AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerIt’s A Vending “Giving” Machine

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It’s A Vending “Giving” Machine

It looks like a regular vending machine. But instead of getting chips and candy bars, you give to charities helping the community and around the machine

While traveling to Gilbert, Arizona for the holidays, I stumbled across The Giving Machine. When I first saw the machine, there was a line of people waiting to make a selection and a contribution.  You can give baby supplies, holiday meals, winter boots, chickens, goats and pajamas.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsor the Giving Machine so that 100% of the money can go to the causes (and charities) people select.

Is it a new fundraising gimmick? Of course it is: It makes giving fun and more like buying a present. And anything that does this much good (in Salt Lake City the machine raising $500,000) can’t be all bad.


I love the concept–it might replace bell ringers–but the true secret is not the machine. It is the people who volunteered to stand at the machine and those who spread out around downtown Gilbert encouraging people to visit the Giving Machine. The sales people made the machine successful. Just like any great idea, if you build it and sell it, they will come.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.