Shaking Things Up
Giving Tuesday is hands down one of my favorite days of the year. In 2017, 2.5 million contributors around the world raised $274 million. It makes me emotional in a big way to see people give so generously to support their community and the non-profits working tirelessly to make them better places to live, work, worship, age, and play.
So in honor of this incredible day, I’m bringing you a double feature: there are two very exciting new nonprofits—In Lieu and Selfless.ly— that are disrupting the giving game, harnessing technology to make it easier for people to support organizations working tirelessly to make our world a better place. The nonprofit sector is sometimes criticized for being slow to innovate, and I love that these two organizations are flipping that narrative on its head.
There’ve been a couple times where I’ve been about to leave for a party and realized I’ve forgotten to get a host gift. Life happens. We’re all busy. Kathy Terry, the co-founder of Austin’s oh-so-delicious P.Terry’s Burger Stand, has been there, too. Rather than show up empty-handed or give a typical host/hostess gift, she wanted to give a donation on their behalf, something that would be really meaningful. But it turned out that process wasn’t so easy. She had to do some sleuthing to identify the right charity and then cross her fingers that the organization would send an acknowledgment note to the host.
That experience gifted us all In Lieu, Kathy’s giving app. Once you select one of your contacts (gathered from Google or Facebook), you can find their favorite charity or find charities who work on issues you know they’re passionate about and make a donation. The app then sends a text notification. To add to the fun, you can see the donations other people are making. This is a game changer!
#MovementMakers, I’m rethinking my host gifts, and you can bet I’ll be making a donation IN LIEU of gifting a bottle of wine or houseplant. And it’s so exciting to think about how many more resources this will bring to nonprofit organizations across the country!
This is a new platform founded by Joshua Driver and Lisa Mitchell dedicated to making it easier for companies to achieve their philanthropic goals, and for nonprofits to grow and connect with passionate volunteers.
The idea for Selfless.ly came from the gap that co-founders Joshua Driver and Lisa Mitchell saw on both sides of the philanthropic equation. For nonprofits, so much time is spent trying to find the right resources: funding, volunteers with the right skill set, sponsors, in-kind support. And then for companies, managing philanthropy can take up a lot of time. As Lisa says, “there’s pain on both sides of the equation.”
Selfless.ly takes care of everything around volunteerism and donations, from the financials to impact reports. Employees have dashboards that show volunteer hours completed and donations, along with a robust database to search for organizations working on the causes they’re passionate about. This is philanthropic matchmaking and it’s accessible for companies of all sizes.
The easier it is for companies to give and work with nonprofits, the bigger impact they’ll have. The easier it is for employees to see how they’re making a difference, the more they will want to do and give. I especially like that idea of doing the storytelling for companies and their employees. Lisa calls this, “making it easier to tell the story of good.”
As someone who has worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly a decade and a half, It is just so exciting to see these innovative organizations driving change in how we give.
I’ll leave you with this thought for Giving Tuesday: how much bigger could Giving Tuesday get as a result of In Lieu and Selfless.ly? A fun and energizing thought starter for one of my favorite days of the year.
PS. Be sure to follow me on this Giving Tuesday. I plan to share updates from some of my favorite non-profits including I Live Here, I Give Here, The Association of Junior Leagues International and my employer– the American Heart Association.
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