September 11, a Day to Commemorate, Honor and Serve

Today we commemorate the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a day that changed the course of history forever. Also called Patriot Day and 9/11 Day, September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance calls upon all Americans to not only reflect on the innocent victims and courageous heroes that were lost on that day, but to turn a day of tragedy into a day of hope by doing acts of kindness and service. The official commemoration held at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in NY which includes the reading of all the names of the perished can be viewed here today from 8:25am - noon EST.

The cowardly acts of that day were meant to weaken and divide us, but by performing acts of service we build upon and remind the world of the strength and unity that was born of that tragedy. David Paine, co-founder of, explained it best when he said, "We didn't want the terrorists to forever define how 9/11 would be remembered. We wanted to focus instead on how our nation came together, the spirit of unity and compassion shared by so many."

Thanks to the efforts of organizations like, 9/11 Day has grown to be the nation’s largest annual day of charitable engagement. You can find a searchable database of volunteer opportunities in your area at If you are unable to volunteer in person, you can still make a great contribution to the cause when you raise needed items for your favorite local charity on YouGiveGoods . And remember, while it is ideal that you volunteer on 9/11, an act of volunteerism any day of the year contributes to the overall movement of compassion and unity.

On this day we vow to “Never Forget”. There is a whole generation of kids who were born after 9/11/01 or are too young to remember the tragic day so it is essential that the details and history of events are taught in schools and in our homes. You can find lesson plans and information appropriate for all ages on Although the details are terrifying and heartbreaking, it’s important that we not shy away from teaching our children about 9/11 and encouraging them to take part in the day of service.

As we reflect and honor the innocents lost, the brave first responders who were lost and those that continue to suffer today, and the lives shattered by the loss of loved ones, we are united in our grief and strengthened in our resolve to do good in their memory.

5 Ways to Keep Your Nonprofit on Track Post-Giving Season

Guest Blog Author Adam Weinger, President, Double the Donation

5 Ways to Keep Your Nonprofit On Track Post-Giving Season

Year-end fundraising is undoubtedly the time when nonprofits are most likely to raise more money and reach the most donors. Fall is the season of giving for many reasons, but that does not mean that fundraising should only be geared toward the year-end giving season.

Your fundraising team has to keep a lot of plates spinning as you try to successfully meet your fundraising goals. Don’t let your team become complacent in your fundraising campaign simply because giving season is over. Fundraising should be a year-round effort, even if your campaign does dedicate most of its time and resources to a specific season.

But, you may be wondering: how do I keep my nonprofit’s fundraising on track after giving season ends?

The answer isn’t as complicated as it may seem. There is no magic trick you can do to ensure your nonprofit effortlessly reaches its goals, but you can work to guarantee that your organization seamlessly transitions between fundraising periods.

When you are considering how to plan a fundraising strategy that will still be effective post-giving season, keep in mind these 5 tips:

  1. Take full advantage of the year-end giving season.
  2. Assess your goals and reevaluate your strategy.
  3. Maintain contact with your donors.
  4. Publish informative blog posts.
  5. Encourage year-long engagement.

If you follow these 5 steps, you will be well on your way to a successful fundraising strategy. Now, let’s dive in and get you started with perfecting your fundraising efforts!

1. Take full advantage of the year-end giving season.

The end of the year tends to bring out the generous spirit in a lot of people—because of this, the last two months of the year are prime time for donations.

Your end-of-year appeals are one of the best opportunities for your nonprofit to boost its revenue and reach its yearly fundraising goals. Make sure your year-end asks are:

  • Specific. Don’t be afraid to ask for specific amounts. Just be enthusiastic, but not forceful, and request a specific donation amount based on your understanding of the donor’s capacity and willingness to give.
  • Compelling. Tell a story with your donation requests. The prospective donors want to know about the work you perform and the people, animals, or environments you have helped in the past. Make sure you tug on their heartstrings since so many people around the holidays are already feeling empathetic toward others.
  • Personalized. Your major gift donors should receive a personalized, if not hand-written, note. These gifts have the potential to push you over the finish line with ease and deserve considerable time and effort. This is not to say that your standard donors should not still receive attention. Ensure all donation appeals are personalized with at least their name, donation information, and interests, if known.
  • Informed. Your year-end appeals should all come from a place of knowledge. You should know what your nonprofit has achieved and what you wish to achieve and ask the donors to help you accomplish this.

