Apr. 7, 2015 11:30 am

How Philly Gives Aims to Help Nonprofits Tell Their Stories

The communications-focused for-profit will offer membership-based public relations training


A new for-profit initiative, Philly Gives, is seeking to be a central source of information about the Philadelphia-area nonprofit scene. The startup launched in March and is based at the coworking space Benjamin’s Desk.

“The heart of Philly Gives is getting people aware of what’s going on,” said Katie Everett, the founder of Philly Gives and the social impact director at Benjamin’s Desk.

The communications-focused Philly Gives is also a platform to help nonprofits tell their stories — and tell them more effectively.

Instead of hiring a public relations firm, whose fees can range from $1,000 to $6,000 per month, according to Everett, nonprofits can participate in the startup’s “public relations support group.”

Beginning in May, the membership-based group will bring in a range of experts to teach monthly courses in marketing and public relations. Topics will include “Marketing to Millennials” and “Free & Cheap Ways to Grow Your Online Presence,” among others. Organizations can join for $100 a month.

By teaching nonprofits to assess and manage their own public relations, “we’re actually offering a permanent solution,” Everett said, adding that she met with approximately 80 local organizations to discern their communications needs prior to launching Philly Gives.

Along with guidance, Philly Gives compiles a social impact calendar for nonprofit fundraisers and charitable events. Entries can be submitted through its website.

The purpose of the calendar, Everett explained, is to let the public know what’s happening in the nonprofit community in a simple and centralized way. Each entry has its own webpage to encourage social sharing.

“We were meeting young professionals and retirees and people who had incredible passions to get involved but they had no idea where to start or how to look,” she said.

Next month, Philly Gives will convene a discussion with area nonprofits to ensure that its work is aligned with their needs and goals.

“I want to make sure that this isn’t just something we’re doing because it’s a cool idea,” Everett said.

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