Information and news about philanthropy

Forbes
A new survey released by The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranks 12 companies in order of who gave away the highest percentage of profits in 2013. 70 U.S. companies participated in the survey. The top 12 most generous companies are listed below along with descriptions of their core values and donations.

1. Alcoa

Alcoa, a metals, engineering and manufacturing company, values innovative solutions that better the world. They donated 12.1 percent of their profits to worthy causes.

2. Safeway

Safeway, a grocery and food supply company, values quality food and integrity. They donated 7.2 percent of their profits to worthy causes.

3. UPS

UPS, a commerce and messaging company, values excellent service and dedication. They donated 5.6 percent of their profits to worthy causes.

4. Bank of America

Bank of America, a banking company, believes in the power of helping all people. They donated 5.4 percent of their products to worthy causes.

5. State Farm Insurance

State Farm Insurance, an insurance company, values being a Good Neighbor and helping those in need. They donated 4.1 percent of their profits to worthy causes.

6. Kroger

Kroger, a retail food company, believes in proving the best service, selection and value. They donated 3.3 percent of their profits to worthy causes.

7. MetLife

MetLife, an insurance, benefits and retirement company, values individuals and seeks to help the future of others. They donated 3.2 percent of their profits to worthy causes.

8. Target

Target, a retail company, values quality products to enable a successful life. They donated 3.2 percent of their profits to worthy causes.

9. Nationwide

Nationwide, an insurance company, values helping others. They donated 3.2 percent of their profits to worthy causes.

10. DOW Chemical

DOW Chemical, a chemical, biological and physical sciences company, is committed to innovations that help the world. They donated 2.4 percent of their profits to worthy causes.

11. Goldman Sachs Group

Goldman Sachs Group, a bank, securities and investment management company, believes in making a difference in someone’s life. They donated 2.3 percent of their profits to worthy causes.

12. Exelon

Exelon, an energy service company, values progress and knowledge that will help the world. They donated 2 percent of their profits to worthy causes.

Kelsey Parrotte

Sources: Alcoa, Bank of America, DOW, Exelon, Forbes 1, Forbes 2, Goldman Sachs, Kroger, MetLife, Nationwide, Safeway, State Farm,, Target, UPS
Photo: Flickr

z1 Borgen Project
A young man decided to devote his life to saving the lives of people in poverty-stricken countries. Thus, he completed his doctorate of philosophy at University of Oxford and became a trader at a Wall Street firm. Although the logic in this plan is not immediately clear, in the scheme of effective altruism, it makes perfect sense.

Effective altruism is “a philosophy and social movement which applies evidence and reason to determining the most effective ways to improve the world”. It is a trend, primarily among young people, to live their best life while also giving the most they can to help other people. It is not sacrificing, but flourishing.

The Oxford grad and trader, Matt Wage, made it his goal to give a sufficient amount of his annual salary to save the lives of the millions of children around the world who die annually from preventable diseases. He realized that, as a trader, he would be able to give a larger amount of money away, and within a year of work, he was donating a six-figure sum to highly effective charities. He is able to lead a stable, comfortable life in a promising career while helping hundreds of people across the globe.

Philosophy plays a major role in the workings of effective altruism because it challenges the relationship between impulse and reason: are we guided entirely by impulse and only later apply reason as a hollow justification, or do we decipher our reasoning before even considering out actions? How does logic play into charitable acts? Is it a guiding principle some possess and other do not, or do generous people simply give as a matter of impulse? Like many things in philosophy, there are no simple answers, but it is enough to challenge popular notions of behavior through benefiting oneself while also helping others.

Effective altruists also challenge conventions in that they are highly selective in where they let their money go. Rather than spreading funds across many different charities, they donate to just one or two organizations they know are highly effective and make the most of their funds. This requires thorough research into the progress and activity of different organizations and a strong passion for one or two causes.

Effective altruists also employ logic in funneling their donations. They believe that rather than donating to causes that attract people through emotional sway, people should donate funds to causes that most need them and will most effectively use them. This promotes charitable organizations to attract donors through demonstrated transparency and efficiency rather than eliciting emotional responses.

As Millenials enter the workforce, many are considering careers that allow them to give back while living modest lives. They are directing the course of their lives in the interest of others, while giving back to their own communities through hard work and human capital. In this way, they are leading industrious lives and helping others do the same. They employ both logic and emotion and shed optimistic light on the future of charity and goodwill.

