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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Countdown for charitable giving

Emails circulating in the final hours of 2015 remind business owners and consumers that donations made right up until midnight Dec. 31, 2015, will be eligible for a tax benefit. Many include a payment donation cart directly below the solicitation.

"Together we can make a major impact on ending childhood hunger this holiday season by raising enough for 10 million more meals by 12/31," reads a message from No Kid Hungry that includes a Donate to End Hunger button. "Every dollar you give to No Kid Hungry provides 10 meals for children in need. Your donation is fully tax deductible and will help connect vulnerable kids across the country with nutritious meals."

December rules

Thirty percent of all giving occurs in December, according to Washington, D.C.-based Network for Good. In a blog post titled, "3 tips for click-worthy subject lines," Caryn Stein, Vice President of Communications and Content at Network for Good, recommends using a compelling subject line, an element of surprise and a differentiator to help nonprofits stand out in a crowded field.

"Nonprofits use a lot of similar subject lines," Stein wrote. "When everyone else is going left, you can go right and be a bit different. Like this: Women and Math (it's not what you think.)"

Stein also cautions nonprofits against overreaching to donors. "Let donors choose how and how often they hear from you," she wrote. "Let them know what to expect; have a strategic communication plan [and] be mindful of your [thank-to-ask] ratio."

Put fun in fundraising

Isaac D. Stern, Chief Executive Officer at New York-based Fundry, the parent company of Yellowstone Capital and Green Capital, hosted a red carpet-themed dinner Dec. 22 for 200 at his home. Designed to put the fun back into fundraising, the event raised $71,000 for Kiva, a nonprofit micro-lender that helps people in third world countries.

"I had work friends, neighbor friends, old friends from high school at my house," Stern said. "Unlike most fundraisers which are boring and have a lot of speeches, this was pure fun. Representatives from Glenfiddich had samples of rare Scotch for people to try, and five barbeques were going. Throughout the event, five people were walking around accepting online donations."

Stern and his employees have kept donations flowing to a number of charitable causes, including Hatzalah, an all-volunteer emergency medical organization serving Union County, N.J. "Over the years, Yellowstone Capital has helped donate the funds to purchase two additional ambulances that currently make up Hatzalah's fleet," said Hatzalah board member Yudi Abraham. "You can see the name Yellowstone Capital on the side of each ambulance as it rushes to emergency calls."

Giving rides IoT rails

Payments analysts expect the Internet of Things to create additional innovations in the charitable giving space. One example is the KORE and DipJar partnership. The companies disclosed Dec. 28 that KORE, a managed wireless network service provider specializing in machine-to-machine communications, will process DipJar's cashless, electronic tip jar donations on its network.

3G-connected DipJars operate independently of retailer POS systems, enabling customers to dip payment cards into the electronic stand-alone jars to leave preset tip amounts at restaurant and retail establishments. In addition to becoming a popular method for tipping, DipJar is catching on as a method of charitable giving, DipJar noted.

DipJar has deployed electronic donation jars beside familiar red kettles at select Salvation Army stores in Southern California, Colorado and Wisconsin. DipJar users throughout the United States can use DipJar's backend and KORE's PriSMPro network to track donations in real time and remotely manage electronic tip jar activity.

"Our electronic tip jars require the highest levels of security and reliability. KORE's network ensures that customer data and payment information is safe," said DipJar founder and CEO, Ryder Kessler. "We also chose the KORE network for its longstanding reputation for seamless and reliable connectivity – DipJar never has to worry about an outage."

KORE CEO Alex Brisbourne added, "In a growing cashless retail environment, DipJar is helping increase compensation for the hardworking people in the service industry, while also making it easy and convenient for consumers to make charitable donations." end of article

Editor's Note: The Green Sheet Inc. offices will be closed from Thursday afternoon, Dec. 31, until the start of business on Mon., Jan. 4, 2016. Happy New Year to all!

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