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Keep up with what’s happening at Gesture and the latest mobile bidding, silent auctions and fundraising news.

[fresh INFOS] 10 CEOs Give Their Advice on How to Avoid Startup Failure

Gesture

Its a well-known fact that most startups are bound for failure. Some companies are doomed from the start, with products that are either unnecessary or that do not differentiate from the competition. Other startups meet their demise due to having made certain mistakes, mistakes that could have been avoided if they’d made a greater effort to learn from the experiences of those who came before them. Its often been said that successful people know how to learn from their own mistakes, and really successful people know how to learn from the mistakes of others. We spoke with 10 successful startup founders and asked what the primary reason for startup failure was, and how recently launched startups can avoid it. Here’s what they had to say.

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[MoneyShow] Gesture Is Boosting Fundraising Revenues With Innovation – Mobile Bidding

silent auction

Planning and executing a charity related fundraising event is no easy feat. Silent auctions are a popular way to consolidate individual donations into a fun and donation maximizing event, but they are often viewed with pitfalls for the charities involved. Keeping track of bids via paper and tallying up winnings is often inaccurate and frustrating for those running the event. So much so, that many charities are forgoing holding silent auctions simply to avoid the hassle. Gesture – a company that focuses on streamlining and optimizing the charity auction experience for both the charity involved and participants. In the past three years, Gesture has raised over $150 million for charities in 10 markets and has been nominated for many awards, according to company press materials.

Gesture utilizes unique mobile bidding technology that frees charities from paper, pencil and calculator. By keeping a running tally of every bidder, every item, and every bid cast, Gesture offers streamlined service to increase revenue and make participation easy – for both the clients and the participants. Gesture client and repeat customer Artis-Naples, a center for the arts in southwest Florida, said of their experience, “Not only did they facilitate in helping us raise a record setting amount of funds in one evening for an event such as this, they held a strong part in building and sustaining relationships with our patrons.”

The company provides an event production manager for every event and allows for participation by those who cannot make it to the event in person. Bids can be placed via many devices including mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers. By making space for non-attending bidders, Gesture allows charities to ratchet up their donation potential by increasing the bidding pool and creating greater opportunities for participation by a wider and more diverse clientele, all for one flat fee.

By focusing on the user experience, Gesture is able to assist in providing pleasing events for everyone involved, increasing revenues and enhancing the experience. A more enjoyable user experience ultimately leads to increased participation in future events. Gesture’s technological innovation allows for detailed reports on each event which allows clients to respond quickly and plan future events accordingly.

Winner of both, The James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award and Chicago Innovations Awards, Gesture is quickly gaining a wide-ranging and diverse clientele. With clients such as the Make-A-Wish-Foundation, The Boys and Girls Club, and multiple professional sports teams, Gesture is changing not only how charities and nonprofits raise money, but also how they plan for the future. Whether planning for a new charity event or looking to update a long-established, Gesture works with clients to provide the best participant experience possible, increasing overall revenues and helping to fill budgets.

Dianne C. Yoss, of the Colorado Make-A-Wish Foundation, reported that her organization’s experience with Gesture was key to making events run smoothly, even allowing her time to enjoy them herself. “By using Gesture we not only made more money than ever at an event, but their services provided me with time. I actually had time to talk to donors, special guests, and volunteers. Because I knew Gesture was taking care of the auction, I was able to manage other event and guest requests. It was wonderful.” She added, “The benefits of using Gesture were more than what I expected. It’s more than just making more money, its dependable service. I also found the final reporting to be excellent and incredibly helpful.”

Working to help charities and nonprofits raise more money and gain more contributors is Gesture’s mission. With a growing national clientele that already boasts over 1500 clients, Gesture offers charities exactly the services they desire. You can find out more about Gesture – including information on pricing, services, and testimonials – by visiting their website: www.Gesture.com

Media Contact
Company Name: Gesture
Conact Person: Monika Rydzewski
Email: Monika.rydz@gesture.com
Phone: (847) 409-7189
Country: United States
Website: http://www.Gesture.com

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Tech Savvy: The winning bid

Tech Savvy: The Winning Bid

Read full article on the Brainerd Dispatch Hey there, Tech Savvy fans! I am really excited to share with you a bit of tech that I was able to experience first hand in a real world situation a week ago at The Big Event fundraiser for the Brainerd Public School Foundation.