Jenny Wheeler

Sources: TED, Boston Review
Photo: 101 Fundraising

poverty

Australia is considered a developed nation with rather good development indicators: children in school, high life expectancy, higher than average gross national income and the ability to be an agent of change. Yet, like most countries, there are still people living in poverty or at a disadvantage.

Guy Sebastian and his wife Jules have started a foundation to directly combat poverty in their native Australia as well as branch out and help others living in poverty abroad.

In the United States, Guy Sebastian is best known for the song “Battle Scars,” released in 2012 with Lupe Fiasco, but his musical career began when he won the first Australian Idol title in 2003. His wife Jules is a celebrity stylist and a copartner in The Sebastian Foundation.

Sebastian’s humanitarian work started very early in his musical career when he took a tour of Africa, specifically Uganda, as an ambassador for World Vision. During his time there, he saw the debilitating effects that poverty can have on a person, and he has worked for awareness surrounding poverty from that time on.

When the Sebastian’s family started to grow, they became even more involved with helping children and families in Australia and the world. Through this desire The Sebastian Foundation was formed.

The Sebastian Foundation states, “Our focus is people. Our love is people. We want to see the need and meet the need. We want to help in any way we can and we hope you join us in our mission.” With this thought in mind, they form collaborations with like-minded organization to work with as partners.

Recently, much of their work has centered on local initiatives such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters, dance programs for youth with Downs Syndrome and children’s hospitals. They have also partnered with Sam Moran, the Yellow Wiggle as of 2006 and a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador; Sam works to help “Australian children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs.”

The foundation has global poverty in mind as well. Especially because of Sebastian’s time as a World Vision ambassador, The Sebastian Foundation focuses on families in regards of “poverty, poor health and disease, empowering women, educating children and giving them a chance at a better future [and] community.”

One way to be involved with this great foundation is to donate and, in return, one can receive a gift heart bracelet with the word “joy” on it. Or they have a shop where one can purchase a beautiful print of a photo taken by Sebastian, and all proceeds are a donation for the foundation.

Overall, the Sebastian family has used their celebrity status in Australia to help those who need it most in their home country. But through their global work, and Sebastian’s breakthrough on the U.S. music market, their reach can spread even farther than before, helping so many people in need around the world.

– Megan Ivy

Sources: Guy Sebastian, The Sebastian Foundation, The Sebastian Foundation Facebook Page, The World Bank, YouTube
Photo: Jules Sebastian

reduce_global_poverty

Today, many socially conscious companies work to reduce global poverty. They help the poor either by donating directly to charities or by providing jobs and fair wages for those in need. Many of these organizations make jewelry. Here are 10 companies that sell jewelry products in order to help the global poor:

1. Article 22 — Article 22 sells jewelry made by bombs, plane parts or other materials left over from the Vietnam War. Their first collection, Peacebomb, uses Vietnam War Era bombs and is crafted by Laotian Artisans. Article 22 helps the poor by providing jobs to Laotian Artisans who may have been ignored or forgotten. Also, each Peacebomb item funds the demining of land that is littered by bombs.

2. 31 Bits — The 31 Bits mission statement is “using fashion and design to empower people to rise above poverty.” They work with women in Uganda who earn an income from the jewelry they create. The women also receive counseling, finance training, health education and business mentorships. Each purchase from 31 Bits funds their work in Uganda.

3. Half United — The purchase of any Half United product gives seven meals to children in need in the United States, Fiji, Cambodia and Madagascar.

4. Indego Africa — Indego Africa works with women in Rwanda in order to help them flourish as independent businesswomen. They partner with female artisans and sell their products in their shop. One hundred percent of their profits go toward job skills training programs for their artisans in business management, technology, entrepreneurship and English and Kinyarwanda literacy.

5. Kurandza — Kurandza works with HIV positive women in Mozambique. Many of these women do not have the money necessary for transportation to the hospital and are therefore not able to obtain the medicine that they need. Kurandza works with these women, and the proceeds from the skirts and jewelry that they make goes toward transportation to the hospital and other household items, such as schoolbooks for their children.

6. Purpose — Purpose is a fashion jewelry brand launched by International Sanctuary. International Sanctuary was an organization found in 2007 that works to help those who escaped sex trafficking, in both Mumbai, India and Orange County, California. Survivors are placed in mentoring programs and given an education, medical and dental care, scholarships and microloans. In 2014, International Sanctuary founded Purpose as a way to give survivors employment, financial stability and a brighter future.

