All Articles Tagged "non-profit"

Be A Part Of The Fight: 10 Organizations Making A Difference Around The World

May 8th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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No one ever wants to hear news that negatively affects the well-being of others. There are just way too many natural disasters and man-made tragedies that really make you ask why. Thankfully there are organizations out there that are trying to help. Sure we can’t make everything go away but we can do the best to our ability to help out. Here are 10 organizations making a difference in the world.

More Than Just Music: Madonna’s Charity To Open 10 Schools in Africa!

December 29th, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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The Material Girl is taking a serious stand on education in Malawi.

Pop superstar Madonna announced that her charity, Raising Malawi, built 10 schools in the country in 2012 and six of them are already in use.  Initially, the schools were supposed to take 18 months to build, with the last one going up in June 2013, according to News24; however, with help from partners at the non-profit buildON, they are six months ahead of schedule.  The four schools that aren’t already open will be ready to go by the first day of school in January, Madonna said.

With the opening of the schools, Raising Malawi noted that the schools would help an estimated 4,871 children receive an education.  Malawi is listed as one of the world’s least developed countries and only a very small portion of boys and girls are able to go to school so this undoubtedly help in a tremendous way.

This huge project seems to make up for Madonna walking away from the creation of a $15 million girls academy in Malawi back in 2009 after Raising Malawi was accused of financial mismanagement. Madonna dismissed it by saying she decided not to continue with that project because she wanted to be able to reach thousands of children, not hundreds of girls.

If you’re wondering why Madonna seems so closely connected to Malawi, it is because two of her children – David and Mercy – were both adopted from there.

This is a huge undertaking so here’s hoping Raising Malawi and buildON continue to make it successful for the sake of the children.

Q&A: Kezia M. Williams of Capital Cause Talks About Keeping Millennials Engaged in Philanthropy

June 29th, 2012 - By Blair Bedford
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Kezia M. Williams of Capital Cause

During a time when many might doubt the motivation and engagement of young people in philanthropy, Kezia M. Williams of Washington D.C. based non-profit organization Capital Cause is putting that stereotype to the test. As a part of the upward and well-mobilized millennial generation herself, Williams is changing the landscape of how young adults give back, meeting them where they are through popular social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

Williams’ commitment and dedication to summoning a whole generation of future philanthropists to use their resources as a way to give back is revamping the landscape and stereotypes of service to the community. Williams and her team at Capital Cause are making philanthropy young and popular again for a whole new generation looking to find a fresh way to change the world.

Madame Noire: Capital Cause will be hosting their premier event, The Young Philanthropists Industry Brunch, in Washington D.C. June 30th. How did the event do last year, and what is your overall goal for the brunch this year, themed after poverty to raise awareness and money for the national and global issue?

Kezia M. Williams: Capital Cause is elated to be able to host the 2nd Annual Young Philanthropists Industry Brunch this year.  Last year’s event attracted 250 young philanthropists, trailblazers and changemakers who were interested in connecting with senior level leaders in their industry over brunch.  Guests at the 2011 brunch included industry representatives from Booz | Allen | Hamilton, the White House, Politico, and the Washingtonian to name a few.  Attendees at the brunch selected two nonprofits doing work to reduce the educational disparity gap as beneficiaries of two grants.  This year we plan to follow the same format; however we will increase the giving component and award three grants instead of two.

Annually, we ask our Young Philanthropist members to choose the cause that Capital Cause will donate its gifts of time and money to for the duration of the fiscal year.  Last year, our members choose education and collectively worked to award five grants and donate 400 hours to local nonprofits.  This fiscal year, in under six months, our Young Philanthropists members have donated $25,000, awarded five grants and contributed 3300 service hours to help end poverty, hunger and homelessness in the Nation’s Capital.

MN: What misconceptions have you received from others by working with millennials (for example, they are lazy, not motivated, do not care about the community, etc.), and how do you combat that as an organization?

