News from Interest for Others

A New Blog for a New Way of Giving

Welcome to the Interest for Others Blog! As we grow in scale and impact, we'll highlight the charities and communities we serve, current news, and lessons learned. But first, a little background ... On a sunny day in February 2017, Interest for Others Foundation launched its operational website. To a room full of Minnesota nonprofit leaders, Founder Bill Dolan and CEO Mark Greene introduced this new philanthropic movement designed to increase charitable giving, first in Minnesota and then nationwide. The program provides the type of outside-the-box thinking charities need to expand their donor base and support the meaningful work they do in our communities.

The Interest for Others innovative social giving platform is an easy way for donors to contribute interest earned in their checking/savings account (or any other amount) to charities they love. While average interest earned per account is modest -- roughly $6.50/year -- micro donations can have a big impact: participation by just 10% of American bank accounts would produce more than $2.5 billion in new charitable donations.

Our platform, InterestForOthers.org/GiveNow, is especially attractive to Generation X and Millennial donors. It’s easy-to-use interface allows users to browse and learn about charities, and designate one to receive their donation. This ease of use will be further enhanced in coming months when the InterestForOthers.org platform is integrated with bank websites, allowing donors to make a contribution while performing their online banking. A planned mobile application will provide further convenience.

This new approach can become a social movement -- “a little way to do a lot of good” -- with prominent use of social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to promote the cause. The Foundation’s marketing efforts tap into this culture, using a playful logo to project a youthful brand persona. Parents like using the InterestforOthers.org platform to introduce their children to charitable giving, showing them that small donations can make a difference.

In an era when charities are increasingly challenged to compete for attention and donations, InterestforOthers.org is an important addition to the philanthropic landscape. We look forward to supporting local nonprofit communities and the essential work they do, by channeling 100% of donations to the intended charity recipient without deduction for processing or other expense.

Stay tuned…

Founder Bill Dolan & CEO Mark Greene discuss Interest for Others’s potential to transform charitable giving

Founder & co-chair Bill Dolan and CEO Mark Greene recently discussed Interest for Others—its history, current status, and future growth plans—with Steve Boland, managing partner of Next in Nonprofits, a social fundraising, development, and communications consultancy for nonprofits. Listen in here. Read an excerpt below. Many thanks to Next in Nonprofits for hosting!

Steve Boland: I am so excited about the work you are doing and the newness of it. When I talk about 'next in nonprofits', this is exactly the kind of vision and excitement that I think energizes people. But probably most people have not yet heard of what Interest for Others is, so why don't you tell us a little bit about what you are doing.

Mark Greene: Interest for Others was started in 2014 and it’s a conduit that allows any client of a bank to donate the interest that they’ve earned to a charity that they’re interested in. There’s sort of a double entendre there of the word 'interest'. It’s the interest income that you have from your checking or savings account, that you can easily donate to a charity that you’re interested in supporting. So we think of this as a switch between, eventually, any bank and any charity. And what’s nice about that is, you have a choice—you can steer where the donation goes.

Boland: Of course, right now, anybody can make a donation to a nonprofit organization with their interest if they want to. Why Interest for Others rather than asking people to write a check with their interest money?

Bill Dolan: We found that the amount of interest that is accumulated in customers’ accounts is usually overlooked because it’s so small. So to think of people intentionally giving their interest to a charity of their choice is something that we found is not very likely. We introduced the idea of allowing people to aggregate their interest with others to give it substance and size and make it meaningful.

Greene: Let me add some numbers: here is Minnesota the average checking or savings account generates in a given year approximately $6.50 of interest—not a big number. But the phrase we use is, 'it's a little way to do a lot of good', because if 10% of Americans eventually subscribe to a system like Interest for Others and contribute in this fashion, that adds up to $2.5 billion of incremental charitable donations!

 

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