Responding to Natural Disasters

The American Red Cross is an internationally-known nonprofit organization that provides care to help those in need. Whether it be from a natural disaster, military families who need support, health and safety services, blood donation, among various other humanitarian aid across the globe, the American Red Cross is does everything they can to prevent and relieve people from suffering. Through an extensive network of volunteers, donors, and employees, this nonprofit organization has made life-changing impacts on people from all over the world.

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One of the Red Cross’ primary duties is to respond to natural disasters. Each year, the Red Cross responds to around 70,000 emergencies in the United States alone – which can range from a small house fire to devastating earthquakes that have wiped out millions of people from their homes. When these disasters occur, the Red Cross responds as quickly as they can to provide shelter, food, water, health services, mental health services, and any other assistance a community (or country) may need to help get people back on their feet.

Instead of Nepal’s most recent devastating earthquakes that have displaced millions of families from their homes and inhibited their access to food and water, the American Red Cross has worked closely with the global Red Cross and the Red Crescent network to deliver services to aid those affected by the disaster. These organizations respond to natural disasters like the earthquakes in Nepal by deploying disaster experts to assess humanitarian needs, organizing relief distributions, and providing shelter for those whose homes have been destroyed.

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Also, relief supplies are mobilized directly to the site of the disaster, no matter what part of the world it occurs in. Amounts ranging tarps and blankets to hygiene supplies and cooking items are delivered from disaster experts who are sent to those specific areas. Helping out financially by supporting local shops and businesses is another way the American Red Cross helps people suffering from a natural disaster.

For more information on ways, the American Red Cross responds to natural disasters and other information concerning their relief efforts, visit their website here.

Saudi Prince Donates Billions to Charity

Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, an investor, business man, and Saudi royalty, announced last week that he will donate all of his fortune ($32 billion) to charity within the next few years.

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According to the Huffington Post, Alwaleed recently stated, “‘It is a commitment without boundaries. A commitment to all humankind,’” (Saudi Prince Says He Will Donate $32 Billion to Charity). Alwaleed is the CEO of Kingdom Holding Company, an investment organization located in Saudi Arabia, and also has made significant investments in Apple, Twitter, Citigroup, GM, Euro Disney, and many other well-known companies.

At 60 years old, Alwaleed plans to donate billions to Alwaleed Philanthropies, his nonprofit organization that supports a wide array of causes, such as disease and poverty eradication, intercultural understanding, women empowerment, and disaster relief. At a recent press conference, the prince spoke about his plans to allocate the money, saying, “‘It will be based on a strategy that is supervised and managed by a board of trustees headed by me to ensure that it will be used after my death for humanitarian projects and initiatives,’” (The Huffington Post, Saudi Prince Says He Will Donate $32 Billion to Charity).

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Furthermore, according to the Huffington Post, “Gender, race or religious affiliation will not factor into which humanitarian issues are addressed,” (Saudi Prince Says He Will Donate $32 Billion to Charity).

To read more about Alwaleed’s business and philanthropic life, check out the Huffington Post’s article here.

 

Fundraising for Philanthropy

Scot UlmerWhether you are an active member of a philanthropy or you run one – there are many ways you can contribute to fundraising for your cause.

Fundraising for philanthropy is a great way to not only connect people throughout your community, but to educate those around you about your charity – that could be as specific as raising money for hospital funds that will go to one of your relatives in need, or for a widely-recognized philanthropy such as the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.

Here are some helpful tips you can use to raise money for whichever philanthropy you are passionate about:

First, whenever you are raising awareness for a cause, make sure to be creative. Nobody ever wants to be harassed in the middle of the street in New York City on their way to work. Instead, be appealing and use your resources.

Making an announcement at work, or sending out an email to those you think would be interested is a great way to let people know that you want them to attend your fundraising event – but only if they want to. Never force somebody into donating money, because chances are they won’t want to donate to your cause again.

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Next, try to get children involved in your fundraising event. There’s nothing that people love seeing more than innocent children (though they may not always be so innocent) making an effort to learn and care about a certain charity. Try hosting an arts and crafts session for children that helps children learn about a cause while simultaneously giving them creative freedom to have fun and partake in the arts.

For example, if you are an advocate for heart health and cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States, host an arts and crafts project where children (parents) donate 5-10 dollars and in turn get to make paintings of hearts – these could even be donated to a nearby hospital!

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Another great way to help raise money for your philanthropy is to promote good health by holding a sports competition or race at a local high school or infamous landmark in your town. A basketball tournament is always a great way to get the community together for friendly basketball games. Plus, who doesn’t love watching the local dentist get called for a double dribble?

In conclusion, there are many ways you can help raise money for your philanthropy, but having fun with it will always end in a better turnout and outcome for your event. Good luck!

How To Attract Employees That Like Doing Social Good

How To Attract Employees That Like Doing Social Good

In recent years, people are becoming increasingly interested in working for companies that make a difference in the world. To attract talent, many corporate executives have started, including volunteer campaigns in their business models. Several companies have even made positions dedicated to pro bono work and volunteer initiatives.

