June 1, 2011

Taylor Brown (left) and Emily Dawson '09, co-founders of Giverosity

Like many young professionals, Emily Dawson ’09 and Taylor Brown wanted to give back to the community in some way but could never find the time, especially during the busy holiday season.

“We’re both analysts who sit in front of computer screens for large parts of our day,” says Dawson, a financial analyst for Texas Capital Bank. “Our goal was to come up with a streamlined holiday donation process that people could do in a few minutes – when it’s most convenient for them.”

Late last year she and Brown founded Giverosity, a non-profit corporation that blends the ease of online shopping with the enjoyment of creating a memorable Christmas for Dallas-area children in need. They partnered with Toys Unique!, a Dallas specialty store, to offer a selection of age-appropriate items on the Giverosity.com website. All toys purchased were donated to the Interfaith Housing Coalition, which provides transitional housing and support services to homeless families.

“The idea came to us just two months before Christmas, so preparations were fast and furious. Due to the time crunch, our marketing efforts were focused primarily on social media,” says Dawson, who majored in marketing at SMU. “Our amazing friends and a local news station also helped us reach additional charitable donors.”

In just three weeks, donors gave more than $6,000 in toys. Over 400 toys were donated to Interfaith Housing, which organized a “Christmas store” where parents could select gifts for their children.

Plans for Christmas 2011 are in full force, says Dawson. “The primary toy drive will be September through December. We were encouraged by many donors to provide clothing as well, and we are currently searching for a clothing retailer with which to partner.”

In addition to augmenting the gift selections to include apparel, winter coats and athletic shoes, the partners plan to expand Giverosity to Austin and Houston next year. “We hope to grow quickly and help as many children feel special as we can,” Dawson says.