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Gestures of the Week November 5-11

A helping hand. A friendly smile. A round of applause at a charity event. Universal signs of support that have the power to change the world. Here are the Gestures of the Week November 5-11.

Want to suggest a Gesture of the Week? Post to our Facebook Page or tweet to us at @GestureTeam.

gestures of the week november 5-11 thanksgivingMozel Sanders Foundation working to raise $47K to provide Hoosiers with Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is just right around the corner and with thousands of Hoosiers not able to put food on the table for their families, the Mozel Sanders foundation is stepping in to help for the 45th year in a row.

“Having a Thanksgiving meal is something that everyone looks forward to and there are individuals that just cannot afford it and don’t have the resources,” said Shannon Joseph of the Mozel Sanders Foundation. Read more…

gestures of the week november 5-11 titansTitans player shows heartwarming gesture to young fan after loss

After the Tennessee Titans’ rough loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, left tackle Taylor Lewan proved that there’s more to football than wins and losses.

When Lewan spotted a visibly distraught fan from the sidelines, he decided to intervene. And this video of the interaction is giving us all the feels. Read more…

gestures of the week november 5-11 foo fightersClass Act: Foo Fighters Fan Gets His Guitar Stolen, Guitarist Chris Shiflett Sends Him a New One

Proving that Dave Grohl is not the only good guy in Foo Fighters, guitarist Chris Shiflett reached out to a band’s fan who had his guitar stolen, offering him a brand new axe through a direct Facebook message.

The fan is a 31-year-old musician called Sinclair Belle, while the trusty instrument that was stolen from his car in September is a Fender Telecaster Deluxe.

Sinclair shared his story with the world and it ultimately reached Chris, you can check out the brief chat. Read more…

gestures of the week november 5-11 candyWallingford students send candy to soldiers overseas

Students at Stevens School have donated bagfuls of leftover Halloween candy to send to soldiers overseas.

The effort was started by second-grade teacher Beth McLellan, whose cousin, John Lupo, is an Air Force captain serving at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. Last week, students dropped off candy, handwritten notes and drawings for McLellan and his fellow soldiers.

The Wallingford native thanked the students for their generosity on behalf of his 39th Air Base Wing. Read more…

gestures of the week november 5-11 cancerMoving gesture eases boy’s cancer fight

The little boy who dressed up as the big bad Predator to win StocktonCon’s costume contest wears a different outfit nowadays. It is a Chicago Bears knitted hat, a tribute to his favorite football team, that hides Devin Rodriguez’s bald head. The enormous smile on his face masks the pain and uncertainty of a 6-year-old with cancer.

“He is always upbeat, always has a smile on his face,” said his stepmom, Monica McGuiness, who spends every day with him at Children’s Hospital Oakland. “He’s wanting to be himself. There are days he just can’t, and he’ll tell me he wants to go back and lie down and rest.” Read more…

gestures of the week november 5-11 donutsBoy shares over 160 dozen doughnuts with Atlanta police on his birthday

Happy 9th Birthday, Tyler Carach! This young boy has many reasons to smile on his special day.

Tyler is on a mission to recognize police and thank them for their service in a very sweet way by bringing them each a donut.

On Friday, Tyler and his family loaded over 160 dozen donuts and brought them to the Atlanta Police Department from Escambia County, Fla. Read more…

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Outside the Classroom: How to Incorporate Students In Your Fundraiser

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Outside the Classroom: How to Incorporate Students In Your Fundraiser

Arguably, your best ambassadors are your students. You can tell your donors that your students are the best as often as you want, but they’re not going to believe you unless they can see it for themselves.

Incorporating your students into your fundraising events is a great way to show your donors that their investment is worth it.

Here are some of the best ways we’ve seen schools include students in their events.
  • Musicians: Set the right mood. Have members of your school orchestra play during your dinner or cocktail hour.
  • Speakers: Putting a well-spoken student in front of donors is the best way to show your guests how their donation will make a difference. If proceeds from your event will fund a student scholarship, have a student recipient speak about how it made a difference for them and their family. If it’s for a new school gym, have an athlete share how it will impact them.
  • Technology assistance: Place your students around the venue to help donors who aren’t the most tech-savvy. They can help the Gesture Pros show your guests how to bid on items. Guests will be impressed by their knowledge and love the chance to talk to some of the students.
  • Coat check: Working the coat check station is an easy job for students. It’s also an easy way for your donors and students to interact.
  • Raffle sales: Have your students walk around the event to sell any raffle items (tickets, heads or tails, etc.). This is an easy way to give your donors the chance to ask questions and learn more about the school through the eyes of the students.
  • Auction off student artwork: These items are popular at every level – preschool through college.
  • Utilize your golf team at golf outings: Place members of your golf team on a designated hole, where guests can play against them for a fee for the chance to win a special prize (i.e. free raffle tickets). You can even have them act as a caddy.
  • Don’t forget that you can always flip the script and ask the students to get in on the donating. From pajama days to penny wars to letter writing and so much more, your options abound. There are too many school fundraising ideas to count.

We already hinted at what makes these ideas successful. Getting your students in front of your donors will remind them how their donations are going to help educate bright young men and women!

Add Gesture to your next fundraiser to see how we can help you raise even more!

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Tip

Graduation Doesn’t Equal Disengagement

graduation doesn't equal disengagement - school lunch box

Graduation ≠ Disengagement

Are you struggling to keep your alumni engaged?

Imagine for just a second how a student feels when their teacher doesn’t show any interest in them. The teacher doesn’t check on the student to make sure they know what’s going on in the classroom, doesn’t care if they’re succeeding outside of their four walls, doesn’t call on the student when they raise their hand.

