Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Look for the New “iGivefirst” Icon in Online Media

Have you ever been reading an article online about a topic or cause you feel moved to support? Would you like to be able to make a trustworthy donation as easy as being able to follow, like, or tweet?

Are you a smaller nonprofit company with a limited budget trying to decide how to spend your marketing dollars? Would you like to reach more people and provide them an easy and secure online donation process by simply clicking on a “Give” icon?

iGivefirst Founder and CEO Sharif Youssef notes, “Online news informs us of worldwide events without providing a simple way to take action and give back. We empower people to take action.”


iGivefirst’s patent pending “Give” button is displayed on a wide range of popular websites, such as online media and bloggers.


iGivefirst provides a unique technology tool streamlining the online non-profit donation process for both consumers and nonprofit companies. Youssef notes, “iGivefirst empowers people to create real change with the simple click of a button. We are on a mission to increase charitable donations worldwide.”


Youssef explains, “iGivefirst developed out of the need for a trusted online brand which allows people to donate to nonprofits serving a wide range of local and global needs. People are often inspired to give when they are moved by something they see or read. The success of giving campaigns during natural catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina or the Haiti earthquake is a testament to that impulse.”


“There are more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the world working to better people’s lives and communities beyond natural catastrophes. The iGivefirst ‘Give’ button allows people who are moved by a story or event to immediately donate to an organization that is related to the subject matter of the story.”


While iGivefirst works with large and small nonprofit companies, Youssef notes, “Many of the nonprofits doing innovative work are small and sometimes struggle with making effective use of new technology. We also work with the nonprofits, challenged by a lack of resources, to ensure they are effectively incorporating online giving into their overall development efforts.”


Youssef details, “Over 2.1 billion people have access to the internet and 75% turn to online media as a source for news, but only 8% of donations to nonprofits are made online. In part, people are concerned about scams.”


“iGivefirst works only with federally registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. We ask that participating nonprofits provide you with information on how your donation is making an impact.”


Youssef highlights, “Anytime you see the Give button, you can be confident your donation is secure and your contribution will be delivered to federally registered nonprofit organizations of your choosing.”


“Not only are we a brand you can trust, iGivefirst also offers a digital wallet that makes giving even easier. Within your digital wallet we keep track of all of your donations, provide tax receipts and allow you to learn about innovative charities that are doing great things to positively impact causes you care about.”


“All of your information is kept private and secure. We never sell any of your data. You can make an anonymous donation which prevents even the receiving organization from knowing who you are.”


“Before iGivefirst, there was no central online source that made giving easy, secure and efficient. There is a nominal fee for the giver but none for the nonprofit receiving the donation. Essentially, iGivefirst has streamlined the process of giving, so ultimately more money goes to the organizations in need.”


Here is how iGivefirst works. Click on the iGivefirst button. A selection of nonprofits doing work related to the content of the article will appear in the window. Choose which nonprofit you want to donate to and the amount you want to donate.


The payment window pops up after a nonprofit has been selected allowing a donation to be made instantly. The donation is private and secure. Payment options include major credit cards, PayPal, and Google Checkout planned for a future release.


You can raise awareness immediately for your selected cause and nonprofit by posting with the Facebook and Twitter posting options. In addition, you have the option of creating an account with iGivefirst to facilitate future donations and stay updated on the work being done by the nonprofits you support.

It is always interesting to learn what inspired an entrepreneur. Here is Sharif Youssef’s inspiration.

“After spending long hours, days, and weeks talking to people during the launch of iGivefirst, I have been asked numerous times to tell my personal ‘why’ story for all to see. I am a first-generation American, my parents and sisters were all born in Egypt.”

“After repeated confrontations, my family left their families at home and fled to the United States as refugees to avoid religious prosecution. When they first arrived, everyone lived in a church while my father started work to begin a new life.”

“At first times were tough. My mother and sister went door to door asking for bread and water, which wasn’t a trivial task with a thick accent and limited comprehension of English.”

“Shortly after renting their first apartment, I was born. At a very young age, my parents instilled morals, ethics, and an overall ‘do-good’ attitude into our everyday lives.”

“As I graduated high school, I started my first corporate job as a mail room clerk and quickly climbed the ranks to become the program manager of Government Electronic Commerce Object-Oriented Systems; now more commonly known as e-file.”

“Continuing my journey through corporate America, I entered into the .com world in 1999 and quickly became a multi-channel marketing expert. I practically lived on airplanes, traveling to as many as 6 states in a single week!”

“I was responsible for creating innovative solutions that fixed real-world problems for Fortune 500 companies and top Internet brands. After spending 15 years in marketing and identity management, I started seeing a pattern - that many organizations made decisions without any consideration of what the impact would be on humanity.”

“This realization began my personal journey. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to help the world. I wanted to wake up in the morning and be able to look myself in the mirror and know I was helping humanity.”

“I spent endless weeks analyzing philanthropy. I came to the realization there are only three players: people that want to help, people that need help, and the over 1.5 million charities that are doing their best to help.”

“However, charities are largely evaluated on their ability to keep their overhead as low as possible, with conventional wisdom suggesting that this translates to more investment in their programs that ultimately help the needy.”

“While most business leaders would never agree to run their business on such low overhead, recognizing the shortsightedness of this approach, many irrationally expect charities to do so while running programs, fundraising, paying staff, and paying basic business expenses like administration, advertising and marketing costs.”

“This places every charity at a financial disadvantage, which makes it very difficult to get mainstream media exposure and adopt new technology. I realized there was not an online giving brand that makes giving easy, trustworthy and secure.”

Youssef concludes, “I founded iGivefirst to be the solution. ”

Many of the nonprofits working with iGivefirst agree.

“The iGivefirst button provides access to new digital audiences that were previously too expensive to target.” - Tom Tuohy, President and Founder of Dream for Kids

"iGivefirst levels the playing field for all nonprofits empowering effective and innovative charities to create real change." - Amanda Brown, Director of Development at Rock the Vote

"Charities struggle with consumer trust and have restricted marketing budgets. iGivefirst is a ubiquitous brand that provides nonprofits with mainstream media exposure at no cost with virtually no effort." - Daniel J. Nasharr, Board Member at Suicide Prevention Services of America

As an online media reader, start looking for the iGivefirst “Give” icon on articles to donate to what matters to you. Follow iGivefirst on Twitter and Facebook. Read the iGivefirst Blog.

Contact iGivefirst giving@iGivefirst.com directly to learn more about adding your nonprofit company to their trusted client list. Benefits include new digital audience through mainstream media exposure, no upfront costs (no setup, no maintenance, no commitment), and no integration effort required.

Follow Brenda Krueger Huffman on Twitter and Facebook.Link

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