Posts

1. Charity Miles

Often the biggest obstacles in overcoming the challenge of getting off the couch and going for a run is the question “why now and not later?” We all know the importance of exercise, but the inability to find motivation to work out is what keeps us on that couch. Similarly, we all know the importance of giving and helping those in most need of help. The issue we often face regarding charity is the fact that we are often without extra cash.

Charity Miles has the answer to both of these problems. Founded in April 2012, the folks at Charity Miles developed a charity app where, with each mile you bike, run, or walk, a percentage of a dollar will be donated to the charity of your choice. And the best part is that the app is entirely free.

With a limit of one million dollars, each user can garner 10 cents per mile and walkers and runners will earn 25 cents per mile. With this app, users can get themselves into shape and put food on another person’s table. Charity Miles provides users with more motivated than ever to hit the road and feeling great about about themselves in mind, body, and soul.

2. Donate a Photo

It doesn’t get much easier than this. The developers at Johnson & Johnson have unraveled an excellent app that allows users to fight for the world’s underprivileged. For each original photo donated to Johnson & Johnson (up to one a day), they will donate $1 to a service of your choice. The beauty of the app is that users can donate a photo every single day and raise $365 a year for their cause without any cost to them. So far, Johnson and Johnson have declared 25,730 photos donated.

3. Volunteer Match

Volunteer Match is a free service that allows users to connect with volunteer opportunities both in their area and beyond. Users just need to download the app, decide what area they want volunteer in and hit connect! The service provides users with reviews of different organizations and allows them to build a repertoire to share with friends.

4. One Today

Google has entered the charitable arena with their new One Today app. The idea behind the app is to allow users to “Do a little. Change a lot.” The app allows users to donate $1 at a time to a cause of their choice, whether it be saving cheetahs or providing clean water to a village. This app has no fee for nonprofits so 98.9% of all donations go to their intended cause. For the users, the app tracks each and every dollar donated and provides updates on how that dollar was spent and the impact it causes.

5. TabForACause.org

While this is a website and not an app, the premise is very effective at fundraising. This Google Chrome and Firefox extension signals the nonprofit’s sponsors to donate a fraction of a penny to a charity for each tab a user opens. Through conducting daily business, useres, with no cost to them, can help fund Water.org and provide developing countries with clean drinking water.

– Thomas van der List

Sources: Donate A Photo, Volunteer Match, Android Police, Tab For A Cause, Charity Miles
Photo: The Guardian

Capital-One-Do-More-24Capital One Financial Corporation was honored for the donations the company contributed last year, making it to number one on the Washington Business Journal’s list of top corporate givers in its local area by donating $15.7 million to its community in 2012. The company was honored for its philanthropy at a convention aimed at celebrating the charitable achievements made by businesses; the convention closed out with a highly successful one-day charity event called Do More 24.

The convention featured speakers of various charitable foundations — including the founding CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the CEO of Martha’s Table — to discuss philanthropic strategies and stories about businesses and organizations that have greatly helped their communities through donation of time, money, or supplies to those in need.

One important achievement of the conference, in particular, was the launch of the Do More 24 campaign, a short, one-day charity event led by the United Way. The fundraiser focuses on issues related to poverty and access to economic opportunities, student performance in school, and high school graduation rates for minority students. The campaign determined which problems were the most severe in the community, and in turn gave the most donor money to the nonprofits that focus on the most pressing issues. Despite its brevity, the fundraiser was able to generate over $370,000 in just the first 30 minutes and eventually raised over $1.2 million by the end of the campaign.

– Katie Brockman

Source: Washington Business Journal, Do More 24

Tickets For Charity
Tickets-For-Charity has a simple business model: they sell tickets to fans and a portion of the proceeds go to charity. Jay Whitehead, CEO of the for-profit company, explains that the company sells tickets for sports games and concerts, and they sell two types of tickets. One type is when a sports team, for example, tells the company how much money per ticket they want back, Tickets-For-Charity keeps a $17 service charge, and the remaining money goes to charity. Another type is when a corporation gets 100% of the ticket value as a tax deduction, Tickets-For-Charity takes the ticket and deducts the $17 charge, and then the rest goes to a nonprofit organization.

Whitehead also explains that the charities that benefit from Tickets-For-Charity’s work depends on who is donating the tickets. Many sports teams have their own foundation, and 75% of the funds raised from the ticket sales go to these types of foundations and charities. The remaining 25% of money from the tickets goes to charities chosen by the buyers, as long as the charity is one that is part of Tickets-For-Charity’s platform.

Ticket buyers also receive a special receipt when they choose to buy a ticket through Tickets-For-Charity that shows the amount donated and the name of the charity. This gives the buyer the ability to write off the donation on their tax returns. The tickets are also normally for good seats instead of the bottom of the barrel, nosebleed section seats. Sometimes tickets are donated by companies when their employees can’t make it to a sports game, so those lucky ticket buyers could get front row or suite seats.

Tickets-For-Charity is also excited about their recent deal with Major League Baseball. Whitehead states that other sports typically follow baseball’s lead, so by earning MLB as a customer for their business, they are hoping for increased business with other big names in sports.