It was my first time attending the BPSF Big Event. I was out of town last year and if you have not gone, make sure you put it on your calendar for next year. It was a ton of fun, great food, and a great cause. The BPSF’s mission is to help provide enhanced opportunities for our students and faculty, of the Brainerd Public School District, to experience academic, arts, activities and athletics that they may not otherwise have a chance to do. Many of the opportunities present themselves in the form of grants that BPSF awards to applicants for a variety of different areas. If you’re curious to see a list of some of the recent grants that have been awarded, or if you wish to contribute or get involved, check out their website, www.bpsf.org.

A big part of The Big Event is that the evening serves as a fundraiser for the foundation but it also is a time to recognize grant recipients and all of the people involved that make the programming a success. While individual donations and major sponsorships are always an integral part of the support process, if you’ve ever been to a fundraising event you will see the standard silent auction tables and usually somewhere in the program is information on some live auction items that will be bid on during the event sometime.

I will admit, I usually silently groan when I see this because deep down inside I like to be lazy. Ebay, Amazon and my mobile devices have made me this way (maybe not really, but that’s my story). There are always great items on the tables, for great deals, that support great causes but let’s be honest, when it comes down to the wire and I have the choice of breaking away from my meal to just check on my bid I tend to pick my food. To win you have to hover by the silent auction tables – waiting in the wings to make sure no one vultures your find. Thanks, I’ll take the apple pie at my table.

This year, I was at first confused, and then pleasantly surprised, when I approached the silent auction tables and saw there weren’t any bid sheets. I thought maybe I’d stumbled across a table of live auction items, but none of them had any bid sheets – they hadn’t fallen on the floor and no individual would have hoarded them so they won everything, right?

It was then that I was approached by a very polite student in Warrior apparel that asked if I’d registered for the auction items yet. She explained that this year they were using a digital interface for their auction items and that I simply had to register on the event site and it would give me up to date information about all of the auction items.

What?

That’s right. Up to date, instantaneous, real-time, pick your choice of words – in one phone call BPSF became my heroes for silent auctions and eliminated the vulture stare down.

Big Event Silent Auction I registered, which was a snap, and as I bid on the items I was interested in, I could see in real time, which items I was winning, which I had been outbid on, and eventually, which items I won or lost. All of this was made possible by a partnership between BPSF, CTC and a company I had not heard of before – Gesture (Gesture).

I was fortunate that I was able to chat with Jas Hurd, the Upper Midwest regional manager, who was onsite at the event to ensure that service was top notch. With so many different items up to auction he was busy but I connected with him later this past week and he explained a little more of the technology at work.

Hurd detailed that the company was formed in 2011 by a couple of gentlemen from the Chicago area who had a dream of streamlining the budding auction technology at the time and using it to help nonprofits, charities and other auctions that were unique or simply looking for a better solution. They worked hard to compile the needed information to put together a great product and by the time they rolled out their current software configuration two years ago they had a fully integrated system for their customers to use. The core of the program is the websites and landing pages that make up the item pages. As a user I went to the event page and I could select to view the items, view the items I was bidding on and a number of other basic options. Once you got into that sub page it would show the current bid and if you had bid, were you the leading bid or not. Placing a bid was incredibly simple but left no room for error. I was really impressed when after I had placed a bid I received a confirmation via text that I was winning, and I continued to receive periodic texts alerting me if others had outbid me, and a warning when the auction was ending.

Hurd explained that the text served a dual purpose, not only was it a convenience service (like for me), but it also enabled those without smartphones to still participate by bidding via text. This also leads into another neat feature that you didn’t need to be physically present to be able to bid – the websites and the mobile sites allow those that were not able to attend to still bid on the items if they wished. Hurd recalled a unique instance where one savvy auction-ista placed his winning bid for a hunting trip with Willie Robertson and Adam LaRoche while he was deer hunting in his stand.

