12/9/11 9:00 AM
It's no secret that MLL players have lots of things going on off the field, whether it's coaching NCAA lacrosse, working full time at camps and clinics, or working a day job like teaching or banking. Since graduating from Middlebury College, Cannons midfielder Mike Stone has fallen into the latter category, spending time as a restaurant manager and a sports apparel rep. Now, he's taken a leap and created his own socially-responsible business: an online start-up that allows people to easily donate needed goods to their favorite non-profits.
After months of planning and testing, GivingSomeThing.com is up and running and goods are being purchased and shipped daily. Check out the website now, like the GivingSomeThing Facebook page to stay up to date on new non-profit partners, and start giving!
Here, Stone answers a few questions about his new venture.
What inspired you to start this company?
My roommate, Dave Campbell, is on the board of Lacrosse the Nations (LTN), a nonprofit that unifies the lacrosse community to sustainably improve education and health while creating hope and opportunity for children in need. Most of their fundraising efforts go to pay for the goods they need for their mission, such as lacrosse related products and a Flip cam to videotape the kids. Dave and the other board members at LTN had discussed finding a way to allow donors to buy products directly for their organization. When Dave came back from the meeting we talked about the potential of a service that could allow donors to give real goods to nonprofits, as there are many nonprofits with material needs who could benefit from that type of donation. Since this kind of service didn't already exist, we decided to build it.
How many different charities are there to choose from?
Right now there are 8 nonprofits on GivingSomeThing. That number will be increasing daily, and we hope to include nonprofits throughout the country. If you know anyone who works for a nonprofit, we'd be happy to speak with them!
Why would people use this website over other ways to give to non-profits?
GivingSomeThing is unique in that every donation results in the literal packaging and shipping of the goods purchased. There are other sites allow donors to support nonprofits online, but no site can provide the same amount of transparency in the donation process as GivingSomeThing. Another unique feature is that there is no cost to nonprofits to use the service, and there is no markup on the price of the goods for the donor, meaning 100% of donated money goes to purchasing and shipping the goods. We get a referral fee from our online retailer, and this percentage comes from the retailers profits, not as a markup on the price of the goods.
What does the tree in your logo represent?
The tree on our site represents giving, like the tree in Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree, and we try to incorporate it into our site as much as possible. We use leaves to represent gifts, and those logos are prominent on the site.
Is this the first time you are working for yourself? What is it like?
This is my first time working for myself. I love it, but it is very hard work. Many people think that working for yourself makes things easy, but there is actually a lot of motivation to work hard, as success is a more direct result of individual effort. It is great knowing that my hard work not only benefits GivingSomeThing, but benefits many others in need through our partner nonprofits.