How will you help during Hunger Action Month?

Did you know that September is Hunger Action MonthTM? The goal of Hunger Action Month is to shine a light on the pervasive problem of food insecurity in the United States and to call citizens into action to help raise awareness, food and funds.


The economic and financial crisis of 2008 hit Americans hard and a byproduct of the slow road to recovery has been increased food instability and a change in the perceived face of the hungry. In fact, 41% of households utilizing a food bank include a person with a post high school education.

The scope of hunger in America is shocking. According to a 2014 study by Feeding America, 1 in 7 people, that’s 46.5 million, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors, utilize a food bank.

A final statistic to consider is the fact that 1 in 5 American children are food insecure. Childhood hunger is especially worrisome since empty stomachs stand in the way of children growing, learning, developing and simply enjoying childhood.


The statistics are staggering and may leave many feeling their small efforts simply won’t make a difference. But the truth is that every little bit helps someone who is facing hunger. This sentiment is best expressed in the famous words of Mother Teresa, “If you can’t feed 100 people, just feed one.”


Will you help feed just one person? Below are just a few ideas of how you can get involved in Hunger Action Month:

  • Advocate. Use your voice to spread the word about hunger in your community. Social media has made this quite easy to do. Alert your online community that we are in the midst of Hunger Action Month and about the plight of the hungry in their own backyards. Share quotes and statistics about hunger and ask them to support their local hunger relief organization.

  • Volunteer. Most food banks, pantries and soup kitchens rely on volunteers to make their operations work. Volunteers can sort donations, stock shelves and help with distribution. Volunteers can also frequently help from home in the form of virtual volunteering. Contact your local hunger relief organization to see if you can utilize your specific skills to help them with business operations like accounting, marketing, website and administration.

  • Run a food drive. You can really increase your impact by organizing your own food drive. Food drives run in conjunction with your company, school, church or group tend to have the best results. And, always add an online component to your traditional drive (or run your online drive alone). Use YouGiveGoods.com to run an online drive for your local food pantry. The online drive service is free to use, easy to share on social media, and simple for supporters to shop online for brand-new most-needed food items which are shipped directly to the pantry at the close of the drive.

  • Donate money. Hunger relief organizations need monetary donations to operate. Any size donation will be welcomed.

  • Donate food. Don’t just walk by the donation bin at your school, store or company. Make a point to donate food whenever the opportunity arises keeping in mind those words from Mother Teresa.


Finally, keep in mind, hunger will continue way beyond Hunger Action Month. Show your support to food banks, pantries and soup kitchens all year long. Your persistence can increase your impact exponentially as your actions may encourage friends and family to do the same. You can help one less person go to sleep hungry tonight.

* Photo credit Feeding America

Spring Food Drives Aim to Stock the Shelves

Spring has (finally) sprung! For some, spring means budding trees and flowers. For others, spring means baseball and barbecues or spring cleaning. But, for food banks and pantries across the country, spring means Spring Food Drives.

To food banks, spring means that just around the bend children will be home from school for the summer and will no longer have access to the free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch that many families rely upon. Also, the large holiday food donations that helped feed clients all winter long are typically running low in spring and food banks are looking for renewed sources of support.

food drive

How big of a problem is hunger in the United States? Unfortunately, the facts and figures of hunger in America are startling:

  • 1 in 7 Americans have sought food assistance1
  • 46.5 million Americans, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors, utilize a food bank1
  • 69% of Feeding America client households have had to choose between food and utilities1
  • More than 20% - 1 in 5 – children live at risk of hunger2
  • 1 in 8 American households receives benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps)3

Acts of generosity and the kindness of strangers helps feed those struggling to put food on the table every day. You can make a difference in the lives of the hidden hungry in your community. Monetary donations, food drives and volunteering are the best ways to support food banks and pantries. Corporations, individuals, groups and schools can make an impact by running a spring food drive using YouGiveGoods. YouGiveGoods online drives break the geographic barriers of a traditional collection box drive – now employees, friends and family all over the country can donate food to support your drive.

A simple way to lend your support is to donate to an existing YouGiveGoods spring food drive. With the click of a button you can donate needed food to the St. Patrick’s Spring Food Drive, Food for Freedom Food Drive, St. Peter’s Prep Replenish the Pantry Shelves (Jersey City, NJ), and Food Drive by Koshish to name a few.

As you enjoy the beauty and renewal that spring brings, remember that with a simple act you can be part of the renewal of a struggling family by offering your support to a food bank today.