While Gesture has customers like the Timberwolves, Hurd emphasized that where they really stand out is their work with nonprofit groups – foundations, churches, charities and such. Gesture was also the auction technology behind the Taste of the Lakes event put on the by Kinship Partners. They have grown exponentially from around 60 events in their opening year to over 1,500 events that they will help facilitate across the nation this year, including around 45 in Minnesota alone.

Here’s what I love about how Gesture works – from what I gather they are extremely fair and are just as dedicated to seeing an event succeed as the group putting the event on. They bring all the necessary equipment, help the group organize all of the details and planning for the set up, and their pricing is based off the staff that would be required to be at the event. They don’t nick the group on a percentage, it’s just one flat rate.

This is also where CTC entered the picture. Eryk Haapajoki, Sales Manager at CTC and BPSF Board Member, spoke with me about how CTC was able to work with Gesture and BPSF (can we throw another acronym in here?) to ensure that the event ran smoothly with no technical hiccups and also helped train the Warrior volunteer students in how to help Gesture process payments and introduce newbies (like me) on how to use the platform.

Payment at the end of the night was a snap; in five minutes I had left my table, paid for my auction items and had been given the items I’d won. Simple, easy, and no insanely long lines to wait in. I was in silent auction heaven.

What really made this so impressive to me is that this is a real life example of how technology is being employed in our community to help out some great organizations. The best part is that the organizations truly seems to come out ahead and still gets a stellar service.

Check out Gesture’s website, www.gesture.com, if you want to learn more about what they do and how they work, I was thoroughly impressed by the program and I hope to see more of them in the area. If you’re an organization looking to possibly utilize their tech at your next event, there is a contact form right on the website.

Great job all around, they really made the process as easy as Gesture.

OK, OK, I can’t leave you with a pun, so instead enjoy this. Haapajoki also shared that even with donations still rolling in The Big Event has raised over $44,000 dollars with $28,000 coming from the live and silent auction. That is tremendous and will go a long way in providing some stellar opportunities for our future generation of doctors, scientists, philosophers and leaders. Thanks for all who attended and supported, hope to see you all there next year.

View article on the Brainerd Dispatch

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Use mobile bidding at your next golf charity event

golf

Gesture
To generate the most money from the event, many charity tournaments rely heavily on the après-golf silent auction. Gesture not only organizes your auction, catalogues the items and gets out the word to attendees; it also has a track record of at least doubling the event revenue of its charity partners.

Gesture accomplishes this by employing cutting-edge auction tips and ideas, such as pre-event bidding, a televised fundraising thermometer and real-time text alerts when and if you’re outbid.

Appropriately enough, Gesture’s functionality is as simple as A-B-C. Before or during registration, guests provide their cell numbers and receive easy instructions from onsite Gesture representatives on how to bid with their smartphones. Non-users get personal assistants.

The process eliminates those bid sheets and the competition and resentment they often cause among participants. Participants bid and instantly receive updates.

The flawless and fast checkout process typically completes all transactions and prints receipts within 15 minutes of the auction’s close.

Within 48 hours, Gesture provides a detailed report that serves as a robust and invaluable database of names, numbers, emails and information on who did the least and most bidding, which items received the fewest, most and highest bids, etc.

Interested in Mobile Bidding and Silent Auction in your area? Contact www.Gesture.com or call us at 888.748.2323

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[Daily News Los Angelos] Gesture Is Boosting Fundraising Revenues With Innovation – Mobile Bidding

silent auction

Planning and executing a charity related fundraising event is no easy feat. Silent auctions are a popular way to consolidate individual donations into a fun and donation maximizing event, but they are often viewed with pitfalls for the charities involved. Keeping track of bids via paper and tallying up winnings is often inaccurate and frustrating for those running the event. So much so, that many charities are forgoing holding silent auctions simply to avoid the hassle. Enter: Gesture – www.Gesture.com – a company that focuses on streamlining and optimizing the charity auction experience for both the charity involved and participants. In the past three years, Gesture has raised over $140 million for charities in 10 markets and has been nominated for many awards, according to company press materials.

