Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tognetti's Start-Up Has Grown Into A Cutting Edge Data-Driven Digital Advertising Firm

So far we've spent a lot of our time blogging about the charity work that Jeffrey Tognetti has done; none of his charity work would be possible, however, if Tognetti were not as good at what he does as he is.

Jeff Tognetti works as a strategist at multiple companies that he helped develop and found. One of these companies is DealerX, a digital marketing company that uses cutting edge data-driven digital advertising and helps autodealers in America by working primarily with RTB, known as real time bidding.

As we've highlighted in past updates, DealerX is a bit unusual in the automotive world because of its approach to digital marketing. Thanks to his years of experience in the business world, Tognetti knew when DealerX began that the company would need to do things a little differently to stand out as an automotive marketing business.

During an interview at the 14th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition in Orlando, FL., Tognetti explained that DealerX sets itself apart from other digital marketing companies that work with autodealers in that it relies heavily on data target an extremely specific demographic, and does so far more than many other automotive businesses do.

Image courtesy of
 Tognetti believes that most autodealers are not taking advantage of the opportunities data driven marketing provides. While some businesses use data constantly to reach the right people with the right ads - and do so well at this that Target actually famously predicted a girl was pregnant - the auto industry overall has not caught onto this trend. DealerX focuses on autodealers because Tognetti feels that many dealers do not know how to, or choose not to, use data driven marketing in their practice, despite the fact that data driven marketing is extremely effective and useful in the modern digital age.

Tognetti describes DealerX's process as such: the marketing team finds people who are in the market for specific cars online, and uses the data that's available to target specific shoppers with ads designed just for them. As a person goes from website to website DealerX's systems collect more user data to help develop better and more relevant ads, eventually showing exactly what the person is looking for based on their search data.

 Tognetti uses these data-driven practices to enhance the business of Media Revo and DealerX’s clients, which have brought more than  $2 billion for their client’s businesses as of 2012.

DealerX uses data to its advantage by capturing information on its clients and building a digital profile based entirely on a person’s data. The system works so well that DealerX’s platforms and software can also help people remember certain steps they need to take in maintaining their vehicles – for example, a person who buys a car and who has a profile with DealerX could have a coupon for an oil change appear in their online advertising six months after buying their car. Tognetti describes the process as "ultraconcise" - data can allow marketers to develop everything they need and to target the right people with the right ads at the right time.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tognetti Donates To Police Charities, Helps Those Who Serve Us

They are the protectors and the helpers that we do not thank enough - "they" being civil servants, like the police and firefights that watch over our communities every day.

Individuals across the nation often choose to salute our civil servants via one of the many American flags, yellow ribbons, and shield decals that can be seen every day on everything from cars to homes to park benches. Others, like Jeffrey Tognetti, also donate to police charities.

Image courtesy of Flickr user gandalfcunningham.
By donating to more one than organization and charity every year, Tognetti ensures that some of his donations go towards helping police, firefighters or their loved ones – all of whom often deal with a variety of difficulties – in different capacities; for example, some charities give financial support more than emotional support. It just depends on the charity.

Anyone can donate to a police charity; however, it is recommended that donors choose their police charity wisely. One of the best things supporters can do is donate to a certified, strong charity that promises to provide assistance to police, firefighters, military veterans, and their families, as Tognetti does. If you want to give back to a local or national police charity, there a few ways you can ensure that your own money goes to causes as worthy as Tognetti’s.

 The best way to ensure your money goes to a solid organization is to donate on a local level and help the people in your own community; you could even ask a local station directly what organizations they recommend donating to, if they do not take donations directly.

If you insist on donating to a national organization, you can use Charity Navigator to ensure that the charity you donate to spends most of its money assisting the people it’s pledged to assist (as opposed to on major events, pointless fundraisers, and anything beyond the basics).

You can also use these additional tips from the Better Business Bureau to learn how to analyze various charities or charity appeals, become a better donor and make sure your money is going where you think it is:

1. Don’t assume that the words “police” or “firefighter” in an organization’s name means your local police force or fire department is involved.
2. Ask for specifics about the programs your donation would support. Appeals are sometimes vague on this point.
3. Don’t be pressured into giving on the spot. Sympathy for the cause is no reason to forgo checking out the charity.
4. Don’t believe the suggestion (it’s illegal) that your donation will give you “special treatment” from police or firefighters.
5. Telemarketing, used by many police and fire organization, can be costly. If solicited by phone, ask for financial information that will enable you to check this out.
6. Don’t assume that your contribution will be tax deductible as a charitable gift. Police and firefighter organizations may be of many types, not all with the same deductibility status.
7. See if the Better Business Bureau in your area has a report about the organization.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tognetti's Future Education Charity Has Lots of Untapped Potential

Education, while a universally acknowledged necessity, has become a hot button topic of discussion in recent years as criticisms of the education system create conflict and debate over how we can improve it and help the students it serves.