1FeedingAmerica.org, Hunger in America 2014

2USDA.gov, Household Food Security in the Unites States in 2014

3Bread.org, Facts on Hunger and Poverty in the United States

Two CSR Conferences, One Common Challenge

We are feeling very invigorated after attending two great conferences in March. We love taking a step back from our daily operations and connecting with the people and organizations that we aim to serve with our online drive system. Tapping into the needs, frustrations and new opportunities of corporate social responsibility and giving professionals has been the impetus for us to change, expand and improve YouGiveGoods year after year.

Corporate social responsibility

Interestingly, one common challenge resonated throughout both conferences: how to create programs that are mutually beneficial for the nonprofit and the corporation and that truly meet both of their needs. Corporations ultimately want to offer creative, rewarding engagement opportunities for their employees that are accessible to all, regardless of their location. Nonprofits aim to provide the maximum amount and highest quality of services to their populations. These two goals don’t always make for a seamless relationship.

Nonprofits welcome the support of corporations but not if they feel the relationship is one-sided. YouGiveGoods is uniquely positioned to understand both sides and be able to offer solutions to all members of any giving event – the employee participants and donors, the nonprofit and the corporation. YouGiveGoods works with corporations and nonprofits every day and are well versed in the disparate needs of each group. We work as a conduit between these worlds and offer a platform that is measurable, simple and inclusive of all employees and a service that caters to the tangible needs of the nonprofit. And, we keep expanding our technology to meet the changing needs of this growing field. For example, our latest offering is a new, free mobile checkout app that makes purchasing on YGG drives faster than ever. Our corporate partners can’t get enough of this easy-to-use, hassle-free system for supporting their favorite charity.

So, how did these insights come to light? Let’s give credit where credit is due and talk about our first conference, the ACCP (Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals) in sunny San Diego, CA. Attendees here were enthusiastic, knowledgeable Corporate Social Responsibility executives looking to share common stumbling blocks, solutions, successes and innovations. Topics of discussion included increasing employee engagement, utilizing technology, and methods for measurement and reporting of the positive social impact businesses are making in communities everywhere. We met some amazing people that we look forward to working with in the future. We’ll definitely be signing up for next year’s ACCP conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Next we were off to Charities@Work in the heart of New York City. Here we mingled with more movers and shakers of the CSR and nonprofit world. We are always inspired by the good that gets done daily by this group and this conference reminds us that all that good takes a lot of elbow grease. These professionals were on the lookout for innovations that could help them expand their employee engagement opportunities and function as efficiently as possible while still meeting the needs of their nonprofit partners, and not “painting the same wall seven times.” They were in search of keys to creating lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with nonprofit partners all over the world.

The lively exchange of ideas at these conferences was energizing. YouGiveGoods drive system continues to be well received by both groups. We are listening closely and adding new features and improvements to meet your evolving needs. We were reminded again of how much we love what we do. Thanks ACCP and Charities@Work – see you next year!

YouGiveGoods adds children's books!

start a book drive

Happy Read Across America Day! Every year on March 2, the birthday of the beloved Dr. Seuss, schools, libraries, book stores, and more across the country commemorate Read Across America Day with festivities of all kinds celebrating the unique rhymes and general wackiness of Dr. Seuss. As a kick-off to Reading Awareness Month, the day reminds us of the importance of introducing children early and often to the joys of reading.

YouGiveGoods is celebrating Reading Awareness Month in a very special way this year – we have added children’s books to our site! Now anyone, anywhere can hold an online book drive and get brand-new books into the hands of children who may have none. The gift of a book can help build a reader which in turn develops language, communication and thinking skills.

book collections

YouGiveGoods offers books by age group, from pre-k through 5th grade. Titles include bestselling favorites like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Where the Wild Things Are, Green Eggs and Ham, and Stuart Little. Book sets may include both hardcover and paperback books.

Let's show the children in our lives that reading is fun and important by reading to them every chance we get. In the words of Dr. Seuss, "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child."

YouGiveGoods' community starts 2016 strong

YouGiveGoods' community starts 2016 strong
A letter from our President, Lisa Tomasi
Giving really is contagious!

We continue to be amazed by the generosity and enthusiasm of our YGG community.

The 2015 holiday giving season saw food, toy and cold weather gear drives raise a record number of much-needed goods for nonprofits across the country. We were thrilled to receive some thank you photos full of beaming kids with their new toys!
But 2016 ushered in on a disturbing note with the unfolding of the dire situation in Flint, Michigan. Individuals and corporations wanted to help and YGG was there.