Gesture utilizes unique mobile bidding technology that frees charities from paper, pencil and calculator. By keeping a running tally of every bidder, every item, and every bid cast, Gesture offers streamlined service to increase revenue and make participation easy – for both the clients and the participants. Gesture client and repeat customer Artis-Naples, a center for the arts in southwest Florida, said of their experience, “Not only did they facilitate in helping us raise a record setting amount of funds in one evening for an event such as this, they held a strong part in building and sustaining relationships with our patrons.”

silent auction

The company provides an event production manager for every event and allows for participation by those who cannot make it to the event in person. Bids can be placed via many devices including mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers. By making space for non-attending bidders, Gesture allows charities to ratchet up their donation potential by increasing the bidding pool and creating greater opportunities for participation by a wider and more diverse clientele, all for one flat fee.

By focusing on the user experience, Gesture is able to assist in providing pleasing events for everyone involved, increasing revenues and enhancing the experience. A more enjoyable user experience ultimately leads to increased participation in future events. Gesture’s technological innovation allows for detailed reports on each event which allows clients to respond quickly and plan future events accordingly.

A James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award winner and a finalist for both for a Moxie Award and the Chicago Innovations Award, Gesture is quickly gaining a wide-ranging and diverse clientele. With clients such as the Make-A-Wish-Foundation, The Boys and Girls Club, and multiple professional sports teams, Gesture is changing not only how charities and nonprofits raise money, but also how they plan for the future. Whether planning for a new charity event or looking to update a long-established, Gesture works with clients to provide the best participant experience possible, increasing revenues overall, and helping to fill budgets and increase programming overall.

Dianne C. Yoss, of the Colorado Make-A-Wish Foundation, reported that her organization’s experience with Gesture was key to making events run smoothly, even allowing her time to enjoy them herself. “By using Gesture we not only made more money than ever at an event, but their services provided me with time. I actually had time to talk to donors, special guests, and volunteers. Because I knew Gesture was taking care of the auction, I was able to manage other event and guest requests. It was wonderful.” She added, “The benefits of using Gesture were more than what I expected. It’s more than just making more money, its dependable service. I also found the final reporting to be excellent and incredibly helpful.”

Working to help charities and nonprofits raise more money and gain more contributors is Gesture’s mission. With a growing clientele that already boasts over 1500 clients, Gesture offers charities exactly the services they desire. You can find out more about Gesture – including information on pricing, services, and testimonials – by visiting their website: http://www.Gesture.com.

Daily News Article: http://bit.ly/1C3zFDE

Media Contact
Company Name: Gesture
Conact Person: Monika Rydzewski
Email: Monika.rydz@gesture.com
Phone: (847) 409-7189
Country: United States
Website: http://www.Gesture.com

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Gesture Outbids the Competition – Mobile Bidding

Gesture

View Article in Crain’s

Remember your last big charity event? Waiting to bid on a silent auction item. Checking back to see if you’d been outbid. Enduring the long check-out line at the end of the evening.
It’s all for a good cause, of course, but Gesture LLC is simplifying the process with a new technology that automates silent auctions at fundraising events. Instead of paper bid sheets, donors use their cell phones to bid on items. The system allows the donor to monitor the bidding process via phone. Donors also receive a text message when someone outbids them, so they can boost their offers. Even donors unable to attend can bid by phone from wherever they are.

