The complexity of human trafficking requires us to be creative in our approach to problem-solving. That's why our team loves it when members of the community create innovative ways to engage their spheres of influence to raise awareness and offer solutions.
As part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month we've paired up with Kristen Alexandrov, founder of givetwig, to raise awareness about the issue. Givetwig had its debut launch last week and is designed to make giving part of members' weekly routines through small, recurring weekly gifts. Allies is excited to be part of this week's conversation!
We asked Kristen to tell us more about givetwig and her inspiration.
Allies: What inspired you to start givetwig?
Kristen: givetwig was originally an idea hatched in the middle of the night! The word “twig” was actually the initial spark. I kept thinking things like “this week I’m gonna have a meeting at school” and “this week I’m gonna make macaroni and cheese for dinner.” Wait, make that grilled chicken and broccoli. Anyways, the phrase “This Week I’m Gonna” kept going through my head, and the acronym “TWIG” emerged. After I got through thinking about the mundane aspects of my week, I started getting to loftier goals like “this week I’m gonna make someone laugh.” Hmmm… maybe I could even go bigger. “This week I’m gonna change someone’s life.”
Flash forward a couple of weeks and lot of boring brain lint later… and I was coming up with an idea for people to give something back each week as part of their routine. Where a small dollar amount could be put to greater use and do some good. And I would make it fun and exciting, where the weekly cause would be celebrated and people would feel invested in it. TWIG – “This Week I’m Gonna”. This Week I’m Gonna Give! GIVETWIG!
Allies: Why this particular model?
Kristen: I wanted to change how people think about giving. On one hand, I think it should be a responsibility that we all share, regardless of income level or age. On the other, I think “responsibility” is the wrong word, because giving and helping others feels REALLY GREAT! So everyone should make it part of their weekly routine… not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is fun!
Breaking it down into weekly amounts also makes it feel a bit more accessible – some people may be able to spare $2 a week, but can’t easily write a check for $104 a year (or 52 weeks x $2). And when you think about $2 a week, you think about a cup of coffee. Surely you can spare one, right? Although, I might rather give up a meal.
Allies: Why did you choose Allies as an organizational partner?
Kristen: As part of my launch process, I polled family and friends for organization suggestions. You hit our radar through Grace Dai, one of your board members. Her children go to school with my friend’s children - I’ve never actually met Grace! But the excitement she has for Allies was evident to my friend, who then relayed it to me.
My overall selection process was based on a few things – I included a variety of different causes with different geographies, I ensured that all organizations were in good status and of high quality, and I communicated with someone at each organization for information. I also looked for organizations with enthusiastic staff and founders. Based on this, Allies quickly rose to the top of the list, and VOILA! …became one of our 52 orgs for 2016! givetwig is honored to support you!
Allies: How can people learn more? Get involved?
Kristen: People can learn more on our website – www.givetwig.org. There, you can read a lot more about givetwig and can also sign-up. If anyone is interested in doing more or asking more, they can always contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Right now we are in growth mode – signing up members and hoping to increase the total weekly donations we collect and can redirect at 100% to our recipient organizations. So that means GET THE WORD OUT! Tell your friends! Tweet about us (a lot!). Post about us on Facebook (a lot!). Talk about us on the subway or the bus (preferably to others, but even to yourself is fine).
Kristen Alexandrov, founder of givetwig.
Givetwig seeks to make charitable giving informal, easily accessible, and personal so that it becomes routine. we encourage small, weekly donations that are then combined and passed-through to other nonprofit organizations in which members can feel invested.