KW: Capital Cause has witnessed our members deconstruct the myth that young people don’t care about philanthropy or giving back.  They have proven this by demonstrating the power of small gifts by coordinating low-dollar, high-grossing giving campaigns, deconstructing the myth that only large donations and large donors count.  They have demanded that Capital Cause plan more service events that show high and measurable impact in communities, deconstructing the myth that young people want less and give less time. Though we’ve only supported the DC Metropolitan Area, we believe their desires are representative of a larger millennial group that has been misrepresented and ill-defined when it comes to philanthropy.  Young people aren’t disinterested in service; they are disinterested in participating in outdated service-based activities that don’t consider millennial interests.

Reviewing The Clinton Global Initiative

September 23rd, 2011 - By TheEditor
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by Amma Bonsou

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) has earned an international reputation for its commitment to finding tangible solutions to some of the world’s most complex challenges. Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the event provides a platform for world leaders and members of the private and public sectors to interact and pledge resources to tackle specific socioeconomic issues.

This year, the CGI Annual Meeting took place in New York City starting on September 20th 2011. The participants addressed a myriad of issues like climate change, effective disaster preparedness and the problem of child brides.

During the special session on disaster preparedness, Valerie Amos the UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, explained that when a natural disaster hits, it is important for donors to support the work of established and experienced organizations to help deal with the crisis be it a food crisis, flooding or drought. The panel acknowledged that whilst some countries are better prepared than others to deal with natural disasters, real success has also been achieved by partnering with private corporations. In New Orleans for example, the St. Bernard project is working with Toyota to reconstruct homes in Wards that have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The collaboration has improved the efficacy in reconstructing homes by 30%.

In Haiti, Fonkoze USA is working to rehabilitate Haiti by providing access to microfinance to over 56,000 women. Through effective partnership with CGI sponsor Swiss Re, Fonkoze was able to subdue the impact of torrential rains that hit Haiti in May 2011 by extending money to the microentrepreneurs within two weeks of the disaster. This rapid response helped the women get back on their feet and contribute to the growth of their economy again. Results like these have encouraged participants to renew their commitment to share resources inorder to assist resource poor areas.

Another priority of the 2011 CGI meeting was the launch of a new global partnership to end child marriages. The initiative called Girls not Brides is a concerted effort by the Ford Foundation, The Elders, The Nike Foundation and the Novo Foundation to reverse a global tradition where girls under the age of 18 are forced into marriages. These organizations have pledged to raise US$3 million to establish facilities and to seed activities to end child marriage in priority countries such as Ethiopia and India. They have also committed to create a network of donors to support programs to end child marriage worldwide. Archbishop Desmond Tutu emphasized that the alarming increase of child brides negatively impacts gender equality, maternal health and poverty but there is a desperate need to intervene to give the young girls a better future. World Bank statistics indicate when a girl in the developing world receives seven years of education, she marries four years later, and she has 2.2 fewer children. Moreover, girls completing secondary school in Kenya would add US$27billion to the economy over their lifetimes. These compelling figures have galvanized the CGI to provide resources that will improve the conditions in the affected regions.

Whether it is responding to global disasters or repressive social practices, the CGI’s success can be attributed to their commitment to work with grassroot organizations and community leaders to implement change. Their strategy has led to significant results. Over 50 million children have received access to educational programs. More than 10 million people have better access to capital and financial services and clean energy has been generated to power 400,000 homes. These accomplishments underscore the relevance of the Clinton Global Initiative because it creates a unique platform to change ideas into action.

Imagining a New Life for Women

May 26th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(New York Times) — Since 1996, Anne R. Elliott has been executive director of Greenhope Services for Women in East Harlem, which serves former inmates who have abused drugs or been battered, and provides an alternative to incarceration. This month, Greenhope opened Kandake House, a residence that has education, therapy and cultural programs. Dr. Elliott, a North Carolina native, is 49 and lives in Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Career path: I went to Davidson for my B.A. in English literature, spent a couple of years teaching in Kenya, came to New York as a Coro fellow in 1986, then went to Union Theological Seminary for a master’s in divinity and a doctorate in systematic theology. I was an associate minister at Bridge Street Church, an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, where I ran a group called Kiamsha, which means “enlightened.” Women talked about what was going on in their lives. It felt to me what church should be about: talking about something that needs healing. I had done a spirituality workshop with women at Greenhope and I decided I would like to do that kind of work.

