Environmental Philanthropy: The Planet Needs Your Help

Saving the Environment: It All Starts With Us

The impact of human development on the environment has never been more severely felt than the present. Severe storms are sweeping across the globe, taking lives and destroying livelihood at an alarming rate. As we fully understand the dire consequences of the neglect and abuse done to the environment, corporations and business tycoons have taken a more pro-active approach in helping save the environment.

Some of America’s richest entrepreneurs have set up foundations for the sole purpose of helping the environment. Take, for example, Nathaniel Simons, the heir to billionaire James Simons. He founded the Sea Change Foundation, “one of the biggest funders for the climate and energy space.” Billionaire Louis Bacon, on the other hand, founded the Moore Charitable Foundation, an organization whose priorities include saving the ocean.

There are many other high-profile business tycoons who have been generous with their resources to help save the planet. But you don’t have to be a billionaire to do your part. You don’t even have to shell out money if you can’t afford to make a donation. Just by making a conscious effort to recycle, minimize waste, and reduce pollution, you are already helping the environment.

Minimize your contribution to carbon emissions by limiting the use of your car. Walk or bike to where you’re going if you can. It won’t only be good for the environment; it will also be good for your health. Or if you must take your car, perhaps schedule a carpool or take the public transportation. Every time you leave the room, turn off the lights. Segregate and dispose of your trash properly. There are so many other ways you can help the environment. The key is to make a conscious effort.

Do you have other suggestions on how we can help save the environment? Please get in touch with Blake Rubin through this site for suggestions or comments on this post.

 

 

Heart of a Hero: Spider-Man Brings Joy to Children in Need

Heart of a Hero

Heart of a Hero is a nonprofit organization whose primary goal is to give hope to children battling serious illnesses, kids in foster homes, and children with special needs. Founded by Ricky Mena, the idea came to him in a dream. In the dream, he was dressed as Spider-Man and visiting children in need to bring them a glimmer a hope. And from that dream, Heart of a Hero was born.

Ricky Mena, aka Spider-Man, has visited thousands of children in hospitals and care homes all over the country, bearing gifts for every child he meets. Ricky has been witness to the courage that children have, and their bravery amidst the debilitating effects of their condition has further encouraged Ricky Mena to keep doing what he’s doing—bringing joy to children who need it the most. His mission doesn’t come without heartaches. He has had to bid a final farewell to some of his little heroes, and although it breaks his heart to see his little friends succumb to their illness, knowing that he has given them joy in his own small way is more than enough to keep him moving forward.

How you can help

Heart of a Hero operates solely on the personal funds of Ricky Mena as well as donations from generous individuals. You can donate to the foundation through their GoFundMe page, or get in touch with Ricky Mena through his Facebook page to learn more about how you can help.

Blake Rubin is a philanthropist at heart. He regularly donates to the American Red Cross, and has volunteered for other nonprofit organizations as well. Through his donations and volunteer work, he has helped those in need in his own small way. He hopes that his charitable contributions will encourage his family and friends to be generous with their time and resources too.

 

 

Chase Rubin

Chase Rubin: Clara Barton and the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has a long history of helping those in need. It was founded by a group led by Clara Barton in 1881, but Ms. Barton had been working to help others for decades before that.

Clara Barton helped to save lives – and inspired others to save lives – during the Civil War. She gathered medical supplies, food, and clothing to send to soldiers. She realized that field hospitals were extremely filthy and that the soldiers would greatly benefit from the improvement of these hospitals. She attended to soldiers in hospitals that were very close to battle sites, such as Fredericksburg and Antietam, and did such good work that she was known as the “Angel of the Battlefield.”

After the war was over her work for the soldiers continued. She helped families to search for soldiers that hadn’t returned home, and helped to identify soldiers that were missing or killed in action. Barton and her assistants helped to locate over 22,000 missing men. She also helped to find and give proper burial to 20,000 men who died at Andersonville, a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp that was known for its horrendous conditions.

