Monday, March 15, 2010
iStockphoto Launches User-Directed Donation Platform with Canadian Start-up Benevity, Pledging up to $500,000 in Corporate Matching
CALGARY, Alberta -- iStockphoto has partnered with fellow Calgary-based company, Benevity Social Ventures, Inc. (www.benevity.org) on a phased program to enable iStock clients, contributors and employees to easily make microdonations to the charities of their choice from within the iStockphoto.com site.
This innovative philanthropic initiative will be implemented in several phases over the coming months, beginning with iStock making a charitable donation on every purchase of select credit packs, up to a total of $500,000 in 2010. Subsequent plans include enabling artists to contribute royalties to their chosen charities, providing clients with the ability to add a “top-up” donation to any purchase, and delivering a unique workplace giving program for employees. iStock expects to partner with strategic sponsors to match donations as the program advances. Once implemented, iStock stakeholders will be able to contribute in a variety of ways, to more than 750,000 charities across North America. Canadian and American donors are eligible to receive a tax receipt for all donations made by them.
iStock asks members to vote today to determine the short list of charities to feature as phase one of the program takes shape. Voting will close on March 20, 2010, with the iStock charitable donation beginning in April.
Enabling socially responsible business, Benevity helps businesses of all kinds to build optional, user-directed charitable giving into their online interactions with customers, employees and other stakeholders, aligning their philanthropic strategy with their business activities while increasing user engagement, brand affinity and loyalty. The Benevity platform is unique in the social giving world, seeking to leverage the tremendous power of aggregation and microdonation. Benevity’s web services software integrates easily into other applications, allowing Benevity to be the trusted “back-end” platform for any initiative that includes charitable giving as part of its goal.
“Our vision is that soon, giving back to the community or cause of your choice will be as easy and prevalent as leaving a tip at a restaurant,” said Bryan de Lottinville, CEO of Benevity.org. “iStock’s decision to embed a user-empowered giving platform into its very DNA is a testament to the continued challenging of the status quo that has made iStock great. The iStock community is millions strong, and pays out $1.6 million in artist royalties weekly. If even a small percentage of that is donated, it could mean millions going to non-profits proving the power of a new grassroots paradigm in charitable giving.”
iStockphoto offers easy, affordable inspiration with millions of vetted, royalty-free photos, illustrations, video, audio and Flash® files. Using the most advanced search in the business, customers download a file every second from a collection of more than six million files for business, marketing and personal projects. iStockphoto started in 2000, pioneering the micropayment photography business model, and has become one of the most successful and profitable user-generated content sites in the world. iStockphoto pays out more than $1.6 million weekly in artist royalties. iStockphoto is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Getty Images.
Benevity’s microdonation software is the engine for socially responsible businesses to engage their customers, employees and corporate partners in optional charitable giving. Benevity lets companies embed user-directed, tax receiptable donations and corporate matching programs into their existing transaction environments, using their own brands and systems. Benevity’s platform helps companies build authentic and impactful cause marketing, workplace giving and other social responsibility initiatives that increase engagement, brand differentiation and return on social and community investment. To find out more or to request a demo, visit us at www.benevity.org or view our short video at www.benevity.org/Goodness3.0.