Can JustGive Help Our Company Distribute Donations to Charity?

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Featured FAQ
Can JustGive help our company distribute donations to charity?

Here at JustGive, we offer services to help companies of any size incorporate philanthropy into their business. Many of our clients already have systems in place to collect charitable donations from their employees or customers, but need a qualified partner to take care of distributing those funds to the recipient charities. That’s where JustGive can step in.

Question
Can JustGive help our company distribute donations to charity?

Answer
donation_flickr_opensourceYes, JustGive offers donation processing support for a variety of situations. As a donor advised fund (DAF), we are authorized to manage charitable donations on behalf of companies, organizations, families, or individuals (eliminating your compliance headaches).

The process can be as simple as sending us a spreadsheet periodically with the donation detail (recipient charity, donation amount, donor info if available, etc.). We use that data to verify charities and securely distribute the donations, then bill you for the total donation amount and processing service.

Click here to learn more about our donation processing services and discover how JustGive’s clients have made an impact using our services. And don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help your company.

For more FAQs about corporate giving, visit our Support Center.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

P.S. To keep up on philanthropy news and insights: Subscribe to our blog, and follow us on LinkedIn.

CSR Pioneers Ben & Jerry’s

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Ben & Jerry’s is thought of as the ice cream company with heart and soul. From the start, its founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield set out to prove that business can play a positive role in society.

In 1978, after taking a $5 correspondence course in ice cream-making from Penn State and making a $12,000 investment ($4,000 borrowed), Ben and Jerry began selling ice cream from a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont.  While the company name references only two men, a third man, Jeff Furman (a lawyer and accountant) is considered the ampersand in Ben & Jerry’s and a driving force in the company’s social responsibility efforts.

Utne Reader described them as three men who shared ideals formed in the 1960s and tempered by Vietnam and Watergate. They were smart and creative but suspicious of big business, painfully aware of injustice, and looking for better ways to live.

Social mission as a guiding business principle

In 1988, Ben & Jerry’s became one of the first companies in the world to make a social mission integral to its business and inseparable from its product and economic goals. Its social mission: use the company in innovative ways to make the world a better place.

When Unilever bought Ben & Jerry’s in 2000, the company became a wholly-owned subsidiary but fought to retain its social consciousness. Through a unique merger agreement, Ben & Jerry’s established an independent board of directors so it could maintain the company’s mission and preserve its values—a board that has the right to challenge Unilever at any time if it feels those values are compromised.

In September 2012, Ben & Jerry’s was certified as a B corp and became the first and only wholly-owned subsidiary of a public company to do so. Its publicly-available impact assessment shows how the company is doing in its governance and for the environment, workers, and community. (The B Corp model can ensure companies provide benefits to society in a way that’s transparent, balanced, and people can believe in.)

“We wanted to constantly challenge ourselves to be better,” said Rob Michalak, Ben & Jerry’s Director of Social Mission. “This model provides the rigor and standards to ensure that we are living up to our own mission and that we push further.”

The measures of success

Creating linked prosperity for suppliers, employees, farmers, franchisees, customers, and neighbors—everyone connected to Ben & Jerry’s—is how the company defines success. They operate to benefit people and communities, support social and environmental justice, and give back.

Sourcing & purchasing ingredients. The company uses its purchasing power to buy Fair Trade Certified base ingredients of sugar, cocoa, banana, coffee and vanilla.

In manufacturing, Ben & Jerry’s works to reduce its footprint and has offset 22,400 tons of CO2 emissions since 2002. The company is also actively involved in climate justice, mandatory GMO labeling, peace building and many more issues.

Ben & Jerry’s: Giving back

Their efforts to give back go beyond improving quality of life for local communities. In addition to donating more than 5% of profits to charity:

  • Ben & Jerry’s foundation engages its employees in philanthropy and social change work, and supports grassroots activism and community organizing for social and environmental justice around the country. In 1991, the foundation was restructured to be employee-led, and employees make all the decisions about grants. In 2014, the foundation won the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy’s award for a Corporate Grantmaker.
  • The foundation funds the Vermont Community Action Team (CAT) grant program for an array of programs, and prioritizes support for basic human needs and the underserved, including seniors, at-risk youth and low income communities. In addition to grants, employees work together on several large-scale community service projects each year.
  • PartnerShops are independently-owned Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops operated by community-based nonprofit organizations, and run as social enterprises. They offer job and entrepreneurial training to youth and young adults who may face barriers to employment.