Pro-bono advocate group abillionpluschange.org states that more than 6,400 full-time employees from over 500 American companies are delivering $2 billion worth of pro bono service to help nonprofits meet their needs. The key is to create opportunities for skills-based service so that your employees can build their skills while feeling proud of the social good they are doing. So how exactly can you create a successful program that attracts these employees who want to make a difference? Here are a few tips for creating a volunteer culture in your company’s workplace:

1. Find the right projects for your employees.

To offer skills-based volunteer opportunities to your employees, you need to connect with a nonprofit. If you don’t have existing ties to a nonprofit, finding one to work with can be daunting. Instead of looking for the right nonprofit, you should encourage your employees to join volunteer networks that let them leverage their interests and skills. Through this process, you develop leaders while also doing good in your community and attracting more employees who are interested in making the world a better place. Additionally, this will keep your current employees happy so that they are more likely to stay with your company long-term.

2. Join a volunteer database.

It only takes a few minutes to join a volunteer database. Volunteers can sync their LinkedIn accounts to complete online profiles, or they can input their information manually. On a volunteer database, potential volunteers can search through a number of volunteer opportunities. A volunteer can express interest in a project invitation, at which time the nonprofit will email the volunteer to discuss the project further. If the project meets the needs of both the nonprofit and the volunteer, the two begin working together. These tools are a great way to build partnerships.

3. Make sure the volunteers are satisfied.

According to a 2013 study by True Impact, those who do skills-based volunteering are more likely to report high satisfaction than those who do hands-on volunteering. Skills-based volunteers can work on a variety of projects, from budget assistance to grant writing. They are also able to dedicate their time to helping some critical causes. It’s no wonder they feel rewarded. Still, you must check in with your employees to make sure they are satisfied with the work they are doing. Make sure they are doing a variety of tasks and exercising their skills in the best way possible. 

With the growing culture of corporate responsibility that is popping up at successful companies throughout the country, each company must do its part. This way, you can build a positive reputation for your company, increase employee satisfaction, and attract new employees, all while making a positive impact on your community.

 

How to Make a Meaningful Donation Without Spending Any Money

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As paradoxical as it may sound, you can make a meaningful donation without spending a dime. Monetary donations may be the most popular and immediate form of charity because of the universal buying power of money. However, if you’re someone who likes to give back even when you have very little money to give, do not despair. There are plenty of donations you can make that don’t require any money, and they’re just as meaningful. Here are some other ways you can give:

Rewarding Experiences

Volunteering is the most obvious answer to giving to charity without donating money, but it is also one of the most effective. Giving of yourself (your time, your labor, your skills, your compassion) is the most meaningful donation there is and will get you up-close-and-personal with the causes you support. Not to discourage monetary donations in any way, but with volunteering, you get to see the fruits of your labor. In contrast, with a monetary donation, you may feel good knowing that your money is playing a part in a more significant cause, but you don’t usually get to see it. It gets lost with all the other donations. Volunteering allows you to form a personal connection with a cause that’s close to your heart. If you’re passionate about helping the homeless population, volunteer at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter, and see their faces light up when you treat them like a person. If you love animals, volunteer at the shelter. If you’re good with children, volunteer to read to children in hospitals or schools, or serve as a mentor through a program like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

The internet makes it even easier to volunteer, with sites like VolunteerMatch connecting people to volunteer opportunities in their communities. You can also give your time from the convenience of home by simply surfing the web. You may have skills that are in high demand, and you can employ them without even setting foot outside your house through the website Skills for Change, by helping nonprofits meet challenges they face through applying skills like copywriting and graphic design. It’s easy to implement charity into your everyday internet activity as well; for instance, conduct your searches using GoodSearch instead of Google, and it will donate a penny to charity every time you perform a search. Tabs for a Cause raises money for charity with each new tab you open in your browser. Apps like Freerice and Charity Miles make donating fun and empowering, as Freerice gives 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Programme for every question you answer correctly through their games. Charity Miles donates 10 cents to charity for every mile you run using the app.

Got Junk?

If you opt to donate that old jalopy, it’s nice to know that most centers offer free pick-up, running or not, from a location that is best for you. Instead of throwing away junk or letting it sit in storage, taking up space, and collecting dust, put your unused items to use and donate them to a charity such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Purple Heart, or a local nonprofit charity shop. Most nonprofits will be able to take just about anything you can think of, from clothes to books to appliances. It can be hard to part with anything that has sentimental value, but if you haven’t used it in over a year, ask yourself what good there is holding on to it and know that there is someone out there who could benefit from it.

Donating Blood

If you are healthy and able, donate your blood to someone whose health depends upon it. If you can, find a blood drive to go to, or if not, you can always make an appointment with a blood donation center. Some centers even allow you to donate platelets and plasma as well, which aid in cancer and organ transplant treatments. The need for blood exists all the time, so don’t wait for the opportunity to come to you. There are a few qualifications you have to meet to be eligible to give blood, such as weighing at least 110 pounds, and not suffering from any illnesses. But if you meet them, giving blood is a beautiful, selfless act of volunteerism that has the power to save lives. Health benefits of donating blood include good health and reduced risk of cancer and hemochromatosis. It also helps reduce liver and pancreas damage. 

Donating Hair

In my experience, donating your hair is a much more personal gift than sending a check. You’re sending a piece of yourself to someone who suffers from long term hair loss. You’ve probably heard of organizations like Locks of Love and Wigs for Kids that donate your chopped-off hair when you get a haircut (rather than throwing it away) to make hairpieces for patients suffering from hair loss due to illness or medical treatments. But, you should know that not all hair can be donated. Hair that’s been colored, bleached, or chemically treated can’t be donated, nor can hair that is more than 5% gray. The minimum length requirement to donate your hair is 10 inches, but if your hair is long enough, this is a great way to help someone in need with no additional cost.