Most notably, the employees of Meritain Health, an Aetna Company, wanted to support their fellow Michiganders and start a water drive ASAP. They quickly raised almost 80,000 bottles of water (that's two semi-trailers full!) for residents of Flint.

Feeling inspired? You can start a drive for the residents of Flint or for any charity close to your heart. Our hope is that the simplicity and transparency of YouGiveGoods helps get more tangible support to those in need.

Thank you for being a continuous source of inspiration for us. We can't wait to see what great things spring has in store.

Happy Giving!

Lisa Tomasi
What's New

Residents of Flint Need Your Support
Looking for a way to help the people of Flint? Get information on ways to help at helpforflint.com.


Visit the site
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YGG Flint Water Drives
YouGiveGoods is working with Catholic Charities on water bottle donations. Start your own Flint water drive or donate to one today.


Purchase water now
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February is National Canned Food Month
We bet you didn't even know we are in the midst of National Canned Food Month! Food banks and pantries need your help to stock their shelves. It's quick and easy to run a YouGiveGoods drive and your efforts make a tangible difference in your community.


Start a drive
Image credit to helpforflint.com.

Help Flint now and for the long haul

It is with shock and dismay that we all became aware in early 2016 of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Water dangerously tainted with lead had been flowing to residents of Flint since April 2014. Only in January 2016 did the Govenor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, in his State of the State address, admit officially and publically to the residents of Flint that, “Government failed you at the federal, state and local level.”

Today residents of Flint remain in daily crisis-mode while they await a long-term solution to the problem as well as the long-term health consequences the lead exposure may have caused, especially in young children.

It’s hard to watch this tragegy unfold. Many people across the country are left asking, “What we can we do to help?” A great place to start is the website helpforflint.com. This website will help you direct your efforts.

There are a number of organizations that are collecting funds to help residents of Flint by purchasing water, filters and test kits and supplying emergency support services. Organizations that are collecting funds to directly benefit Flint include The Salvation Army of Genesee County and the United Way of Genesee County.

The Community Foundation of Greater Flint has set up a fund to help with the long-term health needs of the children of Flint and the American Red Cross of East Central Bay-Michigan is accepting volunteers for distribution of water and supplies to the residents.

Guidelines for the donation of water bottles can be find here. Donations of cases of water bottles are being received by Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties and donations of more than 100 crates of bottles water is being accepted by the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

YouGiveGoods is working with Catholic Charities on multiple water drives for Flint and we hope drives will continue to start as the need is overwhelming and on-going. Anyone, anywhere in the country can easily start a water for Flint drive on yougivegoods.com. Our largest water drive was started by the Michigan employees of Meritain Health, an Aetna company. Their companywide drive has raised over 69,000 bottles of water to date! What an oustanding effort from a company that cares.

Please consider donating to a Flint water drive or starting your own today. We hope that YouGiveGoods makes supporting our neighbors in Flint, Michigan so simple that even more people are able to help.

January 18, 2016: What are you doing for others?

MLK Day image

Each year on the 3rd Monday in January, we celebrate the federal holiday of Martin Luther King Day, when Americans across the country join together to serve and give back to the community. The date was selected to commemorate his birthday, January 15, and to celebrate his life of service. After more than 15 years of campaigning for a national holiday in his honor, Martin Luther King Day was first officially observed in 1986. And, in 1994 the holiday was further designated as a national day of service.

The Martin Luther King Day of Service belongs to United We Serve, the President's call to service initiative. This day continues a national legacy of service, in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who conveyed the powerful significance of community through word, action, and heart.

We are all called to serve, but where do we start? In addition to United We Serve, a great place for MLK Day information is the National Service website, http://www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday, which includes a tool to search out volunteer opportunities by zip code using the website http://www.allforgood.org.

But not all of us can commit to a physical act of service. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to serve the community and even seemingly insignificant acts can build a more powerful movement. Below are some ways you can celebrate this day's message of civic duty and compassion.

1) If you're running a YouGiveGoods drive, mobilize your friends and family to support your cause. Use social media, email, and conversation to invite them to supply tangible aid to those in need by supporting your drive. Participating in a drive benefits the charity and provides a chance for your close ones to be part of this year's MLK Day.

2) Inspire your workplace by giving to a cause. Demonstrate social responsibility and commitment in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Team up with coworkers or your department to give back. Choose to support a local charity.