As this debate continues, many continue to do their part to help the people that rely on the education system to get them to the next part of their life. College degrees in particular remain an important milestone for many students; even as the public debates the value of a degree, statistics show that overall, people who earn college degrees typically manage to earn more and begin more meaningful careers than those who do not.

(Infographic courtesy of

In an effort to do his part to help students successfully begin careers, Jeffrey Tognetti is hoping to one day begin his own education charity, one that may be a little different from what people consider an “education charity.” He hopes to set-up a group that would provide services to young children or teenagers. How his would be set apart from others, however, is that his charity would aim to help children choose a “niche” to specialize in, even before applying to and entering college.

While Tognetti has not yet solidified the logistics for how this charity would operate, the hope is that by offering students classes on specific topics, hosting field trips to different companies or work sites, and by organizing a variety of other interactive activities, children would explore the kind of work they could do and discover what they enjoy and where their biggest potential lies, be it in creative marketing or a more hands-on field such as plumbing.

This would be beneficial for young students in a number of ways:
  • It would hopefully prevent students from wasting time or "treading water" academically during their first year or two of college. Young adults who go to college unsure about what they want to major in or even study run the risk of staying in college longer as they make up any credits that they lose or cannot count towards their actual decided major during their freshman or sophomore years of college. By knowing in advance their passions and goals, students avoid the risk of wasting time – and may even be able to graduate earlier, saving themselves tuition money.
  • It would allow students to discover courses of study that not all colleges focus on. Students may discover that the course of study they are most interested in does not require a 2- or 4-year college degree. By taking up a trade that pays well but does not require a degree, youth could potentially begin a successful career path that does not require putting themselves steep in student loan debts.
  • It would help open students minds to a number of possibilities that many are not often exposed to. Some students may even realize that by using alternative resources, they can educate themselves for free or at a very low cost while also getting into the business world and pursuing their passions, perhaps as business start-up owners or in any number of positions that often go unfilled.
Currently, the potential for a charity like this is massive and untapped; only time and further planning will reveal exactly what sort of good could come from a program like this. If his businesses continue to do well, Tognetti may very well make this vision of an unnamed education charity come true sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Children Build Community, Earn Martial Arts Belts Thanks to Tognetti's Assistance

What sort of connection would a businessman like Jeffrey Tognetti have with an after-school program?

Wanting to address the need for programs that assist at-risk youth and promote a healthy lifestyle among children, Tognetti actually helped revitalize the Renzo Gracie Rockland academy and martial arts center, which offers a number of classes that act as after-school programs for young adults.

Renzo Gracie Rockland (officially called the Renzo Gracie Rockland Jiu-Jitsu Academy) is an official Renzo Gracie affiliate academy. Operated by Renzo Gracie purple belt Omar Jimenez, the center offers a large variety of martial arts classes that promote better fitness, self-defense and respect, and even prepares some students for competitions. Rockland’s courses cover kick-boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, grappling and other fighting styles.

See what a student looks like in a competition after just three months of training with the center:

Rockland differentiates itself from other martial arts academies by focusing on technique in its classes, even more so than focusing on strength, speed and agility. Out of all of the center’s classes and styles, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is the most popular. According to the academy’s website, BJJ is a “Martial Art and Self Defense system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. It promotes the principle that a smaller or weaker person can successfully defend them self against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique—most notably by applying joint-locks and choke-holds to restrain an opponent.”

While it offers self-defense and martial arts classes, the center primarily promotes itself as a place for participants to find a supportive environment and a calm center, something that people of all ages, especially growing children and teenagers, need in their lives. The center also strives to empower all of its students through its classes; its Facebook page, which features multiple pictures of hugging groups of people and hard-working children, is a great place to see how successful the center has been in reaching those goals.

Jeffrey Tognetti actually played a major part in revitalizing this important program in 2012, when it needed a little extra help moving forward and reaching out to the local youth; like many locals, Tognetti wanted to support a program that would help any youth, be they at-risk, obese, or just looking for an active outlet in their lives. Since its revitalization in 2012, the program has done very well as it continues to offer classes for local youth and promote a team spirit, as well as extremely popular martial arts styles.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Donated URL to Become Cornerstone For Free Online Labor Library

Our last post briefly discussed the Fear Wear Foundation (FWF) and Jeffrey Tognetti's willingness to donate a website domain to help their cause. But that post barely scratched the surface in terms of discussing the how and why behind the operations of the FWF. Today, we're going to change that.

