Fall Is The Season of GIVING

The summer transition into fall is often bittersweet. We say goodbye to beach days and camping trips and welcome comfy sweaters, hearty meals and the holidays. For families that are struggling, those simple pleasures that help make life worthwhile can become lost in the their consistent financial and emotional stress. For those of us fortunate enough to have stability in our lives, it’s important to think about what we can do to improve the lives of those in our community and across the country who are not as fortunate.

We’ve all been doing a better job at helping to increase the quality of life for those that are needy, with 2014 being the largest year for charitable donations to date! Communities, corporations, organizations and individual volunteers all over this country have consistently contributed more time and resources to philanthropy every autumn in particular. This year, we’re looking to break more records.

To quote Winston Churchill;

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

This sense of compassion is contagious and only beneficial for us all. We’ve taken a little time to list some prominent days for giving and service as well as some ideas to spark a charitable light within you this fall. Check it out below!

Make A Difference Day, October 24th, is the largest single-day of volunteering of the year. With the goal of having everyone do a charitable deed on this day, the sponsors USA Today, GANNETT, Points of Light, Newman’s Own Foundation and NBC News do a great job of spreading the word and getting large portions of the community involved. This will be it’s 24th year! A testament to the ongoing and growing charitable spirit in this country. For more info, click here. YouGiveGoods participates in this day by pledging 5% cash donations on all purchases of $50 or more made on 10/24. It pays to use YouGiveGoods on giving days!

Also, don’t forget that the 9/11 Day movement does not stop after 9/11, however it is meant to be a platform for volunteering, donating and creative philanthropic ideas year round! Their website can match you with a cause in your area so you can help make a difference at any moment!

Of course, Thanksgiving is approaching, and with that comes a great need from many local food pantries to be able to provide the best possible holiday meal to those less fortunate. It is as easy as typing “Thanksgiving 2015 food drives” into a Google search to realize that there are a lot of folks out there preparing for this important holiday meal rush. If you would like to start your own food drive for Thanksgiving supplies, we can help. Whether it is for a national nonprofit, a local church, food pantry or shelter, you have the power to help by setting up an online food drive for them through YouGiveGoods. All items purchased during the drive are shipped for free to the receiving charity. Real goods, delivered.

Then there is #GivingTuesday, December 1st, 2015. This is arguably the most social media intensive of the fall giving days. What a wonderful trend to spread via social media! Like Cyber Monday and Black Friday, the goal of #GivingTuesday is to have it be a staple of the holiday season, but instead of it being a shopping day, it is a giving day. Every year, YouGiveGoods participates in #GivingTuesday more and more. Being a web based platform for giving, our goals line up nicely with the #GivingTuesday movement. Use YouGiveGoods to easily contribute to this charitable day and YouGiveGoods will donate an additional 10% cash on purchases of $50+ made on December 1st to the charity your are supporting.

We are looking forward to a great fall season of giving. It is our busiest time of the year, and that is thanks to the generosity of people like you, willing to take a moment to make a difference in the life of a person in need of a helping hand. It can be a simple act, but out of small acts of kindness can come great things.

The Third Annual Donnie Farrell Memorial Food Drive Has Begun!

Donnie Farrell made an impact on so many people during his tragically short life. The Rowan University student was attacked outside of a convenience store in 2007 and died from his injuries. The crime has still not been solved, but that hasn’t dissuaded the community and his family from honoring him for his contributions and spirit. As a founding member of Rowan’s Lacrosse team, he was passionate about the sport and bringing it to his school. Donnie was a kid who loved getting involved. Like most 19 year olds he wasn’t perfect, but he was a good person with a kind heart and a strong love for his family, college, and his sport, lacrosse. His memory continues to inspire others to do good in their communities and live life to it’s fullest. It has been 8 years since the world lost Donnie, and his impact and giving spirit is going strong.

Rowan University holds a huge annual lacrosse tournament “LAX for Donnie” in his memory. They’ve also created a scholarship in his name as well as have plans for a memorial on the campus. It doesn't stop there though!

"Helping others is the greatest way to honor this special young man and keep his memory alive."