7. The Starfish Project — The Starfish Project was founded in 2006 in order to help exploited women in China. It works to give them alternative employment and holistic care services, and provides them with counseling, vocational training, language acquisition, family education grants, healthcare access and housing in a women’s shelter. The Starfish Project wants to raise awareness about violence against women and its goal is to restore hope for each woman that enters its doors.

8. The Purple Buddha Project — Like Article-22, the Purple Buddha Project works to help demining. As they say, more tons of bombs were dropped on Cambodia than on Germany and Japan combined during World War II. The Purple Buddha Project uses remains of weapons in Cambodia in order to make jewelry, providing jobs to Cambodian artisans. The purchase of each piece goes toward demining of land in Cambodia or Laos. Many of the Purple Buddha Project bracelets contain positive messages.

9. Mujus — Mujus works to give back to Peru. They pair fair wages and provide health insurance to Mujus artisans in Peru in order to help provide social change to communities around Lima. (Mujus also works with the ALS association in the United States, and has a special collection designed to help raise money for those with Lou Gehrig’s disease).

10. Colorful Minds — While Colorful Minds does not sell specific jewelry pieces, they do sell jewelry boxes and pouches (which you can use to keep all the jewelry you purchased while helping the global poor). Colorful Minds works with vocational centers in India that serve those living with disabilities. They market the products that are made at the vocational centers in order to help those with disabilities to integrate into society, increase self-esteem and motivate them to use their creativity. They also execute a grant program which provides necessary items, such as prosthetics or supplies, to vocational centers.

Ashrita Rau

Sources: Article 22, Busy Mommy, 31 Bits, Half United, Indego Africa, Kurandza, Purpose Jewelry, Starfish Project, The Purple Buddha Project, Mujus, Colorful Minds
Photo: The Big Piece of Cake

Latina-Powerhouses
For years entertainers have adopted a precious role in ridding away difficulties posed against those of the developing world. With such charitable responsibility, ten Latina powerhouses from an assortment of entertaining realms have quintessentially supported strategies that give back to many, albeit by endorsement or establishment of a personal foundation.

1) Cuban musician Gloria Estefan has been sincerely active in providing global health, especially helping those who suffer from paralysis-related illnesses. A paralysis-sufferer herself, the “Conga” songstress founded The Gloria Estefan Foundation in 1997 as a means to empower”the youth by financial support for good health, cultural development and education.

2) Mexican singer Thalía, known in American music markets for her Fat Joe-assisted “I Want You,” has been a charitable key in giving back to underprivileged women and children from Latin American countries. Her more familiar feat comes from participation as a spokeswoman and ambassador for global campaign March of Dimes, an initiative that educates and funds the developing Latin American world of hazardous premature births,

3) Puerto Rican-Cape Verdean hip-hop icon Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes not only served as a member of R&B trio TLC but has additionally held philanthropic ties with organizations alleviating AIDS, alongside giving back to international ones concerned with poverty. Lopes’ most profound advocate roles derived from her donative unit Lisa Lopes Foundation, an organization that provides shelter and necessities to developing Honduran sites.

4) Puerto Rican actress and choreographer Rosie Perez is undoubtedly synonymous with addressing health awareness statements, especially in concern to the discussion of HIV/AIDS. Expanding herself from an inner-city educator to a global spokesperson, the “In Loving Color” choreographer has been massively active in endorsing AIDS-related fundraisers and providing global education of the sexual disease by support of her role in the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), as appointed by President Barack Obama.

5) Honduran entertainer America Ferrera, best known for her televised title role as “Ugly Betty,” first explored her philanthropic skills when she participated with Aquafresh White Trays to provide immediate dental care to women in need. Since her “fresh mouth” spot, Ferrera has worked in conjunction with fellow celebrities in combating AIDS and cancer, and has more notably collaborated with programs like international “Save the Children” and Hispanic Heritage Foundation-associated “READ: Refugee Enrichment and Development” to enhance education for the impoverished; the former notably raising funds to build schools in Mali.

6) Mexican film starlet Salma Hayek has provided a passionate take on helping battered women of all ages around the world. Among her most high-profiled recognitions include her $75,000 donation to Mexican-operated charity units that minimize domestic hardships in northeastern regions of Mexico. Hayek has more notably co-founded CHIME for a Change and its Syrian-based initiative to improve lives like those hailing from the Middle East who have been displaced by brutal conflict.

