Local nonprofits form 'donation station' for Giving Day on Thursday

Denton Record-Chronicle | September 18, 2018

Denton County nonprofits will set up booths around the downtown Denton Square on Thursday to mark North Texas Giving Day 2018. North Texas Giving Day has a simple mission: to build awareness and support for nonprofit agencies in the region.  Giving Day is an 18-hour campaign it starts at 6 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, and ends at midnight. The downtown Square will be one of the campaign's "donation stations," a spot where passers-by can learn more about the participating groups and make a donation from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Denton residents both human and animal with facial hair and gumption will mark the day with a beard contest from 6 to 7 p.m. on the Square. Contestants' beards can be "sculpted, decorated, tied" or otherwise dressed up for "Beard for a Cause." Participants can still enter for a $10 donation at http://bit.ly/2OwQRx1. North Texas Giving Day is sponsored by Communities Foundation of Texas, which professionally manages more than 1,000 charitable funds for families, companies, foundations and nonprofits. The foundation has awarded more than $1.7 billion in grants since its founding in 1953.

Spotlight

With a burgeoning array of low-cost channels such as email, social media, online advertising, eNewsletters, and mobile advertising, there is an unprecedented level of “noise” surrounding prospective donors. While mass marketers delight in the ease-of-availability, low-cost, and expansive reach of these new channels, direct marketers cringe at the low barrier of entry they afford new market entrants and the overall marketing saturation that continues to drive down donor response. Never has there been greater competition for the minds, hearts, and wallets of would-be donors.

Spotlight

With a burgeoning array of low-cost channels such as email, social media, online advertising, eNewsletters, and mobile advertising, there is an unprecedented level of “noise” surrounding prospective donors. While mass marketers delight in the ease-of-availability, low-cost, and expansive reach of these new channels, direct marketers cringe at the low barrier of entry they afford new market entrants and the overall marketing saturation that continues to drive down donor response. Never has there been greater competition for the minds, hearts, and wallets of would-be donors.

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NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGY

2021 Sees Online Charity Donations Soar to 10 Billion RMB in China

Tencent | May 23, 2022

Thanks to internet technology, online charity is becoming increasingly popular in China. Speaking at the China Internet Good Summit on May 20th, Wang Aiwen, vice minister of China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, said that in 2021, netizens donated nearly 10 billion RMB through online charities and channels, up 18% from the previous year. The summit brought together more than a hundred speakers from various fields, including government officials, charity representatives and entrepreneurs, as well as scholars from Oxford and Stanford Universities. Guests are expected to share their thoughts and discuss global philanthropic topics. The 10 billion RMB ($148 million) in donations raised through internet platforms in China doubled the 52 million pounds ($64.7 million) raised during the iconic annual Red Nose Day fund-raising campaign in 2021, demonstrating the strong development momentum of internet charity in China. In addition to the country's large population base, another major factor underpinning the rapid development of online charity is the popularization of mobile internet. Tencent (0700.HK), a leading tech company based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, founded the nation's first online charity platform in 2007 and has witnessed its rapid growth over the past five years. In 2021, Chinese netizens made 150 million donations worth of 5.4 billion RMB through the Tencent platform, helping to raise it to the largest internet charity platform globally. According to Alibaba, another major Chinese tech firm, more than 500 million Chinese consumers made philanthropic purchases through its Tmall and Taobao e-commerce platforms, benefitting 2,450 charitable projects organized by 214 philanthropic institutions. The rapid development of mobile internet in China penetrates geographic boundaries, allowing consumers to participate in a variety of charitable initiatives nationwide. In a virtual booth set up during this year's Internet Good Summit, visitors can donate and "adopt" wild pandas living hundreds of miles away and watch live streams of their activities through a WeChat mini program called "Panda Home." Thanks to generous donations from Chinese netizens, 1,864 wild pandas in three Chinese provinces have been protected, reducing the risks of living space competition between humans and wild animals. Internet technology also enriches ways and means of doing philanthropy. For example, people can even donate their daily walking steps through a mobile app called "walking together." The app developer will donate a sum based on the number of steps users contribute. According to Tencent's online charity platform statistics over the past year, nearly 90 million took part in the program donating 1331.9 billion steps combined. Among them, one user donated nearly 70.23 million steps, equivalent to 46,819 kilometers. That's 6,743 kilometers more than the length of our planet's equator. Furthermore, Chinese internet companies have started to contribute their advanced technologies to the broader public welfare and charity sector, aiming to achieve greater good. In 2021, the Alibaba Charity Foundation released the industry's first blockchain standards for charities. This year, the Tencent Foundation allocated 200 million RMB to subsidize 1,000 digital charity professionals and fund 100 digital charity projects. The philanthropy industry still needs to tackle a set of challenges, including winning and maintaining public trust, establishing efficient operations and transparent reporting standards, as well as recruiting and retaining top talent, said Cambridge professor Christopher Marquis, who has been studying philanthropy for over a decade. However, the sector is ripe for continued growth, as disposable incomes increase, digital infrastructure enables easier access to charities, and the government actively participates by creating guidelines and policies to shape this sector, said Marquis.

