Raise socks and awareness this SOCKtober

The leaves are falling, the air is crisp and the pumpkins are carved. That could mean only one thing: it’s Socktober! Every October the Socktober movement takes hold aiming to raise both socks and awareness to the cause of socks for the homeless. Socks are the most needed but least donated item in homeless shelters. The need is great, hence, Socktober!

Every night In the United States roughly 600,000 men, women and children experience homelessness. Socktober reminds us that the donation of a new pair of socks makes a real difference in the plight of a homeless person. Having a clean, dry pair of socks is a true comfort and is a gift that shows real empathy for their struggle.

So, if you haven’t already, why not act today to contribute to the cause. Many organizations, schools and individuals hold sock drives to which you could contribute. YouGiveGoods offers a way to contribute without ever leaving your home. Click here to purchase socks to be donated to The Inn, serving the hungry and homeless in Long Island, New York. You can make an exponential impact when you run your own YouGiveGoods sock drive benefiting your nearest homeless shelter or charity. There no fees to run your event; it’s a simple opportunity to do some good in your community. Learn more about how YouGiveGoods works or contact us to get started today.

We can all be of service by raising awareness to the cause. Social media has made it so easy to spread the word. Letting others know how you have chosen to support Socktober this year may ignite the spark in them to reach out to help as well.

Ring in the start of the holiday season with a donation that shows you care. Even one pair of socks will bring comfort and relief to a neighbor in need.

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, HOPE Kits are gifts from the heart

There are few people who can say their lives have not been touched in some way by breast cancer, the second most common form of cancer in women. In fact, 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in her lifetime. Every October we recognize National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help focus the public’s attention to the disease, supply information about screenings and early detection programs, and push for funds for more effective treatments.

The good news is that early detection is helping more women today beat cancer than ever before. But, it also means more women are living with cancer. One special way to support women currently fighting the battle is through the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s HOPE Kit program which mails packages of thoughtful gifts like fuzzy socks, tea, moisturizer and lip balm to help ease the side effects of treatment to patients. These small but heartfelt gifts are a lovely way to show your support to a woman currently battling the disease.

Because Hope Kits are in high demand, the National Breast Cancer Foundation is is always grateful for the support of individuals, corporations and groups. You can contribute to the cause in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month by donating to HOPE Kits online or sponsoring your own HOPE Kit online event. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get started today.

To learn more about the NBCF and see how you can help, visit their site here

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 911Day.org., 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 911Day.org, 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 nationalservice.gov.. 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.

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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!

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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.

1 Forbes.com

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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 rif.org

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 nationalservice.gov. 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 Military.com. 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 GivingTuesday.org’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. GivingTuesday.org 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!