For more than ten years, nonprofit Family Giving Tree has been making children’s wishes come true. Working with more than 250 Bay Area social service agencies, Family Giving Tree gathers the names and wishes of children from low income families throughout the region. A wish card is then created for each child, detailing his or her age, gender, first name and gift wish. These cards are distributed to participating companies. This year, for the first time, Family Giving Tree’s holiday wish cards will be hosted on eBay.
A cross-functional team came together to bring this project to life in six short weeks. The genesis for the idea came from Kim Thai, eBay Manager of Internet Marketing, who realized that the eBay platform could support the needs of nonprofit social service agencies. “I know a lot of people who are hesitant to make cash donations,” she said. “They want to know that their dollars are going directly to those in need. It occurred to me that eBay’s platform could help extend the reach of nonprofit organizations, such as foster care agencies or homeless shelters, by facilitating in-kind donations of basic essentials and more.”
Kim approached the Family Giving Tree, who agreed to co-pilot the project, which came together thanks to successful collaboration among eBay staff from marketing, social innovation, top seller account management, the checkout and cart teams, eBay Giving Works and the eBay Foundation.
The online experience mimics the Family Giving Tree’s offline wish cards, but eliminates the time and hassle of shopping in stores during the busy holiday season. Through the Giving Tree, users can select recipients by gender, age and price. Users then click the ornaments on the Christmas tree to view wish cards. Check-out is fast and easy, with items shipped directly to the Family Giving Tree for distribution to partner agencies. Once a gift is purchased, a user can ‘pay it forward’ by sharing their generosity with friends on Facebook, passing along the inspiration that it’s better to give than to receive.
Though this year the program is just a pilot, bringing the wish card system online is helping the Family Giving Tree move one step closer to scaling up their organization. Still in the early stages of national expansion, the Giving Tree plans to establish more partnerships with social service agencies throughout the country. Being featured on eBay will help them gain access to a broader network of donors.
If you haven’t picked up a wish card yet, consider making your choice online this year at www.ebay.com/thegivingtree. The page will be up through December 25th, but order now to ensure your gift gets delivered by Christmas. Your gift will not only fulfill a child’s wish, but will support eBay’s mission to make a positive difference in the world.
View the next holiday press release.