Charity Resources

Charity Spotlight: Corral Riding

DoTopia was created to support and empower organizations everywhere to make the world a better place. By utilizing DoDollars, our DoTopians give to the 501(c)(3) organizations they are passionate about (have we mentioned there are over 1.6 million to choose from?) to grow and thrive. We are thrilled to highlight an organization, CORRAL, who has received funds via DoDollars. We love hearing stories from our charity partners. After all, it is the reason we do what we do.

CORRAL is a Christian non-profit where girls in high risk situations experience healing and transformational life change with rescued horses and a loving community. Our girls receive academic intervention, college and career preparation, vocational and life skills training, mentorship, and mental health services while working with horses. The girls we serve all have their own story but a majority have dealt with some type of trauma, abuse, or neglect at some point in their young lives. CORRAL’s goal is to give our girls a “leg up in life” and we have seen some amazing changes in the young women serve.

The gift from DoTopia will partially sponsor a girl during her time in our program. Support from partners like DoTopia make a huge impact in in the lives of girls like Lexi. When Lexi came to CORRAL she carried a lot of anger and distrust in people. This anger and distrust was born from ongoing abuse from someone very close to her. When Lexi came to CORRAL she had given up on school, given up on other people, and given up on herself. Now that she’s been in the program over a year we’ve seen Lexi heal, grow, and learn in unimaginable and amazing ways! Our horses taught Lexi about how to be a patient and confident leader. Our academic interventions helped Lexi raise her grades and now she has all As and Bs! CORRAL helped Lexi remember how to dream and now she plans to attend college and hopes to become a therapist so she can help other girls just like her!


Amazing, right? Stories like these inspire us to keep spreading the Joy of Giving. Thank you, CORRAL for sharing this inspiring story. We can’t wait to see all of the incredible work you continue to accomplish.

Charity partners, empower your organization today by urging your contributors to give through DoTopia. We do all of the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on what matters most: making an impact.

Giving with DoTopia is easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Sign up for your own personal giving account.
  2. Search and select the charitable organization of your choice to give.
  3. Choose the amount and donate.

That’s it! A personal giving account enables your patrons to:

  • Give anywhere at anytime
  • Track their DoDollar purchases and giving history for planning, tracking and tax purposes
  • Gift DoDollars to family, friends and colleagues to spread the giving movement.

Want to partner with us? We’d love to hear from you!

DoTopia’s Non-Profit of the Week: House of Charity

See the source imageDoTopia is eager to introduce our non-profit of the week, House of Charity! House of Charity is a Minneapolis based non-profit that provides residency, food, and other vital resources to those experiencing homelessness. We spoke with Anna Cisewski, House of Charity’s Fund Development and Communications Assistant to learn more about this cause.

House of Charity was founded in the 1950s and focuses on helping people experiencing homelessness one person at a time. Everyone is different, and so everyone’s process will be different. House of Charity specializes in four resources: housing, public meals, recovery, and public showers.

Housing and Residency

According to Minnesota Homeless Study, “older adults are one of the fastest growing groups of people experiencing homelessness”. There was an 8% increase between 2012 and 2015 in homeless adults over the age of 55. Although House of Charity provides resources for all ages, their housing and residency focuses on single adults.

House of Charity isn’t like every homeless shelter. In order to receive housing at House of Charity you must be referred by a case manager and prioritizes those with physical or mental illness. They have two types of housing, on-site permanent housing and scattered-site housing.  On-site housing provides beds, meals, case management services and more for adult men and women at their site. Scattered-site housing supplies apartments for single adults throughout Hennepin County. This also includes frequent visits from Client Advocates, and helps with budgeting and adjusting to this new independence.

Public Meals

See the source image

House of Charity’s Food Centre located at 714 Park Ave, Minneapolis.

Secondly, House of Charity provides free public meals. Food insecurity is an ongoing issue for low-income and homeless families and individuals. Every week day is open to the public for lunch, while week day breakfasts are provided for women and children only. This allows women and children and safe space and nourishing meal before starting their day. House of Charity feeds around 300 meals a day to folks around the Twin Cities area. This simple act helps thousands of people a year have a resource to at least one balanced meal daily.

