When we first started Raise5, we wanted to start a business with a core focus on giving back, and not just as some side initiative or as part of a PR campaign. We wanted Raise5 to generate value-added for both our customers and the broader community. We received a lot of support for the Raise5 idea when we first started and we have watched our community grow to include some amazingly talented and committed individuals who are using the Raise5 principle of doing what you love and buying what you need as an avenue for giving back and making a meaningful difference in the world.
We really do see ourselves as part of a community of ‘change-makers’, and so when we see other companies who’ve also embraced a core focus on giving back we get really excited. And there are some people doing really interesting things with this kind of business model right now. Take Miir bicycles, for example, a company with its foundation firmly rooted in giving back to help those in need. Miir’s new buy-one-get-one-program sees that for every bike purchased, one is sent to underserved communities in the US or Africa. GOOD recently posted a great piece on Miir and their exciting new initiative – click here to check it out.
The sky is the limit right now for social entrepreneurship and as we continue to promote and build Raise5, we’re excited to grow and develop right along with it.
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! This year, we’re giving thanks to the Raise5 community for your support over this last year. We feel lucky to have gathered together so many talented individuals on Raise5 who are so passionate about giving back. Here are 3 easy ways you can give thanks by giving back this Thanksgiving season, without having to leave the comfort of your home:
Give away your spare change!
Making a donation to a charity you admire or a cause you’re passionate about is a great way to give thanks for the great work they’re doing. Every penny counts, so never hesitate to give what you can to the charity of your choice. But sometimes it’s hard to part with your hard-earned cash. So what if we sweeten the deal for you a little? At Raise5 you can give back AND get something in return. For as little as $5, you can donate to a great cause and get a new business card designed, have your digital portrait drawn, or get your paper edited. There is a whole community of people offering fun and awesome services on the Raise5 marketplace that deserve your support, so go get shopping!
Give away your time!
Donating your time is a wonderful way to give back, especially if you don’t have a lot of room in your budget for cash donations. One way to do this is to volunteer in your free time by helping a local organization with its programs and services.
But that’s not the only way. On Raise5 you can create a service around something you love to do and use it to raise money for your favourite cause or charity. It’s a great way to get involved in a meaningful way, but on your own schedule and on your own terms. You’ll also get a chance to practice your skills and build your portfolio while making some great contacts with people who value your work. There are lots of people on Raise5 doing just that right now! Click here to learn more about donating a service and to get started raising money for a cause you’re passionate about.
Spread the word!
Strapped for both cash and time? Use your voice! One great way to support your favourite charity or cause is to help them get the word out about the amazing work their doing. Post their website to your Facebook or Twitter, or share a campaign you’re passionate about with your colleagues and loved ones and ask them to get on board.
Similarly, if you like what we’re doing, help us give back by liking our Facebook page and sharing it on your Facebook wall. You can also follow us on Twitter or share this blog post with your networks. This Thanksgiving, raise your voice and help us ‘Raise5’ for some great charities doing great work!
My name is Stephanie Barstow. I live in Alexandria, Virginia. I graduated in May with a BA in Journalism and Studio art. I’ve always had a passion for the digital arts and philanthropy. I had been doing free logos and designs on the free design subreddit when someone from Raise5 messaged me and asked if I wanted to join the site. From there on, I was hooked.
I am a strong supporter of Doctor’s Without Borders and World Wildlife Fund, and being able to give to these organizations through my art is incredibly rewarding. I’ve always been known for my creativity. Ever since I was young, I have been involved in the arts. I am a photographer, graphic designer, and even do zombie FX make-up. When I’m not making fabulous designs and photographs, I enjoy video games, my dogs River and Winston, and Reddit.
I am currently working on a series of new logos and beginning a new photo series.For anyone out there who considers themselves artists, I’d like to say to you—stick with it! The world could always use more artists. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you there is no work or that it’s a waste of time. Art is what makes the world go round. From performance art to painters to glass blowers, new ideas are born from the creative minds of artists, so keep dreaming and keep creating.
The clever and philanthropic creator of the popular online comic site TheOatmeal is at it again! After raising over $200,000 for a total of 5 charities with the support of his fans, Matt has moved onto to his next project: “Operation: Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum”.
