Author Archives: Caroline Preston
February 24, 2010, 1:09 pm
The British affiliate of SOS Children’s Villages has pledged not to spend any of the money it raises for Haiti on administration–and it is encouraging other British relief groups to do the same.
The group asks organizations to sign an online petition saying they will not put any Haiti gifts toward advertising, administration, fund raising, advocacy, or any other work in the United Kingdom, except for the purchase of goods delivered to the Caribbean nation.
Andrew Cates, chief executive of SOS Children’s Villages, says in an e-mail message that while his group has long encouraged other groups to spend less on fund raising, Haiti is a “bit of a special case” because charities have already set their fund-raising goals and budgets for the year.
“It just doesn’t seem right for the charitable sector to ‘gain’ from something like this and use it to pay for our own targets,” he says.
Mr. Cates …
February 3, 2010, 4:21 pm
Having trouble deciding between the Valentine’s Day card with the cute puppies or the one with the witty message?
What about the one that could help the Salvation Army win up to $1-million — or maybe the card that could help St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital do the same?
Target, the retail-company, is giving Internet users the chance to decide how much of a $1-million gift five charities could win, based on a selection they make when sending an online Valentine’s Day card.
Target’s Facebook page features the cards, all of which have videos with a football theme to help people get in the Super Bowl spirit.
The five charities — Kids in Need Foundation, United Through Reading Military Program, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, United Way, and the Salvation Army — will get a portion of the $1-million that corresponds with the percentage of cards that endorse them.
February 2, 2010, 12:06 pm
Voting opened on Monday in Pepsi’s Refresh Project, the latest effort by a company to let consumers have a say in how its philanthropic dollars should be spent.
Visitors to the project’s Web site can choose among more than 700 ideas submitted by individuals and charities. Top vote-getters as of Monday afternoon were a proposal by an elementary-school teacher’s assistant to form a club to promote self-esteem among girls, and camping trips for disadvantaged young people that are run by a charity connected with the University of Arizona.
Pepsi plans to give away $1.3-million each month, with grants ranging in size from $5,000 to $250,000.
In the last few years, more corporations have been experimenting with ways to give consumers a chance to help direct their charitable money. Last May, the retail-company Target started an online campaign to let voting by its Facebook fans determine how big…
February 1, 2010, 10:00 am
Add online generosity to the list of things notable about the nation’s capital and its suburbs.
People in Alexandria, Va., a city located just outside of Washington, donated more money online per capita to charities that use Convio software in 2009 than Americans in any other large city.
For every 1,000 people, they gave $20,244.
Residents of Cambridge, Mass., donated the second-largest amount ($14,729 per 1,000 people), followed by Arlington, Va. ($14,362), another Washington suburb, and by Washington, ($13,746).
Convio, a company that provides software to charities, based the rankings on an analysis of online contributions it processed for 273 large cities. The company estimates that it processes about 10 percent of all online giving.
Other cities on the top 10 list were Minneapolis; Seattle; Berkeley, Calif.,; St. Louis; Bellevue, Wa.; and Ann Arbor, Mich.
January 27, 2010, 11:26 am
Friday’s star-studded telethon has raised more than $66-million so far for Haiti relief and recovery efforts – more than three times the amount raised via telethon after the 2004 Asian tsunamis.
So what’s happening with all that money?
An “advisory committee” of nonprofit and Haiti experts has been formed that will, along with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, help decide that question.
The committee includes people like Diana Aviv, the head of Independent Sector; Brian Concannon, director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti; and Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
The committee members will meet this week to review information submitted by the charities already chosen by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, with help from the Bridgespan Group, to get a share of the telethon money.
The beneficiaries are the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Oxfam America,…
January 20, 2010, 2:37 pm
Haiti is such a big focus of donors’ attention right now that even some charities not working in the earthquake-wracked country are trying to identify ways to help – and at the same time assist their own fund raising.
Invisible Children, a nonprofit group that works with children in Northern Uganda, is asking supporters to vote for the organization so it can win $1-million as part of JPMorgan Chase’s Facebook competition.
If the group wins, it will give $100,000 to a charity providing aid to earthquake victims, Invisible Children told supporters in an e-mail today.
“A 30 second vote could give $100,000 to help Haiti and Invisible Children,” the charity says on its Web site.
Have you seen other creative examples of charities trying to piggyback off of the Haiti attention? What do you think of the strategy?
January 15, 2010, 6:45 pm
Some fund raisers are privately concerned that the extraordinary outpouring of gifts to help victims of Haiti’s earthquake could depress other giving, adding another obstacle in an already difficult fund-raising environment.
But most experts say that the outpouring of generosity to Haiti will have little impact on charitable support for other causes.
“It’s a natural question but the reality is this kind of giving very seldom has any impact on other charities,” said Bob Carter, vice chairman of Changing Our World, a nonprofit group that consults with charities. “People who don’t normally give to charity will rise to a crisis and make a gift, and very few people who are generally philanthropic are going to stop giving to things they believe in.”
Melissa Brown, associate director of research at the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, said the experience of charities after the 2004…
December 30, 2009, 3:05 pm
Mia Hamm, Lance Armstrong, Muhammad Ali, and Tony Hawk are among 55 professional athletes extending their competitive spirit to charity fund raising this holiday season.
Athletes for Hope, a nonprofit group that helps sports players get involved in charitable causes, is ginning up competition among the athletes to see who can raise the most for their charity of choice by mid-January.
The fund-raising challenge was kicked off by Heather Mitts, a player for the Philadelphia Independence soccer team, in a video on the organization’s Web site.
Athletes who attract the most money and the largest number of gifts get prize money — up to $10,000 — for their charities. UGive, a nonprofit group that encourages young people to volunteer, is putting up much of that money, along with other sponsors.
Fans can track the athletes’ fund-raising progress on a Web page created by Global Giving, …
December 29, 2009, 5:48 pm
A story about how a couple’s dance down the aisle to a Chris Brown song raised money to fight domestic violence drew more viewers than any other Prospecting article this year.
A YouTube video of the dance became an Internet sensation, helping to raise more than $15,000 for Wellstone Action, an antiviolence group in St. Paul, Minn. The newlyweds, Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz, chose the charity after the singer Chris Brown was charged with assaulting his then-girlfriend, Rihanna.
A story published in January about the factors that could shape fund raising in 2009 was the second most-popular story on Prospecting this year. Robert F. Sharpe, a planned-giving consultant in Minneapolis, identified a reduction in estate taxes, low investment returns, and the possibility of inflation as developments that could shape how much people would give this year.
Is it OK for charities to ban…
December 21, 2009, 11:55 am
People are buying less on eBay, but they’re donating more.
The online-auction site reports that its Giving Works program has generated $50-million for nonprofit groups this year, a 17 percent increase over 2008. Sales on the Web site, meanwhile, have dropped.
The uptick in donations is good news for charities and another sign of the continued growth in giving online.
eBay’s program works in a number of ways: Sellers can designate a charity to receive a portion of their sales; buyers can choose to give when they make a purchase; and charities can use the site to sell goods.
While the overall amount raised for charity this year was significant, individual donations made through the site tend to be tiny. The average donation this year was $2.28, a drop from $4.08 in 2008.
But a handful of charities have found ways to unlock big money on eBay’s Giving Works program.