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Donation News Organizations

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Creators, Cast Donate to Protester Bail Funds

During the protests over police brutality in the United States after the death on video of George Floyd, the police arrested over 10,000 protesters across the country in just the first two weeks, and they haven’t stopped. Some of the arrests for looting and violence, but others have been plainly unjust, such as the arrest of Evan Hreha, who was arrested for “unlawfully discharging a laser” by a mob of cops while walking his dog a week after his footage of a 7-year-old child screaming in pain after police pepper sprayed him directly in the face went viral.

Hreha was released without bail after 43 hours, but many have not been so lucky. A variety of charities have been launched to provide bail funds for the hundreds of protesters who are still awaiting charges or trial. For many, waiting in a cell is life-ruining. Every hour they remain inside, they risk losing a job, custody of their children, or their apartment, and they’re made less able to participate in their own defense.

The cast of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” a comedy show which satirizes the police and has an excellent track record of not shrinking away from the either issues of police corruption or the risks they face, has been vocally on the side of the protesters since this began.

“The cast and showrunner of ‘Brooklyn 99’ condemn the murder of George Floyd and support the many people who are protesting police brutality nationally,” tweeted Dan Goor, the show’s co-creator. “Together we have made a $100,000 donation to The National Bail Fund Network. We encourage you to look up your local bail fund: the National Bail Fund Network is an organization that can lead you to them. #blacklivesmatter.”

Stephanie Beatriz, one of the show’s lead actors, also made a personal donation of $11,000 to support bail funds, and said she regards it as her moral responsibility.

“I’m an actor who plays a detective on tv,” Beatriz tweeted. “If you currently play a cop? If you make tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in residuals from playing a cop? I’ll let you do the math.”

The Brooklyn Nine-Nine donations is just the latest in a series of large donations to Black Lives Matter and related causes. K-pop group BTS and its fans donated millions, and Bank of America pledged $1 billion to address racial inequality.

Photo: A June 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Washington, D.C.

Credit: Kalen Martin-Gross / Shutterstock.com

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The Power of Giving

Ways to Give Back while you Travel

Giving Tuesday
Love to travel? Love to give back? Why not combine them? IMG: via Shutterstock

Having the funds and resources to travel abroad is a huge privilege. Every continent holds different adventures, experiences, and different landscapes and cultures that are just waiting to be explored. But how can you give back to the communities that are so gracious to have you along the way? Here are some ways to give back while you travel:

Provide a Microloan – There are organizations all over the world where you can contribute small amounts of money and make an immeasurable change in someone else’s life. These microloans help entrepreneurs in these developing countries start or expand their current small business. If you’re interested in providing microloans, we suggest looking into organizations like Kiva or Investours.

Try a different way of travel – There are certain companies that allow you to travel differently so while you take a nice trip you can still make a difference. There are organizations like Epic Road that will take you to Africa and while you safari you can go with a team and implant a microchip in an endangered black rhinoceros. You can also help with anti-poaching efforts or the adoption of baby elephants if their mom has been taken to poaching.

India has Reality Tours where you can visit the slums in Bombay and the profits they make are reinvested into that community. These activities will not only enrich your understanding of other cultures, but provide support to the places you visit.

Volunteer while you travel – There are more than enough opportunities to volunteer while abroad, including long-term and short-term options. Some places will encourage you to volunteer for free, others will charge a fee for volunteers. Do your homework so you can be sure to make a real difference.

Support local business – When you travel to a new place, it can sometimes feel more comfortable to stick with what you know. However, giving back while traveling sometimes means stepping outside of your comfort zone! Instead of relying on hotel restaurants and chain stores for your needs, pay a visit to the local eateries and shops. Eating and shopping locally will greatly help family-run stores and restaurants who rely on tourism for their well-being. Besides, you may stumble upon some real local gems that the concierge overlooked!

How do you give back when you travel?

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News

How to Give Back in Everyday Ways

Giving Benefits
IMG: via Shutterstock

One of the best things about giving back to your community is that doing good can be implemented in everyday ways. Rather than feeling like you need to book a trip to a foreign country to take part in humanitarian efforts or give your entire life savings to a charitable organization, there are many ways you can give back in realistic ways.

The first place to look is in your own bloodline. Rather than turning all your attention to finding a soup kitchen or nursing home in need of volunteers, look at those in your immediate circle and family to find those in need. Do you have a cousin or niece who doesn’t have money to get to school? Or how about an aunt who needs to be driven to the grocery store once a week? Remember, your family and circle of friends are just as deserving of your compassionate efforts to do good as anyone else.

