The Borgen Project has recently gifted 60 T-shirts from The Adair Group, an Atlanta-based, family-owned clothing wholesaler. A gift like this will mean 60 walking, talking billboards for The Borgen Project.

An infographic informed me that it only takes a few trendy people to start wearing an article of clothing for it to take to the streets like wildfire (this is good for hipsters but also great for a small nonprofit trying to raise awareness about global poverty.) So not only has The Adair Group made possible a potentially amazing fashion trend, they have donated a most important ally in the fight against global poverty.

It turns out that it takes nearly 2,700 liters of water to make one T-shirt. That doesn’t even begin to measure how many liters of water it then takes to clean it every other week for the rest of its life.

Once you have this Borgen Project T-shirt, you simply don’t need any others and therefore you will be saving liters and liters of water. Not only will you be the trendiest fellow around, you’ll also be raising awareness about poverty-reducing programs and legislation all while saving water. You will have succeeded in life.

I want to say thank you to The Adair Group for initiating this Borgen revolution of sorts. Without great companies like it that buy truckloads of clothing that can be offered at the lowest prices imaginable, organizations like The Borgen Project would have to resort solely to word of mouth and face to face communicating to get our message out there and that is so not hip. So please, check out The Adair Group and buy your entire family matching hoodies or your hypothetical future offspring cute tie-dye onesies. It’s the right thing to do.

Whitney Garrett

Sources: The Adair Group, National Geographic, Flavorwire
Photo: Flickr

The Borgen Project begrudgingly gave up a great International Affairs intern, Karen Lee, in January. After her internship, Karen moved to Peru to work at a nonprofit. She was a wonderful addition to our Seattle team and her enthusiasm is missed here everyday. Karen stays in touch, however, and she sent us these photos to show that The Borgen Project is still on her mind even as she travels the globe. It’s great to see The Borgen Project in Peru!




Whitney Garrett


seattle nonpofit internships

View Telecommuting and Seattle Nonprofit Internships at The Borgen Project.


Are you looking for an internship that will give meaning to your life?  Do you want to contribute to the reduction of poverty on a global scale?  There are 9 different nonprofit internships in Seattle at The Borgen Project, each with its own set of responsibilities and functions.  Let us begin by briefly reviewing the available positions:

Web Developer Internship

This position serves as the “go-to” for implementing new features for the Borgen Project website.  Responsibilities will include trouble-shooting website issues as they arise, developing and implementing tools for improving the website, working with plugins, develop and implement SEO tools and taking on various challenges as needed.

Political Internship

This position requires that one recruits political volunteers in targeted United States congressional districts and post volunteer openings to key groups and sites, represents The Borgen Project at events and takes on various tasks as needed.

Graphic Design Internship

The graphic designer will create visuals for the website, create infographics that communicate key stats and factoids, update and assist with design of internal and external sites, and create signs, T-Shirts, and posters.

Public Relations/Marketing Internship

This position requires that one edits content for the blog and magazine site, manages PR and media campaigns, utilizes and coordinates social media strategy and takes on assignments as they arise.

Human Resources Internship

This intern will review resumes and schedule interviews with top candidates, interview and screen applicants, and post volunteer openings on various sites.

Development and Fundraising Internship

This position focuses on identifying potential donors and seeking their support. Intern will search and research potential donars and foundations to indentify and evaluate potential funding sources, generate new ideas and business opportunities to increase fundraising and fund development to meet and exceed revenue goals, and represent The Borgen Project at community meetings, outreach events and other community settings.

Donor Relations & Communications Internship

This position focuses on processing donors and communicating with donors.  Intern will track and process donations, manage all communications with donors including Thank you letters and solicitations and represent The Borgen Project at community meetings, outreach events and other community settings.

Recruiter Internship

This intern is responsible for increasing the number of volunteer applicants the organization receives nationally by positing volunteer openings on key sites, research groups and organizations to reach out to, email job descriptions to potential partners, and interview and screen applicants.


The Editor is responsible for reviewing and editing articles submitted by The Borgen Project’s national team of writers while working with the writers to improve their articles and coordinating with the Content Team Manager to address any issues.

All nonprofit internships in Seattle at The Borgen Project require 360-hours.

– Sunny Bhatt


Are you seeking real world experience working as part of a news content team? Looking to build skills working as a journalist, writer, editor, or public relations/visual editor? Are you an independent self-starter? Does working from your personal computer appeal to you? Would you like to research, advocate, and produce content for a cause that is aiming to end global poverty?