“We make our donors’ lives easier,” says Jim Alvarez, founder and CEO of Westmont-based Gesture, now in its fourth year. “We streamline the process.”
The technology makes the auction process easier for charities, too. Gesture builds the event website, conducts registration and handles the payments. Typical charity auctions generate four to five bids per item, Mr. Alvarez says, while items at his auctions often snare 40 to 50 bids. “It helps the charity raise more money,” he says.
silent auction
Gesture has conducted about 1,500 auctions to date, helping to raise about $140 million for a variety of charities. The company handles events as small as golf outings to big trade shows. Last year at McDonald Corp.’s worldwide convention with 16,000 attendees, Gesture helped raise $250,000 for Ronald McDonald House, a charity for families with sick children.
What really sets Gesture apart from its competition, Alvarez says, are the employee teams that attend every event. Dressed in easy-to-spot red shirts, team members answer donors’ questions and make sure they know how to bid by phone. Team members also handle the payments, mostly via phone.

Gesture has 50 full-time employees and 600 part-timers. Employee teams operate in 11 markets, though the company has covered events in 43 states. Mr. Alvarez’s goal is to have teams in 100 markets within three years.

“It’s a huge honor to win a Chicago Innovation Award,” Mr. Alvarez says. “Companies that win the award seem to catapult to the next level.”
By Jane Adler

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[Meet Advisors] 10 Companies Giving Their Hearts Out

give back
Social Responsibility: 10 Companies Giving Their Hearts Out

For these companies, social responsibility is the driving force behind their business. While it might seem like you can’t make an impact, every small act of giving impacts a life. As a business, it’s important to give back and help others. It doesn’t matter what your business is – you can always find a way to give back. Let us know how you give back in the comments below!

Wait! Please vote for your favorite company, they could be featured with MeetAdvisors!
http://www.meetadvisors.com/post/social-responsibility-10-companies-giving-their-hearts-out

1. Gesture

Gesture combines easy-to-use technology with a team of charity event experts to deliver successful fundraising campaigns. From school auctions to charity events, to churches, to nonprofits, Gesture helps charities raise more money by utilizing their unique mobile bidding technology. Their technology allows you to automate your auction, which lets your guests bid with their own cellphone at your event or anywhere in the world. Their mission is to enhance lives by delivery friendly solutions that foster generosity. Trusted by hundreds of companies nationwide, Gesture helps organizations raise more money for good causes.

2. iCG$

iCG$ is an independent brand that is based out of the United States. By combining innovative design with quality materials, iCG$ strives to create classic, timeless clothing that is released in limited quantities. Their goal? To provide college students with the financial literacy education that they often lack in order to help college students repay their loans. An annual scholarship is offered; 40% of your purchase will go directly to this scholarship fund. By providing students with the financial literacy they need to lower their debt, they believe students will be able to make smarter decisions with their money, which ultimately, affects their life for years to come.

3. Better Life Bags

The intention and desire that Better Life Bags has, is to make lives better – not the lives of the customer, but the lives of those who could never even dream of affording a Better Life Bag. After being disappointed with diaper bag styles and choices in her price range, Rebecca decided to make her own. After posting on Facebook, she got tons of responses for orders and special requests; thus, her custom bag business was born. While she enjoys providing fun bags to people, at the heart of her business is using the platform to give back to others. She gives a percentage of all profits to low-income entrepreneurs in developing countries through Kiva.org. She also hires women who would otherwise not be able to work and pays them a living wage (20-25% of the total retail price).

4. Sevenly

Founded out of the core belief that “People Matter,” Sevenly was created. Their journey to help do their part in helping to change the world began in 2011; since then, they have been activating the “cause art” movement worldwide by creating 7-day cause campaigns. By inviting customers to purchase products, a weekly charity would receive $7 for each product that is purchased. Sevenly is now recognized as one of the nation’s leading “social good” companies, and has recently been named “America’s most social business.” Sevenly, because people matter.

5. Krochet Kids

Krochet Kids believes in the capabilities of all people. Their goal is to holistically equip people living in poverty with the skills, education, and resources to change their lives forever. Through their multi-faceted approach, they work with each beneficiary to create a path toward independence. While working with highly vulnerable women who live in extreme poverty across the world, they empower women with the resources to rise above poverty by empowering them and transforming their families and communities.

