The past few weeks Montclair High School students have been bombarded with photos on Instagram and posts on Facebook asking them what they “flip” for. Stickers brandishing the name “iFlip4” were put up all over Montclair causing intrigue to peak even further.
The question collectively tugged at MHS student’s subconscious—what was “iFlip4” and why were people “flipping” for it?
iFlip4 is a
charity social enterprise started by MHS alum David Ellmann and experienced entrepreneur Alan Bornstein. It was brought to the high school by Ellman’s younger sister, Nora, who is a currently a senior at MHS.
iFlip4 is unique in that it doesn’t dedicate itself to just one charity but multiple charities; revolving around the idea of “flipping” for a charity of your choice.
“iFlip4 is the charitable brand, the ‘cause for all causes’,” explains Ellmann. “On a large scale, the goal is to inspire an entire generation, particularly those in the twelve to twenty-four age group, to be passionate about philanthropy. You don’t have to be a millionaire to make an impact.”
So how exactly does one “flip?” The process is unique.
“When you make a profile on the site you join the ‘causal network’, which is basically just a social network for giving. This allows you to explore major issues of the world today through videos, articles, and pictures. The network additionally allows for exploration of the hundreds of charities listed on the site that you can flip for,” explains Ellmann.
Selecting your charity initiates the next step.
“Once you find the one that you are most passionate about, you FLIP4 that cause. This is done by buying an iFLIP4 shirt. Half of the proceeds then go to the charity you selected. Then, by wearing the shirt, you influence others to join the movement.”
iFlip4 t-shirts come in all sizes and designs. Eventually, the charity plans on branching out in other products.
Ellmann didn’t just bring iFlip4 to the high school because of her brother; she truly believes that it can really make an impact on the world.
At MHS, Ellmann is accompanied by a group of students who are just as dedicated as she. Ellmann and fellow team leader Danny DeSimone work with student ambassadors to make the brand a success. MHS iFlip 4 ambassadors include Maddy Biebel, Julie Schrieber, Henry Kanengisser, John Grund, Bianca Tubiana, and Lydia Gilbert. However, there are 150 ambassadors at school campuses nation-wide.
“I’m involved in iFlip4 because I really like what it stands for. I think it’s great to get involved in helping non-profits. I also find the charity extremely interactive, interesting, and accessible,” says sophomore ambassador Julie Schreiber.
For the past few weeks, MHS iFlip4 members have been working on a Montclair launch of the brand. This launch occurred this past Sunday on Church Street.
“We’d been planning the event for weeks,” says senior ambassador Bianca Tubiana. “We really wanted to make it fun, eye-catching, and organized. We also spent a lot of time trying to hype it up.”
And their hard work paid off- the event was a smash.
“The event had balloons, free food, and music. We also had computers, which showed a video explaining the program and had a trivia game made by ambassador Lydia Gilbert. I believe that six people actually flipped at the event and at least a dozen made profiles on the site,” says Ellmann.
“It was basically just our way of showing Montclair that the sight has launched and that they should get flipping!” say DeSimone. “I believe it was a great success. It generated a lot of online traffic for the website and it actually helped iFlip4 reach its two thousand dollar donation mark.”
Senior ambassador Lydia Gilbert believes creating hype for iFlip4 played a large part in the event’s success.
“We promoted ourselves on Facebook, Instagram, Vine, and other social networks to show people how cool this concept was and generate interest in the brand,” says Gilbert.
“I, Dan, flip4 the march of dimes,” says DeSimone.
“iFLIP4 the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which serves LGBTQ youth in NYC and Newark,” adds Ellmann.
Which begs the question—what do you flip4?