Recently, Forbes Magazine recognized Compassion International, a child development organization, as one of America’s Best Midsize Employers in 2017. Established in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Compassion was ranked number 40 on Forbes’ list of 300 employers nationwide, receiving the highest rank among Colorado-based companies within the category.

In partnership with Statista, a database and consumer research firm, Forbes surveyed thousands of employees nationwide. In doing so, Forbes measured employee satisfaction, pay and workplace environment as factors in determining the respective rankings of various U.S. employers. In addition, this survey also evaluated the likeliness of recommendations from employees to family and friends.

Compassion International is a child advocacy ministry that aims to rescue children from four areas of poverty: spiritual, economic, social and physical. In hopes of enlightening struggling children to lead healthy and successful lives, the ministry pairs kindhearted people with those suffering in poverty. Compassion implements their leadership development programs from infancy through young adulthood, establishing a long-term approach indirectly affecting and changing the lives of struggling children and families around the world.

Under the leadership of Santiago Mellado, the organization’s CEO, Compassion employs 1,033 employees who strive to provide food, medical assistance, education and training to those who suffer in poverty-stricken regions of the world. Other midsize companies included on Forbes’ list include Lush (1), Georgetown University (8), St. Jude Children’s Hospital (13) and Hasbro (37). Alongside this recognition, Compassion has also been ranked number 15 on Forbes’ ‘100 Largest U.S. Charities.’

In 2016, Compassion’s total revenues, gains and other support totaled over $803 million, with 1.8 million children receiving life-changing care, 29,387 babies and moms receiving lifesaving interventions and 42,336 students enrolling in a university or vocational training. These opportunities have given millions of struggling children and families the tools and resources in leading healthy and successful lives.

In addition to this recognition, Compassion has previously been awarded the Gallup Organization’s Great Workplace Award, an award that recognizes organizations around the world that demonstrate an exceptional workplace culture. Alongside these accolades, Compassion has become reputable for its ability in fully equipping those struggling around the world to become autonomous in pulling themselves out of the poverty, while still maintaining an inspiring and enjoyable workplace environment for its employees.

Brandon Johnson

Photo: Flickr

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. Seventy 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.

12 Most Generous American Companies

  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

When you think of Bill Gates, is your first thought Microsoft or astoundingly wealthy billionaire? How about philanthropist? The latter may have slipped your mind completely.

Through the joint efforts of the Philanthropic Research Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on creating philanthropic awareness, Forbes compiled a list of America’s fifty top philanthropists that have given the most money away. Below are the top five U.S. philanthropists.

Bill Gates falls into the utmost categories of the elite, leading the way as the world’s richest person with a net worth of an estimated $76 billion. Gates has lead the way as the world’s most wealthy man fifteen out of the last twenty years.

1. Not only does Gates’ hold the spot as the world’s richest man, but with the collaboration of his wife, Bill and Melinda Gates have snagged the spot as the U.S. top philanthropists donating $1.9 billion in 2012. The Gates’ lifetime giving is estimated at a whopping $28 billion.

2. Not to be outdone, Warren Buffet makes a close second having donated $1.87 billion in 2012 with a net worth of $58.7 billion. He fell short of the Gates’ by only $35 million. However, Buffet has committed to donating the remainder of his fortune before or upon his death mandating that it be put to use within ten years following the donation.

3. George Soros, founder of Soros Fund Management LLC and Forbes’ number one hedge fund manager, has donated $763 million with a lifetime giving of $10 billion putting him comfortably in third place.

4. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg secured the fourth spot. With an estimated net worth of $23.4 billion, Zuckerberg donated $519 million in 2012 thus extending his lifetime giving to $549 million.

5. The Walton family, most notably known for Wal-Mart, are brought in at the final spot as the top five U.S. philanthropists. With a net worth of $144.4 billion, they gave $432 million dollars in 2012 bringing their lifetime giving to $4.6 billion dollars.

The total amount of money given by these top philanthropists towards philanthropic work in 2012 was more than $5.48 billion. That’s nearly one-fifth of what it would cost to end world hunger with the annual shortfall sitting at $30 billion per year.

