Postcard for donors

Here is a sneak peak at what our Donor Postcards are going to look like.  Slonky Design company is going to help us spice them up a bit before we start sending them out to the masses.

donor card

We need donations!

Double your Donation Results:
Charity For Debt is a new non profit that focuses on letting our donors connect directly to the activities and lives our donations touch.  Our goal is to improve communities by creating a monetary incentive for volunteers at local charities that are monitored and sponsored by our donors. 

Problems your donation will help solve:

1. The average college graduate leaves school with $45,000 in debt.  This large debt amount inhibits many from purchasing investments and is the number one cause of stress in today’s young people. 
2. Most non profits spend considerable time and money training volunteers who are unreliable, inconsistent, and not motivated to provide a quality service.  These amazing organizations also rely on volunteers to do much of the day to day interactions for their cause.
3. Students with debt do not have the time to volunteer for good causes because they need paying jobs to decrease their debt in order to pay for school.

Charity For Debt will use your donation to directly pay off a person’s student loan debt in exchange for paid hourly time spent at a charity you help choose.  We partner with many positive local non profits in your community so you can specify where your sponsored volunteer’s time will be spent.  You might choose KidsCope.org where your volunteer will teach young children about cancer so they can cope easier with a parent who is going through chemotherapy.  KidsCope.org will receive a motivated, reliable, and responsible individual they can count on to teach kids every week on a scheduled basis, and the volunteer will get their student loans paid off for every hour spent providing their energy.  You receive weekly updates on the activities and progress of your volunteer and a final summary of experiences and lessons learned when the 6 week program is complete. 

The Green Light Campaign:
Right now the founders of Charity For Debt are promoting the Green Light fundraising campaign.  This campaign was developed to find 10 donors who will sponsor 10 volunteers to run through the program for six weeks.  These founding sponsors will help us run two pilot programs, one in Washington DC, and one in Dallas TX.  The founders of Charity For Debt plan to closely monitor the volunteers and sponsors during this time in order to improve the model for future expanded programs.  We have received over 75 volunteers sign up within the past few weeks and now we need the donations to sponsor the first 10 volunteers to pilot the program.

What we are asking for:
We need to raise $10,000.  It costs $1000 to run a single volunteer through the 6 week program ($20 per hour, 6 hours per week, plus administrative fees).  By donating $1,000 or more, you will get to pick from our large pool of volunteers which volunteer you would like to sponsor or you can specify someone you already know.  We will work with you to determine the non profit where the volunteer will spend his/her time.  You will receive weekly updates on activities from the volunteer with photos, video, and comments from the non profit and those the volunteer helped.  Our goal is to make your donation’s end results transparent, accountable, and viewable by the world that you sponsored these positive outcomes.

What Now?
We already have two donors who have agreed to sponsor volunteers for the pilot program.  We need eight more donors now and we do not intend to ask for the money until we have all ten committed donations.  One donor, Larry Lunardi, has also agreed to match the donations received during the Green Light campaign to pay for an interactive online community to be created so you can easily connect with your volunteer’s activities online and through email. 

If you would like to be one of our founding donors you will forever be highlighted on the website and in future literature.  Your donation means so much to us and will enable us to improve our model before we expand programs across the nation.  Your donation will also change the life of the volunteer you sponsor and you will help a grateful non profit further its cause with on the ground energy from our motivated volunteers. 

If you would like to make a $1,000 or more donation or have questions, please contact us immediately.  We hope to raise $8,000 more dollars in the next four weeks, so please act soon!  This is your opportunity to improve the community in many ways while directly seeing the results of your donation in a public forum.

Thank you for your time,

Jonathon L
Executive Director and Co-Founder
Charity For Debt

Brandon T
President and Co-Founder
Charity For Debt

Recent Comments from our Volunteer Sign Up Forms

We have had many sign ups from potential volunteers.  We thank all who have helped us spread the word and those who have taken the time to sign up.  We are working on attracting donors to sponsor two pilot programs so we can run 10 volunteers through our first program.  Once we have a good sense of how the program will work best, then we plan to go full force. 

I thought I would share some of the comments people have left when signing up to be a volunteer, this is just a sample (they rock though!).