In fact, the only time the teacher pays attention to the student is when they fail to hand in their homework.

The teacher might ask, “Why didn’t you hand this in? Why don’t you understand how important this is to your grade? Why don’t you care?”

I think we can all agree that this doesn’t sound like a very good teacher.

Let’s switch it up real quick. Replace “teacher” with your school, and “student” with your alumni, and go back through the example.

Does this sound like you? Do you only pay attention to your alumni when you’re looking for donations (the “homework”)? 

If you answered “no” to the above question, you’re off to a good start! Jump down for creative ideas to keep your alumni engaged.

If you answered “yes,” start below with our top 4 tips on how to re-engage your alumni.

graduation doesn't equal disengagement: tips-to-re-engage-header

Graduation doesn’t equal disengagement! Get your alumni involved with your school by following some of these tips.

1. Keep them in the loop.

One of the easiest ways to re-engage your alumni is to share updates about the school. Social media is the best tool for this. Don’t hold back! Share updates about a variety of topics – your sports teams, your arts programs, cool projects your students are working on, assemblies, etc. Remind your alumni of the time they spent at your school and stir up all of those good feelings. They’ll share your posts, you’ll get more followers, and pretty soon your engaged alumni base will have grown exponentially. Even sharing new courses will show your alumni that you’re continuously looking to improve your school and that you’re worth investing in.

2. Acknowledge their success after graduation.

You want your alumni to continue to care about your school once they graduate, so you should continue to care about them. From sharing articles and congratulating alumni on social media or in your newsletter to mailing personal, handwritten notes from the development office and/or principal/president, there are a ton of ways to acknowledge their accomplishments. Think outside the box! Invite successful alumni back to campus to speak to your students or put an ad in a program book if an alumnus is going to be honored at an event.

3. Actively seek and listen to their ideas and suggestions.

Let your alumni know that you appreciate their opinion, even if you disagree. By responding to comments on social media, asking for feedback after alumni events, replying to emails and asking alumni to participate in surveys on various school topics, they’ll feel like it’s not just their donations that matter to you. You’re not always going to agree with your alumni, but if you keep the line of communication open, they’ll respect you.

We know this can be tricky territory. You’re going to run into some hard-to-handle alumni, and you’re never going to please everyone. Always be kind but make it clear that you are the ultimate decision-maker.

4. Invite them to alumni FUN-raisers.

The internet can only go so far in your plan to re-engage your alumni. Face-to-face interactions are still the best. Bring them back to campus by holding alumni sports nights, career days and reunions, or hold happy hours or networking events at local institutions.

While you can bring a fundraising aspect to some of these events, keep it small. You want them to feel like you’re interested in more than just their money. For example, charge a small fee for a happy hour that covers a couple of drinks and appetizers, but also includes a donation to the school. Give a quick update on the state of the school, and then let your alumni have fun!

graduation doesn't equal disengagement: keep them hooked header

1. Hold alumni shadow days.

Who wouldn’t love to experience a day in the life of a student?! Let alumni come back to campus to experience some of your classes. This event would be especially successful for a high school or college.

Some quick tips on this type of event:

  1. Be selective. Your alumni should shadow students who are a good representation of your school. If you have student ambassadors, that would be a great place to start.
  2. Show off. Pick classes with engaging teachers/professors. If you’ve added new classes to your curriculum, add that to your schedule.
  3. Keep it exciting. The worst thing you could do is bore your alumni. Bring your alumni around to two or three classes during one class period to show them as much as possible and keep them interested.
  4. Keep it short. The “shadowing” part of the event should last no more than two hours. End with either a luncheon or happy hour, depending on your start time.

You can reverse this, too, and have your students shadow your alumni at work.

2. Offer travel abroad trips.

You plan travel abroad opportunities for your students, why not extend that idea to your alumni? There are a lot of travel companies out there that offer pre-planned group trips to Europe or the Caribbean, etc., but wouldn’t you rather go with a group of people who aren’t complete strangers, and have more than just a desire to travel in common? Some companies that work with teachers/professors to plan student experiences would help you plan an alumni trip. Just do a little research to find the right partner company for you!

3. Meet your alumni where they are, geographically and otherwise.

An easy example of this is to hold events in all of the states where your alumni now live. It’s also good to think about who you’re hoping to engage. If you’re targeting younger alumni, odds are that they’d rather go to an event at a local craft brewery than an event at the bar their parents frequent.

4. Stay in touch.

Ask your alumni questions about their time at school. For example, you could ask them to share their favorite cafeteria meal. You might be surprised to see how many people will respond or share.

Another great way to stay in touch is to send a monthly e-newsletter and/or quarterly alumni magazine. Keep alumni up-to-date on school news and events and share important alumni updates. You can use the e-newsletter or magazine to recognize successful alumni, share news on life events (births, weddings, etc.) and so much more.

These ideas will make your alumni feel good about your school, and in turn, want to give back! Learn how you can use Gesture at your next alumni event by contacting us today.

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Tip

Gestures of the Week October 29 – November 4

A helping hand. A friendly smile. A round of applause at a charity event. Universal signs of support that have the power to change the world. Here are the Gestures of the Week October 29 – November 4.

Want to suggest a Gesture of the Week? Post to our Facebook Page or tweet to us at @GestureTeam.

gestures of the week october 29 - november 4 soldiersSoldier’s Angels sending leftover candy to troops

Too much candy this Halloween? How would you like to turn those surplus sweets into some cold cash? Check out a program this year that local dentists are sinking their teeth into for a great cause. That’s what Marsha Elston did.

