winwinner Wednesday: The King Street Center

The King Street Center is a nonprofit community organization in Burlington, VT that provides children and families with programs that build academic skills, physical fitness, and other skills necessary for a healthy and productive future.

The idea: To provide support for children and their families through educational and recreational programs. The center engages with families and the community to promote personal and social wellness. Their programs provide fun and enriching activities year round for children, teens and adults.

How it started: In 1971, a few dedicated parents and a group of volunteers from the University of Vermont started the program out of a van parked next to a laundromat and a budget of only $90. Much has changed since then, but the area remains a working class neighborhood with a high concentration of subsidized housing units and immigrant and refugee families. Today, the King Street Center serves over 500 children and families each year, offering an accredited preschool; after-school programs for K-5, middle and high school students; evening drop-in programs for teens; mentoring programs, and English language instruction (in partnership with Vermont Adult Learning).

The winwin: Children and teens receive the kind of academic and recreational programs they need to develop into healthy adults. Families are supported and actively engaged in the community. And volunteers get to have fun with kids and feel good about making a difference in the community.

How they used winwin apps: This year’s Burlington Clothes Exchange (which we wrote about in an earlier post) is benefitting the King Street Center. But the center itself is also holding a raffle as part of the event and offering some great prizes including a $500 yoga package and a one-year family gym membership. (Go pick up a few tickets now!) The Clothes Exchange and the King Street Center are both using winwin apps to manage this great initiative to raise funds for the center so they can continue doing their great work.

More info: To learn more about the King Street Center or to get involved, visit their website at kingstreetcenter.org. Also check out their blog and  become a fan on Facebook.


About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!

winwin Wednesday: The Institute for Sustainable Communities

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) works in communities around the world, giving passionate, committed people the tools and skills they need to inspire active citizenship, protect the environment, and take on climate change.

The idea: ISC was founded to help create economically, environmentally and socially healthy, resilient, sustainable communities. This effort takes a great deal of practical, integrated problem-solving and a long-term perspective. It is the belief of ISC that every community has the ability to find creative solutions to complex problems; ISC strives to help people realize this potential, building capacity and infrastructure and leaving a legacy of leadership and results.

Video: winwin apps' founder chats with ISC

How it started: In 1990, Vermont Governor Madeleine M. Kunin monitored the first democratic elections in Bulgaria. Inspired by the potential for change, Kunin and her policy advisor, George Hamilton, returned to Vermont with the commitment to help communities in the region address environmental, economic, and social challenges. A new organization was born: The Institute for Sustainable Communities.

ISC began with two projects in Bulgaria and Hungary, helping local governments work with citizens to identify environmental priorities, develop action plans, and implement cost-effective solutions to the communities’ most urgent environmental issues. To date, ISC has managed 74 projects in 22 countries, leaving behind strong community leaders, organizations and networks with the capacity to keep building upon ISC’s work.

The winwin: ISC promotes sustainability throughout the world – working with communities to create a better quality of life, healthier ecosystems, more effective governance, and better economic security.

In the meantime, ISC inspires local individuals, institutions and businesses to become involved in the continued success of their own communities.

Video: ISC talks about using winwin apps

How they used winwin apps: In November of 2009 ISC produced an extremely successful fundraising event in Williston, Vermont. “Wine & Swine” was a live and silent auction, as well as an evening of wine tasting from around the globe, and local and faux pork and desserts from local eateries.

ISC used winwin apps to register attendees, manage the auction, check-in and check-out guests, and more. (See ISC talk about using winwin apps in the video on this page.)

More info: To learn more about the important work being done by ISC, please visit their website at www.iscvt.org. You can also follow them on Twitter @SustainableComm and become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/SustainableComm. And don’t miss their incredible photos on Flickr.


About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!


winwinner Wednesday: RU12? Community Center

The RU12? Community Center in Burlington, VT is a powerful force for equal rights in the green mountain state. Its mission is “to celebrate, educate and advocate with and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Vermonters.”

The idea: Create a place where LGBTQ Vermonters could meet, learn, and organize for greater equality. RU12? has a drop-in resource center, a free community space with a lending library and a cyber center. Its staff members and volunteers train people about LGBTQ cultural competency, Elder issues, violence prevention, health issues, and more. RU12? also provides important programs such as the SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program and peer-led support groups to help with coming out and transgender issues. And RU12? advocates on behalf of the LGBT community in the media and the legislature as well.

How it started: RU12? was founded in 1999 by two students at the University of Vermont who believed that Vermont needed a multi-generational, substance-free, queer space open to people of all ages, races and genders. The organization moved from its first location on the Lake Champlain waterfront to their historic building on Elmwood Street in 2003. RU12? continued to grow, and in 2006, SafeSpace merged with RU12?, as did Equality Vermont. RU12? is now the largest LGBTQ organization in Vermont, and works closely with many organizations including Outright Vermont, the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, and the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

The winwin: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Vermonters have a place to go to learn about LGBTQ issues, celebrate their identity, receive help and support, and form a community to affect change. For the rest of the state, RU12? (and its partner organizations) shine a light on LGBTQ issues to encourage a shift toward greater tolerance and equality for all Vermonters.