Of the top philanthropists mentioned, no one donated more than 3.2 percent of their net worth but the astounding amount given by less than ten individuals cannot be ignored.

Forbes has reported that there are currently 1,645 billionaires in the world. It will take more than a call to action by the elite philanthropists. In order to put world hunger to an end, it will take a small step from everyone capable of helping.

Just think, how much is 3.2 percent of your net worth?  How can a portion of the money you spend regularly be used to make the life of someone stricken by poverty more sustainable? The answers do not lie solely in how much the monetarily elite of the world are donating, but the efforts made by those with the power to influence those groups.

– Janelle Mills

Sources: Philanthropic Research Institute, Forbes, The Borgen Project, BBC, Forbes
Photo: Skunkpot

Helen Clark, the former prime minister of New Zealand, was interviewed during her preparations to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More than 2,600 people are currently attending the forum, which runs from January 22 to January 25.

Asked about women’s attendance at the conference, Clark said “It’s the same story every year, under 20% of the people going are women.” When informed that the actual figure is closer to 15%, the former prime minister just rolled her eyes.

And, understandably so. Despite comprising 50% of the global population, a mere 15% of attendees are women. Worse yet, this number is down from last year, where 17% of attendees were female. Statistically, this means a person is 66% less likely to encounter a woman at Davos than anywhere else in the world.

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) organizers contend that the gender disparity at the conference merely mirrors the reality of today’s world. WEF’s managing director and head of communications Adrian Monck says: “We’re on the front line of reflecting the world as it is, not how we want it to be.”

Monck claims that the organization wishes its meetings were better attended by women but that the organization’s greater goal prevents it. WEF’s imperative? To bring together the world’s most powerful and influential people. Given that only 16.9% of Fortune 500 boards of directors are comprised of women and less than 5% of the Fortune 500 are actually led by women, it is a point that, unfortunately, makes sense.

However, according to Clark, who is currently ranked as the 21st most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, getting women to these events should not be an issue. “Often the response from people who organize these events is that they cannot find enough women. If you look you can find them, they exist,” she says.

At least one measure is in place to encourage more women to attend. Business members of WEF receive varying numbers of invitations to be distributed to their employees as they see fit. At the highest level of membership, members are offered four tickets, but if one of their designated tickets is given to a female employee, the company gets a fifth ticket to dole out.

But, as evidenced by the 15% female attendance rate at Davos this year, such a measure enjoys only limited success in drawing women to the conference. Thus, Davos’s reflection of the world’s gaping gender bias calls into question the efficacy of the conference.

The WEF defines itself as “an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging in business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.” Yet, with only one out of every seven delegates a woman, how can you really tackle the issues that face today’s world?

Making such a question even more stark is WEF’s theme this year: “Reshaping the World.”

As put by Forbes’s Dina Medland, “what’s the point of meetings between elite male leaders to discuss a world that goes far beyond their boundaries?”

Kelley Calkins

Sources: The TelegraphQuartzHuffington PostForbes
Photo: The Daily Beast

Forbes released its 2014 list of “30 Under 30 who are Changing the World,” which recognizes 30 notable young people in 15 different categories such as education, finance, science and Hollywood who are making a big impact in their chosen field.

Forbes recognized 30 inspiring people in the Social Entrepreneur category who are working in various fields such as girls’ education, rural agricultural development, mobile phone access in remote locations and the creation of online giving platforms.

Those honored were a part of a pool of nominated people who were then selected by philanthropist and former-eBay president Jeff Skoll, Cheryl Dorsey of Echoing Green — which funds social entrepreneurs — and Randall Lane, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes.

Some notable entries in Forbes’ Inspiring 30 Under 30: Social Entrepreneurs include the following people.

Malala Yousafzai, 16, and Shiza Saheed, 24, joined forces in 2012 after Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban in retribution for her vocal stance on the importance of girls’ education. Saheed became Malala’s “chief strategist” for how Malala’s courage and activism could be utilized on a broad scale to create lasting global change.

