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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe


This category includes articles about nonprofit organizations and NGOs that are actively working to accomplish a social mission. The work of foundations that primarily work as grantors to other nonprofits is covered in Philanthropy.

1% for the Planet Launches Blue Crew, Because our Big Blue Planet Needs You

Network creates program for responsible consumers to make bigger impact and connect with like-minds

Burlington, Vt. — One of the world’s largest environmental networks, 1% for the Planet, today announces the launch of the Blue Crew, a new program that invites individuals to be part of the solution with other like-minded businesses, nonprofits, and ambassadors within the network. Together, we make a bigger impact on initiatives to protect this big blue planet.

As individuals continue to look for opportunities to do good for the Earth, it can be hard to determine which efforts truly make a difference. The Blue Crew aims to provide focus for individuals to care for the planet and affect even greater environmental change by supporting 1% for the Planet’s powerful network.

For over a decade, 1% for the Planet has successfully brought together more than 1,000 businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet by donating 1% of sales to more than 3,000 environmental nonprofits worldwide. The Blue Crew will offer a way for individuals to support 1% for the Planet’s work to engage and activate these members, and will provide next steps for further engagement. Blue Crew members can work alongside the network’s businesses, nonprofits, and ambassadors to tackle issues including food, water, land, species and climate change, and interested individuals can join the new program starting at $11 per year.

“As part of the Blue Crew, people can give as they are able, knowing that every $1 donated directly to 1% for the Planet is leveraged 32 times over as the organization uses donations to make an even more substantial impact through our global network approach,” said Kate Williams, the organization’s CEO. “Being part of the Blue Crew lets individuals be part of something bigger – doing together what we cannot do alone.”

There are many benefits to Blue Crew membership, tied to various levels of giving and provided by the network’s partners. At the “Mountain” level, ($1111 or more), members are eligible for a scholarship up to $20,000 at the University of Vermont’s Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA (SEMBA), the first program dedicated to developing leaders who will build, innovate, and reinvent sustainable enterprises, providing acceptance into the program. In addition, the first 50 members at this level will receive a limited edition print from ambassadors and artists, Craig&Karl. Craig Redman and Karl Maier collaborate to create bold work filled with simple messages executed in a thoughtful and humorous way. They’ve exhibited across the world, most notably at the Musée de la Publicité, Louvre, and now they’ve created a 1% for the Planet exclusive piece to celebrate our work worldwide and encourage support of this new program.

“The 1% for the Planet Blue Crew is focused on empowering a single person to take action and give back to this big blue planet. The idea is to make giving, and most importantly, taking simple action, an accessible challenge,” said Williams. “For years, we have encouraged individuals to vote with their dollars in the marketplace. This new program allows them to also cast a vote with their support of our network, gaining access to opportunities for action and engagement, as well as the satisfaction of supporting global change.”

For more information on the Blue Crew and to learn how to join, please visit:

From Stressed To Centered Hands-On Talk by Drs. Dana Gionta and Dan Guerra

Thursday, July 23rd at 12 PM
1395 Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
New York, NY
Tickets are $24.00
Copies of From Stressed To Centered will be available for purchase at event
and are also available for purchase online.

Stress management experts to conduct hands-on, practical talk to help center New Yorkers mired in the pressures of bustling careers and everyday life.

New York is known as the city the never sleeps, but if you’re not sleeping because of career worries, domestic pressures, or general feelings of overwhelm, stress management experts Dana Gionta, Ph.D. and Dan Guerra, Psy.D. are here to help you return to a state of calm. On Thursday, July 23rd at 12:00 PM at 92nd Street Y, located at Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street, Drs. Gionta and Guerra will address the trifecta of stress-assessment, management and future prevention, and introduce innovative and evidence-based approaches to dealing with stress more effectively. The powerful relationship between stress management and self-care will be discussed, which will help you live a life that promotes ongoing wellness and care for the self. Tickets will be $24 and are available at or by calling 212.415.5500.

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This will be a hands-on, informative and entertaining talk by authors, psychologists and executive coaches, Drs. Gionta and Guerra, to empower attendees to take control of their lives and free themselves from increasingly stressful living. Following the event, Drs. Gionta and Guerra’s epiphanic and easy-to-integrate reference book From Stressed To Centered: A Practical Guide to a Healthier and Happier You will be available for purchase and the authors will be on hand to sign copies of their book.

From Stressed to Centered is a one of a kind book because of its comprehensive approach, interactive structure, and proven methods that yield long-term results. It is a top to bottom offering that includes innovative Stress Management and Self-Care assessments which are valuable, evaluative tools developed from Drs. Gionta and Guerra’s combined 30 years as behavior change experts within both clinical and organizational environments. From Stressed to Centered teaches you how to manage your stress quickly, through simple, actionable, portable techniques, which can be used anywhere, any time. The book ends with proven strategies to help you create your own powerful self-care toolkit to increase your energy, avoid burnout and stay on a low-stress path.

About The Authors:

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Dr. Dana Gionta is a clinical psychologist, executive coach and organizational consultant with expertise in self-care, stress management, and organizational health. Dr. Gionta works with high potential managers, senior executives and teams in small to larger Fortune 500 and nonprofit organizations in various industries, including health, law and hospitality. In her life coaching and psychology practice, she helps individuals make courageous changes in their personal and professional lives. Dr. Gionta is also an author, national speaker and trainer on topics related to stress management, self-care, boundaries and emotional health.