7) Greatly known for her filming roles as Gail in “Sin City” and Chelsea Brown in the recent “Top Five,” Puerto Rican-Cuban actress Rosario Dawson has taken part in programs that enrich African lives for a socially- and domestically-healthy cause. From attending a 2005 United Nations conference to promote environmental preservation as a poverty eliminator, the “Men in Black II” co-star has been a frequent advocate for the global “V-Day campaign,” a movement that stops violence against women; moreover, Dawnson has launched several initiatives that embrace native Africans who specialize in fashion or design.

8) Renowned Mexican singer and former X-Factor judge Paulina Rubio has led a moderate philanthropic trail in shielding Latinos from sexual diseases like HIV/AIDS. Appointed as the then-newest “Madrina” for the Latino Commission on AIDS in 2007, the “Boys Will Be Boys” musician remains a vast component in initiating safe sex campaigns geared towards a Latino audience, not only from the Latino Commission, but also for accompanying international nonprofits like the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

9) Pop culturally known for her sexual-liberating role as Gabrielle of “Desperate Housewives,” Mexican starlet Eva Longoria has been regarded as among the top philanthropists, particularly for her vast achievements in giving back to a large number of communities. Longoria’s most known charitable causes generally include her involvement with Padres Contra El Cancer and Eva’s Heroes, the latter which improves developmentally challenged children. Further on, Longoria has provided global awareness with her Eva Longoria Fund (ELF), which supports children of any ethnic background who suffer from health-related problems.

10) Finally, the term humanitarian is not fully defined without the mentioning of famed Colombian singer Shakira, who has been featured as a spokeswoman for a number of foundations that give back in millions. The “Whenever, Wherever” artist’s very own organization, Barefoot Foundation, has created over five schools and implemented proper nutritional and educational access to over 30,000 native Colombian families since its launch in 2007.

With the help of these 10 gracious Latina “sheroes,” the developing world might just be a few steps closer in reaching the hopeful of everyone living stably, without financial or health concerns posing as deathly restraints.

– Jeff Varner

Sources: TreeHugger, BORGEN, esmas, PRNewswire 1, San Antonio Express-News, PRNewswire 2, Save the Children, USATODAY.com, California Community Foundation, Shape Magazine, TakePart, thuglifearmy.com, Los Angeles Times, VeroNews, BMI.com
Photo: Billboard

coffeed
Coffeed, a New York City based coffee shop chain, is dedicated to supporting various local charities. Their mission is to become one of the most charitable companies in the world. They aim to serve quality coffee and food at affordable prices, and each location donates between 3-10 percent of their gross revenue to charity.

Coffeed’s CEO and founder, Frank “Turtle” Raffaele, was a stock trader on Wall Street before the 2008 stock market crash. After the crash, he decided to pursue a new path and started Coffeed along with three other former traders. The flagship café opened in 2012 in Long Island City. Currently, there are six Coffeed stores in New York City, and, to take the company international, a seventh café is planned for Seoul. Each location is partnered with a different local nonprofit, such as Community Mainstreaming Associates or the Refugee and Immigrant Fund.

One shop is located in Chelsea at the headquarters of the Foundling organization, a nonprofit that provides foster care and adoption services. Coffeed donates to Foundling in exchange for reduced rent in this busy location. They also dedicate a portion of the café to displaying information about Foundling’s work and issues related to poverty and inequality. Furthermore, they employ some of Foundling’s clients, including developmentally disabled adults and teenaged foster children.

Coffeed’s flagship café partners with Brooklyn Grange, a small farm located on their rooftop. They source most of their produce from this farm and support the City Growers organization, which educates the community about sustainability and agriculture.

Raffaele operates Coffeed on a number of important principles. They serve only Fair Trade coffee and try to keep business local by sourcing high quality ingredients from local vendors and supporting local charities. The cafes are meant to be safe, comfortable spaces for customers where they can enjoy food and coffee at reasonable prices. They work to promote sustainability by engaging in environmental practices such as composting. They regularly refine their coffee roasting and prep procedures. Staff members are carefully selected and work to educate consumers about their products. But the guiding principle for this company is putting charity first.

