This is cool. Remember Oprah’s Big Give? Stephen Paletta was the winner and Oprah gave him a big fat chunk of change to do something good with. And he did!
He started a site called GiveBack.org and it’s a really easy way for people to organize and manage their charitable giving. The site is in beta now and I was invited to test it out. Here is what I learned:
I signed up — which means I created my own “foundation”. I picked a charity. I donated. And it took all of 5 minutes. I donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRFI). After losing his sight and his ability to walk, my father died of diabetes at age 52. I hate the idea of children going through what he did.
Moving forward, I can use the same foundation to donate to any number of charities, any time I please, and at the end of the year, I’ll get one statement for my taxes. Plain and simple: If a charity is registered as a non-profit with the IRS, then you can donate to it via GiveBack.org. Do a search here to see if your favorite charity is listed. And 100% of the donation goes to the charity.
Extra cool: everyone who signs up right now gets $5 automatically placed in their foundation account. You can add to that $5 or donate it immediately.
It’s easy to raise money.
GiveBack.org makes it easy to set aside money for charitable giving. Every time you shop through one of their merchant partners, a percentage of your purchase goes directly into your “foundation” account. And then you can donate that money to the charity or organization of your choice. Bonus for me: Target is one the partners! So if I do my normal, everyday Target shopping through GiveBack.org, I’ll be raising money for my favorite charities without even changing my budget.
It’s easy to spread the word.
If you have a cause that’s near and dear to your heart (who doesn’t?), GiveBack.org makes it easy to spread the word and collect donations through your social networks — they have quick buttons to help you get the message out on facebook and twitter. Make a fundraising goal, describe the project on your foundation page at GiveBack.org and let everyone know about it, so they can all pitch in.
Giving back is top of mind for pretty much everyone I know around this time of year. You guys were amazing to help out with the Haiti fundraiser last week, and I thought you might like knowing about this easy way to organize your own fundraisers. Here’s a video about GiveBack.org in case you want to learn more.