YouGiveGoods hosts its first international drive

YouGiveGoods reached a major milestone this April, our first international drive, thanks to the compassion of the employees of Diageo North America..

Diageo is a global alcoholic beverage company with North American headquarters located in Norwalk, Connecticut. Their corporate mission of philanthropy is run under their group, Diageo C.A.R.E.s (Community Activity and Relief Efforts). Diageo C.A.R.E.s planned to hold their first YouGiveGoods corporate challenge drive raising food for five nonprofit organizations across the U.S. in March 2017.

At the end of the planning stages for the food drive, news hit about devastating floods and mudslides hitting Peru killing at least 70 people, displacing thousands and destroying roughly 150,000 structures including homes and hospitals.

The employees wanted to provide aid immediately and hoped to include a water bottle drive for Peru in their already planned YouGiveGoods challenge drive.

Although YouGiveGoods has never done an international drive, we were ready to tackle the challenge and set up the Peru water drive. With the help of Diageo C.A.R.E.s and Help Peru (a U.S.- based nonprofit which aids the people of Peru), YouGiveGoods was able to coordinate the purchase of water through Yacqua, a water company in Peru. Yacqua would also handle the delivery of donated water to distribution sites.

Diageo North America employees purchased 140 bottles of water through their online water drive which ended on April 12. In recognition of the continuing need for relief in Peru, YouGiveGoods donated an additional 110 bottles of water to the cause. In total 250 bottles of water will be delivered to displaced people in Peru at the end of April as a result of the drive.

YouGiveGoods’ very first international drive was a great learning experience. And, we’ve already received positive feedback. Michael Holme, President of Help Peru, sent us this note, “Many thanks for your support!!! Much appreciated. I really like what you guys are doing. It’s a very good way for people to donate.” We look forward to continuing to grow YouGiveGoods’ services and helping more people internationally in the future.

photo credits: The Atlantic, Help Peru

Food pantries need your help this spring

Spring 2017 is here! We have peeled off our heavy winter coats and are ready to welcome blooming flowers, green grass and sunny days.

But, spring can be a stressful time for our local food pantries. Food banks which were fueled all winter long by large holiday food donations are now running low. And, looming in the distance is summer, when food is in even greater demand as kids are home from school and no longer have access to free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch. Just how bad is the problem of childhood hunger?

Nearly 1 in 5 children in America are food insecure. Lack of nutritious food hinders a child's ability to grow a healthy body AND mind. Not only do they suffer health problems, they also have less energy to focus and learn in school.

The support of food pantries is invaluable to struggling families. Many colleges and universities have started their own food pantries to support students who face food insecurity. You'll find food banks and pantries in both large cities and small towns to meet the growing need.

Hunger exists in your community. No community is immune to the problem of hunger. For many families working hard to make ends meet it can take only one health issue or unforeseen calamity to put their entire family at risk for food insecurity.

You can make a difference in the lives of the hidden hungry in your community this spring by supporting your local food pantry. Food pantries rely on volunteers to help with operations and donations to keep their shelves stocked. Why not make a call and learn more about the needs of a food pantry in your area? From unpacking boxes to data entry, your help would be so greatly appreciated. Another great way to show your support is to run a food drive. Check out this article for tips on running a successful food drive.

And, consider getting your whole family involved. Even the busiest family can take a little time to set up an online food drive. is a free online drive service that is changing the way people donate products to support their communities. It's so easy to do and fun for everyone to check results in real-time. And, the kids will love the social sharing aspect of this new way to give.

So, choose to make a difference this spring. In raising up your struggling neighbors, you're helping to build a stronger community.

CSR All Year Long: Monthly Community Impact Events

One of the trends for corporate social impact in 2017 is for corporations large and small to fully incorporate CSR into their corporate culture. In order to do this they’ll need to work towards greater, measurable social impact and offer multiple pathways for employees to get involved. For many companies this will mean an expansion of their existing CSR program. In order to keep this culture alive all year long, CSR professionals need to get creative. The programs should make sense in terms of corporate mission and have meaning to the employees.

This can be a tall order considering some organizations still do not have a designated CSR professional, let alone a fully staffed department. But, luckily technology is evolving to help. Many corporations are choosing to add YouGiveGoods online drive events into their CSR plan. An online drive for goods is an ideal way to diversify your program and can be worked into your schedule anytime of the year.

Here's a year-long glance of some of the events we host corporate drives for on a monthly basis:

Check out the products available for your corporate drive. Do you have an idea for a drive you don't see above? We are adding new products everyday so just give us a call. Let us help you get started. Contact us today!