From GivingTuesday through the end of the year, donations have the potential to increase exponentially. During this time you can capitalize on a donor’s generous spirit and raise awareness of your organization’s cause.

However, while your end-of-year appeals are incredibly important to the success of your nonprofit’s fundraising campaign, you should also remember that they should not be the only strides your nonprofit makes toward its goal. Your year-end campaign will enable you to network and find contacts to grow your donor base throughout the year and leading into your next year-end fundraiser.

2. Assess your goals and reevaluate your strategy.

It is impossible to effectively manage a fundraising campaign if you do not know what your team has accomplished and what still lies ahead. The giving season can be so hectic and you could potentially have a massive influx of data without having the time to really understand the outcome of your efforts.

The first thing you should do post-giving season is to simply take stock of what your nonprofit has and what it still needs. This will enable you to keep planning ahead with a full understanding of your nonprofit’s current status.

Assessing your fundraising strategy and setting new goals can sometimes be stressful. It is not always easy to gauge how effective your campaign will be and you want to set goals that are both ambitious and realistic. Setting a goal that is vastly out of reach is beneficial to no one. You do not want to set your organization’s fundraising team up for failure with an absurd goal.

If your goals are set annually, the data from your year-end fundraising campaign can tell you a lot about your fundraising capacity. You can see how you measured up against your goals before the end-of-the-year push and show you how much you need to raise outside of your year-end campaign.

Your goals can be built around:

  • Raising X amount of funds.
  • Stewarding X number of new donors.
  • Increasing your visibility by X%.
  • Turning X amount of donors into recurring donors.

Make sure to reevaluate and modify your campaign strategy to accommodate the information you learn from your year-end data and go into the new year with your eye on a reasonable, but challenging, goal.

To learn more about how you can set and achieve your big-picture fundraising goals, click here.

While you may be wary of the cost, There are simple ways to keep in-person fundraising affordable. Get creative with your hosting strategies to be sure the event is profitable.

For example, entice volunteers to staff the event. You can attract them by offering something in return for their time. You may choose to reward volunteers at a raffle event with one free raffle ticket, or a 5K volunteer with a waived registration fee for the next race.

Inexpensive event-planning and management software can simplify your fundraising event even further. This software allows you to organize your volunteers, registrations, and planning details for your fundraising events.

3. Maintain contact with donors.

Your relationship with your donors does not end when they make their donation—this is only the beginning. Try to cultivate and grow your relationship to promote donor loyalty.

There are so many factors which contribute to donor retention, but one fact remains: donors are more likely to remain involved in your organization if you keep in touch with them.

You should aim to keep your organization at the forefront of the donor's mind through general, donorwide updates, and specific, personalized outreach. Tactics for these strategies include:

  • Email or direct mail newsletter. This will satisfy the need for general updates and is a great way for you to make sure your donors are thinking about you throughout the year. Try to send a newsletter every month or, at the very least, every quarter.
  • Social media updates. Social media updates allow you to reach a wider, and sometimes new, audience with your organization’s mission. Regularly post about the work you do with short, informative captions and ensure your donors and prospective donors know about every opportunity to get involved.
  • Phone calls. Depending on your donor demographics, phone calls might be the best way to reach your donors. Keep phone records for your donors and reach out to your donors once a quarter to discuss upcoming donation opportunities. People are more likely to become agitated if they receive too many phone calls, so do not call more than once a quarter.
  • In-person cultivation events. Cultivation events provide an opportunity to engage with your donors and prospective donors without directly asking for money. They simply allow for networking and offer a chance for your community to get to know the purpose of your organization.

Maintaining contact after the giving season will also allow you an extra opportunity to inform your donors about the possibility of maximizing the impact of their gifts.

Make sure that you follow up with every supporter from your year-end campaign and let them know to check their eligibility for a matching gift program. You may even consider providing them with a search tool for a matching gift database, like Double the Donation.