Elston could’ve brought her surplus Halloween candy to the office. Or, of course, she and her husband would’ve eventually consumed it. “We don’t need to be eating six pounds of candy,” she said. So instead, Elston – like so many recovering trick-or-treaters around the country – is trading in her sweet tooth for a sweet gesture. Read more…

gestures of the week october 29 - november 4 porchVideo captures kind Halloween gesture on camera

A Wellington family left a bowl of candy out for trick or treaters, but it eventually ran out.

Their home security camera recorded 13-year-old Adam Hall, pulling out a piece of candy from his bag and putting it in the bowl for the his 10-year-old brother, Austin. Read more…

gestures of the week october 29 - november 4 churchEditorial: Mundelein church closing leads to memorable gesture

Faced with the closure of their house of worship, leaders of Kirk of the Lakes Presbyterian Church in Mundelein could have quietly pulled the blinds and locked the doors as they walked out for the last time.

No one would have blamed them because losing your church, your spiritual sanctuary, is nothing to celebrate. In the case of Kirk of the Lakes, declining membership spelled the end of the road for the 55-year-old congregation. Church leaders then faced the prospect of fading into the community’s memory or doing something generous, something useful, something memorable.

They chose the latter. Read more…

gestures of the week october 29 - november 4 tieganChrissy Teigen’s Halloween Costumes For Her Baby Are Adorable & Going Towards A Good Cause

Alright, so it’s pretty much scientific fact that Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s daughter Luna is the cutest baby in the world. Her chubby cheeks are the best thing ever, and most importantly, she is extremely loved by her parents, who take every opportunity to show off how proud they are of their little munchkin. In preparation for Halloween, Teigen has been sharing Luna’s many Halloween costumes. But it turns out that they weren’t all for Luna. Teigen is giving away the costumes do they can find new homes with other families, and it’s a pretty sweet gesture. Read more…

gestures of the week october 29 - november 4 candyDad passes out candy on flight so daughter can trick-or-treat

A father determined to help his 3-year-old daughter enjoy Halloween even though they were on a Boston-to-San Francisco flight decided to take her trick-or-treating on the plane.

Stephanie Kahan told The Boston Globe via email that she was on the flight with the man and his daughter on Monday when he passed out notes and candy to passengers. Read more…

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Gesture #GivingTuesday Challenge

Gesture #GivingTuesday Challenge Banner

Gesture #GivingTuesday Challenge

#GivingTuesday has gained traction since it first began in 2012; more nonprofits and charities join the movement every year. This year, Gesture wanted to give back to our charity partners and make it even easier for them to raise more on this national day of giving. That’s where you come in! Our charity partners had the chance to sign up for our Gesture #GivingTuesday Challenge, and now you have the chance to support them!

How To Vote

You can vote by going to the Gesture #GivingTuesday Challenge donation page.

Click on the “Items” tab at the top of the page for a list of all organizations that are participating. Learn more about each by clicking on their logos.

To vote, click on the logo for the organization you’d like to support. In the box next to “Enter the number to buy,” type in your donation amount (for example, if you’d like to donate $50 and give your organization 50 votes, type in “50”) and hit “Vote!”

Gesture #GivingTuesday Challenge Vote Example

Challenge Details

  • Each dollar you donate equals one vote for the organization(s) of your choice. The more money you donate, the more votes they get!
  • The organization with the most votes wins a $1,000 donation from Gesture! The organization that comes in second place receives $500, and third place receives $250.
  • No matter how many votes an organization has at the end of the challenge, they will receive all of the donations pledged to their organization.
  • You can vote from October 29, 2016 through midnight central time on #GivingTuesday, November 29, 2016.
  • Share the challenge on social media to help your favorite charities raise more! Use #GestureChallenge to let your favorite organizations know that you’re supporting their cause.

Please note:

  • All votes are anonymous.
  • A charge to “Gesture” will appear on your statement.

Vote now!

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News

Gestures of the Week October 22 – October 28

A helping hand. A friendly smile. A round of applause at a charity event. Universal signs of support that have the power to change the world. Here are the Gestures of the Week October 22-28.

Want to suggest a Gesture of the Week? Post to our Facebook Page or tweet to us at @GestureTeam.


gestures of the week october 22-28 flood8-Year-Old Boy Travels 800 Miles to Deliver $4,000 Worth of Gifts to a Young Flood Victim

When you do good things it makes you feel good, and when you do things for others God will bless you.”

Those words were spoken not by a preacher or a pastor but by an eight-year-old boy with a heart of gold.

Kameron Smalls from South Carolina travelled 800 miles to bring a carload of gifts to a total stranger—a boy his age from another state, Lousiana, whose family was one of those hit hard by the massive floods that devastated their community in August, Inside Edition reported. Read more…


gestures of the week october 22-28 lunchMotel owner pays overdue school lunch fees for nearly 100 children

A motel owner in Burlington, Iowa, has surprised the elementary school he attended by writing a $700 check to pay overdue school lunch fees for dozens of kids.

“I myself positively affected 89 students today. I gave them extra money in the account so that every kid at Grimes Elementary School won’t be hungry the rest of the school year. Now it’s your turn to do something good for your fellow man,” Jerry Fenton commented on his Facebook page last week. Read more…


gestures of the week october 22-28 farmersIowa nice: Neighbors help injured farmer harvest crop

An Iowa farmer found out just how generous his neighbors are after he broke his hip with 95 acres of crops left to harvest.

A recent post from KCCI’s Eric Hanson went viral with more than 20,500 Facebook shares and 2,800 comments.

Rod Hoversten, a 63-year-old farmer in Radcliffe, fractured his hip in the midst of harvest season. The post showed a lineup of farmers in front of a combine after harvesting the remaining corn for their neighbor. Read more…


gestures of the week october 22-28 disabilitiesWaco: Kind gesture morphs into charitable organization

You could say all it took for a new service organization to pop up on Baylor University’s campus was a student with an eye to spot the obvious and other who needed help.

