There is a long list of reasons for why I begged to join the UncommonGoods team, but mainly it was my curiosity about our roots as a founding B Corp and our commitment to a creative flagship donation program called Better to Give. (Although, it also didn’t hurt that it is located near top-notch taco joints and the best dim sum and soup dumplings New York City has to offer.) The Better to Give program epitomizes what we strive to do in all aspects of our business. Through the program, we show how to use business as a force for good, while offering all stakeholders an opportunity to express themselves through digital advocacy for organizations that align with our values and vision.
We’ve all heard the old phrase “It’s better to give than to receive,” and as a B Corp, we truly mean it. We even took the name for our Better to Give program from that sentiment, because we know that giving back to the community is an important part of becoming a better business.
Every time you shop at UncommonGoods, we donate $1 to the non-profit Better to Give partner of your choice, and over the past 12 years, that’s added up to over $1,000,000 in donations. On December 1, 2015, we want to give a little extra by participating in #GivingTuesday.
Help us give more by taking to social media to tell us why you believe that it’s better to give than to receive using the hashtags #BettertoGive and #GivingTuesday. We’ll donate $1 a share for the first 5,000 shares to our non-profit partners and we’ll pick three participants (one each from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) to win $500 to donate to the non-profit organization of their choice.
While you don’t need to shop to share, we do plan to give our traditional Better to Give program a little extra love on #GivingTuesday as well. Place an order on December 1 and we’ll donate an extra dollar on your behalf to the organization you choose at checkout.
By participating in #GivingTuesday through social media or by selecting one of our partners when you shop, you can help us make a difference for a child learning to read, a woman survivor of war, a survivor of sexual abuse, or a natural habitat facing potential deforestation.
Donations to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, fund programs that prevent sexual violence. RAINN also operates National Sexual Assault Hotline and partners with rape crisis centers across the country. By providing resources for policymakers and the media and building community partnerships, RAINN promotes nationwide education and awareness about sexual violence. They also work to ensure that rapists are brought to justice.
Donations to American Forests help them protect and restore forests damaged by human action and natural disasters around the world. American Forests, the oldest non-profit conservation organization in the United States, has planted more than 45 million trees since 1990.
Donations to Women for Women International allow them to help women survivors of war by bringing them together in safe spaces to learn life, business, and job skills. By giving women the tools and resources they need to overcome crisis and poverty, Women for Women International helps them become independent, while building stronger families and communities.
Donations to Reach Out and Read help them continue their mission to put children on the path to success through the development of early reading skills and school readiness. The organization works with thousands of doctors and nurses across all 50 US states to integrate children’s books into well-child visits and encourage parents to read to their children.
We’re extremely proud of the positive impact we’ve helped our non-profit partners make in the world and we’re looking forward to helping these great organizations do more good as we celebrate #GivingTuesday.
We’re proud to announce that we’ve now donated over $1 million to our Better to Give partners, thanks to the support of our amazing customers. All year long, we give customers the opportunity to select a non-profit organization with every order placed. When a partner is chosen, we then donate $1 on the customer’s behalf. Over the week of Thanksgiving, we raised that donation to $5 for those visiting our site through a special email campaign. We saw the donation rate skyrocket during this time, taking us past the $1 million mark on Black Friday.
It fills all of us with pride to think about the impact we’ve been able to make with these donations, especially as a mid-size business operating out of one warehouse in Brooklyn. One of the fundamental reasons that our founder Dave Bolotsky started this company was to prove that capitalism could be a force for positive change in the world, and passing this $1 million milestone serves as validation of that concept. We know, however, that none of this would have been possible without a community of talented artists supplying us with appealing products, non-profit organizations dedicated to furthering meaningful causes, and wonderful customers who are receptive to what we are trying to do.
We’ll continue to donate a dollar to a Better to Give partner each time you order, so don’t forget to choose one of these non-profit partners next time you’re shopping with UncommonGoods.
RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, carries out programs to prevent sexual violence. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and partners with more than 1,100 rape crisis centers across the country. They also provide resources for policymakers and the media, build community partnerships to promote nationwide education, and work to ensure that rapists are brought to justice.
To date, 147,415 customers have chosen to donate to RAINN.
American Forests is the oldest non-profit conservation organization in the United States. Their mission is to protect and restore forests worldwide. Since 1990, they’ve planted more than 45 million trees–helping to preserve the health of our planet for the benefit of its inhabitants.
To date, 192,037 customers have chosen to donate to American Forests.
Women for Women International helps women survivors of war by providing them with the tools and resources they need to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency. By bringing women together in a safe space to teach life, business, and vocational skills, Women for Women International helps them become independent. This creates a ripple effect that not only benefits the women enrolled in these programs, but also builds stronger families and communities.
To date, 111,972 customers have chosen to donate to Women for Women International.
Reach Out and Read‘s thousands of doctors and nurses promote early literacy, language skills, and school readiness to young children and their families in all 50 states. By integrating children’s books into well-child visits and encouraging parents to read to their children, Reach Out and Read lays a foundation that puts children on an early path to educational success.
Reach Out and Read is our newest partner. We’re thrilled that 18,304 customers have already shown their support for this organization through Better to Give!
We’ve worked with many other organizations over the years, so we’d also like to take a moment to thank everyone who donated to our past partners. Whether through a years-long partnership or a more short-term campaign focused on a particular crisis, we’re proud to support the work of each and every one of these amazing non-profits.
