In Video Introduction, Actor Denis Leary Encourages Americans to Get Involved in Marking 9th Anniversary of 9/11 through Good Deeds
NEW YORK, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- LendingTree was one of the first to make popular an online website in which banks compete for customers seeking loans.
But what about creating the same type of digital marketplace where nonprofits compete for donors and volunteers? That's exactly what MyGoodDeed, a nonprofit organization, had in mind when it developed a new online technology, unveiled this week to support the upcoming 9/11 as a National Day of Service. The new technology, at 911dayofservice.org, enables people to search for and adopt virtually any charitable cause in the nation based on their interests, and then allows individuals to decide how to support the causes they select. After 9/11, the web application will also be available at mygooddeed.org.
"We use online searching and matching tools to find everything from cars to soul mates," said David Paine, president and co-founder of MyGoodDeed. "Why not causes?"
Those who have grown up in the digital age, Paine says, prefer to choose their own causes, not be solicited as much in traditional ways, and they want to decide for themselves what action to take.
Findings of an independent study released today by Los Angeles-based Horizon Research and commissioned by MyGoodDeed back up this conclusion. The research found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 ranked online solutions for charitable engagement as a top consideration affecting their interest in getting involved, second only to receiving paid time off from their employer. But among those over 35, being invited to participate in supporting a charitable cause by a friend or colleague was more important than digital options.
"It's a fundamental shift. If you are older, you tend to become engaged because people ask you to, but if you are younger, you want to use the Internet to figure out what to do, and that includes the causes you support," said Ian Cesa, president of Horizon Research.
"What this means moving forward," Paine said, "is that nonprofits will need to be a lot better prepared than they are today to compete transparently for supporters in a digital marketplace. They'll have to become far more proficient at marketing directly to consumers, like other service providers. It's a huge opportunity for them, but only for those that master it, and most today are not equipped at all for what's about to happen."
The new tool provides six different "Take Action" choices. Once a person has chosen a charitable cause they want to support, from a single consumer-friendly dashboard they can:
- Add their name to a list of supporters and get more information
- Send messages of support through Facebook or Twitter
- Make a financial contribution to a charitable organization
- Email friends with messages of support
- Express interest in volunteering in the future
- Sign up for specific volunteer opportunities posted on the page
Actor and comedian Denis Leary, a longstanding supporter of 9/11-related causes, provided an introductory video message for the new website encouraging individuals to participate in the 9/11 National Day of Service.
"The application is the first to consolidate all of these types of activities in one place in a very consumer friendly way," said Dan Moore, vice president of Guidestar, one of the organizations that helped MyGoodDeed develop the tool. Network For Good, an online donor provider, All For Good, an online database of volunteer opportunities and search engine, and HandsOn Network, the largest organization of volunteer centers and services in the nation, also collaborated on the MyGoodDeed venture.
MyGoodDeed was founded in 2002 with the support of the 9/11 community, soon after the terrorist attacks. Its mission has been two-fold: to establish September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under federal law, which it helped accomplish in 2009, and to inspire individuals to live their lives with the post-9/11 spirit of unity and service in mind. 9/11 was designated as a National Day of Service and Remembrance by President Barack Obama last year, following passage of bi-partisan legislation by Congress that authorized the recognition of 9/11 as a national day of service.
"Our original goal was to provide a very simple tool that enables millions of people to get involved quickly in the 9/11 observance without having to leave their work or homes to volunteer, but we immediately realized this had implications far beyond the 9/11 moment," said Paine.
Cost-free to Individuals, Organizations and Charities
There is no cost for individuals or organizations to search for charities they may want to support, or for nonprofits to be listed and update profiles through Guidestar. Every 501c3 nonprofit, tax exempt organization with few exceptions is automatically listed in the application, which utilizes existing data from Guidestar and the Internal Revenue Service. Nonprofits can enhance their listings by setting up or updating profiles at http://guidestar.org, then selecting the "Update Nonprofit Report" tab. Organizations and individuals can download free widgets and other tools to help them use the application on their own websites and blogs.
The 9/11 National Day of Service initiative is led by a coalition of organizations that includes MyGoodDeed, the Corporation for National and Community Service (Serve.gov), HandsOn Network (handsonnetwork.org), and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum (national911memorial.org) in New York. These organizations are also in the midst of planning for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in 2011, with the goal of organizing the largest expression of charitable service in U.S. history. Grant funding and significant in-kind support for the 9/11 National Day of Service in 2010 has been provided by GlaxoSmithKline, Target Corporation, the Corporation for National and Community Service, The Jim Fassel Foundation, The PIMCO Foundation, Clear Channel, Scholastic Inc., and Landor Associates.
SOURCE 9/11 National Day of Service