Learn more

Take Part in Random Acts of Kindness Week 2017

Did you know we are right in the middle of Random Acts of Kindness Week? This year the week of February 12-18 is designated Random Acts of Kindness Week and if you haven’t yet made an effort to be a part of it, there's still time! A great place to get started is at the center of the movement, and follow #RAKWEEK2017.

The Random Acts of Kindness movement aims to make the world a better place by encouraging people of all ages to carry out simple acts of kindness. But, what qualifies as a Random Act of Kindness?

The simplest acts may seem more like common courtesy to some but they still count. They only take a moment out of your day and almost no effort on your part but to a recipient, it could be the highlight of her day. Examples include:

  • Smile at a stranger
  • Open the door for someone
  • Let someone harried get ahead of you in a checkout line
  • Call or text a friend to just say hello
  • Pay someone a compliment

Some acts involves a little more work but can mean the world to the recipient. You’re going to have to stop what you are doing and actually set aside time to do something for someone else. We guarantee it won’t just be the recipient who benefits from acts of kindness like these:

  • Help someone with car trouble
  • Leave positive notes in town
  • Help a friend or coworker with a project
  • Load or unload groceries for someone who needs a hand

Finally, there are larger scale acts of kindness that touch more people and have a more lasting impact. These actions require planning, organizing and more of your time but the payoff to the community can be great.

  • Hold an online drive raising needed goods for charity on
  • Organize a park clean-up
  • Run a charity event at your school or office

RAKWeek 2017 will be ending soon, but your generosity of spirit should be ongoing. Being kind is contagious so be the one to spread kindness in your community. Everybody wins when kindness becomes your priority. Happy RAK Week!

RAK with YouGiveGoods

Puppy and Kitten Bowls Highlight Shelter Pets

The stakes are high. The whole country is watching. It’s Puppy Bowl XIII! It’s cold, it’s dreary and spring is still nowhere in sight. It's been a tumultuous few weeks to say the least. Puppies, it’s in your paws to bring us some belly laughs and warm fuzzies.

Let’s face it, some of us are more concerned about the quality of the wings being served on Super Bowl Sunday than the quality of the quarterbacks. But, who among us does not like puppies? Animal Planet will serve football lovers and non-lovers alike a healthy serving of puppy fun and frolic on Feb. 5 when they televise Puppy Bowl XIII.

While we enjoy the guaranteed-to-be-riveting game, let’s be sure to take note that all the players are shelter puppies. These adorable canines are just waiting for a family to love and Puppy Bowl is the perfect reminder for people to adopt not shop for their next pet.

Not to be outdone, the Hallmark Channel has set up an equally delightful event in Kitten Bowl IV. This newer and lesser known feline play off is picking up steam every year because just like the Puppy Bowl players, all the cat-letes are also shelter kitties and they are just plain adorable.

Please, there is no need to start a family brawl over the age-old dispute of cat people versus dog people. You don’t have to choose. You can have your kitten and your puppy too! Kitten Bowl starts at noon (ET) on Feb 5 and Puppy Bowl doesn’t start until 3:00 (ET). Phew, disaster averted.

Animal lovers are staking their own claim on Super Bowl Sunday. Proudly celebrate your puppy/kitty love by starting your own YouGiveGoods Puppy Bowl or YouGiveGoods Kitten Bowl drive to raise goods for your local shelter. Invite your family and friends to support your cause using email and social media and start raising most-needed items for your local shelter today.

And, whether you are holding a Puppy Bowl, Kitten Bowl or Super Bowl party this year, consider setting up a “donate here” station front and center among your delicious spread of game day treats. Simply set up your ipad or laptop and have it open to your YouGiveGoods drive page. Have a fun celebration AND make a difference in the lives of local shelter animals.

So, commence the theater of the fur, Puppy Bowl and Kitten Bowl. And, thanks for giving us non-football lovers a reason to join the party on Super Bowl Sunday.

MLK Day Offers Guidance in Times of Turmoil

2016 was a tumultuous year. There seemed to be more tragedies, both manmade and natural, more unrest and more division than ever before. But, through it all, most Americans remained resilient and resolved to move forward in a positive way. So, it is fitting that on January 16 together we will observe the first national holiday of 2017 as we celebrate Martin Luther King Day. On this day we honor a man who encouraged people to embrace the differences of others, to live in peace and to serve others.

Each year on the 3rd Monday in January we celebrate the federal holiday of Martin Luther King Day. But MLK Day is more than a day of remembrance, in 2004 the holiday was designated a National Day of Service. Not only do we commemorate MLK's birthday (January 15) and celebrate his life, but, all Americans are officially called to service and asked to give back in some way to the community.

We are all called to serve, but where do we start? We suggest starting at the Corporation for National and Community Service’s MLK Day of Service website at Here you can search volunteer opportunities by zip code, register your MLK Day event and find educational and promotional materials.

