Profiles

NFL Player Vernon Davis & Yiftee Partner to Support the Arts

Social entrepreneurs look beyond themselves for inspiration for their ventures. It could be to give back to communities or charities that impact the world. Yiftee is no different. It is a social gifting app and website that stays true to those principles. When a gift recipient doesn’t have time to pick up his gift, he or she can donate it to charity in one click. These donations will all go to the Foundation for the Arts, to help kids find creative way to express themselves. Foundation for the Arts was started by San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis – the program puts art supplies and art scholarships in the hands of youth dealing with stress and peer pressure in chaotic situations; keeping them safely away from the drugs, guns, streets and crime.

Hearpreneur spoke with Lori Laub the Co-Founder of Yiftee to ask about the Vernon Davis partnership, why Yiftee was started and the social aspect of their business.

1) What prompted you to do a partnership with NFL Star Vernon Davis?  

Yiftee is not only the new way to give gifts from a mobile device anywhere in the US instantaneously, it is also about supporting local merchants and their surrounding communities.  Having all been kids ourselves, and now having children of our own, Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts’s mission to give youth a creative and safe alternative to spend their free time caught our attention, and our hearts.

2) Why did you start your business? 

We were fascinated by the Groupon phenomenon, and although we appreciated it as consumers, we did not understand how it was good for local businesses.  After talking with over 100 local business owners to understand their perspective, we set out to create a tool which would be good for businesses, gift givers and gift recipients alike.   Yiftee allows businesses who accept MasterCard to sell more full price items without requiring any new technology or discounting.  Gift givers can now instantaneously send a real gift from any internet connected device to their friends and family at any business that accepts MasterCard.  Gift recipients can now get gifts that they pick up at local businesses from folks all over the world. Yiftee is a Win – Win – Win solution for everyone involved.

3) Why give back to the Partnership for the Arts? 

A large part of the Yiftee mission is to strengthen local communities by allowing customers to purchase gifts for their friends and loved ones from the local shops and restaurants that are the backbones of communities – even if they are 3,000 miles away.  VDFA’s vision of communities where the arts are vital to social development and represent a positive alternative for youth dealing with stress and peer pressure resonated with us.   It was a natural fit.

4) Where is the area that has benefited the most locally from Yiftee? 

Yiftee is passionate about supporting local business, not because it’s trendy, but because it matters.  We help keep dollars in the community, helping them remain the healthy, vibrant eco-systems in which we live, work and play.

5) Do you have a tip for entrepreneurs and business owners getting started?  

Think your idea though carefully, be prepared to adjust based on market and consumer input, assemble a great team, be passionate, persistent and have fun!

Veron Davis is giving 20,000 Yiftee gifts to his fans who respond to his social media messages, download the Yiftee iPhone™ or Android™ app and enter a secret code. Anticipating that the 20,000 gifts will go fast, additional fans who download the app and enter the code up until November 25, 2013 will be entered in a Grand Prize Drawing to win two tickets to the December 8, 2013 San Francisco 49ers™ game vs. the Seattle Seahawks™, a limited edition 49er jersey autographed by Mr. Davis, or $100 Yiftee bucks to buy more gifts for their friends. For more information visit Yiftee.com.

Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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