The FWF's influence is much, much greater than what one might suspect when first learning about the nonprofit; in fact, FWF brand-approved items are sold in 20,000 shops worldwide! Learn more about the company and the complexities that it deals with in this short video:

Usually when updating this blog we like to include a testimonial from the people who have been helped by an organization's work; in this case, it seems that no testimony has been made public about the work the FWF does and how it has helped people. But then, given the powerful influence of the company worldwide, perhaps no testimony is needed to show how much the organization has improved labor conditions in the factories that the nonprofit's members use to make their clothing. As the video summarized, the FWF strives to create a world where the clothing the public purchases is all 100% fair – made by adults working reasonable hours in safe conditions for a livable wage, in a job they were not coerced into taking. The nonprofit also relies heavily on problem-solving abilities, encouraging brands that employ factories where complaints are filed to work with the factory to fix the problem; this ensures that the workers, the victims in this situation, do not lose their only source of income due to a factory shutting down.

Just looking at the FWF Code of Labour Practices should show exactly how much good the nonprofit is doing. Based on the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the FWF fights to ensure that all employees in textile factories:
  • Choose their employment freely and without coercion
  • Experience no discrimination in employment or practice
  • Are not forced to condone child labor
  • Have the right to collectively bargain
  • Are paid of a living wage
  • Are not forced to work excessive overtime for little pay
  • Can go to work in safe and healthy working conditions
  • Enter a legally-binding employment relationship in general
Going forward, the FWF is looking to expand its already extensive projects and resources. Using the URL Tognetti donated to it, the nonprofit will create an online library of information that will accompany the WellMade project. This project that will provide training to employees in the European apparel industry on pragmatic things they can do in their day-to-day work that support better working conditions in clothing factories. These free training sessions will be made available at trade fairs and other professional events across Europe over the next three years.

Information that will accompany these training sessions on the actual website part of this project will include the following:
  • New and existing documents, films, and other materials that have been developed by FWF and other project partners, like the Ethical Trading Initiative and Dutch trade union CNV
  • Information targeted at different kinds of employees, like designers or supply chain managers
  • Background information on common problems in the industry (i.e. excessive overtime, unsafe working conditions, etc.)
  • Examples and suggestions of actions employees can take that reduce the risk of problems in factories
Best of all, the FWF and European Commission have it so that this website will be available free of charge – no membership in the FWF will be required for those looking to use the website.

The FWF hopes that their new online library, made possible by the funding provided by the European Commission and the generosity of URL donator Jeff Tognetti, will begin to go live in early July this year.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Even A Website URL Can Be A Noteworthy Donation

Image courtesy of
It would seem that in today's world, even a website domain name can become an item that may be donated to a noteworthy cause. Jeffrey Tognetti knows this; he donated a URL under his name to a nonprofit earlier this month.

The organization Tognetti donated a URL to is the Fair Wear Foundation, a "non-profit organisation that works with companies and factories to improve labour conditions for garment workers," according to their Facebook page. Established in the late 1990s, the FWF improves conditions for workers that are involved in sweatshops and other unethical operations by collaborating with the businesses that are partnered with the nonprofit. By working together and providing independent feedback, the FWF has been able to help large brand-name companies provide better working conditions for the people that are making its products - no small feat considering the complexity of the world of retail and textiles in the 21st century.

The work the FWF does cannot and should not be ignored; by partnering with specific companies and looking into the work conditions that so many are forced to slave under - conditions that often violate the labor standards set by the ILO Conventions and the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights - the FWF has been able to help people and children alike working overtime for poor pay in inadvertent working conditions. The nonprofit's website reads, "FWF’s 80 member companies represent over 120 brands, and are based in seven European countries; member products are sold in over 20,000 retail outlets in more than 80 countries around the world. FWF is active in 15 production countries in Asia, Europe and Africa."

So what does an American businessman like Tognetti have to do with the FWF, which primarily operates overseas?

The FWF actually sought Tognetti out on its own, hoping that he would consider ttransferringownership of a domain titled to the nonprofit. It seems like an unusual request upon first glance, but the FWF has big plans for this simple URL.

The FWF wants to use this domain name to host a site dedicated to talking about one of their newest initiatives, the WellMade project. The WellMade project’s overall goal, according to the FWF, will be to provide training to employees in the European apparel industry on pragmatic things they can do in their day-to-day work that support better working conditions in clothing factories. The project is being funded by the European Commission.

The end-goal is to use this URL specifically to house an online resource library that will bring together new and existing documents, films, and other materials that have been developed by the FWF and other project partners, including the Ethical Trading Initiative and Dutch trade union CNV. The hope is that library will host a diverse pool of educational information for employees on all levels from many different backgrounds, from designers to managers – available free of charge.

Tognetti soon learned after initially being asked to donate that if he donated the URL he owned to this organization so that they could use it to aid their cause, he would receive nothing back for his generosity – but this didn’t stop him from transferring ownership of the domain. Thanks to this kind gesture on Tognetti's part, soon a free pool of information for employees will soon be made available by the FWF to anyone with working Internet around the world.