The objective is to raise $850,000 to convert the building that was Tesla’s experimental wirless energy tower into a Tesla museum.
Matt explains that “if we can raise $850k, New York State will match us for that same amount — putting the total raised at $1.7 million”. Only after 20 hours of creating this fundraising page, Matt and his numerous fans have contributed over $400,000. What a fun cause, and what a genius with a heart of gold, this Matt Inman.
Keeping up with personal and professional responsibilities while trying to manage a Twitter feed and Facebook page has left many of us with the attention span of a gnat. For someONE or someTHING to stand out and receive finical and emotional support in unfavorable economic times, there has to be a buzz. Let’s reminisce a bit. Here, are 5 memorable charity campaigns that caused people to pump their brakes and pay attention.
How awesome is Bono?
Product Red campaign, inspired a generation to purchase RED products with a percentage of profits from sales going to fight AIDS in Africa.
2. Save Lids to Save Lives
You can’t get lost in the yogurt aisle when you see the beautiful pink Yoplait “Save Lids to Save Lives” yogurt tops.
A 13 year partnership between Yoplait and Susan G. Komen has raised more than 22 million dollars for breast cancer outreach programs.
3. Angel Network Katrina Homes Registry
The queen of daytime television, known for raising consciousness, placed a spotlight directly on the devastation caused by Hurriance Katrina.
In 2005 Oprah Winfrey, made a commitment to families displaced by Hurricane Katrina and Rita offering new homes! The launch of Angel Network Katrina Homes Registry allowed viewership to donate online raising $5 million to help provide supplies and furnishings for the new homes.
4. Just Stand Up: Artists Stand Up To Cancer
16 of the hottest singers collaborated on a project with soulful singer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. You knew it was going to be a hit!
All-star musical superstars collaborate on a musical track raising funds and awareness for the “Stand Up To Cancer” charitable program.
5. ShareCraft 2012- Save the Children Challenge
Operation ShareCraft completes their mission!
Professional Video Gamer Chiren “Athene” Boumaaza launched the project ShareCraft 2012, with the goal of raising $1 million in 100 days. All of the profits going to Save the Children’s work in the Horn of Africa. Athene went on a hunger strike for 10 days to generate media attention to the project. Athene and community reached the $1 million dollar goal!
A great report came out recently, called The Millennial Impact Report. This report outlines the response of over 6500 ‘Millennials’ (those between the age of 20 and 35), with some very encouraging findings!
First of all it should be mentioned that these millennials have historically been downplayed by charity organizations. Generally, younger people aren’t established enough to be able to make significant contributions. However, it’s also the case that most charities have structured themselves to be attractive to the older generation and are in some ways missing out on what the youth can provide. Of course Raise5 is hoping to contribute to the change in this landscape, but reports such as the one mentioned above are helping to educate the non-profit sector on how the younger generation can make a difference. Did you know that:
The report itself is filled with many more statistics and case studies about the attitude of the youth toward volunteering. But in the end, it shows a need for more online presence on the non-profit’s part, along with short-term peer to peer volunteering opportunities that incorporate the volunteers’ skills and talent.
If only there were a platform that offered that!
“Being unreasonable is not just a state of mind. It is also a process by which older, outdated forms of reasoning are jettisoned and new ones conceived and evolved.”
This is the introductory sentence of the book: ‘The Power of Unreasonable People’ by John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan. All revolutionary figures in their time were considered unreasonable, out of touch or even downright crazy prior to the revolution. As George Bernard Shaw beautifully stated: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adept the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
In an imperfect world filled with turmoil and wrong-doing, we need leaders in this who challenge the norm and urge people to think about the possible alternatives. These leaders are the ones seen on prime time television, nor do they command great armies. No, they are the unspoken heroes of society working one day at a time in the fringes. While the mainstream may neglect these leaders, their real and positive impact on the world will surely persist.
Featured service donor: Colette du Plessis
Raise5: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Are you a student, world traveler, activist?
Colette du Plessis: I am an English Teacher from South Africa who has been living and teaching in South Korea. I am an animal and environmental activist! I love penguins, polar bears, rhinos! And any other beautiful creature on this earth! I have a huge thing about recycling and reducing my carbon footprint by trying my hardest to use environmentally friendly products and reduce my water and electricity use. I am just about to leave Korea for a while to travel Europe, America, hopefully South America and then South Africa before returning back to teach in Korea sometime in September. Along my travels I hope to do plenty of work to stay; helping on self sustainable farms or in lodges etc or volunteer in the rainforests or on animal conservation farms.
