January 6, 2011

Vivanista: Live well and do good

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Lifestyle site offers resources for charitable fundraisers

JD LasicaOne of the terrific new resources for those learning how to host philanthropic fundraisers is Vivanista, a very cool San Francisco startup that offers a wealth of resources around charitable events.

I recently chatted with co-founder Annie Vranizan in their San Francisco offices about the organization — which is due to receive its 501(c)(3) status in a few months — its goals and best practices around live events .

“We believe women can lead a philanthropic lifestyle” without being professional philanthropists, Annie says. “If there’s a charity gala in New York, how come someone in San Francisco can’t learn from that and replicate that model?”

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The classy site offers a wealth of how-tos, tips, tools and best practices, everything from interviews and profiles of women who are chairing charitable events to strategies for getting corporate sponsorships.

One of the site’s most popular features is its events calendar — you can see fundraiser ideas ranging from a cupcake party to a fashion show. One thing I like is that the fundraisers are real-world events, not impersonal online begathons.

Strategic advice around live fundraising events

Other notable features and services offered by Vivanista:

“If you’re going to do a wine tasting or get your girlfriends together, why not attach a cause to it and raise money for something you’re passionate about?”
— Annie Vranizan

http://vivanista.com/parties-for-a-purpose/“>Parties for a Purpose. Says Annie: “If you’re going to do a wine tasting or get your girlfriends together, why not attach a cause to it and raise money for something you’re passionate about?”

• They’ve just selected five 90-second video finalists in their Parties for a Purpose contest. The winning nonprofit will be awarded $1,000. Head over and vote!

• They also provide Fundraisers in a Box, a kit that gives you everything from the outline of your fundraising event to the corporate sponsorship letter to estimates of volunteers, a time frame and a theme that aligns with your mission.

• In the near future they’ll be offering event consulting services to help get fund-raisers off the ground.

Vivanista works with organizations like the UN Foundation, Case Foundation, CARE, Eventbrite, Junior League, plus small and large nonprofits where they spotlight the organizations’ missions and the fundraising chairs. Vivanista is especially adept at training women to become charitable event experts.

Check out the site and see if there’s an opportunity to work together. Vivanista is also on Twitter and on Facebook.JD Lasica, founder and former editor of Socialbrite, is co-founder of Cruiseable. Contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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