Launches New System to Power Online Giving Trees
A Ten-Fold Increase in Sponsorships will Mark its Fourth Year of Operation

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 26, 2002 – In a year when many internet-based concerns have seen business drop by significant amounts, has committed to doing the exact opposite; it expects the number of sponsorships to increase by an order of magnitude this holiday season from 150 last year to a goal of 1500 this year. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to brightening the holidays for hundreds of disadvantaged children by using internet technology to fulfill their gift wishes in a more efficient and personalized manner. Approved community organizations are given profile cards and toy catalogs (20 toys under $25, selected by the staff) to distribute among the children they support. On each profile card, the organization’s children complete personal information (name, age, favorite food, etc.), draw a picture on the back, and choose one toy as their holiday wish.

After collecting the cards, the organizations scan the kids' drawings and enter their information into an online profile for each child through a special web-based interface. Sponsors from around the community can then visit, browse through all of the children's profiles, and sponsor a child (or two!) by completing checkout. The toys are purchased through a distributor and are shipped to the community organizations, where they are wrapped and given to the children a few days before the holidays.

Serving as both a destination site and an technology provider,’s sponsorship system offers a unique turnkey approach that also empowers other community organizations to quickly sign-up and find sponsors for their children. “Most children’s services agencies don’t have the time or the technical skills to build an online sponsorship system,” notes Dave Selinger, co-founder and CTO of “In creating a robust system built on J2EE and using Bank of America for payment processing, we knew that we could open it up for use by other organizations and support the rapid growth in the number of sponsorship transactions.”

This year, is powering the online tree efforts of The Family Giving Tree, the largest toy-donation organization in the San Francisco Bay Area, with over 35,000 children sponsored last year. Donors who visit The Family Giving Tree’s website ( will be taken to an online tree which is “Powered by”. “We’ve had simple online trees in years past,” said Jennifer Cullenbine, CEO of Family Giving Tree, “But’s technology has given us the chance to have a professional sponsorship system while saving hundreds of hours of work in creation and maintenance.” CEO, Josh McFarland, summarizes, “Our system provides benefits to all involved: to the child, we guarantee that they will receive the exact toy they chose instead of a randomly distributed charity gift; to the sponsor, we provide a far more simple, efficient, and personalized gift-giving process; and to the community organization, we provide and maintain a turnkey solution to drive online sponsorships free of charge.”

More information is available at 

About is a nonprofit technology company whose software has helped community organizations fulfill the holiday wishes of hundreds of disadvantaged children in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its vision is to be the premier solution provider which empowers nonprofit organizations to build efficient and personalized gift giving offerings. Since its founding in 1999, has been completely self-sustaining, with no outside grants or funding, and has never let a child’s wish go unfulfilled. For more information, visit

About Family Giving Tree 
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Family Giving Tree is a non-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling the holiday wishes of kids who would otherwise go without gifts. Last year, 2001, its 12th year of operation, The Family Giving Tree provided gifts for 35,000 youngsters of all ages. For more information, visit

Media Contact 
Josh McFarland, CEO 

Additional Media Resources and the logo are marks of All other product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners and are mentioned for identification purposes only.