In a time of big shifts and uncertainty, we've been listening for the next steps on our Daymaker journey. Starting with our pop-up spring campaign in March to send grocery store gift cards to the kids on our platform, we've been trying to meet the calling of the times while the floor feels like it's falling underneath all of us. Our team has changed, we had partners shut their doors for good, and we changed up our entire warehouse and logistics operation. Through it all, we feel we've been guided towards a truer expression of service. In that spirit, there are three things we're ready to share with you from these past six or so months.
Sustained Support From Outside the Home Changes the Whole Narrative: The Daymaker Receiver's Journey
We made the decision this summer to shift towards a more holistic and longitudinal service model. Holistic in that we are aiming to provide resources consistently throughout the year to the kids we support. Longitudinal in that we plan to serve kids on our platform for at least three years. A few reasons for our shift:
- The kids we serve through our nonprofit partners are facing headwind after headwind from causes and conditions far beyond their control. The message from the world around them is not often one of support, acceptance, or worthiness. Consistent resources give a child continued inspiration and space to dream, build, and live into their potential. And, perhaps most importantly, it shows these kiddos that somebody—a stranger—sees their challenges and cares enough to provide sustained support.
- Seven years into this journey, we are getting better at what we do. As givers feel more connection with their act of giving and the kid(s) they support, there is a natural inclination to want to play a bigger part. Sure, we could add more kids to the platform, but from our perspective, there is an infinite amount of resource need, and Daymaker is not about to solve it. What we can do is be a bridge for people with resources to begin feeling a deeper call and connection to serve those with a shortage of resources. To help a giver feel "in the corner" of that child and their life journey. It then becomes about a human connection–two souls whose paths intertwined through the exchange of resources.
For us, Receiver's Journey is not a secret plot to increase giving or even tell better stories of our impact. It simply feels like the appropriate next step. We're able to turn to our beloved nonprofit partners and say, "hey, we're in this with you. For a while. You're not alone in serving these kids." For now, givers will still help kids 2-3x a year during our traditional campaigns. What changes is: wish lists now include subscription items that are sent to kids in every month between the campaign, Givers can leave messages for the kid(s) they support, and the kids can share updates between campaigns back to those who have helped. We believe it takes a village to raise any child—especially those living in the circumstances that so many of the children we serve are. This is our way of bringing the village in, with Daymaker and our commitment as the consistent foundation.
Let's Make the Very Best Products for Daymaker Kids: Daymaker Discovery Bundles
If we were going to start sending monthly items, they had to be good and had to speak to the unique conditions of the kids we're serving. We talked to our nonprofit partners, and their challenge to us was to find a way to bring the dreams, possibilities, and exposure from the outside world into the homes of our kids to expand their horizons. Born from that: our very own Daymaker Discovery Bundle this fall. Bundles come monthly and provide intellectual enrichment during a period of altered learning environments, inspiration from a diverse set of heroes during a period of examining racial injustice, and hope during a period of intensified stressors at home. We launched these at our evolved back-to-school campaign this summer, Hope at Home, and Months 1-4 were our 4 best-selling products!
We feel this is just the start of a larger journey in designing our own products with input from a rockstar team of educators, product-makers, and child-development experts. We have been working with Small Bites Adventure Club to create Farm-to-Home Exploration Kits that will be on every holiday wish list this December. These will come monthly through June of 2021 and will guide children on the powerful and magical journey of seed to plate. Each kit will introduce children to farmers, fruits, and vegetables. Hands-on STEAM activities celebrate diversity, community, cooking skills, nature, and health. It's a way for us to bring a wholesome connection to Mother Earth and the food that sustains us into the homes of the kids we support.
It's more than the products: Donor notes and reflections
We've recently introduced the ability for donors to send notes alongside their donations. While the resource transfer itself is of great importance, so is the energy and intention with which it is done. We've added some additional context on each child and their dreams through the profile questions, and we find many donors speaking to the child's unique answers! These messages get printed and are included in the boxes of items that go to each child. Over 50% of donors choose to send a note during Hope at Home. Our nonprofit partners have come back with overwhelming gratitude. The kids we serve are able to see, feel, and understand a bit about those that are supporting them. And through our lens, it takes away from some of the funky dynamics in charity where those receiving can feel less than. Check a few out:
- Hey there Omar! Always know that even if they're not with you right now, you are surrounded by people who care about you and want you to be and feel awesome every day!
- Hi Mariah! I really, really wish there were more people like you in the world. I think you'll become a fantastic baker and get to go all over Paris, baking and exploring. You'll be a much needed superstar helping us protect the planet!
- Hi Aniya! I loved to create when I was a young girl. Always feed that spirit! I hope you are having a good school year so far. Remember that you are loved and beautiful, inside and out :)
- Hey Chavez I hope these help and keep you excited about learning. My kids are big Roblox, puzzle, and science fans, and thought these would be fun activities (my oldest is 10 just like you). I hope you have a great school year!
- Hi! Its really cool that you are interested in science and the environment. I hope you get to learn a lot about those topics in school this year. I'm excited that I was able to get you this discovery bundle! Have fun with it. :)
- Hi Armand! I also wish there were less bullies and more friends like your friend Matthew in the world :) Keep creating your art!-
So, that's your taste of the stew
Thank you for taking it all in. We hope it made your day a bit brighter. We're still trying to find our footing in this whirlwind. And, we're doing our best to trust the very step in front of us. We follow the idea: if we show up in integrity to ourselves and what Daymaker uniquely can do in our world, everything that happens will be exactly as it was meant to be.
If you're reading this and want to get involved, we'd be delighted to connect. We are days away from launching our holiday campaign, A Season of Magic. We'll be supporting over 65 companies in their employee giving and engagement efforts in 30 markets nationwide. If your company or the company of your partner/friend is looking for a simple and meaningful way to give this holiday season, point them to this page! We are taking new sign-ups for another week or so.
We send you peace and light and blessings. Thank you for being in our orbit.