T’was the night before…I was going to a holiday party and I realized I needed to look to see where I needed to be and when I needed to be there. So I jumped online, checked my email and after confirming the location I entered the time and address into my mobile calendar and was all set for the next evening’s activities.
This holiday season was busy, lots of events, lots of activities, lots and lots of things…and being electronically connected means more people can send out more invitations to more events, more activities, and more things. But what has that done to disrupt, change, improve or evolve how we give back during this time of year? And what exactly is it about this period of the year, why does it take the change of the yearly calendar for someone to feel that it’s time to show thanks, to give back, to donate or to commit to new resolutions? Does it mean more by giving something at the end of the year rather than any other day of the year? Does December somehow carry more weight? Or does it really just take our tax consultant reminder email to motivate us to hurry up and donate before the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve?
Charities can collect as much as half of their yearly contributions during the holidays, according to a recent New York Times article, which noted that “a top giving day is Dec. 31, when consumers rush to meet the year’s deadline for charity tax deductions.”
With the convergence of technology and everyday life, however, innovative companies are paving the way towards imbuing ordinary daily activities with charity. No longer does the holiday season or a year end advertising campaign need to be the driver of philanthropy. Every day now becomes more fulfilling.
By example, Twitter and Google now allow organizations to set up branded pages to more easily promote their cause. Kiva is harnessing the power of the Internet through a crowd-sourced approach to microlending that lets “individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world” according to their mission statement. Crowdrise uses a similar crowd-sourced model to raise money for charities by allowing individuals to start their own fundraisers. Causes enables organizations to leverage Facebook’s network to raise money and awareness. Even local businesses are benefiting from the idea crowd-sourced donations. And those are just a few examples.
At Delivery.com, we’re inspired by these innovations in charity and technology, and we know that we’re in a unique position to get involved. By the nature of our service, we connect with our users on a weekly, or even daily basis, which means charitable initiatives on our site have the ability to be seen and acted upon often. With this in mind, we’ve launched a few different charity programs within the last year, giving Delivery.com users a variety of ways to give back to a number of charities all while they are ordering online.
We’ve always enjoyed rewarding our users with our Delivery Points loyalty program, and adding charities to our Delivery Points program makes that even more meaningful. Users, in addition to redeeming their Delivery Points for prizes and gift cards for themselves, can also now redeem and self direct their Delivery Points towards donations. Currently, Delivery Points can be redeemed for donations ranging from $5 to $100 to four different charities. This program, which launched in December of 2010, has already raised tens of thousands of dollars, all thanks to users like you.
You can also give back to the charity of your choice every time you order on Delivery.com by ordering from that charity’s unique Delivery.com page (i.e. www.delivery.com/cityharvest). Through our Charity Network we contribute a portion of net commissions on qualified orders to the selected charity.
Finally, this month, along with charity: water, we launched Charity at Checkout, a new initiative that gives users the ability to add a $1 donation to charity: water to their order at checkout. Less than one week after launching Charity at Checkout, Delivery.com users raised over $500 for charity: water!
I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished so far through our charitable initiatives on Delivery.com, and I couldn’t be more excited for what is ahead. This is just the beginning. In the coming year, we plan to continue expanding our charity initiatives, giving Delivery.com users even more ways to support the causes they care about most every day.
Thank you so much for your generosity so far. Here’s to an even more fulfilling 2012.
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