Recovery

Residents at House of Charity’s Community Garden

The third program is their chemical and mental health recovery. They have several programs such as therapy, chemical health assessments, and personalized recovery plans. The correlation between homelessness and substance abuse is incredibly high, as is homelessness and mental health issues. Not only does House of Charity allow these people to have a place to stay, but they help with treatment as well. Giving people residency isn’t always enough, and having these resources are incredibly helpful to those struggling with mental health or addiction.

Public Showers

Finally, their newest resource is public showers. This might not seem like a big deal, but many struggling with homelessness don’t have access to something as simple as a shower. House of Charity provides free showers with a towel and soap to the public Monday through Friday.

Want to help?

All of these programs and more are what make House of Charity so amazing. Every program helps and encourages individuals to achieve independence. Whether it’s by attending counseling sessions, having a hot meal, or living in a safe space to get you back on your feet. House of Charity is here to help.

Want to help this organization by donating or volunteering? There are several ways to contribute to this cause. You can also contact them directly by calling 612-594-2000, or emailing at info@houseofcharity.org.

Adopt A Classroom

Charity Spotlight: AdoptAClassroom.org

We can almost hear the bell in the distance as students across the country head back to school. Though most teachers appreciate time off during their summer breaks, more frequently than not, educators spend a lot of their “time off” planning for the year ahead by preparing their classrooms and buying school supplies for eager young learners (if only all students shared this sentiment…).

Regardless of political affiliation, most would agree that teachers should make more money. Behavior issues, family problems, and diverse learning styles require teachers to wear many hats without a salary to match. If you do not know an educator, we would encourage you to spend some time in a classroom volunteering. You will quickly learn this profession is not for the faint of heart, but rather for genuinely good people who have dedicated their lives to giving (both financially and emotionally).

We had an opportunity to connect with one of our charity partners, AdoptAClassroom.org, who works to fund teachers so they are able to purchase the classroom supplies and materials needed to create a dynamic environment where children can learn and succeed. It is clear to us why their organization is needed, but here are some numbers to prove it:

  • Declining education budgets and the fact that over half (51%) of America’s children in public schools live in poverty means teachers are filling the gap by buying classroom supplies out of their own pocket.
  • 91% of teachers purchase basic school supplies for their students when families are unable to afford them.
  • Two-thirds of all classroom supplies are purchased by teachers out of their own pockets.
  • On average, teachers spend $600 of their own money every year on supplies for their classroom. Nearly 20% of teachers spend more than $1000 annually.

Inadequate classroom resources threaten the success of our schools. Research indicates the use of hands-on learning materials in the classroom has a direct and positive impact on student achievement and future success in school and in life.

Why They Matter

AdoptAClassroom.org’s short YouTube video, Why We Matter, provides an excellent overview of how much this program impacts teachers within our education system. Nine-time Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, who’s a former teacher herself, shares her reasoning for supporting the mission of the organization.

One of the things we love the most about AdoptAClassroom.org is that when a teacher is adopted online by an individual donor, the teacher receives 100% of the funds. Additionally, companies including Great Clips, Lane Bryant, HBO, Office Depot, Farmers Insurance, and Burlington work to fund these classroom programs as well as the AdoptAClassroom.org organization to ensure our teachers continue to be supported. It is an extremely sustainable model. Quality education is one of the Sustainable Development Goals that touch people globally. Whether you currently know a teacher or not, at one point in your life, you have received some education and come into contact with an educator.

The Impact is Real

Since 1998, AdoptAClassroom.org has raised more than $30 million to help teachers purchase school supplies for more than 4.25 million students in low-income, high-need schools. To date, a quarter of a million K-12 teachers, representing 30 percent of all schools in the U.S., have registered with AdoptAClassroom.org.

To learn more, visit AdoptAClassroom.org, or call them directly at 877-444-7666. You can also learn more about them on Facebook at facebook.com/adoptaclassroom or by following @Adopt_Classroom on Twitter.

To donate to AdoptAClassroom.org, create your own Personal Giving Account with DoTopia and start giving today.

Desai Foundation Women

Charity Spotlight: Desai Foundation

This week, we are honored to showcase the Desai Foundation which was founded in 1997 with the aim of empowering women and children in India and the U.S. through community development to elevate their health and livelihood. The foundation was established as a family foundation but after several years of gaining insights about the needs of the communities they served, the Desai family made the decision to become a public nonprofit to be able to reach more people through their work. This decision was made in order for the foundation to design programs in collaboration with the individuals in the 55 communities the Desai Foundation serves and to be able to expand effective programs and practices to new regions. Over the course of 20 years, the Desai Foundation’s work has touched the lives of more than 330,000 people and will continue to enhance the wellbeing of many more in the years to come. The foundation’s focus is community-led efforts which build dignity throughout communities, enabling individuals to dream beyond their circumstances.