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Young CEO Bets on Newark’s Future

March 23rd, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Uptown Magazine) – Newark Now is a multi-service agency created to empower the residents of Newark, N.J., in several areas: financially, through Financial Empowerment Centers; socially, through Family Success Centers; and communally, through family re-unification and re-entry population initiatives that assist ex-offenders. LaVar Young serves as president and CEO of Newark Now, hired after his success as the founding director of Fathers Now, a program inspired by the National Comprehensive Center for Fathers. Through the center, Young successfully brought to fruition Mayor Cory Booker’s vision to directly impact and assist the needs of men returning home from jail each year.

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Non-Profits Get SBA Nod to Offer Business Loans

January 3rd, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Crain’s) — In an effort to reach “underserved” startups, the U.S. Small Business Administration soon will allow community groups and other non-profit lenders to make federally guaranteed business loans.  The pilot program, expected to begin by mid-March, could take off fast in Chicago since several non-profit groups already are trying to help small firms get financing.  “It’s potentially huge for Chicago,” says Trinita Logue, president of Illinois Facilities Fund. The Chicago-based lender to other non-profits hopes to start making loans to for-profit city grocery stores in low-income areas, and the guarantees would help, she adds. “This SBA program is incredible; it’s really fabulous.”
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SponsorChange: Alleviating The Strain of Student Debt

May 25th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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By Demetria Irwin

"SponsorChange"

Raymar and Robert Hampshire, Founders of SponsorChange

On graduation day, when students cross the stage in stately robes and wide grins, most are handed not only a degree, but tens of thousands of dollars of debt.  According to FinAid.org, two-thirds of students who graduate from a four-year college leave with loan debt — $27,803 worth of it on average.  SponsorChange.org, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit started by two brothers, has a surprising and innovative way to help graduates pay down debt: volunteering.

SponsorChange.org matches nonprofit organizations with college-educated professionals who have a passion for community service and an armload of  loans to repay.  The volunteers fulfill a pre-determined number of hours required to complete the nonprofit’s project;  their work is rewarded by sponsors who pay off a portion of their loans.  The sponsors essentially provide money that enables community service, hence sponsoring change.

The Team

Raymar Hampshire, the 27-year-old CEO and co-founder of SponsorChange.org, explained how the idea developed.  “My brother (Robert Hampshire) is a professor and a lot of his research involves peer to peer lending.  We were talking about organizations like Prosper and Lending Club and trying to figure out how to put community service into that equation,” said Hampshire.  “At the time, this was in 2007, there were a lot of people defaulting on student loans.  Who better to utilize a service like that than college-educated professionals? Interestingly enough, we were driving through Tennessee, the volunteer state, when we came up with the basic idea for SponsorChange.org.”

"SponsorChange"

While conducting research, Hampshire came across the work of Jesse Rothstein whose study of Princeton graduates found that the anticipation of student loan debt impacted the majors and career choices of the students.  Those free of the burden of student loans tended to go for riskier or lower-paying careers  such as entrepreneurship or social work.  Hampshire seeks to offer that freedom to his organization’s participants.

The group is in its early stages.  The first volunteers started in the spring of 2009. With only $44,000 invested so far, the SponsorChange.org is fueled more by energy, ambition and resourcefulness than dollars.  None of the seven staffers draws a salary.  Hampshire, who is a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon, says he puts in about 60 hours of work a week.

The director of marketing, Shawn Agyeman, manages to work six to seven hours a day on the organization’s behalf, while also maintaining his part-time job as a life skills instructor for kids.  Agyeman, a former program participant, is the Hampshire brothers’ right hand man.  He is the person who spends the most time in the office and though he does not have a salary now, he plans to receive a portion of future revenue from ad sales.

