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Global Connections: GOOD ST

By Abbie, Director of Communications

Here at Because International we are fortunate enough to know and work with incredible individuals, organizations, and companies that we believe encapsulate the mission of practical compassion. We are humbled by these people every day, and are honored to highlight their works.   We were introduced to Good Street when Talia reached out and selected Because International as one of their daily giving options. Good St’s mission is easy: You can change the world with just 25 cents.

Simple enough, right? Want to learn more?

We are truly impressed with Good St, and excited to have the opportunity to speak with its cofounder, Jeff Dobrinsky! See our conversation below:

When was GOOD St. founded?
I started Good St with three friends in August 2013, while we were each still in college. Prior to launching Good St, we all had varying involvement with nonprofits through management, volunteering, and fundraising.

How did it all begin?
One day in mid-August, my friend and cofounder, Joe, came to me with the idea of creating a community committed to spreading kindness & change through small acts of good. Previously, Joe ran crowdsourced fundraising campaigns for celebrities and different college groups. After doing enough of them and seeing how people engaged with the campaigns, we were amazed at the amount of impact we can make on different causes & organizations when many individuals each contribute a small amount. We were bought in to the idea that as a community we can create a real difference when we combine our efforts, and wanted to think of a way to harness that power amongst kids our age who weren’t typically that involved in philanthropic activities. We got moving fast: the same night that Joe came over, we nailed down the general idea for Good St: A daily email that highlights a cause of the day and two charities addressing that cause in a different way. People sign up to give 25¢, 50¢, or $1 a day to charity, and every morning simply click in the email to direct their daily amount to one of the two featured charities. The initial concept served as a way for kids like us to get together, learn about all the different types of causes that exist, and create a habit around small acts of giving-back. By 2am that night, we built the site and the basics needed for the platform to function. We started getting friends and family signed up (those who were awake 😉 ) and the next day sent out our first daily email, where we donated $3.50 to support victims of a recent tornado that hit Oklahoma City. Fast forward three years and those individual 25¢ daily contributions have amounted to over $105,000 supporting 1,700+ worthy organizations.

What's the main mission of GOOD St.?
Our mission is to make giving an easy and meaningful part of every day.  Since launching, Good St has become an educational tool for individuals to learn about different causes and charities, and has served as a way for people to integrate small acts of kindness into their day. We hope that the small act of giving every morning sets a positive and thoughtful tone for the rest of the day.

Are you a for-profit or not-for-profit organization?
Good St is a nonprofit organization. Our EIN number is 47-1246504

Is there anything new you're currently working on?
At Good St, we are very member-focused. We pay particularly close attention to creating the best experience for our members. The impact and change that we facilitate drives our daily actions. In order to increase transparency to Streeters about the ways they are tangibly making difference, we are working on an initiative that will help Streeters see how their money is being used by the organizations they have supported in the past & how much money they are personally responsible for through referrals. So let’s say Jim signs up to give 25¢ a day but then refers 5 other people to Good St, in actuality he is responsible for $1.50 being donated daily. We are also working on creating an ambassador program to spread the amount of good we do. Feel free to reach out to learn more about that!

What's your favorite story (at GOOD St.) to date?
Reading notes from individuals on the unique ways they interact with Good St is a big treat for me. We’ve had startups and small companies utilize Good Street as a CSR tool in a box, where they sponsor all of their employees to receive and donate through the daily email. Teachers have shared that they use the email in their high school classroom to engage students in giving-back; presenting the email at the start of each class and then collectively discussing the cause of the day and how the featured charities are addressing the cause differently. Parents even reach out to sign their children up as a way for them to embody the giving mentality from a young age. While Good St started primarily as a solution to an opportunity we saw with kids our age, it's been truly amazing to see the diversity in how it has been adopted by different groups of people.

You truly encapsulate the term ‘community,’ is there anything you’d like supporters to know about your team?
Our team is made up of amazingly driven student volunteers, who spend countless hours making sure the charities that we support are all sound organizations using our donations in the best way to further their missions. From researching causes to vetting charities and creating content, a lot goes into preparing the daily emails. Without our dedicated team, we wouldn’t be able to facilitate the breadth of impact we are able to make as a community.

How do you choose which organizations to feature?
Where would you like your largest impact to go? From the great organizations that pass our robust vetting process, we end up featuring a selection of those charities if they either address a current or relevant issue that we can bring to Streeters, or if it is part of a broader cause that hasn’t been featured to Streeters within the year. So when a natural disaster hits, we’ll seek out and vet charities that are providing relief to the area, or during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month we’ll look for charities providing support for survivors. The key for the research team is to align the charitable impact in a tangible and meaningful experience that keeps donors continuously engaged, educated, and empowered.

What’s been the most rewarding giving experience?
Hmm, that’s a tough one to choose. The cool thing about habitual giving is that there is neat giving experience every day. Every donation leads to a tangible impact on the mission of our featured charities. One particular impact story that stands out in my mind is when we recently supported a small nonprofit called The Lunch Project, that offers educational initiatives and supports lunch programs for schools in Tanzania. By featuring them in a daily email we were able to provide over 800 lunches for Tanzanian students in need. It’s rewarding on both sides of the equation, as Streeters feel connected and empowered when they can see the tangible difference they are making in other people’s lives.

If you could grab a coffee with anyone in the philanthropic world, who would it be?
There are tons of amazing individuals in the social enterprise space that I would benefit a lot from having a conversation with. If I were to pick one person, that would be Bob Wright, the founder of Autism Speaks. After watching his interviews, I believe i’d learn a ton from a short amount of time with him. The gentleness and passion in his voice along with his deeply rational and business-minded understanding of how to run an organization would be extremely valuable to me as we currently work to grow Good St into a successful movement.

Where would you like GOOD St to be in the next 10 years?
The great thing about Good St is that our success is very linear. In the next 10 years i’d like to see us supporting a large enough community to create noticeable impact on a daily basis. I foresee the day when we are directing tens of thousands of dollars to charities every single day - when we can buy hospital equipment and build schools in developing regions all in a day’s effort. Good St is a movement of integrating giving-back into our daily lives. Just as I hope that one day we can make an incredible difference in the mission of the charities we support, I also hope that we can act as a message for individuals to approach every moment of the day with a kind and giving mindset. In my mind, that’s the key to living a happy and healthy life.

How can people get involved?
You can learn more and join at goodst.org. We’re a month to month subscription service, so getting involved is as simple as choosing a daily plan: whether it’s giving 25¢, 50¢ or $1per day to charity. Then simply start donating! Once you sign up you’ll being receiving the emails so you can donate to a different charity every day, and watch how your small change makes a difference alongside the greater Good St. community! Interested in volunteering? Please get in touch with me at jeff@goodst.org. Keep Doing Good!

Ready to sign up for Good Street and commit 25 cents per day?
Use the referral code 'BecauseforGood' at GoodSt!

Practical Compassion 

the small things that make a BIG difference