult or authority figure can be difficult. One of the best ways to help is to simply ask them what they need. Maybe it’s a hot meal, a warm coat or a clean pair of socks; or maybe it’s information on how to get into foster care, enroll in a drug and alcohol detox program or register for the GED. Taking the time to listen to their needs, and to follow through, can go a long way in helping them regain their trust in others and get off the streets. imm needs housing homelessFor many veterans, physical disability, mental anguish and post-traumatic stress can make readjusting to civilian life very difficult. This can lead to drug and alcohol addiction, the inability to hold down a steady job and homelessness. Because many veterans have very specific needs to help them get back on their feet—job placement services, medical services, housing assistance, counseling—there are numerous ways to get involved. Consider donating your time or money to organizations which help homeless vets:

While we need to address the problem of homelessness as a whole, the more we can understand each person’s individual circumstances, the more we can help. Before making assumptions or judgments, take the time to ask some questions and do a little research. It can make all the difference. The Face(s) of Homelessness

  • Number of homeless in the United States: 610,042
  • Number of chronic homeless: 109,132 (18%)
  • Number of homeless youth under 18: 380,000
  • Number of homeless veterans: 57,849 (9%)

For more charities helping the homeless with shelter, counseling services and job training.

-Amelia Glynn, Marketing Contractor

#GivingTuesday Tools & Tips for Nonprofits

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 is the event known as #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

As a nonprofit organization, #GivingTuesday offers you a great opportunity to energize your supporters to participate in a worldwide movement. Lasting just 24 hours, #GivingTuesday creates a sense of urgency, motivating them to give.

We want to make #GivingTuesday as successful as possible for all JustGive’s nonprofit partners (Not a partner yet? Sign up here – it’s free!).

Here are a few tips and tools to help you make the most of #GivingTuesday:

Brand Your JustGive Donation Page With #GivingTuesday        

Help drive donations by customizing your JustGive donation page with #GivingTuesday branding.Upload a logo that incorporates #GivingTuesday, add special, jg_gtsuggested donation amounts like $122.14 (12-2-14), or add a special program designation for #GivingTuesday contributions. The more your donation page and communications leverage the #GivingTuesday campaign, the more inspired your donors are to give.

Get Your Graphics and Links Ready

The #GivingTuesday website has a library of images and graphics you can use on your website, in emails and on social media to drive donations. Just be sure to use your custom JustGive donate page link with the graphics.

Plan Your Communications

#GivingTuesday only lasts 24 hours so it’s important to make the most of your communications that day. Plan how you’ll communicate on social media and by email. gtWe recommend emailing your donors early in the morning on #GivingTuesday, asking them to donate through your JustGive link, and encouraging them to follow your progress on your social media channels.

Then, throughout the day, use social media to update your supporters. Be sure to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag in your communications. Make it easy on yourself and take advantage of ready-to-use materials: visit the #GivingTuesday website for free nonprofit tools, sample messages, logos, and more.

Track Your Donations In Real-Time

Donors love knowing that they’re part of a bigger effort, and nothing motivates giving like seeing others give. Share your #GivingTuesday progress with your supporters throughout the day on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. To get your real-time donation data, log into your JustGive Nonprofit account to view reports. Then thank your donors for their contribution with a tweet or Facebook post (we recommend first name, last initial to preserve people’s privacy). A post like “Thanks for making a donation this #GivingTuesday, Sarah B.!” makes Sarah feel good, and will inspire others to join in.

To find out more about #GivingTuesday and get even more tips and toolkits, visit http://www.givingtuesday.org/. Here’s to a very successful December 2!

– Sarah Bacon

Director of Product

Hunger and Food Justice: Community Building for Food Equality

Hunger: it’s a daunting problem the world over. Even though I was eager to research and write on this topic, when I started to dig into it, I got more and more overwhelmed with how broad and profound the issue … Continue reading

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

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

5 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

Five Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

It’s already begun: it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and the holiday season is everywhere. Babies R’ Us was playing Christmas carols last week, and Target has the candy, decorations and gifts out in full force.