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FUNDRAISING,NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

Employees of Charter Next Generation Support Local Charities Through Large Donation to United Way

United Way | July 21, 2022

As a part of its leadership role within the specialty films and flexible packaging industry and furthering its commitment to sustainability and supporting local communities, Charter Next Generation (CNG) recently made a sizable donation to The United Way chapters of Richland County, Delaware County, and Morrow County. These three United Way chapters will act as a steward of CNG's employees by dispersing the donated funds across fourteen different local charities and organizations that were hand-selected by the employees of CNG for their respective roles in revitalizing local neighborhoods and amplifying the growing importance of sustainability inside the communities where CNG's employees live and work. "This is really mind-blowing! The impact that CNG is going to have on our community These organizations are impacting lives every day, people throughout Richland County due to the generosity of employees of CNG. These are transformative funds for people you may never know." -Dan Varn, Executive Director of the United Way of Richland County. Charter Next Generation continues to passionately expand its investment in the communities in which it has manufacturing facilities, specifically earmarking a $130,000 donation to the Central Ohio region with the explicit goals of fostering: Community Sustainability Efforts through its support of local programs and organizations that actively protect the environment while promoting community resiliency and revitalization. Workforce Development through its support of local programs and organizations that focus on education, career readiness, mentoring, and workforce training inside the specialty films industry. Social & Economic Equity through its support of local programs and organizations that lift up and empower disenfranchised individuals within local communities. The best way to describe our Community Giving Funds event is ONE TEAM, ONE FAMILY, ONE COMMUNITY. At CNG, we have always taken pride in making sure we operate as ONE TEAM, ONE FAMILY within our company, and now we are expanding our focus to support our local community even more than before," said Matt DeHart, who is the Director of Operations at Charter Next Generation, as well as a member of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Richland County. I am proud of all our employees for their effort and consideration while voting on how we will donate our Community Giving Funds. We are thankful to work for a company that allows us all to make decisions as owners of the company. DeHart concluded. Through its donation, CNG is empowering The United Way to provide financial support to fourteen hand-selected organizations, including The American Red Cross Central & Southern Ohio Region, Catalyst Life Services, Catholic Charities, The Domestic Violence Shelter, Friendly House, Humane Society of Richland County, Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring, Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Third Street Family Health Services, Pathways to Hope, Pacer Pantry, Willis Education Center, Turning Point, and Veteran Companion Animal Services in Morrow County. This donation represents CNG's ongoing commitment to invest in and create a positive impact on both its employees' lives as well as the communities in which their employees' families live. By working directly with The United Way of Richland County, Morrow County, and Delaware County, CNG is leveraging the United Way's established network of relationships with local charitable organizations within these areas to reach and impact a much larger group of individuals and deliver direct support to a far greater number of households throughout Central Ohio as a whole. About United Way- United Way is an international network of over 1,800 local nonprofit fundraising affiliates that improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good. About United Way of Richland County- The United Way of Richland County is a Non-Profit organization dedicated to serving the community by raising funds through an annual campaign and investing those dollars into 47 critical programs throughout Richland County. About Charter Next Generation- Charter Next Generation is North America's leading independent producer of high-performance, specialty films used in flexible packaging and other end-use markets. Known for sustainable, innovative products and world-class manufacturing capabilities, the company's quality and expertise are unsurpassed. Its sustainability-first mindset and relentless pursuit of excellence make it an ideal partner to help brand owners reach their long-term sustainability goals.

