Letter from our Founder & Executive Director and Board Chair
2015-16 was a great year...
The year 2016 was one of continued growth for Doing Good Together™ (DGT™), with more families and organizations than ever turning to us for resources on instilling children with kindness and civic engagement. And for good reason. The research is clear that putting a focus on compassion and service is critical to our children’s, and our planet’s, future. Here’s how we expanded.
- DGT was again recognized for its expertise in family giving. Executive Director Jenny Friedman was invited to present at the 2016 National Service Learning Conference; Sarah Aadland, who directs our Big-Hearted Families™ program, was asked to speak at a conference on storytelling hosted by the Minnesota Council on Nonprofits; and the Minneapolis Foundation asked DGT to contribute to its Family Philanthropy Resource Center website and newsletter.
- We continued to earn exposure through new partnerships. These included: Bright Horizons, a national child-care chain, which asked us to help develop a new social responsibility curriculum; the law firm Gray Plant Mooty, which asked us to organize its 150th-anniversary event at TCF Bank Stadium; and The Food Group, a regional food bank, which asked us to create programming to engage more families in the fight against hunger.
- DGT expanded its national reach by adding California’s Silicon Valley and Baltimore, Maryland to the locations where we offer a listing of family-friendly local volunteer opportunities. We now offer this free service in six U.S. cities.
- We added many more resources to our website, newsletter and blog to help families, schools, faith groups and more to practice kindness with children. These initiatives included an original curriculum to teach young children about food insecurity and how they can help; new tools to help families engage in social action; new information for parents on such topics as helping refugees, how not to raise cheaters, tips on embracing failure, the power of family chores, and how to raise an undaunted daughter. We also continued to provide our followers with new book lists that highlight social issues.
- Finally, DGT received a generous grant for a project in 2017 that could further refine our hallmark program for use as a kindness-raising tool by schools around the country. The Albert & Jane Nahmad Foundation has provided funding to pilot our Family Service Fairs in the Miami-Dade Public Schools, the fourth-largest district in the country. (We continued our efforts to attract similar funding for our “DGT–Head Start Project,” to enable us to create a sustainable model for how organizations serving low-income children can give families simple ways to practice kindness and give back to their communities.)
Last year again demonstrated that our world is filled with complex challenges, and that our times require thoughtfulness, generosity of spirit, and a hero’s grit. It is DGT’s belief that children who move into the world ready to make a difference will not only survive, but thrive. Such children represent the very best chance we have to heal our global family. Your support of our work helps prepare children to do just that.
We cannot thank you enough for your belief in our mission.
Jenny Friedman, Ph.D. Roy A. Ginsburg
Founder and Executive Director Board Chair
Family Volunteering in Review
As we continued to offer monthly listings of family volunteer opportunities from coast to coast, DGT™ enhanced those offerings with unique ready-to-print reflection sheets focused on issues such as homelessness, hunger, and environmental protection. In addition, we began offering sponsorship opportunities to those in the Twin Cities area.
Volunteer Opportunities in Cities Across the Nation
For years, Doing Good Together has operated "coast to coast" with volunteer opportunities available in Seattle, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, Boston, and New York City. In 2015-16, we added Baltimore and Silicon Valley to the list and gained an immediate following of fans and family subscribers. In addition, families can now follow DGT™ on Facebook in New York City, Silicon Valley, and (as of 2017) the Twin Cities.
DGT™ Introduces Sponsorships of Twin Cities Listings
With thousands of loyal subscribers to our Twin Cities Volunteer Opportunities listing, along with an impressive "open rate" from those families, we began a sponsorship opportunity in our first and largest market: the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota. Sponsoring companies could choose a quarterly or yearly sponsorship; we also offered discounted monthly rates for small businesses or nonprofit organizations. Want to learn more about our sponsorship program? Contact our Marketing Director today!
New Reflection Activities on
Big-Hearted Volunteering Topics
DGT has always emphasized the critical importance of reflection: the practice of pondering, discussing, and gaining new insights into a subject matter or experience. Our resources offer families the opportunity to delve deeper into big-hearted discussions with their children in age-appropriate ways. New to this list of resources: eight reflection pages with activities, discussion questions, and book recommendations on a variety of topics, such as Helping the Hungry, Caring for Animals, and Helping the Elderly. In addition, DGT offers an overview reflection sheet with tips on how to make any family volunteering experience more meaningful.
Family Service Fair Program
The past year of 2015-16 was one of exciting growth and expansion for the DGT™ Family Service Fair program. We had the opportunity to partner with several new schools, faith groups, social agencies, and businesses to introduce their communities to fun, family-friendly collective giving. We were also busy establishing partnerships with new social agencies, allowing us to support their critical work for people and animals in need through the power of family service.
DGT™ Family Service Fairs have a a positive impact on participants
Parents who attended DGT™ Family Service Fairs and completed post-event evaluations gave the event rave reviews: 94% felt that the event would have an impact on their family, while 72% felt that their family would start or increase their community engagement and/or family giving. Of the children surveyed, 78% claimed the event made them feel that they wanted to do more to help others. Overall, 98% of adults and children rated their DGT Family Service Fair experience as "Great."