If you said yes to the questions above, you may be a good fit for an telecommute internship with The Borgen Project. The Borgen Project is an innovative humanitarian organization downsizing global poverty located in Seattle, Washington. The Borgen Project volunteer network extends to 190 cities, and includes celebrities, political leaders, and a growing number of passionate individuals.

Currently, there are four open telecommute internship positions for The Borgen Project: Journalist, Writer, Editor, and PR/Visual Editor.

The time commitments for the internships vary depending on internship type. While The Borgen Project requires a 12-week program for journalists and writers, editors and PR/visual editors are required to spend 260 hours in total, and 15 hours each week.

Access to a computer is vital, as you will be communicating back and forth with supervisors at Seattle Headquarters, and fellow team members across the nation. Attendance to The Borgen Project national conference call from 5pm-6pm PST every Monday is also required.

Content workload varies depending on the internship type. Writers must complete 4 blog posts/magazine articles each week, journalist write 3 in-depth articles each week, PR/visual editors find, tint, and resize images to meet website criteria, and editors edit and approve articles submitted by content team writers. While each internship fills a certain role for The Borgen Project, all interns must spend 2-3 days assisting with fundraising, share Borgen Project articles and news via social media, meet deadlines, and effectively communicate with supervisors.

Interns are given the freedom to choose their own schedule within the required time commitment guidelines. The first week of the internship entails an online training curriculum that clearly lays out your role, what is expected of you, and eliminates any ambiguity about what you should be doing. Supervisors are supportive and can respond to any questions you have regarding fundraising, article content, article style, deadlines etc.

Additionally, interns have the opportunity to meet each other (people from all walks of life), network, and work within a community that extends across the nation. Internet and social media allow us to extend the values and mission of The Borgen Project across many networks.

View telecommute internship openings.

– Laura Reinacher

Sources: The Borgen Project
Photo: Smallbiz Technology

A “swarm” is simply defined as a point when any congressional leader receives several phone calls from different individuals in their district regarding a bill or an issue in one day. According to one Congressional leader,  “If 5-6 people call the office in the morning, the leader is aware of it by afternoon.” When this many people take action, it becomes obvious to leaders that something is stirring, and it is important.

Below is a quick “how-to” process to swarm your congressional leaders.

1. Make the calls yourself.

You can’t expect people to swarm with you if you aren’t already making the calls yourself. All you have to do is call the offices of your two senators and your representative stating the action that you’d like to see done. For example, you might make a 30 second call to one of your leaders saying, “I’m a Borgen Project supporter and I’d like to see funding for USAID increased.” Your call will begin the tally marks.

2. Enlist supporters.

Once you’re fired up about the cause, share your passion. Enlist supporters in any way that you can and convince them to make the calls, as well. Explain things to them such as who to call, what to say, and the easiness and impact of this deed.

3. Get your busy bees swarming.

Now that you’ve made the calls and you’ve gotten your handful of supporters prepared, have them make the calls. Check back in with them and see what the responses were. Chances are, you and your group have just made a lasting impression. The tally marks are adding up and your leader will be made aware in a timely manner.

– Meagan Hurley

Sources: The Borgen Project, GEN Progress
Photo: National Geographic

As I entered my last quarter of my undergrad career at Cal Poly in September, I knew I wanted to gain some concrete magazine writing experience before I graduated. After searching high and low for a position, I found The Borgen Project. As an independent, self-motivated, passionate, and hard-working individual, the telecommute position has worked perfectly over the past 10 weeks.

My internship has been greater than I ever thought possible. Not only have I gained experience working as an active content news team member, I have the privilege to research and write on powerful, significant topics impacting our world.

My two topic areas are the UNHCR and China in Africa.  I love writing stories about refugees, whether it is to share good news, or inform members of the public sphere about the state of the world, and call for change. Following China’s presence in Africa has also been an enlightening ride.  While half of my articles are on these topics, I am thankful to have the freedom to write about other humanitarian topics as well.

In conjunction with my internship, I am gaining college credit for my work at the Borgen Project through a Cooperative Educational Experience with my academic advisor, professor, and Communication Studies Department Head, Dr. Bernard Duffy.