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Dr. Dan Guerra is a licensed clinical psychologist and an executive coach with expertise in stress management and behavioral change. His innovative treatments help people emerge better versions of themselves, so they’re more fulfilled in their personal relationships, successful in their careers, and enjoy quality of life improvement. His tireless pursuit of healing and freeing people from negative behavioral patterns has led him down many different avenues. Dr. Guerra is a psychologist, psychotherapist, mindfulness meditation teacher, educator, executive coach, Playback Theatre actor, author, and international public speaker. He has been featured in Google’s Best & Brightest.

The authors have been featured in, The Globe and Mail and other outlets.

About 92nd Street Y:

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92nd Street Y is a world-class, nonprofit cultural and community center that fosters the mental, physical and spiritual health of people throughout their lives, offering: wide-ranging conversations with the world’s best minds; outstanding programming in the performing, visual and literary arts; fitness and sports programs; and activities for children and families. 92Y is the home of #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving launched in 2012. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y annually; millions more participate in 92Y’s digital and online initiatives. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. For more information, visit

Henry Timms, Founder of Global #GivingTuesday Initiative, Gives Keynote Address at Kick-Off of NPW Campaign

PLEASANTVLLE, N.Y. (June 16, 2015) – More than 80 leaders from the nonprofit sector gathered at Pace University’s Pleasantville campus today for Nonprofit Westchester’s kick-off event for #GivingTuesday, a global movement to encourage giving. Henry Timms, executive director of 92Y and founder of the worldwide initiative, revealed how it all began and offered inspiration to nonprofits that are bringing the campaign to Westchester County this year.

“We know there has always been a world of generosity in Westchester,” said Joanna Straub, executive director of Nonprofit Westchester (NPW). “But the #GivingTuesday initiative is bringing out much more valuable support for a wide variety of worthy and important efforts.”

From left: Henry Timms, Executive Director of 92Y and founder of #GivingTuesday; Nira Herrmann, Dean of Dyson College of Arts& Sciences at Pace University; Joanna Straub, Executive Director of Nonprofit Westchester; Frederica N. Wald, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of University Relations for Pace University; Professor Robert Klaeger, Media, Communications, and Visual Arts Department Chair; and George Troyano, President/Publisher of The Journal News.

From left: Henry Timms, Executive Director of 92Y and founder of #GivingTuesday; Nira Herrmann, Dean of Dyson College of Arts& Sciences at Pace University; Joanna Straub, Executive Director of Nonprofit Westchester; Frederica N. Wald, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of University Relations for Pace University; Professor Robert Klaeger, Media, Communications, and Visual Arts Department Chair; and George Troyano, President/Publisher of The Journal News.

“The tremendous response to #GivingTuesday clearly shows that people are drawn to the opportunity to give, to come together around generosity,” Timms said. “We are seeing this movement inspire a whole new generation of philanthropists by providing people with a way to share the things about which they are passionate and to drive change in those areas by mobilizing their own communities.”

Pace University has partnered with NPW, The Journal News and in promoting this worthy cause by assembling a panel of judges, from Pace’s Media, Communications and Visual Arts Department in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, for a video contest in the Fall. Scott Lane, executive director of Donor Relations/Fundraising Programs at Pace University, was a panelist during the kick off ceremony today to discuss the success of Pace University’s #GivingTuesday campaign efforts in the past.

“Pace University is excited to be partnering with Nonprofit Westchester and The Journal News on this important project that will help so many worthwhile Westchester nonprofits,” said Frederica N. Wald, Pace’s Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of University Relations. “Professors from Pace’s award-winning media and communications programs bring a wealth of industry expertise and experience to the video contest.”

As part of their partnership with NPW’s #GivingTuesday campaign, The Journal News and will highlight local organizations through stories, photographs and videos. The media group will also host interactive workshops for nonprofit leaders to teach them how to elevate their social media platforms and how to use their smart phones and iMovie to create compelling videos.

“The Giving Tuesday initiative is opening the floodgates to more giving. These videos will document the success of these campaigns so that everyone can see how the efforts of everyone involved can accomplish so much,” Straub said.

George Troyano, president and publisher of The Journal News, also spoke about the media group’s partnership with Nonprofit Westchester on the campaign. Last year, The Journal News and partnered with Nonprofit Westchester with the campaign that encourages charities, families, businesses, community centers and students from around the world to come together for a common purpose: to celebrate generosity by donating money and time to charities.

During the kick-off event, a panel of Westchester’s nonprofit leaders shared tips from their successful #GivingTuesday campaigns. The Child Care Council of Westchester raised 500% more in 2014 vs 2013; Open Door Family Medical Center integrated a volunteer project into their #GivingTuesday plans as a cultivation event; Pace University raised 3 times its goal amount through a multi-channel campaign, and Alliance for Safe Kids (with only three paid staff) raised $0 in its first campaign, regrouped, and raised $9,300 in its second campaign.

For more information about Nonprofit Westchester or to become a member, visit  or follow them on and Twitter @NPWestchester.

Nonprofit Westchester

Nonprofit Westchester (NPW) provides the nonprofit sector with a single unified voice for the role it plays in the economic vitality and sustainability of the county, focusing on sharing resources, connections, and information to strengthen Westchester in partnership with the for-profit and government sectors. The organization represents some 90 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in the county under a cooperative mission to strengthen the impact, capacity and visibility of the nonprofit sector for a more just and caring community. In 2014, NPW released a study done in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies called “Westchester County Nonprofits: A Major Economic Engine,” which concluded that nonprofits are a multi-billion dollar industry and make up the largest employment sector in Westchester County. NPW is grateful for the support of its sponsors, including Andrus, O’Connor Davies, KeyBank, Rollins Insurance and TD Bank. For more information or to join NPW, visit

Achieving Social Transformation through Education

The University of Cambridge and Camfed Announce a New Partnership to Change the Prospects of Girls Globally

Cambridge, United Kingdom, 16 June 2015 – Julia Gillard delivers the keynote address alongside Hans Brattskar as Camfed teams up with the new Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre at the University of Cambridge, hosting an inaugural seminar on the transformative impact of education, with a focus on marginalized girls, and a call for a global coalition for change.

