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Donation News The Power of Giving

A Man in India is Buying Oxygen Tanks and Giving Them Away

Months into the pandemic’s grasp, Mumbai remains one of the worst-affected cities in India by COVID-19, with over 60,000 current cases overrunning hospitals. Staff and facilities are overwhelmed, their workload far greater than they have supplies, time, space, or stamina for.

Shahnawaz Shaikh is not a doctor or an EMT, just a businessman. But for months, he’s been servicing as a pro-tem ambulance driver, ferrying potential COVID-19 patients in his cherished SUV to hospitals. It has been a selfless act of service – due to the risk of contagion, Shaikh has partitioned his house so that he doesn’t stand a chance of catching the disease from a passenger and passing it on to his wife and young daughter.

On May 28, the sister of Shaikh’s business partner passed away in a cab after being turned away from five overburdened hospitals because they had no beds or ventilators left to tend to the seriously ill. She was six months pregnant, and she drowned in plain air in her husband’s arms.

Doctor friends told Shaikh that the woman could have lived, had she been put on oxygen in time. It made him realize that he could be doing more than simply transporting the poor and ill. A little research showed him that while oxygen canisters were available to the public, high demand had driven up their price and caused a shortage.

“A friend of mine helped me contact a manufacturer directly. They were touched when I told them I wanted to buy cylinders and give them away for free.”

To finance the venture, Shaikh sold his SUV. He bought over 300 refurbished oxygen tanks and the supplies to use them, and enlisted a doctor to help made an instructional video, showing how to use them. So far, he’s provided oxygen kits to over 250 families in the poor districts of the city near him.

Source: Mumbai Mirror

Editorial credit: monsoonclouds.net / Shutterstock.com

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News Organizations

Jay-Z and Meek Mill’s Initiative Urges Prisons to Address COVID-19

In the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the flea-spread typhus was spread so heavily in prisons that it was called jail fever. It spread unavoidably between inmates because they were crowded in conditions that didn’t allow them to take care of their own hygiene. And while endemic typhus is no longer a jailhouse plague, inmates are still particularly vulnerable to crowd-spread disease.

The steps we’re all taking to keep one another safe – social distance, frequent hand-washing, sanitizer, and masks – aren’t available to inmates. As of the end of April, over 10,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in U.S. prisons and jails.

Reform Alliance, an organization launched in 2019 by rappers Meek Mill and Jay-Z, is an initiative dedicated towards prison reform, specifically aiming at challenging the for-profit prison model that many say results in over-sentencing. Their overall goal is to reduce the number of people subject to parole and probation law by one million before 2025, by changing laws and policies. But in the current crisis, more urgent goals have risen up.

“COVID-19 is ripping through our prison system and risking the lives of everyone inside,” says a pop-up when one visits Reform Alliance’s website, directing visitors to a petition they can sign with their Facebook information. The petition urges prison authorities to increase the safety of their facilities, including equipment, monitoring, and reporting.

Editorial credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

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Donation Organizations The Power of Giving

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Donates $13.6M to Antibody Testing

In 2015 on the birthday of their daughter, pediatrician Priscilla Chan and her husband, Mark Zuckerberg, set up the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub to fight disease worldwide. In the past 5 years, most of their activities have been towards securing funding beyond the $1 billion in yearly funds coming from Facebook shares, but now they are taking a step forward.

On Wednesday, April 29th, Zuckerberg announced that the Initiative would be donating $13.6 million towards COVID-19 antibody testing in San Franscisco, and coordinating with Stanford University and the University of California to conduct antibody studies in the Bay Area.

There will be two studies, one of which has already begun. The first will test 4,000 Bay Area volunteers monthly for both active COVID-19 and for the antibodies which will indicate they’ve encountered the disease before. That one will run from April into December, and be used to track where new cases emerge, helping to guide a safe return to normal.

The second study will be localized to frontline health care workers. 3,500 doctors, nurses, and EMTs will be tested weekly to determine how heavily and quickly the medical community can be hit. It will also work on determining if prior infection means future immunity, which is so far an unknown factor. Many important things hinge on whether or not you can re-catch the disease, and no one really knows yet.

Both studies are intended to be used as guideposts in reopening business and normal life in and around San Franscisco, but their data will have world-wide applications. The Chan Zuckerberg donation is the largest single share of funding coming into this vital project.

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg also mentioned combining the data from both studies with the self-report symptom surveys that Facebook has been running for a Carnegie Mellon research group, which could provide even more information.

Source: The Week

Editorial credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com

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News

Report: Millennial Entrepreneurs Give More Than Older Entrepreneurs

A new report from Fidelity Charitable found that there is a huge generosity gap among different generations of entrepreneurs.

The report, titled Entrepreneurs as Philanthropists, concluded that Millennial entrepreneurs volunteer and give significantly more than their older counterparts. These findings are based on a 2018 survey of 3,000 American adults, over 700 of which were current or former business owners.

Results from the survey showed that the average Millennial entrepreneur donated $13,654 in 2017. That’s more than double that of Gen Xers ($6,200) and Baby Boomers ($6,192).

“The philanthropic landscape is changing, and our research shows that Millennial entrepreneurs are shaping a new way for charitable giving,” said Pamela Norley, president of Fidelity Charitable. “Millennials want to feel a connection to causes they care about. While these characteristics are not limited just to the entrepreneurs of the Millennial generation, their practical impacts on philanthropy become more pronounced through the lens of entrepreneurship.”

Survey results also indicate that Millennial business owners take a vastly different approach to business and philanthropy. For example, 80 percent of Millennial entrepreneurs said that giving is very important, compared to just 57 percent of Gen Xers and 48 percent of Baby Boomers.