Years after the Civil War, Barton visited Europe, where she learned of the Red Cross network that operated in Switzerland. Inspired, she helped to found and then lead the American Red Cross for 23 years, during which time the group helped the United States military during the Spanish-American War and also helped with disaster relief both domestically and overseas.

Barton died in 1912, but the good work of the Red Cross has continued. They help those in need during wartime and peacetime, both civilians and soldiers. They have helped during disease outbreaks and during natural disasters. Now, the Red Cross may be best known for their efforts to collect donated blood, as well as for helping members of the military and their families.

Blake Rubin Blog

Clara Barton and the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has a long history of helping those in need. It was founded by a group led by Clara Barton in 1881, but Ms. Barton had been working to help others for decades before that.

Clara Barton helped to save lives – and inspired others to save lives – during the Civil War. She gathered medical supplies, food, and clothing to send to soldiers. She realized that field hospitals were extremely filthy and that the soldiers would greatly benefit from the improvement of these hospitals. She attended to soldiers in hospitals that were very close to battle sites, such as Fredericksburg and Antietam, and did such good work that she was known as the “Angel of the Battlefield.”

After the war was over her work for the soldiers continued. She helped families to search for soldiers that hadn’t returned home, and helped to identify soldiers that were missing or killed in action. Barton and her assistants helped to locate over 22,000 missing men. She also helped to find and give proper burial to 20,000 men who died at Andersonville, a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp that was known for its horrendous conditions.

Years after the Civil War, Barton visited Europe, where she learned of the Red Cross network that operated in Switzerland. Inspired, she helped to found and then lead the American Red Cross for 23 years, during which time the group helped the United States military during the Spanish-American War and also helped with disaster relief both domestically and overseas.

Barton died in 1912, but the good work of the Red Cross has continued. They help those in need during wartime and peacetime, both civilians and soldiers. They have helped during disease outbreaks and during natural disasters. Now, the Red Cross may be best known for their efforts to collect donated blood, as well as for helping members of the military and their families.

Strategic Philanthropy As A Tool For Effectiveness

What is Strategic Philanthropy and why is it important? Well, Strategic philanthropy is a unique and powerful way to combine your company marketing goals with your desire to increase the well-being of mankind. It is one of the most popular terms in cause-related marketing or community partnering.

Strategic philanthropy is a conscious effort to power play and effect a positioning that connects your company with a not-for-profit organization or cause. In this way, while you are being helpful and working for the common good in your community, your business is receiving parallel benefits in the form of more donations, leads and even investments from corporations.

Additional benefits can include exposure, lead generation, employee retention and increases in performance and productivity.

Critics speak against or rather, do not understand that philanthropic endeavors should incorporate strategy and thoughtfulness in order to optimize effectiveness. Many see strategy as an underlining attempt to stray away from philanthropic goals.  Giving back and making a difference is a complex and sophisticated field, and while it’s often deeply personal and highly individualized, there are four broad lessons anyone hoping to dive into philanthropy should learn.

Employing Your Internal & External Lenses

It’s important to see the big picture and all its facets when determining your philanthropic goals. When looking through the internal lense, you need to ask yourself what it is you’re hoping to achieve for yourself, your family, or your business when donating time and money to charity? If your giving is personal, it’s most likely inspired by theology, gratitude, ego, fear, recognition, creation, power, compassion, or tax and estate planning. Businesses typically hope to enhance their employee recruitment, retention, engagement and productivity as well as their customer loyalty, regulatory approval, and investor value. When looking through the external lense, you’re exploring a different question: What are you hoping to preserve or change in your community, country, or the world? Maintaining perspective through both lenses will help both individuals and organizations develop a confident and clear philanthropic strategy.

Engage & Listen to Your Audience and Market 

When examining those internal and external questions and how to design and implement your philanthropic strategy, include those around you in meaningful and ongoing conversations about what matters.If the philanthropic endeavor is one you’re embarking with your family, include all generations, giving them a voice and a vote in all matters. In business, it’s important to include and engage with certain stakeholders like employees, customers, and investors in examining the answers to the internal and external questions. In fact, this engagement has been shown to have a significant positive impact on the return on philanthropic investments.

