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!

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.

How to help victims of Hurricane Florence

The flood waters across North and South Carolina have barely begun to recede and already the story of Hurricane Florence is fading from the headlines. But, this monster storm devasted the lives of thousands and the need for aid in the area is great. Those affected by the storm will need help not just in the short-term but in the long-term as they tackle the task of rebuilding.

To date, Hurricane Florence claimed 37 lives, left roughly 14,000 people seeking refuge in shelters, and displaced countless more. The historic flooding caused by the fierce storm continues to wreak havoc on communities across North and South Carolina. Early estimates place of the value of property damages caused by the storm at more than $17 million. Many of us ask, how can we help?

Cash donations are needed and will provide valuable resources to the people in the affected areas. Before you donate thoroughly research the organization using a tool such as Charity Navigator to be sure that your funds are going to a trusted and verified organization. Two reputable organzations to consider for your donation are The American Red Cross and the Foundation for the Carolinas . You can also text FLORENCE to 90999 to make a $10 donation to Red Cross relief efforts.

Supplies are also needed to support victims but the logistics of getting goods into a disaster zone can be very difficult. YouGiveGoods has experience getting food and supplies into affected areas to provide relief and help rebuild. Learn more about the benefits of our online disaster relief drives. We’ve set up two drives with our trused nonprofit partners The Salvation Army and MAP International. You can purchase food, diapers, and personal care items for donation to the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services here or purchase items for Disaster Health Kits for MAP International's relief effort here.

Don't forget the pets. Animal shelters in the area are also struggling to care for all the displaced pets. Volunteers are working tirelessly to rescue and care for stranded animals. You can help care for these helpless victims of the storm by donating to animal shelters in the Carolinas. One such shelter is the Charleston Animal Society. You can donate cash on their website or purchase food, treats, blankets, dog beds and more for donation online.

And, please remember that long after images of Hurricane Florence have stopped coming across your screens, the people of North and South Carolina will still need your help. You can make an impact on the lives of so many who struggle to get back on their feet by starting your own YouGiveGoods drive and asking your friends and family to make a donation. Information about starting your own drive is on our drive pages for the Salvation Army event and the MAP International event.

We are confident that with the support of fellow Americans, all the affected people will be able to see their way through this trying time and move forward with their lives. Until that time, we will continue to work to get them the resources they need.

September 11, A Day to Remember and Serve

It is hard to fathom that this year marks the 17th 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 also pay tribute to them with an act of service.

David Paine, co-founder of the nonprofit organization, 9/11 Day, which was a driving force behind the establishment of the annual observance, explains the reason behind its creation on their site, 911Day.org. "Ultimately we wanted something positive to come from the loss of so many innocent people in such a terrible way," says David. "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." Their efforts have been a huge success as tens of thousands of people every year take part in the Day of Service helping to strengthen communities across the country.

You can search volunteer opportunities in your area using 9/11 Day's searchable database here. 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, the simple and free platform for raising brand-new goods for any charity. And remember, while it is ideal that you volunteer on 9/11, an act of service any day of the year contributes to the overall movement of compassion and unity.

Part of remembering the day is making sure kids who were not alive or were too young to remember are taught about the events of the day. 911memorial.org has created a program called, “Anniversary in the Schools”, for educators to share history, events, memories and reflections with their students on September 11. They’ve even made this a collaborative experience by offering live chat for students to ask questions with Memorial Museum Education staff standing by to answer. Learn about the program here.

Finally, let’s all be sure to take the time to reflect on the day and how we will personally work to bring about good from such tragic loss.

Pilot Freight Services delivers excellence for YGG

People ask us how we do it. How do we provide a free platform that gets needed goods to charities across the country? The answer is, it takes a YouGiveGoods village comprised of passionate employees always looking to improve the process, integrated technology, and key partners. Because of this we are excited to announce our new order fulfillment partnership with Pilot Freight Services.