The new REAL Centre will deliver high quality research to understand the real life problems that disadvantaged girls and adolescents face, and to identify practical solutions for change. This afternoon at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, the centre celebrates its launch by bringing together a number of international education experts and activists to discuss “Social Transformation through Education.”

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, said, “The University is working across the world and locally to ensure that we deliver on our responsibility to education, which starts much earlier than at the university stage. Young people across the world have the right to an education and its transformational effects, but millions cannot exercise that right. It is up to us all to correct this.”

Urgently Addressing the World’s Challenges with Experience and Robust Research

The event also marks the launch of an exciting new partnership between the REAL Centre and Camfed. “The urgency to address the challenges the world faces as we commit to quality education for every child has never been greater,” says Pauline Rose, Professor of International Education and Director of the REAL Centre. “We urgently need to focus on those facing severe disadvantages in education – notably girls from poor households, and particularly those with disabilities. So we are bringing together Camfed’s decades-long experience of investing in community-led girls’ education programs with the University’s high quality research, with a view to supporting the most effective deployment of global resources.”

Today’s panel of experts is deeply committed to changing the status quo. Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and former Prime Minister of Australia, and Hans Brattskar, Norway’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, will share their professional insights. Julia Gillard will focus on the barriers to quality education for all, especially for marginalized girls, the solutions that are already in place, and the global commitment that is needed to drive change. Hans Brattskar will speak on behalf of a government deeply committed to investing in girls’ education as the key to sustainable development. This will be followed by a Q&A session and an interactive panel discussion.

A Coalition for Girls’ Education

Lucy Lake, CEO of Camfed, and Fiona Mavhinga, lawyer and founding member of CAMA, Camfed’s 33,100-member strong pan-African network of young women leaders for girls’ education, will join Professor Rose on the panel. They will share their experience of what works in girls’ education in some of the poorest and most isolated districts of sub-Saharan Africa, where Camfed invests in a community-led model of girls’ education and young women’s empowerment and leadership. “Camfed’s model shows just what’s possible to achieve for girls, even in the most difficult circumstances. By partnering with government ministries and working closely with communities, we are tackling the obstacles to girls’ success,” Lucy Lake explains. “The results are evident in the incredible network of educated young women – many among the first to complete school in their communities – who are now working with us to drive change for the younger generation in school.”

Fiona Mavhinga will describe how young women are engaging with government authorities to tackle gender-based violence and discrimination, as well as supporting the next generation through school. “CAMA members, uniquely placed to understand the barriers to girls’ success, are now designing, delivering and monitoring innovative programs that improve girls’ retention and progression through school, as well as their transition to independence and leadership,” she explains.

Research from the REAL Centre will further strengthen the data collected by promoting evidence from programs like Camfed’s to enhance impact from classroom to policy level. “On this seminal day, we bring together some of the world’s most powerful voices advocating for girls’ education, as well as in-depth research experience, governments committed to change, and young women activists who understand what really works in transforming girls’ context and prospects. This is the coalition we need to succeed in delivering every child’s entitlement to a quality education,” Professor Rose concludes.

City Year Receives $2.5 Million Grant From The New York Life Foundation

Grant Funds City Year’s After-School Middle School Program

NEW YORK, June 16, 2015 — City Year, an education-focused nonprofit organization that helps students to stay in school and on track to graduation, announced today that it will standardize and scale its After-School middle school program with the support of a three-year $2.5 million grant from the New York Life Foundation.

“We are grateful and proud to welcome New York Life as City Year’s newest national partner,” said Michael Brown, City Year CEO and co-founder. “With help from this partnership, we can scale up our innovative after-school program to impact as many as 150,000 middle school students, providing kids with academic support and skill-building enrichment activities.”

“City Year’s mission and the New York Life Foundation’s focus are clearly aligned. We see the need to do more to keep middle school students in school and on track to graduate,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer at the Foundation. “We invested in City Year because they have a successful track record of helping students improve their attendance, behavior, and course performance – all of which are proven indicators of a student’s likelihood to graduate from high school.”

In 26 cities across the country, City Year strategically partners with school districts and community leaders to raise achievement in the lowest performing schools. Targeting the high schools with the lowest graduation rates and their feeder elementary and middle schools, City Year establishes a continuum of programs for students as they matriculate through elementary school, middle school, and the 9th grade, ensuring that struggling students receive the personalized support they need to graduate prepared for college and a career.

City Year does this by leveraging national service – uniting young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, providing them with the training needed and deploying them in partnership with teachers and school staff to add human capital to meet the scale of student need.

During the school day, corps members serve as tutors and mentors to students identified as needing extra help, providing a range of services such as classroom support, targeted tutoring in English and math, attendance support and behavior coaching. In City Year middle school after-school programs, corps members are able to extend these services by providing a safe and structured after-school environment in which students can continue to build their academic skills and engage in activities that promote positive youth development.

City Year, with New York Life Foundation input, will select up to 24 schools over the course of the three-year grant. In these communities with diverse populations, City Year will update and strengthen its after-school curriculum, provide staff training, and pilot the enhanced after-school program before the full launch of the program. The partnership will result in an after-school program that has the potential to impact an estimated 150,000 middle school students at full scale.

