Philanthropy Friday: Share Your Good Day

share your good dayShare Your Good Day is a micro-donation platform that allows you to donate $1 to outstanding charities in honor of anything good that happens to you.

When I spoke with founder / COO Jeremy Neil in November, Share Your Good Day was just four weeks old as a live company. He explained to me that the company was a family affair that came about after a brainstorm with his father-in-law around ways to give back. They were impressed by the ways people could collectively make their small donations bigger and more impactful through crowd funding. He also wondered what would happen if you put that crowdfunding idea together with gaming.

The purpose of Share Your Good Day, according to Jeremy, is to create a cultural shift into what happens when you do something good. As Jeremy notes, most people can afford $1. The website helps people think of others when good things happen to them. They share the good and donate $1 to a charity they choose on the website. People can read up on the charities to find out whom they want to support. At the end of the week, “votes” and donations are tallied. The charity that was chosen by the most people that week receives 50% of the week’s donations while the second and third charities receive 25% of the donations.

Right now, Share Your Good Day features three different charities each week, though this number may expand in the future. Charities are identified and researched using Charity Navigator. There are no fees for the charities and Share Your Good Day works directly with them to ensure a transparent process.

Also a 501(c)(3 )nonprofit organization, the purpose of Share Your Good Day is to give back and not to make money. Due to credit card fees, $0.85 of every dollar goes into the donation pot. The website is mostly run by friends and family members of Jeremy who volunteer their time. Your donations are also tax deductible at the end of the year.

Jeremy hopes that he will inspire a younger group of philanthropists to think about donating money when good stuff happens to them by making giving a game. He also hopes that his unique giving platform will also allow people to learn about new charities to support.

Here are a few ways you can get involved:

Yesterday I donated $1 after being invited by a local television station to talk about conscious holiday shopping on air next week. A good day indeed! The bonus is that Share Your Good Day is currently matching each donation dollar for dollar. They’ll even double donations that come from referring friends.

What good thing has recently happened to you?

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

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is on #GivingTuesday

‘Tis the season for giving. Or so they say. It can be hard to give meaningfully when you are bombarded with constant advertisements of deals on items you (or your kids) may or may not need under your Christmas tree. (I’m guessing you don’t need most of that stuff.)

What if we took a day to stop shopping and just give?

That’s what #GivingTuesday is for. A a global day dedicated to giving back. A day where charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world come together for the one common purpose of celebrating generosity and to give.

Honestly, I have not given as much as I’d like to this year. I was conservative due to my divorce and new living situation. While I still stayed (mostly) true to my giving pledge, I was not perfect.

Still, I volunteered regularly, shopped consciously and donated as much as I could. I was aware, and that’s really what counts.

I am constantly updating and tweaking my personal giving strategy, as I think we all should. There’s no right or wrong way to give.

Today, I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I’m donating to two organizations near and dear to my heart, Crossroads and WaterAid America.

WaterAidGivingTuesdayOn #GivingTuesday (December 2, 2014), your donation to WaterAid America will be doubled due to the generosity of WaterAid’s Leadership Circle and Go Green Environmental Services.

GivingTuesday2014From December 1 – December 6, Eventbrite is waiving their fees so that your full donation to Crossroads will go towards supporting its Children And Mothers Program (CAMP), the only program in Maine that provides on-site living arrangements to minor children of mothers in residential treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.

I’ve worked closely with both these organizations. I’ve seen their work firsthand, believe in their missions and know several staff members on a personal level.

It feels good to give these donations, as I know exactly where my money is going and how it will help.

Do you have an organization or cause you regularly support? Will you be donating on #GivingTuesday?

 

Philanthropy Friday: Giving Back at Firehouse Subs

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.

Disclosure: My two boys and I received a free lunch from our local Firehouse Subs while we discussed the ways in which the company gives back. I had the Turkey Bacon Ranch sub, in case you were wondering, and it was really good. As per usual, all words and opinions expressed are my own. 

The counter at my local Firehouse Subs in Topsham, Maine.

The counter at my local Firehouse Subs in Topsham, Maine.

With more than 800 restaurants in 42 states and Puerto Rico, chances are you have heard of Firehouse Subs. They are the only sub shop around that steams their meats and cheeses, releasing a “rush of flavors” and serves them on a private recipe sub roll.

To be honest, I’m usually skeptical of chain restaurants, preferring to support a local eatery instead. However, I was recently invited to visit my local Firehouse Subs to learn more about what the company calls “the heart of their brand,” the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. After reading about recent donations to a local technical school and fire department, I was intrigued.

Chris and Robin Sorensen, the co-founders of Firehouse Subs, founded the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $11 million to 790 public safety organizations across the country. I’m told more than $25,700 has been donated in the state of Maine.

According to the website:

I had a wonderful lunch with Dave Tucci, the local area representative for Firehouse Subs, his lovely daughter and my two boys. Dave’s wife and her parents also showed up at one point, making for a nice family meal on a school holiday.

Dave told me about the foundation and the different ways customers of Firehouse Subs can contribute to it when they visit the restaurant. He also told me that a local representative of Firehouse Subs, like himself, always meets with the fire chief in the town in which a new restaurant is to be opened. The goal for the franchise is to partner with people who have both restaurant experience and an intimate knowledge of the local community. 

One of my favorite things about Firehouse Subs is that you will always be greeted by someone at the counter when you walk through the door, even when it gets busy. Dave says they want everyone to feel like they are at home when they visit the restaurant.

Pickle buckets at Firehouse Subs cost just $2 and the money goes to their public safety foundation.

Pickle buckets at Firehouse Subs cost just $2 and the money goes to their public safety foundation.

There are several easy ways to give back when you eat at Firehouse Subs. You can drop your spare change into an acrylic canister (as you see in the second photo in this post). You can “round up” your purchase to the nearest dollar when you complete your sale. You can also purchase a recycled 5-gallon pickle bucket for $2, with proceeds going directly to the public safety foundation.

During the month of October, also Public Safety Month, customers can purchase a $1 or $5 medallion to support the foundation. Medallions (seen on display behind the pickle buckets above) are on display for the entire month.

The foundation has most certainly made an impact in Maine and around the country. Dave told me a story of how two employees of Firehouse Subs were in a bad accident that required the use of jaws of life equipment donated by their employer. Luckily, the employees were OK in the end. While Firehouse Subs is newer in the state of Maine, donations have been made in the past through a grant process.

You can read more about the local impact the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has made on their website. Or visit their brand new interactive website that shows the lifecycle of a quarter when it is donated to the foundation.

How will you give back at Firehouse Subs?

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