TODAY’S POINT OF BALANCE: As a non-profit fundraiser, I know that every penny counts when it comes to raising money for your charity. From the arts, to health & human services, and everything in between, it’s been a hard time to get the “average joe” to consider donating to a worthy cause. Luckily, there are awesome websites that make it easy for everyone to do their part.
(All descriptions in italics are taken from the websites they are referencing.)
GoodSearch is a search engine which donates 50-percent of its revenue to the charities and schools designated by its users. It’s a simple and compelling concept. You use GoodSearch exactly as you would any other search engine. Because it’s powered by Yahoo!, you get proven search results. The money GoodSearch donates to your cause comes from its advertisers — the users and the organizations do not spend a dime!
In 2007, GoodSearch was expanded to include GoodShop, an online shopping mall of world-class merchants dedicated to helping fund worthy causes across the country. Each purchase made via the GoodShop mall results in a donation to the user’s designated charity or school – averaging approximately 3% of the sale, but going up to 20% or even more.
GoodShop is fantastic. All you have to do is find the online retailer you are shopping, click through the GoodShop portal, and shop away! It’s incredibly easy and you won’t even realize just how much you are helping by simply searching the internet. Just make sure to select your charity before you start searching and shopping. Can’t find your favorite non-profit? You can contact them and they can sign up to receive funds. Here are a few of my favorite non-profits that I have raised money for in the past by using GoodSearch:
Great Lakes Theater Festival: A personal CLE favorite, the mission of Great Lakes Theater Festival, through its main stage productions and its education programs, is to bring the pleasure, power and relevance of classic theater to the widest possible audience.
Since the company’s inception in 1962, programming has been rooted in Shakespeare, but the Festival’s commitment to great plays spans the breadth of all cultures, forms of theater and time periods, and provides for the occasional mounting of new works that complement the classical repertoire.
Growing up, my class used to attend performances at the Ohio Theatre. In my adult life, I was lucky enough to work for this great organization for three and a half years while they renovated the Hanna Theatre. I have very fond memories and consider myself a life long fan. It doesn’t hurt that they put on a mean Shakespeare!
Phi Mu Fraternity for Women: I’ve been a proud member of my sorority since freshman year of college in 2002.
Phi Mu was founded in 1852 at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. It began as the Philomathean Society, a literary society, and is the second oldest secret society for women. The Philomathean Society became Phi Mu Fraternity in 1904.
Today’s fun fact: Because the word “sorority” was not commonly used when Phi Mu was chartered, its proper name is Phi Mu Fraternity even though it is a women’s organization.
The Arthritis Foundation: The Arthritis Foundation is the only national not-for-profit organization that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions.
Joints in Motion is the Arthritis Foundation’s athletic training program where members raise funds and awareness on behalf of the organization by training you to run or walk a marathon or half marathon and you will travel to an exciting destination.
In order to motivate my running goals, I’ve considered signing up for the Virtual Team for Joints in Motion. Last year, the organization organized online teams for the Disney Marathon & Half in January 2010 and the Reggae Marathon in Negril, Jamaica in December 2009. Getting out of Cleveland by running a race in a tropical climate while raising funds for a great cause? Not too shabby in my book!
Anyone with any previous experiences with one of these programs, such as Team in Training: how was the process for you? Was the fundraising harder than the training?