Raffaele hopes to open 15 to 20 locations in the next five years by connecting with fundraisers and investors. One of his main objectives for Coffeed is to prove that business can be both charitable and profitable. The model has been successful so far and could inspire more businesses to follow suit as the chain goes international.

– Jane Harkness

Sources: Coffeed, Huffington Post, Inc., Small Business Trends, The Times Ledger
Photo: Daily Coffee News

world_globe_borgen_africa

Pop radio in recent decades has featured a considerable amount of hip-hopping crossover tunes, courtesy of some of the music industry’s fascinating producers. And with a heavy helping hand of these talents, ten of these following beat-maker producers have long held interest in relieving regions of catastrophic-induced conflicts.

10. Controversial rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs is synonymous with charitable causes supporting medical research of HIV/AIDS and cancerous diseases. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the frequent Biggie Smalls producer’s philanthropic work would include his 1994 New York City-established Daddy’s House Social Programs, an international foundation that provides education to the underprivileged and homeless.

9. When auto-tuning-favorite T-Pain isn’t in the booth cranking out hits for Jesse McCartney (“Body Language”) or Flo Rida (“Low”), the “Blame It (On the Alcohol),” the rhymer is certainly making a worldly impact with his digital foundation “If I Could Change the World.” The program, which gives any user the ability to produce a philanthropic idea or select a global charity of their choosing, has been made popular by aid of T-Pain’s recurring concert series “Come to the Crib,” as means to enhance charitable awareness.

8. Certain singles from Michael Jackson’s legendary “Scream” to Janet Jackson’s comeback-knockout “No Sleeep” would not be possible without the help of iconic music-making duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The non-stop reinventing pair have helmed a remarkable feat in captivating groundbreaking awareness for the medical support in treating AIDS, cancer and leukemia; effective enough for the two-man unit to receive a 1996 humanitarian accolade from the T.J. Martell Foundation and personal friend Janet Jackson.

7. Hip-hop superwoman Missy Elliott, who has produced for the likes of Beyoncé (“Signs”) and Madonna (“American Life–American Dream Remix”), is not a newbie when it comes to charitable occurrences. Among her most profound causes include her dedication to alleviate domestic abuse and AIDS cases by involvement in fundraising activities with organizations Break the Cycle and the MAC AIDS Fund (the former appointing Elliott as global spokesperson).

6. He’s the brains behind notorious headphone gear Beats by Dre, yet Dr. Dre has stamped his name outside the musical mogul world for the advocacy of a safer environment. Securing iconic production roles in Eminem’s “Hi, My Name Is Slim Shady” and Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair,” Dr. Dre has generously donated $1 million to organizations relieving the aftereffects of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina; moreover, Dre’s “Beats Electronics” division has helped create seasonal camps for African schoolchildren.

5. Enormously responsible for composing Mariah Carey’s Grammy-winning “We Belong Together” and Kris Kross’ party-thumping “Jump,” Jermaine Dupri favors in helping underprivileged youth and repairing national tragedies; showcasing his advocacy via his separate launched initiatives Hip-Hop 4 Humanity and The Jermaine Dupri Foundation; the former raising more than $25,000 in aid of 9/11 victims and the latter helping those victimized in Hurricane Katrina. Aside from producing chart-toppers, Dupri served as the perfect power source in 2001 for his remixing role in charitable “What’s Going On,” an anti-AIDS anthem featuring the philanthropic likes of Lil’ Kim and TLC.

4. Swizz Beatz, super-producer known for drafting hit records among Busta Rhymes (“Touch It”) and Whitney Houston (“Million Dollar Bill”), has voiced advocacy for the betterment of health; so passionate that he would be bestowed the title as New York City’s first ever Global Ambassador of Health and Hospitals Corporation. Additionally, Beatz has recorded charitable tunes (“Stranded [Haiti Mon Amour]”); collaborated with City of Hope for the battle against cancer; and launched various events in support of wife Alicia Keys’ anti-AIDS Keep a Child Alive foundation.

3. Innovation and futurism are always laced in the production sounds by freaky sensation Pharrell Williams, who holds an endless catalog of hits and a groundbreaking list of donative accomplishments. From assembling philanthropic numbers with Beyoncé to headlining global humanitarian concerts, the “Let’s Get Blown” producer has launched several astounding projects, such as the NASA-associated Pharrell Williams Resource Center and the globally-interactive “Happy Party” campaign, which acts in a form of a petition to urge global leaders in fixing climatic issues.