An important part of our process is ensuring that new, donated goods are delivered to the charity quickly, smoothly and in excellent condition. With almost 300 items offered across hundreds of individual giving events running simultaneously on our site, integrated systems and our logistics partner are extremely crucial. Pilot Freight Services is a worldwide provider of transportation and logistics services. Their attention to detail and commitment to customer service aligned perfectly with our needs. And, we were wowed by their brand-new (opened in September 2017) 65,000 sq foot warehouse and their up-to-date technology used in the fulfillment of our orders.

In mid-July, Pilot began their first YouGiveGoods shipments. We got up and running quickly as we stocked the warehouse with loads of school supplies and started shipping them out to charities and schools in time for the start of the school year. The Pilot warehouse manager, Angel Collado, our team lead, Junior Nunez, and their whole crew have been simply fabulous during this transition time. We are feeling very confident that we are in good hands as we enter the busy holiday giving season.

Customer experience is important to us every step of the way. And when we think of our “customers” we are thinking not just of those shopping on YouGiveGoods, but the event sponsor, the event organizer, the charity recipient and finally the person (or pet) in need into whose hands the donated goods are ultimately delivered. Bringing on Pilot Freight Services is another step forward to providing the best quality service that exceeds all of our customers’ expectations.

YouGiveGoods will continue to handle online event set-up and logistics/delivery communication so send any questions directly our way at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Welcome to the team, Pilot Freight Services!

Learn more

6 Ways to Keep Summer Volunteers Energized

6 Simple Ways to Keep Your Summer Volunteers Energized

While summer means sunshine and vacation to many people, it also means hard times for nonprofits due to giving shortages and volunteer inactivity.

Interrupted schedules when schools let out and family vacations often get in the way of normal routines for regular volunteers, and it can be difficult to keep a regular volunteering schedule going during the summer months.

But, that is no reason to give up on summer!

You can keep your volunteers energized and continue growing your nonprofit this summer season.

These 6 simple strategies will boost volunteer engagement to keep your foundation strong during the heat of summer:

  1. Promote volunteer grants
  2. Host an in-person fundraising event
  3. Create summer-themed merchandise
  4. Celebrate volunteers with stewardship events
  5. Partner with other nonprofits in your community
  6. Encourage online volunteers through peer-to-peer fundraising

Don’t give up on your volunteers this summer and they won’t give up on you!

1. Promote volunteer grants

Your summer volunteers, no matter how few, know how valuable their time is, especially in the summer. Tell your volunteer community about volunteer grants.

Volunteer grants are available through companies with corporate social responsibility programs who want to promote volunteer work among their employees.

These companies will support volunteer work by matching time people spend volunteering with financial support.

Most companies require a certain number of volunteer hours, give various amounts per hour volunteered, and have a maximum grant amount as volunteer grant eligibility standards through their corporate social responsibility programs.

Corporate social responsibility programs are more common than one might think. Let your volunteers know about them!

Inform your volunteers of these opportunities and show them how to get the most out of their time. Here are some ideas to get started spreading the word:

  • Post about these opportunities on social media. Try a week-long marketing campaign and post the giving details for one company each day of the week.
  • Provide a database on your website. Databases easily showcase different company’s rules about volunteer gift matching programs. All the volunteers need to do is click a link, type in their employer’s name, and read about the grant program parameters.
  • Send out an email blast about volunteer grants. If you have the email addresses of your volunteers, use those to get in touch with these supporters. Invite them back to volunteer again and explain volunteer grants.

Volunteers want the most out of their time just like you do. Inform people about how they can maximize their time and benefit your cause as much as possible.

2. Host an in-person fundraising event

In-person fundraising events are sometimes difficult to work into busy work and school schedules. This can make regular volunteering difficult to plan for.

Weekly volunteers for ongoing projects may be hindered in the summer months. Therefore, it is easier to commit to a one-time enjoyable event during this time.

Events can be fun for both volunteers and attendees, so be creative with your fundraising event ideas to capture their excitement and support.

In addition to energizing your past volunteers, these events are perfect for recruiting new volunteers. Talk to your attendees and gather their contact information to request a donation of their time in the future.