6. BARNABAS

BARNABAS, a clothing company, believes that we live in a culture that is flooded with violent images and unsettling messages that set the standard for what is ‘normal,’ which is why they want to “Be bold and courageous!” By encouraging anyone and everyone to be fearless in making choices that make a difference in their life and those around them, they think the best way to get this message out is to be living examples of it. Living a life worth imitating is BARNABAS’s mission – they are more than a logo or brand – they are an identity and lifestyle. BARNABAS is inspired by the work of the Living Room International organization does in Kenya, which is why 10% of all sales go directly to this non-profit.

7. Hydros

1 in 7 people lack access to clean water, by purchasing a Hydros Bottle, you are joining Operation Hydros – the fight against the global water crisis. Not only does your bottle provide you with great tasting water on the go, each purchase helps fund sustainable water projects. In fact, purchasing just one Hydros Bottle provides clean water for someone in need for one whole year. Not only do Hydros Bottles provide people with clean water, they also decrease the amount of plastic water bottles.

8. Footprint Partners

While many companies pledge to participate in corporate social responsibility actions, many do not follow through with their stated goals. Footprint Partners provides a unique insight and tools to help businesses and organizations achieve their sustainability goals and commitments. Their focus is on people and their team of diverse individuals counsel companies who are looking to take a more serious look at their sustainability strategies. Footprint Partners has developed four proprietary diagnostic tools that pinpoint cultural obstacles to adoption, there are as follows: Sustainability Cultural Alignment Assessment, Sustainability Readiness Index, Leadership Competency Model for Sustainability, and Sustainability Message Map.

9. Centre for Sustainability and Excellence

The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence is a leading boutique firm specialized in global sustainability (CSR) consulting, coaching, and training. Since 2004, their dedicated team has been able to assist clients to achieve higher performance, build brand loyalty, and innovate through sustainable practices. They are the only firm that offers Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment accreditation, which is a global professional certification for Sustainability (CSR) Practitioners.

10. Revolution Foods

Revolution Foods builds lifelong healthy eaters by making kid-inspired, chef-crafted food accessible to all. Founded by two moms who were looking to transform the way America eats, they decided to provide healthy, affordable meals to schools because they believe proper nutrition is a cornerstone of providing youth with the nourishment they need to lead successful, healthy lives.

http://www.meetadvisors.com/post/social-responsibility-10-companies-giving-their-hearts-out

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[Chicago Tribune] Chicago-based companies get in on the business of online giving

silent auction

Chicago Tribune Article: Click Here

At her 2013 gala fundraising event, which included a silent auction, Jayne Drew noticed people checking their phones as they sat down to dinner.

Rudeness? Certainly not to Drew, who couldn’t have been happier.

“They were getting alerts that they’d been outbid, and entering new bids,” said Drew, development director for GiGi’s Playhouse, a Hoffman Estates-based organization that supports educational programs for people with Down syndrome.

GiGi’s Playhouse is a client of Gesture, a Chicago-based startup that’s among local companies working in the emerging space of online philanthropy.

Chicago-based startups such as GiveCentral, Zealous Good and GiveForward are among other companies that are innovating the way in which people give. That’s happening as charitable giving, particularly online giving, continues to grow and as more givers are making their contributions on mobile devices.

Launched in 2011, Gesture won a Chicago Innovation Award this year, and it has helped raise more than $140 million for non-profit customers, CEO and founder Jim Alvarez said.

“We bring the silent auction onto your mobile device,” Alvarez said. “We try to make the donor experience more liberating.”

Attendees at a charity event using the system get a text message after they sign in. That leads them to their personal bidding page, loaded with items for sale. They also receive instant notifications when they’ve been outbid, and they can place a new bid directly from their phone.

Drew said she considers this the key to boosting donations for her organization.

How she gets your unwanted items to the charities that need them
Zealous Good founder & CEO Brittany Martin Graunke on how her business streamlines donation services to non-profit groups.
“In the past people would make a bid, then move on,” she said. “Unless you really competed for one particular item, you kind of forgot about it.”