During the fall of 2015 Taylor Ernst, a sophomore at Baylor, noticed Tony Zhang struggling to get to class after someone stole his motorized chair. Zhang has cerebral palsy. So Ernest helped raise money to replace the stolen scooter. But then Ernst took this act a step further and created the Baylor’s Helping Hands organization. Read more…


gestures of the week october 22-28 football12-year-old with Down Syndrome scores memorable touchdown

Sometimes, one kind gesture can change a person’s world for the better.

Will Barry is the football coach at the Olney Boys and Girls Club. One day, one of Coach Barry’s players, 14-year-old Gabe, approached him with an idea to help his younger brother.

Twelve-year-old Tristian has Down Syndrome and loves football. However, despite his family’s efforts, they couldn’t find a youth football team for Tristian to be a part of. Read more…


gestures of the week october 22-28 cowboysCowboys owner Jerry Jones makes generous gesture toward Arkansas legend Darren McFadden

The Dallas Cowboys don’t owe running back Darren McFadden anything after the former Arkansas running back suffered a freak injury and was placed on the non-football injury list in August.

However, the Cowboys have been paying McFadden’s full $1.25 million salary even though they don’t have to, according to CBSSports.com’s Joel Corry. McFadden was placed on the NFI list after fracturing his elbow when he slipped poolside. Teams are not obligated to pay players on the NFI list while they’re injured, but the Cowboys are doing so in a classy gesture. Read more…

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Corporate Donation List Southwest

At Gesture, we value the work you do, and are ready and excited to work with our charity partners to raise $1 billion dollars in the next five years. In our efforts to help you raise more, we’ve compiled our 2016 Corporate Donation Guide. Get access today!

To further help, we’ve broken out some regional and local chains into regional donation lists. Use the list for your region to bring items with a local flair to your silent auction!

Corporate Donation List - Southwest Logo

What’s your first & last name? (Required)

Email address? (Required)

What is your zip code? (Required)

What’s your organization? (Required)

Would you like to learn more about Gesture's mobile technology services related to fundraising at events? (Required)

*by saying "Yes", you are consenting to be contacted by a Gesture team member.

If so, Phone Number? (If Yes)

Which Features Would you like to Learn more about?

Corporate Donation List - Southwest Logo

Corporate Donation List - Southwest MapThe Corporate Donation List for the Southwest Region of the United States is a great list to use when looking to bring a local flair to your silent auction. The following corporations only offer donations to organizations that fall into the states listed below.

States Covered: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

We have also included corporations from our National Corporate Donation List with headquarters in the southwestern states!

Next to each corporation, we have listed which types of nonprofits can request donations to save you time. Jump ahead to auction items/raffle prizesdonations, grants or sponsorships!

Get access to our nNational Corporate Donation List now!

Corporate Donation List - Southwest Auction/Raffle

Gift Cards

Andy’s Frozen Custard – Open to organizations with a focus on children’s education in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas

The Container Store – Open to all nonprofit organizations near stores in Arizona and Texas

Eden Salon and Spa – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Fogo de Chao – Open to all nonprofit organizations near restaurant locations in Arizona and Texas

Food Conspiracy Co-op – Open to organizations with a focus on education, environment, or nutrition & health

Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas – Priority given to organizations with a focus on cancer research and children’s charities (excluding school fundraisers)

Four Seasons Resort Santa Fe – Priority given to organizations with a focus on cancer research and children’s charities (excluding school fundraisers)

Heritage Hotels and Resorts, Inc. – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Jason’s Deli – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Joe’s Real BBQ – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Phoenix, AZ

Lettuce Entertain You – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Los Alamos Co+op Market – Open to organizations that promote being socially and environmentally responsible near Los Alamos, NM

Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Santa Rita Tex Mex Cantina – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Austin, TX

SanTan Brewing – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Chandler, AZ

Sparrow Bar and Cookshop – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Houston, TX

Sprouts Farmers Market – Open to organizations that focus on autism awareness, local hunger relief, disease prevention/research programs, nutrition & healthy living education for children & families, and activities supporting local environmental awareness

Total Wine & More – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Wildflower Bread Company – Open to organizations with a focus on poverty and hunger relief, children’s wellness, education, women’s empowerment and animal advocacy in Arizona

Item or In-kind Donations

In-kind gifts are contributions of goods or services, other than cash grants. This list includes corporations that will donate Kindle devices, food, tickets for things like amusement parks and airfare, hotel rooms, clothing, toys, etc.

Adventure LandingTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

America’s Incredible Pizza Company – Open to all nonprofit organizations

American Airlines – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Andy Alligator’s Fun Park – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma

Andy’s Frozen CustardSingle serve scoops, free treat cards – Open to organizations with a focus on children’s education in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas

Angel Fire Resort – Open to organizations that aid in the growth and development of their immediate community, or national programs that increase participation in outdoor activity in northern New Mexico

Arizona Broadway TheatreGift certificate redeemable for tickets – Open to all nonprofits and schools in Maricopa County in Arizona

Arizona CardinalsMemorabilia, merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Arizona Coyotes – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Arizona Diamondbacks – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Arizona Museum of Natural HistoryPasses – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Arizona-Sonora Desert MuseumAdmission passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Arizona Stronghold VineyardsWine, tasting vouchers – Open to organizations with a focus on children, animals, the environment and the local community near Camp Verde, AZ

Austin OperaTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in central Texas

AZ on the Rocks1 Month Family Membership – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Children’s Museum of HoustonPasses, membership – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Houston, TX