Here are some event ideas to get you started:

  • A small concert with local artists. Invite local artists to give back to their community through donating their time performing at a concert. You may add that this is a great way for them to receive some publicity.
  • Hold a raffle night. Gather donations from local restaurants, artists, and other businesses to include in the raffle. Ask volunteers to help make it a family event with food, a face painting station, and other activities.
  • Host a 5K in your neighborhood. Charge a registration fee for people to want to run, then encourage your volunteers to help with the registration processes, setting up the event, and handing out water during the race.

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.

You’re not tied to just one software option! Take a look at Double the Donation’s list of top event planning solutions to help you choose the software which will cater to your organization’s specific needs.

3. Create summer-themed merchandise

What better way to get people in the mood for summer than with a bright t-shirt or cool sunglasses? Summertime merchandise is a perfect reward for your volunteers to excite them for summer and for your mission.

You can get people even more excited about these products by customizing them yourself!

Create merchandise as a fundraiser, such as branded t-shirts. You may also consider creating water bottles, sunglasses, hats, and other products to inspire that summertime feeling.

Promote merchandise fundraisers on social media to show off your cool designs and encourage people to share your brand further online.

Offer volunteers for special events a swag bag filled with summer-themed merchandise as commemorative souvenirs.

In addition to the commemorating events, when volunteers sport your merchandise in public, they are advertising for your cause. They will love showing off your summer merchandise.

Someone may ask one of your volunteers, where’d you get that cool t-shirt? And your volunteer would tell them all about your organization.

If you’re stuck, here are some cool design ideas:

  • Souvenir sunglasses to commemorate a summertime event. Placing your brand name on the sides of the sunglasses spreads the word about your organization on useful giveaway that can be worn for the rest of the summer.
  • A t-shirt to promote an upcoming fundraising campaign. Give your campaign or event a cool logo to promote on the t-shirt, then encourage people to buy it in preparation for the campaign.
  • A baseball cap with references to your mission. These caps aren’t just for baseball! People love wearing baseball caps all throughout the sunny summer months, so include your mission on the hat to spread the word about your organization.

Branded merchandise is an exciting way to reward your volunteers for their hard work and to gear up your organization for the summertime.

4. Celebrate volunteers with stewardship events

For nonprofits, stewardship events have long been a staple of fundraising campaigns. Events like these help build the important bonds necessary for organizations to reach their fundraising goals.

But, did you know stewardship events are also a great way to celebrate volunteers and create lasting relationships with your supporters?

Your volunteers work hard, so don’t forget to celebrate them! The summer is a perfect time to hold a fun activity in recognition of your dedicated volunteers.

Stewardship events strengthen your relationships with your existing volunteers, but are also a fantastic way to start new relationships with other attendees as well.

Even if you don’t have an urgent need for volunteers right away, begin getting people engaged with your nonprofit. Collect emails or other contact information so you can reach out to attendees later on and request gifts of their time or donations for your nonprofit.

These events don’t have to break the bank. Some inexpensive ideas may include:

  • A barbeque contest where you provide a small prize for the winner.
  • An outdoor movie. Put up a screen and play one of your old favorites for people to come watch.
  • A kid’s day where families bring kids for face painting, water balloon fights, and hot dogs.

Building relationships with your volunteers supports a nonprofit culture in which more and more supporters will be inspired to stay involved with your cause. Hosting fun activities and showing volunteers you care about their lasting patronage is a great step toward building a strong partnership.

5. Partner with other nonprofits in your community

The summer is a tough time for many nonprofits. Work together with other organizations to mutually benefit one another’s missions and to boost volunteer activity together!

Essentially, both organizations will share volunteers as long as you are partnered because both volunteer networks will have access to both organization brands.

While all nonprofits could use a boost this summer, here are some ideas for a few types of causes who would really benefit from your extra support:

  • Food banks because they need to stock extra food for children who would otherwise have gotten free meals at school.
  • Family shelters due to the increased desire for people to escape the heat.
  • Animal shelters because extended family vacations result in more lost pets.

Try to partner with an organization who has a similar mission to your own. This way, the volunteers are more likely to be dedicated to both organizations.

Sharing networks during the summer will help both your cause and your partner’s cause because the word for giving needs will spread across both organizations.