Learn more about the Desai Foundation by watching this video.  

Asani (by Women, for Women) – advancing Menstrual Hygiene Management in India

The Desai Foundation recognizes that one of the dominant obstacles for women and girls, preventing them from achieving their potential, is a lack of awareness about menstrual health and hygiene including the cultural shame associated with this process. Did you know that in India, 71% of girls report having no knowledge of menstruation before their first period? The Desai Foundation’s Asani Sanitary Napkin program, made by women for women, is systematically changing this for the women in the villages they serve. By bringing women and girls from all ages together in conversation with community and health leaders, they are opening the doors to cross generational and cross-gender dialogue about menstruation, eliminating questions and fear about the process. The Asani brand employs women to produce and sell a quality, affordable product which they feel ownership of, generating safe and stable employment opportunities for women across the region. Asani is creating a future where entering womanhood does not result in a loss of dignity, a keen focus of the Desai Foundation. The program’s menstrual hygiene access and education, enables young women in India to develop their own dreams, stay in school, and continue to do what they always do; help to nourish their communities.

Making the to woman for woman product.

Recent Partnership with Payal Singhal, Indian based Fashion Designer

The Desai Foundation is building dignity and opportunity through their latest partnership with Indian based global fashion designer Payal Singhal. Payal has been a dear friend to the Desai Foundation for many years and is devoted to improving the lives of women on and off the runway. Though ethical fashion is on the rise around the world, the notion of working with rural women to produce high-fashion products and contributing a percentage of sales back into those communities for vocational training programs is effectively unheard of in India. Payal Singhal and the Desai Foundation are now leading this movement by example.

Both Payal Singhal and the Desai Foundation believe that women are the backbone of society and healthy women lead to healthy communities. For this reason, generating economic opportunity and leadership roles for women are at the core of this partnership. By employing women to produce several of the pieces of the collection (available both in India and the US) and reinvesting a percentage of the proceeds generated back into community vocational training, this partnership is enabling the women they work with in Gujarat (India) to develop dreams that reach far beyond their rural villages and cultivate skills, sustainable income, and a community-wide sense of dignity leading to long-lasting health and wellness.

The exclusive line of Payal Singhal x Desai Foundation ready-to-wear, children’s wear, menswear accessories, stationery, Indian eveningwear, and bags, supports the Desai Foundation’s vocational training programs for women in rural India and is available just in time for the holiday season.  This is a great way to make a global impact while purchasing a beautiful gift. Join the Desai Foundation’s mission by shopping for a cause this season and help to give rise to these women’s voices. The women at DoTopia have already scoped out our purchases, but there are some fun pieces for men in there too! You can shop the collection here and read more about the collaboration in Forbes.  

Desai Foundation Relationship with Fashion Designer

The Desai Foundation by the numbers

Before donating to any organization, many donors question the reach and sustainable impact of nonprofits. The Desai Foundation does not lack in numbers. In fact, just to share a few impressive stats:

  1. 331,000 people have been impacted by their programs
  2. 50,000 villagers have received treatments, many of whom had never received medical attention before
  3. 10,000 people have attended health seminars and camps
  4. Their Science & Math secondary school is ranked #1 in the region
  5. 200 women have received vocational training  

We are proud to call the Desai Foundation a DoTopia charity partner and are grateful for the work they do to empower our young women and children in both India and the U.S.

Where are you giving on #GivingTuesday this year? DoTopia makes it easy to give to Desai Foundation as well as millions of other charities of your choice on our platform.

Sign up for a Personal Giving Account today.

Nonprofit Spotlight: Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation

For this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight, we are thrilled to introduce the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation.

The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARFP) was founded by Dr. Dharma S. Khalsa in 1993. Dr. Khalsa became the first physician to advocate a lifestyle approach to the prevention and treatment of memory loss. He is among the world’s leading authorities on integrative medicine, and has written extensively on a wide range of health and healing issues.