Civic Center Music HallTickets – Open to organizations in support of arts education and/or education programming near Oklahoma City, OK

Cliff’s Amusement ParkAll-day ride passes – Open to organizations that educate youth, strengthen their community and align with their commitments as an organization

The Container StoreProducts – Open to all nonprofit organizations near stores in Arizona and Texas

Cork This Winery – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Montgomery, TX

Dallas Cowboys – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Dallas MavericksAutographed memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 75 miles of Dallas, TX

Dallas StarsTickets, merchandise, autographed memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

Dallas Wings – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Dallas ZooFamily fun four-pack – Open to all nonprofit organizations in northern Texas

Desert Botanical GardensFamily passes, membership – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Diablo Burger – Open to organizations that support the local food movement and/or local environmental conservation work near Flagstaff and Tucson, AZ

Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK

FC DallasMemorabilia, tickets, photos, merchandise – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth, TX area

Fiesta BowlTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Food Conspiracy Co-opProducts – Open to organizations with a focus on education, environment, or nutrition & health

Frontier City and White Water BayGeneral admission tickets – Open to all nonprofits near Oklahoma City, OK – Will only donate to events that run from April – September

Harkins Theatres – Open to nonprofits focusing on the betterment of the human or animal condition and those which benefit the community at large in Arizona, Oklahoma or Texas

Houston Astros – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Houston Dynamo – Open to organizations with a direct focus on youth, especially underserved and at-risk children within 60 miles of Houston, TX

Houston Rockets – Open to all nonprofits, with priority given to organizations within 75 miles of Houston, TX

Houston TexansTeam memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas, with priority given to Houston, Central and Southern Texas

Jason’s DeliFood – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline ParkBounce passes, fun passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona and Texas

Kimberly-ClarkProducts – Open to organizations with a focus on community events, local and international cause and disaster relief efforts

The Loft Cinema – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Southern Arizona

Los Alamos Co+op MarketMerchandise, memberships – Open to organizations that promote being socially and environmentally responsible near Los Alamos, NM

Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Love’s – Open to organizations with an emphasis on education and youth programs, health-related organizations or organizations that improve the community

Mesilla Valley Maze – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Mother Road Brewing Co.Gifts/merchandise, beer – Open to organizations with a focus on historical organizations (automobiles, roads, Southwest history) and pet rescue near Flagstaff, AZ

National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumFour adult admission passes – Open to organizations compatible with the Museum’s educational and cultural focus in the greater Oklahoma City area and contiguous counties

Nestle Purina – Pet welfare near Flagstaff and Scottsdale, AZ; San Antonio, TX; or Oklahoma City, OK

NRH2OAdmission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Oklahoma AquariumTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Oklahoma City BalletTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City Museum of ArtGeneral admission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Oklahoma City PhilharmonicCertificate for tickets – Open to organizations with a focus on arts and education near Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City ThunderTeam merchandise, autographed items, memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma

Oklahoma State FairFour gate admission tickets – Open to organizations with a focus on agriculture, education, arts and children’s social services in Oklahoma – Priority given to events held in May thru July 

Oklahoma Zoological SocietyFamily membership – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Opera SouthwestTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in New Mexico

Out of Africa Wildlife ParkGeneral admission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Phoenix International RacewayTickets to their annual event weekends (more details on page) – Open to organizations in Arizona with a focus on education, children, families or our military and military veterans, and life enrichment programs for children and families

Phoenix Mercury – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 75 miles of Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix Suns – Open to nonprofit organizations that focus on children’s literacy & education, youth & family development and/or health & fitness in Arizona

Phoenix SymphonyTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Phoenix ZooGeneral admission passes – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

Real Ale Brewing Co.Auction items, beer – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Blanco, TX

Road Dog Tours – Open to all nonprofit organizations

San Antonio SpursTickets – Open to all nonprofits, with priority given to organizations within 75 miles of San Antonio

San Antonio Stars – Group tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations within 75 miles of San Antonio, TX

San Antonio ZooFamily four-pack – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Santa Rita Tex Mex Cantina – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Austin, TX

SanTan BrewingGear, brewery tours, beer/food – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Chandler, AZ

Satellite Coffee and Flying Star Cafe – Open to nonprofit organizations near a cafe location in New Mexico

Scalo Northern Italian Grill – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Albuquerque, NM

Schlitterbahn Waterparks and ResortsTickets – Open to organizations that benefit children in Texas

SEA LIFE Arizona AquariumAdmission tickets – Open to organizations whose goal is to serve seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged children ages 2-12, or who focus on conservation, marine life, and environmental protection

SeaWorld San AntonioTickets – Open to organizations with a focus on animals, environmental protection & conservation programs, youth & families, and education within a 100-mile radius of the park (San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and Laredo area in Texas)

Six Flags Fiesta TexasTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations near San Antonio, TX

Six Flags Over TexasTickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Arlington, TX

Space Center Houston4 one-day admission tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Sparrow Bar and Cookshop – Three cooking demonstration options with head chef Monica Pope – Please note that these items come with a cost for the organization, but the restaurant states that the items typically go for five times that cost in an auction – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Houston, TX

Sprouts Farmers MarketFood – Open to organizations that focus on autism awareness, local hunger relief, disease prevention/research programs, nutrition & healthy living education for children & families, and activities supporting local environmental awareness

St. Clair WineryWine – Open to all nonprofit organizations in New Mexico

Tempe Airsoft and PaintballVoucher for a group of 10 – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Texas Motor Speedway – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area

Texas RangersTickets, autographed memorabilia – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