Matching gifts allow an employer to match their employee’s gift to a nonprofit organization, effectively doubling, or even tripling, the impact of the person’s donation. This is the best way to make sure that you get the most out of your existing donor base.

4. Publish informative blog posts.

A great nonprofit website will have a blog where they post informative, engaging, and emotional content about their organization and its cause. Just check out Morweb’s list of the best fundraising websites to see for yourself!

Let your donors know what their support has helped fund and show your prospective donors what their support would allow you to do to accomplish even more. Your blog may feature posts about:

  • Upcoming events.
  • Education information.
  • Your organization’s accomplishments.
  • Donor spotlight.
  • Testimonials from volunteers, donors, and your community.
  • Your efforts to support your community.

No matter what, make sure your blog tells a story. Storytelling is a vital asset for nonprofits. People want to feel emotionally connected to the work you do before they become financially invested.

If you are committed to keeping your donors involved with your nonprofit long after giving season is over, you need to make sure the emotional connection is present and maintained through engaging blog posts.

5. Encourage year-long engagement.

Of course, if you are going to encourage year-long engagement, you need to ensure there is something for donors to become involved in each month.

You should plan your calendar year well in advance so that you can promote your events and inspire your community to become involved. Your giving season events can be the large-scale activities on your books, but you should have smaller lead-in events throughout the year.

Try to have one event each month, perhaps coinciding with a holiday or national observance, depending on the cause your organization supports. These events could include:

  • Book drives. Celebrate national reading month in March by collecting books from your community to donate to local schools or children’s homes.
  • Animal adoption day. Help an animal shelter host an adoption during national pet month in May.
  • Women’s emergency shelter drives. Domestic violence month in October is a perfect time to bring your community together to raise awareness for the cause and collect resources for women who are victims of domestic violence.

These ideas are just a few possibilities for you to consider. No matter what cause your nonprofit is passionate about, you can find ways to incorporate events throughout the year without blowing your budget.

If you have a steady involvement schedule that provides your end-of-year donors additional opportunities to be involved in the new year, you will notice a higher retention rate and a boost in revenue.

Don’t let your nonprofit’s fundraising momentum die out after giving season ends. Follow these 5 steps and learn how to increase donor retention and revenue by maximizing the impact of each gift and encouraging your donors’ continued support.

Adam Weinger

Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Connect with Adam via email or on email or on LinkedIn.

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4 Steps to Planning Your Employee Volunteer Celebration This April

How are you celebrating your employee volunteers?

April is National Volunteer Month and next week, April 7-13, is National Volunteer Week. According to a survey by Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA) and Forbes Magazine, 85% of respondents said that employee volunteer programs are part of their company’s corporate responsibility efforts.1 So the big question is, how are you celebrating your employee volunteers?

Gone are the days where some companies offered volunteering opportunities for a handful of do-gooders. Today Workplace Giving and Employee Volunteer Programs (EVPs) are integral parts of a successful business plan. Proven to boost engagement, retention, productivity and morale, volunteering and giving programs have grown exponentially and in return have been the source of tangible, positive change in communities around the globe.

It’s only right that your employee volunteers be recognized and celebrated this month. Recognition by top executives and the corporation as a whole shows that volunteerism is a truly valued component of your corporate culture. And, creating a bit of a hoopla around your volunteers this month may just spur more to jump on board.

Your employee volunteers are passionate, generous, and an undeniable asset to your organization – they deserve more than free donuts in the cafeteria! Take the time to plan either one fabulous event or a series of celebrations that shows just how highly they and the good work they do, are valued corporate-wide. Here are some things to consider while planning:

1) Measure Most employees volunteer because it feels good but do they really know the impact they have collectively made? Impact can be difficult to measure but is necessary to understanding the program as a whole. Compile number of employee volunteers, charities served, projects completed, and volunteer hours. Chances are your program has grown since last year so outline that growth, celebrate it and get pumped for an even greater year of service in 2019.

2) Recognize & Celebrate Every single employee volunteer deserves recognition. They should be thanked individually and as a group for making your company AND the community a better place. Consider plaques, parties, comp time, swag and more in recognition of their service and dedicate the entire month to the celebration. Non-volunteers should take notice of the good work their co-workers are doing. Finally, add a special touch when you compile feedback from the charities which details the impact from their point of view.