“I think it’s amazing!” – Misty Porter

“I think this is a brilliant idea. Most college students or recent graduates want to be involved with charities. However, without making sacrifices in one’s personal life or creative pursuits, it is nearly impossible to balance a job and volunteer work. This project is going to benefit a lot of people”. – Laura Sikes

“It’s a great program, would help many people out there get people started an a real life without the hassles of debt.” – Whitney Mckinzie

“Sounds great! When do I start?” – Lisa Long

“It is an amazing concept, and I really hope to see it expand. I will do what I can to help.” – Alia Scheirman

“I am very excited about it. Very well put together.” – Joseph Borchardt

“I think it’s a great idea and a fabulous way to get more people involved in the community that may have not done so otherwise.” – Tanna Thompson

“I think it is a fabulous idea, Volunteer work in general is something I love to do and paying off the school debt I’ll have after undergrad and perhaps law school is something that is very very appealing to me.” – Marissa Edwards

“I think it is an incredible idea that will not only help the respective communities, but students who have accumulated student debt.” – Justin Cole

“I think it is innovative and progressive and is an effective in helping both students and the community.” – Walleska Lantigua

“I think it’s pretty sweet! I’d love to donate my time to a cause and help pay off my loans at the same time!” – Adam Bryant

“I think it is a great way for students to give back to their community, while helping pay for their school. Excellent opportunity that I would love to take part in!” – Marcy Harvey

“This sounds like an amazingly helpful and worthwhile cause that I would love to be a part of!” – Betsy Hobaugh

We have officially launched – Fanfare galore!

noneBrandon and I officially launched the website yesterday!  The hardest part was getting the discussion forums integrated and the sign up form exactly how we needed.  We swept through the text and thought it was good enough to let it go and start letting friends view the site so we can get feedback.  We have a pretty solid marketing plan that includes the following online marketing tactics:

  • Get friends and friends of friends to join our Facebook and Myspace groups
  • Email student groups on campuses in DC, Dallas, and Okc area
    • Greek organizations
    • Service organizations
    • Schools of Social Work
    • Campus newspapers
  • Contact local bloggers and small newspapers in our targeted cities
  • Issue a general press release on PRweb.com
  • Work with DC area non profits that promote volunteerism and helping students with their loan debt
  • Email local charities to invite their current volunteers to sign up

We will putting this plan into action starting today and hopefully reach our goal of signing up 500 potential volunteers sooner than later.  Once we do that, then we can start finding partnerships with local charities and finding a few initial sponsors to fund the next level of running volunteers through the program.

So, tell your friends, family, everyone you know!

Discussion Boards Coming Soon!

charity for debt discussion boards

We are happy to announce that we are making the current CharityForDebt.org website more interactive.  We understand the need to hold online conversations with the visitors to our site, so we decided to add an online discussion board for all visitors to share ideas and help us improve our model before we begin our pilot phase. 

The discussion boards should be fully integrated into the current website template by early next week.  If you care, I thought I would share a little bit about how we actually are physically integrating the boards.  We aren’t very technical here at CharityForDebt, but we know people and resources that enable us to be.  I decided to try out a service I have been reading about called Elance.com (made popular from the 4 hour work week book by Tim Ferris).  I posted a project, integrate a discussion forum into our existing web template/interface.  Within a few hours I had 5 different firms (4 from Indian, 1 from China) bid dollar amounts and add their portfolio of other projects and client satisfaction rating.  I selected an Indian firm who had over 25 clients with 100% client satisfaction.  I sent him the description (after paying the first half of the agreed upon amount) and they are almost complete with the job after a few days.  It has been fun corresponding with the firm in India because they do most of their work when I am asleep.  They were extremely inexpensive and quick.  I highly recommend the service for small, simple web programming needs. 

When we get to Phase 2 of the website interactivity, which will include volunteer portfolios, tracking, and measuring capabilities, we will hire a local DC web firm that can relate to our project and make intelligent decisions on the direction of the code.  More to come on this front!

Jonathon

Logo Revision

Well, we decided that we need to add a little more of a personal element to the logo.  We know that we serve three distinct groups (contributors, non profits/charities, and volunteers).  As we thought about what really drives this project, it is the physical labor and willingness of students and alumni with debt that tie the contributors and charities together.  So, we decided we should put a little graduate hat on the center circular globe thing in the middle of CFD symbol.  I think it looks very nice and polished and really speaks to what we are trying to accomplish.  Here is the final logo:

newlogo

What is Charity For Debt

Charity For Debt is a new non profit dedicated to helping students decrease their loan debt by providing paid volunteer opportunities at local charitable organizations.  Charity For Debt establishes unique partnerships between local businesses to sponsor students to contribute their energy for local charitable needs in the community.  Benefits:

  • College Students – Earn $15 per hour to directly pay back student loan costs while providing a great service to the local community, not just flipping burgers.
  • Charitable Organizations – Connect to a large pool of potential volunteers that will be paid to give their time and energy for your cause.
  • Local Businesses – Help students pay back their loans while giving charities dedicated workers that will positively impact the community.  Students and charities will submit progress reports to sponsoring businesses so positive change can be documented and seen.

Charity For Debt will connect these three groups through an advanced website to document all activities and positive change in the community.  Charity For Debt will be headquartered in Washington, DC, but all efforts will be on a local level with a local leader to facilitate communication and ensure operations are meeting local needs.  Being located in Washington, DC allows critical partnerships to be made with large national non profits with ties to local charitable organizations.    

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