Texas StarsItems, tickets – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

TopgolfCoupons, swag, private party for 12 guests, golf instruction, VIP priority pass to jump the line – Open to organizations with a focus on education, military, golf, health & wellness, animals and disaster relief within 40 miles of a Topgolf location (locations in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas – for information on exact locations, click here)

Total Wine & More – Open to all nonprofit organizations

US Beef Corp (Arby’s and Taco Bueno)Food, paper products – Open to all nonprofit organizations and schools in Oklahoma

Wildflower Bread CompanyFood – Open to organizations with a focus on poverty and hunger relief, children’s wellness, education, women’s empowerment and animal advocacy in Arizona

Wyland GalleriesArt – Open to all nonprofit organizations – Gallery located in New Mexico

Corporate Donation List - Southwest Direct Donations

Academy Sports + Outdoors – Open to organizations with a focus on families, sports or outdoor-related events in Oklahoma and Texas

American Airlines – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Apple Annie’s Orchard – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Appliance Solutions – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Tulsa, OK

Arvest Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma

Best Western – Open to organizations with a focus on environment or combating poverty

Boathouse District – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Oklahoma City, OK

Century Bank – Open to organizations with a focus on youth, education, arts, and community development

Citizens National Bank of Texas – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

Coufal-Prater Equipment – Open to all nonprofit organizations in the following Texas counties: Austin, Bastrop, Bell, Brazos, Burleson, Burnet, Coryell, Falls, Grimes, Harris, Limestone, Leon, Madison, Milam, Montgomery, Robertson, Travis, Walker, Waller, Washington and Williamson

Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

The Driskill Hotel – Open to organizations with a focus on community improvement, performing arts, social services for children and youth, and environmental sustainability – Preference given to organizations serving Austin, TX and the surrounding central Texas area

Eden Salon and Spa – Open to all nonprofit organizations

First Financial Credit Union – Priority consideration given to organizations that foster growth and development within the Albuquerque, NM communities

The First State Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Los Alamos Co+op Market – Open to organizations that promote being socially and environmentally responsible near Los Alamos, NM

Love’s – Open to organizations with an emphasis on education and youth programs, health-related organizations or organizations that improve the community

Mazzios Italian Eatery – Priority given to youth activities, schools and nonprofits in Oklahoma and Texas

P&K Equipment – Open to organizations with a focus on agricultural education programs or community development opportunities, or that offer aid to under-privileged youth and/or families in the following Oklahoma counties: Bartlesville, Blackwell, Edmond, Enid, Kingfisher, Norman, Owasso/Tulsa, Pryor, Purcell and Stillwater

Pinnacle Entertainment – Open to organizations that spread love through food, serve those who served (veterans and active military), support efforts for finding a cure for cancer, strengthen communities, or care for senior citizens near Selma, TX

Radioshack – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Road Dog Tours – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Texas Disposal Systems – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Texas Regional Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Texas

Texas State Aquarium – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Waste Management – Open to organizations with a focus on environment, environmental education, and causes important to the areas where they operate

Whataburger – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Whole Foods – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Zia Credit Union – Open to organizations that will benefit a significant segment of the community or communities near Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Taos and Santa Fe, NM

 

Corporate Donation List - Southwest Grants

Arizona Coyotes – Open to nonprofit organizations in Arizona that promote healthcare, education and cultural arts programs for children and service men and women – Grants only accepted June – July every year

Bank of Oklahoma – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Nestle Purina – Open to organizations with a focus on pet welfare

Texas Stars – Open to all nonprofit organizations in central Texas

Walmart – Open to organizations with a focus on opportunity, sustainability, and community

Corporate Donation List - Southwest Sponsorships
Academy Sports + Outdoors – Open to organizations with a focus on families, sports or outdoor-related events in Oklahoma and Texas

Arvest Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma

Best Western – Open to organizations with a focus on environment or combating poverty

Century Bank – Open to organizations with a focus on youth, education, arts, and community development

Fiesta Bowl – Open to all nonprofit organizations in Arizona

First Financial Credit Union – Priority consideration given to organizations that foster growth and development within the Albuquerque, NM communities

The First State Bank – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Mazzios Italian Eatery – Priority given to youth activities, schools and nonprofits in Oklahoma and Texas

Nestle Purina – Open to organizations with a focus on pet welfare

P&K Equipment – Open to organizations with a focus on agricultural education programs or community development opportunities, or that offer aid to under-privileged youth and/or families in the following Oklahoma counties: Bartlesville, Blackwell, Edmond, Enid, Kingfisher, Norman, Owasso/Tulsa, Pryor, Purcell and Stillwater

Pinnacle Entertainment – Open to organizations that spread love through food, serve those who served (veterans and active military), support efforts for finding a cure for cancer, strengthen communities, or care for senior citizens near Selma, TX

Radioshack – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Real Ale Brewing Co. – Open to all nonprofit organizations near Blanco, TX

Sprouts Farmers Market – Open to organizations that focus on autism awareness, local hunger relief, disease prevention/research programs, nutrition & healthy living education for children & families, and activities supporting local environmental awareness

St. Clair Winery – Open to all nonprofit organizations in New Mexico

Texas Disposal Systems – Open to all nonprofit organizations

Topgolf – Open to organizations with a focus on education, military, golf, health & wellness, animals and disaster relief within 40 miles of a Topgolf location (locations in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas – for information on exact locations, click here)

Whataburger – Open to organizations with a focus on sports

Zia Credit Union – Open to organizations that will benefit a significant segment of the community or communities near Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Taos and Santa Fe, NM

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Gestures of the Week (October 15 – 21)

A helping hand. A friendly smile. A round of applause at a charity event. Universal signs of support that have the power to change the world. Here are the Gestures of the Week October 15-21.

