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Streamlining charitable donations

BY: Mickey Goodman

Genna Brown, a senior lecturer of finance at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, has found a way to help homeowners easily turn valued items into charitable donations via her recently formed 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Givin.

“The idea came from a finance student who wanted to start a stock exchange for nonprofits,” says the Buckhead resident. “I told him it wouldn’t work, but that a silent auction would. When he didn’t follow through, I decided to run with the idea. The only problem was that I didn’t have the necessary background.”

Enter Georgia State graduate Brandon Black, who had the know-how to run a successful business but lacked an idea. “We joined forces,” says Brown. After receiving their 501(c)(3) status, they launched the Givin site in January.

“It’s the perfect way to donate things I no longer need and contribute to my favorite nonprofits at the same time,” says Lisa McKenzie, a neighbor of Brown’s, who has sold multiple items through the Givin site.

Donors simply fill out the online form, take a photo of an item or service, post it on the website and then select a charitable beneficiary. Items range from art, fine china and jewelry to services from tax preparers, hairsalons, doctors, dentists and vacation homes. Donations remain in the owner’s possession until sold.

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