Katie Brockman
Source: Boston Globe
Photo: Tickets-For-Charity

Wall Street
Does making millions really help the world’s poor? Many Wall Street employees who earn more than the average worker are making the argument that it is more important and worthwhile to make a lot of money first to be able to donate a lot of money later. These people point to billionaire do-gooders like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg to prove that those who give the most are those who have the most to give.

At first it seems logical that Wall Street could end global poverty. Take a simple scenario of a Wall Street employee. If that person earns hundreds of millions of dollars per year, for example, they could choose to donate all but a few million to charities that help alleviate global poverty. They and their family would still be able to live a very luxurious lifestyle, and millions of people around the world would reap enormous benefits from all the donated money. Now, imagine if every millionaire and billionaire did the same thing. It would make a huge difference. But the important question to ask is will Wall Street end global poverty with employee earnings?

John Paulson, a hedge fund manager, earned $5 billion in 2010. While he did donate a portion of that money to charity,  most of the money went to organizations that were less about social change. Paulson’s largest donations went to a business school in New York ($20 million) and the Central Park Conservancy ($100 million). Those donations aren’t bad, since giving any money to any charity is certainly commendable, but that $120 million may have gone further if it had gone to help starving children or provide clean drinking water to the poorest areas of the world.

Paulson certainly isn’t the only person to do this, since many people (billionaires and everyday employees) choose to give money to charities that are closest to them personally. Whether it’s the college from which they graduated, an animal shelter, or even a videogame organization, many people feel compelled to give back to charities or organizations that helped them, and may not consider the fact that there could be better uses for their money. So while it’s certainly not a bad thing for Wall Street millionaires and billionaires to donate to charities that touch their personal lives, in order to benefit the most number of people in the most significant ways, it could be wiser to donate to a charity that focuses on saving lives.

Katie Brockman
Source: New York Magazine
Photo: American Security Project

Help Disaster Victims
The massive tornado in Oklahoma devastated thousands, and many people around the country wanted to do what they could to help disaster victims. But, unfortunately, the days after a major disaster or crisis are when the scam organizations arise, trying to lure innocent do-gooders into donating to their fake charity. Here are six ways to make sure you are doing the best for those you are trying to help.

1. Look up the charity on one of these sites (Wise Giving AllianceCharity NavigatorGuidestar or Charity Watch) and see what experts think about it. This way you can be certain that the organization you choose is reputable and honest about the donations they receive.

2. Find a charity that has done this a few times. Small, local charities may mean well, but they may not have the best resources to get your donation to the people who need it as efficiently as a larger organization that has faced major disasters before.

3. Designate where you want your donation to go. If you want your money to help rebuild homes, provide food, or buy clothing, specify when you send it to the organization.

4. Send money, not supplies. Although it may seem more helpful to send food, clothes, or toys to disaster victims, it just makes it harder for the charity to sort out and distribute the items. If you have items that you need to get rid of anyway, try selling them and donating the money instead.

5. Avoid donating to people who send mail or emails claiming to be disaster victims. Unless you know them personally, don’t trust them. It’s much safer to simply donate to a reputable charity.

6. If you choose to donate online, do it through the charity’s website, not social media. After Hurricane Katrina, the FBI reported more than 2,400 fake websites that tried to scam money from well-meaning donors. Your best bet is to donate directly through the organization’s website, which is much more trustworthy.

Katie Brockman
Source: Forbes

Jobs
When most people think of philanthropy, they think of giving money to charity or building schools or homes for poor, underprivileged people in developing countries. While giving money, food, and other forms of aid may still be relevant in today’s world, the new philanthropy involves providing jobs, rather than tangible items to help people.

Jobs are more efficient in the fight against global poverty because they create self-sufficiency. People with jobs do not have to depend on others for what they need to survive day to day because they can provide it themselves. Another benefit of providing jobs is not as obvious, but it could be the most important. Giving someone a job also gives that person hope for their future. Most people do not like feeling dependent on others, and having a job so that they can care for themselves and their families without assistance gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment, and also makes them feel valuable and important.

So even though it may seem easier or more beneficial to just send money or food to communities that need it, it could actually create more good by providing a job. Not only will it create longer-lasting results, it will create hope as well.

Katie Brockman
Source: Huffington Post
Photo: Careerealism

Steve Jobs Widow
Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’ widow, has begun to publicly focus more on philanthropy. She is normally a very private person who would rather stay out of the spotlight, but she has recently become more public about the issues she cares about the most. One of her greatest passions is education, and she helped found College Track, an organization that helps low-income students in underprivileged communities prepare for college by providing rigorous academic training to help them succeed. The organization has coached over 1,400 students, and as a result 90% of them were able to attend college afterwards.

Although Laurene’s public philanthropic work is minimal, that doesn’t mean this is the first time she’s committed herself to a good cause. Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, a philanthropist and close friend of Laurene’s, says that “if you total up in your mind all of the philanthropic investments that Laurene has made that the public knows about…that is probably a fraction of 1 percent of what she actually does.”

