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Giving to Charity by Managing Your E-Mail
Source: The New York Times  ·  May 27, 2011  ·  Excerpt

Send an e-mail, make a charitable donation. Delete an e-mail, make a charitable donation.

A new service, GiveBackMail, introduced this week, promises to give 25 percent of its profit to charity if users will route their e-mail activities through its Web site. "The more you use e-mail, the more money you direct toward your charity," said Rambod Yadegar, who founded the service with his brother, Sam.

GiveBackMail had about 200 users several days after opening for business on Monday, Mr. Yadegar said. Every action users take on the site generates a new ad display and revenue for the company. A dashboard keeps track of how many donations the user generates and, at the end of the month, how much money has been generated, as well as notifications from charities acknowledging donations made by the service.

"We have established great relationships with our charities, and we're sure they will promote our service through their social outlets, which will further gain our users' confidence that their donations really are going to their cause," Mr. Yadegar said.

GiveBackMail currently offers users a choice of seven causes — cancer, education, poverty, the environment, animal rights, AIDS and a disaster option that is providing relief for victims of recent tornadoes. Some of the specific charities benefiting during the testing phase are the American Red Cross, the microlender Kiva and Conservation Northwest.

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Our take
Leveraging technology—especially non-intrusive technology as in this example—into charitable giving is certain to remain a staple in the years to come. If you can translate interest or passion for your organization into meaningful donations, with tools that potential donors are already using on a daily basis, it truly is a win-win for everyone involved.

E-mail is only one example: as mobile computing becomes more ubiquitous, Compass Pointe can help identify technology-based solutions for your organization that will inspire donors and others to action.

Contact us now for help answering these and other questions:

  • What technologies are people in my organization's community using, and are there opportunities to capitalize on these technologies in a meaningful, ethical way?
  • What are the best sources of information on emerging technologies and their potential use in the nonprofit sector?


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