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NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT,NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGY

Code for America Expands Free, Mobile-Friendly GetCTC Portal to Puerto Rico Residents

Code for America | July 15, 2022

the leading nonprofit tech organization that works with community leaders and governments to deliver equitable, accessible digital tools and services—today extended its free, mobile-friendly GetCTC sign-up portal to Puerto Rico residents, making it easier for families to access the Child Tax Credit. The expanded portal, which is available in Spanish and English, was launched today in collaboration with the White House and the U.S. Department of Treasury. Trusted community partners, including the Hispanic Federation, UnidosUS, the Instituto del Desarrollo de la Juventud, and Espacios Abiertos are leading local outreach efforts in communities across Puerto Rico to help residents access the Child Tax Credit. Since September 2021, Code for America's GetCTC portal has helped nearly 135,000 families access nearly $500 million in tax benefits for which they are eligible. This is the first year that Puerto Rico residents are eligible to receive the full tax benefit. Puerto Rico residents, who were not eligible for advance monthly payments in 2021, will receive full payments in 2022: $3,600 for children ages 5 and younger at the end of 2021; and $3,000 for children ages 6 through 17 at the end of 2021. "Today's GetCTC portal expansion removes enormous barriers that have blocked people in Puerto Rico from accessing the Child Tax Credit, Now, this will make it far easier for potentially hundreds of thousands of people living in Puerto Rico to sign up for the Child Tax Credit through an easy-to-use digital tool that ensures families are getting the flexible cash that they are due." -David Newville, Senior Program Director for Tax Benefits, Code for America. With over 100,000 low-income families claiming nearly $440 million in benefits last year through GetCTC, we know that simplified filing works. We are proud to have worked on this expansion with the White House, Treasury, and our community partners who have been tirelessly working to ensure that Puerto Rico residents have easy access to the Child Tax Credit. Tax-filing can be an intimidating and expensive process for many people. This type of tool allows families to apply for this benefit on their own so they don't miss out, said Carmen I. Rodríguez, Advocacy Director, Instituto del Desarrollo de la Juventud. "The goal is that all eligible families receive this money to alleviate the ever-increasing costs associated with raising a child. Opening access to the GetCTC portal for Puerto Rico residents brings us one step closer to equity in the Child Tax Credit, stated Charlotte Gossett Navarro, Chief Director, Hispanic Federation Puerto Rico. We have been working closely with local nonprofit organizations throughout this tax season to help ensure no family is left out of the 2021 Child Tax Credit expansion, but there are barriers that make it difficult to assist communities with the traditional federal tax filing process. This new tool will make it much simpler for eligible families who have not yet filed to do so for free and with the support of trusted community organizations. Thousands of families have already received their benefit, and I hope with GetCTC we can soon reach all families in Puerto Rico. "At a time when the economic crisis is worsening as a result of inflation, it is imperative that families living in Puerto Rico be able to access all the benefits available to improve their economic security, The access of the GetCTC portal to Puerto Rico will facilitate the use of technology at the service of the people in that direction." -Cecille Blondet, Executive Director, Espacios Abiertos. The GetCTC portal is the first online application made available to Puerto Rico residents following a recent update to the filing process. In May, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance allowing most Puerto Rico residents with children to file a simplified tax return in order to claim the Child Tax Credit if they did not have a federal filing requirement in 2021. Up to this point, eligible residents had to file using Form 1040-PR, a burdensome process that created a huge barrier to access. Many applicants had to visit the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) services or pay for tax preparation software that was poorly aligned to their needs. By using the GetCTC portal, Puerto Rico residents will be able file a simplified tax return containing just the information needed to issue the Child Tax Credit with a user-friendly, interview-style format that prompts clients to answer one question at time and guides them through the criteria that apply. A demo of how to use the tool is available in Spanish and English. In May, Code for America relaunched the GetCTC portal for the second year in a row to give more families in America access to the Child Tax Credit and other tax benefits. Last year, over 115,000 families used the tool to successfully claim tax benefits with the majority of clients typically finishing in 10-15 minutes. Code for America published lessons from last year's effort in this report. About Code for America- Code for America, a nonprofit founded in 2009, believes that government can work for the people, and by the people, in the digital age. We work with government at all levels across the country to make the delivery of public services equitable with technology. Together with thousands of volunteers across over 80 Brigade chapters in the U.S., we work with community organizations and governments to build digital tools, change policies, and improve programs. Our goal: a resilient government that effectively and equitably serves everyone.

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