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Party planning tips. Dress swaps. The latest trends. How-to guides. Social event calendars. No, I'm not describing the highlights from my favorite glossy magazine-turned-blog; I'm talking about Vivanista, the go-to community for philanthropic living and giving. The planning tips are for fundraising parties, the dress swaps and social calendars are for charity benefit galas and events, the latest trends are those in philanthropy, and the how-to guides answer everything from how to run a successful fundraiser to how to manage volunteers.
Vivanista's mix of online community, blog, how-to templates and resources helps enable passionate and philanthropic-minded individuals to be champions for their causes. By providing tools and tips, all while encouraging an emphasis on putting the FUN in FUNdraising, Vivanista helps channel its audience's passion and inspiration into effective action.
From sharing dresses to sharing resources
Launching a year ago, Vivanista's founder and CEO Layne Gray saw a need for volunteers to have a place to share tips and resources,
“As an active charity event volunteer, I looked for a place volunteers were sharing best practices and couldn’t find any. With over 90% of women across the country volunteering their time and energy to some sort of charity – whether it be their alma mater or their child’s preschool or a museum, the only way to gain expertise has been to chat with those who have gone before them. So I started Vivanista to provide the tools for women to learn from each other in fundraising and the topics that complement the philanthropic lifestyle in a broader, virtual community – beyond our local geographic constraints."
Another catalyst for starting the Vivanista community was Gray's observation that many women were spending more money on purchasing new gowns for charity galas and fundraisers than what was actually being donated to the nonprofit beneficiaries. So she created VivaSwap where women can exchange dresses and gowns, and donate the money they would have spent on a new dress to charity!
Making Fundraising FUN
Co-founder Annie Vranizan describes Vivanista as "a combination of The Economist and People magazine, where people can read smart articles that they can learn from and be challenged by, but still have fun." That combination of content is obvious as one can find articles and blog posts on everything from nonprofit management and fundraising to style and beauty tips.
One of the best examples of this blend of fun and philanthropy is Parties for a Purpose, which are simple social events that raise awareness and funds for a particular cause. Currently, a video contest for Parties for a Purpose is underway, where participants are encouraged to submit a 90-second video, sharing their best party idea whether it's a karaoke jam or a pet fashion show. Submissions are being accepted until December 31, and then the public will be able to vote until January 15 on the top ten videos and select the one they'd be most likely to attend. The winning party idea receives $1,000! For more details on how to enter, go here.
The Parties for a Purpose contest and the upcoming Viva Impact Tour both exemplify Vivanista's emphasis on sharing best practices. The Impact Tour, making stops in Atlanta, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, will give attendees the chance to learn how to be more effective fundraisers from national and local experts, while also offering peer networking opportunities. Go here to learn more and register.
Since the Case Foundation is always excited to find ways to make philanthropy more accessible and to make giving more efficient and effective, we'll be featuring articles and posts from Vivanista on our blog in the months ahead. Check back to read the great content coming from the Vivanista community, and be sure to take a look at all the helpful resources on the Vivanista site.