Entries Tagged as 'Nonprofits'

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

New Jersey Women’s Giving Circle Puts Up $100,000

Women United in Philanthropy, New Jersey’s first women’s giving circle has announced the availability of up to $100,000 in grant funding for Bergen County programs serving women. The deadline for applications is July 15, 2008. Leader Newspapers- Women Philanthropists announce $100,000 grant opportunity

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Teens cleanup TNT (Thursday Night Thing)

Via the Business Gazette, Gaithersburg, MD, read one teenager’s thoughts of volunteering in her community via her church’s Thursday Night Thing (TNT) outreach program.

TNT Cleanup in Maryland

read the article here…

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Buffett’s Philanthropy Buffet

As you all have heard by now, the second richest man in the world, Warren Buffett, has made the long awaited decision to give away the bulk of his 44 billion dollars to five different charitable foundations. The biggest beneficiary will be the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which, at $30 billion in assets, is already the largest foundation in the world. So, the two richest men in the world join their tremendous assets to create the most powerful philanthropic machine the world has ever seen.

The Gates Foundation deal was inked earlier today after a television appearance with the three principles on The Charlie Rose Show in New York City. Buffett’s divestiture plan (explained below) will give off approximately 1.5 billion in today’s dollars in July of this year and similarly for a number of years forward to the Gates Foundation. By design, most of Buffett’s annual gifts will be put to use each year on Gates Foundation projects.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focuses approximately 60% of its resources fighting viruses — like malaria and HIV-AIDS — and correcting poverty conditions around the world and another one-third on education reform in the United States. As you can imagine, their approach is well planned, strategic and calculated. Ultimately, it’s one of the best managed and efficient foundations in the world. Along with the fact that he has the highest personal faith in Bill and Melinda to be the shepherds of the “body of his life’s work”, as Melinda Gates put it on today’s Charlie Rose Show, Buffett felt it was a “no brainer” to make this gift.

Buffett will also give a significant amount of his net worth to four other foundations, each associated with a different member of his immediate family.

The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, renamed after Buffett’s late wife, will receive approximately $150 million this year.

The Susan A. Buffett Foundation of Omaha, NE; the Howard G. Buffett Foundation of Decatur, IL; and the NoVo Foundation of New York City will each receive approximately $52.5 million this year.

The Deal

Here’s how this ingenious gift will work.

Buffett will slowly convert his A shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock (symb: BRK/A) — currently trading at $91,600 — into B shares (symb: BRK/B) — trading at $3,048 — roughly a 30:1 conversion. He has made an irrevocable agreement with each of the five foundations to earmark a set amount of B shares to be gifted slowly over the next couple decades.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (10,000,000 B shares)
Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (1,000,000 B shares)
Susan A. Buffett Foundation (350,000 B shares)
Howard G. Buffett Foundation (350,000 B shares)
NoVo Foundation (Peter A. Buffett) (350,000 B shares)

Every year in July, for the next couple of decades, 5% of the remaining earmarked shares of Berkshire Hathaway B will be gifted to the respected foundations. Buffett in all his optimism is confident that the annual gain of Berkshire stock on a year-to-year basis should make-up in dollar value the 5% in lost shares, such that in 20-years the amount of the annual gift remains about the same as it is today (not taking into account, of course, the effects of inflation).

The two main conditions of the Gates Foundation agreement are:

1. Either Bill or Melinda Gates must be alive and running the Foundation during the term of Buffett’s gift; and

2. His gift must be utilized in its entirety every year up to the amount of 5% of the assets of the Foundation plus the value of Buffett’s gift. So, the Foundation at $30 billion must give away 5% ($1.5 billion) of its own money plus the additional $1.5 billion of Buffett’s first year gift — a cool $3 billion of annual giving.

Click here to view copies of the actual letters of agreement sent by Warren Buffett to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others.

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

African-Americans more generous

Some interesting data listed in this Washington Post article showing that African-American communities tend to be more generous than the average American, especially when it comes to giving to churches.

Citing a study published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the article notes that roughly 3 in 4 charitable donations in this country go toward religious causes. In the African-American community that ratio is as high as 9 in 10. Indeed, most of the zip codes in the DC Metro area listed by another Chronicle study of the country’s most generous neighborhoods are of areas with a predominantly black population.

The article continues to offer that African-Americans have a stronger commitment to community and a stronger concept of tithing, or giving 10% of your income to the church / greater good. These values are what make African-Americans amongst our most philanthropic communities in the country.

Monday, June 5th, 2006

The charity drain

Those of us in the fundraising field know that there is a big difference between donors of the Baby Boomer generation and those from Generations X and Y. Younger donors are a tougher sale and expect more performance from charities.

This great article from the Baltimore Sun outlines this phenomena nicely. The article cites an Indiana University study that showed Generation Xers gave at a rate of 53% while Boomers and pre-WWII households gave at 75% and 80% respectively.

This is a stunning difference and marks a clear change in attitudes toward philanthropy between the ages.