Rather than just helping every once in awhile, find a way to give back regularly. When you donate your time and efforts consistently, especially with children, they can follow your example and you will inadvertently start a chain reaction. Your influence goes above and beyond just those you are in immediate contact with. Spread the influence, and “pay it forward” with regular good deeds and volunteer efforts.

Another easy way to give back with just a small change can be to rethink your birthday. Usually during the year, all our calendars begin to explode with all the things we have to do, and it seems like we will never have enough hours. This is when volunteering gets placed on the back burner. Instead, use a day like your birthday to give eight hours of service. This is one day that you can consistently dedicate to volunteer work each year.

How do you give back to your community in everyday ways?

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Resources

Retired Buffalo Bills’ Quarterback Jim Kelly Missed at His Charity Event

Jim Kelly
Former quarterback, Jim Kelly. IMG: via Facebook.

Jim Kelly, the Buffalo Bills’ Hall of Fame quarterback was unable to attend his own annual charity golf tournament. The football star was still recovering less than a week after completing radiation and chemotherapy sessions to treat sinus cancer, which spread from his jaw. He is hospitalized for recovery at the Erie County Medical Center. The event was held at a golf course a half-hour outside of Buffalo. Friends at the event, including Dan Marino, wore blue Buffalo Bills’ t-shirts with the words “Kelly Tough.”

“Everybody loves Jim. I love him too, man,” Marino said Monday, before the start of Jim Kelly’s annual charitable golf tournament. “I just can’t wait for him to get better and get back out here with us.”

“He’s here in spirit,” said former Bills general manager Bill Polian, who joined Marino in visiting Kelly on Sunday. “And everybody is here to not only aid his charity endeavors, but to show their support for him and our affection for him.”

Kelly’s foundation has awarded more than $5 million to nonprofit agencies serving disadvantaged and disabled youth in Western New York. The golf tournament was preceded by a gala sports dinner and memorabilia auction in Buffalo Sunday. It was exactly one year ago that Kelly announced he had cancer at his popular charity golf tournament. But while Kelly couldn’t attend this year, his presence was strongly felt.

“He’s always been so involved in everything he does so for him to not actually be here is tough on him,” said Dan Kelly, who said golfers were going to be bombarding Jim with messages, photos and videos throughout the day via social media.

“He so wanted to be here, but he needs to rest and it was in his best interest to stay in the hospital. But I can guarantee I’ll be giving him an update, what went right, what went wrong, what we can do better to raise more money next year for the kids.”

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Organizations Resources

Jenna Dewan-Tatum Creates Charity Bag For New Moms

Jenn Dewan-Tatum and Channing Tatum
Jenn Dewan-Tatum and her husband, Channing Tatum, at the 2014 Academy Awards.Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Jenna Dewan-Tatum, actress, dancer, and wife to Channing Tatum, has created a “On the Go Pouch” with the beauty brand Birchbox. Tatum and the pouch are also partnering with Baby Buggy, a charitable organization that she has been involved with since before she was a mother. This nonprofit provides essential clothing, gear, and service to families in need. “I love the idea of designing an item that will not only help mothers but that will support families in need,” she said.

“I thought it was an awesome idea to give back to mothers in need,” says Dewan-Tatum. “Getting to design something I would use was great. Jenna Dewan-Tatum's On the Go PouchI’ve made the rookie mistake of leaving the house without wipes and a pacifier.” The star remembers receiving six swings as baby gifts—none of which her daughter liked, so she donated them.

The actress is trying to find a balance in her own family situation as both she and Tatum are in several films this summer. Tatum has Jupiter Ascending out in July. The two have daughter Everly together, who will turn one this May.

Dewan-Tatum says she is still getting a hold on this whole motherhood thing. “Every day is something new. Around seven months is when I turned the corner and she started sleeping longer and I had stopped filming. We were home. It became more, ‘OK, I’ve got this.’ I started feeling back more to myself,” she says.

The two have been very protective of Everly, with few photos of the child surfacing.

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Organizations Resources

Pencils of Promise Helps Every Child Receive Quality Education

Pencils of Promise
“Now that they have PoP school supplies, nothing can hold back the promise of these students!” IMG: via Pencils of Promise.

According to its Mission Statement, Pencils of Promise “believes every child should have access to quality education. We create schools, programs, and global communities around the common goal of education for all.” Founded by Adam Braun in 2008, Pencils of Promise has become one of the most reputable education-based nonprofits in the world. The organization continues to evolve as the need for strong education reform and activism becomes all the more apparent; there are reportedly 57 million children who have no access to education, and Pencils of Promise intends to change this.

