is an online platform where non-profits team up with nearby businesses to offer people discounts for donating.

Here’s how it works.

Let’s say a non-profit organization like your local Humane Society comes to Birchstand and pairs up with several neighboring businesses: perhaps a local pet store, a nearby vet, and the new kennel you’ve been meaning to try.

So now when you donate to your Humane Society -- through the Birchstand website -- you can get discounts and deals from these local merchants.

In this scenario, everyone wins. The non-profit gets a new donor. The businesses get a new potential customer. And you get deals for stuff that you might actually want.

There is no downside.

This kind of mutual back-scratching is not unprecedented. In fact, non-profits and businesses pair up all the time.

It has been suggested by smart guys like Bill McKibben that we should all start to take responsibility for our own patch of Earth, and turn to our neighbors for local common-sense solutions to large stubborn problems.

Birchstand tills in that soil.

The website allows you to weave together a powerful local network one non-profit and one small business at a time.

It also reinforces positive behavior.

You give. You get.

The end result, we hope, are thriving, collaborative communities where philanthropy and commerce blend together to help create an environment which is both socially responsible and economically sustainable.

Oh, did we mention that Birchstand is free? Alas, we make no money. Every dollar that you donate goes directly to the nonprofits.

If you like what we stand for, it would be great if you take a moment to join, spread the word, and wish us luck.

Your Friends at Birchstand

P.S. Did you know that in a real birchstand all the trees are connected beneath the soil, and through their common roots, birch trees share the nutrients they all need for growth? Nice!

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