Ben & Jerry’s has set a high CSR bar. Not every business has the resources and ability to pursue social responsibility with such fervor, but any business can get started.  Inspired to discover how? Contact JustGive today; we’ll help.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

What Programs and Products does JustGive Offer for Companies?

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FEATURED FAQ:
JustGive’s Corporate Services

For company giving programs, United Way may pop to mind first. But there are many options and flexible partners, like JustGive, with the experience and expertise to help your business make an impact with philanthropy.

people_jumping_29365278.jpgWhether you’re a large corporation or small business, JustGive offers a variety of products to incorporate charitable giving into your business . . .  and, at the same time, engage employees and customers. Making things better for your company, your community, and the world.

Here’s a short description of what JustGive can do for your company.

Question
What programs and products does JustGive offer for companies?

Answer
JustGive can help your company launch a donation campaign or giving day for a specific charity or cause, or a long-term charitable giving program that encourages philanthropy year round (including matching gifts).

We can also provide donation support and processing if you have an existing giving program or if you’re a new company with a social impact purpose. JustGive takes care of compliance and efficiently distributes donations to charity for you.

woman_casual_business_25401351.jpgJustGive’s charity gift cards are a great way for your company to give employees and customers something extra: the chance to make a difference for a cause they care about. They’re flexible, and ideal as holiday or thank you gifts, traffic-generating tradeshow giveaways, rewards and incentives, or distinctive sales meeting swag. Your recipients can redeem the charity gift cards to donate to any charity they choose (from nearly 2 million in our database).

Get more detail about all our Corporate Services on our site and read our Success Stories to discover how other companies have effectively used JustGive’s charitable giving products.

Don’t miss the latest CSR and philanthropy news and insights: Subscribe to our blog, and follow us on LinkedIn.

-Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

2016 Giving Outlook is Promising

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The recent Philanthropy Outlook released by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy shows giving is on the upswing and momentum is building.

Distribution of total giving, by source, for the years 2015 and 2016. Source: The Philanthropy Outlook 2015 & 2016. Click to view full size.
Distribution of total giving, by source, for the years 2015 and 2016 from The Philanthropy Outlook. Click to view full size.

Here’s a snapshot of the good news presented by the fundraising and philanthropy consulting firm, Marts & Lundy, in The Philanthropy Outlook: 2015 & 2016, based on U.S. donations made to U.S. charities.

Giving from all sources is expected to rise 4.8% this year and 4.9% in 2016.

The bigger perspective is that each year’s growth will exceed the total giving for the years after the Great Recession (3.1%) and the estimated long-term average for the 40-year trend in total giving for 1973-2013 (3.8%).

Giving by source

This giving prediction includes cash and non-cash donations made by individuals, estates and corporations, and grants made by foundations.

  • Giving by Foundations is expected to increase the most – by 7.2% in 2015 and 6.7% in 2016. One contributing factor for this increase is the above average growth in the S&P 500.
  • Giving by Corporations follows closely with a 6% rise in 2015 and 4.8% next year. In these two years, as companies hire more employees, growing payrolls may mean scaling back on philanthropy. But researchers say that as corporations save their profits, they give more philanthropically.
  • Giving by Individuals/Households is expected to increase 4.4% this year and 4.1% in 2016. This is more than one percent higher than the historical average—for a source that makes up around 70% of all giving.
  • Giving by Estates is predicted to rise by 2.7% in 2015 and by 6.3% next year. This giving fluctuates widely from year to year, varying mostly due to very large bequests made by a few estates in a given year.

phil_outlookThe report is valuable because it gives us a scientifically developed and tested look at charitable giving. It’s something that will be updated annually to help us forecast. (A bit of detail: The research team used econometric methodology, testing more than 16,000 combinations of variables that could influence each source of giving before ultimately identifying 10 key predictors.)

