“And at the same time, [we] give the donors the ability to know what they give is truly needed, can be used either immediately or can be kept for the future. In other words, instead of being reactive each time, we can be proactive.”
Organizations can apply to be a part of the program and usually are selected on the basis that they serve people when there are no other community resources available or appropriate to help them. Organizations in need of things such as furniture, clothing and other supplies pay an annual program service fee to have their needs added to the RespondWithLove.org Web site. Visitors to the site choose from drop-down menus the type of organization they’d like to help by mission (e.g., domestic violence), the region of the charity they’d like to help, and the specific gift or gifts toward which they want their donations to go. Donors can choose to donate the program service fee for an organization. McDonough says about 90 percent of donated funds go to program expenses, the bulk of which include purchasing goods for participating organizations.
Donors can give by check, money order or credit card and can donate anonymously; donations also can be tracked. America Responds With Love doesn’t contact donors via e-mail or direct mail unless they request communication. While donor information isn’t given to the organizations that receive gifts, donors are sent thank-you notes detailing non-
confidential information on who benefited from each gift.
RespondWithLove.org’s involvement with Hope Haven resulted in more than 1,500 pieces of new furniture divided among affected shelters.
For more information, visit www.respondwithlove.org.