For the past 25 years, ARPF has funded integrative and holistic medicine research around the globe. Currently, ARPF supports several ongoing studies, one of them being the renowned FINGER study. This is the largest and longest ongoing lifestyle intervention trial in the world.

ARPF also provides educational training, outreach and memory screenings. This includes information on the 4 Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention, Kirtan Kriya yoga meditation classes, and their newest program: Brain Longevity Therapy Training. This course trains healthcare professionals who work with at-risk older adults. It helps people of all ages and backgrounds improve their brain function through this certified training. The course is necessary because soon there will be 6 million Americans with Alzheimer’s– unless something is done now. ARPF wants to share their research and clinical results on preventing dementia, so that others can bring these tools to their communities and become part of the movement to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss and cognitive disability.

Here is a first hand story of the work the ARFP does

The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF) has provided free memory screenings for the past 25 years in an effort to recognize the early signs of cognitive decline. Del of Tucson, Arizona completed her screening and has written the following about the experience:

“I have actually known about Memory Screening Day for several years and even volunteered one year.  But this year my husband and I decided to come and do it ourselves to have a baseline done. We forget things now and again and we thought it would be good to have a baseline of our memory health.

When we arrived at the Jewish Community Center, we were very pleased to note all of the vendor tables with information for seniors which gave us some very good information, especially the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation’s table.  I also felt it was a very good setting for this event.

We had no idea what to expect.  It was very simple, we registered, and then we each sat down with a social worker who asked us several questions.  I was surprised how short it was. Then they gave us a patient form to give to our physician that gave the results of my memory test.  I didn’t know I would get that and I was very pleased to receive it. That was something new for me.

My husband and I took these forms to our physicians (2 separate doctors) and they both said the same thing “we’re very happy to have this information – it may seem like a short test to you, but it gives us a baseline and if you start to have a problem in the future, we can look back and see that on this date you were able to answer these questions and received this grade.”  In fact, the nurse practitioner told my husband that if a person comes in and the score is a certain number, then they know it’s time to take the next step with them. She felt it was a very valuable tool. I was happy to have it for my own peace of mind, but to have our physicians happy to have it too, well that made it even better.

One thing I noticed the other times I went as well – there seems to be 2 very different groups that go to the Memory Screening Day, those that are getting baselines, like me and my husband, and those that are well along into the forgetting stage.  They were there to be reassured. It seems to me this is a valuable tool for people to have a baseline to help the physicians monitor their patients and help people like me.

Thank you to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation for making the Memory Screening Day possible in Tucson.”

ARPF provides an alternative to the conventional, “magic bullet” drug approach. They believe that you can help yourself, right now, by utilizing a holistic or integrative medical approach, based on the lifestyle tools they advocate. Modern medical research reveals that all of the aspects of the ARPF’s Four Pillars of Prevention Plan, including physical and mental exercise, especially when used together, help build a healthier and stronger brain and memory.

For more information, visit alzheimersprevention.org.

You can support the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation today with DoTopia!

Simply login (or create a free personal giving account) and search for “alzheimers research and prevention foundation”. You can complete a one time donation or set up a recurring donation to help the ARPF. Every gift matters.

Nonprofit Spotlight: BAE Institute

We are thrilled to introduce you to BAE Institute | Bancroft Arnesen Explore, one of our amazing nonprofit partners who is creating a platform for girls and women’s voices to be heard so that these future minds are both breaking down barriers and leading the way in creating a sustainable and connected global movement.  Learn more about BAE, the work they do, and support them today!

There was quite a journey involved in creating Bancroft Arnesen Explore (BAE). How did this organization get formed and what does it stand for?

Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen are educators and explorers who together made history by becoming the first women to ski across Antarctica in 2001. That historic, 1,717-mile/2,764 km journey fulfilled Ann and Liv’s childhood dream and ignited an unwavering passion and commitment to create something bigger and beyond themselves. Through experiential education & storytelling, BAE has been at the forefront of inspiring action and leadership around the world. Crossing Antarctica began the global dialogue—impacting millions of students, educators and women ranging in age from 5 to 95. As pioneers who continue to advance their commitment, BAE has invested in 8 women (representing 6 different continents) to create a platform for girls and women’s voices to be heard so that these future minds are both breaking down barriers and leading the way in creating a sustainable and connected global movement. With courage, resilience, power, connection and an unprecedented track record, BAE continues the global dialogue—now amplified by 8 women, on 7 continents, over 12 years with Access Water. BAE | Access Water is a cross-cultural collaboration to inspire and acknowledge the human spirit—giving voice to each ONE of you. Access Water Team Members represent their region of the world to amplify the urgency for clean water and inspire solutions for a sustainable future. For over 30 years, we have been exploring, educating, inspiring, advocating and dreaming. Our goals are as vast as our hearts and we want to hear from you, “what are you THIRSTY for?”.