In addition to the traditional on-site volunteer opportunities, there are plenty of ways to get involved. Below are some ideas of how you can celebrate this day's message of civic duty and compassion.

1) Organize your workplace, school or community group. Maximize your impact by organizing a group to serve the community with an activity done at your own location in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Choose a local charity and determine the best way for your group to show support. Ideas include packing snack bags for after school programs, collecting coats and hats for a homeless shelter, planting trees, creating a mentoring program, or writing letters of support to our military abroad.

2) Teach your children. The kids are home from school. Remember, as a Day of Service MLK day is supposed to be "a day on, not a day off." Plan an activity of service and involve your children. Show by your example that volunteerism is important to your family and help to cultivate a new generation of compassionate, community- minded citizens.

3) Raise needed goods. Support a local charity with a drive for the goods they need to serve the community. An online YouGiveGoods drive is the new way to raise food and supplies for charity. You can set up your drive in a matter of minutes and have it underway in time for MLK Day this year. Then invite your online community via email and social media to support your cause by purchasing items that will ship to your selected charity. A YouGiveGoods drive builds up your community as it offers tangible aid to local charity and it provides a welcome opportunity for your friends and family to be part of this year's MLK Day.

4) Spread the message. Use social media (use hashtag #MLKDay) to share MLK's ideals and inspiring words. You will find his words to be stunningly timely and relevant in today's world. Forward this page, talk about what you will do in honor of MLK Day, and encourage your circle of friends to take action to support the community.

5) Commit to service in 2017. Use Martin Luther King’s example to plan a 2017 where you take action. If you are unable to volunteer on January 16, simply spend some time researching, choose your charity, make that phone call and find out how you can best serve them in the future. Charities need help all year long!

Can you imagine if we all resolved to live the ideals of MLK in 2017? If we stopped complaining about problems in our communities and country and took action to make things better? Small actions can build big movements. Together we can follow Martin Luther King's lead and be a powerful force of change.

How to take part in #GivingTuesday 2016

#GivingTuesday 2016 is quickly approaching. This year falling on November 29, #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement which kicks off the holiday charitable giving season. After the media has whipped people into a shopping frenzy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is something of the calm after the storm. We are reminded that the holiday spirit of giving should reach beyond our loved ones and out to those suffering and in need. asks that on November 29, 2016 you “help others through the gift of your time, donations, goods or your voice.” The ways you can choose to help are limitless. Below are some simple ways to join the movement this year.

1) Volunteer. Charitable organizations can always use the help of volunteers. Utilize’s searchable database of What's Happening Near Me to find a volunteer project nearby that works for you. And, enlist friends and family to join the cause. If you are unable to travel to a site to volunteer, consider virtual volunteer opportunities. 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, website design and data entry.

2) Donate goods/Run a drive. People love the transparency of donating goods – when you donate diapers you know exactly how your donation will help. You can go the traditional route and use collection boxes or you can take advantage of new technology to run your drive. For example,, a free drive service that enables you to support any cause with minimal time and effort by running an online drive for most-needed goods. Simply share your drive link with family, friends and coworkers via email and social media, they shop online and all goods are delivered to your favorite local charity at the close of the drive. And, the holiday season is a great time to run a toy drive for area children in need. See how Northrop Grumman raised over 700 toys for Operation Homefront branches across the country.

3) Donate funds. A monetary donation to charity is a great way to make a difference. If you are unsure about where to start, we suggest you focus on a cause close to your heart. Then use a service such as Charity Navigator to research reputable charitable organizations in your area.

4) Advocate. Not everyone is in a position to donate goods, money or even time, but you can STILL help. Use your voice to bring awareness to a cause. Members in your community may not even realize suffering in their own backyards. Unfortunately, hunger, homelessness, abuse and more lurk in most communities. Social media has made it simple to lend your voice to a cause. Building awareness will help to increase compassion and hopefully people will be called to action to help.

We can make a difference in our communities and in the lives of people just like us who are struggling. Running a YouGiveGoods drive is a simple, effective way to help. Whatever you choose, don't let #GivingTuesday 2016 pass by without making a commitment to improving your community in some way this holiday season.

Corporations Make an Impact on #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement which has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception in 2012. Hundreds of companies from around the world representing every industry have taken part in #GivingTuesday. With the holidays approaching, a corporate #GivingTuesday campaign can help build a sense of community within the company and increase employee engagement.

Although the date, November 29, is quickly approaching, there's still time to get your company involved. Your employees will appreciate the ability to take part in this nationally recognized movement and make a larger impact as part of your corporate campaign.