This year will also be the third annual Donnie Farrell Memorial Food Drivea on behalf of the Interfaith Food Pantry. To honor his giving spirit and support the community, his family works with the Interfaith Food Pantry and YouGiveGoods to bring much needed food and supplies to the pantry. Being that it is also #HungerActionMonth, now is a better time than ever to show your support for the Food Pantry and to show those who knew and loved Donnie that his positive, charitable spirit lives on in his community. All items purchased through the YouGiveGoods drive will be shipped directly to the Interfaith Food Pantry.

9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance

“9/11 Day is the largest annual day of charitable engagement in the United States.” - 9/11day.org

Every year, the number of people getting involved on 9/11 Day grows. With a wonderful message of unity and compassion, this day is meant for peaceful service to your community and to those less fortunate. It is a day meant to deepen our understanding of empathy and humanity. It’s something people bring with them through the days and weeks after.

This year, there are more ways than ever to be a part of it! Volunteering through the search on 911day.org to find a local event, or giving blood through the Red Cross are just a couple of options for giving on this day of service. There are many inventive and creative programs taking place on and around 9/11 as well. Here are a few noteworthy causes:


Taproot+ 9/11 Skills Service Day: Developed to help nonprofits receive pro bono help from skilled volunteers. Volunteer your marketing, design, consulting, and software development skills to a nonprofit’s project. Any number of projects need all types of skilled volunteers. See how you can help here.

Think It Up

Another clever program is the Think It Up movement which is designed to “support the nation’s young people, teachers and schools, to create a culture of excitement about learning everywhere in America."

There's also the National Anthem Sing-A-Long, brought to us by the American Public Education Foundation. This activity is a light hearted way to spread joy and connect with your friends, family, neighbors and the country on 9/11. Learn more about it here.

It’s obvious, there are endless ways to volunteer your time, expertise, or energy to the 9/11Day movement. From making sandwiches for the hungry to donating skills or time to a community center, your service is needed. If you’ve had a philanthropic idea for your local community center, church, animal shelter or food pantry, why not take action?

If you don’t have the time to donate, then giving tangible goods through an online drive may be a convenient way to contribute to this day of service.

In honor of 9/11 Day of Service, use code HERO on donations of $50+ and YouGiveGoods will gift the charity an additional 5% cash. Check out our explore section and pick a cause you’d like to donate goods to. Simply click the “Shop Now” button within any drive, and all goods purchased will be shipped directly to the charity recipients. Real goods, delivered. We are passionate about our mission. YouGiveGoods is a way to use technology to create a tangible change in your community!

Join us, and millions of people all across America as we take positive action in our communities to honor those who sacrificed everything on 9/11. By creating an atmosphere of unity and compassion, we can make a real difference.

Nationwide Supply Shortages for Food Banks and Shelters

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

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

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

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

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

Start an Event

What We Do

Our goal at YGG is to help you help your community. Our online drive system makes it simple to collect donations of goods for any cause. Whether you start a food drive, or run drives to help out a church cause, homeless shelter, women & children’s program or a local animal shelter, YouGiveGoods’ online drive system is the platform with resources that will help you succeed.

It’s free, easy to use, and most of all, easy to share with friends and family. Give it a try, and get pumped about giving back to your community!

Start an Event

7 Best Practices for Creating A Successful Drive

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

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

1) Use Our Social Media & Email Sharing Tools

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

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

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

2) Invite Friends To Join Your Team

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

3) Make Your Drive A Challenge

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

4) Tell A Story

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

5) Enlist Outside Help

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

6) Update Often

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

7) Send Thanks

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

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

Happy 4th of July!

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

National Pet Month 2015

At YouGiveGoods we seriously love our pets, so we were delighted at the opportunity to shine a light on our furry friends for National Pet Month in May. During National Pet Month we celebrate the joy and companionship that come with pet ownership. We also take the time to recognize the dedicated volunteers and professionals who care for the neediest animals in animal shelters, clinics and pet hospitals.

To get in on the fun, YouGiveGoods ran a Pet Photo Sweepstakes contest during the month of May. We asked our YGG community to share their favorite pet photos with us for a chance to win a $50 American Express gift card. Let us tell you, when those pet photos came in, they made our day! We each had our personal favorite but every entry was just a delight.

Sadly, on June 1st we marked the end of National Pet Month by randomly selecting a winner from all of the contest entrants. We were excited to alert Ms. Edwards that her photo of "Lola Bunny" was the winner and sent her prize off in the mail. We hope Lola enjoys some extra special treats on us!