Other companies have built online fundraising platforms. GiveForward, launched in Chicago in 2008, lets users raise money for themselves or for people in need.

GiveCentral puts an array of functions including collection, fundraising and communications online. CEO Patrick Coleman, said digital tools aim to promote flexibility.

“It’s an ‘and’ world, not an ‘or’ world,” Coleman said. “Some people prefer email (requests from charities to donors). Others prefer a phone call or a letter.”

Coleman emphasized that platforms like his give users access to their “donor portal” when it’s convenient to them.

“People are doing a lot of activity when they have a few moments to relax,” he said.

Steve MacLaughlin, director of product management for Blackbaud, a South Carolina-based fundraising consultant, said online giving remains a small percentage of overall donations — about 10 percent — but that it’s growing quickly. Charitable giving over the last 12 months was up by about 4 percent, but online grew at almost 13 percent, he said. MacLaughlin attributed the surge primarily to the growing use of mobile devices.

MacLaughlin said he sees online charitable giving growth as more evolutionary than revolutionary, meaning successful companies take proven ideas and make them work better with technology.

Jason Franklin, executive director of Bolder Giving, who also teaches philanthropy at New York University, said the broad array of online communications channels presents a challenge to fundraisers. He spoke from the perspective of a charity, saying: “The challenge is: How do I share the right information and tell my story and generate excitement, when you hear from me so much more often?”

online giving

Copyright © 2014, Chicago Tribune

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[TastyTrade] Jim Alvarez Tasty Trade Interview

Jim Alvarez of Gesture on Tasty TradeJim Alvarez of Gesture, a mobile based auction application that allows for quick and efficient bidding, joins the show to discuss his work as an entrepreneur. Starting out as a trader, he went on to own and operate some Sprint stores, tanning salons, and a haunted house, before noting an inefficiency in how charity auctions were facilitated. Gesture has achieved proven success in optimizing the bidding process and improving user experience, and is used across the country to help charities build upon their fundraising efforts. Watch The Video on Tasty Trade

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[Crain’s] Meet This Year’s Chicago Innovation Awards Winners

mobile bidding
The Chicago Innovation Awards were announced tonight, with honors going to 10 local companies for breakthroughs from toys and software to prescription drugs and a lining for sewer pipes. Ten startups also were named up-and-comers for promising new products or services.

The awards were presented tonight at the Harris Theater. Started 13 years ago, the awards recognize innovation by companies from a variety of industries across the Chicago area. Winners were selected from more than 550 nominations by an independent team of judges assisted by screeners from the staff of Kuczmarski Innovation.

Winners are:

Gesture, which makes mobile software for bidding at fundraising auctions.

Dough, for its new visual trading platform for DIY options trading.

Horizon Pharma’s, Duexis a pill that treats arthritis and reduces side effects.

LMK Technologies, for a liner that fixes leaking underground sewer pipes.

Mattersight, which makes predictive-behavior software that matches callers with call-center agents suited for them.

Rise Interactive’s online-marketing analytics tools, Interactive Investment Management.

Radio Flyer’s Ziggle, a new ride-on toy for kids.

Keeper Securities, for its secure digital vault for managing passwords.

Swingbyte, which makes a digital swing analyzer that transmits visual golf swing data to user’s phones.

Strata Decision Technology, which makes software for accounting, planning and forecasting that lowers costs for hospitals.

Startup winners of up-and-comer awards are:

Packback, which offers on-demand, one-day digital textbook rentals.

TempoIQ, a real-time analytics platform for Internet-connected sensors.

Options Away, which allows fliers to by options to lock in airfares.

LuminAID, an inflatable, solar-powered lantern ideal for disaster relief efforts.

640 Labs, a big data platform to enable farmers to gather and use info from their field equipment.

Shiftgig, a social media platform for employees and employers in the service industry.

Rippleshot, which detects bank card data breaches.

Pangea, a global money-transfer platform.

Kentech’s eKnowID, a personal background checking technology for job seekers.

