Philanthropy Friday: Track Your Giving Footprint

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.

everydayhero

everydayhero is a global fundraising platform that allows you to see the impact of your giving. Just launched in the United States, the original concept for everydayhero was co-founded in 2004 by Simon Lockyer and Nathan Betteridge in Australia. Back then, they started a consumer brand that gave a percentage of its sales to charity. Both had done a lot of work in the nonprofit sector and wanted to incorporate giving into the brand that sat in big stores.

That consumer brand never took off, but they noticed the Internet was really taking off. They left the stores and went online to create everydayhero in 2007. Simon tells me their goal was to make giving more accessible and easier. They saw that nonprofits were poorly funded and that peer to peer fundraising was prevalent.

A lot of consumer research was done prior to launching everydayhero. They wanted to go beyond the dollar sign and truly understand what giving means to people. They found that we are motivated when we can see our impact. Showing people a quantitative view of their giving makes people want to give even more.

Knowing these facts, Simon and his crew set out to measure more than just a dollar amount. They also measure our time, voice, energy and effort. everydayhero has partnerships with MapMyFitness, VolunteerMatch, Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to quantify their own giving footprint.

GivingFootprint

I set up my own account in everydayhero and was able to create a volunteering goal and log the hours I’ve already put in this year at the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. You can also create your own fundraising pages, which are easily shared and tracked via social media. And you can see the collective impact you are making with other community members around the world. I’m told $206 million has been raised using everydayhero from 3.8 million donations since 2007.

everydayhero was acquired by fundraising giant Blackbaud in 2011, so it is also backed by an established nonprofit technology partner. Watch this video to find out more about how everydayhero works.

Will you track your giving footprint?

Philanthropy Friday: Moving Forward and Asking for Help

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.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GiveForward and contains affiliate links, but the words and thoughts are my own. 

Last week I shared that I am in the process of getting a divorce. It’s not easy to share something so personal, but writing is my therapy and I needed to get what was swirling in my head out. Since the post, I’ve received an amazing amount of comments, messages and calls of support from friends online and in real life.

In the past couple of months, I’ve talked with a lot of people about my situation. I’ve needed advice, information or just a listening ear. My support system has rallied around me, and I’ve come to realize the importance of asking for help.

One of the best pieces of advice I have received so far is to not be afraid to speak up when I need something. People will help. But you have to let them know what you need. Too often people keep their challenges to themselves because they think they should be able to handle it themselves. That others will judge them or simply not understand their situation. There’s often a stigma attached to asking for help, as if it were a sign of weakness.

When I saw that a Facebook friend moved into a new house in the town next to mine, I messaged her and asked if she might give me her empty boxes. Not only did she accommodate, but she offered me free drive by hugs any time I want and an open invitation to visit again and just hang out. And I thought I was just scoring some boxes to use as I prepare to sell my house.

I’ve found that people do want to give to others. They go the extra mile when they know the story and feel the desire to help.

Raise Money for a Loved One in Need. It's Quick, Easy, and Secure at GiveForward.com

Giveforward.com is an online fundraising website that gives people an easy way to raise money for those loved ones in need. I first wrote about GiveForward in 2011. They are worth another mention after 3 years!

As an organization, GiveForward focuses on compassion. As a platform, GiveForward helps to break the stigma of asking for help and empowers those who want to give. Whether you create a fundraiser or give to a fundraiser, you can feel good about helping someone in need. To date, GiveForward has helped raise $98,051,700 towards medical expenses. My post from 2011 noted over $9 million, so it is evident that people have discovered the power of this fundraising platform.

I’ve seen families suffer greatly due to unexpected medical problems and the expenses that come with them. I’ve also seen people rally for those families to lessen the burden. What would happen if they didn’t ask for help? Life would certainly be different.

Have you asked for or offered help to someone recently?

Philanthropy Friday: Running for Boston

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.

The following article is a guest post from Lauren Pedigo. Lauren and I connected via GOOD.is. Being from the Boston area and having written about and donated to The One Fund in the past, I welcomed her post and her fundraising efforts. Good luck, Lauren!

Boston has given me my first job, my first apartment, my first blizzard, new friends, my first lobstah roll and more New England adventures than I can count. As a Midwest transplant, I’ve come to love to this city and the people who bring it life.

Here I am after surviving my first blizzard!

Here I am after surviving my first blizzard!

I’m the kind of person who finds something I love and then really “dig in” for the long haul. I’ve worn the same brand of running shoes since seventh grade. I avoided applying for college because I couldn’t imagine college being better than high school. I chose a major before freshman year and four years later graduated with that degree.

Upon graduation from Butler University in Indianapolis, I set my sights on a new adventure in Boston. In the fifteenth months, I’ve met people who will be lifelong friends and mentors. It’s taken me by surprise how quickly this vibrant city found its way into my heart.

Erica was one of my first friends I met after I moved here and she ran the Boston Marathon last year.

Erica and I at the Somerville Jingle Bell Run in December 2012.

Erica and I at the Somerville Jingle Bell Run in December 2012.

Erica, her parents, my roommate and a handful of friends were on Boylston Street cheering for the thousands of people accomplishing their dreams.

Sitting behind a computer screen at work, I watched the tragic events unfold on Twitter. Fear and helplessness inundated my mind immediately. In a sleepy Midwestern town like my own tragedies happen on television, not in real life. My co-workers and I split a cab home and the longer we drove, the more nauseous I felt. I hadn’t heard from any of them. Phone lines were jammed and news outlets had no verified information. Forty-five minutes later, my roommate’s text finally came and I learned they were all safe. Unfortunately, that wasn’t reality for so many others.

In the days and weeks following, I received an outpouring of love from family and friends, just for living here. It opened my heart to feeling loved even from thousands of miles away. I attended vigils, prayer nights and fundraisers to support the victims. I felt something unexplainably strong for the people of this beautiful city that welcomed me with open arms just months before.

I attended a candlelight vigil for the victims in Boston Common.

I attended a candlelight vigil for the victims in Boston Common.

I’m truly honored to spend the next few months giving generously to the people whose lives were changed forever on April 15, 2013.  I hope to bring a glimmer of hope and love to the people of this city. I’m raising $10,000 for One Fund Boston, the nonprofit that raises money for the victims and families of the 2013 Boston Marathon. This project will be funded by the generosity of people just like you. You can join me in making a difference here.

Lauren Pedigo

 

Lauren Pedigo is a Midwest transplant working, living and exploring in Boston. She’s a long-time journal keeper, runner and adventurer. In 2014, she’s running the Boston Marathon and raising $10,000 for The One Fund. You can find her blogging here.

 

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