Who Benefits from Benefit Nights?

You may have seen our tweets, posts, etc. about our “Benefit Shopping Nights,” but have these left you wondering what exactly is a “Benefit Shopping Night”? And just who “benefits”? As we will be having Benefit Shopping Nights all this week leading up to our 4th Annual International Women’s Day Awards Ceremony on Friday, we thought this might be a good time to clear up how Benefit Nights work, while also featuring the non-profits we will be supporting throughout the week.

So, first things first: What are Benefit Shopping Nights and why should you be excited about them? For a Benefit Shopping Night, Ten Thousand Villages of Austin selects a local non-profit partner interested in raising some money and spreading the word about its mission. After setting a date, we both work to promote the event; at the end of the night the nonprofit partner takes home a percentage of store sales. However, while Benefit Shopping Nights are opportunities for local non-profits to do some fundraising, they are also opportunities for you, our customer, to learn about, connect with and support these non-profits. Well, AND to do some shopping at Ten Thousand Villages. 😉

Now to answer the question of who benefits. We already know that the non-profits benefit at the end of the night by taking home some money, so this section will explain to you what the non-profits that will be here this week do with their money.

Monday, March 5: Austin Community Foundation & GivingCity Austin

GivingCity Austin is a magazine all about doing good here in the great city of Austin. As stated on its homepage, GivingCity “offers actionable community content with the goal of connecting more Central Texans to philanthropy and improving communication and collaboration across the community.” This effort has seen tremendous growth since its initiation in 2007 by Monica Maldonado Williams (who, BTW, is a judge in our 2012 International Women’s Day Awards) and Torquil Dewar, starting as as a blog and side project for Williams and transforming into a magazine that is distributed to almost 8,000 people via email and about 3,000 print readers in Austin and beyond.

GivingCity Austin is now a project of Austin Community Foundation (ACF), the non-profit for which Williams is Communications Director. ACF’s mission, according to its website, is to promote “philanthropy in Central Texas to improve the quality of life for all, for today and for the future.” ACF lives out this mission by working with Austinites with philanthropic goals in making funds.

Tuesday, March 6: Well Aware

On Tuesday, come out and support the Austin-based non-profit Well Aware, which provides life-saving water for those who have none. Founded in 2006 by Sarah Evans (who was nominated for an International Women’s Day Award this year!), Well Aware has installed 8 clean drinking water systems in rural Kenya, improving the lives of 45,000 people! As stated on its blog, “We are well aware that our responsibility to the communities in which we work goes far beyond the drilling of a hole. Over 60% of existing water wells in Kenya are currently not working due to NGO neglect. Our project planning and budgeting includes lifetime technical support, community oversight and development consultation.” Well Aware’s biggest fundraiser is its annual Shower Strike, which has been moved from hot-hot-hot July to April 22-29 this year. Shoppers can sign up to participate in the Shower Strike or make donations during this Benefit Shopping Night.

Wednesday, March 7: Austin Humane Society

Formed in 1952, the Austin Humane Society (AHS) is “Austin’s largest, longest-standing no-kill, nonprofit animal shelter,” according to its website. AHS works to promote the well-being and is dedicated to eliminating unnecessary euthanasia of dogs and cats.  Some of its primary initiatives include:

  • Innovative, life-saving adoption programs
  • High-volume spay and neuter programs
  • Engaging the community to be part of the solution
  • Serving animals and people in times of crisis

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’ve asked AHS to focus the money it earns during this Benefit Shopping Night on getting lady kitties and puppies spayed! 🙂

International Women’s Day – Thursday, March 8: Austin Wildcats

The purpose of this Benefit Shopping Night is to raise money and awareness for the Austin Wildcats‘ 2nd annual Tournament for Hope (March 31-April 1, 2012), a two-day, all girls basketball tournament in which 100% of proceeds go to benefit Austin’s first facility dedicated to breast cancer treatment. More than 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life, and The Austin Wildcats is raising money for construction of The Seton Breast Cancer Center. Shoppers at this Benefit Night can purchase tickets for the Tournament for Hope.

So, as you can see, lots of people stand to benefit from your contribution through shopping during a Benefit Night!  So come on down and support a group you feel passionate about, or spread out your shopping and support all the groups!  Hope to see you soon 🙂