For this interview I had the privilege of chatting with Ben from Jujamcyn Theaters and Givenik! He’s going to tell us more about what Givenik does and how buying theater tickets can be a winning situation for everyone.

What is your role within Givenik and how long have you been with them?

My name is Ben Cohen and I am a Marketing Associate at Jujamcyn Theaters. I work mainly on Givenik.com, which is the only place on the web where you can get Broadway tickets and 5% goes to your favorite charity! I started full-time in June 2011 and focus a lot on the digital marketing world.

 So tell us, how did the idea for Givenik come about?

Givenik.com was started in 2007 by Jordan Roth. He is an incredible visionary for Broadway and has always supported many charitable organizations. He realized that these two passions don’t intersect in a way that they should. From there, Givenik.com was born and we have become a year-round fundraising mechanism for some incredible organizations.

For those unaware of how Givenik works, can you explain why it’s beneficial for people to buy their theater tickets with you?

Of course. Givenik.com is redefining theatergoing, one ticket at a time. The revolutionary service offers discount, full-price & premium tickets to dozens of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, as well as group rates to all shows, and donates 5% of the ticket price to the charity of the ticket-buyer’s choice. Give money, save money, see a show-it’s a win-win-win situation.

What are some of the top charities that people choose?

This is definitely a hard questions to answer. We have national groups to local chapters, and from arts organizations to educational institutions on Givenik.com, including The Trevor Project, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, City Harvest, Broadway Green Alliance, Dress for Success Worldwide, God’s Love We Deliver, The Actors Fund, Stand Up to Cancer, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The It Gets Better Project, New York Theatre Workshop, local chapters of Susan G. Komen For the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation, the Museum for African Art and the American Foundation for Equal Rights. And of course, if your charity isn’t signed up, just visit the site and select the “add my charity” tab. It takes only a few minutes and is absolutely free.

How do you pick your Givenik ambassadors?

We’ve been blessed to have so many incredible Givenik Ambassadors, who are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to record a video discussing their favorite charity and answer questions from fans. We’ve been privileged enough to interview Sigourney Weaver, Aaron Carter, Reeve Carney, Joel Grey and many more who all have a unique connection to various non-profits. There are some people who immediately pop into your head, like Rory O’Malley from The Book of Mormon, who co-founded Broadway Impact and other times we help start that relationship.

What are some of your favorite events to be a part of throughout the year?

We love doing red carpet arrivals at Broadway openings because we get to ask questions that no one else is asking. For example, at the 2011 Tony Awards we were able to chat with Edie Falco and James Earl Jones about their favorite charity. We’ve recently begun hosting charity nights at various Broadway shows, which are honestly the most exciting events for us. Our first was with Chicago, where fans who bought a ticket on Givenik for that specific performance could attend a post-show reception with Kara DioGuardi. On Tuesday, February 21st we have our next charity night at The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess supporting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. It’s great to see an entire company support an organization.

I remember when you started up and shows were jumping on board. Now Givenik has become a huge force in the theater world. Have you ever considered conquering other areas like sports or concert ticketing?

Ha! When Givenik.com first launched, we dedicated a lot of time securing partner shows. All of our tickets are processed directly through Telecharge and Ticketmaster, so each show has to come to an agreement on the price, locations, dates etc. It’s an advantage for the consumer because we aren’t a broker, the 5% donation comes directly from the ticket price, and they can enjoy the user-friendly experience of these authorized ticketing websites. Fast forward to 2012, it’s great to see the biggest hits like Wicked and Jersey Boys join our long-running shows and off-Broadway hits. We’ve really been embraced by the theatrical community. The natural next step is to dive in to sporting events and concerts (last year was the first year we sold any MSG events, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Peter Pan), and it is definitely a 2012 goal. We love what we do and hope to spread our wings as wide as we can.

How can we be more involved with Givenik? Do you take on interns?

YES! Jujamcyn Theaters and Givenik.com has an incredible internship program, which led to me getting my first big break. Visit Jujamcyn.com to learn more and you can even watch videos from past interns discuss their experience. The Marketing/Givenik.com department is always looking for great interns who love theater and have a knack for the non-profit world.

Thank you so much for your time Ben! Be sure to check out givenik.com the next time you’re looking for your theater tickets. I really support this organization, it truly is a win-win situation for everyone involved. See great theater while supporting a great charity!