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Detroit launches campaign to connect nonprofits to volunteers and corporate support

Share Detroit is kicking off the volunteer campaign with an awareness and fundraising event on June 11 at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica. Ticket holders can attend a baseball game, eat it barbecue and meet the leaders of many nonprofit organizations on the Share Detroit platform.

In an approach reminiscent of the Detroit Auto Show’s Charity Preview model, guests will be able to designate one of the charities on the Share Detroit platform as the beneficiary of their ticket. A quarter of each $40 ticket will go to the charity of their choice.

“This is our first big event; hopefully it will be an annual event…that’s affordable, family-friendly and gives back to nonprofits all at the same time,” Phillips said.

Share Detroit was launched just over a year ago as a local subsidiary of Omaha, Neb-based Share Good.

Nonprofits of all sizes can set up a free page on the site to attract donations and volunteers, publicize fundraising events, and post wish lists of needed items for supporters to purchase on Amazon. .

Paul Vlasic, Founder of RSVP Ventures & Capital, Vlasic Group and Vlasic Family Foundation, and Founder and Chairman of Amplifinity; and Sam Rozenberg, founder and CEO of Keeping IT Strategic, founded the local subsidiary. They provided a combined $500,000 to adapt the platform for local use and fund the first two years of operating costs, which includes licensing fees paid to Share Good.

Share Detroit received between $60,000 and $85,000 in donations for member nonprofits in its first year, Phillips said.

“We’re focusing more on volunteering right now than on money, because it’s harder for nonprofits to find good volunteers. And we know that once someone is committed in a nonprofit, the money will follow,” she said.

More than 500 unique volunteers have signed up to give back through the site to date, Phillips said.

“In addition to that, our volunteer specialist works with businesses to … connect a nonprofit with a business for volunteer opportunities,” she said.

After forging its first employer partnership last fall with Wayne State University to market the platform’s volunteer opportunities to students and staff, Share Detroit is now working with DTE Energy Co. and Amazon.com Inc. to identify skill-based and group volunteer activities for their employees, Phillips said.

He is also working to connect 250 incoming student interns at United Wholesale Mortgage with volunteering at nonprofits in the Pontiac area and start discussions with UWM about using Share Detroit for employee volunteering. , Phillips also said.

Operating on an annual budget of $250,000 to $300,000, Share Detroit does the work to coordinate volunteerism for businesses and their employees, she said.

“We try to be a bit of a middleman…to make sure the volunteer activity matches the interests and needs of the companies,” Phillips said.