About City Year

City Year is dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. City Year partners with public schools in 26 urban, high-poverty communities across the U.S. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members serve full-time in high-poverty urban schools, providing high-impact student, classroom, and school-wide support to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is made possible by support from the Corporation for National and Community Service, school district partnerships, and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals. Learn more at

About The New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided $200 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program. To learn more, please visit

Giving USA: Americans Donated an Estimated $358.38 Billion to Charity in 2014; Highest Total in Report’s 60-year History

Healthier American economy, as measured by multiple indicators, was engine for 7.1 percent growth in charitable giving

CHICAGO (June 16, 2015) — Americans gave an estimated $358.38 billion to charity in 2014, surpassing the peak last seen before the Great Recession, according to the 60th anniversary edition of Giving USA, released today. That total slightly exceeded the benchmark year of 2007, when giving hit an estimated inflation-adjusted total of $355.17 billion.

The 2014 total jumped 7.1 percent in current dollars and 5.4 percent when inflation-adjusted over the revised estimate of $339.94 billion that Americans donated in 2013, according to Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2014.

In addition, 2014 marked the fifth year in a row where giving went up; the average annual increase was 5.5 percent in current dollars (3.4 percent when inflation-adjusted).

All four sources that comprise total giving  individuals (72 percent of the total); corporations (5 percent); foundations (15 percent); and bequests (8 percent) upped their 2014 donations to America’s 1-million-plus charities, says the report, which is the longest-running and most comprehensive of its kind in America. Giving USA is published by Giving USA Foundation,which was established by The Giving Institute to advance philanthropy through research and education. The report is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

“The 60-year high for total giving is a great story about resilience and perseverance,” said W. Keith Curtis, chair of the Foundation and president of Virginia Beach, Virginia, nonprofit consulting firm The Curtis Group. “It’s also interesting to consider that growth was across the board, even though criteria used to make decisions about giving differ for each source.”

Curtis said two examples illustrate the point: “Individual giving is affected by available disposable income at the household level, wealth and growth in the S&P 500. All three increased last year as did the amount people spent in general—not just on charitable donations. Corporate giving decisions, on the other hand,have historically been driven by changes in pretax profits and GDP. Other factors might be affecting how much they donate; time—and further research—will tell.

“With virtually every economic indicator that gets measured showing growth, I think it’s safe to conclude they played a large part in making 2014 a banner year for giving from every source,” he added.

2014 Charitable Giving by Source:

  • Individual giving, $258.51 billion, increased 5.7 percent in current dollars (and 4.0 percent when inflation-adjusted) over 2013.
  • Foundation giving, $53.97 billion, was 8.2 percent higher than 2013 (the increase was 6.5 percent when inflation-adjusted).
  • Bequest giving, $28.13 billion, increased 15.5 percent (13.6 percent when inflation-adjusted) over 2013.
  • Corporate giving, $17.77 billion, increased 13.7 percent (11.9 percent when inflation-adjusted) over 2013 giving.

“As we mark the fifth consecutive year of growth in total giving, it is also encouraging that all but oneof the recipient categories saw generally healthy gains last year,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., dean of the school. “While circumstances vary from organization to organization, it appears that the nonprofit sector overall can at last focus on expanding giving rather than regaining lost ground.”

Observations about 2014 giving:

  • Large gifts—$200 million or more—made large impact

“We saw several very large gifts greater than $200 million—a few were greater than $500 million and one was nearly $2 billion—in 2014,” said Patrick Rooney, Ph.D., associate dean for academic affairs and research at the school. “The majority of these ‘mega-gifts’ were given by relatively young tech entrepreneurs. These gifts are high-impact and are addressing many critical issues of our time, particularly medical research.”

  • Jump in individual giving—5.7 percent—made greatest impact

The 5.7 percent more that individuals donated in 2014 over 2013 accounted for 58 percent of last year’s total growth in giving.

  • Foundation giving on the rise; all three kinds upped 2014 gifts

Not only did total giving by foundations grow 8.2 percent in 2014, gifts from all three types—community, independent and operating—also went up. The annual changes in this category are influenced most by grants from independent foundations; their 2014 gifts were 7.8 percent higher than in 2013 and accounted for 74 percent of the category’s total.

Taking the long view on total charitable giving, Rooney noted that while total inflation-adjusted giving has grown beyond its prior peak, a bit of caution is warranted. “As three of the four sources of giving have not yet exceeded their previous peak levels, with only foundation giving reaching its prior high, it is still too early to tell if total giving will sustain above the pre-recession level.

“That being said, we are optimistic that giving will soon return to and exceed the high levels seen prior to the Great Recession across all categories analyzed in Giving USA,” he said.

2014 Charitable Giving to Recipients

The flip side of where charitable donations come from, of course, is where those gifts go.Giving USA’s research covers what happens within nine different categories of charities; here’s what 2014 looked like for each:

  • Religion—at $114.90 billion, 2014 giving increased 2.5 percent in current dollars, and a modest 0.9 percent when adjusted for inflation.
  • Education—giving increased to $54.62 billion, 4.9 percent more in current dollars than the 2013 total. The inflation-adjusted increase was 3.2 percent.
  • Human Services—its $42.10 billion total was 3.6 percent higher, in current dollars, than in 2013. The inflation-adjusted increase was 1.9 percent.
  • Health—the $30.37 billion 2014 estimate was 5.5 percent higher, in current dollars, than the 2013 estimate. When adjusted for inflation, the increase was 3.8 percent.
  • Arts/Culture/Humanities—at an estimated $17.23 billion, growth in current dollars was 9.2 percent in 2014. When adjusted for inflation, the increase was 7.4 percent.
  • Environment/Animals—The $10.50 billion estimate for 2014 was up 7.0 percent in current dollars, and 5.3 percent when adjusted for inflation,over 2013 giving.
  • Public-Society Benefit—the $26.29 billion estimate for 2014 increased 5.1 percent in current dollars over 2013. When adjusted for inflation, the increase was 3.4 percent.
  • Foundations—at an estimated $41.62 billion in 2014, giving grew 1.8 percent in current dollars and 0.1 percent when adjusted for inflation.
  • International Affairs—the $15.10 billion estimate for 2014 decreased 2.0 percent, in current dollars, from 2013. The drop was 3.6 percent when adjusted for inflation.