Our next post will discuss the information the FWF hopes to put into this online library now that Jeffrey Tognetti has confirmed that they can use their desired domain name, as well as some of the finer details about the organization. Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Jeffrey Tognetti Proposes Additional Life Skill Resources for Wounded Warrior Project

What have you heard about the Wounded Warrior Project?

Image courtesy of

A nonprofit organization with headquarters in the veteran-friendly Florida and chapters in numerous other states, the Wounded Warrior Project’s mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. The organization does this by taking part in the following:
  • raising awareness and enlisting the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members 
  • helping injured service members aid and assist each other 
  • providing unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.
Founded in Virginia in 2002, the WWP allocates 55 percent of its revenue to program expenses and 44.8 percent to fundraising and administrative expenses, according to Charity Navigator.

The work done by this organization deserves all of the praise and support it receives; in his testimony before the U.S. Congress in 2005, injured Iraq War vet John A. Fernandez stated, "Without these outside veterans organizations, such as the Wounded Warrior Project, soldiers such as myself would be very lost."

As this video shows, a number of veterans have used the resources provided by WWP to find jobs after returning home, which is a huge victory for all of them and something that all of them are extremely grateful for.

Job hunting resources are only one of the many, many programs and resources the WWP offers to address mental health, physical health, and more. Jeffrey Tognetti has recently begun to donate his own time and ideas to the WWP in the hopes of introducing yet another resource to the already extensive list.

Jeffrey Tognetti's goal is to ultimately find a way to teach veterans ad-tech skills through an instructional course of some sort. This is absolutely an important skill for anyone interested in marketing, advertising, and other similar fields, and is one that Tognetti believes veterans should have the chance to learn.

Research has shown that that most users tune out static (i.e. “normal”) advertising, whereas interactive ads with high quality content are more successful at keeping audiences engaged, which is why modern day ad-tech skills are some of the most relevant and necessary job skills a veteran can acquire. These skills would give veterans the ability to work with and create interactive rich media ads; to make successfully engaging ads, people need to know how to build, manage and report on the most complex ads, and how to make these ads visible on multiple types of digital platforms. Knowing how to do this would absolutely open a number of doors for veterans looking to enter the workforce upon their return home from service.

Though as of now this idea is still in its early infancy and is moving forward into a planning phase, Jeffrey Tognetti’s efforts, if successful, will surely go a long way in helping to continue to empower a number of veterans returning from serving their country.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center Helps Surviors Return To Normal Lives

Image courtesy of

Have you ever heard of the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center?

This hospital and care center, founded in 1884, has a long and outstanding history filled with internationally recognized work, such as providing patient care, conducting innovative research, and hosting outstanding educational programs. Their work is enhanced and continues today thanks to support and public donations. Jeffrey Tognetti knows this; he donates to the center on a regular basis.

One only has to look at the center’s newsletters, which help connect cancer survivors, to see the good work this hospital has done thanks to the donations it has received. Their most current newsletter, for example, highlights the story of a four-year cancer survivor who, after recovering from his stage III cancer, went on to help Team USA take the Gold Medal at the World Championships of Ultimate Frisbee in Osaka, Japan.

This survivor, Kurt Gibson, traveled from Dallas, TX., to New York, specifically because of the center’s fantastic reputation. The center, which is primarily located in New York City and has several branch offices open in other parts of New York state, focuses on two key areas when fulfilling its mission:
  • Upholding ongoing close collaboration between its physicians and scientists. This communication, unique among select centers in the world, allows the Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center to provide patients with the best care available while simultaneously researching better strategies that will help us prevent, control, and ultimately cure cancer in the future.
  • The center’s education programs allow it to train future physicians and scientists, which greatly influences the minds of the people who are stepping into the field and will ultimately impact the future of cancer treatments and research.
The strength of the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center comes from its ability and willingness to address the multiple sides of cancer treatment and research. Its facilities and staff utilize the best treatments available while also providing the necessary therapy and support for those who are fighting cancer or who are survivors; at the same time, its seminars and community outreach programs continue its work outside of its center by sharing its valuable knowledge with other professionals and the general public alike.

This balance between treatment – both of the patient’s physical and mental health – and communication is crucial in the battle against cancer. Ultimately, thanks to the center’s approach and treatment, Gibson recovered and rejoined his Frisbee team, Doublewide, in 2009; a few years later he was invited by the coach of Team USA to play with the team in Osaka, Japan, where his team won the Gold Medal.

“There is nothing more meaningful than to put on a USA jersey and represent your country at the highest level of a sport,” Gibson says in his interview in the newsletter. “The way it happened was a blessing from God after all I had been through.”

It’s thanks to donations from people like Tognetti that the Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center can continue its outstanding and internationally recognized work and provide patient care, innovative research, and outstanding educational programs.