3) Support Show how important volunteerism is to your organization by continuing to supply the resources needed for these groups to thrive. Put your money where your mouth is when you implement a Dollars for Doers program where your company donates a fixed amount of cash to nonprofits based on the time an employee volunteers. Meet with employee volunteers and gather information about what works and what doesn’t work in current programs. Meet with non-volunteers and ask about them to share what has prevented them from volunteering. Encourage open communication and create action items and goals.

4) Grow Volunteering is good for the employee, good for the company and good for communities. Be sure you are creating opportunities for everyone in your diverse workforce, including on-site, off-site and virtual volunteering opportunities. Create multiple one-off events to support ongoing initiatives. Many companies have chosen to enrich their EVPs by adding a YouGiveGoods online event raising food and supplies for charity. The more opportunities the better!

Employee volunteers build up your company as they build up communities. Give them the recognition they deserve during National Volunteer Month and make a commitment to support their efforts all year long.


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Promote Literacy During National Reading Month

March is National Reading Month. Whether in our homes or out in the community, all month long we are encouraged to do what we can to promote literacy and a love of reading.

Reading is a basic tool towards future success but so many of our children are falling behind. In fact, 63% of 4th graders read below grade level, contributing to 8,000 students dropping out of high school every day1. The statistics are startling and highlight the need for continued advocacy and programs to help get kids reading and put them on track for a brighter future.

Not surprisingly, it is the kids in lower income homes that are at the greatest disadvantage when it comes to reading. Nearly two-thirds of low income families do not own a single children’s book2. These children will enter school on the first day already facing obstacles based on their lack of early childhood reading in the home.

A book can help level the playing field and open a world of possibilities. During National Reading Month you can make a difference in your own community by raising awareness, donating your time, or collecting books for local programs. We’ve compiled 7 tips to running a successful book drive to get you started. You can also contact your local Boys & Girls Club, after-school programs or YMCA to determine how you can best make an impact in your area. Another great resource for ideas on how to get involved is Reading Is Fundamental or

National Reading Month is the ideal time to run a book drive. YouGiveGoods makes it easy to raise brand-new books for kids using our free giving platform. Our books are carefully selected to engage and delight multi-cultural youth of all ages. The gift of a brand-new book for a child to call his/her own can create a spark that has enormous impact. View our full collection of books here and consider starting a book drive today.

Share your love of learning with a child during National Reading Month. Lending your time, money or voice to help promote reading and literacy helps kids succeed in school, makes a lasting impact on lives, and ultimately build stronger communities.


How will you serve? MLK Day of Service 2019

On Monday, January 21, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today more than ever his message resonantes: embracing the differences of others, peacefully bringing positive change to our country and building a “Beloved Community” by serving each other and lifting up those in need.

The MLK Day holiday is more than a day to commemorate the work of a visionary man, it is also designated as a National Day of Service. We are all officially called into action; to make it a “Day On not a Day Off.” This weekend take some time to plan how you will help build a stronger local community on MLK Day and throughout the year.

A great place to start is with the searchable database of volunteer opportunities offered by It may be difficult prioritizing volunteering in our busy and challenging lives, but once you take the step you’ll find your time spent in service of others will never feel like a burden.

Thanks to technology, there are ways you can take part in service on MLK Day right from your own home. One very simple way is to run a YouGiveGoods event raising brand-new goods for your neighbors in need. Support any cause when you raise most-needed goods like healthy food, books, toys, hygiene items, coats, diapers and more all delivered by YouGiveGoods to your favorite local charity. Friends and family will love the ease and transparency of shopping online.

Another way to support a cause without leaving your home is as a virtual volunteer. Simply contact your favorite charity and ask about virtual volunteering opportunities. Use your skills to help a charity when you offer your services in areas such as marketing, accounting, event planning, and web design.

YouGiveGoods celebrates the efforts of all those who will take part in the 2019 MLK Day of Service. We can’t wait to hear about all the good deeds done in the name of the great man we honor on January 21.

