Today is #GivingTuesday, a national holiday that comes after Thanksgiving to encourage us to become the philanthropist we all are meant to be! The leftovers have been eaten, and we’re already looking towards the next holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or just enjoy a few days off, we can agree that this is the season of giving. Before you fret over decorations or fill the stockings with care, let’s think about those in our community that needs our help.
#GivingTuesday is in its seventh year and is a social media movement. In this day and age, social media is vital to getting the word out to our communities and beyond. It’s easy now to learn more about causes that you care about, and it’s even easier to donate what you can.
Thanks to giving platforms like DoTopia, giving is now trending across the globe. People want to help by donating money, time, or resources to causes that they care about. The goal is to spread the joy that is giving, not to mention helping those in need. It’s easy to get caught up in your own bubble. #GivingTuesday is a reminder that we can all create the hope and change that bring all of us together. Be a part of the movement and give today!
How Do I Choose the “Right” Cause?
This part can be overwhelming. On DoTopia alone, there are over 1.6 million charities to choose from. Luckily we make it easy to narrow down choices so that you can feel good about your giving. Simply enter your zip code, choose the causes you are interested in, and DoTopia will show you non-profits in your community. You can find more about ways to give here. Additionally, if you want to register your non-profit, you can do that here. Now let’s get out there and make this the best #GivingTuesday yet!
DoTopia is elated to be a sponsor at this years Lead With Love 2018 Summit held in Aspen, Colorado. Lead With Love is a four day event where people all over the world gather to discuss social impact, wellness in the community, and much more.
What is the Lead With Love Summit?
We’re glad you asked! Lead With Love is a once a year summit held in Aspen, Colorado that started in 2016. All proceeds to this event go to Project Wellbeing (formerly known as Aspen City of Wellbeing) which is a non-profit that promotes wellbeing throughout the city of Aspen through programs, retreats, consulting, online resources, and of course their biggest event of the year, the Lead With Love Summit. This summit is a gathering for leaders in well-being, conscious communication, social impact, and the opening of the heart, body, and mind. Feature presenters include John Mackey, CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods, and Lynne Twist, founder of the Soul of Money Institute.
Other activities include yoga classes, sound healing, meditation, music, any many other spiritual experiences to help immerse yourself in the power of healing and wellness.
When is the summit?
Lead With Love is Thursday, October 25- Sunday, October 28
How is DoTopia involved?
Not only is DoTopia a proud sponsor for this years summit, but our founder, Billy Weisman, will be a presenter! He will be on a panel with three other presenters, discussing the Tipping Point Founders Story on Sunday afternoon. If you want to look at the full schedule of presenters, you can click here.
How do I get tickets?
Great question! You can get tickets here. As a bonus for supporting Lead With Love and DoTopia, you can get 100$ off your ticket using the code DOTOPIALOVE at checkout, awesome!
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.
In 2016, $390 billion was given to charitable causes. With the growing amount of options to give, convenient and efficient tools are needed to help individuals and organizations manage their dollars. According to Winspire, 62 percent of all donors worldwide prefer to give online. Those numbers were proven in 2017 with online giving growing 11.4 percent higher than was predicted.
Billy Weisman the creator of DoTopia believes ease that giving can change the world and has not only created a digital giving platform but an entire new kind of currency.
Name: Billy Weisman
City you live in: Split time between Minneapolis, Aspen and Miami
A. I am a serial entrepreneur and now a philanthropreneur. As a third-generation entrepreneur, I created and operated 10 successful businesses from the ground-up. My largest endeavor, Weisman Enterprises, grew to $500 million in managed revenues by generating value for the likes of Target, Home Depot and Coca-Cola by connecting the boardroom to the street. I have always been passionate about making the world a better place through philanthropic ventures and involvement on various boards. Believing in the power that each individual can change the world, my latest venture empowers people to make giving part of their lifestyle and expand the opportunities for individuals and businesses to support nonprofits.
Q. What is your business?
A. DoTopia is a digital giving platform that connects to over 1.6 million nonprofits. DoTopia seeks to make giving more efficient for individuals and businesses by creating a common currency for common good called DoDollars. We work with HR, corporate social responsibility and marketing teams to create giving solutions and campaigns that inspire employees, foster customer loyalty and advance workplace values. Additionally, any individual is able to set up their own Personal Giving Account. Each user creates an account to manage their giving in one place. Individuals can create giving goals, print off tax receipts, gift DoDollars, and add more funds with just a couple clicks of the mouse. Our goal is to keep your giving process as easy as possible. We believe in more givers, giving more and that every gift matters.
Q. Where do you go for help when you need it?
A. It truly depends on the kind of help I am seeking. For business inspiration, nature or wilderness is where I find my peace and inventiveness.
Q. What is the origin of the business?
A. After raising my family, growing and selling five startups, as a hobby, I personally challenged myself to create a better giving model. DoTopia is a social venture that amalgamates my passions for business and philanthropy.
