All Articles Tagged "fundraising"

Safety Measures: 9-Year-Old Shot Selling Girl Scout Cookies

February 6th, 2015 - By Rich
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A 9-year-old Girl Scout was shot and injured on Tuesday while going out to sell cookies in her Indianapolis, Indiana neighborhood.

Sinai Miller and her younger sister were leaving their northside apartment when witnesses say a blue Ford Expedition pulled up to the building and someone inside the vehicle started shooting at the complex.

“I heard three gunshots and one of them hit me in the leg,” Miller told local news station CBS4.

Sinai’s mother, Shanita, who was just inside the door, heard the shots and brought the girls back inside.

“She came in screaming, ‘Mommy, mommy! It hurt! It hurt!’ And I’m like, ‘What hurt? What’s wrong?'” Shanita recalled. “So when I pulled her pant leg up, that’s when I discovered she was shot.”

Sinai was immediately taken to the hospital and released later that day. Luckily, the bullet went through her calf, completely missing any bones or arteries, and therefore not causing any major damage.

Miller was still eager to get out and sell her cookies, so to help her reach her goal, the organization has set up a website where people can place orders for Girl Scout cookies that can be shipped, picked up, or donated to active and retired military personnel.

“Nothing is more important to our organization than ensuring the health and safety of girls,” Deborah Hearn Smith, the CEO of the Girls Scouts of Central Indiana said in a statement released on Facebook. “We cannot complete our mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place when they are afraid to play in their own neighborhoods.”


But why is it that it takes a bullet in the leg to get the online store option? And what’s more important– the children or the cookies?

From gang violence to school shootings, the average neighborhood just isn’t the same as it used to be…in Indianapolis or anywhere else in America. The reality is that most children are afraid to play in their own neighborhoods. And if they’re not, they probably should be. So why are organizations like the Girl Scouts and schools still relying so heavily on this type of fundraising activity– the door-to-door sale?

With the Internet now so accessible to just about everyone, why is it not THE main tool for kids to fundraise? The web isn’t the safest place on Earth, but it’s definitely a safer option than sending children out to pound the pavement selling products; something that many parents aren’t comfortable with at all.

“Every time my kids come home with a fundraising packet I cringe,” says one mom of three in New York. “It frustrates me because the school puts so much emphasis on it— what the kids can earn if they sell hundreds of dollars worth of products. My kids get excited and want to do everything they can to get these prizes, or earn their way in to a special party. I think to myself, ‘Can’t the school come up with a safer alternative that doesn’t turn my kids into beggars…or have me harassing co-workers?'”

Tell us MommyNoire: Do you feel comfortable letting your child fundraise? Do you let them go fundraising door-to-door in your neighborhood? Is it something that you think organizations should still be encouraging?


Are We Ignoring Africa? Why Charities Can’t Raise Enough Money To Fight Ebola

September 30th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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The Ebola epidemic is taking a major toll on West Africa. Not just with thousands (at least 3,000 so far) of lives lost, but the economic impact of the crisis. There just isn’t enough money to help the hardest hit countries such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

And it seems donations can’t keep up.  According to this NPR Planet Money video post, journalists Zoe Chace and Robert Smith report that charities are faced with challenges raising money. But the reasons behind the fundraising barriers are interesting. According to Chace and Smith, the Ebola fundraising hasn’t been as successful as say the 2010 Haiti earthquake that raised $1.4 billion in charitable donations.

According to the two, the main reasons for fundraising difficulties are:

–Africa is still a mystery for most Americans. “Americans don’t know anything about Liberia and West Africa. This one’s slightly obvious, but it’s important. Most Americans were at least marginally familiar with Haiti when the earthquake struck there — it’s a country that is very close to the U.S., and which has found its way into the news frequently in recent years. It’s easier, of course, to pull out your wallet (or type in a text-message code) when you know the money will be going to a nearby, familiar place. West Africa is neither,” reports New York magazine.

–The goal is not to rebuild, but to prevent. And this concept is harder to grasp as there is no real “visuals.” People could see their money going to good use in Haiti from pictures of buildings being constructed. How can one really illustrate people remaining healthy?

