Daymaker lets families view the wish lists of kids in need, and then click to buy them something special.
Your kid can make another kid’s day.
That’s the good will behind Daymaker, which makes charity relatable to children by letting them pick what to give a child in need from that little boy or girl’s wish list.
More than four in 10 U.S. children are living in poverty, and their parents often have to prioritize day-to-day living essentials over school supplies, birthday presents and holiday gifts.
So Daymaker works with local chapters of nonprofits such as the Salvation Army, the Boys and Girls Club and the New York City Housing Authority to create online profiles and personalized wish lists for children in those communities based on their particular needs at the moment.
And if Giving Tuesday has you in a generous mood, the site invites parents and their children to browse who to help, click to buy them a gift, and even track the package to see when the child receives his or her special delivery.
Daymaker is a completely online giving experience….usually.
Posted by Daymaker on Sunday, November 26, 2017
“Online giving is great – but when you make a PayPal donation to a nonprofit, you’re missing the meaningful connection you get by helping a person in person,” Daymaker co-founder and CEO Thomas Doochin, 23, told Moneyish. “So we had the idea: What if you could donate to a local family in need with a few clicks, buying them items and sending things straight to their door?”
Doochin was a college sophomore at at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2013 when he and his friends dreamed up this altruistic idea that grew into Daymaker. They did a couple of holiday charity drives in 2013 and 2014 – and the gifts given ballooned from 300 to 5,000 items over those first two years.
And when Doochin surveyed donors for feedback, he found something special and unexpected was happening.
“We kept hearing things like, ‘I’ve never seen my child get so excited about helping another kid,’ or, ‘We had a conversation at dinner the next night about giving, and my kids wanted to go back and help again,’” said Doochin. “And that gave us the idea to focus on getting whole families involved, instead of just adults.”
More than 10,000 kids and their parents from all 50 states have already purchased presents for kids from 150-plus nonprofits through Daymaker since 2015. Last holiday season alone, 2,500 donors from 50 states and nine countries bought gifts for 5,000 kids across the U.S. And this year, Daymaker hopes to reach 30,000 children in need through 15,000 donors, including 35 corporations (such as Ally, GoDaddy and WeWork) that have pledged to participate this season.
The wish lists are capped at five items per kid, and Daymaker tries to keep the gifts at under $28 apiece so that donors of all budgets can help. The smaller wish lists also ensure that every kid will have his or her registry fulfilled, instead of one lucky poster child getting all the good will. “The average donor buys 4 ½ gifts,” said Doochin, “and we see everything from donors buying one gift for one kid, to 100 gifts for 20 kids.”
Daymaker doesn’t just make dreams come true during the holidays. They work year-round to help families who are in tight spots, including those on the U.S. mainland and in Puerto Rico who were hit by the devastating hurricanes over the summer, or kids whose parents are struggling to get them back-to-school clothes or supplies for the new academic year.
And reading about the other kids, their interests and their favorite toys helps children (and their parents) relate to the less fortunate boys and girls, and instill a sense of empathy in the selfie generation.
Kids whose parents talk to them about giving are 20% more likely to give to charity than children whose parents do not discuss giving with them, according to one study by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. In fact, the study found that sitting down and speaking with kids about helping those in need was even more effective than just leading by example.
And that’s something Doochin knows from experience, considering he spent time volunteering with his family when he was growing up. “It contextualized the need for me: ‘Look at everything we have. So we have an obligation to do good in the world,’ which provided incredible fulfillment,” he said. “We as humans know what the joy of what getting a new pair of shoes feels like, what getting a new backpack or STEM items feels like. So if you start teaching meaningful and connective giving at age 5, 6, 7 or 8 – there is so much good that could be done by getting kids excited about giving at a young age.”
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