Across England alone there are 114 YMCAs. Each one is a thriving and active community; a community that is transforming lives.
East Herts YMCA (EHYMCA) has been a charity member of TheGivingMachine since 2007 and its mission is to help transform local communities so that young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive. So far EHYMCA have raised over £2000 with TheGivingMachine (TGM) and their aim is to raise £500 a year and increase the number of their supporters actively generating donations through their online shopping. Robert Purcell, CEO says,
“I like the fact that as an organisation we can receive regular amounts of unrestricted funding from TheGivingMachine (TGM). The principle is simple and for our supporters, as givers, it’s an opportunity to give for free“.,
So how do EHYMCA get people to join?
“It’s primarily word of mouth. There is often a disbelief that you can give for free! We use our existing networks to communicate and encourage giving via TGM – specifically our Board of Trustees. As an organisation we issue a weekly blog and prior to the key shopping times (Christmas) we dedicate a blog to TGM. I also meet many people in connection with the YMCA and talk about Giveonomics*, TheGivingMachine and Giving for Free. The Shop&Give reminder toolbar has been an excellent addition, as has the branding. In the past most people tell us that they start their internet shopping and only remember that they should have gone down the TGM route as they’re about to pay. At that point they don’t want to ‘start again’ and the ‘giving’ was lost, so Shop&Give reminder makes a big difference.
We also use TGM ‘business card’ promotional material which are easy to hand out. Once someone has joined as a ‘giver’, we impress upon our supporters that giving via TGM is free and no cost to them. We also explain how the money raised is unrestricted and therefore available to the Charity to use where it is most needed”.
EHYMCA primarily use the funds raised for resident ‘Away Days’. Traditionally trips to: Southend; the Olympic Park; Adventure Centres are difficult to fund as they are seen as an unnecessary expenditure. However, in practice it has been shown that social time together, in a fun environment, leads to social change, to the development of a sense of belonging to the YMCA Community. A sense of belonging builds trust and from trust we can assess the true needs of vulnerable young people. From this we can bring in appropriate specialised community support to address those needs.
One long term supporter, Patrick, supports the EHYMCA because of the help it gives to vulnerable young people and chose to use TheGivingMachine because TGM is itself a charity and because donations do not cost him anything “it’s a no-brainer“. As on-line shopping will continue to increase, Robert believes it is in the interests of every charity to encourage their supporters to use this free method of giving. “We have already encouraged other charities to join and I have also introduced Richard Morris (TGM CEO) to West and Central Herts YMCA. As I meet with many YMCAs on a regular basis I will continue to promote TGM to them, when appropriate“.
For more information about using TheGivingMachine to help fund your next charitable project, visit www.thegivingmachine.co.uk.
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