Where has your organization made the most impact?

Inspiring girls & women around the globe through leadership skills proven in the harshest environments. As educators who have become explorers (and women who have made history), Ann Bancroft & Liv Arnesen are unique role models and heroines in the education community. Bancroft and Arnesen bring their unique expertise and unwavering commitment—along with more than three decades of exploration—to inspire action and leadership around the world. BAE and YUNGA (Youth United Nations) co-created the Water Challenge Badge for WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts)—has served 10 million girls, in 146 countries and has been translated into 8 languages. The historic Antarctica journey, by the numbers: 50 US states with BAE online engagement/community members, 118 countries with BAE online engagement/community members and 2.1 billion media impressions.

What are your organizations top initiatives in 2018?

  • Through experiential education programs and storytelling, BAE Access Water will engage and empower over 60 million future minds to amplify the voices of girls & women around the globe.
  • Generate $1.5M through diverse types of revenue to create a sustainable business model which brings access to education and empowerment.
  • Build our social media community to 100K+ followers where we will share authentic, inspiring & empowering content.
  • Through BAE Access Water, continue to advance our most imperative initiative in 30 years with journey number 2 of 7:

Access Water INITIATIVE SERIES

1 | 2015-16 Asia/Ganges

2 | 2017-18 North America/Mississippi

3 | 2019 Africa

4 | 2021 Oceania

5 | 2023 South America

6 | 2025 Europe

7 | 2027 Antarctica

How can one get involved and join the movement?

You can support the BAE Institute today with DoTopia!

Simply login (or create a free personal giving account) and search for BAE Institute. You can complete a one time donation or set up a recurring donation to help BAE accomplish their 2018 goals throughout the year. It’s that easy!

Every gift matters. 

 

Thank you for joining the 31 Days of Giving challenge!

In June, hundreds of you have donated over $16,000 to more than 350 nonprofits. WOW! It was an amazing month of giving and our team can’t thank you enough for joining the 31 Days of Giving challenge.

We have been so inspired by all of the videos our giving heroes shared throughout the month of giving. Hearing why people give, why they support their favorite nonprofits and the impact each individual can make has always been one of our favorite parts at DoTopia. After all, that is why we were created.

 

 

 

 

 

A major thank you to all of our giving heroes, those who joined the challenge and Deepak Chopra for leading the charge.

We’re just getting started,

The Team @ DoTopia

 

Nonprofit Spotlight: Autism Society of Minnesota

We love our nonprofit partners at DoTopia. After all, they are the reason we are here in the first place! This month, we are so excited to introduce you to the Autism Society of Minnesota. April is National Autism Awareness Month, so it is very fitting to be highlighting this amazing organization. Read on to learn more about the incredible work AuSM does and join us in supporting their mission.

How did this organization get formed and what does it stand for?

The Autism Society of Minnesota is Minnesota’s First Autism Resource ™

In 1971, a group of passionate parents founded AuSM to seek greater understanding and better school supports for their children with autism. More than four decades later, AuSM continues its mission to improve the lives of people with autism, but with an expanded focus along the entire lifespan, from birth through retirement.

Whether you are the parent of a child with a new diagnosis, an adult with autism who needs guidance, an educator or healthcare professional who supports people with autism, or a company that wants to learn more about the talents of people with autism, AuSM offers the resources you need to help you accomplish your goals.

AuSM is a place where everyone can learn, access services, and develop skills for navigating what can be challenging emotions and complex information. Services include membership, workshops, the Minnesota autism conference, AuSM Skillshops, the Life with Autism Series for newly diagnosed and specific life stages, specially tailored summer camps for youth and adults with autism, interest-based social skills classes with community partners, Counseling and Consulting Services, support groups, Autism Direct Support Certification training, sensory-friendly events, advocacy, Information and Resources, and customized autism training.