In addition to the above, 2 percent of 2014’s total — $6.42 billion —went to individuals, largely through in-kind donations of medicine via patient assistance programs.

Six of the nine categories saw donations reach record highs last year when adjusted for inflation: religion, education, human services, health, arts/culture/humanities and environment/animals.

“It’s not only fantastic to see significant growth in total giving, it’s also encouraging that six types of nonprofits — two-thirds of the ones covered in Giving USA—reached historic high-water marks last year,” said David H. King, CFRE, president of Atlanta-based consulting firm Alexander Haas and chair of the Institute.

“While the overall growth is indicative of robust philanthropy to a wide spectrum of nonprofits and, thus, of all boats rising with the tide, we would be remiss to gloss over what is happening with giving to religion. Although 2014 donations reached a new high of $114.90 billion, and, as always, accounted for the largest percentage of donations, the fact is, this category is continuing its 30-year dramatic downward slide as a share of total giving. In fact, it has dropped from 53 percent of all donations in 1987 to 32 percent of the total in 2014.”

Giving to foundations, public-society benefit and international affairs has not yet returned to or surpassed peak levels. Una Osili, Ph.D., director of research at the school, said several notable trends affected donations to those three sectors.

“We found a dramatic slowing down of giving to support the largest national donor-advised funds in 2014. This may have slightly dampened giving to the public-society benefit subsector,” she said. “We also know that giving to some pass-through charities—those that redistribute their funds to other organizations—have seen little to no growth in recent years.”

When it comes to international affairs, “donors appear to be increasing their attention to domestic causes in recent years,” said Osili, “due to increased needs in the U.S. Additionally, giving to international affairs in 2014 may have been affected by the fact that there was not a major international natural disaster on the scale that we have seen in some recent years, which tends to influence giving to this category.

“The trend of very large gifts to foundations has been holding steady for the past few years, so giving to foundations is close to achieving a high point again,” Osili said. “Gifts to foundations peaked in 2007, when they reached an inflation-adjusted total of $43 billion. That year, several extraordinarily large gifts – including several higher than $500 million and one that exceeded $1 billion – factored into the total.”

Further observations about giving to recipients:

  • Giving to religion’s decline over time as a share of the total reflects that fewer Americans currently identify with a religion, attend worship services or give to houses of worship. These effects have been noted among the Baby Boomer generation; younger age groups appear to be following the same path.
  • Human services giving has increased annually since 2006, when adjusted for inflation. While growth has been modest in recent years, this category, which provides essential services to low-income households, youth and communities, continues to be of central importance to Americans when it comes to charitable donation decisions.
  • Giving in two categories—arts/culture/humanities and environment/animals—saw the fastest growth last year among the nine; in addition, neither has seen a decline (in current dollars) since the end of the recession.
  • Giving to education continues to be strong, and to higher education in particular. Included in its 2014 total are several multi-million dollar gifts, including two of more than $100 million. The latter supported medical research on university campuses.

“The 2014 growth among eight out of nine types of charitable organizations is good news for the philanthropic sector as a whole,” Curtis said. “The growth can be attributed, in part, to the ways charities have been working smarter during daunting times. Nonprofits increasingly are making sure they have strong cases for support, communicate frequently with donors and provide proof of the impact charitable gifts make.

“Now that there seems to be a bit of breathing room, I would encourage charities to continue all these good habits and ensure they remain ingrained as part of their organizational philosophy. If they do, success should continue.”

About Giving USA Foundation TM and The Giving Institute

2015 serves as a benchmark year for both Giving USA Foundation TM and the organization that created it, The Giving Institute.

For the Institute, whose membership is comprised of consultants to nonprofits, 2015 marks 80 years since 11 firms created a trade association focused on ethical fundraising counsel. That mission remains, and its Code of Ethics is a model in the field.

The group’s public-service initiative—measuring and reporting on charitable giving in America—started with the first of 60 consecutive annual reports, known colloquially as Giving USA. The Institute formed Giving USA FoundationTM in 1985 to advance the research, education and public understanding of philanthropy.

Headquartered in Chicago, both the Foundation and the Institute anticipate continuing their respective—and linked—missions for decades to come.

How to Obtain Giving USA 2015

Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2014, will be available for download June 16, 2015, at A complimentary executive summary, Highlights, also will be available on that date.

Customers can select from a number of Giving USA2015 products, including the full report, available in both digital and paperback formats; a PowerPoint slide deck; the data tables; and the free Highlights executive summary.

Giving USA Foundation TM periodically publishes in-depth reports (Spotlights) on different aspects of charitable giving and fundraising trends. Visit our website for available topics; prices vary.

About the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change.The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. For more information, visit

Giving USA Methodology

Giving USA estimates primarily rely oneconometric methods developed by leading researchers in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector and are reviewed and approved by the members of the Giving USA Advisory Council on Methodology (ACM). Members of the ACM include research directors from national nonprofit organizations, as well as scholars from such disciplines as economics and public affairs, all of whom are involved in studying philan¬thropy and the nonprofit sector.

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy prepares all of the estimates in Giving USA for Giving USA Foundation. Giving USA develops estimates for giving by each type of donor (sources) and for recipient organizations categorized by subsectors (uses). Most of Giving USA’s annual estimates are based on econometric analyses and tabulations of tax data, economic indicators and demographics. Data for giving by foundations come from the Foundation Center.