“I treat this like a full-time job,” said Agyeman. “The more time you invest in doing something, the better you become at doing that thing.  Being here has taught me a lot of things.  I’ve learned about search engine optimization, public relations and just being resourceful.  I arranged for us to get donated office space and I got us a mention in Businessweek.  It’s an interesting job and we have an awesome staff.”

For Hampshire to make this work while not drawing a salary he’s had to rely on  savings.  “I used to work at Merrill Lynch and more recently I took a job as a census enumerator, so I managed to save some money,” he said. “Plus, I’m a frugal guy.  I don’t own a car.  I take the bus everywhere.  In Pittsburgh there’s no stigma to taking the bus.  Everybody rides it.”

SponsorChange: Alleviating The Strain of Student Debt

May 25th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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By Demetria Irwin

"SponsorChange"

Raymar and Robert Hampshire, Founders of SponsorChange

On graduation day, when students cross the stage in stately robes and wide grins, most are handed not only a degree, but tens of thousands of dollars of debt.  According to FinAid.org, two-thirds of students who graduate from a four-year college leave with loan debt — $27,803 worth of it on average.  SponsorChange.org, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit started by two brothers, has a surprising and innovative way to help graduates pay down debt: volunteering.

SponsorChange.org matches nonprofit organizations with college-educated professionals who have a passion for community service and an armload of  loans to repay.  The volunteers fulfill a pre-determined number of hours required to complete the nonprofit’s project;  their work is rewarded by sponsors who pay off a portion of their loans.  The sponsors essentially provide money that enables community service, hence sponsoring change.

The Team

Raymar Hampshire, the 27-year-old CEO and co-founder of SponsorChange.org, explained how the idea developed.  “My brother (Robert Hampshire) is a professor and a lot of his research involves peer to peer lending.  We were talking about organizations like Prosper and Lending Club and trying to figure out how to put community service into that equation,” said Hampshire.  “At the time, this was in 2007, there were a lot of people defaulting on student loans.  Who better to utilize a service like that than college-educated professionals? Interestingly enough, we were driving through Tennessee, the volunteer state, when we came up with the basic idea for SponsorChange.org.”

"SponsorChange"

While conducting research, Hampshire came across the work of Jesse Rothstein whose study of Princeton graduates found that the anticipation of student loan debt impacted the majors and career choices of the students.  Those free of the burden of student loans tended to go for riskier or lower-paying careers  such as entrepreneurship or social work.  Hampshire seeks to offer that freedom to his organization’s participants.

The group is in its early stages.  The first volunteers started in the spring of 2009. With only $44,000 invested so far, the SponsorChange.org is fueled more by energy, ambition and resourcefulness than dollars.  None of the seven staffers draws a salary.  Hampshire, who is a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon, says he puts in about 60 hours of work a week.

The director of marketing, Shawn Agyeman, manages to work six to seven hours a day on the organization’s behalf, while also maintaining his part-time job as a life skills instructor for kids.  Agyeman, a former program participant, is the Hampshire brothers’ right hand man.  He is the person who spends the most time in the office and though he does not have a salary now, he plans to receive a portion of future revenue from ad sales.

“I treat this like a full-time job,” said Agyeman. “The more time you invest in doing something, the better you become at doing that thing.  Being here has taught me a lot of things.  I’ve learned about search engine optimization, public relations and just being resourceful.  I arranged for us to get donated office space and I got us a mention in Businessweek.  It’s an interesting job and we have an awesome staff.”

For Hampshire to make this work while not drawing a salary he’s had to rely on  savings.  “I used to work at Merrill Lynch and more recently I took a job as a census enumerator, so I managed to save some money,” he said. “Plus, I’m a frugal guy.  I don’t own a car.  I take the bus everywhere.  In Pittsburgh there’s no stigma to taking the bus.  Everybody rides it.”

L3C: the New For-Profit Model with a Non-Profit Soul

March 5th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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