Depth, not Width Is The Most Malleable Approach, Do Not Put A Cap On The Scope Of What You Can Achieve

Find a smaller, manageable number of important issues or causes that you’re passionate about, and focus deeply on making an impact. Don’t adopt the “peanut butter” approach, which is the practice of spreading your charity thinly across the surface of a wide variety of organizations.

What are you waiting for? Get Going! 

You won’t see results if you don’t start now, and being able to witness the positive impact you make is definitely more satisfying than doing it post-mortem.We don’t realize that we can afford to be more charitable than we already are without sacrificing quality of life (when have you ever heard of someone going into debt from being too philanthropic?).

Consulting with a financial advisor can help you determine an affordable amount of money to be allocated to causes you deem worthy so you can start helping those in need now. Philanthropic strategist Bruce DeBoskey, J.D., once wrote “Philanthropy is like love. The more you make philanthropy a cornerstone of your life, the more you find the joy, meaning and satisfaction in living.”

To read the original article, click here.

Celebrity Involvement In Philanthropy- Here’s Where The Highest Donors Stand

Did you know that Many producers, writers, directors have made significant strides in setting up foundations to involve charity and philanthropy? When people think about charity or philanthropy they often attribute this to organizations like the Ford Foundation or the Red Cross, and although these bodies do address humanitarian efforts with generous donations, celebrities and people in the film industry also have their own strong-standing in philanthropic contributions

Forbes online reports that Authors, actors, artists, comedians, and supermodels were among the celebrities who made this year’s list, which takes into account the largest donations to charity made by them in 2010, according to public records and interviews with charities known for their celebrity affiliations. The data was also compiled by interviewing publicists, attorneys, agents, agencies, and managers for information about their clients. An interesting point to note is lack of records on donations made by a celebrity’s foundation. Most celebrity foundation donations are not taken into account because of the discrepancy in the source of funding, which sometimes proves to be inaccurate or even controversial.

One example of a celebrity who has donated generously is Jami Gertz. In 2014 actress Jami Gertz and her husband, Anthony Ressler, topped the list of the 30 Most Generous Celebrities compiled by The Giving Back Fund, a non-profit organization that tracks philanthropic giving worldwide. Their record donation of more than $10,000,000 to their own foundation is exemplary. Jami Gertz is not an actress who is incredibly well known in the mainstream space, but it is important to note that, Gertz’s deep-pocketed donation has much to do with the fact that her husband Anthony Ressler is the co-founder of Ares Capital, a Los Angeles investment firm that controls more than $40 billion in assets, which has also recently expressed interest in buying the Dodgers. As a team, their contribution adds to the generous offer many celebrity or entrepreneurial couples have made to philanthropy and charity.

Forbes online writes that in second place is Herb Alpert who gave $9,104,829 to his own foundation, aptly named the Herb Alpert Foundation. The Herb Alpert Foundation focuses on the arts, compassion and well being of students and intellectuals alike. This donation is followed by Actor/Director Mel Gibson, who signed a check of $6,853,020 to the AP Reilly Foundation, which he started to support the Holy Family Church. We see celebrities like George Lucas and famous writer Nora Roberts, donating to their own funds as well. The Nora Roberts Foundation is known to support literacy in the local community, with it’s additional areas of philanthropic focus on children’s programs, arts organizations, and humanitarian efforts.

Here is a list following the donations of celebrities in generous amounts.

