Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tēvolution Partners Up

On Monday, I introduced you to Tēvolution, a beverage company that donates one quarter of each iced tea sale, letting the consumer "track the impact" of the contribution via a personalized dashboard on their website. As you'll also notice on their site, the Tēvolution team keeps their nonprofit partners front and center.

I recently asked Tēvolution co-founder Ian Simpson about the selection process he and partner Gerard Artavia used in choosing recipient organizations. He was quick to credit Tēvolution's strategic adviser for nonprofit relations, Lisa O'Brien, who helped design the nonprofit strategy and establish key early relationships with nonprofits.

They built their donation structure around a three-tiered model of "Food & Shelter," "Education" and "Health & Wellness." Says Simpson, "We arrived at those categories because they were the ones that meant the most to us. We wanted to go with strong, growing nonprofits with a national footprint but local impact. We were looking for partners with causes we got excited about, and that were looking to grow as we grew."

Having just launched earlier this year, Tēvolution is currently working with four organizations. First, they have partnered with Jumpstart, a national organization dedicated to early-childhood education, which trains volunteers and students to tutor and mentor children in low-income communities. Also, there's Project Night Night, which provides emotional support to homeless families by delivering "childhood essentials" like books, toys and blankets to homeless children, as well as Bear Necessities, a pediatric cancer foundation that offers an array of support services and financial grants to families of seriously ill children. Finally, there is the National Brain Tumor Society, one of the nation's leading research and patient services organizations, supporting victims of brain cancer and their families.

As Ian Simpson recently told me, Tēvolution this week made its very first round of donations to each of these four organizations, these contributions being for Q1 2011. Now he and his partners are looking forward to seeing those numbers grow in the coming months. Think on that as you twist the cap.

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