ThinkCerca, which makes classroom software to teach reading and critical thinking.

Caremerge, whose technology is used to help coordinate nursing home care, received the Social Innovator award.

The People’s Choice award went to Chicago software maker AlligatorTek for its produce donor portal, which helps Feeding America.

In addition, special awards were presented.

Collaboration awards went to Beltone for its partnership with Apple Inc. on Beltone First, the first hearing instrument to receive wireless audio streaming directly from an iPhone or iPad, and to Molex Inc. for its work with Dow Chemical Co. on a solar-roofing shingle.

Sam Yagan, CEO of Match Group and co-founder of Techstars Chicago, won the Visionary award; Joffrey Ballet won the Spirit of Innovation award; and performance painter David Garibaldi won the Seeing Things Differently award.

Follow John on Twitter at @JohnPletz.

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Chicago Tribune – Leading Mobile Fundraising Company Gesture Wins Chicago Innovation Awards

mobile bidding

A 97-year-old company known for little red wagons and a two-year-old company partly owned by billionaire investor Mark Cuban were among the winners at the 13th annual Chicago Innovation Awards at Harris Theater on Thursday night.

More than 1,500 people attended the event, which aims to bolster Chicago’s business startup and innovation communities. Tom Kuczmarski, who co-founded the awards with former Chicago business journalist Dan Miller, said the gathering represents a coming together of new small companies and more established businesses.

Read the Full Article

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Gesture Named TOP 100 Chicago Innovation Awards Finalist

Chicago Innovation Awards

Chicago, IL— Out of an astounding 552 nominees, Gesture of Chicago, IL has been selected as one of the Top 100 Finalists for the 13th Annual Chicago Innovation Awards.

Gesture works with charities, nonprofits, schools, churches and community organizations nationwide to organize events that maximize revenue in silent auctions, direct donations and live auctions. From school auctions, in-game bidding at sporting events, golf charity events, to the most elegant galas, they help charities raise more money via their energetic team and unique mobile bidding technology. Some of their Chicago clients include Ronald McDonald House Charities, American Heart Association, Boys and Girls Club, Goodman Theater, Catholic Charities, Cubs Charities, Blackhawks and Boys Scouts of America.

Many charity organizations are moving away from the traditional “pen and paper” auctions to a more modern, auction friendly, mobile version. Lots of time is wasted in the traditional silent auctions as people sign in and begin by trying to find their friends or getting caught up at a dinner table eating before placing bids. With a mobile bidding system guests can begin auctioning for items immediately after signing into the auction. By hosting the entire auction online, in the guest’s hands at all times, they can continue to socialize, eat, or drink while placing constant bids on items of their choice.

“What makes our company unique is that we enhances lives. We do this by delivering user friendly solutions and services that foster generosity. We are honored to have been selected as one of the most innovative mobile bidding products in our group” Jim Alvarez CEO and Founder of Gesture.

The awards celebrate the most innovative new products and services in the Chicago region across all organization sizes, sectors and industries. 1500 business and civic leaders will come together to honor the winners when they are announced on October 30th at Chicago’s Harris Theater.

As one of the Top 100 Finalists, Gesture will receive a $2,500 scholarship to attend The Practical Innovator, a day-long executive education course on September 23rd led by top faculty who teach innovation at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

“Chicago is in the midst of a monumental upsurge in innovation,” said Tom Kuczmarski, co-founder with Chicago journalist Dan Miller of the awards. “It’s inspiring to see the range of vision and the depth of talent among organizations in the Chicago area. Companies are investing in innovation and taking more risks to launch new ventures and uncover new value.”

Each of the Top 100 Finalists is also in the running for the annual “People’s Choice Award,” selected through online balloting at www.chicagoinnovationawards.com. The deadline to vote is October 3rd 2014.

Media Contact
Company Name: Gesture
Contact Person: Monika Rydzewski
Email: Monika.Rydz@gesture.com
Phone: (847) 409-7189
Country: United States
Website: http://www.Gesture.com

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