This Sun article explores the many ways charities are working to encourage philanthropy and volunteerism amongst our young. The basic premise is that humans are inherently charitable beings and that our instinct is to help others in need. But, as with the Gen Xers and Gen Yers, this turn toward the good can quickly be turned off if charities do not pay enough attention. Another study cited in the article showed that 18-month old infants had the instinct to help pick-up a book that was accidentally dropped by a passing adult; however, when the adult pretended to slam a book down, none of the infants in the study made a move to lend a helping hand. Very very interesting.

So, a note to nonprofits and charities out there: Donors are all born nice and with charity in their hearts…just don’t lose their trust or piss them off because the tap can quickly run dry.

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Kids find bags for kids

This story from the Honolulu Advertiser (HI) reaches deep into the “damn, kids are way smarter than me” files.

Tyler Cordoni, 10 and Drake Boyer, 11, independently came up with the idea to find donated suitcases for the thousands of kids in the Hawai’i foster care system. Tyler noticed one day while visiting his mother Allyson at the hospital at which she worked that many of the foster kids in the waiting room were all holding black trash bags with what appeared to contain their worldly possessions. He later found out that most foster children have nothing more than garbage bags to tote around their belongings as they move between homes. Tyler knew this had to stop.

Meanwhile, Drake was also discovering this fact and making plans to end it.

The two now collect donated suitcases in their Suitcases for Kids campaign. Their goal is to collect 2,500 suitcases, enough for one to go to every child currently in the foster care system.

If you want to help Tyler and Drake, contact Kapi’olani CARE Program at (808) 522-4755.

Visit Suitcases for Kids if you want to support the larger national and international campaign.

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

Frequent Flier Miles for Troops

Operation Hero Miles is a project of Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland. It’s a very simple idea that has very large impact on the lives of our soldiers serving overseas. Moreover, as of last falls legislative session, it’s also a law, written into the latest Defense Appropriations Bill.

Originally set-up in 2003 to help soldiers with airfare for R&R activities after the first offensive in Iraq, the program has recently switched its focus on providing tickets for family emergency situations. Not that R&R isn’t important, but the Bill mentioned above set money aside to handle this portion of the Operation Hero Miles program.

Current participating airlines include Alaska Airlines, America West Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and United Air Lines. If you maintain a frequent flier account with any of these carriers, and you think that you may not be using it for some time, you may consider turning it over to this effort. You don’t get a tax deduction, but you get to help military families in need and receive a lifetime of knowing you did good.

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Cross-Cultural Solutions

This New Rochelle, NY, nonprofit can be characterized as Peace Corps light. This is not to demean or steal the fire from this 11-year old organization in any way.

Cross-Cultural Solutions provides adults and students with 2 to 12 week experiences in places around the globe doing very worthwhile work. You pay your own way (whereas the Peace Corps pays you), but you have more control over where and when you go. College students may even be able to earn college credits with their work.

If you’re looking for something even lighter on your time than the 2 to 12 week options, you can enroll in the Insight Abroad program, which is a one-week dabbling in one of the CCS projects in Costa Rica, Brazil, Guatemala, Peru or Russia. It’s almost like a do-gooder vacation option that has become so popular lately.

CCS fills a very important niche serving those of us who want to be more hands on with our philanthropy but simply don’t have the time (or the guts) to drop everything and dedicate our entire lives to an international cause. While it is great to dream big, sometimes you just have to take the kind of baby-steps that CCS offers on your way to fulfilling your good intentions.

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Kindest Kansas Citian

STOP Violence of Kansas City, MO, sponsors an interesting program called the Kindest Kansas Citian Awards, which were given out for 2006 last Sunday.

This year, area students ranging from 2nd to 11th grade wrote one-page essays nominating a family member as being the kindest person in Kansas City. More than 5,000 entries were received and a panel of judges whittled the list down to 20 winners. Among the kindest Kansas Citians this year is Trent Green, quarterback of the Chiefs NFL football team.

Seems like a cool idea to have a contest based on how nice a person is. Perhaps this is something that can be done in more places around the country.

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Pump ‘em Up

Pump ‘em Up, founded in 2001 by nine-year old Savannah Walters, is a perfect example of how a small, simple yet powerful idea can have very a large impact.

Always concerned about environmental issues, Walters learned from a friend that many millions of gallons of gasoline is wasted each day due to underinflated tires. Gasoline, of course, is derived from crude oil and is a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, both of which are environmental no-nos. Moreso, the case for drilling in the Arctic National Refuge is the many million gallons of gasoline that could be produced from its oil reserves.

Walters put two and two together right away and new that if Americans would pump up their tires to appropriate levels, perhaps enough gasoline would be saved to make the Arctic oil reserve issue go away.

She learned, in fact, that almost 4 million gallons of gasoline is wasted each day in America due to underinlfated tires. By keeping our tires pumped up, we’d save money and save the environment too.

So, Walters and her friends began giving out tire gauges around her DC neighborhood and educating adult drivers about the benefits of pumping ‘em up.

Since 2001, Walters has been on TV, received letters from Fortune 5oo CEOs and travelled across the land delivering her message. Give it up for Savannah and her tire crusade. A true go getter getting it done.