Next Generation Nepal – 2,069 Givers
Defenders of Wildlife – 92,496 Givers
World Wildlife Fund – 41,517 Givers
Craft Emergency Relief Fund – 47,572 Givers
Comprehensive Development Institute – 71,805 Givers
Tranquility Trail Animal Sanctuary – 1,051 Givers
AmeriCares -169, 281 Givers
City Harvest – 95,427 Givers
B Corporation – 425 Givers
HarlemLIVE – 8,496 Givers
Save Darfur – 727 Givers
Thanks again for helping us reach this $1 million milestone. We’re looking forward to celebrating the next $1 million with you soon!
This holiday season, the term “Secret Santa” got a new meaning when mysterious donors paid off Kmart layaway accounts across the country. This heart warming story definitely helped get us in the holiday spirit, but it also got us thinking about ways to do good all year long.
We try to make it easy for our customers to help us give back through our Better to Give program. Through this program, we donate $1 to the Better to Give charity of your choice each time you place an order with UncommonGoods. Here’s what our partners were up to in 2011, and how you can get involved in 2012.
AmeriCares provided aid around the world in 2011, including continued work with earthquake and tsunami survivors in Japan, providing emergency relief to victims of recent flooding in the Philippines, awarding more than $600,000 in disaster recovery grants to nonprofit organizations across the United States, and much more. With your help, we donated $7,928 to the humanitarian relief organization between October and December.
RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, expanded their programs, helped thousands of people through their online and telephone hotlines, and educated millions about sexual abuse. Customer’s choosing RAINN as their Better to Give organization helped us give $18,910 to the nonprofit in our fourth business quarter last year.
The organization is currently working with sexual assault victims from Penn State, and are supporting Penn State Alumni in White Out Child Abuse, a national awareness event. If you’re in one of the eight major cities involved, you can participate on January 21, or visit their website to donate online.
You can also help by joining RAINN in supporting the SAFER Act, a “no-cost bill that will create the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (SAFER), which will track the status of DNA evidence collected in rape cases.”
In 2011 American Forests established the Science Advisory Board, a diverse group of scientists from different fields, geographic areas, and work experiences, to help address the complex issues America’s forests are facing.
American Forests also launched the Forests for Fifty campaign, an effort to complete reforestation and education projects in all 50 states. Through this campaign, the organization will plant more than 5 million trees throughout 2011 and 2012.
City Harvest Since 1982, City Harvest has been collecting excess food from all segments of the food industry, including restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers, and farms and delivering it, free of charge, to nearly 600 community food programs throughout New York City. In 2011 the organization delivered more than 30 million pounds of food to hungry people. The organization also provides education and assistance when it comes to nutrition counselling, prevention of diet-related diseases, and bringing sustainable, affordable food to low-income areas.
On May 11, 2011, City Harvest raised almost $500,000 to help New York’s hungry through their annual Skip Lunch Fight Hunger campaign. We helped by taking part in last May’s event, and by donating $17,431 as the year came to a close.
Licensed food businesses help City Harvest every day by donating food, but you can help even if you don’t own a store or restaurant. Individuals can donate funds,volunteer in one of City Harvest’s programs , or attend one of their upcoming events.
Do you volunteer with a nonprofit organization? Are you helping others in your community? Whether you’re gearing up to get involved with one of our Better to Give Partners, or making a difference in your own way, we’d love to hear how you’re doing good in 2012.
Every three months, we get to write checks to our favorite non-profits. We base the size of those checks on you– which charities you vote for every time you make a purchase from our site.
So here’s what these great non-profits have been doing to make the world a better place.
It’s been a rough year– from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami to the current drought and famine in Somalia. But that hasn’t slowed AmeriCares down one bit.
Your votes at checkout have helped us send $4,500 in the last three months to help AmeriCares deliver critical medical supplies to people in urgent need around the globe.
Here are a few projects they’re working on right now.
Ecosystem Restoration in Los Padres National Forest, California
A large-scale project to replant 14,000 acres, to include a sanctuary for the endangered California condor. All but eight percent of this national forest has been deforested by wildfires and other factors.
2011 Red Mountain Restoration, Idaho
Replanting areas of the Boise National Forest to reduce erosion, improve water quality, and support habitats for local wildlife species like the lynx, boreal owl, northern goshawk, and northern three-toed woodpeckers.
Forest For Monarchs, Mexico
A long term initiative that has already planted five million trees in the last four years, this year’s project works to restore 687 acres of the oyamel fir forests that make up the monarch butterfly’s wintering grounds, and will train local residents in sustainable forestry management.
Check out American Forests for more info on how you can get involved.
Using a fleet of 18 trucks and 3 cargo bikes, City Harvest will rescue more than 30 million pounds of food this year, helping to feed more than 300,000 men, women and children each week. At a cost of just 27 cents to rescue and deliver a pound of food, every dollar donated provides nearly four pounds of good food for hungry New Yorkers.
In May, our company helped out with City Harvest’s largest one day fundraiser, Skip Lunch Fight Hunger, where fundraising teams and individuals throughout New York City donated what they would normally spend on lunch to raise nearly $500,000. Those funds will help feed almost 24,000 children and their families throughout the summer months.
RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, runs a national hotline to help people in crisis. You voted RAINN into our Better to Give program last fall, and voted to donate $4,500 to support their work over the past 3 months.
The hardworking folks at RAINN just told us, “Last month, July 2011, RAINN helped 12,659 survivors of sexual violence through our hotlines. It was the highest number of people we’ve helped in one month in more than 8 years.”
All these organizations run with the support of people like you, so thanks for your votes! Got a cause you’d like to see us support? Leave a comment to suggest a non-profit doing great work in your community.