Here are a few tips to help you get started sharing networks with your partner:

  • Choose to share social media networks. For example, create a Facebook group with supporters of both organizations. You can post volunteer opportunities in this group for everyone to see.
  • Exchange email lists for volunteers. Send emails to these new volunteers explaining your mission and encouraging them to volunteer for both organizations.
  • Co-host a shared fundraising event. Host a large event and encourage both your support bases to volunteer and attend. Volunteers will build relationships with both you and your partner, plus the two organizations can split the fundraising profits.

Sharing volunteers and networks is a tremendous way to widen your support base and get your volunteers excited about the mission of both organizations.

6. Encourage online volunteers through peer-to-peer fundraising

Volunteers don’t need to be at in-person events in order to support your organization! They can volunteer from the comfort of their own home computers through peer-to-peer fundraising.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to motivate your volunteers because it is a convenient and free way for them to give their time while socializing with their friends.

To get started with your peer-to-peer fundraiser your nonprofit needs to follow just a few simple steps:

  • First, create your event page. Use compelling language and pictures to draw your audience into the page.
  • Next, spread this page as far as you can on the internet. Use your social media platforms, your webpage, and any other resources available to you.
  • Finally, reach out to your supporters and volunteers and ask them to create their own personalized fundraising page to help fundraise from all their online friends.

Soon, your fundraising page will be spread across the internet and you will reach people you never expected to reach, and all without standing up from your chair.

If you want to bring your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign to the next level, include a fundraising thermometer on the main fundraising page!

Peer-to-peer campaigns can be boosted using gamification tools, such as fundraising thermometers.

Thermometers motivate donors further because they can see the impact their donation has made toward the overall goal of the cause. Read more explanations as to the effectiveness of fundraising thermometers from Qgiv.

In addition to your thermometer, you may also choose to reward donors with fundraising badges or leaderboards to showcase sizeable donors. These gamification techniques appeal to the competitive nature of people and their desire for recognition.

Peer-to-peer fundraising also increases awareness of brand name! Your followers will spread the word to their online friends, who will then come back and look up your nonprofit. Your website and fundraising page will see more hits along with your fundraising campaign.

The summer doesn’t have to mean a stall in your growth as a nonprofit. Don’t give up on your volunteers or on your cause this summer! These 6 strategies will boost your summer activity and energize everyone involved.

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.

Puerto Rico 9 Months Later

June marks 9 months since Hurricane Maria made its historic impact on Puerto Rico and left unfathomable devastation in its wake. Shocking images of the aftermath have stopped coming across our devices but three recent stories have kept Puerto Rico in the news and reminded us that they still need our help.

First, a study out of Harvard University in May challenged the validity of the official death toll from Hurricane Maria. The government reported 64 deaths. The Harvard study estimates that as many as 4600 people may have died as a result of the hurricane. Lack of electricity, essential medicines, doctors and open medical facilities in the weeks and months following the hurricane are among the reasons cited.

A second reason for concern is that June 1 marked the beginning of the 2018 hurricane season. This is frightening news considering many Puerto Ricans continue to live without electricity and pathways to health services are still compromised.

Finally, due to severe financial crisis and mass exodus of residents, the government has proposed closing more than 250 schools. Parents, teachers and children are fighting to keep their schools open noting that the closing of a school is the death of a community. They say they are not only fighting for their school, they are fighting for the future of Puerto Rico.

How can you help? The lives of the children in Puerto Rico have been turned upside down. The gift of a fresh start with new school supplies will offer kids hope and a glimpse of a brighter future. So, YouGiveGoods is working with our contacts at the Salvation Army to get most-needed school supplies to kids in PR in time for the start of school.

Shop now to purchase school supplies for Puerto Rico.

Corporations, organizations, schools and individuals can sponsor a school supplies drive on the YouGiveGoods free giving platform. There are never any costs or fees for the sponsor to run an event on YouGiveGoods or to the charity recipient. And, when your organization sponsors an event, YouGiveGoods will send 5% of your drive's total donation value as a cash gift directly to the Salvation Army in PR. Click here to start your drive today! Or contact us for more information.

Raising school supplies is one of many ways you can help. However you are able to lend a hand, we encourage you to do so and let our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico know they have not been forgotten.

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