As the autism diagnosis rate increases, so, too, does the need for programs and services to help people with autism thrive. As the state’s oldest nonprofit autism organization, AuSM relies on the generosity of our community to carry out our important mission. 100% of donated dollars stay local, benefitting Minnesota families and individuals touched by autism.

Where has your organization made the most impact?

AuSM is an organization that serves the needs of the local autism community by providing services and programs that enhance the lives of individuals, helping them to grow and thrive. AuSM takes pride in being responsive to our community, filling gaps in services through thoughtful program planning and through trainings to businesses and organizations throughout the state.

What are your organizations top initiatives in 2018?

AuSM’s initiatives align with their mission of enhancing the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder through education support, collaboration, and advocacy.

Initiatives include:

  • Being Minnesota’s first autism resource with  free Information and Resources hotline
  • Having a voice at the Capitol through advocacyffering educational opportunities through our state autism conference, workshops, AuSM Skillshops
  • Helping youth and adults grow through summer camps, social skills classes, and inclusive community events
  • Raising awareness and appreciation through resource fairs and business and organization trainings
  • Serving as support for individuals, families, and caregivers through their AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services program and free support groups
  • Continuing to listen to their community and understanding needs

How can one get involved and support your mission?

AuSM has many ways for our community to get involved with theirprograms and services. If you would like to donate your time to the Autism Society of Minnesota, they have a variety of ways you can help. Many of AuSM’s volunteer opportunities surround awareness and fundraising events including Steps of Hope, our annual state conference, the AuSM Gala, the AuSM Golf Classic, and more. Information about volunteering can be found on our website, www.ausm.org.

AuSM also encourages our community to consider donating dollars in support of AuSM’s mission. Their supporters sustain the work that has helped so many in the Minnesota autism community. AuSM’s drive for continuing this work is strong as they constantly look for ways to serve you even better. 100% of donations stay in the Minnesota autism community, and every dollar counts. Donations can be made through DoTopia’s website by searching “Autism Society of Minnesota”.

23rd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference

During the 23rd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference held April 25-28, 2018 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Minneapolis,, we will join our voices as a passionate community to inspire learning, hope, and innovation. Experts, parents, caregivers, educators, paraprofessionals, mental health professionals, service providers, and individuals on the spectrum will have a platform to connect, collaborate, advocate, and educate. The conference will feature four keynote speakers, Frank Campagna “Autism Daddy”; Jed Baker, PhD; Stephen Shore, PhD; and Leah Kuypers MA Ed, OTR/L; as well as 35 breakout sessions focused on a wide variety of topics important to their community, exhibitors offering products and services, and the AuSM Bookstore.

This year’s conference will begin with an exciting family celebration featuring Julia, the newest Sesame Street Muppet, a character who was created to increase awareness and understanding of autism. During Julia’s AuSM Autism Celebration, meet walkaround Julia, visit resource tables, participate in sensory activities, and play games during this age and ability inclusive event.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit www.ausm.org.

 

We are proud to call the Autism Society of Minnesota a DoTopia charity partner and are grateful for the work they do.

DoTopia makes it easy to give to AuSM as well as millions of other charities of your choice on our platform.

Sign up for a Personal Giving Account today.

Amanda Brinkman on Doing Well, by Doing Good

We’ve been pretty head over heals with Amanda Brinkman after hearing her speak at the Minnesota Marketing Summit. Our favorite quote from the entire day came from Amanda when she said, “One of my missions is to convince companies that you can do well as a company by doing good.” What’s not to love?

Amanda is currently the Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe, a contributing writer for Forbes, and spearheaded the Small Business Revolution movement.

Deluxe, like many companies today, realized that in order to have a sustainable business, there needed to be a greater business purpose. We love seeing brand and marketing departments pushing this “Do Good” movement forward!

Let’s read what Amanda has to say.

I am on a mission to encourage more companies to believe they can “Do Well, By Doing Good”.

I believe it is vital that businesses lead with their purpose and take actions that align with that mission. This isn’t philanthropy or employee volunteerism – those are two vital aspects of your company’s heart for the community and a company absolutely should fulfill on that responsibility –  what I am referring to is more. This is about “putting your money where your mouth is” as a brand and truly DOING something good for the community you serve.