1. Actress, Jami Gertz and her husband Antony Ressler — $10,569,002

2. Musician, Herb Alpert –$9,104,829

3. Actor, Mel Gibson — $6,853,020

4. Director, Producer, Writer, George Lucas — $4,250,000

5. Writer, Nora Roberts — $3,000,000

6. NFL Player, Ndamukong Suh — $2,600,000

7. MLB Player Lance Berkman and his wife Cara — $2,412,245

8. Actress Meryl Streep and her husband Donald Gummer — $2,000,000

To learn more about celebrities who have given a generous amount to charity and philanthropy, click here

A Tech Millionaire, A Failing School System and $100 million

Philanthropic efforts are not always successful, we know this because the proof is in the report pudding. One major example of failed philanthropic efforts, in this case due to mismanagement of funds is the criticism fired at the International Red Cross over the missing $500 million donation to Haiti.

In 2010, Mark Zuckerberg in partnership with Newark’s Cory Booker and a very excited Oprah Winfrey announced on national television, much to the disbelief of all future persons involved (Newark school administrators, parents and teachers) a new philanthropic effort to boost Newark Public schools with a $100 million donation.

Four years later, reports show that this effort has failed, and this failure is reflected in the failure of the initiative to involve the people of Newark in planning these efforts, decreased student performance and a lack of knowledge surrounding the Newark school system and public administration.

zuck

On the flip side of the coin, the effort was successful in increasing the number of Newark children within the charter school system. The initiative was also successful in improving a new teachers accountability contract, which holds teachers and school administrators to the goal of helping children grow and learn.
Despite these improvements, critics again point to studies which reflect the failure of this initiative in contending with internal factors like budget cuts, which only decreased student performance in a time where it should have improved. if teachers  and their salaries are being cut, how will students have more access to education?

In the view of the public, what could possibly have happened, again, to such a large sum of money? With no detailed response yet from Mark Zuckerberg of Cory Booker, while we wait we must remind ourselves on what prerequisite measures we need to make when dealing with philanthropy. The question remains, how can we be sure that effective spending is exacted where large philanthropic donations are involved?

If you would like to know more about the Zuckerberg donation story, visit this detailed article by The Washington Post

Word Giving: 7 Amazing Quotes On Philanthropy

Building a society free from decaying human dignity and poverty is incredibly hard. Governments have tried, failed, maybe even succeeded in temporarily building systems or organizations to tackle this issue, it however seems like more and more the world’s problems are getting worse.

Lately, the increased reporting on the migrant situation, the ongoing civil war in Syria and economic and civil strife in neighboring countries continue to hound our consciousness as a humanity hostage.

When fears take you to the level of helplessness,  it is our strength in numbers, born as philanthropic organizations, who do not mismanage funds, but cater to the human condition as promised, which gives us the zeal to move forward. Has progress been made? Yes. We have seen change effected by organizations like The Children’s Defense Fund, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and even the Red Cross in dealing with causes in humanitarian relief, children empowerment and education.

I wanted to list out some of greatest quotations on philosophy, to remind us that this is a journey and not a race. We need not lose hope as we are bombarded with more world problems. Here are some words by famous people who have been influential in humanitarian efforts to improve human conditions:

1. “If You can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one” – Mother Theresa

2. “No one need wait a single moment to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

3. ” I wanted to give my children enough monty so they they could feel they could do anything, but not so much they could do nothing.” – Warren Buffet

4. ” I’m not doing my philanthropic work out of any kind of guilt. I’m doing it because I can afford to do it, and I believe in it.” – George Soros

5. ” Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”- Margaret Mead

6. “There are only four things you can do with your money.
You can give it to the government.
You can spend it.
You can give it to your kids to their detriment. My three sons understand this. I never want to deprive them of the wonderful feeling of making it on their own. I don’t think you do your kids a favor by leaving them a lot of money, or letting them think they’re working with a net.
And the fourth thing you can do with your money is create something good with it. I think it’s incumbent on everybody with any amount of funds at all to start thinking like that.”
—James Kimsey

7.  “Every dollar makes a difference. And that’s true whether it’s Warren Buffet’s remarkable $31 billion pledge to the Gates Foundation or my late father’s $25 check to the NAACP.” – Michael Bloomberg

 

To read more awesome quotes on philanthropy, visit this list by Philanthropy Roundtable

 

 

It’s Time To Acknowledge That Athletes are also Just As Generous

In the world of charitable donations, names like The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation or Mark Zuckerberg can make even the most generous donor quake in their boots. These people have proved themselves exemplary in building funds to support medicine research, education and even as we learned recently, planned parenthood.