We were also pleased to show our support of animal shelters by running our first ever multi-day Giving Day Event. YouGiveGoods gifted 5% cash to the charity on each donation of $50+ to any of our animal shelter drives during our Pet Week Giving Days Event on May 4 - May 8, 2015.

It was a great success! In addition to the cash gifts, due to your generosity we shipped plenty of pet food, toys, blankets and cleaning supplies to animal shelters across the country.

We are adjusting to life here without the influx of sweet photos. You can help lift our spirits by sending your comments and photos of YGG at work to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We'd love to hear from you!

Paint the Town Green for Earth Day 2015

Earth Day Giving Day

Happy Earth Day 2015!

This year marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. The grassroots movement that started at schools across the US has evolved into a global event celebrated in over 192 countries. All across the world, people of all ages and backgrounds unite to declare that our planet should be cherished and protected.

But Earth Day is not simply a celebration, it is also a call to action.

We are called on to change our habits, and to make personal choices with a focus on positive environmental impact: recycling, limiting car pollution and efficiently using the resources around us. We are also encouraged to raise our voices, and to bring about policy change on worldwide issues such as clean energy and climate change.

YouGiveGoods values taking care of the earth as much as taking care of each other.

We are pleased to mark the importance of Earth Day by including it as part of our Giving Days. Today, on April 22, YouGiveGoods will donate an additional 5% cash gift to charity on donations of $50 or more made to an online drive hosted with us! Explore available drives to see the causes you can contribute tangible goods to.

As a bonus, did you realize that YouGiveGoods is a green drive solution? Traditionally, collection box drives can yield expired, damaged or unusable goods which the charity then has to use its limited resources to dispose of properly. Goods raised with us are all brand-new and needed by the charity.

Traditional drives can rack up transportation costs too. Individual supporters must drive to and from stores and collection sites creating pollution and spending energy and gas. YouGiveGoods reduces the environmental impact by (typically) delivering all items in one shipment.

Are you ready to take action in support of Earth Day?

Check out A Billion Acts of Green and see how you can take part in this global initiative. Long after Earth Day has passed, we promise to honor our commitment of keeping the YouGiveGoods platform green as ever! Remember: all year long, you can give and raise green for charity.

Getting to Know You

March has been a real whirlwind for our team at YouGiveGoods. We have spent much of the month introducing our online drive system to various nonprofits and corporate giving professionals at some of the biggest philanthropy conferences of the year. It's been a pleasure meeting so many with a similar passion for giving.

Our first conference of 2015 was the ACCP Annual Conference on Corporate Contributions from March 8 to 11 in Nashville, TN. As exhibitors at this event, we were thrilled to mingle with corporate contributions professionals from all over the country. Our discussions yielded common themes: overcoming the challenges of growing innovative giving programs, increasing employee engagement, and improving reporting even using limited resources.

The highlight of the event was a raucous country music performance at the historic Ryman Auditorium. What a great way to start our busy conference season!

Next, we were onto the Charities@Work 2015 Summit on Employee Engagement in Corporate Citizenship from March 23 to 25 in NYC. Here we met yet another enthusiastic group of professionals working diligently to stay on the leading edge of our ever-evolving field of corporate philanthropy.

We were proud to have our President, Lisa Tomasi, act as a presenter in the panel session entitled, “Technologists or Futurists? Leveraging Technology for Innovative Engagement”. Lisa shared important information on emerging trends and technology in employee engagement; and on ways for companies to access and effectively utilize giving and engagement data in order to grow corporate giving programs.

Today, we find ourselves at the final conference of our spring season, AFP’s 2015 International Fundraising Conference from March 29 to 31 in Baltimore, MD. This will be the largest event we attend all year with an expected 2500 attendees and 300 exhibitors!

This past Saturday, we loaded our boxes and hit the road again, ready to talk with some of the biggest changemakers in the nonprofit arena. We are looking forward to meeting many nonprofit professionals, learning more about their challenges and needs and finding out ways YouGiveGoods can assist in their work. So, please come by and visit us at booth 107!

We've spent a lot of time and energy preparing for our own version of March Madness, so it is with some sadness that we watch it draw to a close. But after the last of the conferences wind down, and we head back home to our work, we'll do so reinvigorated by new insights; and inspired by the passion of all those that we've had the pleasure of meeting along the way.