News from Interest for Others
December 3, 2018
An Update from Founder Bill Dolan
To our loyal donors and friends,
The Interest for Others Foundation Board of Directors, Advisory Council and I remain committed to our new way of charitable giving, providing charities a dependable source of financial support. Today’s IFOF website receives donations for 30 Minnesota and 22 South Dakota local charities. Exciting change is occurring at Interest for Others Foundation with movement on many fronts.
Change is afoot
• Mark Greene, IFOF’s President since January 2017, was succeeded on Nov. 29 by Ben Oehler, a founding director. I express huge gratitude to Mark. He improved our website, social media and related marketing, and led IFOF expansion to South Dakota. He developed our all-important bank referral method of donation. Now after 20 months working as a volunteer, Mark will return to work in the business community where his financial technology skills are in great demand. He remains a member of our Board of Directors, committed to IFOF. More gratitude to Ben, who is an accomplished financial executive with special talent in large scale projects. He and I have worked together since 1984.
• IFOF continues working with a Minnesota community bank—soon to be announced, and for now called Bank #1—to introduce the IFOF giving program to its online customers. Major progress has been made integrating IFOF and Bank #1 software, with a goal of proving the bank referral method as a simple solution that will be easy-to-use.
• H.R. 894, the Interest for Others Act, will be re-introduced in 2019, with improvements. Congress was unwilling to tackle more tax legislation soon after the major Internal Revenue Code rewrite in December 2017. Now our bill is timely. It uniquely offers a charitable deduction even for those taxpayers using the increased standard deduction, and will save banks’ 1099 processing costs. Enactment of the bill is desired, but non-essential, to IFOF’s program.
When this seemingly Quixotic endeavor began in 2013, I underestimated the challenges. The IFOF vision is recognized for its benefits to local charities, and its potential to improve banks’ community engagement. The “why” of our giving program has never been in doubt; but the “how” is complex. It requires deep financial technology expertise, and banks’ participation. The sought-after donors to local charities exist; they have shown willingness to donate their earned interest directly on IFOF’s website; but lacking a major marketing campaign, the current website has produced modest numbers of users, and charitable contributions. However, we have created an effective site for making donations which is now ready and in place for our next steps with bank partners.
In the years 2013-2016, IFOF worked to develop its giving program in cooperation with US Bank. Conversations with US Bank and other major banks continue. After Bank #1 is launched, our newly gained knowledge will be shared.
Please consider a donation to Interest for Others Foundation
IFOF’s finances are adequate for the remainder of this year, but our needs will grow in 2019 when we launch Bank #1. Our directors remain a generous source of financial support, with one offering a $50,000 matching gift, good until 12/31/2018. The regular pro bono services furnished by our public accountants CliftonLarsonAllen, and our lawyers, Ballard Spahr and Briggs and Morgan, are irreplaceable.
If you will re-commit to supporting IFOF, a contribution in any amount will be gratefully received. Our address remains P.O. Box 2125, Minneapolis, MN 55402, or you may donate to IFOF online at interestforothers.org
May 10, 2018
Interest for Others featured in NorthWestern Financial Review
NorthWestern Financial Review recently featured a Q&A with Interest for Others founder William Dolan. Below is an except of the conversation — or click here to read the entire article.
"Q: What do you believe is the potential for [the Interest for Others] concept?
William Dolan: The Interest for Others concept can be universally adopted by banks of all sizes. It makes it easy for bank customers to make donations to charities important to them, and it supports local communities where the banks do business. Our sole purpose is to increase overall charitable giving while helping banks introduce this platform to their customers.
No bank in the country does this presently, to my knowledge. We are understandably excited about our unique offering, its potential to increase overall charitable giving and to introduce philanthropy to a new generation of donors."
March 23, 2018
Interest for Others Launches in South Dakota
Interest for Others Foundation began its expansion into South Dakota on March 14 with a Sioux Falls informational session for charities. The event produced a strong turnout and generated enthusiasm from this vibrant nonprofit community as well as favorable coverage from local TV channels KELO and KSFY.
IFOF is grateful to the six leaders in the Sioux Falls business community for co-hosting the event: Ballard Spahr LLP, First Dakota National Bank, 1st Trust Company, McGowan Capital Group, The First National Bank in Sioux Falls, and US Bank. They offered kind words and a warm welcome, and IFOF looks forward to maintaining these strong Sioux Falls connections moving forward.
We will announce our South Dakota charter list of participating charities in late April. As always, IFOF is dedicated to promoting meaningful charities and the work they do and will continue to highlight Minnesota and South Dakota charities and encourage contributions.
February 20, 2018
Remembering a Dear Friend and Loyal Supporter of Interest for Others
Interest for Others Foundation advisor and friend Hubert “Obie” O’Bannon died February 10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Obie’s support was instrumental in the conception and introduction of H.R. 894, the “Interest for Others Act of 2017,” pending in Congress. He served the Foundation with distinction as a member of its Advisory Council.
“The success of our legislative efforts to provide relief for charities nationwide will bear Obie’s imprint,” said Bill Dolan, founder of Interest for Others. The Foundation's directors and Obie’s fellow Council members express condolences to Obie’s wife Ellen and their entire family.
October 19, 2017
Tax Reform + Charitable Giving: An Equation That Can Work
Supporting Interest for Others takes many forms: online visitors donating to one or more of our charities; generous donors to our foundation; and charities co-marketing our giving platform. And the magnitude of this support will be further strengthened by effects of the Interest for Others Act of 2017, if it becomes part of federal tax reform.
Interest for Others Founder Bill Dolan and Board Co-Chair John James wrote about the projected tax impact of the Interest for Others Act of 2017 and Interest for Other's giving platform. Read the article as it appeared in the October 18th edition of the Minneapolis StarTribune.
August 17, 2017
iGen: The Exciting Future of the Next Generation of Donors
In an ideal world, philanthropy would be immune from trends, but in reality, each generation develops its own views on charitable giving and donations fluctuate with the times. Organizations thrive or suffer based on these trends and how eager people are to give. So if the current outlook on the next generation of donors, Generation Z as they are commonly known, is any indication, we can anticipate an exciting new movement in social giving.
Gen Z, also known as iGen, is poised to make a real impact on the nonprofit world. Thirty percent of this generation—ranging from college-aged students to kindergarteners—have already donated to charity and twenty-six percent have raised money to support a cause. Two-thirds were motivated to give by a message they saw on social media and one in ten members hope to someday start a charity of their own.
Since before they could speak, Gen Zers have been taking in a constant stream of images. They are continually exposed to issues affecting the world around them and they are eager to help. And as twenty-seven percent of the current population, Gen Z can make a strong impact on the future of giving.
Since launching the Interest for Others website, parents have expressed how excited they are for their children to utilize our social giving platform. We believe the Interest for Others movement could not have come at a better time to allow these young philanthropists to donate to meaningful charities in ways that might feel like small change but will truly create the big change they want to see. With Interest for Others, even families that feel they don't have the means to give back in large ways can use the platform to help instill the value of giving in their children.
Opening a first checking or savings account is an exciting rite of passage, and if the conversation around this milestone includes the question of how much money in the account will be donated to charity, Interest for Others can be the instrument that makes that donation process an easy task.
We look forward to engaging Generation Z, their parents, and many other generations to come in the spirit of giving.
June 26, 2017
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.
April 3, 2017
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!