Current Giving USA estimates are developed before final taxdata, some economic indicators, and some demographic data are available. The estimates are revised and updated as final versions of these data become available. Final estimates are usually developed two to three years after their initial release.

Humanitarian Amma (‘The Hugging Saint’) Receives Golden Goody Award in Los Angeles

Mata Amritanandamayi (“Amma”) was honored with a Golden Goody Award (Oscar for Social Good) for her Worldwide Humanitarian Charities on Sunday, June 14, 2015, before embracing thousands at the Los Angeles International Airport Hilton.

Humanitarian and Spiritual Leader Amma "The Hugging Saint" honored with Golden Goody Award from the Goody Awards in Los Angeles

Humanitarian and Spiritual Leader Amma “The Hugging Saint” honored with Golden Goody Award from the Goody Awards in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 15, 2015 – Humanitarian and Spiritual Leader Mata Amritanandamayi, better known as “Amma,” received distinguished honors on Sunday with a Golden Goody Award for her Worldwide Humanitarian Charities at the LAX Hilton. Considered a living saint in her homeland of India, Amma (61) has gained an extraordinary reputation over the past 40 years for her personal outreach and extensive charitable institutions, collectively known as “Embracing the World.”

Amma, dubbed “The Hugging Saint” by the international press, received this humanitarian and service award for her life of selfless service and compassion before receiving thousands with her blessing – a healing embrace. She has been expressing her compassion this way since she was a teen, giving an estimated 35 million hugs worldwide. Amma, who sleeps only a couple hours per day, teaches by the example of her own life, and is considered the most influential contemporary woman religious leader. In December 2014, she was invited to the Vatican by Pope Francis to sign a universal declaration to end human slavery and trafficking.

“Mata Amritanandamayi … is fast becoming a world-renowned spiritual leader like Mother Teresa or Mohandas Gandhi.” ~ Reuters News

Goody Awards Founder Liz H. Kelly presented the lifetime achievement award by emphasizing, “Amma is a global role model who has touched the hearts of millions demonstrating that a life dedicated to selfless love and service to humanity is truly possible. We are humbly honored to present Amma with our top Golden Goody Award.”

Over the last 15 years, Amma has emerged as a leader in disaster relief, having deployed vast resources to hotspots ranging from the earthquakes in Nepal, Japan, Haiti, and Gujarat and to help repair the devastation from cyclones and hurricanes such as in Mumbai, West Bengal and New Orleans. With official NGO status granted by the United Nations, Amma oversees a vast network of volunteer humanitarian activities of three distinct types: 1) direct aid to the needy, 2) educational institutions designed to help the underprivileged learn to help themselves, and 3) social programs that serve broader society and the environment. These are summarized at the website:

For her endless energy and devotion to help others, Amma has been praised by leaders worldwide:

“Amma and my father are kindred spirits.” ~ Yolanda King, daughter of Rev. Martin Luther King

“Amma presents the kind of leadership we need for our planet to survive. This is the most heroic person I’ve probably ever met.” ~ Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize Winner

“Amma has done more work than many governments have ever done for their people…her contribution is enormous.” ~ Prof Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Founder of Grameen Bank

“Amma’s spiritual hugs and charitable works…have helped her to become what many consider, a living saint.” ~ Los Angeles Times

Though born into the Hindu faith, Amma steadfastly supports all great religions, encouraging aspirants to go deeper into their own traditional paths. “There is no harm in having many religions and faiths,” she says. “But it is harmful to think they are different, and that one faith is higher and another lower.”

During her North American Tour, Amma will be visiting 11 cities from May 30 – July 20, 2015. More information can be found at

About the Goody Awards:

Goody Awards™ mission is to inspire positive change by recognizing and promoting the good in the world in four Eco Social areas: Environment, Education, Health and Women Empowerment. A Golden Goody Award is their top award, and is “like an Oscar for Social Good.” This lifetime achievement award is usually presented at live events to raise awareness of social impact leaders and great causes. Previous Golden Goody Award winners have included Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Sir Nicholas Winton, UN Goodwill Ambassador Ian Somerhalder (Ian Somerhalder Foundation), Unlikely Heroes Founder Erica Greve (who travels globally to rehabilitate women) and more. The Goody Awards has an international Advisory Board, and fans tweet @GoodyAwards from 30+ countries to recognize good daily 24×7 using 20 different award categories with hashtags (ex. #HeroGoody).

START Launches World Refugee Day Campaign with Cadre of Powerful Artists and Paddle8

Online Auction with Iconic Artwork to Run Internationally

June 15, 2015 – START, a charity which organizes workshops for refugees, orphans and special needs children across the Middle East and India – will collaborate with a series of international and local artists for World Refugee Day on June 20. In partnership with online auction house Paddle8, an exclusive auction will raise awareness for the refugee crisis across the Middle East while highlighting START’s efforts to support vulnerable children through the medium of art. The two-week auction will raise the funds to support START’S refugee programs in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, India, Egypt and the UAE. Bidding will be available online from June 19 through July 3.

Since its inception in 2007, START has helped to heal and educate children who have suffered from war, pain and loss. Many of their students have perceived things no child should ever see, so START workshops provide these vulnerable children a safe and secure environment to learn, interact with their peers, develop their skills and creativity.

Deeply committed to supporting displaced Palestinian and Syrian children – many of whom have not been fortunate enough to receive any formal education – the workshops give them the opportunity to be kids again. To laugh, create and have fun in a safe and free environment – a reality some children can only dream of.