Put the Thanks in Thanksgiving This Year

Thanksgiving 2018 is here! Thanksgiving brings thoughts of turkey, family, travel, football, sales and parades. But wait -- isn’t Thanksgiving about giving thanks? It seems like giving thanks gets lost amongst the Thanksgiving and holiday season hoopla and has been relegated to a quick exchange before the much anticipated meal.

We recommend taking it a step further than a few words of thanks at dinner this year. Prioritizing giving thanks as part of your Thanksgiving tradition is more than just a nice sentiment. Gratitude has been proven to make you healthier and happier. Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D., in an article in Psychology Today explains, “gratitude creates positive emotions, like joy, love, and contentment, which research shows can undo the grip of negative emotions, like anxiety.”

A concrete way to express gratitude at Thanksgiving is to reach out and support those in need. Many families have added volunteering on and around Thanksgiving to their holiday traditions. These generous acts not only support the community but volunteers report feeling great satisfaction and joy from these experiences.

Perhaps volunteering on Thanksgiving is not for you but charities need help all year long. You can find great volunteer opportunities near you at a time that works for you using Volunteer Match.

Another way to show gratitude on Thanksgiving is to make a monetary donation to charity. We suggest you focus on a cause close to your heart and then use a service such as Charity Navigator to research reputable charitable organizations in your area before making your donation.

Donating goods or services is another concrete way to demonstrate thankfulness. Every donated item or hour of service help free up resources for other areas of operation. And, people love the simplicity and transparency of donating goods. But, before you donate be sure the items are in good condition and can be utilized by the charity. Donating items that can’t be used for any reason actually drains resources at charities by creating more work for employees and volunteers.

The online giving platform, YouGiveGoods, enables individuals, groups and companies to run donation drives that raise only new, usable items for charity. And, donated items are shipped in bulk which eliminates the time and resources charities typically spend on the transporting, counting and sorting necessary in traditional collection box drives.

Lastly, you can show your gratitude by becoming an advocate for those in need. Consider thoughtfully the charity or cause that touches your heart. Then educate yourself and simply lend your voice to the cause. Social media has made it easy to spread the word and raise awareness and hopefully drive resources towards those in need.

This Thanksgiving lead by example when you give thanks in a new and meaningful way. Making a difference feels great – we promise! Happy Thanksgiving!

Show Veterans you Care on Veterans Day 2018

Veterans Day 2018 is Sunday, November 11. On this day we stand together as a nation to say thank you to the brave veterans who have given of themselves to serve and protect our country.

In 2017 there were 18.2 million military veterans in the United States! Many communities will hold parades and special events in their honor on Sunday. You can check out a listing of events on Businesses small and large will thank veterans this weekend with special deals and discounts. And many restaraunts are offering free food and meals to vets on Sunday and Monday.

It’s unthinkable that those who have served our country should be unable to provide basic necessities for themselves or their families, but it is a harsh reality for many. Amidst the celebrations on Veterans Day we should not forget the veterans and active military who are struggling. Veterans and military drives raising needed food and supplies are a tangible way to show our gratitude and support for the sacrifice our service members and their families make to protect our country. If you take the time to organize a drive, you’ll find members of your community very happy to contribute to ensure the well-being of local service members and veterans.

Luckily, there’s a new, easier way to run drives for goods using the online platform, YouGiveGoods. Choose to raise needed goods such as food, personal care items, and cold weather gear for homeless veterans. Now is also a great time to raise holiday toys for children of military families or items for military care packages to be sent to military abroad during the holidays. YouGiveGoods free service makes it easy to support our veterans and active military with the gift of brand-new, needed items that show we care. Learn more about raising goods for your favorite veteran or military organization.

Let’s all do our part to make Veterans Day 2018 special for all of our veterans. Their service protects the way of life that we hold so dear and for that we are profoundly grateful.

#GivingTuesday 2018 Kicks Off the Giving Season

#GivingTuesday 2018, November 27 this year, is quickly approaching! Falling on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement which designates this day as one to “help others through the gift of your time, donations, goods or your voice.” In 2017, only the sixth year of the annual event, #GivingTuesday raised $274 million for charities across the United States!