Dr. Duffy was impressed with my work and suggested I showcase my internship at Cal Poly’s annual “Homecoming for the Mind” event. On Saturday, November 16, the alumni-driven event was held from 3:30-6 p.m., immediately following the Cal Poly Homecoming football game.

Twelve students were selected to display projects from various departments in the College of Liberal Arts. Several Cal Poly alumni attended, including two past ASI presidents and the College Dean, Doug Epperson. A performance by the Cal Poly Jazz Band enriched the event.

Throughout the event, I informed roughly twenty Cal Poly community members about the Borgen Project’s aim to fight global poverty. I explained that I write four articles a week, attend a conference call—during which I listen to leaders across the nation— and share articles on social media, including Facebook and Twitter. I also stressed the importance of calling my local congresswoman and senators each week and asking them to support anti-poverty legislation.  I printed out ten articles that I had written and shared them with community members. Overall, I received positive feedback and believe that I inspired interest in The Borgen Project.

Laura Reinacher 

Make a Difference
The world is a big place filled with billions of people. It can be easy to think that one person couldn’t possibly do enough to change the world. When the weight of global issues simply feels too huge for one person to handle, we have to remember that we do have power to make a difference, even if it starts on a small scale. Below are ten things you can do that may not change the whole world, but will change someone else’s world.


Simple Steps to Make a Difference


1. Smile: Who knew that a smile could go so far? Being friendly to others is a great way to brighten up someone else’s day. Whether it’s at the store, work, or simply walking along the street, a nice gesture like a smile could go a long way for someone having a bad day.

2. Do Some Volunteer Work: Volunteering is an amazing experience that gets us out of our daily routines and allows us to turn our efforts outwards. Go out and help feed the homeless, volunteer at local events – even picking up trash in your city is a great way to give back to the community!

3. Sponsor a Child: There are tons of organizations looking for people to sponsor children in need in countries around the world. These organizations are literally only a click away, and don’t take much time to sign up for. It is a small price to pay to make an incredible difference in a child’s life.

4. Invest and Listen: Society has become so drenched in the buzz of technology that real face-to-face interaction and relationship is growing scarce. Next time you throw out the standard, “Hi, how you doin?” make an effort to really invest in what is going in that person’s life. Ask questions that show you really care and want to listen.

5. Teach!: Go out and teach a skill to someone who wants to learn. Whether it’s teaching someone how to drive, or helping a student with their homework, your lessons will make a huge impact on their lives.

6. Donate: If you’re anything like the typical American, you probably have a lot of stuff. When it comes time to get rid of something or buy something new, make a donation instead! There are many ways to make donations online and in your community.

7. Stop What You’re Doing and HELP: It’s easy to think that our priorities are the ones that matter the most. When you’re driving and see someone along the road struggling with a flat, stop to help. Wouldn’t you want a person to do the same for you? There are tons of ways for us to lend a helping hand throughout our day.

8. Team Up with Someone to Live Healthier: Oftentimes having a workout partner is the best kind of motivation out there. If someone you know keeps talking about how he/she wants to get in shape, join them! This will make a huge impact on their lives, and together, you’ll both be on your way to a healthier life.

9. Make a Care Package: Care packages are easy and affordable to make and they can be used in so many different ways. They can be sent overseas or used locally! Next time you’re out and about and see a homeless person, offer them a care package. Keep a supply of the packages in your car and they can go a long way.

10. Having an Outward Gaze: We live in a pretty self-centered society. Many of us are taught at a young age to do what is going to make us most successful; this can lead us to do a lot things that are only self-serving. It’s time for a change of perspective! Start thinking in ways that turn that self-centered gaze outward. See what it’s like to put others needs before yours. You won’t regret it.

– Chante Owens

source: Zen Habits
Photo: ActionAid


Making a difference in the world can seem like a momentous task. Many people feel like their contributions will be insignificant; how can the actions of one person impact such an immense amount of people? However, making a difference may not be as hard as it may seem. Impacting the lives of others can happen in a variety of ways. By dedicating oneself to the cause of helping others, one can be ensured that they are performing acts for the greater good. There are many ways to get involved, so why not start today?

Poverty is dwindling in many areas throughout the world, but there is still a substantial amount of work that needs to be done. Many people would love the opportunity to help, but see no way to get started. This may seem daunting at first, but there are ten easy ways to get started.