Braun recently explained to Forbes contributor Dan Schawbel where he got the inspiration to start Pencils of Promise. He says, “I had always been interested in working in finance, but while traveling as a college student I met a young boy begging on the streets in India. Pencils of PromiseWhen I asked him what he would want if he could have anything in the world, his answer was simply, ‘a pencil.’ That answer changed my life.”

Soon after, Braun went to his local bank and put away a meager $25.00 I hopes of one day building a school to empower and educate children like the boy he met in India. Today, that $25.00 sparked the creation of a remarkable nonprofit organization that has helped to create more than 200 schools and has impacted more than 20,000 students through Pencils of Promise programs. The organization encourages participation from people of all backgrounds; corporations, professionals, college and high school students have created fundraisers to support Pencils of Promise, and it’s the immense amount of global support that has allowed for such a strong impact.

In addition to building schools, which Pencils of Promise has been doing since 2009, the organization also partners with underserved communities to serve the local educational infrastructure need. The goal of the organization is to have 500 schools built or supported by Pencil of Promise programs. With 181 completed schools, 25 schools in the process of being built, and another 18 projects to get underway in the near future, the organization is very much capable of fulfilling its vision.

The passion, sense of community, and genuine dedication to granting children the access to education globally are what set Pencils of Promise apart from other organizations. Adam Braun started out with only $25.00 in his pocket to share the gift of education with children around the world. His commitment to creating real change is what will continue to make this organization a leader in humanitarian efforts. For more information, visit www.pencilsofpromise.org.

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Resources

Change.org Gives a Charitable Incentive for Referring Employees

Change.org

Change.org, known as “the world’s platform for change,” is the single largest petition platform, representing a massive network of people who desire to spark change. From human rights issues, to economic justice, to gay rights, Change.org has served countless individuals since its 2012 creation by founder rattray. Now, Change.org is offering another opportunity to create change: by adding a philanthropic element to its employee referral program.

Most corporate referral programs offer incentives to workers who refer other great employees to their company. Change.org is taking this practice about ten steps further by pledging $1,000 to anyone who refers a great employee, and another $1,000 to a charity of that person’s choice. And the best part? You don’t even have to work for Change.org to refer a potential employee!Change.org

According to Jennifer Dulski, COO and president of Change.org, “We took the standard referral program and tried to think about how we could make it more aligned with our values and mission,” of this new way to both refer passionate job candidates and touch the lives of others in need. With more than 45 million Change.org users in nearly 200 countries, the organization is already being utilized daily to implement social transformation in communities on a local, national, and global level. This new employee referral program is a very much in line with the company’s mission and values, and will hopefully inspire other major humanitarian organizations to follow suit. “We live in an amazing time, when the opportunity to make a difference is greater than ever before,” explains the team at Change.org.  “Gathering people behind a cause used to be difficult, requiring lots of time, money, and a complex infrastructure. But technology has made us more connected than ever.” It is Change.org’s hope that they may connect with even more potential employees, and with this new referral program, the company is well on its way to expanding even further.

Learn more about the employee referral program and how to start or support a petition for change by visiting Change.org.

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Resources

Who Runs The World? Powerful Female Celebrities

Shakira
Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

In Forbes’ roundup of the most powerful, financially successful women on the planet, women in entertainment ruled. “The celebrities on Forbes’ list of The World’s Most Powerful Women are the entertainers and tastemakers who are inspiring change and driving conversation,” explains the financial resource for global leaders in business. Happily, its list of The World’s Most Powerful Women was also a list that represented major philanthropists. Here are some of the top givers:

Shakira Mebarak. Shakira has always been really great at staying out of the public eye (and any media drama) despite her massive success as a singer in both America and her native Colombia. The world-renowned performer is also one of the most powerful women on the planet, and is revered for the ways she gives back to others. Shakira has been a huge donor for educational initiatives, including her formation of the Barefoot Foundation and her promise to build new schools in earthquake-devastated Haiti. She has also performed at various benefit concerts and has partnered with many human rights initiatives.

Oprah Winfrey. It probably comes as no surprise that Oprah Winfrey, arguably one of the world’s most influential women EVER, is on yet another of Forbes’ powerful people lists. Oprah is the only African American billionaire in American, and has given much of her fortune away to others. To date, she’s donated $400 million to educational causes and $100 million to her Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. She also gave away hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on her network talk show, and continues to pave the way for philanthropic causes.

Beyoncé Knowles. Another celebrity whose needs no introduction is the formidable Beyoncé Knowles. The independent woman has been at the forefront of women’s empowerment in philanthropy, headlining benefit concerts such as “Chime for Change.” Through social media she has inspired humanitarian efforts, and has donated funds to countless organizations that benefit education, the arts, fighting hunger, and women’s issues. She and the other women featured represent the most powerful forces for education, equality, and the humanities globally.

Is it any coincidence that these powerful women are all known best by only their first names? Learn more about the women that rule the philanthropic world here.

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Organizations Resources

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Ham It Up For Charity

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Ham It Up For Charity
IMG: via Omaze

It’s awesome when celebrities as famous as Matt Damon and Ben Affleck can poke fun at themselves. It’s even better when they do it for charity.

Hollywood’s favorite buddies recently got together to bicker onscreen to garner more attention for the fundraising start-up Omaze. According to The Fast Company, “The Oscar winners have teamed up with Omaze to offer up an exclusive hangout with them to raise money for organizations the two are actively involved in. The Easter Congo Initiative was founded by Affleck in 2010, while Damon is a co-founder of Water.org.”

Omaze organizes once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for people to spend time with professional athletes, celebrities, and other famous figures. The organization creates a process that works just like a charity raffle, and anyone can join in by supporting a great cause. As friends and founders of Omaze, Matt and Ryan, explain, “Each experience is matched with a specific cause. Donate to be automatically entered for the opportunity to win. The more you donate, the better your chances of wining,” of the way each contest works.

To get the chance to hang out with Damon and Affleck, fans just have to donate a minimum of $10 to the East Congo Initiative or Water.org. And what can the winner expect their exclusive experience with the actors to be like? In a promotional video for the fundraiser Affleck explains, “It would be like a best friend double date.” Chimes in Damon, “It would just like us hanging out, taking selfies, talking about how like the Sox are going to do…” Either way, winning a chance to spend time with the acclaimed actors really would be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and one that supports a great cause.

Learn more about how to donate to great causes at Omaze.

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Organizations Resources

Philanthropic Nonprofits are Polished at Marissa Sackler’s Beespace

Beespace
“We believe in the power of a space. From layout to décor, the Beespace office seeks to provide Incubees with not only a highly functional place to launch their efforts – but one that inspires, motivates and helps them learn and grow.”
IMG: via Beespace

In the last few years, the world of philanthropy has seen a major influx of “incubators” – businesses that operate for the sole purpose of helping other nonprofits or entrepreneurs find success in their fields. These incubators have been in business with for-profit companies for a while, but only more recently have there been incubators designed to support nonprofits specifically. What’s more charitable than a company that helps nonprofit, for-charity organizations thrive?

A newly formed nonprofit incubator company is called Beespace, and it’s truly carving out a name for itself in the realm of philanthropy. Created by Marissa Sackler in 2013, Beespace’s purpose is to provide social entrepreneurs with the mentorship, fundraising support, design assistance, and other resources that they might need to help realize their vision. “Utilizing the tech incubator model, we provide a suite of support services, to attract and support the best and the brightest to launch effective nonprofits, significantly reduce the cost of entry, close the knowledge and learning gap and de-risk investment for early-stage donors,” explains Beespace’s overview of its agency’s offerings.

With Marissa Sackler at the helm, Beespace has already established itself as a significant resource for many entrepreneurs desiring to make a difference in the world. Sackler has a lot of experience working within the realm of philanthropy. She’s a founding sponsor and activist for charity: water, and Beespace is currently working with three incredibly promising nonprofits including the Malala Fund, the Adventure Project, and Practice Makes Perfect.

Of what sets Beespace apart Sackler says, “There are nonprofit incubators out there doing good work, but we think we’ve developed a more comprehensive model that’s going to help organizations grow and achieve their potential.” Part of this model includes a 3-prong system for cultivating strong nonprofits, not accepting payment from its “incubees,” and requiring that the incubees secure at least four months of operational income before they venture out on their own. Sackler is also committed to furthering the efforts of nonprofits that she truly believes in. She explains, “They can be working on any issue, but we want to identify groups with a strong organizational vision and an innovative strategy that have the ability to create real change and that are attempting to solve issues at scale.”

Still only in its first year, Beespace is emerging as one of the premier nonprofit incubators in the business. Learn more at www.beespacenyc.org.