Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please email Jennifer.
GiveForward is a company whose entire philosophy is focused on helping others. GiveForward provides personalized fundraising web pages and coaching for people who are facing out-of-pocket expenses, such as those associated with cancer or a natural disaster. As Director of Marketing Cate Conroy tells us, “not only do we empower people to help each other by coming together to donate to a GiveForward page, but we also have a company focus of compassion.”
The process is easy. Users simply create a GiveForward page that describes what they are raising money for. They can upload photos and videos to help tell the story. Then, they promote the page via Facebook, email and wherever else they can get the word out. People can donate money on the secure GiveForward page using a credit card, debit card or Paypal. Once the fundraiser reaches the end date, the money is sent out. Simple as that.
The focus on compassion comes from GiveForward’s co-founders, Desiree Vargas Wrigley and Ethan Austin. Desiree and Ethan created the company with the idea that socially responsible companies can help change the world by fostering a positive environment and helping others.
At GiveForward, everyone from the CEO to the interns is responsible for reaching out to its users every day and giving them a virtual “hug.” This “hug” can be anything from an email of support, to a joke, or anything that makes the recipient smile during a difficult time.
The compassion at GiveForward is genuine because everyone at GiveForward has been touched by situations similar to those of it users. Cate says, “our goal is to let them know they aren’t alone and they have a whole support team here to help them. Not only are we focused on helping others but the success stories are amazing.” One user, for example, raised $24,000 in one day to pay for his friend’s cancer treatments. And then there’s the mom who received an anonymous $25,000 donation for her eight year old daughter’s cancer treatments.
GiveForward has been helping people raise money and support each other since August of 2008. Over $9 million has been raised since its inception. There is no cost to set up a page. GiveForward makes money through a simple 7% fee on total donations.
While we may not want to think about having to use a site like this, it sure is nice to know it’s out there.