How they used winwin apps: This year on May 22nd, RU12? will host its 11th Annual Queer Community Dinner & Auction. With comedian Ian Harvie performing and items up for bid from JazzFest tickets to birdhouses, the event promises to be a fun night for a worthy cause. RU12? is using winwin apps to register attendees and manage the auction.

More info: For more information on RU12 and its offerings or to volunteer, visit www.RU12.org.

About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!

winwinner Wednesday: The Hicks Foundation

The idea: The Hicks Foundation was founded to eradicate cervical cancer in Vermont by providing free screenings, grants for medical care, and education and policy development about Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

In 2009, the foundation asked men in the Burlington, VT community to donate their professional or leisure time, and produced “Cinderfella,” a benefit event that auctioned off the men’s donated services.

How it started: In October 2004, Allison Hicks was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer at the age of 29. Within days of the diagnosis she underwent radical surgery. Although she made a full recovery, the surgery left her unable to bear children – particularly difficult given that she is a trained doula whose work is caring for mothers and babies.

Allison saw this experience as a call to action. Within months of completing chemotherapy and radiation treatment she started the Hicks Foundation, a 501c 3 organization dedicated to eliminating cervical cancer in Vermont.

The winwin: The Cinderfella 2009 event was a huge success; over 60 men walked the catwalk and the Hicks Foundation raised over $24,000 to help eradicate cervical cancer in Vermont. In the meantime, attendees got to bid on unique, fun opportunities (taking the stage with a rock band, ski lessons with an Olympian, a private meal cooked by a professional chef, and more).

How they used winwin apps: The Hicks Foundation was one of our early beta testers, and theirs was the very first event produced using winwin apps. In addition to offering us great feedback, they successfully managed the pre-registration and auction & payment processes for Cinderfella using winwin apps.

More info: You can learn more about the Hicks Foundation by visiting their website, at www.freepap.org, and keep up with future events by becoming their fan on Facebook, or following them on Twitter.

Click here for a gallery of great photos of the Cinderfella 2009 event, or click here for a 2-minute video recap of the evening.

About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!

winwinner Wednesday: CarShare Vermont

CarShare Vermont is cool nonprofit on a mission to provide Vermonters with an affordable, convenient, and reliable alternative to owning a car.

The idea: If more Vermonters skipped owning and driving cars in favor of using shared vehicles just when they needed wheels, we’d reduce greenhouse gases, save money, and create a stronger community.

How it started: In 2002, a group of Burlington residents caught wind of “car-sharing,” an innovation that was growing in cities across the country. The group reached out to the San Francisco Bay Area’s nonprofit City CarShare, where by chance, Vermont native Annie Bourdon answered the phone. Annie collaborated with the group over several years, and when she finally moved back to Burlington, she helmed a grassroots effort to get the initiative off the ground. By 2008 many volunteers (individuals and businesses) were involved, and the service launched in December 2008 as CarShare Vermont.

The winwin: Area residents use one of 5 Priuses and 4 Imprezas parked throughout Burlington, VT to get around town, do errands, etc. Residents don’t have to bother with the expense and hassle of owning, maintaining or parking a vehicle the city has less traffic congestion, and the air has fewer greenhouse gases. Now that’s a winwin!

How they used winwin apps: CarShare Vermont’s 1 year anniversary event, “Share the Love,” was a fundraiser at the Main Street Landing in Burlington, VT. CarShare was a tester of winwin apps’ early software, using it to promote the event, register attendees, and manage their fundraising auction.

More info: CarShare offers memberships for individuals, families, and businesses with rates starting as low as $4.95 an hour and $0.25 per mile, including gas and insurance. Users can reserve by the hour or day and only pay for what they need. For more info, visit www.carsharevt.org.

About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!

winwinner Wednesday: The Clothes Exchange

A fundraiser that doesn’t feel like one, The Clothes Exchange raises money for women’s charities with its annual shopping extravaganza.

The idea: Get women and area retail stores and manufacturers to donate desirable clothing and accessories, then sell them for a great price. A fun evening of shopping with friends, The Clothes Exchange has become one of Burlington, Vermont’s most anticipated annual events. Last year’s event attracted over 500 women and raised $55,000+ to benefit Vermont Works for Women. This year’s event will take place at a new, bigger venue – the DoubleTree Hotel – and will benefit King Street Center of Burlington.

How it started: Founded by Leslie Halperin, the event had modest beginnings, starting as a simple clothing swap with 20 friends in her living room. But as she realized how much people enjoyed it, it became clear the concept could be bigger, and raise money for women’s causes.

The winwin: Women keep their clothes out of the landfill, find great affordable stuff to wear, and enjoy a fun event. Nonprofits that improve the lives of women get a boost to their bank accounts. ($150,000 has been raised since the event’s inception in 2001.) Now that’s a winwin.

How they used winwin apps: The Clothes Exchange was one of only a few beta testers who got access to the very first version of winwin apps. They used it to promote their event, register attendees, run checkout, and manage their silent auction – and they gave us good feedback on how to make the tool better.

More info: To learn more about The Clothes Exchange, visit www.theclothesexchange.org. You can also check out the video below to see the 2008 event, which benefitted the Hicks Foundation. (You’ll even see winwin apps founder Anna Palmer in the video, who volunteered at the event.)

About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!