A smart, easy way to double your donation

A $4000 donation to Heart House via GiveRealty.

A $4000 donation to Heart House via GiveRealty.

This is genius.

We’re obviously fans of GiveRealty‘s business model; the real estate broker donates 25 percent of its commission to the charity of the seller/buyer’s choice, in their name. But using the new website RecognizeGood– also born and raised in Austin – GiveRealty was able to double that donation.

A recent home sale through GiveRealty resulted in a $4000 donation to Heart House, a free afterschool program that provides over 200 low-income and at-risk children in Austin with access to caring adult mentors, homework assistance, art enrichment, computer learning, health and safety education, and literacy programs.
Because the gift to Heart House was channeled through RecognizeGood, an Austin-based philanthropic website, and doubled through a matching gift program generously supported by RecognizeGood’s corporate sponsors TyRex Group and ABC Home and Commercial Services.
“The generosity of TyRex Group and ABC Home and Commercial Services significantly increased the impact of our donation to Heart House”, said Loew. “By providing a forum where Central Texans can recognize and reward acts of kindness, RecognizeGood is encouraging philanthropy in a very innovative way.”

All this from a home sale. Think about how many home sales there are in Austin. Think about a25 percent of all that real estate commission, double it, and picture that going to a local charity.

Thank goodness for Recognize Good, new Web site that lets you thank someone

See? I was just talking about this exact thing the other day: A public recognition site for volunteers. Except the RecognizeGood people have made a site with the potential for much more than that.

I’ve tried the site. First you register – name, city, etc – then you just fill out the thank you. You include the person’s email address so they can be informed about the thank you, and it’s otherwise totally obvious what to do.

You have the option to make a donation on the site, and that goes to the site’s hometown beneficiary, in this case Samaritan Counseling Center of Austin. But what’s cool about your donation is matched by the site’s corporate sponsor – and that part of the donation can go to one of 10 partner nonprofits. And the thank-you beneficiary gets to choose which one.

I spoke to Nancy Blaich of the Samaritan Counseling Center of Austin , founding beneficiary and lead nonprofit for the site, for a little more information.

Why this site now?
“I don’t think we say thank you enough. There are thousands of act of unselfishness that go unacknowledged, and we wanted to create a public forum for these thank-yous. We think that the stories of kindness and charity – all of our stories put together in one place have got tremendous power, the power to create a movement toward more kindness in the world, a cultural shift.”

How it started.
“In 2007, we gave our Ethics in Business Award to Tyrex Group. John Bosch, the principal an d co founder of Tyrex, at the same time he received this award from us, had some things occur in his personal life for which he received extraordinary acts of kindness. And he didn’t feel like thank you was enough. He wanted someplace public to tell the world what people had done for him. That inspiration combined with Samaritan Center honoring him inspired him to come to us as a business partner to develop this social media site.”

What you can do to help.
“Use the site, first of all. But also, help us spread the word! Take advantage of the Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Delicious, and other social media tools on the site to share it with friends.

“Our goal is to have 15,000 thank-yous. We also hope to take the site worldwide. Austin is just the first host city; our goal is to invite 500 other host cities, each with their own host nonprofit and then each of those sites will have their own nonprofit partners. We have 10 nonprofit partners… so if we can get thousands more nonprofits involved in this worldwide, that would be exciting.”
“We’re also looking for community reporters. These are people who will commit to finding five acts of kindness a week and reporting about them to us for the site and a future newsletter.” (If you’re interested in helping, contact Nancy at the Samaritan center.)

Check out RecognizeGood and let us know what you think.