Archive for the ‘ePhilanthropy’ Category

What are you starting and what will you leave behind?

Friday, February 19th, 2010

I am in a history book club, which I’ve talked about before on this blog. We met last night, and the topic was winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. Everyone read about a different winner, all amazing people. But the most interesting thing to come out of the meeting was the story about Alfred Nobel and why he may have started the Nobel Prizes.

Apparently, Nobel and his brothers were the most famous inventors of their time. Most notably, Alfred Nobel is credited with the invention of dynamite. In 1888, Alfred’s brother Ludvig died when visiting in France, and a French newspaper incorrectly published an obituary for Alfred reporting, “the merchant of death is dead” and claimed that “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.” (As an aside, there is an interesting list of other premature obituaries here.)

Alfred NobelMany speculate that it was this bizarre and premature report of his death that led Nobel to (unexpectedly) leave the majority of his money in a trust to fund the Nobel Prizes.

Fast forward to today. One of viagra online shop in uk the best things about being an entrepreneur is the ability to create new things. But the implications of inventing or building or creating something that didn’t exist before can be serious. I’m certain that the founder of Craigslist didn’t anticipate it being used for murder, that MySpace’s founder didn’t plan for it to lead to suicide and that the inventors of these top 10 inventions that went bad for mankind didn’t plan for them to be used the way that the ultimately were.

Nobel’s invention has been used in mining, quarrying and construction to great results. But it has also been used to kill, murder and maim. That was a legacy that he wasn’t comfortable in leaving – so he did something about it.

I am an entrepreneur, but more specifically, I like to build things that didn’t exist before. I get a lot of joy out of envisioning something new, and then bringing it to life. This story of Alfred Nobel, though, was a good reminder to consider the cost. I’m also thinking hard about what I can to leave a legacy of which I can be proud.

Putting poverty in perspective

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Today is Blog Action day, a day when thousands of bloggers all across the world team up to write about one topic in order to bring awareness to that issue. Last year, we wrote about the environment. This year, the topic is poverty.

In all honesty, poverty is a topic that’s tough for me to really grasp. Unlike many of my friends, I haven’t traveled extensively to Third World countries, so I haven’t had to look poverty in the face very often. And when I do, it’s removed – on the TV screen, or via a story that someone is telling me.

I don’t think that many people who live in the United States truly understand poverty the way people in other countries experience it. I am not trying to say that people who live below the poverty line in the U.S. have it easy – that certainly is not the case. But the definition of poverty in other countries is vastly different than what we think of when we consider being poor.

These are two examples that really put things in perspective. Don’t worry – neither one is scary or filled with manipulative images. They are both just meant to give you an idea of where you fall in the midst of the world population.

Global Rich List – this site will show you how rich you really are when compared to everyone else in the world. Just type in your income, and you’ll find out if you’re richer than you think.

The video embedded below is short – just one minute – but will give you another good look at where you would fit in if there was an island that was cross-section of the world divided by income level.

After checking out these resources, you might feel like you have a little bit more to give. If so, I would like to ask you to join me today in making a donation to your favorite charity that fights poverty. If you don’t have a charity in mind already, World Vision is an excellent organization that makes good use of every dollar donated.

And, if you have a blog, it’s still not too late to sign up to be part of Blog Action Day.

Some interesting facts about online fundraising

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

·         Political fundraising relies heavily on online donations. News today is that Ron Paul, the long-shot obstetrician presidential candidate from Texas, raised $5 million in the third quarter, and according to those close to the campaign “as much as 80% of the campaign’s donations are received online.” From the reports I’ve read, 80% sounds like a higher percentage than most candidates are receiving online, but all the presidential hopefuls – particularly the democrats– are raising significant money online. ActBlue an online fundraising tool that supports democratic candidates in their efforts to raise money online reports that “for the first six months of 2007, ActBlue has channeled $6.5 million in online funds to Democratic candidates from nearly 62,000 donors with an average contribution size of $108.”

·         The percentage of money that is raised online continues to increase. According to a January 26, 2005, article about the money raised for Tsunami relief, the American Red Cross reported collecting $236.2 million total, $84 million online for 36% of its contributions via online giving. Just a few months later, reports from Katrina fundraising show a marked increase in online giving. By September 2005, the American Red Cross had raised 53% of its money for Katrina relief via online donations. “Of the $503 million raised to date for Hurricane Katrina, $265.1 million has been raised through online donations.”

·         Where is the money going? These statistics aren’t for online-only, but I thought it was interesting to see where charitable gifts are going. According to a report from The Association of Fundraising Professionals, the charitable giving in the United States for 2006 shapes up this way:

§  Religious organizations: $96.82 billion (32.8% of total giving)

§  Educational organizations: $40.98 billion (13.9% of total giving)

§  Human service organizations: $29.56 billion (10% of total giving)

§  Foundations: $29.50 billion (10% of total giving)

§  Public-society benefit organizations: $21.41 billion (7.3% of total giving)

§  Health organizations: $20.22 billion (6.9% of total giving)

§  Arts, culture and humanities organizations: $12.51 billion (4.2% of total giving)

§  International affairs $11.34 billion (3.8% of total giving

§  Environment and animal organizations: $6.60 billion (2.2% of total giving)

·         And the winner is….The 2007 International ePhilanthropy Awards were given out in September in New York City and featured the following winners based on their online non-profit activities:

§  Best Community Building/Volunteerism or Activism Campaign: Peace x Peace, whose mission is to connect individuals and Circles of women everywhere in the world, through the Internet, for spirited conversation and mutual support. They also have a (often disturbing) blog at Week X Week.

§  Best Integrated Online and Offline Campaign:  The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) won this award with their Friends for Peace campaign, which encourages you to upload your “peace” sign, or make your own at their Web site.

For Peace

§  Best Special Event Registration and/or Membership Campaign: Gulu Walk, which is focused on supporting the abandoned children of northern Uganda, coordinated 30,000 people to walk in 2006. The organization’s 2007 walk is coming up on October 20th.

§  Best Online Donations/Fundraising Campaign: Mama Cash, a Netherlands-based organization with a women’s fund that finances projects conceived by women, won the award for Campaign 88 Days, an effort to convert young, affluent women into donors and advocates for women’s rights. During the 88 days, the campaign raised more than $200,000.

~Today’s view:

Walking in honor of my Grandma

Monday, October 1st, 2007

I just joined a team of 28 family and friends in an American Cancer Society Walk for the Cure in Binghamton, N.Y.  The idea came about as a way to honor the memory of my Grandma Reyen, who had breast cancer and passed away in 2006 (she was 90-years-old, by the way, and had a wonderful, beautiful life and a huge family who loved her, as you can see from the picture…it wasn’t a sad honoring!) Happily, we were also able to celebrate two survivors on our team. Crew Cadden raised more than $5,000 for the cause (thank you to all our supporters!!) and had a great time doing it.

Crew Cadden