I first learned about Project Fixup through Sarah Press, the Co-founder and CEO. For some time our CEO Brittany has been referring to Zealous Good as a “dating site for donating goods.” Then a few weeks ago, coming up with blog post ideas, it dawned on me that the lives of Project Fixup and Zealous Good intersect in more ways than one.
We are Chicago based startups focused on building community through matching. And though our matchmaking takes different forms, Project Fixup connects local singles and Zealous Good brings people’s unused items together with local charities in need, we both thrive on making connections. That is why we have combined our shared experience and compiled a list of best matchmaking practices. Armed with this knowledge, we encourage you to create connections in your own life. You’ll be amazed at how much good one match can do!
1. Provide Choices
Project Fixup: We provide several theme-based dates to choose from, automatically giving you a common interest with the person you’re fixed up with. Examples include tapas and sangria, dive bars and live music.
Zealous Good: Whatever cause you feel most passionate about, we’ve got a charity for you. We work with 150 charities that support an array of issues including animal, arts, education, health, religion, environment and more!
2. Take a Risk to Find Someone New
Project Fixup: We connect you with fun, interesting people that you might not have met otherwise. We give you a chance to expand your social circle with the potential of a romantic spark!
Zealous Good: The story of repeat ZG donor Maryellen, who has matched her items to more than four charities, is not an uncommon one. We often see users return to the site, turning one good match into several. Somewhere in Chicago, a nonprofit wishes they had your item. And you wish someone would take that item off your hands. The cards are in place now you just have to act! List your item and connect with new charities today!
3. Make It Easy
Project Fixup: Project Fixup is fast, smart and efficient, we do the work of planning your date so you don’t have to! You let us know what days and times work for your schedule, and we’ll coordinate all the details. It’s that simple!
Zealous Good: For donors: List your item, receive request emails from charities who want your stuff, choose a charity, schedule delivery. For nonprofits: Request donation items, wait for a donor to choose you, and schedule delivery. Simple. Powerful. Good.
4. Communicate the Value:
Project Fixup: We know your time is valuable. We eliminate the hassle of searching through an endless sea of dating profiles and receiving unwanted emails. For only $15 a date, we connect you with someone we think you’ll really click with, and we do all the date planning for you. If you don’t have fun we’ll refund your money, awesomeness guaranteed!
Zealous Good: No longer is the “black trash bag o’mystery contents and mystery destination” a symbol for in-kind donations. With Zealous Good, donating is meaningful because it’s personal. You get to choose what cause your item will support and, after you’ve donated, you’ll get to hear back from the charity to see the good your item is doing.
After donor Caitlin gave 65 sweatshirts to Chicago House they sent her a follow-up email saying, “The sweatshirts made it safely to our Family Support Building and have been divided up for multiple uses. Many were just distributed to moms and kids to wear as part of their everyday wardrobes. Some sweatshirts were used as costume pieces for the girls dance group at the program’s summer performance, Mesh & Groove.
The program still has more sweatshirts, which will be saved for colder weather, when we will have both boys and girls who are enrolled in our after school programming individualize them with iron-on names and decorations over winter break.”
5. Have Fun With It
Project Fixup: We definitely think that dating should be enjoyable. We’ll pair you up with someone we think you could genuinely click with. And in the process you’ll get to check out a cool venue and have a fun experience.
Zealous Good: Among the unique donations we’ve matched is a stamp collection, a deep fryer, and a toy helicopter. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when considering a match. You never know who’s ready to pick up the violin, treadmill, fondue kit where you left off.
6. Keep It Local
Project Fixup: Our company is based in Chicago, and we’re all about supporting the local community! We truly want to help Chicagoans connect and meet like-minded people, and have a great time doing so. We partner with local businesses to give you the best dating experience we can.
Zealous Good: We started in Chicago and are proud to serve charities across Chicagoland. Our service scales the city down by bringing people together through new connections and reconnections. Donor Erica submitted her washer for donation and shortly after it was requested, and ultimately matched, with a charity she volunteered with long ago!
7. Matchmake for the Greater Good
Project Fixup: An actual person will fix you up with someone based on the answers you provide in your questionnaire. There are no algorithms or magic formulas that we use to match people. We truly believe this will help you to have the best dating experience possible!
Zealous Good: The average American household has $7,000 in unused items. In the U.S. there are 1.5 million nonprofits looking for these items. Zealous Good aims to bridge that gap by being the chief matchmaker between people and nonprofits. We’re also saving nonprofits time and money, keeping items out of landfills, and, most importantly, we’re making it easier for people to do good!
8. Build Relationships
Project Fixup: We genuinely want to help you meet someone who could possibly lead to that next great relationship. Nothing would make us happier than to have two Chicagoans really connect and form a great partnership! We take the time to assess your questionnaire for commonalities to help you meet that special someone.
Zealous Good: Since we launched in March 2011, we have made 662 connections. We are bringing Chicagoans together to create a community of zealous do-gooders!
Project Fixup and Zealous Good will continue to match and build connections because we have seen the amazing results and can’t stop now! But we can’t do what we do without your help. If you or someone you know is looking for an intimate, personal and creative approach to dating, swing by the Project Fixup site. And, if you find yourself with some extra items, Zealous Good gives you the platform to donate and do good.
On your journey to make the world a better place, don’t forget to practice safe matchmaking by referring to our list of best practices. Good luck!