Let’s start with the political aspect. First, simply calling or getting in contact with Congress with letters or emails is a great way to start. Congressional leaders have been known to support poverty-reduction legislation when as few as 7-10 people declare their interest in the issue. Second, meeting with congressional workers is surprisingly easy to set up. Our democracy was built upon these standards, so incorporating them only makes sense!

Politics, however, is not for everyone. Spending money or wearing merchandise whose proceeds go to a greater cause can be easier for some people and doing this is just as easy. For example, one can simply buy from the Borgen Project! All proceeds from the online store go towards improving living conditions of others. Besides buying straight from the Borgen Project, there are other alternatives. eBay allows its users to set aside a share of sales and profit as a donation to the Borgen Project, so purchasing items off the site also can help the cause.

Fifth, social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are an excellent way to get information about world poverty seen in the public. Social media also gives citizens a unique opportunity to interact with famous people. Sixth, by posting on politicians’ and celebrity pages, people can get their message seen on these people’s profiles. Why not use every means possible to get news of the cause heard by all, regardless of fame and fortune?

Getting the news out and garnering support to diminish international poverty can certainly be difficult. However, informing others about the cause and giving people options as to what they can do to help is an effective method. Donating time and money to a program such as The Borgen Project is a way to impact worldwide poverty. People rarely give without asking, so writing out letters asking for donations often strikes a chord. People generally feel more inclined to help when they know the facts, and when they are asked. Fundraising online is another great way to obtain support. Ninth, donating to the Borgen Project or programs such as Kershaw’s Challenge, is also very beneficial. Lastly, performing an act (such as running a marathon) and obtaining charitable support for these acts is another way to get involved.

Getting involved can be so simple even though it can appear to be complicated. However, this is hardly the case – often, just getting started can be the most difficult part. Hopefully these ten ways to get started will get some action going anywhere, from the running trail or from online shopping on the couch!

– Zachary Wright

Sources: The Borgen Project, Kershaws Challenge
Photo: Cafe Press

what is advocacy
What is Advocacy? With advocacy, people fight social injustice through political means. Advocacy groups perform a vital function in policy making, but what exactly are they? There are many types of organizations that use advocacy and many of them are non-government organization, like The Borgen Project, Greenpeace, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the National Rifle Association. Essentially, these groups deliberately attempt to influence policy makers to follow their agendas.

Several components of advocacy include:

  • Active promotion of a cause or principle.
  • Actions that lead to a selected goal.
  • One of many possible strategies, or ways to approach a problem.
  • Can be used as part of a community initiative, nested in with other components.
  • Not direct service.
  • Does not necessarily involve confrontation or conflict.

Advocacy is not a service, like Habitat for Humanity or passing out food at a soup kitchen. Rather than these community projects, these groups will, for example, work with government officials and persuade them to pass low-income housing legislative or improve welfare programs. Instead of standing outside of bars, warning people about drunk driving, Mothers Against Drunk Driving lobby officials on behalf of more stringent drinking and driving laws.

One of the main benefits of advocacy is the ability to affect a larger population than just one community. It can be difficult, especially for small organizations, to reach a wide audience, but by speaking to several policy makers, the groups are able to influence legislation that will potentially affect thousands or even millions of people.

The more people advocacy groups involve in their cause, the more successful the cause is likely to become. Other outlets, like social media, help raise awareness and put pressure on policy decision makers to comply with the organization.

If people do not believe in the advocacy groups’s agenda, the cause may fizzle out. High levels of organizations also can determine success. Advocacy groups are an excellent way to influence the government into action, whether that be on behalf of the world’s poor or ending drunk driving.

Mary Penn

Sources: CARE USA, The Community Tool Box


Below are ten quotes about life in poverty. Each of these quotes illuminates the everyday struggle of those living in poverty, a struggle which we here at the Borgen Project are working to eradicate.

1. “In a country well-governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

Consider two countries: the United States and Russia. In the United States, a country which we would consider well-governed, poverty is something which is never directly confronted by the media. Instead, US citizens believe that social welfare programs and soup kitchens can console the homeless and the poor.

Rather than working with the poor to help them out of poverty, we donate our spare change every once in a while. Moreover, we avoid sparking consolidated efforts within our communities because we do not believe we will receive the support of others.

Whereas in poorly governed countries, like Russia, wealth is something abstract. For the majority of people, wealth is unattainable. Poor governance and corruption create about wealth for the few, but not for the many. In these countries, wealth is a signal of corruption and unfair treatment.