2. Though the mainstream hip-hop crowd have not been thoroughly introduced to Immortal Technique as of yet, the intensive “Dance with the Devil” spitter has been making favorable headlines regarding his independent hard-working philanthropic efforts pertaining to activities such as constructing orphanage centers, clinics and schools in war-ravaged Kabul, Afghanistan. One would assume that proceeds collected per an independent musician’s work would be utilized for further entertainment purposes, however the underground producer immediately discards that notion, effectively noting that profits gained from his music are utilized strictly for humanitarian projects, especially in work of constructing homes for the impoverished, like those hailing from Haiti.

1. Largely responsible for bringing Lady Gaga front and center to the spotlight with breakout number “Just Dance,” Akon continuously makes buzz around the world for his recent progress with initiative Akon Lighting Africa (ALA), in supplying electricity to an estimated 600 million African rural natives in need. With the charitable “Oh Africa” adding shine to his name, Akon’s initiative has already implemented solar street lights and home kits to over 14 African regions, and has moreover produced the Solar Academy to teach natives of how solar arrays are installed.

To an unaware audience, music producers endeavoring in “to go” genres seem like the last people you’d expect to make a charitable contribution, especially considering their busy schedules allotting studio time; but these ten producers manage to redefine that aspect and brush away any further misconception. In 2001, when loosely questioned on the nature of hip-hop producers participating in charities, rapper-turned-mogul Dr. Dre proclaimed: “…Money [isn’t donated] to get big recognition […] I did it to help, strictly just to help… a million dollars is the least I could do to help.”

Jeff Varner

Sources: The Huffington Post, Lubbock On, hinkProgress, HipHopDX, The Indie Spiritualist, The Independent, BORGEN, PRNewswire, NBC Bay Area, EBSCO, PRNewswire, CNN.com, Los Angeles Times, NBC News, Black Celebrity Giving, BET

fashion_project
Raising money for charity is a mission that many organizations and movements have, but it is their techniques what makes them different.

Fashion Project has the mission to raise as much money as possible in order to donate it to charity and humanitarian causes. They achieve this through the creation of a community that donates and shops for clothing pieces to support causes these donors and buyers care about.

According to Fashion Project’s official website, this technique has placed them as the industry leader in online clothing donation.

The designer brands that the Fashion Project sells and accepts for donation are Fendi, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce Vita, Elie Saab, Free People, Gucci, Hermes, Lanvin, Prada, Michael Kors and Valentino, among others.

Once donors select the cause they want to support, they can donate their gently used or new designer clothes, shoes and accessories. Fashion Project covers shipping and they also photograph the donated clothing pieces in order to sell them in their online boutique for buyers. In addition, clothing and accessories donors will get a tax receipt.

While their online shop offers sale prices in designer brand items, buyers can take advantage of the savings these items offer and, at the same time, their purchase provides a donation to charity.

Up to 55 percent of the sells of Fashion Project’s online shop are directed to support different charity programs.

As of today, Fashion Project has raised around $700,000 for charity, and is supporting 2,016 charities and organizations.

Some of the charity partners that Fashion Project supports are She’s The First (sponsors girl’s education in developing countries), Neads (dogs to help the deaf and disabled people), Apne Aap Women Worldwide (empowers women to gain independence) and Women’s Global Empowerment Fund (produces programs that reduce poverty and the marginalization of women and their families), among others.

On the other hand, people can also create their own “Fashion Project” as a fundraising campaign.
Fashion Project gives fundraisers the necessary tools to create their fundraising personalized site so they can invite people to donate or shop fashion items for a good cause. Once the fundraiser reaches his goal, Fashion Project will direct their raise to its destination.

This project has been growing with the years to a point in where Fashion Project has partnered with Neiman Marcus, and the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The project has also launched donation programs with Nordstrom, Joie and Elie Tahari, among others.

According to an article published by Forbes, partnerships with retailers have been an important aspect to spread Fashion Project’s mission.

The most popular designer brands on the online shop are Coach, Theory, Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Tory Burch. Most of the donors and buyers are from the United States but they have had donations from Europe countries interested in donating to the cause and supporting the mission of Fashion Project.

Diana Fernanda Leon

Sources: Forbes, Fashion Project 1, Fashion Project 2, Fashion Project 3
Photo: Boston.com

literacy

New data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics states that global literacy rates for youths and adults have been on the rise. Sixty percent of all countries that provided data in 2012 reported overall literacy rates of 95% or higher.