Celebrities and athletes are also generous donors in the world of philanthropy. Though not always on the same platform as tech entrepreneurs, athletes have been just as generous in giving to causes they care about. A common trend amongst celebrities and sports athletes is the establishment of foundations in their name. These foundations maintain the celebrities brands with that touch of “charity” but also allow them to make executive decisions in supporting causes they care about.

Here’s a list of people, whose level of generosity will shock you, especially when you compare their income or sponsorship deals to the amount donated

Tiger woods

Surprised? Golf’s poster child for startlingly prenuptial agreements and external sports scandal has been instrumental in providing educational opportunities for young children in the United States through The Tiger Woods Foundation, a non-profit organization he established in 1996 with the help of his now deceased father.

tiger woods

LeBron James

LeBron emotionally disenfranchised many fans with “The decision” in 2010, but that hasn’t stopped or thwarted his philanthropic efforts which he exacts through the LeBron James Family Foundation. The foundation supports after school programs, the Children’s Defense Fund, OneXOne and the Boy’s and Girls club which donated 2.5 million to in 2010.

lebron james

 

Andre Agassi

If you know Andre Agassi, you’ll know he won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award in 1995 for his generous contributions. Agassi established a tuition free charter school to help students in the Las Vegas area prepare for college- the Andrea Agassi College Predatory Academy.

andre agassi

To learn more about athletes who have given to charitable causes, visit this article by CheatSheet

 

Pope Francis is Shaping How Millennials Interact With Catholic Philanthropist Organizations

With Pope Francis coming into New York city, streets will be closed, transportation hindered and people swarming in from areas all over the East cCast. Pope Francis is often described as one of most modern popes to come out of the vatican. He comes to us in a time when social theories and perspectives are evolving, and where religious leaders shy away from issues which they feel might misrepresent their religious institutions, the pope threads the conversation line lightly, sprinkling discourse with his own opinions which don’t shy too far from what the Vatican allows.

His presence and position on controversial topics in politics, religion and culture have positioned the vatican as an unexpected avenue for swaying international public opinion, and all eyes are on him as younger generations key into social discourse. Pope Francis views have shaken the core beliefs most people have about the papacy, the expected opinions of a pope, and the face of the Vatican outside of religion.

pope francis

In 2014, an internationally broadcast moment only showcased the pope’s ability to view world issues introspectively, he was quoted saying “Sister, through you I want to thank all religious sisters of the United States…’ Francis said to a beaming Sister Norma. ‘Be courageous. Move forward, always on the front line. And I tell you one thing more — is it ok for the Pope to say this? I don’t know — I love you all very much!

The Huffington Post highlights in this article, the potential influence of the pope on catholic philanthropists in the international community. As the pope’s visit to New York city draws closer, his team continually partners with an increasing number of philanthropic organizations who will also be organizing campaigns around his New York City visit. As external relations between the papacy and catholic philanthropic organizations get stronger, criticism on the pope’s severity with capitalism, the market system and businesses whose values stray away from human dignity are also increasing. The established partnerships with the catholic philanthropy organizations provide a way for the papacy to display alternatives ways of contributing to human life and dignity.

The pope’s visit will not only introduce him to the network of catholic organizations in the city, it will inspire young catholic philanthropists to continue to work hard to reach their religious and organizational goals, and remind the world about how deep the reach of the papacy is.

The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study found that roughly 3 in 10 millennial Catholics regularly attend mass. These numbers might appear small, but in terms of social influence they matter. Pope Francis’ reach in the millennial demographic continues to increase, and this increase will change how catholic millennials view their fate and donate to the papacy or associated catholic philanthropic organizations.

To learn more about the pope’s visit to New York and Catholic Philanthropy efforts, click here