They cofounded the Malala Fund, have raised $400,000 in grants from the World Bank and from Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and have become a powerful symbol of the movement for girls’ education and female empowerment around the world.

Kennedy Odede, 29, grew up in the Kenyan slum of Kibera where he was called to action by the community’s desperate conditions, especially for women and girls. He founded the organization Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), which runs the tuition-free Kibera School for Girls, a health clinic, community center, clean water initiatives and revenue-generating activities for adults in the community.

SHOFCO’s overarching idea is that if community development can be visibly linked to gender equity initiatives, people will support the empowerment of girls.

Odede and SHOFCO have been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative and the Newman’s Own Foundation and will be featured in a forthcoming women’s rights documentary by New York Times contributor Nicholas Kristof.

Esra’a Al Shafei, 27, is the founder of Mideast Youth, which promotes social justice, political dissent, and open journalism in the Middle East and North Africa. Further, the organization runs online platforms for activist musicians ( and for young members of the LGBT community in the region.

Bryan Baum, 24, is the co-founder of Prizeo, which raffles various experiences with A-listers such as Justin Bieber, One Direction, Muhammad Ali and Alicia Keys in order to benefit non-profit organizations. Prizeo has to-date raised $3 million for charities, including St. Jude, Typhoon Haiyan Relief and Invisible children.

Talia Leman, 18, was only ten years old when she raised $10 million for Hurricane Katrina relief. Since then she has created RandomKid, which facilitates the efforts of young people who want to make an impact on the world.

Ten cents of every fundraised dollar on the site goes into a general pool for future efforts. The site has engaged projects from over 12 million young people from 20 countries.

– Kaylie Cordingley

Sources: Prizeo, Forbes, Shining Hope for Communities, RandomKid, Malala Fund
Photo: NWHM

Forbes Magazine has released its annual “World’s Most Powerful People” list, ranking the leaders of nations, intergovernmental agencies and businesses in relation to global influence. In the year 2013, the fourth most influential person in the world is the newly elected leader of the Roman Catholic Church, who has been drawing a lot of positive attention to the office.

As the leader of a church membership of over 1 billion people, Pope Francis has been dedicated to taking the papacy to the poor and the downtrodden. In Latin America, he has recently been nicknamed the Slum Pope because of his frequent visits to the more dangerous and impoverished neighborhoods in the region. His visits to the more destitute areas have given hope that the Catholic Church will do more to help those who cannot help themselves.

After his election in March, Pope Francis called for the church and its followers to return to helping the poor. In the papal tradition of taking on a new name after election, he purposely chose the name of Francis, after Saint Francis d’Assisi. The saint is widely known and recognized as the son of a wealthy man who left his riches to help the poor as a member of the clergy. In Pope Francis’ speeches, he has often championed the themes of poverty, hope and social justice which are the interests of the poor. Helping the poor is the constant theme of his papacy which has been warmly received wherever he has visited.

In his short ministry, he has visited the Italian Island of Lampedusa which is the frequent destination of fleeing African Immigrants seeking better economic and social opportunities in Europe. Every year many Africans unsuccessfully embark to the island with the hopes of ending their poverty but, instead, drown in the Mediterranean before reaching their goal. In his visit to the island, the Pope wept for those that had died and suggested repurposing church resources to accommodate African migrants.

As one of the most admired figures in the world, the Pope has always had a tremendous impact on not only his religious followers but leaders of nations across the world. The Pope is trying to use his office as a worldwide leader to be an advocate for improving the livelihood of the poor. His admirable example is one that should be emulated by leaders throughout the world.

– Travis Whinery

Sources: CNN, CNN Blog, Time, BBC News, Fox News, Forbes
Photo: The Times

Isabel Dos Santos Africa's First Female Billionaire
Isabel Dos Santos, the daughter of Angolan president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, is Africa’s first female billionaire. Dos Santos is an Angolan investor, and according to Forbes, she has become the Africa’s wealthiest female, reaching a net worth of more than a billion USD. She ranks in at 736 richest person in the world overall and thirty-first in Africa.