Q. What problems does your business solve?
A. DoTopia provides a new and unique way to include your employees and customers in your company’s philanthropy initiatives. Corporations give away billions of dollars a year and most often a few employees have a say in where the money is going. With DoTopia, brands get more out of their philanthropic investments by driving loyalty and affinity using philanthropy as an engagement tool essentially saying: “we care about the causes that matter to YOU.”
We also make corporate giving easier for brands by managing all of the charity disbursement, payroll deductions, volunteer tracking, and tax receipts in one platform. We have found many businesses are still doing this manually and it is very taxing on the individual or team who is required to manage the program.
On an individual giving level, we are encouraging more givers to give because every gift matters. That said, most people give to at least 3-4 organizations each year. Rather than writing individual checks or sending in cash, all your giving can be done on one platform with the click of a button. We do everything else on the computer today, why should our giving be any different?
Q. Where did you pivot in your company’s journey? What big obstacle or hurdle did you have to overcome?
A. Timing is a big obstacle for any distruptive business. DoTopia’s technology was first developed five years ago, but we found the concept was too young for the marketplace. Many company’s social responsibility consisted of supporting just one or two nonprofits and corporate giving was still looked at as a top-down activity. Over the years, the concept of involving employees in corporate giving program has grown and the idea of engaging with customers is starting to break the ice allowing a large opportunity window to open.
Q. What personal strengths or skill sets do you bring to the business?
A. Most would say my personal strengths include creativity, sensitivity, and experience.
Q. What are you most proud of?
A. I have been blessed with many accomplishments and achievements, but I am most proud of not what I’ve accomplished, but how I have accomplished it.
Q. What obstacles must you overcome to be wildly successful?
A. In any startup endeavor, having enough cash flow and financing to get off the runway is the main obstacle.
Q. How are you funding your business — organically, angel or VC investments?
A. Primarily myself and a handful of local angel investors. While we are experiencing steady organic growth we are seeking value added investors and partners.
Q. What would be success for your business in the next 2-3 years?
A. To be the most trusted brand in giving by helping brands do good, better.
Q. In your opinion, what does it take to be a great entrepreneur? A. (1) Not thinking that you are great; (2) Imagination and dedication; (3) Humility and humanity.
Q. How are you different from other competitors in the space?
A. DoTopia’s model is different than traditional workplace giving or cause-marketing products because we truly focus on personalizing the experience. The main ways we do that are through Personal Giving Accounts (PGA’s) and DoDollars. Each individual who participates in a brand program is given their own PGA where they can give any DoDollars a brand or company gifts them, in addition to buying more on their own. The platform looks similar to a checking account where you can easily manage all of your dollars and giving transactions online. DoTopia’s mission is to encourage more givers, giving more. Starting at the corporate level is a great way to encourage people who may not already give to become philanthropic and feel a greater connection to both their employer and the organization where they choose to donate the money.
Q. Why do you do what you do? What is your “why,” your purpose?
A. DoTopia is around because we want to help identify and support the good works in others.
Q. How did 1 Million Cups St. Paul help you? Did you get valuable feedback? Did you get connected to resources? Did you pivot because of the experience?
A. 1 Million Cups helped us hone in our marketing pitch when it comes to speaking with other individuals about our company. The most valuable part of the process was the variety of questions we were asked at the end of the pitch, so we know how to better prepare when these same questions arise again. We were connected to all the incredible resources at the James J. Hill Center and plan to use many of their free business resources going forward.
Ed Note: This article was originally published by the Pioneer Press.
It is the most wonderful time of the year! Giving season is upon us. Not only do we tend to be more generous the last couple months of the year, but overall, human spirits are up. It might have something to do with the holidays, but we know all the positive psychological benefits that giving has on people. It feels good to give.
According to Network for Good, 29% of giving occurs in the month of December. Even more surprisingly, 11% of giving occurs in the last three days of the year! Other large donation generators include our personal favorite day, #GivingTuesday. The average gift made on #GivingTuesday is $142 compared to December 31st where the average donation is a whopping $223.
We want to know why so many people are waiting until the end of the year to receive all these positive endorphins? You can give at any time, in any size to receive the same good vibes. Rather than saving up all your philanthropic acts until December 31st this year, we are inspiring people to give early.
While planned giving may not be new to the wealthiest Americans, it is new for many of us. Setting giving goals, finding causes, and in turn charities to support is very personal. Sifting through 1.6 million charities can also be quite time consuming. To take some of the work out of discovery, we have put together a “Get Personal with Your Giving” e-book that takes you through the Sustainable Development Goals (global giving targets) along with charities that are doing the good work to support these initiatives.
We hope you enjoy this e-book and find a cause or two you would like to support as a result. Make sure to sign-up for your FREE Personal Giving Account with DoTopia and start giving today. Remember, you can cash in on those giving endorphins before December 31st. Happy Giving Season!
Despite a divided Nation, giving has a rare opportunity to unite us all. Not in the organizations we support, but the very act of it. Brands big and small can lead this movement if they are willing to relinquish full control of this giving spend and put the power of cause marketing into the hands of their customers (queue gasping noise…).
