CharityPanda: Lynn Siegel's Party-Based Fundraising Business

Who needs more stuff? Lynn Siegel, a 47-year-old Katonah resident, knew that her family certainly didn’t. So when her three children celebrated their birthdays, instead of getting “stuff,” she says, “we started an annual tradition where each child would choose a charity to raise funds for. The kids got so much pleasure and gratification from helping others. I wanted to create an easy, fun way for hosts of any kind of event to raise funds for causes they care about.”

Enter Charity Panda, Siegel’s online venture. Charity Panda handles—free-of-charge—the email invites for your party. All you have to do is select a participating charity and invite your guests. Guests who RSVP are prompted by the email invite to make a donation to the charity in lieu of a gift. As of now, Charity Panda is free for charities. “Right now, my focus is getting the word out to as many hosts, donors, and charities as possible,” Siegel says. But she plans to eventually charge a 10-percent administrative fee on any donation a charity receives through the site. Current Westchester charity options include the Katonah Museum of Art, the Mount Kisco Child Care Center, and Riverkeeper. Charity Panda has already raised nearly $10,000 for charities. For more info, visit charitypanda.com. 

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