Santa Barbara-Based Startup givezooks! Aims To Be The Definitive Online Marketplace For Community-Based Philanthropy
Santa Barbara, CA—Oct. 23, 2008 — givezooks!™, a local startup pioneering a new approach to online fundraising for nonprofits, has unveiled an online giving marketplace for communities across the country in its first community launch in Santa Barbara. Several Santa Barbara nonprofits are already benefitting from an early version of the service.
givezooks! is an online network of local giving marketplaces where individuals, nonprofits, corporations and foundations engage in community-based philanthropy. Seeking to expand numbers of donors and cut costs of fundraising from the typical 15-30%, givezooks! social fundraising capabilities will engage all the philanthropic participants in a local community.
givezooks! four founders, technology executives with a history of success in Silicon Valley, formed givezooks! as an angel funded startup in October 2007. Since July 2008, over 25 nonprofits throughout Santa Barbara, Monterey and Ventura counties in California have utilized givezooks! in a pre-release stage for social fundraising. These nonprofits range across the education, human services, arts, environmental and the religious sectors.
Marymount of Santa Barbara, a local independent school, used givezooks! for its 2007-2008 Annual Fund campaign and raised $350,000. “We were running a capital campaign at the same time with limited resources. We typically rely on a host of volunteers to run our Annual Fund,” said Andrea McFarling, Director of Development for Marymount. “When I heard about givezooks! I thought, ‘Let’s try it.’ Our donors loved it because it was engaging, our volunteers found it simple to use and I was able to manage easily both campaigns and still exceed our goal.”
“In our work with nonprofits, we recognized that smaller community-based organizations don’t have the resources of large nonprofit organizations, but have the same requirements to leverage the Internet in their fundraising initiatives and marketing outreach,” says Carol Schrader, CEO and co-founder of givezooks!
“Individual donors, corporations and foundations represent potential resources for nonprofits, so why not bring them all together in the same marketplace online, in a model that has been successful connecting buyers and sellers for commercial purposes for years? Providing the definitive online marketplace for community-based philanthropy is our goal and yielding more money to the cause is our objective.”
A community-based philanthropic marketplace
“A critical part to our offering is the ability for nonprofits of any size to leverage the Internet and enable the next generation of philanthropy,” says Joe Fazio, givezooks! co-founder and VP of Product Strategy. “Similarly, donors, corporations and foundations are all seeking ways to simplify the giving process and engage more productively in their communities. We wanted to level the playing field by removing the technology hurdles from the equation. We handle that for the nonprofit, and they can focus on what really matters, which is the mission of their organization, the cause.”
givezooks! creates an online community based on geographic locations. Within that geography, nonprofits, donors, corporations and foundations can sign up to participate in community-based initiatives. Local philanthropic news, corporate initiatives, fundraising news, collaboration and volunteer opportunities all will be part of a givezooks! community site. The first community, givezooks.santabarbara.com launched on October 22nd.
Nonprofits can utilize givezooks! to easily create Online Campaigns and Wish Lists, turn their supporters into fundraisers via Grassroots social fundraising, and promote their needs via social networking channels such as Facebook and MySpace. Nonprofits can process donations utilizing their PayPal or other merchant services account, and monitor and analyze their online fundraising results via their dashboard.
Santa Barbara community launch
Multiple community launches—the Santa Barbara launch on October 22nd was the first—will lead up to the givezooks! national launch in early 2009. Attendees at the invitation-only launch event had the opportunity to receive special discounts for givezooks! and enter a Montecito Bank & Trust sponsored raffle to win $1000 to go toward the charity of their choice. Special promotional pricing for nonprofits during the launch will be a monthly fee ranging from $99 per month to $399 per month.
For more information about the Santa Barbara community giving marketplace, please contact Carol Schrader at 866-622-8817 or visit the givezooks! web site at www.givezooks.com.
givezooks! is an online network of local giving marketplaces where individuals, nonprofits, corporations and foundations engage in community-based philanthropy. Individuals can research and connect to the causes they care about, nonprofits can raise awareness of local needs and dramatically reduce fundraising costs, corporations can align their brands with causes and sponsor community initiatives, and foundations can monitor causes and partner with nonprofits and corporations locally. givezooks! is headquartered in Santa Barbara, California.
“givezooks!” is a trademark of givezooks!, Incorporated. All other brands and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.