Still, there is a great need for a solution in this regard. The report also said that “An estimated 250 million children around the world cannot read, write, or demonstrate basic arithmetic skills. Many of these children are in developing countries without regular access to quality schools or teachers.”

These statistics ultimately became a project for a nonprofit called XPrize. XPrize runs competitions that aim to produce technology to benefit humankind. An ongoing competition that began in 2014 requires that teams develop an open source software that enables children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic.

XPrize launched a 6-month registration period and all teams have 18 months to develop their own solution. Currently, there are 198 registered teams. The top five finalists with the best results will receive one million dollars. The ultimate grand prizewinner will receive 10 million dollars as the top performing team solution.

Click here for more information on how to get involved and remain updated on the progress of the competition.

XPrize believes that children are a solution to global poverty, and that many of the world’s greatest minds are untapped due to a lack of basic education. “By enabling a child to learn how to learn, that child has opportunity–to live a healthy and productive life, to provide for their family and their community, as well as to contribute toward a peaceful, prosperous and abundant world.”

For the competition’s promotional video, several children  were asked what their ultimate life goals were. So many of those goals have seemed unrealistic due to their location and state of living. However, with support from XPrize, those dreams can become a reality.

Anna Brailow

Sources: Xprize 1, Xprize 2, Tech Crunch, UIS, YouTube
Photo: CNN

 David-Bowie-and-Iman-Philanthropy
Having been married for two decades, supermodel Iman and heavy-rocker David Bowie have walked a consistent pathway in relieving several communities of hardships pertaining to third-world threats such as the harrowing HIV/AIDS threat.

In late 1990, the dynamic pair participated in a fundraising event, 7th on Sale, for the enhanced medical research in treating and curing AIDS. The pair would go on to serve as recurring donors and participants in foundations that conducted deep, thorough studies of the then-unknown sexual catastrophe throughout the remainder of the 90’s.

But even with impactful collaboration in donor work as a married couple, the pair has never ceased in aiding disadvantaging areas on a separate, individual basis.

In 1998, Iman partnered with fellow philanthropist Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott in a charitable cosmetic line, Misdemeanor Lipstick, where proceeds collected from each item sold were issued to the nonprofit Break the Cycle, an organization that works to minimize domestic hardships and abuse to help young children and teenagers to live safely.

Around this time, other philanthropic measures taken by the supermodel included her support for organizations alleviating the mistreatment against Somali native women, world hunger and HIV/AIDS-related crises. A majority of Iman’s charitable endorsements were further supported through her organization IMAN Cosmetics, which supports the “Raise Hope for Congo Campaign,” an initiative aimed at protecting and empowering Congolese women and girls.

With his spouse generating similar awareness, David Bowie has headlined global concert tours that assist in the betterment of drastic illnesses that take a toll on developing nations. Along with his famous contributions was his feature in the 1985 Live Aid concert, which generated funds to minimize threats of climatic and AIDS-related dangers.

Moreover, Bowie went on to utilize his live performing skills through another charitable opportunity, this time in loose hand-in-hand with wife Iman. In 2006, the groundbreaking rock musician collaborated with Grammy-winning R&B musician Alicia Keys. The two artists sung and performed live at a New York concert as part of Keys’ nonprofit Keep a Child Alive, an organization that works to rid African children of AIDS and poverty-induced restraints.

Iman was also involved in the lively event, as she and comedian Wanda Sykes served as hosts of the event’s black-tie dinner in celebration of the initiative’s planning and success.

It would not be long until Keys and fellow organizers appointed Iman as the initiative’s Global Ambassador for Keep a Child Alive after noting the model’s sincere elements in raising awareness for multiple pandemics across the globe. With a newly designated role, Iman launched not only additional fundraisers to support a variety of causes but also programs like “I am African,” a tool utilized to build awareness of the AIDS pandemic greatly affecting her native Somalian homeland.

As years have progressed, nothing has stopped this power couple’s path to giving back to those in need. With social media tools redefining the nature of networking for a passionate cause, Iman and David Bowie still remain fixated and up-to-date on endorsing as many foundations as they possibly can to improve the world.

Jeff Varner

Sources: Philly.com, Billboard, CNN, Slice, Iman Cosmetics, Getty Images
Photo: ENCA