One Million Donations and Counting!

blog_title_image_millionWe reached a major milestone in the history of JustGive last week when we processed the one-millionth donation on our website.

Who was behind this auspicious donation? His name is Al Danish, and he hails from Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.

Al made his donation to PathWays PA, a nonprofit dedicated to helping to keep low-income, vulnerable women together with their children by offering programs and services that help families stabilize their lives.

“If my donation can help in a small way, then that makes me feel good,” Al said about helping PathWays.

Al said his role as a grandfather of two makes PathWays’ mission even more relevant to him. “I liked the idea of making a donation for something specific like a case of diapers for a baby,” Al said.

Pathways PA is also a JustGive nonprofit affiliate. Since 2008, they’ve used our nonprofit services to accept donations through their website.

With just a few clicks, PathWays created a customized donation page, allowing their donors to select from a list of suggested gifts like $25 to “provide basic toiletries to a mom in need,” or to enter in any desired donation amount.

“JustGive is a wonderful avenue for our online donors to give in a quick and easy way,” said Fran Franchi, Director of Development for PathWays. “We are so grateful for supporters like Al Danish. Thank you, Al for your continued support of PathWays PA’s mission and congratulations on being the one-millionth donor.”

Al was gracious about his 15 minutes of online donor fame when we first shared the news, saying, “You made me feel very good about helping out with a donation.”

JustGive was one of the first nonprofit organizations to channel the power of the Internet for online giving. Since 2000, we have sent more than $400 million to over 70,000 charities working throughout the world—and every day, we are inspired by donors like Al Danish to create new ways for people to find, learn about, and support virtually any charity, anytime.

Thank you to Al and PathWays PA for helping us reach this important milestone!

 

—Sarah Bacon, Director of Product

This holiday, let’s reconnect.

If you’re like me, you’ve heard (and probably made) comments about the holiday season already: Why was jingle music playing while shopping for Halloween costumes? Why are snowy decorations overtaking stores before Thanksgiving? How will I afford gifts for everyone on my list and a sequined holiday outfit with my budget? And how much stuff do we really need for Christmas?

Hearing and joining in on the negative remarks has made me take pause. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed or get swept up in all the consumer hogwash, I’d rather enjoy the season. My sisters will be back from college and the holidays are the perfect time to reconnect—with my family, my community, and the true spirit of the holidays. Showing my loved ones I care in new and meaningful ways without breaking the bank or gifting unwanted items seems like a great place to start.

Here are some great charitable gifts that can change lives:

  • Charity Gift Cards. Take advantage of JustGive’s Cyber Monday promotion: fee-free GiveNow cards*. Pull out your favorite photos to upload, and on November 28th, create customized gifts for your friends, family, and colleagues – with ZERO fees. You chose the amount, they choose the charity (from more than 1.8 million on the site). >>Buy Gift Cards
  • Personal Charity Registry. Create a wish list and ask for charity as your holiday gift. It not only makes you feel good, but also spreads holiday cheer to others in need. Select organizations working to make a difference for your favorite causes, and share your wishes by email or on Facebook. It’s a selfless way to celebrate the holidays. >>Create A Registry
  • Charitable Donations. Donate in your friend or loved one’s name to a local charity that means the world to them. Or choose a collection of four charities supporting a specific cause like animals, the military, or children. Experience the joy of giving back. >>Give Locally   >>Select Charity Collection

Spending and cherishing time with family is another way of getting back to what’s most important about the holidays. I know that gifting charity will let them know this year is different. Imagine how things would change if we all did the same.

Spread the spirit—Like us on Facebook and share what you’re doing. We’re posting up creative and inspiring ideas for the holidays.

*Promotion Terms & Conditions – Eastern Standard Time

– Michelle Koffler, Marketing Coordinator

Food nourishes the body. Giving nourishes the soul.

Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. Nothing makes me feel warm and fuzzy quite like friends and family gathered at home, sharing laughter and memories, and eating generous helpings of my favorite comfort foods. But what makes this holiday so special to me isn’t roasted and placed on a table. Thanksgiving is a time to take a moment to appreciate the abundance in our lives, even in hard times.

This is my first Thanksgiving without my father, and the first with my daughter. Like most families, we go around the table saying what we are thankful for this year. My father always said things like, “I’m grateful to complain about going to work tomorrow, because it means I have a job” or “I’m grateful I’ll be stuck doing the dishes, because it means we had food to eat.” He truly understood what it means to give thanks. I’m grateful for the wisdom he passed on, and hope to pass it on to my daughter.

This Thanksgiving, give someone else something to be thankful for. Your generosity can provide a hot meal, a warm bed to sleep in, and comfort in a time of need.

 
Is there food in your kitchen?