Want to suggest a Gesture of the Week? Post to our Facebook Page or tweet to us at @GestureTeam.


gestures of the week october 15-21 lunch 2Heartwarming viral video inspires Iowa man’s act of kindness

It’s a heartwarming school story that’s gone viral.

Albuquerque mother Josette Duran discovered her son has been asking her to pack him two lunches every day because one of his classmates was unable to afford his own.

She later learned the boy’s mother had lost her job. When the mother tried to pay Duran back for feeding her son, Duran would not accept it. Instead, she took to the cafeteria to pay off all the past due accounts, for kids that need lunch.

“When I saw that I thought it was a nice gesture, and I thought, ‘Hey, I can do that too,” Burlington, Iowa resident Jerry Fenton said.

Fenton, who owns a motel in Burlington, said he does not want one more child to go hungry. Read more…

gestures of the week october 15-21 lunchBoy asks mom to pack 2 lunches after noticing student with hardly any food eating alone

A New Mexico mother has been packing two lunches for school ever since her son asked her for an extra one for a young boy who had been sitting alone at lunch each day with just a fruit cup.

In an interview with Albuquerque television station KOAT last week, Josette Duran recounted her son’s unusual request, thinking that he wanted more food for himself.

“He said, ‘No mom, it’s for this little boy at school and he sits by himself and all he eats is a fruit cup,’” Duran said. Read more…


gestures of the week october 15-21 kingA crown for two kings: Student gives away homecoming title

Trenton VanderSande’s history with the Shutter family in Plymouth goes back more than a decade.

Earlier this month, that relationship played out on a royal stage.

When Plymouth High School senior and homecoming king Alex Shutter earned his crown earlier this month, he knew who he wanted to have the title instead. Read more…


gestures of the week october 15-21 cheerleaderTexas Teen Stands in for Cheerleader’s Military Dad Who Couldn’t Attend Game

A simple act of kindness by a San Antonio, Texas high school senior turned a young cheerleader’s heartbreaking moment into all smiles when he stepped in for her military father during a school performance.

9-year-old Addie Rodriguez was cheering on her school’s football team on what happened to be “Parents’ Day.” The cheerleading team had two special performances during the game. One was with their mothers, and the other with their fathers. Read more…

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Feature: Why Gesture won’t be using QR codes any time soon

Ryan Smolek - Gesture won't be using QR Codes

By: Ryan Smolek, Vice President of Strategy & Product Management

View the original article on LinkedIn

A few of our competitors in the mobile bidding space have recently issued fancy press releases that simultaneously announce the addition of QR codes to their product and the QR codes as the feature that has solved the problem of event registration/check-in by making it ‘light years’ faster. I’m not buying it.

Look, I agree that event check-in at charity events is a problem that remains to be, and should be, solved. Charities want to provide their event guests with a fantastic experience that inspires the guest to open his or her heart and wallet for the charity’s cause. Standing in line so that your name can get crossed off a list certainly does not make for a fantastic experience. Upon the guest’s arrival, the check-in line is the only thing standing between the guest and socializing, cocktail hour, and dinner. Those are 3 things with which I would not want to tease my potential donors.

So while check-in is a problem, QR codes are not the answer.  I see three primary issues, though there are likely others.

gesture won't be using qr codes1.    Now where did I put that email? – For the QR solution to work, the guest needs to produce a QR code. That QR code is likely buried in an email from when the guest signed up for the event, often a month or more before the event. So now you have someone, head buried in phone, looking for the email with their QR code. Many won’t think to do so until they get up to the front of the line. Everyone knows their name, and can produce that for the registrar a lot faster than they can search through their email they received 3 weeks ago.

2.    Why won’t this thing work? – Have you ever been waiting in the security line or boarding a plane when someone is using a mobile boarding pass (read: QR code)? That often doesn’t go so well. Either the screen keeps rotating on them, or the brightness on the phone is not set high enough for the reader to capture it, or their phone dies just as they are placing the thing on the reader. There is a good lesson here not to mimic anything the airline industry does if you care about customer experience. Just imagine what this would be like at a charity event. Your biggest donor can’t get her QR code to work and the rest of your check-in line is now scowling at her. That isn’t what I would call a giving ‘mood’.

3.    Treat your donors the way you’d like to be treated. – I understand why QR codes may work for a rock concert. A bunch of people you don’t know bought tickets and a bunch of people you don’t know were unable to buy tickets. You want to let the former in and keep the latter out. But charity events usually don’t work that way. Invitees are known in advance and most attendees have a prior relationship with the charity. So when your most loyal supporters show up to your event and you treat them like they bought a ticket to a rock concert, you are working against your goal of getting them to donate more to your cause.

So how can we do better? I don’t have a fully formed answer yet, but this is what I do know:

  • Registration goes faster when the attendees are known prior to the event
  • The threat of charity event crashers is lower in reality than in the minds of charity organizers.
  • Many activities performed at check-in, such as capturing personal information of guests or handing out bidder numbers (for live auctions) can be done in advance of the event through a more efficient medium

At Gesture, we build product based on what we know, with the goal of putting the product in our customers’ hands to discover the answers to what we don’t know. Based on the points above, we’ve recently implemented a world class ticketing solution that is primarily focused on getting to 100% confirmed attendees before the day of the event.

If everyone is confirmed in advance, you already have all of your guest names. And their email addresses. And their mailing addresses. And you already know what they want for dinner. And you already know what t-shirt size everyone needs. And that means the line HAS TO move faster because you don’t need to collect any information from your guests. That is why we built our ticketing product with the primary goal of 100% confirmed attendance, because it helps solve the check-in problem.

