Started in 2007 by Nina Brav, REVO is an organization that connects people who are passionate about social justice issues with charities that aid their favorite cause—like charity matchmaking.
“These organizations are focused on doing wonderful things and often don’t have time to raise their own funds,” Brav says. “We wanted to help them raise the funds they need to keep going as well as educate and inspire along the way.”
REVO itself is not a nonprofit. Rather, the money it raises goes to nonprofit organizations, and the money it makes from its T-shirt sales goes toward expenses such as its website and printing.
Like such things often do, REVO started out small. Brav decided to educate the people in her city of Hilo, Hawaii, by planning a fundraiser for an orphanage in Africa, where a friend of hers was adopting two children.
“Being an artist, art seemed the best way to gather people together,” she says. “So many people volunteered, and we put together Hilo’s best artists and fashion designers. It went better than planned—we had no idea it was going to get so big.”
After the initial fundraiser, a pay-it-forward type of movement started—a friend of Brav’s was inspired to hold a similar event in Nashville, and another was inspired by the Nashville event to hold one in New York. From there, it’s been a chain reaction that now includes REVO branches in Hawaii, California, Texas, Louisiana, Washington, Georgia, Nevada, New York, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. Now, REVO is in 15 states and five countries—and they continue to grow worldwide.
Brav maintains contact with every branch and offers whatever assistance she can—connecting them with their chosen non-profit, helping them customize an event tailored to their passions and talents and encouraging them to connect with other REVO branches to play ideas off of each other.
Since the organization is not geared toward just one cause, they’re able to help a diverse number of charities that bring attention to different issues—poverty, human trafficking, hunger, war and peace, to name a few.
The primary way REVO spreads the word is through MySpace and YouTube. It was even nominated for and awarded the MySpace Impact Award last June, which included a $10,000 cash prize.
Brav says the biggest impact she’s seen REVO make so far is on the Grace of God Orphanage in Malawi, Africa. The 120 orphans there were living in different locations in the area without adequate nutrition and care. Since REVO stepped in, they’ve raised more than $10,000 for the orphanage and provided shelter, educational facilities, food, clothing and medicine.
“It’s a small organization and every hand that gives impacts these children in a major way,” Brav says. “One hundred percent of the donations goes straight to helping these children.”
Other charities REVO has raised money for include Blood:Water Mission, Invisible Children, Not For Sale Campaign, Mocha Club and Stop the Traffik. Fundraisers have involved everything from art and fashion shows to walkathons and garage sales.
“It’s been incredible to see how the movement has helped people realize it’s possible to make an impact in the world when we cease gazing inward and work together to bring hope,” Brav says.