START will be able to continue to reach over 1,500 children every week through their workshops as part of the World Refugee Campaign. The auction will allow the organization to reach more children, change additional lives and bring further hope. The cadre of international and local artists who have donated works to raise funds during the auction includes: Katrin Fridriks, Pryce Lee, Erik Foss, Drew Conrad, Pablo Power, Heath West, Jeannete Hayes, Lauren Seldan, Maisoon Al Saleh, Rania Jishi, Reza Derakshani, Alia Dawood, Yasmina Alaoui, Milma McMillan and Aziz Al Mudhaf. As artists, they believe in START’s Mission and understand in the power of art, how it can help heal and empower the younger generation. By supporting START, they can bring colour and passion back into refugee children’s lives. Previous artists who have collaborated with START, include Aaron Young, Mr Brainwash and Swoon.

“We are honoured to have the support of fantastic artists, spreading global awareness for World Refugee Day and our mission to heal and educate vulnerable children who have suffered from war, pain and loss. As the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon recently said, “Refugees have been deprived of their homes, but they must not be deprived of their futures.” We want to give children and young adults an opportunity to create a future as rich and free as their imaginations. These children need us and critically need you. The artists and patrons support sustains our programme, helping children already in our workshops. As a result. this support enables us to reach more children, changing more lives, bringing more hope”, said Nicola Lee, START Director.

The auction runs from June 19 to July 3. To participate in the auction, visit:

@startworld – Twitter

@startworld1 – Instagram

#START #WorldRefugeeDay #WRD #Art #Children #Charity


START was founded in 2007 by Art Dubai and the Al Madad Foundation and is now an independent registered charity in Dubai and the United Kingdom. For more information about START or how to get involved, visit

About Paddle8

Paddle8 is the premier online collecting destination, presenting auctions of extraordinary art, design, jewelry, watches, and collectibles. Using innovative technology, Paddle8 has streamlined the collecting experience, combining the excitement and expertise of an auction house with efficient operational solutions and an international perspective. In addition, Paddle8 has partnered with over 350 non-profit organizations worldwide to present benefit auctions to our global community of 500,000 collectors, helping each organization expand its fundraising results. Founded in 2011, Paddle8 has over 100 employees worldwide, with teams in New York, L.A., and London. Paddle8 is funded by the investors behind Uber, Vimeo, Buzzfeed, Paperless Post, Warby Parker, and Bonobos, among others, as well as art-world insiders including artist Damien Hirst and art dealer Jay Jopling.

5 Skills Adolescents Need For A Successful And Satisfying Life

Teenagers spend a good chunk of their learning time immersed in such subjects as algebra, history, biology and geography.

But the march toward a successful and satisfying adulthood involves more than the ability to add numbers or read and analyze complex material.

Equally vital are skills that help young people develop character and give them the courage and fortitude to deal with the many challenges life will throw at them, says Linda Mornell, founder of the highly effective nonprofit organization Summer Search (, which provides disadvantaged young people with life-changing and challenging summer opportunities.

“During the physical, emotional and intellectual explosions of the adolescent years, it’s critical that teenagers develop a belief in their own ability to succeed,” says Mornell, who also is author of the book “Forever Changed: How Summer Programs and Insight Mentoring Challenge Adolescents and Transform Lives.”

“People who truly believe they can perform well are more likely to view difficult tasks as something to be mastered rather than something to be avoided.”

Skills and values that help lead adolescents to a more satisfying life can range from respecting their parents to understanding that making mistakes is part of life. Here are just five of the many skills Mornell says can make a difference.

  • Learn to listen. The willingness to listen is a direct reflection of how much we value each other, Mornell says, and being listened to reduces stress. “Nothing teaches young people more about how to become good listeners than having a mentor or other adult who consistently and intently listens to them,” she says. “The ability to listen with intention and compassion creates and enhances qualities like curiosity, empathy and altruism.”
  • Understand and manage stress. Recent research indicates that the adolescent brain is highly sensitive to stress.  It is essential that young people understand the role stress plays in their lives and the difference between healthy and unhealthy outlets for handling that stress. Healthy outlets for stress include exercise, talking, crying, creative pursuits and venting anger through words and exercise in safe environments. Unhealthy outlets include withdrawing and bottling up feelings, overeating or restricting food, inappropriate aggressive behavior, relying on passive activities like TV and video games, alcohol and drug use, premature sexual activity, and blaming others.
  • Embrace anger. Young people (and perhaps adults as well) who want to achieve success often try to keep a lid on negative emotions, Mornell says. Yet Mornell, who worked as a psychiatric nurse, has seen despondent patients find relief when they are given permission to appropriately vent their anger and frustration. “We definitely see that with Summer Search students as well,” Mornell says. “They consistently feel better when their mentors help them talk about rather than swallow their frustrations.”
  • Reject the victim mentality. Many young people struggle at times with feeling like victims. That especially can be the case for those growing up in poverty. “In truth, they often are victimized,” Mornell says. “They may live in a dangerous neighborhood with highly stressed and single-parent families, and every day they are confronted with the harsh realities of poverty.” The challenge, she says, is for young people to separate their experience of literally being a victim from the tendency to develop a victim mentality. They can’t control the former, but they can control the latter.
  • Value humor. Adolescents are turned off by sarcasm from adults, but they have a great appreciation for humor. “If a mentor and a student can start poking fun at each other, the friendly teasing can lead to a closer and more trusting relationship,” Mornell says. “Learning to laugh at oneself is an important skill for us all.”