I find it a little bit exhausting, don’t you?

My goal for the holiday season is always the same: Simplify. This year I’ll be sharing how I do this, right here on the JustGive blog. For me, a big part of creating a simple and meaningful holiday season is about redefining the season itself—which means less stuff. With less stuff, I feel less stress.

One of the easiest and most impactful ways to bring meaning to the season is to give back instead of giving “stuff.” Here are five ways to give back this holiday season, taking the stress out of gift giving and making you (and your recipient) feel warm and fuzzy inside:

1 — Create a Charity Wishlist

Create a Charity Wishlist

I started working at JustGive earlier this year, and was thrilled to learn about Charity Wishlists for the holiday—it’s a totally new concept to me. As much as I love the thought behind gifts, I really don’t need anything. By creating a Charity Wishlist, I can raise money for my favorite charities instead of receiving gifts from my family and friends. And that makes me feel better than any piece of jewelry or retail gift card ever could. Here’s my wishlist for the season—check it out, and consider creating one of your own!

2 — Give Gifts of Charity 

Charity Holiday Gift Guide

This year at JustGive, we’ve created an exciting new Holiday Gift Guide to make giving more meaningful. It’s filled with charitable gifts that show you the impact your donation has on the world. Choose from 12 of the timeliest issues, including hunger, job support, LGBT rights, and peace—there’s a gift for every budget.

3 — Give Charity Gift Cards

Charity Gift Card for Holiday Gifts

Charity Gift Cards are perfect for someone you might not know that well (a holiday gift for a co-worker, for example), for a friend or family member who has a charitable heart, and for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list. You choose the amount for the gift card, and they choose the charity (or charities!) to receive the donation. There are email, print-at-home, and physical cards – and more than a million charities on JustGive they can donate to.

One of the coolest features (in my opinion) is the ability to buy your gift cards ahead of time, and then schedule them to be emailed whenever you’d like.

Another fun option is to upload your own photo, making for a very personal gift.

4 — Give a Charity Collection

Charity Gift Basket

If you know someone who cares about a specific cause, a charity collection is a unique and great gift. Each collection includes four charities working toward a particular cause. There are 16 causes to choose from, including Animals, Arts, Education, Homes & Jobs, and Military. Check them all out here. 

5 — Share the Message

What better way to create a more peaceful, simple holiday season than to get others involved too? After you make a commitment to help others this holiday season, spread the word to your friends and family. You can start a new tradition and include charity as part of your gift exchanges.

You can also join JustGive in the #GivingTuesday movement, which counters the consumerism and commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We’ll be offering an amazing deal to help you give more generously, too—so check JustGive on November 27 or sign up for our newsletter to hear all about it.

How will you celebrate the holiday season? Do you incorporate charity or volunteering? Comment below or join the conversation on Facebook!

—Sara Olsher, Marketing Manager

JustGive’s Top 5 Most Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts

Image Source

For the first 27 years of my life, Mother’s Day was about giving gifts. Artwork when I was very little, handmade cards when I was a little older, and a nice pair of earrings as an adult.

I’m now a mom myself, and as I’m sure many new mothers can attest, giving birth often comes with a sudden sense of “OMG Mom, I totally understand every single thing you ever said to me.” We mothers truly feel every bit of the pain (and the joy) our children experience, in addition to a near-constant worry. This is both exhausting and an incredible blessing.

Here’s what I realized during my first Mother’s Day as a mom: while I’m sure my mom loved the earrings I got her, Mother’s Day is about appreciation, not about gifts. Motherhood is an amazing but often-thankless journey that involves a lot of sacrifice . . . and Mother’s Day is one specific day a year set aside to show her how much we appreciate all she has done for us.

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 our countdown to a few of the Best Mother’s Day Gifts for 2012:

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