2. “Poverty is the worst form of violence.” Mahatma Gandhi

Poverty is the worst form of violence because it cannot be easily eradicated with food or aid. Rather, poverty cultivates long-standing tendencies towards violence. When people live in poverty and feel as though they lack social mobility, they are more likely to resort to other forms of activity, namely violence, to get their point across.

3. “Coming generations will learn equality from poverty, and love from woes.” Khalil Gibran

As Gibran explains, one can learn equality from poverty. When you don’t have anything to eat and you see other people with plenty, but who are unwilling to share with you, you wish that they could understand your hunger.

Moreover, when you have plenty and you see people with nothing, you are quick to defend your goods because maybe you ‘worked’ for them. However, it is only until you have endured a life of poverty and been lifted out of it, that you can see the humanity in other people and understand their pain. Hunger is universal, poverty doesn’t have to be.

4. “Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.”-Muhammad Ali

Traditional warfare has always changed landscapes. Wars have been fought, territories won, and people have been conquered. The wars of poverty are categorically different because communities lift themselves up, together, to create a new, more prosperous community. The individual plight of poverty requires change; it requires individuals to recognize their struggle, identify their strengths, seek help, and work with others to make their world a better place.

5. “The community which has neither poverty nor riches will always have the noblest principles.” – Plato

A rich community cannot know what it’s like to struggle, in the same way that a poor community cannot know what it’s like to be satisfied. Communities which are neither rich nor poor, but those which strike a healthy balance between the two, are those that can know a little bit of both. These communities are empowered with the ability to abstain but also to persevere.

6. “You are going to let the fear of poverty govern your life and your reward will be that you will eat but you will not live.” – George Bernard Shaw

If all you do is work to make money and be ‘successful,’ you won’t have the time to help others. If money is your only focus, your main goal, when will you be fulfilled? When will you say enough money is enough? The truth is you will never be fulfilled. A life led in pursuit of materialistic ideals is one led in vain. If your life is not governed by a fear of poverty, you have the freedom, time and energy to find fulfillment, wherever that may be.

7. “An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.” – Albert Einstein

Hunger is a human need. One cannot address higher cognitive pursuits without first addressing their hunger. If someone is poor and hungry, their first order of business is to procure food by whatever means possible (stealing, prostitution, or other illegal activities).

Accordingly, it’s unlikely that they will be able to make sound decisions under these circumstances. In order to create the most liberating political atmosphere, one in which many people can and are actively participating, one would have to first address poverty.

8. “He who is not capable of enduring poverty is not capable of being free.” – Victor Hugo

If you cannot endure a life in poverty, then you allow yourself to be constrained by materialistic concerns. If you were truly free, the material wouldn’t matter. However, for a lot of people, poverty is a huge constraint. It is difficult for them to want a better life but have no means of attaining it. A huge part of living in poverty is accepting that you lack the means to do what you want to do, but that that does not, and should not, define you. Only once you rid yourself of defining feature can you really enjoy your life.

9. “Poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of soul, impossible.” Michel de Montaigne

Much of what we see in the development world addresses poverty of goods. We provide food, aid, and resources to those who lack them in hopes of lifting them out of poverty. With these resources, poverty of goods is often cured. However, we rarely, if ever, see programs to address poverty of the soul. Poverty of the soul, unlike of goods, is present in every country.

There will always be individuals who will never be satisfied with their life. Rather than trying to address those forms of poverty, we only focus on poverty of goods. However, I would argue that humanitarian work relieves one from poverty of the soul. Rather than leaving us devoid, humanitarian work fulfills our inner need to help others and satisfies our desire to leave the world a better place than we found it.

10. “The burden of poverty isn’t just that you don’t always have the things you need, it’s the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you’d do anything to lift that burden.” – Jay-Z

People can overcome poverty. However, people who have lived in poverty can never overcome the amount of shame incurred by their time spent in poverty. Throughout their time in poverty, these people remember being treated differently; they remember never having enough food on the table; they may even remember coveting others for having more than them.

These ills brought on by a life in poverty are not easily erased and they often leave a huge impact on these individuals if they come out of poverty, as Jay-Z did. The key for people who have come out of poverty is for them to carry those feelings with them in their daily intentions and to acknowledge people living in poverty today with certain compassion.

– Kelsey Ziomek
Sources: Good Reads, Brainy Quote


Read humanitarian quotes.