Laurene is also committed to other charities outside of the United States, supporting many organizations that help the poor in Africa, including Ben Affleck’s Eastern Congo Initiative charity.

Katie Brockman

Source New York Times

Mama Hope: Mamas without Borders
Stephanie Moore, better known as Mama Hope, was the birth mother of Nyla Rodgers and the spiritual mother of many others. In 2006 when Mama Hope died of cancer, Nyla went to Africa to find the man her mother had sponsored. When Nyla traveled to Kenya she found that her mother had helped “hundreds of others.” Inspired by her mother’s work and impact Nyla founded the Mama Hope advocacy and activism group.

Made up of a group of 11 dedicated activists, Mama Hope works in 4 countries: Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Since their founding, they have completed 32 projects impacting over 100,000 people. Their projects “have addressed critical issues in agriculture and food security, water, health, education, shelter, women’s empowerment and the environment.”

Their approach to development involves three phases: “Listen to local communities”; “Connect funds through awareness”; and, “Enable sustainable projects.” They call this the Connected Development model. This model relies on identifying needs and solutions by first speaking with communities. Unlike a top-down approach, the community already has a self-identified stake in making the solution a reality.

Once the project is identified, Mama Hope pairs US donors with African community organizations and much-needed projects through the foundation’s framework. Donors include individuals, foundations, and corporations. Projects are promoted via social media to help build momentum. In the final stage, “Enable sustainable projects” rely entirely on local labor and materials. Each project is designed to create jobs and have a minimal environmental impact. Reliance on local knowledge, material and labor allows projects to be accomplished in an efficient and sustainable way. Because community members have ownership of the projects, the community members become stakeholders in the success of each project.

True to the roots of Mama Hope, the “Stop the Pity Movement” stresses that the world should be seen through “hope and connection.” Hope and connection are believed to be the foundations of making sustainable change—by seeing the potential and resilience of the human spirit. African women in one of the project villages were asked to make a video about themselves. Did they make a video about their burdens such as poverty or sadness? No. They made a video about something they love: Netball. They experience poverty and sadness in ways most Americans will never know, but they are more than their poverty and sadness. They are resilient humans that live and love and laugh as well as carry their heavy burdens. Mama Hope not only gives them hope, but it also gives everyone who is working towards a better world hope by allowing us to see that good work and measurable success is being achieved.

Katherine Zobre

Source: Mama Hope

Red Nose Day

Raising money and awareness can be fun! Or at least this is the motto of the individuals committed to Comic Relief-a UK based organization working to create a just world free from poverty through their funny antics.  The biggest annual event is Red Nose Day. This telethon boasts the trademark of red noses and includes stand-up comics and all sorts of funny acts to raise awareness and money for the organization.

The Fun*Raisers include well-known celebrities and even Miss Piggy in the day-long event. Each Fun*Raiser has a specialty such as dress-up, bake, sell, challenge, entertain, and dare.  They offer tips and advice for hosting an event.  Schools, organizations, and individuals all across the UK participate in Red Nose Day.  The website- http://www.rednoseday.com/– has some amazing resources and ideas for fundraising in general.

This past Red Nose Day was held March 15 and the fundraising total is currently at $141 million USD with funds still being collected.  The funds raised go to support UK charities giving shelter to young people and protection to those living with domestic abuse. In addition,  funds go to Africa to provide clean water and life-saving vaccines.  The organization is working hard to ignite change throughout the UK and across Africa.

Red Nose Day helps to bring awareness to their mission through a very simple object-a red clown nose.  By wearing one, individuals are identified with a cause and the day is devoted to raising money and having fun in the process.  The website has games and fun ideas and stories of how thankful individuals are for the help they have received from the organization.  Keep an eye out for next year’s Red Nose Day and find out how to get involved here.

– Amanda Kloeppel

Source: Red Nose Day
Photo: Sony Music

Modern Philanthropy Depends On Innovation
One of the most significant charity foundations of the past century is the Rockefeller Foundation, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month. The Foundation has set the bar high for other philanthropic organizations throughout the 20th century, and it will continue to do so throughout the 21st century by means of innovation.

The Rockefeller Foundation has promoted innovation as the key to doing good through the “Next Century Innovator Awards,” which look at projects that do more than just help society but transform it. The projects find or create new ways to approach huge societal issues including education, sanitation, marketplace literacy, and cancer, for example.

One project that was awarded the “Next Century Innovator Award” was Innovate Salone in Sierra Leone. The organization transformed the education system of the country to help more children attend school. The project did more than just build a school or donate money for education. It gave the young people in the community an opportunity to solve their own problems according to their individual needs. Those with the best workable solutions were given financial support to build on their ideas to create real results while receiving support and feedback from mentors and peers in their community.

Other organizations, particularly universities, have taken note of this new form of innovative modern philanthropy and are joining the effort to transform the world of charity. More people are beginning to realize that donating money can help to an extent, but the best way to achieve long-lasting benefits is to transform the way people think of the art of giving through innovation.

Katie Brockman

Source: Forbes
Photo: EmpowerOU