Two NYC Indie Theaters Discover Giving Assistant

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Two long-running NYC nonprofit theaters — Rising Sun Performance Company and Boomerang Theatre Company — are embracing an innovative revenue stream that will improve their operations in a dramatic way, artistically and financially. Called Giving Assistant, it’s a way for trustees, benefactors and audiences to support their favorite performing arts groups by linking their support to everyday online purchases.

Giving Assistant is a free digital loyalty program. Consumers of online products and services — the whole world of items that a person might buy through the Web — are offered helpful discounts and cash-back opportunities. The purchaser can then steer the cash back to their favorite nonprofit charity, such as those in the performing arts. For dynamic but nevertheless small-budget theaters in the NYC area, Giving Assistant means not having to ask people to dig deep into their pockets yet one more time. Instead, they can ask their supporters simply to remember them when they make their regular online purchases.

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Giving Assistant
Elizabeth Burke

Elizabeth Burke, a longtime CFR contributor and an affiliated actor with Rising Sun since its founding in 2001, shops online often due to her busy schedule. Recently, she tried Giving Assistant herself before telling anyone else in the company about it. “Giving Assistant let me buy a great book that I wanted, and then, with the cash back, I donated it directly to Rising Sun. The site was so user-friendly. Now, having used this service, I am recommending it directly to our audiences to help keep our theater alive.”

Like Burke, the CFR also gave Giving Assistant a whirl back in July, and the process was indeed very easy. On the homepage, click Join Now to create your account, then do a search for where you plan to shop. These aren’t out-of-the-ordinary purchases — you’ll find many discounts for brands you already know, such as Ralph Lauren (7% off) and Macy’s (6% off). Retailers affiliated with Giving Assistant literally offer hundreds of coupon codes, with more appearing all the time. Just today, as we write this article, Bed Bath and Beyond lists 27 different coupon deals for users of Giving Assistant — and 10% cash back on purchases. That level of cash-back adds up very quickly.

In total, Giving Assistant provides consumers with access to more than 1,600 major retailers. Each online purchase made through the site generates, on average, 5% cash back — which happens to be 100% of the commission that the service receives from the retailer for linking to their site. When do consumers receive the cash back? Not in months like some programs but days — and directly into the user’s PayPal account.

Giving Assistant
Tim Errickson

“Yes, I found Giving Assistant easy to use,” added Tim Errickson, who founded Boomerang Theatre Company in 1999 and is a well-established and acclaimed NYC director. “But what really made the difference for me is that the money arrives quickly. Plus there are the many vendors to choose from, and the cash-back percentages can make a real difference for nonprofit organizations like mine.”

Burke and Errickson noted how there’s no downside for consumers to join Giving Assistant, since the service is free to use. And shoppers, of course, have every motivation to support the arts groups they love. Imagine what would happen if hundreds or even thousands of ticket-buyers all across the US made all the same purchases online as they do right now and donated their cash back to their favorite performing arts group?

We invite you to set up your free account today — Giving Assistant actually gives you $5 just to join. When you’re ready to make an online purchase, hop on line, use the service, and then use your cash back to back your favorite arts nonprofit. Your wallet will thank you. The arts will, too.

This post is sponsored by Giving Assistant.