3) Unable to volunteer on January 18? Good news! Charities need help all year through. On MLK Day spend some time researching, choose your charity, make that phone call and find out how you can best serve them in the future.

4) Simply spread the word. Tell a friend or family member about MLK Day and its purpose. Forward this page, and encourage them to find a charity and cause close to their heart to support.

Finally, in recognition of the holiday's national volunteer work, YouGiveGoods is providing a 5% cash gift to the charity on any goods donation of $50 or more to any YGG drive. Simply use code MLKDAY at checkout. Make a donation to one of our current drives and help a stranger in honor of MLK Day.

Let’s all take Dr. King’s lead and do something to help someone in need and strengthen our communities. You’ll feel great and together we’ll be a powerful force for change.

Nationwide Supply Shortages for Food Banks and Shelters

The Associated Press’s Scott McFretidge wrote an eye opening article about the lack of supplies compared to demand in food banks all across the US. Read the full article here. He brings up many intriguing points and possible reasons for this struggle to meet rising demand. Interestingly, though the economy is healthier than it has been in years, the need for food and supply assistance is still rising.

“U.S. food banks are expected to give away about 4 billion pounds of food this year, more than double the amount provided a decade ago, according to Feeding America, the nation's primary food bank network. The group gave away 3.8 billion in 2013.” -Scott McFretidge AP

July 29, 2015 photo, volunteer Peggy Bragg, of Des Moines, Iowa, unloads donated baked goods
at the Des Moines Area Religious Council food pantry in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Many conditions within the US could contribute to this increase in need, from income inequality growing wider, to the amount of folks out there who lost everything during the recession and have not rejoined the workforce. One reason could have to do with the prices of food and goods rising while wages stayed stagnant for so many years. Regardless of why, it is obvious that more food banks, community centers, shelters and charitable organizations could use a boost.

When we read articles like this, they get us fired up because we know we can help. YouGiveGoods is often used to help boost local food drives, pet supply drives and other types of drives. Any charitable organization or nonprofit can use our free online platform to receive donations of actual goods online, from anywhere! With more and more things taking up our free time and the line between work life and home life blurring, volunteering or creating charitable events may seem impossible, but you can still help. Connect with your local community centers, nonprofits, or animal shelters and ask them what they are in need of. Of course, the list may be long, but YouGiveGoods can help! Learn more in our How it Works section, and see how simple it is to make a tangible difference in your community. And, if you already know how you want to help a charitable organization, click the start a drive button and get ready to do great things!

Start an Event

7 Best Practices for Creating A Successful Drive

You’ve launched your YGG drive, now what can you do to help ensure you meet your drive goal?

We’ve compiled a list of best practices to maximize the impact of your drive and help you on your way.


1) Use Our Social Media & Email Sharing Tools

We hope you’ve noticed that your YGG drive page comes with built-in buttons for easy email and social sharing of your drive. You’ll see results when you use them! And, encourage your visitors to share on your behalf.

Email your drive link to family, friends, co-workers, and your online community. Tell them about your cause and the new way to give goods using YGG. This is far and away the number one vehicle for driving traffic and donations to your drive.

Post your drive link on Facebook, twitter, and all your favorite social media outlets. Like those popular crowdfunding sites, YGG drives are made for social sharing.


2) Invite Friends To Join Your Team

You can expand your reach exponentially when friends join your team and start a drive on your behalf. Their personal connections will spur you on to another level of support.


3) Make Your Drive A Challenge

Create a little friendly competition between groups, departments, or teams by creating a challenge drive. Typically the added excitement of the challenge translates into greater results.


4) Tell A Story

Your community will be more willing to give when they understand your cause. Is there a story behind why you chose to support your nonprofit? Are there interesting facts that you can share? The more personally you can relate your drive to your community, the more reason they will have to donate.


5) Enlist Outside Help

Consider reaching out to your local media, school, community groups and clubs to get the word out to support your cause.


6) Update Often

Post drive updates on your drive page, via social media and email and ask your community to help you reach your goal.


7) Send Thanks

Remember to send a personal note of thanks to all your donors and at the close of your drive, let your donors know the goods have arrived at their destination.


Check out our resources page where you’ll find more tips and suggestions. Remember, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions, comments, and suggestions. We’d love to hear from you.

Happy 4th of July!

Have a safe and joyful Independence Day from all of us at YouGiveGoods!