#GivingTuesday is not just a single day of giving but marks the kick off to the charitable giving season. An astounding 30% of total annual philanthropic giving is done in December. If donations fall short in December, nonprofits have reason to be concerned about their operations for the entire following year.

#GivingTuesday has grown at an amazing pace but there is room for even more. Point in fact the National Retail Federation has forecasted that holiday spending between November and December will reach an astounding $720.89 billion this year.

In the midst of this frenzied holiday shopping #GivingTuesday aims to remind us of the real reasons for the season, like compassion, giving, and love. Below are five ways that you can take part in #GivingTuesday 2018:

  1. Get your company involved. Most companies have a CSR program but not all participate in #GivingTuesday. Get inspired by the #GivingTuesday programs run by some great companies including T-Mobil, JetBlue and AllState Insurance Company. These case studies will get your creative juices flowing and be great back up when proposing your plan to company leaders. Our free giving platform,YouGiveGoods, is a great option to participate without spending a lot of time on planning and logistics. Employees shop online to purchase most-needed goods for one or multiple charities. And, YouGiveGoods gifts an additional 10% cash back to the charity on purchases of $50+! If your company is not participating in #GivingTuesday they are missing a great opportunity to not only give back to the community but to get employees involved in this important global movement.

  2. Volunteer. #GivingTuesday asks for donations of one’s time because charities simply couldn’t function without volunteers. Use’s searchable database of What’s Happening Near Me to find a volunteer project nearby that works for you. Enlist friends and family to join the cause. If you can’t volunteer on November 27, no worries! Your favorite charity needs help all year long. And, if you are unable to travel to a site to volunteer, you can still provide valuable help as a virtual volunteer. Contact your favorite nonprofit and discuss the skills that you could lend them to help their organization. Working from your home computer you can volunteer skills like accounting, marketing, and website design.

  3. Donate funds. A monetary donation to your favorite nonprofit organization on #GivingTuesday is a great way to take part. We suggest you focus on a cause close to your heart and then use a service such as Charity Navigator to reseach reputable charitable organizations in your area. Also, be on the lookout for retail outlets that offer give backs to charity on #GivingTuesday.

  4. Donate/Raise goods People love the transparency of donating goods and it’s a great way to get the kids involved. Find out what items your local charity is in need of and start your own drive. Click for info on how to run a food drive, animal shelter drive, toy drive, or a homeless shelter drive. You can also choose to run your drive online using YouGiveGoods free giving platform. Simply share your drive link with family, friends and your online community via email and social media, they shop online and all goods are delivered to your favorite local charity at the close of the drive.

  5. Advocate. The #GivingTuesday movement is powered by social media. Here’s your opportunity to use your social media for good! Spread the word and inspire others in your network by showing the work you are doing for #GivingTuesday. Use your voice to bring awareness to a cause. has created a helpful social media toolkit to help in your efforts.

With about 6 weeks to go, you have plenty of time to plan how you will make your biggest impact this #GivingTuesday. Get your holiday season started off right when you give of yourself to help others!

Happy Socktober! Raise Socks and Awareness this October.

Did you know that the #1 most-needed but least-donated item for homeless shelters is socks? This fact is not highly publicized so many are missing the message that there is a real need for donations of new socks for the homeless. Socktober aims to help alleviate these problems by raising both socks and awareness during the month of October. YouGiveGoods makes it easy to raise brand-new socks for your local homeless shelter and in honor of Socktober we are offering 10% off socks purchased for donation!

Every night In the United States roughly 600,000 men, women and children experience homelessness. Thankfully, Americans are charitable and many donate clothing but few think to donate new socks. We know the food bank needs food and the diaper bank needs diapers but the great need for new socks at homeless shelters and support organizations is not widely publicized.

Why the great need for socks? Living on the street is punishing on the feet so socks get worn and filthy. Wearing dirty socks is a health issue especially for people with diabetes and foot wounds. And, warm socks are a necessity during the cold winter. Finally, having clean, dry socks is a true comfort to our homeless neighbors who face daily struggles and despair. The gift of new socks is a sign that people empathize with their plight and actually care.