–The third reason Chace and Smith offer may seem like a stretch but they claim September 11 plays a role. According to Chace and Smith, when 9/11 produced the largest surge of charitable donations in American history — more than $1 billion — but when the Red Cross realized 9/11 donations had outpaced need, and it quietly began shifting money around for use in future incidents, including terror attacks. This didn’t sit well with people who had donated money for 9/11 aid. Eventually the head of the Red Cross was forced to resign.

“Charities around the world took notice,” said Smith in the podcast. “They learned you do not shift money around. They learned when a donor is moved to give money to one disaster, it is an emotional act — it’s not necessarily a rational one. Donors are not thrilled when that money gets shifted to some other need. They feel like they didn’t get what they paid for, which was to feel good about helping a certain person, a certain kind of victim.” This scandal has echoed loudly in the philanthropic universe, and as a result, charities around the world are uncomfortable with shifting money from well-funded areas to underfunded ones like, say, Ebola.

But as the CDC estimated 1.4 million people could be infected in the current Ebola outbreak, money is urgently needed. The Gates Foundation has stepped up with a $50 million donation. Visit the Doctors Without Borders’ Ebola page to donate.

The Jamaican Bobsled Team Needs Help To Get To The Sochi Olympics

January 20th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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jamaica olympicIt’s Cool Runnings all over again! The two-man Jamaican bobsled team has made it to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. And one of the athletes, Winston Watts, who was actually on the team that made it to the 1988 games in Calgary, will be back for 2014. That is, if they can afford to actually make it to Russia.

Though the reports differ on the amount, the team needs between $40,000 and $80,000 to travel to the Games. Watts says he’s already contributed $164,000 of his own money. And the team is asking PayPal to continue helping, which it has been doing (collecting donations and doing other work) even through the 2006 and 2010 Games in which the Jamaican team didn’t compete. By 2002, the team stopped getting the massive amount of attention it had previously received. Watts told The Telegraph that the Jamaica Olympic Association isn’t helping with the cost of getting to the Sochi Games, which starts on Friday, February 7.

The team is accepting donations on its website to help fund the trip. The cryptocurrency Dogecoin has also been collecting cash, to the tune of more than $30,000 so far.

Who else is in?

Nas Launches Campaign To Raise $20,000 For Homeless Single Father With Eight Kids

August 8th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Derrick Salters/

Derrick Salters/

Update: With nine days left in the campaign, more than $37,000 has been raised for the Young family. There’s still time to give!

Nas was touched by a heartrending story about a single father with eight children who lost his home to a fire. Feeling compassionate, Nas launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $20,000 for the family to escape homelessness, reports

“They’re my life; they’re my world,” the tearful father, Stanley Young, said of his children. Young and his eight children lived right above a store in D.C.; the shop caught fire and engulfed their home. The unemployed construction worker currently stays at a hotel; his funds are beginning to deplete while he frantically searches for permanent housing for his family.

“I am also a single father,” Nas said on his campaign, “and we don’t get enough credit in this country.” Young will be kicked out of the Holiday Inn by Aug. 13, leaving his family without a home if Nas’ campaign fails to reach its goal.

Young’s wife and the mother of his children passed away a year ago. “Now I see what single mothers go through,” Young lamented. The single father can only afford the basics, including a large supply of Ramen Noodles to feed his children.

“I believe and hope that we should all, as a community, come together to help our fellow American men and women when they need us in desperate situations like this,” Nas said. “We need to raise enough money to extend their stay, and maybe even afford a down payment on a new house or something.”

Young says that he is working with his church, the Red Cross, and the District of Columbia Office of the Tenant Advocate in hopes to ameliorate his harrowing situation.

“I’m putting in $5,000 myself… I have faith that our American community can pull together a miracle for this strong family who needs our help right now,” Nas said. “If we can get to the 20,000 goal, I’ll put in another $5,000 too.”

You have to wonder why Nas doesn’t just put up the whole $20,000, but we can appreciate the sentiment. You can click the link above to donate to the campaign.

