December Recap in Numbers and Thoughts

Happy 2014 everyone! The close of 2013 brings a time to reflect on the past year.

A few numbers to sum up December and the past year:

  • As of December 31st, there are 359 Sharitive users who raised $65 in December. The grand total raised in 2013 was $1,105.
  • December set a donation record with $149 going to our nonprofit partners. In 2013 $649 (59% of funds raised), including matched donations, have been donated to our nonprofit partners by our partner, Crema Cafe.

Donation by Nonprofit Partner_December

Don’t miss the two latest  installments of our ‘Meet The Partner‘ series up on Vimeo. One focuses on Cambridge School Volunteers and their programming throughout the Cambridge public school system. The other features the student run shelter, Harvard Square Homeless Shelter.

Looking back on 2013, Sharitive has had an incredible pilot. We’ve accomplished a proof of concept, raised over $1,000 in $1 increments, generated conversations around supporting and giving local, and held two fantastic community events at Crema Cafe. The pilot also helped Sharitive uncover some inherent flaws with its program and technology – of course, that’s what pilots are for!

In order to best address the learnings we’ve gathered during the course of the pilot, we have made the decision to take a temporary hiatus from operations at Crema Cafe at the end of this month (January). While this is a difficult decision to make, the time away from in-store operations will allow Sharitive to break down some of the inherent questions we have about our model and value propositions, and to rebuild the solutions with more freedom and flexibility. We are confident that this course of action will position Sharitive 2.0 to be the social good and community engagement creator we’ve always envisioned and aspired to.

Thanks to all our users, Crema Cafe, and our nonprofit partners, for an amazing 2013. We are so grateful for the successes of the pilot. We are excited to continue Sharitive’s development away from operations (just temporarily), and to relaunch a better version of Sharitive in the near future.

Stay tuned!

The Sharitive Team

Meet the Partners: Harvard Square Homeless Shelter

Ever wonder what the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter’s programming is like? Well, now you can get a glimpse inside the student run shelter, settled in the heart of Harvard Square at the University Lutheran Church. Our fourth installment of ‘Meet the Partner’ is now live, featuring the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter. Hear from two of the organization’s leaders and one of its volunteers about how the shelter operates, and what the larger community impact has been. To watch and learn more, click HERE.

Meet the Partners: Cambridge School Volunteers

The third part of our ‘Meet the Partner’ video series focuses on Cambridge School Volunteers (CSV). CSV operates programs in all 17 public schools in Cambridge and is able to reach thousands of students each year. CSV’s volunteers donate 50,000 hours annually to support students and help them achieve academic success. By increasing resources and opportunity for the next generation, CSV is paving the way to a brighter future. To watch the video, click HERE.

Inspired? Cambridge School Volunteers is always looking for more volunteers! To learn more about how you could spend 1-2 hours a week working with a Cambridge student click HERE.

November Recap in Numbers and Thoughts

It’s hard to believe that we’re already well into December and on our way into 2014. For us, November was a month to be grateful. In particular, we are thankful for each of your help in supporting our young, but growing community.

A few numbers to sum up November:

  • As of November 30th, there are 346 Sharitive users, though we’re seeing that a core group of about 60 individuals are really driving the Sharitive cycle.
  • Together we raised $90 in November. Our cumulative total is now $1,040 heading into the final month of 2013.
  • Since May $500.41, including matched donations, have been donated to our nonprofit partners by our incredible business partner, Crema Cafe.
  • In November $76.41 or 85% of funds raised in November, were donated.

Donation by partner total - November

Looking Forward:

  • We have a new Terms of Use policy designed to help us ensure that the Sharitive giving cycle flows as well as possible. For those who have not donated in a while, please consider making your donation this month!
  • In fact, let’s ring in the new year with a new record! Donate your funds by December 31st and help us give our nonprofits a kickstart for 2014.
  • If you haven’t yet, check out our second installment of our ‘Meet The Partner‘ series focusing on The Possible Project. Keep an eye out for the next two installments focusing on Cambridge School Volunteers and the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter.

Happy Holidays to all!

The Sharitive Team

Crema_Community_Event

Crema Community Breakfast Event

Tomorrow morning Sharitive is hosting an event from 8:30 – 10 AM at Crema Cafe. Join us upstairs to meet the people behind our nonprofit partners: Girls’ LEAP, The Possible Project, Cambridge School Volunteers, and Harvard Square Homeless Shelter. We will be sharing coffee, pastries, and conversation about how our nonprofit partners use creativity and innovation to achieve impact in the Cambridge Community. Attendance is free, but please RSVP with this link.

Meet the Partners: The Possible Project

The Sharitive Team has visited The Possible Project many times over the past few months. Each time we are more impressed with their success with using entrepreneurship to prepare Cambridge students for accomplished lives. As two young organizations, Sharitive and The Possible Project are striving for a common goal: to increase resources to those in need and to strengthen the surrounding community. We’re excited to share our second installment of our ‘Meet The Partner‘ series. We hope you are as inspired by The Possible Project’s programming and community impact as we are. To watch the video, click HERE.

 

October Recap in Numbers and Thoughts

Sharitive has reached its 6 months milestone. We now have half a year under our belt, and lots of new ideas for how to move forward and improve in the next half.

