Julie LeJeune created Wish & Give to solve a problem. As a dedicated volunteer, she noticed small, local charities don't always have the time or the means to raise funds and awareness.
"These organizations are making an incredible difference at the grassroots level," says Julie, who has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years. "But the staff members can barely find the time to fundraise. Sometimes they’re struggling just to keep the lights on. I wanted to find a way to help with that."
Julie is also a busy mom who plan many events throughout the year: baby and wedding showers, housewarming parties, birthday parties, retirement parties, anniversaries, graduations - the list just keeps going. She even helps organize ticketed events for artist friends and the charities they volunteer for.
"Friends and colleagues often tell us they want to give back to their community, but they don't have time to volunteer," comments Julie. "That’s when I had the idea to help them fundraise through the events they’re planning anyway. Everyone wins!"
And that's how Wish & Give was born - as a way to help Canadians help local charities help others. So Julie went to work, creating a unique, easy-to-use platform for community members to plan events and raise money for their favourite local charity.
Through Wish & Give, Canadians can sell tickets or send out invitations to events while fundraising for one of 86,000 small organizations across the country. Julie included features like small (and affordable) donation amounts of between $2 and $10, allowing hosts to give guests the option to choose a charity and making their platform accessible to every local charity across Canada - no matter how small.
"Little by little, every single donation will add up to big change in our communities," explains Julie. "I truly believe in the local movement and we wanted Wish & Give to reflect that."
A charitable event is also environmentally friendly - no shopping, no wrapping, no unwanted gifts. All this adds up to everyone feeling good throughout the whole process: the host, the guest, the charity - and Julie.
"I love seeing how happy people are after using the site. Especially the parents of the guests invited to a party, as it makes their life so much easier, no more shopping," explains Julie.