About Linda Mornell

Linda Mornell is the founder of Summer Search (, a nonprofit organization that provides disadvantaged young people with challenging summer opportunities and life-changing mentoring. She is also the author of the book “Forever Changed: How Summer Programs and Insight Mentoring Challenge Adolescents and Transform Lives.” Mornell was born on a farm in Muncie, Ind. After getting her RN and bachelor’s degrees from Methodist Hospital and DePauw University, she headed west on a Greyhound bus. She received psychiatric training from Langley Porter at the University of California in San Francisco and married a psychiatric resident, Pierre Mornell. She has three adult children and seven grandchildren. Mornell divides her time among family, writing and consulting. In 2014, she was blessed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for her efforts to empower disadvantaged youth.

Not For Sale Launches “Throwdown” to Combat Human Trafficking

Notable athletes, influencers and corporate leaders commit to donating one day’s salary to fund the fight against modern-day slavery

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (June 12, 2015) – Not For Sale, a global nonprofit organization committed to the fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery, today launched the Not For Sale Throwdown, which encourages participants to work for free for a day so others can be free forever.

There are 30 million slaves in the world today, more than at any point in history, with annual trafficking profits totaling more than $150 billion. After the international drug trade, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the world. The Throwdown will help Not For Sale to address these staggering numbers, serving more communities threatened by slavery and exploitation, while also supporting the expansion of the vital services it provides to survivors and those at risk of exploitation.

“We’re asking selfless people from all walks of life to choose action over hope in the fight against modern-day slavery. Slavery is all around us, from our favorite restaurants to our beloved electronics and the clothes in our closets,” said Mark Wexler, co-founder of Not For Sale. “We believe the Throwdown has the potential to create a widespread modern-day abolitionist movement. On the heels of several innovative nonprofit campaigns in recent years, the Throwdown offers tangible, scalable resources for trafficking survivors and at-risk communities, with the compelling but simple ask to ‘work free for a day, so others can be free for a lifetime.’”

In 2014, Not For Sale protected, equipped and empowered 4,469 people of all ages across the globe. Not For Sale starts by providing survivors and at-risk communities with shelter, healthcare and legal services, first attending to the most basic needs of those who have suffered extreme trauma. The organization then strives to empower individuals by providing education, and job- and life-skills training. Finally, Not For Sale works with leading companies and organizations to create long-term employment opportunities for survivors and at-risk communities.

Several notable leaders in business, entertainment and sports have already committed to participating in the Throwdown, including:

Business & Entertainment Notables:

  • Jaimie Alexander, actress, “Thor,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
  • Jonathan Jackson, actor, “General Hospital,” “Nashville”
  • Lloyd H Dean, president and CEO, Dignity Health
  • Bernita McTernan, senior vice president, Dignity Health
  • Lenny Mendonca, director emeritus, McKinsey & Co
  • Clinton Sparks, DJ, music producer, artist
  • Richard Lui, journalist and news anchor, MSNBC
  • Oliver Trevena, host, Young Hollywood

Professional Athletes:

  • Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Chase Headley, New York Yankees
  • Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants
  • Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants
  • Jeremy Affeldt, San Francisco Giants
  • AJ Ellis, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Cliff Pennington, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Gavin Floyd, Cleveland Indians
  • Justin Masterson, Boston Red Sox
  • Nick Hundley, Colorado Rockies
  • Brad Boxberger, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Mark Sappington, Arkansas Travelers
  • Khari Stephenson, San Jose Earthquakes
  • Darrell Stuckey, San Diego Chargers

“Before getting involved with Not For Sale, my wife, Larisa, and I both thought slavery had ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. That was five years ago, and since then, I’ve felt compelled to educate others by cutting through the secrecy that surrounds modern-day slavery.” said Jeremy Affeldt, a relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. “I’ve visited Thailand and met some of the children saved by Not For Sale, and witnessed their shining potential first-hand. That trip and my involvement with Not For Sale drove me to recruit other athletes, both professional and amateur, to take up the cause. Every child should be free to play, dream and grow up in a world where nobody is for sale.”

Throwdown funds will help to expand Not For Sale’s work with survivors and at-risk populations in the United States, the Netherlands, Romania and Thailand. For example:

  • $60 can help to support the education of a child at the Not For Sale home in Thailand
  • $515 can help to provide safe housing for vulnerable and exploited children in Romania and
  • $5,000 can help to support a young survivor of sexual exploitation in the United States to reinvent her life via work-readiness and life-skills training and an internship at a local business.

“As the leader of a corporation, I believe that it’s my responsibility to lend a voice to those who cannot be heard,” said Lloyd Dean, CEO of Dignity Health with roots in San Francisco. “By donating to Not For Sale, I strive to set a good example for my colleagues, as well as for other corporate executives. It’s my hope that America’s businessmen and women can help survivors to realize their dreams and pursue their passions as we all have, free of chains.”

Anyone can join the Throwdown. People from all income levels and walks of life have already committed one day’s pay to protect people and communities around the world from human trafficking. Donations that are greater or less than a day’s wage will also make an enormous difference to Not For Sale’s work and will be most gratefully accepted.

To learn more about the Throwdown, or to invest in a world free of slavery, please visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About Not For Sale

In 2000, Dave Batstone discovered that his favorite Bay Area restaurant had been the center of a local human trafficking ring that forcefully brought hundreds of teenagers from India into the United States. He realized this was part of a growing international issue affecting every industry and corner of the earth. From there, Batstone wrote the book Not For Sale in 2007, and Not For Sale was born.

Not For Sale has grown into a team of 15 in San Francisco and over 30 worldwide. We manage social impact programs on the ground; monitor, measure, and assess the depth and breadth of our impact; tell stories to connect you to the world’s most vulnerable people; and create meaningful relationships with people, communities and companies. Since 2007, Not For Sale has served more than 10,000 vulnerable and exploited people on four continents.

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