Philanthropy Friday: The #GivingTuesday Thirty-One Hope Kit (+ a giveaway!)

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 contact Jennifer. Read past stories here.

Disclosure: I received a Thirty-One Hope Kit as a gift from Thirty-One Gifts to aid in the writing of this post. I will be donating the kit to a woman in substance abuse treatment who needs it more than I do. All thoughts and opinions expressed, as per usual, are my own.

Thirty-One Hope KitAs we head full force into the holiday season, I will be sharing more opportunities to make a true impact in your giving. Earlier this week, I mentioned that Hallie Tamez, WaterAid America’s Associate Director of Major Gifts, will  be carrying a 40-pound jerry can filled with water across Manhattan in solidarity with the women and girls across the globe who have no choice but to do this every day. She’s doing it today (November 21) in hopes to raise fund for WaterAid on #GivingTuesday.

World Vision and Thirty-One Gifts have also teamed up for the 3rd annual #GivingTuesday on Dec. 2, 2014. The two organizations are working together to send out personal hygiene supplies to women in need.

For the first 3,100 donations made to World Vision on #GivingTuesday, Thirty-One Gifts will donate a Hope Kit tote filled with hygiene supplies to a woman or girl in need in the U.S.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. The organization works in nearly 100 countries around the world, and serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. You can find out more about World Vision on their website, Facebook page or Twitter.

The Hope Kit is a Thirty-One Gift’s Cosmetic Bag filled with essential hygiene supplies such as a toothbrush, shampoo, hairbrush, soap and a special note of encouragement. I received one of the bags and can tell you it is of far higher quality than any cosmetic bag I have ever owned. Filled with the everyday toiletries that we often take for granted, I particularly like the handwritten note from the person who packed the bag. My note said:

I hope this kit brings you encouragement in your time of need. My thoughts are with you for a better tomorrow.

I will be donating my Hope Kit to Crossroads, a behavioral health organization in Maine that I’ve worked with for about 8 years. They have two residential programs and toiletries are often needed by clients.

The Handle-It Cosmetic Bag comes in Paisley Day, Black Chevron or Plum Chevron. Thanks to Thirty-One, one lucky reader will have the chance to win a cosmetic bag, in her choice of color, with “hope” embroidered on the front. You can enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On #GivingTuesday every donation made to World Vision will make twice the impact by combatting poverty in one of the 100 countries where World Vision works. The donations on #GivingTuesday can be made by phone (1-888-511-6588) or online to World Vision on Giving Tuesday.

How will you celebrate #GivingTuesday? What will you do with your cosmetic bag? 

Philanthropy Friday: Six Lessons I Learned While Pledging to Donate Every Month

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 contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

Today is a travel day for Philanthropy Friday. I’m sending you over to GOOD.

Are you a member of GOOD yet? You should be. It’s a community for people who give a damn.

I’m reflecting on the six lessons I learned by donating every month through my Giving Pledge. Here’s a preview:

In February of 2012, I started my very own Giving Pledge. I was frustrated by the lack of donations to worthy nonprofits on my part at the end of 2011.

The problem was that my husband and I didn’t make giving a priority throughout the year. Once the “giving season” and the last chance to get those tax-deductible donations in arrived, we simply couldn’t afford to donate a lot of money all at once. Not many people can, I suspect.

I noted that waiting until the end of the year to donate money to a good cause is a terrible giving strategy.

I should know better, considering I’ve worked in nonprofit development and fundraising in some capacity for nearly 10 years. There’s a need for money year round, not just in December.

Since I declared my Giving Pledge –  to donate to at least one nonprofit each month – I’ve blogged about whom I’ve donated to and why. My goal was for my husband and I to give to more organizations and feel better about our philanthropic efforts at the end of the year.

After two full years of my Giving Pledge, I can safely say “mission accomplished.” Compared to my 2011, my charitable contributions when up significantly in 2012 and 2013. Looking back at my donations in these two years, I learned a few things about myself and my giving habits.

Read the full article Six Lessons I Learned While Pledging to Donate Every Month on GOOD and leave a comment if you have a moment.

I hope it will inspire you to consider your own giving pledge. It’s easier than you think. I promise.

GOODScreen Shot 2014-01-16

December Giving: Small Donations with Double the Impact

This time two years ago, I was contemplating my public Giving Pledge. I was disappointed in the amount of money I donated to nonprofit organizations throughout the year.

Though December is traditionally known as the season to give and the last chance to get that extra tax write-off before the next year, I knew better. I work with enough nonprofits to know that the need is there year round.

Not long after, I pledged to donate money to at least one nonprofit every month. My first “official” donation for my pledge was in January of 2012. I am proud to say that I have never missed a month of giving. And I can honestly say that my giving has become more intentional through this pledge.

I plan writing more about what I’ve learned in the two years of my Giving Pledge – about myself and my giving – after the holidays.

For now, I am winding down and getting ready to spend the holidays with close friends and family. We have a big trip planned for New Year’s Eve that my kids don’t know about yet. I’m sure I’ll write about that one later too. (And, no it’s not Disney World! It’s much colder. Any guesses?)

This month, I made two smaller donations. While my husband and I decided that we’d have a minimum donation amount this year, I didn’t see myself making it with so much going out of my bank account this month (it always happens at once, doesn’t it?). The neat thing is that my smaller donations will equal to more than my minimum because both were matching donations.

Giving Tuesday unselfie

The first donation was to WaterAid America on #GivingTuesday. This one was a bit of a no-brainer for me because a generous donor matched the donations that WaterAid received that day. Plus WaterAid has become a favorite nonprofit of mine. Their goal was to raise $100,000. They ended up raising over $250,000! So, yes, my smaller donation made a difference.

The second donation was initiated by my 8-year-old son, G. His third grade class decided to donate money to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital instead of exchanging gifts during their holiday party. There was no pressure to donate money, but it sounded like the kids really liked the idea. They talked about how any small amount would help. G decided to donate $5 of his own money, and I matched the amount. He was excited to double his amount, and it sounds like I’m not the only parent to do so. I’m not sure what the final tally was on donations, but I have no doubt it will make an impact.


Are you willing to take the giving pledge and donate every month to a nonprofit? Grab the badge below and tell the world.

another jennifer giving pledge

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