DGT™ Family Service Fair Manual gives groups DIY hosting option
Our do-it-yourself DGT™ Family Service Fair manual continued to be a popular tool for school and faith groups wishing to bring the event to their community. The online toolkit features a host of documents and templates which make it easy for groups of all sizes and demographics to independently host their own DGT Family Service Fair and inspire their communities to establish a habit of giving.
DGT experiences growth through unique partnerships
In the summer of 2016 Doing Good Together organized a DGT™ Family Service Fair for the Minnehaha Mile shopping district community in south Minneapolis. The Minnehaha Mile businesses promote a lifestyle of material reuse and "upcycling." In this spirit, supplies for the service projects featured at the participating stores were all inspired by their excess inventory. One example: visitors created placemats for Meals on Wheels out of discarded wine corks!
Big-Hearted Families™ Program in Review
Fiscal year 2015-16 was a year of growth and responsive messaging to a growing number of big-hearted families. Groundwork laid in previous years allowed us to reach a broader audience with more of the tools and resources they love. With more visitors to our website, more resources, and more members than ever, this program has generated ripples of kindness in communities across the country!
New Big-Hearted Blog Posts & Unique Service Projects
New projects offer opportunities for more families to find an activity that best suits them. Popular projects from 2015-2016 include opportunities to Create a DIY Kindness Journal; Give an Award; and Celebrate Patriotism with A Craft, A Book, and An Act of Kindness.
Growing Lists of Recommended Picture & Chapter Books
We've added a dozen new book lists, and extended all of our existing lists, in an effort to connect families with everyday reflection opportunities.
In response to member requests, we grew our chapter book collections including frequently-visited lists about hunger and poverty in America, bullying and bystanders, and social justice movements. We've also created new picture book collections around the issues of bullying, emotional awareness, and environmental action.
New Benefits for Our Membership Circle Families
We enhanced our membership circle in preparation to expand its numbers in the 2016-2017 fiscal year. New, exclusive download options are added every few months, including extensive tool kits around the issues of bullying and nature appreciation.
In a recent survey, members responded overwhelmingly that they find our exclusive resources to be of enormous value and would highly recommend this program to their friends. In the coming year, we plan to leverage these popular tools to expand the circle.
DGT™ Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2015-16
Public Support & Revenue
Total Public Support and Revenue
Number of Donations - 269
Management and General
Sarah and Joe Aadland
Diana and Tad Allard
Kristi and Steve Anderson Hermann
Barb and John Anderson
Bruce and Linnea Anderson
Julie and Duke Bascom
Joan Bechtold and Brian Balleria
Michael Birdman and Marissa Gautsch
Joan and Bob Bonello
Ann Tobin and David Booth
Jane Booth-Tobin and Kendra Terry
Shala and Dean Buckner
Carrie and Steve Champeau
Joe Chrastil and Jean Ingebritsen
Rocky Chrastil and Jenny Friedman
Common Ground Meditation Center
Jeff and Susan Dee
Connie and Carl Dellmuth
Gwen and Chuck Denninger
Jim Dorsey and Dee Gaeddert
Cara Feldberg and Phil Bennatyne
Laura Friedman and Dan Picus
Roy Ginsburg and Anne Damon
GRAM Charitable Foundation
Karen and David Grandstand
Gray Plant Mooty Foundation
Bonnie and Clayton Halverson
Michael Henley and Randi Yoder
Susan Hopp and Karl Schweikart
Jim and Yvonne Sexton Family Foundation
Ronald and Eva Kinney Family Foundation
Tom Klein and Kip Palmer
John and Linda Klein
Lorna Landvik and Charles Gabrielson
Anne and Paul Laux
Laurie and David Levi
Diane Lindquist and Jeff Huggett
Marie Lopez del Puerto
James and Makenzie McCormick
Brian McDermott and Sue Schwartz
Joyce and Richard McFarland
Michael and Patricia McFarlane
Midtown Global Market
Katie and Mike Mortenson
Mary Divine Myers
Albert H & Jane D Nahmad Foundation Inc
Becky and Alex Nahvi
Dave and Pat Noren
Jane and Bob Oberrender
Jane and Douglas Oyen
Allison and Brian Peterson
Jamie Lyn Reinschmidt
Eugene and Jolene Roehlkepartain
Nassim and Federico Rossi
Rebecca Sanders Lindquist
Jay Seshadri and Maryellen Coughlan
Mark Shepard and Chris Soutter
Barbara Shimshock and Mark Miller
Jennifer and Daniel Spiller
Sarah Steefel and Jim Moore
Cheryl and Chris Steinhoff
John and Heather Sterner
Harry and Sue Summitt
John and Alice Sylvestre
Anne and Tom Ulseth
United Health Group
Karla Valusek Strom
Rebecca and Chris van Bergen
Westwood Professional Services
Sarah and David Wright Walstrom
Mike and Missy Young
45 Degrees Minneapolis
Susan Hopp and Karl Schweikart
Marla J. Kinney
2015-16 Board Members