You Have Something To Give

Everyone has something to give…

That is Something to Give.org‘s motto. Their vision is to create an online social network of people donating the most precious thing of all, their time and resources (other than just money).

Donors can donate their time or supply access to a unique opportunity in exchange for another within the network. They then earn credits to be applied to something they then want in return. It’s a very cool concept and the Socialize Your Cause team would like to see it prosper and grow!

Something to Give’s Goals are to

  • To increase community involvment by REWARDING it with life dreams
  • To create a social ACTION network connecting the online and real world
  • To INSPIRE people to get involved with stories and examples of others
  • To build a common currency for good based on time, not money.

Watch the video to get a better feel for what they are trying to accomplish =) and please support them this month in the Pepsi Refresh Everything Challenge. They will be tweeting from our Twitter Accounts for the week so look out for their tweets and follow their twitter account.

They will also be taking advantage of our Donate Your Friends Program.

If you would like to donate your facebook friends to Something To Give, please head to our donate your friends signup page.


    How did the whole idea come about?

In 1998, while working at the Keiko facility in Oregon, Andy McRea, our founder and Executive Director, took a friend backstage on the same day a terminally ill child received the same tour from the Make-a-Wish Foundation.  It didn’t seem right that a friend experienced it just because of their friendship, when others would have given anything for it.  What would one do, Andy wondered, for the chance to get that backstage tour?  Next, while living in Iceland, Andy noticed that service is built into their culture. He witnessed the ‘norm’ of volunteering—supporting their local parks, schools and other public spaces, and the joy and community it seemed to bring to the people.

In 2003 the question of “What would it take for me to get more involved with my community?” swirled in his head.  All of a sudden it made sense — Someone has a job or hobby that someone else only dreams about experiencing. That desire is a powerful motivator and serving others with one’s time is the currency to bridge them together.  Over the next few years, Andy worked out the details of the model and also incorporated the new social networking and internet tools that came along.

Andy dissolved his contracting business in January 2009 and started SomethingToGive.org full time.  Doug Durbin joined the partnership in April 2009 and we are now building our site infrastructure, collecting pledges for rewards, and documenting powerful volunteer stories.  Completing this next stage is contingent on funding, which is our current focus.

    Why is this cause close to your heart? Why should other support it?

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, less than 30% of Americans volunteer, and this rate has remained relatively flat over the last few years. SomethingToGive.org believes that offering rewards of life experiences and adventures can motivate others to get involved, and through that involvement, learn the value in serving others.  Community service requires a new model and attitude–one that inspires people to volunteer by offering a reason that currently doesn’t exist for them.

Existing volunteers will be appreciated for the work they do, not with a makeshift certificate of appreciation but with an experience or adventure close to their heart.  Loyalty towards the service organization grows, and long term retention improves.

    Do you have any other events or fundraisers that you would like others to know about?

    YES!

The SomethingToGive.org Kart Race Benefit at SyKart Race Track, Tukwila, WA, June 11, 5:30pm

The Pepsi Refresh Everything Challenge – This month, please vote for our organization and the most votes will be winners for a Grant from Pepsi!  We have also joined forces with a coalition of organizations on Whidbey Island to build momentum – Please support them too!

www.RefreshEverything.com/somethingtogiveorg

www.RefreshWhidbey.org

    What are some great stories of people donating their time and what did they receive in return?

SomethingToGive.org has been focused fundraising and on building our beta website and pilot program with Good Cheer Food Bank and the Arthritis Foundation, to determine what needs nonprofits have for tracking volunteers, and how to get potential and current volunteers signed up.  We are collecting pledges of rewards and dreams, and will begin the transactions at a beta level in July.

We are really excited about the potential of what changes can come from our work.  Imagine a place where 4 volunteers are in the classroom with a teacher, and the one-on-one connections that student would receive for their education.  Imagine having qualified and motivated coaches inspiring little leaguers as they learn the elements of baseball.  Imagine the additional resources food banks would have to feed the hungry by all of the donated food grown by community members.

    What advice would you give to others that might like to take on such an amazing endeavor?

To not be intimidated by such a big idea, ask for help along the way and to keep talking about it to everyone!

    What do you have planned for the future of Something To Give?

Our long-term vision is to deliver sustainable growth in volunteerism. How will this happen? We will be the engine for volunteerism as we drive new volunteers and reduce turnover.  By word-of-mouth, online social networking, and media, we will attract volunteers motivated to give their time, nonprofits and community organizations seeking to leverage our tools, and motivators looking to make a difference.  Businesses will seek to partner with us to improve their social responsibility efforts.  Every year we will see an increase in volunteers and, with this growth, the impact on society will blossom over time.

Our Beta Website will be ready to go the end of June, and we’ll test it with Good Cheer Food Bank and the Pacific Northwest Arthritis Foundation.  Meanwhile we’ll be telling stories – videos of people who were inspired to try volunteering, their impact of their service and the reward they received.

SomethingToGive.org has also joined ServiceNation, a coalition of more than 200 nonprofit organizations that collectively reach some 100 million Americans.

ServiceNation is a national campaign to increase service opportunities, solve chronic social problems through volunteering, and promote a culture of service in America.

Participating organizations include AARP, the NAACP, the Boys & Girls Club of America, United Way of America, Habitat for Humanity International, and the Special Olympics, among many others. A full list of the ServiceNation coalition, with contact information, can be found at www.servicenation.org/pages/The-Coalition.

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