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 world.
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.