The USDA announced the number of Americans who rely on food stamps has increased 17% in the last year—up to 42 million. But with $2 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, resources for hungry families are dwindling. A report from theU.S. Department of Agriculture reported nearly 6 million households—affecting as manyas 1 million children—had ongoing financial problems that forced them to miss meals regularly.

I found a few charities that are working to bridge this gap:

 

  • A $20 donation to Feeding America provides an amazing 140 meals.
  • For $35, Meals on Wheels will provide a hot meal and a comforting visit to 5 home bound seniors.
  • A $50 donation to Rubicon Programs buys a grocery bag of fresh food for a formerly homeless family moving into their new home.

 

Not just a man on the corner holding a sign

After years of record high unemployment and foreclosures, it’s likely that someone you know—a co-worker, a friend, a relative—is now without a stable place to call home. Budget cuts trickling down from a rough economy make the future uncertain for those who need a roof over their head so they can get back in their feet.

When you’re cleaning your home for visitors this holiday, consider donating to organizations helping those in need of shelter and warmth:

  • A $25 donation buys paint for a house built by Habitat for Humanity. For an additional $100 you can buy the kitchen sink, too!
  • A $35 donation to Covenant House provides clean sheets and a blanket to a homeless youth.

 

Are you a guest at Thanksgiving diner?

A charity gift card makes the perfect hostess gift! You choose the card and gift amount, and add your personal message. Your recipient uses the card to donate to any charity of their choice. For as little as $15, you can give a green gift for good!

Have something you’re thankful for that you’d like to share with friends of JustGive? Visit us on Facebook.

Then let’s spread the thanks around – Tell a Friend!

Celebrate Dad’s inspiration and life lessons

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. – Mark Twain

Father's Day

This Father’s Day, the JustGive team is sharing stories about our Dads and the ways we can honor what they’ve taught us.

“Weekends with Dad meant being outdoors—road trips to Yosemite, hiking through local waterfalls or riding motorcycles in the desert. He inspired my love of travel, nature, and conservation. We put the saying ‘take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints’ into action. A Gift Collection that supports four environmental charities is a great way to thank my Dad and preserve the great outdoors for future memories.” – Sarah, Program Manager

“My Dad had a big heart. He was a crew cut, salt of the Earth, no-nonsense farmer and blacksmith who worked hard to provide for us. He gave of his time fighting fires in our community and became the Chief of Wanatah’s Volunteer Fire Department before he died. In his memory and to help my hometown, I started a recurring online donation to the fire department. For all my Dad was, what he gave to our town and what he taught me by his example, it’s one of the best ways I know to honor him.” – Candy, Marketing Consultant

“Whenever my bike broke (or later my car), he would always be willing to fix it, but we’d have to help him. We couldn’t go do something else. We had to get the wrench or screwdriver and listen to him moan about ‘if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself. For Father’s Day I make a gift to Big Brothers and Big Sisters because not everyone has a mentor like my dad.’”– Andrea, Director of Programs

Supporting charities that provide mentoring and enrichment to children carries that lesson forward. And a $10 gift allows Boys & Girls Clubs of America to reach out to kids who cannot afford community programs.

“For the last few Father’s Days, we have celebrated my dad who died four years ago. Typically this is done with champagne and an elaborate meal because he would have wanted it that way. My dad was big time into gadgets and culinary extravagance. While he got great pleasure from splurging in this fashion, he also was one of the most generous people I knew—adopting surrogate relatives right and left, showering them with the same enthusiasm. In this spirit, I have sought my own means for helping others—more in a volunteer capacity than a gift-giving one.

This Father’s Day is the first for my husband, since we welcomed our first child this March. So we will have a new way to celebrate and new traditions to establish.” – Marina, Design and Production Manager

A $50 donation to Foster Care Support Foundation in memory of her Dad’s generosity towards others will buy an entire wardrobe for an elementary foster child. Volunteering locally is simply a matter of getting in contact with organizations in the area. From feeding the homeless to planting trees, find ways to make a difference in your community at Volunteer Match.

“My Dad and I live in different states, so we’ll be celebrating over the phone. He has always been supportive of me, no matter what. One meaningful lesson that my dad taught me is to always be true to myself. He encouraged me to challenge the status quo, and to not worry about what others thought. He also taught me about compassion and helping others, which influenced my choice to work for a non-profit and give back to the community. My dad has been a case manager working with the elderly and disabled population for over 20 years, and he has always been very dedicated to his work. He showed me that a job is not just about money, it can be so much more.” – Kelly, Customer Service Manager

A GiveNow Charity Gift Card lets Kelly’s Dad (or any Dad) choose from nearly 1.5 million charities and support the cause that he cares about most.

For Fathers everywhere—On your special day, we celebrate, thank and honor you!