The president’s daughter works to keep her prowess as a businesswoman separated from the political field. However, she has received sharp criticism as to how she acquired her wealth. President Dos Santos has been accused of enriching his family at the expense of normal Angolans- a country where a majority of the population lives on $2 a day.  Problems come into play here because it is nearly impossible to trace the sources of her funds. There is a complete lack of transparency and many of her business transactions are approved and transferred by her father.

Dos Santos has invested in several publicly traded companies in Portugal as well as Angola. She has significant shares in a cable TV firm, as well as assets in at least one Angolan bank. Although, exactly how she got the funds remains unknown.

Dos Santos commands the biggest percentage of shares in Zon Multimedia, which is the largest cable TV operator in Portugal. She also holds 19.5% holding at Banco BPI- one of Portugal’s largest publicly traded banks. In Angola, Dos Santos sits on the board of Banco BIC and is reported to own as much as a 25% stake in the bank.

Angola has emerged from a civil war and developed into one of Africa’s largest economic contributors. This economic growth, however, has not come without problems. Angola has been criticized for its dramatically unequal society, ranking 148th of 187 countries on the U.N Human Development Index. Additionally, they have ranked 157th of 176 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

– Caitlin Zusy
Source Forbes, Guardian

As global awareness rises and people become educated about the needs of people all over the world, social-entrepreneurs are stepping up and starting businesses of all types, in order to bring about improved social and environmental conditions. Whether for-profit or non-profit, business models are being developed and implemented, in order to increase the quality of life for people living in the hardest of conditions.  In ever-growing numbers, people are considering new business ventures to enact positive change. Here is a 10 point plan for social-entrepreneurs to focus on:

  • Save your money
  • Keep your day job
  • Stay committed – it won’t be easy
  • Focus on social issues (and you can still make money)
  • Bring passion to your mission
  • Build a great team of supporters
  • crowdrise or kickstarter)
  • Make an impact, be able to show results
  • Change the world – all of the above will make it happen

Writing for, Devin Thorpe, the strategist of the above list says that “Once you demonstrate your impact, you can grow your enterprise to have world-changing scale.” The results won’t be measured in profits, he adds. Even the smallest idea can grow into a global force, anyone can choose to start a project and make a difference.

– Mary Purcell

Sources: Forbes
Photo: Heinebroscoffee

Indian Billionaire Premji Joins The Giving Pledge
When you’ve topped Forbes billionaires list, there are only a few things left for you to achieve in this world, one of which is joining the Giving Pledge. Established in 2010 by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the Giving Pledge received much attention from the media because of its growing list of millionaire and billionaire members. The organization encourages its members to donate or endow at least half of their wealth to charities. India’s Azim Premji joins the Giving Pledge from his current position as 41st  on Forbes’ list, with a net worth of $16 billion, and has already made his first donation.

Perhaps a more appropriate word for Mr. Premji’s act of kindness would be ‘transfer’ instead of donating. Equaling about 295.5 million shares, or 12 percent of its total shares, the $2.3 billion donations went to the Azim Premji Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on education improvements and building schools throughout rural India. The money went directly into the trust of the organization, which Mr. Premji says “will utilize the endowment to fund various social, not-for-profit initiatives of the foundation, which are expected to scale significantly over the next few years”.

The organization has worked alongside the government to improve the quality of education and has built a university in the Indian state of Karnataka. With this funding, Mr. Premji hopes to be able to increase the staff of the foundation and be able to reach more rural communities.

For a man of his wealth and power, Mr. Premji, the first Indian to join the Giving Pledge, is setting an example for his fellow Indian billionaires, who altogether make up 4 percent of the 1110+ billionaires in the world. Coming from a country where poverty has been an inescapable reality, India’s billionaires hopefully feel a strong connection in helping their fellow countrymen not simply survive but become productive members of society. By focusing on education and starting with children, these sorts of efforts will foster a generation of skilled and innovative workers and entrepreneurs. Hopefully, they will be a generation with more chances of becoming world leaders and wealthy businessmen and women.

– Deena Dulgerian

Source: Wall Street Journal
Photo: Forbes