Not Another Bake Sale: Innovative Fundraising Ideas For The Young, Black Philanthropist

May 30th, 2013 - By Blair Bedford
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Millennials and black professionals are changing the landscape of philanthropy, giving, and charitable engagement. From social impact organizations looking to engage young, black professionals like Friends of Ebonie and Capital Cause, to college programs dedicated solely to philanthropic studies like Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, millennials are looking to give back in fun, interesting ways.

Here are a few innovative fundraising ideas and tips to raise donations for your charity or cause. These sites will also help raise awareness and publicize your efforts, which can sometimes be worth just as much as the cash.

Making the Grade: Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam Raises $1M For Spelman

November 12th, 2012 - By Ann Brown
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s_bukley /

They are celebrating over at HBCU Spelman College. Former Cosby kid Keshia Knight Pulliam hosted a major fundraiser at SAKS in Atlanta, reports The Young Black & Fabulous, and raised $1 million for her alma mater. The money will benefit Spelman students who aren’t able to graduate due to financial hardship. 

While African Americans give to charity more than whites, HBCUs are suffering in part because alumni do not give gifts to their schools. “One of the toughest problems HBCUs face is getting alumni to give back,” reports NewsOne. “Several studies report alumni giving at HBCUs to be in the single digits.” 

Marybeth Gasman and  Sibby Anderson-Thompkinseven penned a book, Fundraising from Black-College Alumni: Successful Strategies for Supporting Alma Mater, about how HBCUs can get black alumni to give back. The two theorize that HBCUs can’t use the traditional fundraising methods of other universities. They need to think out of the box when approaching alumni during fundraising efforts. According to the article, “Graduates often cite being treated poorly by a rude employee in the bursar’s office or some other administrative office as one of the main reasons they don’t give back.”

Empower magazine reports that some HBCUs, like Tennessee State University, has an average alumni giving rate of three percent. The national average is 20 percent. (A few like Alabama A&M has a rate of 50 percent.)

“African Americans prefer to give to concrete causes, want to be thanked and need to understand where their donations are going,” Gasman tells the magazine.

There have been some major gifts, such as Bill and Camille Cosby’s $20 million donation to Spelman back in 1987, which was and still is the largest gift to the  institution. But in order for financially-strapped HBCUs to survive, its successful alumni must give back.

Pulliam, who also starred in Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, graduated with a B.A. in sociology and a concentration in film in 2001.

Money, Sandy, The Women’s Vote — Various Factors Stir Up The Election

October 31st, 2012 - By Ann Brown
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President Obama speaking about Hurricane Sandy relief at the Red Cross HQ in Washington DC yesterday. Image: Rex Features via AP Images

The economy, Hurricane Sandy, the women’s vote and campaign fundraising are the current topics of discussion when it comes to the election.

Hurricane Sandy will no doubt have an impact on early voting in the mid-Atlantic, southern New England and inland states. This could affect Obama more, says former President Bush and McCain adviser Mark McKinnon in The Daily Beast. The President is counting on early votes and even cast one himself. The Obama camp, however, says he is more focused now on the impact the storm has had on people rather than the election.

“I am not worried at this point about the impact on the election. I’m worried about the impact on families and I’m worried about the impact on our first responders. I’m worried about the impact on our economy and on transportation. You know, the election will take care of itself next week,” said the President.

Besides the weather, the other “W” that will have an impact on the election, says McKinnon, is the wallet.

A majority of Americans still describe the current economic situation as poor, and likely voters now trust Romney more than Obama to do a better job of managing it, 51 percent to 44 percent, according to a recent AP-GfK poll,” McKinnon points out.

The polls also play into the third “W” — women. According to that same AP-GfK poll Mitt Romney has made inroads with women, overcoming the President’s 16-point lead with that demographic. However, President Obama has made gains with men, erasing Romney’s lead there.

“A month ago, Romney’s advantage among men was 13 percentage points. Now, it’s down to 5 points, with most of the shift toward Obama coming among unmarried men,” reports Yahoo News.

According to Forbes, there are three reasons Obama is losing the women’s vote: some women think the President isn’t paying enough attention to foreign affairs; The Paycheck Fairness Act, which is meant to further equal pay, but may cause other problems for job creation; and the negative perception of President Obama as a leader.

BusinessWeek has a roundup of the various latest polls.