To get the full report and read more about conditions that affect the outlook: The Philanthropy Outlook: 2015 & 2016.

Interested in increasing philanthropy as a part of your business? Just contact us.

– Andrea Lloyd
Director of Programs

To keep up on the latest trends and news in company philanthropy, subscribe to our newsletter.

Making an Impact – TOMS style

Image Source: www.toms.com
Image Source: http://www.toms.com

TOMS Shoes is a shoe company like no other – for every pair of shoes they sell, they give another to a child in a developing country. In case you don’t already know how it got started in 2006, founder Blake Mycoskie was traveling in Argentina when he saw children facing hardships because they were growing up without shoes. He discovered alpargatas, the traditional South American flat shoes, then spent a day fitting 250 children with their own pair.

Here’s the inspiring story:

Giving Back

Giving is in the company’s DNA and embedded in its brand promise. TOMS believes in improving people’s lives through business. So what began as a simple One for One® shoe idea has grown into a powerful business model that marries fun, profit and social good. Through an expanded product line, consumer purchases, and partners, TOMS giving now includes:

  • Sight – For each eyewear purchase, another person receives a full eye exam and treatment needed (glasses to surgery). TOMS has helped restore sight for more than 300,000 people in 13 countries.
  • Water – Each bag of TOMS Roasting Co. Coffee provides a week’s supply of safe water. The company has supplied over 100,000 weeks of safe water in 7 countries where they also source sustainable coffee beans.
  • Image Source: www.toms.com
    Image Source: http://www.toms.com

    Safe Births – This year, TOMS Bag Collection launched in 4 countries with 3 Giving Partners to help address the need for advancements in maternal health. Each bag purchase provides training for skilled attendants and distributes birth kits containing items a woman needs to safely give birth.

In 2013, TOMS committed to locally producing one third of their Giving Shoes in areas where they give them away. This has led to creating over 700 jobs and producing more than 8 million pairs of shoes in factories in Argentina, China, Ethiopia, Haiti, India and Kenya.

TOMS works with nearly 120 Giving Partners (nonprofit humanitarian organizations) to fulfill its One for One promise.

In addition to One for One purchases, TOMS is the force behind at least two global issue awareness days each year. Thursday, May 21, is the company’s annual One Day Without Shoes to raise awareness for children’s health and education. For every photo of bare feet tagged on Instagram, TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need — no purchase necessary. (Pass it on!)

Image Source: www.toms.com
Image Source: http://www.toms.com

Corporate Responsibility

For TOMS, Corporate Responsibility includes “focusing on the environmental and social impacts of our products and operations, responsible giving, and employee life.” This means not only making products from sustainable and vegan materials, and ensuring that suppliers comply with their country’s labor laws . . . but also building environmentally-friendly new stores, and providing startup funds for 20+ new companies with a social mission.

Image Source: www.toms.com
Image Source: http://www.toms.com

As one of the only company we know with a Chief Giving Officer, giving is core to TOMS work as a responsible company. In the words of Mycoskie, “Ultimately, I’m trying to create something that’s going to be here long after I’m gone.”  Now that’s what you call a worthwhile legacy!

To read more about Mycoskie’s journey as an entrepreneur and insights from founders of other well-known brands that give back, check out his book, Start Something That Matters.

Inspired to get started or build on your company’s giving program? Just contact us.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Behind the Data Curtain: Where JustGive Gets Charity Information

Image Source: Flickr
Image Source: Flickr

Featured FAQ:
JustGive’s Charity Data

If you’ve spent time on the JustGive website, you know that you can search a database of nearly 2 million 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and you’ve probably wondered about our source for the information.

Question
Where does JustGive get all that charity data from?

Answer
We use two sources for the charity data on JustGive: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Exempt Organizations database and GuideStar®, the premier organization that offers up-to-date information on hundreds of thousands of nonprofits.

The IRS database is available online, and contains the information for registered 501(c)(3) charitable organizations (or “exempt organizations” as they refer to them).