While this feature doesn’t solve the whole issue of check-in, it is certainly a start. For the remaining issues, I have some ideas about how to solve them, but I need further data from our users before I offer them up as a solution. But we are going to do the work to understand the needs and develop a solution, and not just throw out an imperfect technology like QR codes and act like they are the be-all and end-all solution to the problem of check-in.

If you are interested in learning more about Gesture’s improved ticketing platform, or using Gesture to manage your event, or if you just want to tell me how wrong I am, shoot me a note at ryan@gesture.com.

View the original article on LinkedIn

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Gestures of the Week (October 8 – 14)

A helping hand. A friendly smile. A round of applause at a charity event. Universal signs of support that have the power to change the world. Here are the Gestures of the Week October 8 – 14.

Want to suggest a Gesture of the Week? Post to our Facebook Page or tweet to us at @GestureTeam.


Gestures of the Week October 8 - 14 weddingHurricane Matthew nearly ruined their wedding, but strangers saved their big day

Move over, Hurricane Matthew. Hurricane Hord is here to party. Rock Hill natives Tyler Hord and Samantha Berinsky will hold their wedding Saturday evening at the City Club in on E. Main St. after being forced to evacuate Charleston earlier this week. Thanks to the kindness of a high school reunion, they were able to use the space at very short notice.

The incoming hurricane, expected to be a Category 4 storm when it makes landfall in Florida, nearly ruined what was meant to be a ceremony two years in the making on the South Carolina coast. Read more…


Gestures of the Week October 8 - 14 BullyingBusinessman spreads anti-bullying campaign by lecturing at schools

Restaurateur John Wong said he has seen bullying on both ends. As a kid growing up in Hammond, he “got picked on” and “I was on the other side too, which I wasn’t proud of,” he said during the lunch hour at Cate Street Seafood Station on Tuesday. With the United Against Bullying campaign, he hopes to turn bullying from a common occurrence in the school yard to a thing of the past. Read more…


Gestures of the Week October 8 - 14 CleatsBrandon Marshall donates game-worn cleats to Williams’ charity

The game was over, the New York Jets were staring at an ugly 1-4 hole and receiver Brandon Marshall stayed on the field, surveying the mass of bumblebee-striped uniforms. Finally finding the one topped by the pink-tipped braids, he broke into a grin. And took off his shoes. Right there, in the center of Heinz Field.

As the NFL opens its 8th annual Breast Cancer Awareness October, Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams remains the face of the initiative. He’s lost his mother and four aunts to the disease, he is the player the NFL again asked to film a PSA exhorting football fans to help the women in their lives create time for mammograms and he is the man Marshall handed his sweaty, grass-covered pink cleats to. Read more…


Gestures of the Week October 8 - 14 ChoirChoir director dies just minutes after students serenade her at home

Students at Alvin Junior High School in Texas serenaded their long-time choir director just minutes before she passed away.

Mariana Walker had left the school and entered hospice as her battle with cancer progressed. The students decided it would be a good idea to visit her and let her know how much she meant to them. More than a dozen of them traveled to her house to sing to her in a heartwarming gesture captured on video. Read more…


Gestures of the Week October 8 - 14 FootballDeAngelo Williams’s Loving Gesture Towards Cancer Survivors

During today’s pre-game warmups before taking on the NY Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Shows us yet again how much he cares about women who are battling through breast cancer or who have beaten breast cancer.

Ever since DeAngelo’s mom lost her battle to breast cancer, DeAngelo Williams continues to go out of his way to show support for the women out there going through tough battles. Read more…


Gestures of the Week October 8 - 14 BundyDave Bundy: Radiation, kindness both good medicine

I have never had abs of steel. If I had to liken my stomach muscles to something, it would have a consistency somewhere between firm Jell-O and fresh-from-the-can Play-Doh.

But I’m proud of my belly. It’s criss-crossed with scars from surviving Stage 4 colon cancer a dozen years ago. The biggest and baddest of them looks like a bite from a good sized shark in bad need of orthodontia. Read more…

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Top 5 Fundraisers for Fall School Fundraising

As fall school fundraising season picks up more and more momentum, it’s important that your institution maps out its fundraising plans. From product fundraisers to carnivals, there’s no shortage of options available.

That’s where the infographic below comes into play. To help you narrow down your decision, take a look at these 5 fundraising options that are designed specifically with schools in mind.

Then, once you’ve picked out your fundraising event of choice, make sure you have the technology to support your efforts.

Take a look at the list and share it with your friends and coworkers who are knee-deep in fall fundraising!

fall school fundraising infographic

Thanks to our friends at Booster for this helpful graphic. 

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Gestures of the Week (September 24 – 30)

A helping hand. A friendly smile. A round of applause at a charity event. Universal signs of support that have the power to change the world. Here are the Gestures of the Week August 27-September 2.

Want to suggest a Gesture of the Week? Post to our Facebook Page or tweet to us at @GestureTeam.

Gestures of the Week September 24 - 30 Police

Gift delivers smiles to officers

A San Diego woman put a smile on the faces of Stockton police officers Friday when she stopped by police headquarters to deliver hundreds of cards inscribed with heartwarming words of gratitude and support.

After learning of the difficulties officers in Stockton have faced in recent years, Keri Salem Hurley decided to visit the Stockton Police Department while driving from San Diego to Sacramento to visit her family. She was greeted by Deputy Chief Rick Salsedo, Public Information Officer Joe Silva and Senior Chaplain Jesse Kenyon. Read more…

 

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is more than just a motto.

People want to act on what’s important to them, to contribute to the success of something that matters. But often the business of charity interferes with the experience of giving. Since 2011, we’ve partnered with organizations to capture each helping hand, each friendly smile, and each round of applause by turning inspiration into action.

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