We recently wrote the white paper titled: A Guide to Giving: Inspiring Pro Social Consumers of Today with the purpose to encourage Corporate Social Responsibility and Marketing leaders to start thinking about giving in a new and personalized way. Behavior change can be difficult when corporate giving has historically been a top-down approach, so this paper will help corporate giving teams explore the reasons why brands should start thinking about philanthropy differently.
Specifically, the Guide to Giving White Paper will address:
A brief history of giving – how philanthropy began and where we are today.
An overview of the next Generation of givers – Gen Z is not like other consumers. While many are still talking about millennials, we are encouraging you to consider the next generation of buyers.
The way to incorporate personalized giving into your business – Your company has the ability to make an impact with your customers leading the way.
By the end of this whitepaper, you will know why it is not only a good idea, but also a smart move for your business to engage your customers in your company’s giving goals.
The giving season is right around the corner with #GivingTuesday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas planning upon us. In fact, 11% of total online giving occurs in the last three days of the year (source: Network for Good). We challenge you to try something new this year. Try spreading the joy of giving to your customers with a personalized giving program – you might be pleasantly surprised with their reaction and increase in loyalty.
As humans, we share 99.9% of the same DNA with one another. Yet, we know that our biologic sameness does not account for differences in our preferences, lifestyle, socioeconomic status and overall passions. Naturally, our “giving desires” would also fall into that latter list. Though the psychological reasons we like to give as humans may be in the 99.9, the causes we care about are defined by our culture and life experiences.
The Rise of Cause Marketing
We all have causes we care about. Whether we support these causes through giving or volunteering, we find resources in order to advance these initiatives. Employers and brands have taken note of the rise in individualism and cause-related cares. As a result, leading philanthropic companies are turning to a new kind of marketing, one that involves giving in a new way. Cause marketing encourages for profit businesses to partner with nonprofit organizations in an effort to receive mutual benefit. Companies are expected to stand for and support socially responsible ideas. Without this desire, we are seeing talented employees and customers reallocating their money and talent elsewhere. Especially Millennials and Gen Zers. It is not enough to be the most profitable company now days, people expect a component of good in your work and cause marketing allows for this while increasing your bottom line.
Proof in the Pudding (er, Stories)
To showcase this individual desire to give, we asked our DoTopians (come on, we know you want to be one too…) to share their personal giving stories. What we found? Not one story was like another. In fact, very few were even in similar categories or related causes. Though the majority of these DoTopians have one binding factor, their employer, the cause in which they wanted to support was distinctly different…
Puppy Rescue Mission
“I volunteer with and donate to Puppy Rescue Mission, a non-profit that brings home the dogs and cats our troops adopt while they are serving in Afghanistan and other war zones. Our troops become very attached to these animals while serving and do not want to leave them behind. Because they are not US military working dogs, they cannot fly with them when their deployment is over, so PRM raises funds and coordinates medical care and transport to bring these animals home. Because most of PRM’s fundraising is online, their overhead is low, so I know most, if not all, of my donations go directly to help the animals.
It is a way I can say THANK YOU for your service in a unique and tangible way. I recently fostered two cats through PRM for a soldier until she finished her duty assignment. I picked them up at the airport, they were a joy to care for for a few weeks, then I sent them home to their soldier. As a graphic artist, I volunteer my time to create the PRM calendar, holday cards, thank you cards, and more. Using my talents for good! All to say thank you and help our troops and the animals they love, and who love them unconditionally. No one left behind!”
– Linda Norwood
Boy Scouts of America
“I donated my gift to the Boy Scouts of America. The money provided will help pay for many kids to attend scout camp over the summer. Camping helps campers develop self-reliance and resourcefulness and camp also contributes to social development. Camp uses the natural surroundings to contribute significantly to physical, mental, spiritual, and social growth.”
– Becky Buske
Community College Music Program
“I recently started contribution to the music program at Southwest Virginia Community College. I have always believed that music has the power to change peoples lives and this program does that for the members of the communities in Southwest Virginia. Before getting into financial services I actually was a music major at this institution and because of the work that the current professor did my life was forever changed. Growing up in an economically depressed area I never would have been able to experience places in the world such as New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, or Atlanta.
The work that this program does for high school and college kids is simply amazing. In addition to the monetary donations I make each year I also chaperon clinics with them and I will never forget taking a group to Wilmington, North Carolina for a jazz clinic and taking a break from playing. We did lunch on the beach and one of the girls who had never been out of the area was amazed at her first viewing of the ocean and jumped in. Through the work of Dr. Joey Trivette at the school, that student who came from a single parent house hold with an income of around 20 thousand per year was able to achieve a full ride to the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music to study musical theater and performance. This work is so needed and every dollar I can earn to help support that school I will make it one of my philanthropic missions.”
At DoTopia, we believe in the power of giving choice and individual cause marketing. Your company can enable more givers to share about and support the causes they care about. Are you ready to give your employees or customers a gift that actually will keep giving? Let’s talk.