On the IRS website, you can look up a single charity’s information and status, or download the entire database of exempt organizations. The IRS also maintains data on charities that have had their exempt status revoked, and in many cases, reinstated.

We also partner with GuideStar, which puts a more user-friendly face on the IRS data, and gathers information about impact, transparency, governance, and more.

The JustGive website experience

When you search for a charity on JustGive, you’ll often see pages of search results. The results list charities from the GuideStar database that match your search term(s). CharityInfoPopupClick on the charity’s hyper-linked name and a window will pop up with even more vital information, including the organization’s mission, financial data, programs and more. All this data can help you find out more about an organization you may want to support.

Nonprofit Tip

If you’re a nonprofit, it’s a best practice to claim your organization on the GuideStar Exchange and be sure your information is up-to-date. This ensures that donors see the latest information about your organization when they are searching on JustGive, and that you receive checks from us in a timely manner.

For more FAQs, visit our Help Center.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

Community Giving = Good Business

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If you’re hesitating to make community service part of business, a few minutes with Alison Roessler will change your mind. She’ll inspire you to make it your culture and get you fired up about the benefits of giving back in a heartbeat.

I talked with Roessler the other day about what making an impact means to her and why it’s important. As CEO and Founder of the Oakland, California fitness and wellness center Truve, established in 2014, she can’t imagine doing business any other way.

How did you start giving back?
I got started at a young age by my Mom. She was in charge of a holiday gift drive for an Oregon-wide credit union, and I went with her to deliver gifts to families. In high school I chaired a canned food drive, and helped with a pageant to raise money for the ICU at a local hospital. In college, through my sorority, I worked with the blind. Then I went to Costa Rica on a fluke trip, saw the poverty there and wanted to see how I could help. (The nonprofit she started in 2008, The Stars of Tomorrow/Las Estrellas de Manana, is working to break the cycle of poverty one child at a time.)

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Did you build community service into the business when you created Truve?
Yes. It was a driving factor for me in creating the business. I was doing some pro bono work – helping people with diabetes and more – at other fitness places and they were charging me to use the facility. I thought that was crazy! I wanted to make fitness accessible to everyone.

How are you making volunteering and giving back part of the business?
11036916_1635034656718468_2763814053344646237_nWe have a big event every month to give back. Anyone who is part of the Truve family – practitioners, members, and anyone who drops in to attend free classes – can suggest something that’s important to them and we’ll organize a class, run, fundraising drive or event to raise money.  Last month, we taught classes at the Lion’s Center for the Blind, just 2 blocks up the street. This month, we’re giving a drop-in class discount for anyone who brings in a non-perishable food item or arts and crafts supplies for the Lafayette Elementary School.

I made it a requirement for practitioners who are part of the Truve family to do 30 minutes to an hour every week, or 2 to 4 hours of pro bono service a month. Many of us teach free classes (we have 8 to 10 a week), including acupuncture and Reiki. Our Esthetician helps cancer patients and is involved in feral cat rescue. A Spin teacher reads to kids.

What would you say to business owners who think it costs too much to make volunteering a part of their work?
The benefits so outweigh the costs. It’s totally worth it; it comes back to you tenfold. The return my practitioners get from it and the change they’re making in the world. . . they’re happier afterwards, so glad they did it and ready to do it again!

Vitruvian ManGiving back to the community brings the whole culture of the business together. It should be a part of every business model.

What’s the best way to get over any hesitations about it being too hard to get started?
Dive in – head first – for something you’re passionate about. Once you do, it grows from there. You don’t have to be a Microsoft of the world to do this. (Truve is a small business.)

Truve’s name is inspired by Leonardo DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man, an illustration that shows a person’s wingspan is the same as his height,  with the human body in perfect balance. The fitness classes and services Truve provides, and its community service, actually puts all of life in perfect balance.

np_btn_donate_nowIf you’d like to help the Costa Rica nonprofit, The Stars of Tomorrow, donations are happily accepted.

Ready to incorporate giving back into your business? Just contact us.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant