How Has Philanthropy Changed Over the Years?

carl-turnley-charity2During the last decade we have witnessed the beginning of a financial crisis occurring around the world as well as a recession that seems to be impending. This has started to cause a major drop in resources that could be available for both grant makers and grant seekers. Within these ten years we saw the first-ever smartphone appear and changed the way we seek information, communicate, and how we would eventually use it to give to others in need.

Ever since, it seems like technology has grown past what was originally thought of it, causing many impacts on charities and their administration, as well as their ability to fundraise one day and then create grants another day. With many natural disasters occurring and not to mention the economic, political, and social turmoil, there have also been big changes in communities and the way they organize and how donors now respond to the many needs. This is giving new light on the way giving and support occurs.

An Impactful Focus

Many grant makers have turned their focus toward an approach that is more strategic for their giving causes and guided by the effect that their impact will have on the support they give. With a high desire to have grant seekers set goals to achieve and present various programs but to also dedicate any resources to have programs evaluated so that results can be justified for continual investments.

Grant seekers have now begun to grow worried because of this and have expressed that they are no longer able to report on just the amount served but also what life changes occur because of it. This requires an increase in staff, resources, time, support, and expertise.

Relationships Changing

Generally speaking, the atmosphere between grant seekers and grant makers seem collaborative. This made it seem like the relationship was more personal and less formal which the grant makers and grant seekers appreciated more. This type of communication is welcomed by grant makers and they hope that it causes other relationships to be open so that a common goal can be easily achieved.

How Technology Has Played a Role

Both information sharing and education have a high ranking among issues that grant seekers and grant makers wish that will be improved by technology. Besides these, many online applications for grants, management systems, and grant reports and forms have minimal errors, have been time-saving, made communication easier, and have ensured that relationship quality is enriched.

 

Millennial Impact on Philanthropy

carl-turnley-charityStereotypes about millennials paint an entire generation as entitled and afraid of hard work, which may cause organizations to shy away from campaigning for donations from these young adults. However, it would be a mistake for companies to ignore this untapped market.

Despite the argument that the world left to millennials by previous generations is one that is economically unfair, millennials are still a generous generation. Millennials, born from approximately 1980 to 2000, will soon make the largest part of the American workforce, which will expand their buying power, and their philanthropic efforts don’t fall far behind. One survey found that 84% of this group has donated financially while 70% of millennials had given at least an hour to a charitable cause in 2014.

Baby Boomers and Generation X still donate more money per year than millennials donate, $732 and $1,212, respectively, compared to $481; however, the younger generation still manages to donate an impressive amount of money compared to their college debt and when considering the fact that fewer members of this group have achieved enough financial security to own a home and car. This fact stands in opposition to the idea that millennials are an entitled lot. Organizations that rely on donations, whether monetary or voluntary, would be remiss to overlook the time and money that millennials are so willing to offer despite the obstacles in their way.

However, companies must understand what motivates millennials to be generous. For starters, they prefer to hear a story rather than just the facts. Where millennials may not be able to donate money, they can offer their time, and organizations can take advantage of this by pressing the urgency of moving now. Finally, it’s important that messaging is simple. Millennials receive thousands of messages every day, and overcomplicating things will cause information to become lost in the fray.

As mobile banking and technology has changed the face of philanthropy, millennials have increased their donations. And as Baby Boomers leave the workforce and millennials find more stability and increased wages, their ability to continue to donate their time and money will only increase. Organizations that understand this potential can take advantage of it now and continue to build loyalty with philanthropists in the future.

Charity Trends: 2019

Charity is one of the transformative movements in our society today that helps make a huge impact people who are less advantaged. Philanthropists contribute heavily to facilitating the success of charity organizations and projects in general. Over the years, there has been a significant transformation in the manner in which charity organizations operate. This transformation is highly likely to shape the future of the entire charity industry in various ways henceforth. Here are certain trends that are highly expected to dominate the charity industry this year.

Increased giving

As the number of social causes for charity increase, so are the numbers of people willing to freely give to charity. The increased advocacy and appeal for help to eradicate social-economic challenges in the society are highly likely going to cause a major boost in the flow of funds towards charity. Statistics indicate, for instance, that there has been a 56% increase in charity donations between the year 2014 and 2017. In 2019, the increase is expected to be exponential.

Digitization of charity operations

With the digital age taking over most processes to facilitate efficiency in organizational processes in many workplaces, the charity institution at large is expected to be no exception. To say the least, operations in charity organizations are going to be digitized by the introduction of computers and the internet of things to enable the sharing of information.

The digitization of charity will enable virtually all charity operations to be conducted in a digital platform to enhance data sharing between the organizations and the well-wishers. The digital impact is also highly likely to impact the way people give. The introduction of fintech through mobile wallets is expected to cause more people to give more towards charity.

Boosted transparency

Charity organizations are anticipated to become more transparent, especially when it comes to investment and utilization. The transparency will become a key determinant in helping attract more philanthropists to channel their contributions to the organizations. In addition, donors will also increase their voice towards calling for transparency and accountability, especially when it comes to visualizing how their funds are being utilized. In that regard, a major trend is arising where charity organizations establish networks with their donors where any project undertaken gains support from donors.

Debunking Common Philanthropy Myths

Giving back to the community and donating to charities is great for the soul and even better for mankind. Many people make it a priority to be more philanthropic, however, others can be a little put off on the idea. They aren’t put off by helping a cause or making a difference, but mostly due to common myths or misconceptions. These are the common philanthropy myths that must be debunked:

Myth #1: Men Are More Philanthropic Than Women

One of the most common myths in philanthropy is that women are far less philanthropic than men. On the contrary, research has shown that women play a very powerful role in philanthropy. Nowadays, there are more and more women finding themselves in higher-paid positions and higher-level positions. Studies show more women are using their funds and earnings to become more philanthropic, completely debunking the myth that women are less philanthropic than men. 

Myth #2: Charities Are Only to Feed the Poor

While there are many nonprofits and charitable organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry, there are also far more organizations making a difference elsewhere. Charities can range from rescuing endangered animals, disaster relief, aiding abused and battered women, raising awareness of drunk driving dangers, and so much more. There are so many nonprofits changing the world and making a difference. 

Myth #3: Finding an Honest Charity is Easy

With so many charities out there to donate to, it’s a common belief that finding a good and honest charity is easy. In fact, finding the right charity can be quite difficult. It takes a lot of time and research to determine if a charity is not only utilizing the funds they receive from donors, but they’re also making the difference they said they would. Before forking over money, it’s important to take the time to properly research an organization and get an in-depth look at how the use their funds and what their track record from over the past few years looks like. 

Myth #4: Small Donations Don’t Make a Difference

Many people tend to believe that when they aren’t able to give a large amount, then they shouldn’t be giving at all. This is the most important myth to bust. In fact, it’s better to give a small donation than to not give at all. This is especially true in cases of urgent humanitarian aid and disaster relief, a flow of small gifts will surely save lives, stem catastrophe, and repair communities. Smaller donations also help build stronger and longer relationships between donors and organizations. Small donations lead to more overtime and eventually larger donations when a donor can afford to give more. 

Charitable NFL Athletes Doing Their Part off the Field

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Being given such a huge platform is not commonly taken for granted by successful players in the National Football League. With such tremendous salaries and popularity, professional athletes often understand the impact they have on their communities, and do their part in helping others.

While the media and fans have been focusing on national anthem protests this past year, players all over the league have been helping their communities and donating their time and money to causes they are passionate about; something that has been, unfortunately, overshadowed by more political issues.

One of the first charitable acts we saw this season was that of Deshaun Watson donating his first ever NFL game check to victims of Hurricane Harvey. This was an incredibly selfless decision considering the fact that Watson is in his first ever season as an NFL quarterback, yet still understood the impact he could make by simply helping out people within his community. This is something that many NFL veterans have done as well, with the following being just a few of many.

Patrick Peterson

The shutdown cornerback of the Arizona Cardinals may be well known for his success on the field, but many fans may not know that he started the Foundation for Success, which aims to provide lower-income and inner city youths various resources in order to help them succeed in life.

Charles Johnson

The Carolina Panthers defensive end has been offering college scholarships to high school students attending his alma mater, Hawkinsville High School in Hawkinsville, Georgia. As if that wasn’t charitable enough, Johnson is active in the real estate market as well, having built affordable housing for seniors in Columbia and Rock Hill, South Carolina. He is also currently assisting with the convergence of an old Charlotte firehouse to a new restaurant; a $3.3 million project.

Chris Long

Following the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles pledged to donate every single one of his game checks to high school scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville, while also raising awareness for the atrocious acts that took place there. In addition to this, Long is working alongside the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia to help with scholarships for local middle school students, thereby promoting well-being and education among children.

J.J. Watt

 
Many people were made aware of J.J. Watt’s incredible fundraising attempts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, but few knew just how much he would raise. The Houston Texans defensive end raised an astonishing $37 million for victims of the hurricane, much of which came from fans around the country.

Non-Food Items You Can Donate to Food Banks

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It is a common misconception that food pantries only work to provide food to struggling families. People might assume that as long as someone is fed, they can thrive, but this is not the case. Everyone, including those who struggle financially, should be able to take care of basic needs beyond nutrition. Though many charitable organizations are called food banks or food pantries, their need goes beyond that of food. There are many things other than food that you can donate to food banks that will help them help others.

Toiletries

Hygiene is important for struggling families and can impact overall health, so donations of personal care items can be very helpful. These can include toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, or other personal items.

School supplies

Every child should have access to an education, no matter their home situation. Donations of school supplies can help a child be more successful in school and give a family one less thing to worry about. A reliable, sturdy backpack can make it easier for children to carry their items to and from school. Other supplies like writing utensils, notebooks, binders, and folders can be helpful as well.

Toys

It may seem that toys aren’t a necessity, but every child deserves to have some semblance of a normal childhood. Toy donations can help with this. They don’t have to be elaborate; a simple toy truck set or coloring book can bring joy to a child whose parents may not otherwise be able to afford these items.

Infant care items

Parents struggling financially have an added burden when trying to take care of an infant. Diapers, diaper rash cream, or other items specifically for infants can alleviate the burden on families.

Winter items

The winter months can be the hardest time for families who struggle financially, especially if they live in a place that lacks proper heating. Items like blankets, hats, and gloves can help keep someone warm. Opt for the warmest versions of these, like fleece- lined blankets or wool socks.

Gift cards

Everyone deserves to have some fun, so gift cards for specific activities or entertainment could be very helpful. Movie theater gift cards can allow for a bit of escape, and restaurant gift cards can give someone an opportunity to be treated for a night.

Books

Many food pantries are looking for book donations, as they not only offer an escape, but can help a person learn valuable lessons. Books donations for people of all ages can help alleviate this need.

 

If you have items to donate but aren’t sure if you should, it’s a good idea to contact your local food bank to find out what they’re looking for. It could be that they need a wide variety of items, or they may be looking for something specific. Though food items are always helpful, many overlook some other important needs of families who struggle with poverty.

Community Service Ideas for Kids

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Community service projects are an important growing experience for children of all ages. Through working together, children learn to solve problems and make decisions that affect not only themselves, but their community as well. It helps them connect to local concerns, global issues, and gain a greater awareness of others’ well being. These attitudes will serve them both now and after they transition into the adult world. Here are a few ideas that could help get them started.

Community Improvement

  • Pick up litter in a park
  • Plant trees or wildflowers in the community
  • Plant a garden and donate fruits or vegetables to a local food bank
  • Start and maintain a recycling program at school

Literacy Based Ideas

  • Read a newspaper to an elderly person who may have trouble seeing small print
  • Have them read a book to a younger child who is learning how to read
  • Have them read a story to a senior citizen who needs companionship
  • Hold a used book sale and donate the funds collected to a charitable cause

Help Out Children in Hospitals

  • Have them put together a package for children in a hospital such as bubbles, craft supplies, activity books, or other items that may help brighten their day (New Items Only)
  • Hold a crayon, marker, and construction paper drive for the local hospital (New Items Only)

Animal Activities

  • Raise money for homeless or sick animals and donate it to a local cause
  • Help local animal shelters obtain items on their wish lists
  • Hold a fundraiser such as a walkathon or marathon, bowling event, or reading circle and donate the proceeds to a local shelter
  • Put out feeders and water for the local avian community

School Ideas

  • Start a SWAT team, standing for Student Who Assist Teachers.
  • Have children collect loose change around their homes, donating the collections to a charity of their choosing

Other Ideas

  • Visit the Pencil Project Website and collect pencils for needy children
  • Collect used items still in good condition such as athletic shoes, sweaters, scarves, mittens, and other items for those in need
  • Visit the Adopt A Platoon website and collect items for servicemen
  • Participate in the 20 grains of rice activity through the World Food Hunger Program
  • Participate in Earth Day activities

As you can see, there are many great ideas for community service projects. This list is only a short example of ideas that you can use to promote a sense of community and inspire your children.

The Boys & Girls Club of America

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The Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA), of which I am a proud supporter, is primarily an after-school program that was designed to keep young people safe, and to help guide them to reach their maximum potential to becoming a responsible, caring, and productive citizen within the community.

According to the BGCA youth outcome data, 97% of teens that attending Club regularly expect to graduate from high school and 88% of them plan to attend some type of formal continuing education program. Almost three-fourths of Club youth volunteer in their community. In addition, when attended on a consistent basis, it has been proven that 90% of club members in the 9th grade abstained from drinking alcohol. This is mainly due to the fact that regular Club attendees stand up for what is right, even when their friends are not in agreement.

The ultimate vision for this organization is that every young person who crosses the threshold of a Boys and Girls Club is given an opportunity to become a high school graduate with a beautiful vision of the future that lies ahead of them. In addition, they are taught how to live in a healthy manner and also they will be shown how to display good character traits among their peers and with their community. The main purpose of BGCA is to engage young people in positive programs, to inspire them to see the world in a positive way, and to empower them to make a positive impact within their community.

Some of the programs offered by the BGCA include, but certainly not limited to:

PLAY BALL – a program for all ages and it focuses on increasing the overall physical fitness level of the child while teaching them basic skills of the game of baseball.

CAREER LAUNCH – a program designed for young people between the ages of 13 and 18 and it focuses on exploring different vocations for their future, make solid decisions regarding their future work and also to find success in a chosen career.

NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY – this program allows the youth to view their beautiful surroundings through the lens of a camera

DIY STEM – a program that is designed to reach the young people who have a heart for science.

SMART MOVES – This program is designed to educate as well teach young people about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, and also to avoid engaging in premature sexual activities.

In addition to the above mentioned, there are also programs specific to drama and entertainment, technologies workshops, money matters, and music makers.

For more information about the Boys and Girls Club of America, I encourage you to reach out and become part of something that will engage, inspire, and empower the next generation in a positive way.

The Value of No-Kill Animal Shelters

no-kill-animal-shelters

As an animal lover and financial supporter of no-kill animal shelters myself, I understand the importance and significance that these programs hold in saving the lives of homeless and ‘unwanted’ animals. It’s an unfortunate problem that not many people address today.

There are currently over 70 million stray animals in the United States, of which only 6 to 8 million dogs and cats find animals shelters annually. The only reasons why these animals successfully make it to our country’s shelters is because of their owners either giving them up, or animal control officers finding them in the wild. But, even then, many of the cats and dogs rescued are subjected to a similar fate by being given to facilities that promote euthanization to control population sizes.

Approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized every year, largely due to the fact that most shelters do not have the space permitting for the number of cats and dogs received on a regular basis, along with adoption rates not being able to keep up. However, depending on the type of shelter, many homeless or ‘unwanted’ animals are able to once again find their way back to a loving home. Private shelters, for example, often have contracts that allow them to work with their local governments for funding sources, additional help in finding homes for these animals, and enforcing stricter animal care laws.

The standard practices within these facilities also differ in terms of dealing with the increasing size of the animal population. For example, standard shelters typically euthanize cats or dogs who have not been claimed in a shockingly small 72-hour window, thus stressing the importance of no-kill shelters.

The only reason why a cat or dog may be euthanized within a no-kill shelter is because they are suffering from an irreparable disease or injury, which is then for the good of the animal. Doing so as a means of controlling the shelter numbers is never policy. Because of this, communities working together to save homeless and ‘unwanted’ animals are able to rescue up to 90% of those found, without worrying about euthanization.

No-kill shelters are also responsible for largely promoting adoption, spay and neuter programs, donations, and fellow programs benefitting an animal’s well-being. They strive to work collaboratively with other organizations dedicated to placing animals in loving homes, and avoid senselessly putting down those without them simply due to the fact that their facilities are not big enough. Though some people may argue that allowing at-risk animals through their doors is unsafe, that is the point of no-kill shelters; to give each animal a fighting chance.

Stray animals may appear hostile when approached by any individual, but trained professionals working with no-kill shelters are able to rescue those without homes regardless of age or breed. Sadly, pit-bulls and “bully breeds” are often discriminated against depending on the community’s laws. Nearly every no-kill shelter though, rejects this false belief that one breed is more dangerous than another, accepting all animals into their facilities.

 
Today, the number of animals euthanized has thankfully decreased in recent decades because of the no-kill shelter movement. This humane trend is beginning to take effect in many cities across the United States, leading to a higher number of rescued animals and more volunteers willing to devote their time to this cause. While establishing no-kill shelters in every community across America is unlikely, there are strategies we can put in place, along with the combined efforts of those passionate enough to make a change, that can lead to this ideal goal.

10 Charity Organizations Working To Decrease World Hunger

Carl Turnley

The Hunger Project

The Hunger Project works throughout 22 countries to end hunger and poverty.  While the organization does not distribute food, it works with rural and poverty populations to teach life skills to overcome hunger.  A network of individuals and company partners work in more than 24,000 communities, reaching 20 million people around the world.  The Hunger Project is leading communities to make improvements in health, education, gender-based violence, hunger and income.

 

CARE

As a community-based effort, CARE works to improve education, access to health care and increase income opportunity.  Operating in 94 countries across the globe, more than 80 million individuals are reached through 1,000 different projects.  CARE also responds to emergencies to address individual and community survival needs.

 

Concern Worldwide US

Reaching the poorest communities in the world, Concern Worldwide US helps fight malnutrition, disease and disasters.  Emergency response is provided after disasters to help families and communities rebuild.  Concern Worldwide US helps communities suffering from the stresses of climate change by teaching agricultural skills.  Since 1968 the organization provides long-term development in over 50 countries.

 

International Rescue Committee

International Rescue Committee (IRC) gives emergency response and aid to refugees and individuals displaced by war, natural disaster or persecution.  Working in over 40 countries including the United States, IRC provides long-term assistance by resettling and teaching life skills for refugees to become self-sufficient.  The IRC responded to the earthquake disaster in Haiti in 2010 and is currently working to improve advocacy and resettlement of Iraqis misplaced by war.

 

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

The Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) helps improve education, health care, finance, agriculture, government and social protection to help those in poverty.  IPA works with businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations to develop anti-poverty interventions.  Research for anti-poverty intervention is analyzed and researched in controlled studies to publicize poverty relief intervention recommendations.  20 countries are participating in IPA programs to further research reaching over 100 million people across such countries as Africa, South America and Asia.

 

Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger established in 1979 with the mission to end child malnutrition and provide safe drinking water to poverty communities.  Since its start, the humanitarian organization outreached to over 40 countries and reduced the global mortality rate of malnourished children under five.  To reduce the global mortality rate, the Action Against Hunger Scientific Committee created a therapeutic milk formula designed to treat acute malnutrition.  Action Against Hunger partners with top food and beverage industry leaders to raise awareness about global hunger.

 

International Childcare

International Childcare (ICC) helps children to relieve poverty and sickness while providing children education all over the world.  The programs offered to children in poverty focus on providing shelter, health care services and education.  With numerous projects in different countries, the ICC sees an average of 400 patients a day treating malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases.  One of the main programs offered through ICC is caring for children with disabilities in the Dominican Republic.

 

Oxfam

Working with 17 national organizations to fight poverty, Oxfam is dedicated to finding the causes and effects of poverty.  Emergency relief services reached over 90 countries since 1951.  Today, Oxfam responds to over 30 emergency situations across the world.  Oxfam supplies long-term development programs, emergency assistance and political advocacy to those in poverty.  The organization also deals with issues including climate change, gender equality, indigenous and minority rights, natural resources, and HIV/AIDS.

 

Population Services International (PSI)

Population Services International (PSI) provides affordable health care products and services to communities through health education.  PSI dedicates itself to family planning, HIV/AIDS treatment, gender-based violence, maternal health and clean drinking water.  Programs operate throughout 60 countries and help raise awareness toward treatment of diseases related to high mortality rates in children under five.

 

Project Healthy Children (PHC)

Working with national governments and manufacturers around the world, PHC works with producers to supply staple foods with essential micronutrients to overcome hunger.  Food fortification reaches over 55 million people in countries such as Liberia, Honduras and Rwanda.  Fortified foods are provided to an individual for an average of 25 cents per year.