Tips for your corporate #GivingTuesday campaign

1) Kick-off on #GivingTuesday. Begin a 2 - 4 week corporate campaign raising goods or funds for a local nonprofit organization. Since time is of the essence, a YouGiveGoods online drive is a great option since YouGiveGoods handles the digital campaign set up and all the drive logistics for you. See how Baxter kicked off their holiday giving campaign on #GivingTuesday 2015 which supported multiple causes and charities across the country (and offered a matching gift, but more about that later). And, remember to register your campaign with

2) Utilize social media. #GivingTuesday is a movement built on social media. Be a part of it all by creating a hashtag for employees to follow and use in addition to #GivingTuesday. Post throughout the day. Include updates on the campaign's progress, call out employees who have shown extra effort, and share details of #GivingTuesday's global campaign so employees can recognize the scope of the movement and be proud of their participation. Check out the great digital and social media toolkit provided by

3) Include online shopping in your campaign. #GivingTuesday follows the massive shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Employees will be spending a lot of time shopping. Offering the opportunity to shop for a good cause is a fun way to encourage employee engagement. Online shopping allows all employees, including off-site, part-time and consulting employees to take part. Besides convenience, another benefit of an online drive versus a traditional, collection box drive is that employees can track results in real-time, and management can track results and engagement down to the number of donors, items purchased, pounds raised and retail value. The benefits of an online drive make it a clear choice for corporate social responsibility programs.

4) Offer a matching gift on #GivingTuesday. The matching gift accomplishes a number of goals. First, it is a great incentive for employees to participate as the match makes their donation go even further. Second, it shows corporate support of the program. And third, it creates a sense of excitement around the day and around the campaign.

5) Have an on-site event on #GivingTuesday. Invite a representative from your selected nonprofit organization to speak about the community's needs, their programs, and the projected impact of your drive. Or, seek out some employees to speak about their favorite local charities, the causes close to their hearts and their volunteering experiences. Then encourage an open discussion and create a list of suggested corporate social responsibility programs for the future. Order in some pizza and cookies and call it a #GivingTuesday celebration! Be sure to set up a table where employees can make a purchase or donation for your #GivingTuesday campaign.

6) Offer a #GivingTuesday participation gift. This is a global movement. Let your employees get some recognition from peers, family and friends by offering them a small gift for their participation. Think "I gave on #GivingTuesday" buttons, stickers or t-shirts. (Run a YouGiveGoods drive and we will provide you with "I gave on #GivingTuesday" rubber bracelets.)

7) #GivingTuesday thank you and wrap up. Employees and management alike will be interested in the results of the corporate campaign. Release as much information about the day's work as possible. Share results with the recipient nonprofit and ask if they have a message for you to share with employees. Finally be sure to thank every participant. From the person who helped set up a table, to the person who made the largest donation, everyone who contributed to the success of your campaign should receive a thank you.

Companies of all sizes have embraced the idea of being good corporate citizens and have established their own unique corporate social responsibility programs. By not missing out on the #GivingTuesday movement you show employees, consumers and the community that your company is fully invested in corporate philanthropy and community involvement.

Now, it's time to get planning. Good luck on your 2016 corporate #GivingTuesday campaign.

You Gave School Supplies

The lazy days of summer seem a distant memory as kids and parents alike fall back into the familiar school day routine. Unfortunately, the back to school season can bring stress for families who are struggling financially as they wonder how they will afford all the necessary supplies for their children.

It is estimated that parents will spend an average of $674 on school supplies to prepare for the 2016-17 school year!1 When you consider this staggering figure it is easy to understand how this could be a financial burden to many families.

YouGiveGoods offered a new way to help when we added school supplies to our service in 2013. Our online school supply drives have grown in leaps and bounds over the last three years. In fact, 2016 YouGiveGoods’ drives raised 267% more school supply items than 2015. We are happy to share some more fun facts about our busy, school supply-filled summer.

During the summer months of 2016, YGG ran 110 individual school supply drives for nonprofits and schools in 26 states. Roughly 40,000 items in total were purchased and distributed in time for the start of school. Our best-selling items included packs of pencils at 13,000 (that’s 130,000 pencils!), 7,000 folders and 6,000 notebooks.

Let’s give credit where credit is due. The success of our school supply season was based largely on the efforts of our amazing corporate partners. Thanks to the employees of Northrop Grumman, Aetna, Fidelity, TIAA, Tauck, Datapipe, Ohio National Financial Services and Newport News Shipbuilding for making such a positive impact on the young people in their communities.

We’re thrilled that thousands of children across the U.S. were able to start the 2016 school year off right thanks to the generosity of strangers and the technology and service of YouGiveGoods. We look forward to helping even more children succeed in school in 2017!

1Williams, Geoff. What If You Can't Afford Your Kids' School Supplies. U.S. News & World Report. 8/26/16

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 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