First you have to identify your true core brand purpose and then you have to execute against this with actual brand actions. Many brands will categorize messaging shifts in their advertising and external communications as delivering on their brand promise. And yes, if a company is utilizing their advertising reach to take a stand with their words that is certainly the first step. But should be a point of view that advocates for and/or benefits your customers. The words should not be about you as a company but should inspire and foster change and action. And then to truly Do Good… how can you take that sentiment and turn it into something bigger and more impactful for your customers? Actions speak louder than words.

Doing Good as a company can help you Do Well in many ways.

First – Purchase Decision

Customers prefer companies that go above and beyond, who have ethical business practices, are active members of the community in authentic ways and who do the right thing. New generations of buyers are demanding a social conscience from the businesses that they patron. Consumers pay attention to the company’s reputation and how the brand behaves.

Second – Customer Loyalty

When your brand participates in your customer’s lives beyond the sale – you are securing a relationship beyond a single purchase. High quality products and services certainly play in to customer loyalty but a great brand experience can fill product or service gaps that may occasionally occur. Acquiring new customers is significantly more expensive than retaining current ones so it is of great value to have customers who will stick by you. They will do this when they feel you are worth the allegiance.

Third – Employee Recruitment and Retention

Finding great talent is hard. And keeping them can be just as difficult! Everyone wants to understand what kind of difference their daily work is making in real people’s lives. A well-articulated and action-oriented brand purpose can help all employees realize their work matters and is making a difference. It will attract top talent and save your company money by keeping them.

I could go on and on about the benefits of Doing Good as a company, but the bottom line is – It is just the right way to be as humans. We all have influence and a voice. Our existence has to be about more than making shareholders rich…it has to be about helping make each other’s lives better.

So how do you do that as a brand? A company can ask itself – what would the world be missing if we weren’t in business? There was an original problem you were solving when the business started, sometimes it is getting back to those roots. And determining how you can make your customer’s lives better. It has to be about more than just selling them products or services. It has to be about serving the whole person, caring about the issues that impact their lives and identifying the unique place you occupy in influencing positive change for them.

Happy Purpose Mining! Thank you for caring about this issue and for doing what you can at your company to push for brand actions against a true and authentic brand purpose. Together we can elevate the marketing practice and industry as a whole – we have a responsibility to be the advocators for the HEART of our companies coming through. We can do this…We must do this.

Follow Amanda: @amandakbrinkman on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Her work can also be found at amandakbrinkman.com.

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey’s Impact

It has been a rough few weeks.

Much like the rest of the country, we have been glued to our TV and computer screens, anxiously watching, and completely heartbroken by the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma.  

While we are only beginning to comprehend the total damage of Hurricane Harvey, here are the numbers we know so far:

  • Category 4 storm that hit Texas on August 25, 2017
  • $180 billion in damage (more than any other natural disaster in U.S history, except the largest estimates of Hurricane Katrina damage)
  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott will need more than $125 billion in federal relief
  • Affected 13 million people from Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky
  • At its peak on September 1, 2017, one-third of Houston was underwater

…and Irma:

  • 3.4 million homes in Florida without power
  • Passed through ten Caribbean countries and claimed the lives of 28 people
  • Nearly 95% of the buildings In Barbuda were damaged
  • First category 5 hurricane to hit Cuba since 1924
  • Irma’s maximum wind speed was noted at 185 MPH, only trailing Hurricane Alan which maxed out at 190 MPH

Oof. That leaves a pit in our stomachs.

Yet, in times of terrible strife, it is then when we witness some of the most beautiful acts of human giving. C.C. Scott said it best, “The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.”

Giving comes in many forms, and these stories of human generosity need to be shared. Every act matters:  

In addition, we’re proud of our DoTopians who stepped up and helped donate over $3,100 in just 5 days to Hurricane Harvey relief organizations.

Want to join? You can support all of these amazing causes whose funds go directly to helping those devastated by Harvey and/or Irma:

  • American Red Cross
  • All Hands Volunteers Inc.
  • Houston Food Group
  • Galveston County Food Bank
  • Houston Humane Society
  • Portlight Strategies Inc.
  • Americares
  • Operation Supply Drop Inc.
  • The Salvation Army
  • United States Fund for UNICEF In Kind Assistance Corporation
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • South Florida Wildlife Center Inc.

Simply search any of these great causes on our platform and give.

You can manage all of your giving easily with your own (free) personal giving account.

Your generosity is inspiring. Thank you.

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Giving Never Felt So Good.

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