R5: When you are not sending out fantastic postcards and socks from Korea, how do you spend your free time?
Colette: I love to read. I love bicycle riding through the small streets of my city. Coffee is my favourite drink! So you can find me in a coffee shop somewhere journalling or doing Bible study. I love to watch TV series. If any friends are free then walking and talking and eating is the most fun we enjoy doing to while away the time. Occasionally I’ll get spurts and just sit on the net and sign petitions or check out picks and post my own pics onto Pinterest. I also have a small child I write to in SA.
R5: What was it about World Food Programme that inspired your act of service?
Colette: Shame, to be honest, I love Korean socks. I send them to my friends and family in SA regularly! My sister is always asking for the candies and cookie treats from Korea. They are inexpensive! I support a number of animal groups and when I came across the Raise5 site and saw that the World Food Programme was a charity to support (and none of my animal charities are on Raise5 as of yet) I chose it as one way I could support a humanities cause for a change. I love the Raise5 concept of actually doing something, for people around the world, to support a good cause! And so I could start sending stuff, i know people enjoy, to other people around the world and they would simply be able to donate a small amount of money for a good cause!
R5: Your donor service attracted 14 buyers! What has this donation of service meant to you?
Colette: It was so exciting to see the emails coming through with requests and excited comments of the people who were waiting for their socks! These people were from all OVER the world, from SA, Canada, Las Vegas! The UK! I get this excited feeling like I have a small purpose that I can contact people around the world! Be apart of something where I can help the hungry in such a simple way as sending off the gifts and treats I so love from Korea! I would get a group of orders and set out to sift through the character socks, go though the candy stores and look for Korean trinkets. I would love to have more and more buyers! I will try and carry on my service as travel and send out postcards and bits and pieces from the countries I visit. This service really makes me feel “connected with the world” like it isnt so big and people are friendly and caring.
R5: What advice do you give to others who are thinking of donating creatively to raise money for their favorite charity or non-profit?
Colette: Ask yourself, what is my passion and what do I love doing? Is it crafts? or writing beautiful poetry? Do you enjoy doing sentimental things for the people you love? Are you good with math or computers? Search inside yourself for something you do well and oh so naturally and that doesnt cost you a thing but brings SO much joy or goodness to others. Then think of how much time it takes to do this? Then simply offer this to people and be prepared to sacrifice your time (in a good way) in a way that brings you the joy of giving, instead of receiving, for no reward; except the reward of knowing that other people’s money is going towards a cause you believe in and you will lighten up the donors life in a unique way! How much time do we waste thinking about ourselves? “Why doesnt anyone do anything for me?” “why is life so harsh to me? Why does no one send me flowers?’ If people actually do to others how they wish they were treated then life automatically repays us in the ways we wish for or even better! So instead of asking these questions we should ask “what can I do for someone else? Who can I buy flowers for today?” and then do it! The feeling of giving is so powerful that you actually don’t wanna receive ! You just want to keep on giving!
Thank you Colette for opening up and sharing with us your Raise5 community experience. Be sure to check out Colette’s donor service.
WSPA’s vision is of a world where animal welfare matters, and animal cruelty ends. WSPA has been promoting animal welfare for more than 25 years. Their work is concentrated in regions of the world where few, if any, measures exist to protect animals.
WSPA assesses the welfare of animals using the Five Freedoms
Supporting WSPA’s work around the world means saving bears from captivity and cruelty and helping those animals affected by disaster.
Connect with WSPA:
Wanda Butts has redirected a legacy of fear into generational triumph. Wanda lost her precious son Josh at the young age of 16. Josh never learned to swim and as a result, drowned on August 6, 2006.
Wanda founded the Josh Project, with the mission of providing affordable swimming and water safety training to children and their families.
The Josh project is saving lives and teaching a new generation of youth and their families an important life skill.
Wanda has been recognized as a 2012 CNN Hero, and we at Raise5 applaud her efforts.
Learn more about the Josh Project.