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.
As the premium provider of rewards and loyalty programs in the U.S., Next Jump connects over 30,000 merchant partners, 90,000 corporate customers, and 100 million users through its online e-commerce platforms. Charlie Kim founded the company in 1994 in his college dorm room, managing to grow in the dot-com bubble, survive the subsequent bust and move forward at a rapid pace with the help of some generous angel investors. Today, Next Jump is headquartered in New York City and has offices in Cambridge, MA and London.
But Next Jump is more than just a business success. Giving back is “in the DNA” of the core of the company. According to Kara Silverman, Director of Communications for Next Jump, “Charlie believes that everyone should give back to their community, companies like Next Jump included. We give back where we are strong and have expertise and that helps to build the ecosystem.”
Looking at the website, it’s clear that Charlie and his company value their people, emphasizing employee development, health and having fun. Next Jump has a comprehensive program called NxJ Cares that includes tripling their employees’ charitable donations, incubating nonprofits in their offices to help them grow, and encouraging employees to devote two weeks paid time each year to use their web development skills to pursue a cause they are passionate about.
That’s all great and probably above and beyond what most companies do for philanthropy. But it doesn’t stop there. Next Jump also recently launched a partnership with DonorsChoose.org called SA500 Kids, which will donate $500K+ to fund technology resource requests in public school classrooms. The funds for SA500 Kids are raised from purchases made on Next Jump’s shopping site, OO.com (OO stands for Overwhelming Offers), which launched on Black Friday of last year.
Kara used the term social commerce, or consumers spreading the word about your company because of its philanthropy, as part of Next Jump’s culture. “Next Jump is working to redefine what social commerce means with this project. We have invested the funds that would have been our advertising budget in the SA500 Kids partnership, and we are inspired by how fast it has grown. Each week, we are funding 60 plus projects impacting more than 6,200 public school kids. In return, we’re getting the most powerful form of marketing, word-of-mouth.”
Certainly an innovative marketing tactic that benefits the company, their employees, shoppers and the community.