Four years ago, Brad Montegue, the creator of Kid President, launched Socktober as a month-long event to raise socks and awareness. You can be a part of the movement by sharing the facts above or stories from your local shelter at your workplace, in schools, at the dinner table and in social media using the hashtag #socktober.

During Socktober consider raising new socks by holding a collection drive in your office or school. Or you can run your event online at YouGiveGoods. YouGiveGoods simplifies the process by handling all the logistics for you and enabling you to reach a wider audience of donors. Plus, during the month of October you will receive 10% off your purchase of socks for donation on the site! Start your sock drive today.

Finally, you can donate socks to your local shelter or charity. Even one pair of socks will bring comfort and relief to a neighbor in need. Or, donate socks online today to aid the homeless in Rochester, NY or Oklahoma.

We’re hoping Socktober is bigger and better than ever this year. Let’s show our struggling neighbors that we care with the gift of new, cozy socks this Socktober!

4 Tips for Becoming a Purpose Driven Company

Social good programs once thought of as ‘nice to have’ have become an integral part of the overall business plan. Studies and research have proven that a well-balanced CSR program helps retain employees and increase productivity, attracts the best talent, and boosts the bottom line. So why isn't every CSR program producing such noticeable, positive results? The answer may lie in the fine line between mission statement and corporate purpose.

The first step in enhancing, and in some cases starting, your CSR program is to look beyond the the current programs offered and go back to your corporate purpose. At the heart of the most successful CSR programs are companies driven by a higher purpose. Some companies have been created with a built-in purpose such as TOMS, Patagonia and Warby Parker. But for most companies, purpose is something that needs to be uncovered, explored and established. Connecting your CSR program to your corporate purpose helps to create a culture that speaks to all employees.

Once the purpose of your organization is outlined you’ll need to move on to helping your employees discover unique ways they can align with that purpose within the organization. Below are some tips to get you started.

4 tips to taking to your CSR program to the next level:

  1. Establish a clear corporate purpose. This is not your corporate mission statement or your passion. The corporate purpose is the ‘why’ behind your work. Not too long ago, the purpose of a business was simply profits. But today’s corporate purpose is far deeper. It is a long-term vision of social impact that drives the corporation from top to bottom. And, the good news is that having a strong purpose seems to go hand in hand with profits. “In fact, some of the greatest purpose-driven companies of our generation, like eBay, Stemcentrx, Tesla and Airbnb, have also produced some of the largest profits and highest valuations” (Forbes, The Power of Purpose-Driven).

  2. Involve corporate executives from the start. Unlike a mission statement, purpose must be embodied and lived. The best way to infuse a new sense of purpose into your organization is to have a leader who extolls it. Involve the CEO, founder, executives and leaders early on in the process and help them understand that the corporate purpose will live and die by their example. Corporate purpose is not a one-time mandate. It will be an on-going process which will grow and evolve overtime. Creating a culture of purpose will take time but will create a lasting effect on employees, the business, and the community.

  3. Include employees. It is important that employees don’t view a new found interest in purpose as a publicity stunt. Keep employees informed about the process and ask for feedback. In fact, employees are invaluable resources in identifying the corporate purpose. Having a purpose that rings true to employees will help them cultivate their own sense of purpose within the organization.

  4. Offer many opportunities to contribute. Your corporate purpose is by nature a large umbrella under which many CSR programs will fall. When considering your purpose, think about actions and undertakings that will fulfill that purpose. Be sure that there are concrete ways for contribution at the corporate and the employee level.

Many purpose driven companies find that the best way to connect with employees is by letting them contribute at the hyper-local level. After all, having a hand in building up your own community is extremely personal and fulfilling. A free service like YouGiveGoods is a great tool for companies to run multiple local events while still tracking and measuring for inclusion in the corporate narrative. Since the legwork is managed entirely by YouGiveGoods, employees can run events to raise brand-new goods for any local charity with great social impact.

Although it may seem cumbersome, there is no better time than now to begin the process of establishing or redefining your corporate purpose. Not only will you be building a more engaged workforce but you’ll be laying the groundwork for your company to be a real force for good in your community for generations to come.