Monday, January 17, 2011

Donor's Choose

Our store has a Charity Round Up program for in-store purchases. Anyone at our store can pop some change in the jar and customers who are making purchases use the jar to 'round up' their dollar amount and get the next-larger punch on their beadfreak card. We match all donations in the jar 100% and send the money to the selected charity at the end of the month. We love being able to give something to a local charity that will help them with their mission and contribute to the quality of life in the Triangle.

This month we are planning on giving to Donor's Choose. This organization connects classroom teachers with donors who can make their project goals a reality. Through the website, donorschoose.org, you can select a classroom project in any of the 50 states and fund it partially or completely. The projects range from counter-top science to museum field trips. You can choose the field of study and the geographic location of the classroom. I especially love being able to choose a project in an art classroom here in North Carolina. You may have a different preference, visit donorschoose.org to find out for yourself.

Every time you are in our store I invite you to drop your pocket change in the Round Up Jar located at the sales counter. We'll match that change you drop in 100% and send it off to a local charity. This month, we're hoping to fund an art program at a high-poverty school in Central North Carolina. They need crazy things like paper, and markers, and crayons so that their students can make art.

How do we choose a charity?
In some cases our customers suggest charities by emailing us at donations @ ornamentea . com. In some cases our staff let us know about charities they think are worthwhile. Generally, our focus in on locally-based charities who have active work in the Triangle area. We don't usually support organizations engaged in good works, missions, outreach and other activities in far-flung, global locations. We are a local store, we want to support our local folks.

How much do we donate monthly?
Our monthly Round Up Jar donations depend on the generosity of our customers. We have donated as much as $300 in one month but more often we donate around $150 to the selected charity. This is one of the main reasons we do not give to large, global charities. We want our small donations to be seen and noticed by the charities that receive them.

What types of charities do we choose?
As I mentioned before, we generally choose locally-based charities. To us, 'local' is North Carolina. We also will only choose registered 501-3C charities. We love art education, children, the environment, seniors, feeding people, needy pets and family support. We take many suggestions at the email address listed above and they are reviewed by staff to determine the best fit with our business. Please do not take it personally if your favorite charity is not chosen. We have 25+ suggestions for every year and we often support the same charities multiple times in a year if we feel they have sufficient needs to warrant the support.

Do we do any other types of giving?
Ornamentea often donates items for auctions and events at local charities. Please understand that we cannot say yes to every request. We apply the same criteria to our in-kind donations as we do to the Round Up Jar program and the contact email is the same.

Read more about our Round Up Jar program here
Read more about the beadfreak card here

Read more about the January, 2011 Charity, Donor's Choose, here.