A Peek at YouGiveGoods Operations Office and Warehouse

With our excellent food distribution vendor in the Eastern Tri-State area, we looked west to set up a distribution network. Sunny Phoenix was our choice!

Mark, experienced in warehouse and inventory operations, joined YouGiveGoods in November to lead the warehouse crew. Numerous pallets of new toys arrived, and almost as soon as they filled warehouse shelves, flew right out to the drives that ended right after Thanksgiving.

It is fun to see the classics survive! The PlaySkool form-fitter box that entertained my kids is still a toddler's favorite. And we still play the Catch Phrase game with friends and family!

Now that a warehouse has been added to our operations, it is exciting to envision the new types of drives that can be started now. We have already sent out a great round of winter hats!

While our seasonal toys are wrapping up for the holidays, we are adding gloves, mittens, blankets, socks, personal care items to help tide many throughout the cold winter season; and new items (a surprise!) for an upcoming February campaign. Possibilities are endless!

In 1986, I began working at software companies that used a variety of innovative technologies. In a different field now, I find joy in using my past experiences to support YouGiveGoods' platform, and running operations of online drives to help others.

An online drive can do so many things: feed the body, give warmth, nourish the spirit. Our mission is to help others give goods, and in doing so, help others give joy and hope.

Janice Kwiecinski
Director of Operations

Our Record of #GivingTuesday's 2014 Moment

2014 was a watershed moment for this big day — the year #GivingTuesday officially moved from campaign to national holiday status: blessings received from The White House; high-fived by a whole line of celebrities and stars, from Hugh Jackman to Yo-Yo Ma to Ellen Degeneres; and championed by no less than 68 countries around the world.

To YouGiveGoods too, this new tradition was important to honor.

We decided to hold a site-wide #GIVE10 event. For two days, on #GivingTuesday, and the day after, we offered to the public a gift code that granted an additional 10% cash donation on top of any donation of $50 or more to any charity drive hosted with us.

The turnout was inspiring. Together, for the two-day event, we raised nearly $20K for charity: in soup kitchen basics, pets supplies, toys and more — pounds of profound impact.

In that spirit of thanks, we're excited to share with you our recap of our #GIVE10 event. View the full list of participating partners and beneficiaries, browse through key highlights from #GivingTuesday conversation, learn a few fun facts (most popular donated toy! The three most popular donated food items!), and top it off with a letter from our president Lisa Tomasi, looking towards #GivingTuesday 2015.

A holiday like #GivingTuesday is a jumpstart of inspiration at the end of the year, to remind us always of our original mission, and to continue into the New Year with open arms hearts and hearts.

Thank you again for your inspiration!

Happy Thanksgiving! And a Toast

Bear with us - it's going to get a little cheesy!

(But that's a requisite for the holidays, no? Cheesy, but in a painfully great way? Like pumpkin-scented candles and really big hugs?)

This year, our team has much to give thanks for. At YouGiveGoods, we're now three years strong and going.

So in the spirit of looking back, and looking forward, we'd like to raise our glass as a team and give a Thanksgiving toast to a few of the best things that have changed us over these three (packed! but amazing) years, since YouGiveGoods' launch.

So cheers! Cheers and toasts to the following:



To the generosity of our partners and volunteers.

Over the years, we've grown, changed, and been impacted irrevocably by the meaningful connections we've made: with our nonprofit and charity partners; numerous teams across companies and schools; as well as individual volunteers.

When it comes to pulling off a successful online drive, from start all the way to delivery, there are a lot of helping hands involved. From running the drive; to mobilizing employees, friends, families to give; to delivering that shipment of goods at drive's end; to the charity then serving their community.

Can we just say: every time we hear news of a shipment's arrival to a charity's doors, it's the best feeling in the world? It never gets old! To us, the arrival of goods celebrates everyone's volunteer efforts at every step to make sure, ultimately, that our most underserved are cared for.

That is no small feat of generosity.



To the power of an item to change a life.

This belief is central to what we do at YouGiveGoods. In many ways, of course, a tangible good is practical and sensible: you get to pick where your money is going; it saves time and hassle for everyone, for coordinators and charity recipients alike.

But let's leave logistics aside for a second. At the heart of this transaction between you, the charity, and the served, is the powerful fact that it can take just one donated item to ease another's suffering. Most of us are very lucky to be gifted with daily comforts.

For most of us, in another context: we wouldn't take a second look at the toothbrush by our sink, a notebook on our desk, a blanket folded on our bed, or a can of food at the back of our kitchen shelves.

It's when we try to imagine a life where we reach out a hand, only to come up empty, that we can come even remotely close to the impact we can make with a tangible good.



Lastly, to our conviction that giving is at the core of it all.

We're not going to pull out the scholarly studies (and there are plenty of them), but we're confident that, at the end of the day, giving is the habit that makes us happiest.

It's when we attend to our innate compassion, our impulse to make sure our neighbor is as safe, warm, and happy as we are, that we truly recognize the frailty of life, and experience gratitude for our own fortune (but for the grace, and so on - isn't that right?).

To that end, every day (not just the holidays!), our team can't help but feel immensely grateful to be part of a process that recognizes that everyone, regardless of individual history, deserves a dignified and meaningful existence.

And we are grateful that you, too, are a part of it.

Cheers! To the fantastic journey ahead.

Thank You from YouGiveGoods

Thank you!

At this time of year, surrounded by holiday celebration, our thoughts turn gratefully to every member of the YouGiveGoods community with warm appreciation. Since launching YouGiveGoods three years ago, we've greatly enjoyed partnering with donors, corporations, individuals, nonprofits and organizations to raise goods for a variety of projects and missions. You inspire us with your commitment to community and changing the world.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with joy and laughter!

It's All About the Delivery

Did you even wonder what happens once your drive finishes? Is there another person that takes over or is it all automated? The answer is one very hardworking team member handles the coordination of every drive's goods delivery.

Introducing YouGiveGoods' Operations Manager, Laurie Strumpf.

Laurie is well-known among our partner nonprofits: getting a call from her means a delivery is coming! She is the Goods Fairy. End a drive, and she leaves a pallet on their door step.

Of course, it's not so straightforward. There are many parties she needs to coordinate with: the Team Captain, the Nonprofit, and even those actually delivering the goods. (We haven't yet figured out Santa's trick for delivering toys throughout the world in one night, but I believe Laurie is actually working on cracking that as well) In the end, though, she ensures every item has reached its destination and ready to help the community.

Let's get to know our hidden gem:

What made you interested in working at YGG?

I was intrigued by YGG's unique model and thought it was a great idea and opportunity. I wanted to be a part of doing good for others in an innovative way.

How long have you been with us?

It was a year the end of August. (Happy Anniversary!)

How long after a drive ends does it usually take for the nonprofit to receive their goods?

We set the expectations of 15 business days to receive the donations to their doorstep however, I always try to exceed that expectation if possible. We also try to coordinate with times they have volunteers on hand or if they need the items for a special occasion or event.

What is the process once a drive ends?

I contact the designated charity to confirm their address, delivery instructions and to schedule delivery. I then work with our vendors to get the donations ordered and shipped. Once I have an expected delivery date I confirm via email the delivery date with the charity and copy the Team Captain letting the charity know who to credit for the drive. As I receive tracking information I forward it to my contact at the charity so they know exactly when the donations will arrive to their doorstep.