Charitytube started at the Harvard Faculty Club in 2011 as a group of alumni from the Harvard Law School, Harvard School of Education, Harvard Business School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government had a brainstorming session about a better, easier way for Harvard alumni to find their dream charities to which to donate--and to make this process fun and enjoyable.
Out of these discussions at the Harvard Faculty Club grew CharityTube, a potentially revolutionary concept of allowing Harvard alumni to "CharityShop" by viewing videos of charities based on donor area of interest, selecting the desired dream charity, and making a donation online, directly to the selected charity.
CharityTube launched in the fourth quarter of 2012 as a "CharityShopping" web site for our 325,000 Harvard alumni (with a combined net worth of over $3 trillion, including 69 billionaires, 7,300 centimillionaires, and 78,000 multimillionaires--and don't forget the 23,000 CEO's who help direct corporate donations.).
CharityTube is a virtual organization with our staff located throughout the U.S., often working in their home offices. Our symbolic office is the Harvard Faculty Club, where we started and where we still meet on occasion, but CharityTube fits the mold of the typical virtual company that is so common today. And the virtual approach allows us to totally avoid the fixed "brick and mortar" overhead that would otherwise consume so much of our limited resources.
Note also that although CharityTube is comprised of Harvard alumni, we do not work with or coordinate our activities with the Harvard Alumni Association. The reason is that our entire purpose is to facilitate Harvard (and now other university) alumni to "CharityShop" to find their dream charity and make donations--and that dream charity may or may not be Harvard. Since the Harvard Alumni Association is dedicated to getting donations strictly for Harvard, and not the hundreds of other charities we feature on CharityTube, we felt it best to operate as a separate, independent organization from the Harvard Alumni Association and Harvard University. Our purpose is to increase donations to all of our listed charities, not just Harvard.
Although our beginning at the Harvard Faculty Club was a combined effort of many Harvard alumni, the driving force behind CharityTube is Ken Shellan who is our president and CEO. Ken (Harvard Law, J.D., 1980; Stanford Phi Beta Kappa, B.A., 1977) volunteers his time to teach a class on social entrepreneurship to Harvard undergraduate and graduate students, a topic about which Ken is very familiar as he has started twenty-three social entrepreneurial ventures since his graduation from Harvard Law.
Ken is former Chairman of the United Nations Internet Committee for NGOs/Nonprofits, with Ken coordinating UN activities with 10,000 NGOS/Nonprofits around the world--with a focus on helping the nonprofits increase their donations. This UN Chairmanship got Ken thinking about fundraising approaches for charities, and this eventually turned into CharityTube.
Ken also started an On-Demand TV network for Time Warner called "Democracy on Demand," allowing citizens to quickly and easily obtain voting information via the On-Demand TV network. (And the creation of this On-Demand TV network also got Ken thinking about creating an On-Demand TV Network for CharityTube, allowing millions of citizens to easily "CharityShop.")
CharityTube has proved so popular with our Harvard alumni that we have now expanded to more than 100 university alumni groups.
We Currently employ a three-pronged promotional program to get word out about CharityTube to university alumni:
Promotional Prong 1: targeted email to the biggest alumni charity donors
Our primary marketing tool to get word out to university Alumni about CharityTube is targeted email, with our sending 25,000 emails each month via our proprietary opt-in email lists to alumni who have been the biggest donors to charities over the past three years. Our proprietary email lists allows us to precisely target the biggest alumni donors and link them to CharityTube.
We plan to increase this targeted emailing to the biggest alumni donors in the near future to 100,000 emails per month.
Promotional Prong 2: alumni publication announcements and email newsletters
We also run announcements in Harvard publications and online inviting Harvard alumni to view our web site so as to find their Dream Charity. We also run these announcements in Harvard email newsletters sent to Harvard alumni.
We plan in the future to run monthly announcements in university alumni publications for each university for which we have created a custom CharityTube web site--as well as running the announcements in each university's email newsletters to their alumni.
Promotional Prong 3: Alumni Clubs & Shared Interest Groups
Each university has scores if not hundreds of alumni groups and clubs. Harvard, for example, has over 250 of these alumni groups and clubs. Our third promotional prong consists of emailing these clubs and groups, announcing CharityTube and the dedicated web site for their university, and encouraging them to share word of CharityTube with their alumni members.
On-Demand CharityTube TV Network:
Our ultimate goal is to setup for CharityTube the same type of TV network our CEO did for Time Warner with the Democracy on Demand TV Network. With enough charities enrolled with us (please join us!), we feel the cable TV networks as well as satellite networks will give us a chance to setup the CharityTube On-Demand TV Network, allowing millions of people to "CharityShop" from home, just as they do now with shopping channels, find their favorite charities, and make donations.
As you know, our core executive staff is all volunteer and we have dedicated ourselves to getting you more donations--hopefully big donations from wealthy alumni from our leading universities. We want donors to adopt your charity, making sizable donations each year, and also make you part of their testamentary plan.
We provide charities a free month on CharityTube so we can show you how easy it is to be listed, present your videos to university alumni, and show why you are the right choice for their donations. As you know, each charity is listed by topic, such as environment or animals or human rights, so alumni can easily select their topic of interest and begin screening for their dream charity.
After the first month, we charge charities only $3.33/day ($99/month) for their CharityTube listing. And you can terminate whenever you want if we don't meet your needs.