A few key highlights from the month:

  • As of October 31st, there are 307 users driving the Sharitive giving cycle.
  • You raised $124 in October, reaching a cumulative 6 month total of $949.
  • Since May only 45% of raised funds ($424) have been allocated to our nonprofit partners, however, in October alone $110 was donated.
  • In October, 89% of our funds raised during the month were donated, shattering our previous donation rate record of 56%.
Donation by Nonprofit Partner_October
Above: donation percentage by nonprofit partner during the month of October.

Looking Forward:

  • Coming up, we have a few events that will take place in the Boston/Cambridge area throughout November and December. Keep your eyes peeled for details on Twitter/Facebook, and of course, the blog.
  • We have to big milestones coming up – growing the Sharitive user community to 500 people and bringing on additional business partners. You can have a big impact on our ability to reach those goals. Have a friend? Refer them to Sharitive and you can earn $1 to pledge to a Sharitive nonprofit partner. Have a business you’d love to see us work with? Let us know!
  • Beta users, we can not tell you how much we appreciate your support. Web-app changes are on their way. Let’s make it great together. Want to volunteer to do some usability testing? Email us at info(@)sharitive(.)org. 

As always, we love to hear from you guys, so please send us an email and let us know how your Sharitive experience has been so far.

-The Sharitive Team

September Recap in Numbers and Thoughts

With the close of September, fall has officially arrived and Sharitive ends its 5th month. As we progress throughout our pilot, we continue to see loyal users and a committed business partner driving this system of hyper-local giving.

A few numbers to sum up September:

  • As of September 30th, there are 251 users driving the Sharitive giving cycle. 
  • You raised $107 in September, putting our total raised over the $800 mark.
  • However, since May only $314 has been allocated to our nonprofit partners. $60 of which went out this month.
  • We hit an all time high of 56% of funds donated during September. Let’s keep that going. Don’t forget to allocate those Sharitive funds so our incredible nonprofit partners can receive needed funding from you, the community!
Donation Percentage by Nonprofit Partner_September

Above: donation percentage by nonprofit partner during the month of September.

Looking Forward:

  • Keep an eye out for the second video in our ‘Meet Our Nonprofit Partners’ video series. It focuses on The Possible Project. If you haven’t yet, check out our Girls’ LEAP video and see how they make their positive impact throughout Boston.
  • We aim to raise $1000 by the end of October. You can do your part by checking in at Crema and by spreading the word to your friends. For each referral you make, Sharitive will pledge $1 to your account. To let us know, tweet, facebook, or email us the name of who referred. It’s an easy way to increase your impact.

We are quickly approaching six months live at Crema. We love to hear from our users so shoot us an email letting us know how your Sharitive experience has been. We are always looking for feedback and fresh ideas on how to increase community engagement.

The Sharitive Team

Take Aways from Columbia’s Social Enterprise Conference

conference-marketing-web-photo

On Friday, the Sharitive Team spent the day at Columbia’s Social Enterprise Conference, listening and engaging in conversations about social impact and big data, corporate social responsibility, and applying design solutions to community issues. There are a few points in particular we’d like to review:

  • Jeremy Heimans of Purpose opened the conference with a command: “think like a movement maker, not a marketer.” This simple comment captures the need for innovative story telling that compels the human spirit. From short viral videos that articulate the emotion of a cause versus the facts of a cause, to narrative bites shared via social media character-restrained channels that intrigue versus long-form story telling. Using new tools and techniques to capture and compel the minds of millions with your call-to-action is the fastest way to grow grassroots action. 
  • We were excited by City Health Works‘ model that employs community health workers in the East Harlem community to encourage and build sustainable behavioral change. This model draws on proven success on a global level of motivating communities through coaches and peers that live and work in that very community. We worked with City Health Works to re-design how they might better engage their communities through outreach and programming – a process we at Sharitive are constantly thinking about for our own programs’ success. Thrilled to find a kindred community-oriented spirit.
  • Finally, we sat in on a panel of big data, mission-driven companies working on reducing the amount of counterfeit drugs that make its way into patients’ hands, improving access to financial capital via technology that makes credit scores available. The ways in which each panelist measured their own impact varied, but there was agreement that qualifying impact can be quite tricky and success depends on the level of specificity desired.

The timing of the conference came right after the Social Good Summit and right before the inaugural City Lab taking place this week. We’re walking away from last week’s conversations with new ideas about how we can refine our own programming and technology platform to better deliver on our mission to create hyper-local social outcomes. We’re re-evaluating how we define success and measure our own impact. Until the next event, we encourage you to pick up the think local call-to-action by spreading awareness of your neighborhood’s issues that need a little extra funding and involvement from the community.

Meet The Partners: Girls’ LEAP

Escape maneuver

Graduation Walk, 2013

Early in August, the Sharitive Team visited a Girls’ LEAP graduation in Jamaica Plain. We watched some inspiring young teens from the Greater Boston area perform the self-defense moves they learned and talk about the confidence they gained throughout their summer participating in Girls’ LEAP’s programming. Sharitive’s commitment to local community is echoed in the innovative way Girls’ LEAP empowers and educates young women through self defense and reflection. We’re thrilled to share our first installment of our ‘Meet The Partner‘ series. We hope you are as inspired by Girls’ LEAP’s programming and community impact as we are. To watch the video, click here.