-An Oct. 24-28 survey by the Pew Research Center found Obama and the former governor of Massachusetts each supported by 47 percent, a slight gain for the president from an Oct. 4-7 Pew poll.

-Another poll has the race at a dead heat. An ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll had both tied at 49 percent.

-Yet another poll, this one Gallup’s daily tracking poll of about 2,700 likely voters, had Romney ahead, 51 percent to 46 percent. But as fickle as polls are, the Pew poll, had Obama leading, 50 percent to 44 percent, among likely women voters, while Romney led, 51 percent to 44 percent, among men.

It’s no wonder then that both camps still have their fundraising efforts in high gear. October saw Hollywood raise $13 million for President Obama, due in large part to a fundraiser held at the home of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. This election cycle has seen a stunning $2 billion raised, not including the super PAC and other outside nonprofit dollars that have poured into this campaign.

“The eye-popping figure puts the election on track to be the costliest in modern U.S. history,” reports AP.

Presidential Campaign 2012: How Many Fundraising Emails Have You Gotten?

August 7th, 2012 - By Tonya Garcia
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Image: The President speaking at a fundraiser in Oregon. Credit: AP/Susan Walsh

If you’ve signed up to receive emails from either the Mitt Romney or President Obama camp, chances are you’ve been inundated (INUNDATED) with solicitations for donations to their campaigns. The latest news is Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee has beat President Obama and the Democratic National Committee by $51 million in fundraising over the past couple of months. Romney is also getting help from billionaires like Sheldon Adelson. Those figures aren’t included in the fundraising tallies. An Obama campaign spokesperson, Jennifer Psaki, says the average donation to Obama’s campaign is $250 or less.

Social media has made it easier to reach people, but it’s also the tone of the messages — urgent in some, aggressive in others, pleading desperately then chirping optimistically — that’s making headlines. The site ProPublica says it received 600 emails from the Obama campaign in the past three months or so. The emails are targeted for different audiences (pet owners or women, for instance) but ultimately, all solicit for cash. ProPublica received about 100 from the Romney campaign.

“[P]olitical strategists from both parties warn that campaigns must be careful to avoid alienating their most devoted followers with an endless tide of fundraising e-mails,” The Washington Post says. In a separate article, The Post says that both sides are hosting more events that are smaller in nature but generate big bucks. Some of the President’s fundraising emails ask for as little as $3.

Of course, the fear is that people will get tired of being asked for money and simply unsubscribe from the emails or social media sites or, worse, not vote for one or the other candidate. Campaign strategists say their tactics are such that they’re not too worried about being annoying.

If you think about it, we see the same ads repeatedly on television and online and still manage to get through them without getting too upset. How many P&G ads do you think you’ve seen over the course of the Olympics? We tune them out so easily, we probably couldn’t conjure one from our brains even if we tried. (There’s one with a blond child about to do a high dive.)

Are you receiving the fundraising emails? Are you getting tired of them?

More on Madame Noire Business!

How One Man Found Funding in Silicon Valley

August 9th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Black Enterprise) — What does it take to get your tech company funded by people other than your family and friends? It’s a lot harder for tech entrepreneurs than for those who are trying to raise capital for a brick and mortar business. The product and customers are sometimes less tangible.  Before launching FileBlaze, a cloud-based file storage and streaming service, Chuck Baker, 41, worked as an executive producer for music artists like Mya and Dru Hill. He realized there was a void in ways to transfer large uncompressed files like music, videos, and photographs, and preview them in real-time from the Web without also downloading other memory intensive software. He created FileBlaze to help prevent piracy, leaks and unauthorized downloads of copyrighted material.

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Fundraising: The Art of Engagement

July 19th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Fast Company) — Fundraising is a tough name for one of the most important, and sensitive, ways to engage people. Raising funds for your venture really isn’t about the money. If you want to be successful in this money business, focus on people, not funds.  One of my greatest funders has been with me for the better part of 10 years. We started out slow at $5,000 and it grew to a consistent, annual six-figure support. Our first big jump in investment was when he funded two new hires, bringing them on board to join our team.  Next year, thinking he might want a creative change, I presented an aggressive marketing plan which could take UniversalGiving to exciting new levels of brand awareness.

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