Saturday, July 17, 2010

    Why do you give?

    The Donate Movement is a new effort underway by Goodwill that parallels a campaign from my time at the University of Michigan, which can be easily imitated by most non-profits. It asks supporters to publicly answer a simple question - Why do you give?

    Goodwill's efforts include messaging about how much is kept out of landfills by donating clothes and items to Goodwill, how Goodwill supporters are "the original recyclers" and uses some good branding to illustrate these points. While at Michigan, we introduced the Philanthropy Network - which asked donors to share why they support the university. Of course, both the Goodwill and Michigan efforts are tailor-made for sharing via social media, email and mail campaigns. You can see more about the Goodwill campaign by checking out the Twitter hashtag, #donate, which also illustrates Goodwill's desire to build the philanthropic movement in the country, not just for Goodwill.

    So why do I support Goodwill? Easy - we all face challenges during our lives that are made easier because of the generosity of others. Giving to Goodwill helps "pay it forward," if you will.

    Sometimes we can easily recognize this generosity and identify the individual(s) who helped us. Scholarships are a good example of this case. On the other hand, some times we benefit from things such as medical research where it is less obvious who specifically helped make our lives better. Goodwill provides an opportunity for a community to come together and provide the generosity that can be recognized collectively, while getting more use from items that would otherwise pile up in a landfill.

    One of my favorite partnerships for the Goodwill campaign, given my love of soccer, is the tie-in for free LA Galaxy tickets for those that support Goodwill. Goodwill is also compiling a list of blogs and bloggers that share a story of support for the campaign (like I did above) and include the following button:

    Examples and highlights from each campaign are below.

    The main Donate Movement page - click for more details.

    The Philanthropy Network, main page:

    A story example:

    Selection of stories:

    Related posts, by topic:

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