Millennial entrepreneurs also placed a higher emphasis on becoming actively involved with the causes they support. More than half viewed volunteering as an opportunity to learn new skills, versus only 33 percent of Gen Xers and 20 percent of Baby Boomers.

And while Millennial entrepreneurs have proven to be the most generous of the generations, that’s not to say that the contributions of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers should be downplayed or overlooked.

“We know that entrepreneurs are committed and effective philanthropists,” Norley stated. “While different generations may approach philanthropy with varying attitudes, behaviors and values, the unique giving behaviors of entrepreneurs will continue to make an outsized impact on the causes they support. Regardless of generation, entrepreneurs will continue to be a driving force for philanthropy in the world.”

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News

Education Philanthropy is Headed in a New Direction

A new survey conducted by Grantmakers for Education shows a significant shift in the education initiatives that donors are most interested in.

For the past decade, donors have primarily focused their attention on K-12 reform, which covers issues related to teacher quality, standards, and assessments. However, the latest research shows that donors are less interested in K-12 reform and more interested in areas like social and emotional learning, postsecondary and early childhood education, and equity.

“This survey data makes clear that philanthropies have, collectively, begun to redefine education giving and reform quite profoundly—directing their dollars toward new priorities and dramatically away from the more traditional K-12 issues,” said Celine Coggins, executive director of Grantmakers for Education. “Funders recognize that academic reforms alone are inadequate to the challenge of helping all students—especially disadvantaged students—succeed. They are ensuring those are paired with equity-focused, social-emotional supports that the emerging brain science shows are essential for learning.”

Equity in particular has proven to be one of the fastest growing sectors in education philanthropy. Of the 91 education donors surveyed, 75 percent said that they are committed to advancing equity for disadvantaged populations, such as racial/ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community.

“The field of education philanthropy is at an inflection point,” Coggins explained. “We have gleaned many lessons since the first administration of this survey, a decade ago. We are also seeing a loss of faith in the federal government and movement toward local problem solving to ensure all students are given the opportunities they need to be successful.”

“It is a moment that is both tumultuous and exciting for its potential,” she added. “And given the divisive political climate, it is a moment where our collective leadership has never been more necessary.”

To read the full report, click here.

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News

For These Business Leaders, Philanthropy Is Personal

There’s a lot of talk about high-profile philanthropists like Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg. But for every Bill Gates, there are a dozen other business leaders who are quietly doing the right thing and donating their time and money to organizations they find meaningful.

Let’s meet a few high-level business leaders who aren’t in the spotlight but are making an impact through their own philanthropy.

Alex Crisses, a managing director at private equity firm General Atlantic, comes to his philanthropy through a personal journey. When his wife was pregnant with their daughter, the couple discovered that she had a unilateral clubfoot and would require corrective surgery. They turned to the doctors at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS).

Because HSS was so helpful to them in their journey to treat their daughter’s condition, there was no question that they wanted to be involved with the organization. “We decided we wanted to do whatever we could to repay, not only in that moment, but candidly, for the rest of our lives,” Crisses said in a video about their experience. Crisses serves on the board of HSS’s pediatric counsel and is co-chairman of the hospital’s annual pediatric fundraiser.

Venture capitalist David Bohnett sold his company Geocities (remember that?) to Yahoo! in 1998 and made a cool $300 million in the process. Instead of hoarding the cash, he started his own foundation to give his money to causes that mattered to him. The David Bohnett Foundation focuses on LGBT issues, gun violence prevention, and enriching society through technology and innovation, among other things.

“The future of philanthropy is asking those we’re closest to and that we come in contact [with] the most to join you in getting involved in the passions you both share in common,” Bohnett said in his remarks after receiving the CSQ Visionary Award in Philanthropy, Art, and Culture. “One person can indeed change the world, and for many of those people, they simply need to be asked and given a place to start.”

Laure Sudreau, attorney and investment management professional, has given a total of $11 million to her alma matter, Pepperdine University School of Law. Her latest contribution of $8 million will be used to help advance the impact of the school’s Global Justice Program. Her donation will support and enhance the program’s current offerings and launching new and innovative initiatives that will help people experiencing injustices in the world’s most vulnerable places.

“The world law students are entering is no longer about people being the center of things,” Sudreau said. “It is a world that is about community. I am so proud to be associated with this effort and all of the important work the Sudreau Global Justice Program does on behalf of people in the developing world. The world is in great need of this kind of outreach.”

Ultimately, all three of these philanthropic business leaders are following the advice of theologian John Wesley: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as you ever can.”

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Advice

How to Use Philanthropy as a Means of Marketing

In today’s competitive market place, it’s becoming harder and harder to promote one’s name, brand, or business. One unique and underused marketing strategy involves making a sizeable charitable donation.

If that sounds a little unethical, it’s not. There’s nothing with capitalizing on the opportunity to self-promote and do some good in the world­­­ at the same time—two birds, one stone.

No, seriously, it’s done all the time. In fact, it’s proven to be an effective strategy for celebrities, politicians, athletes, and business leaders alike.

Take, for example, this headline featured in The New York Times: Chance the Rapper Donates $1 Million to Chicago’s Public Schools. Is Chance the Rapper legitimately passionate about education and the arts? Absolutely! But was he also doing it as a means to garner positive press around his name? Probably. But again, there’s nothing wrong with that.

As a general rule of thumb, the larger the donation, the more press it’s going to get. But in some cases, a person or a company may not need to make national headlines. This is especially true of localized businesses whose target audience resides in the immediate area. In that case, a $20,000-$50,000 donation is enough to make the local papers or news stations.

But if the goal is to reach a wider audience, the donation will need to be substantially larger. How large? At least $100,000. But there are other factors to consider as well.

The type of charity that one gives to matters just as much (if not more) than the amount of the donation. Going back to the example of Chance the Rapper, his donation was particularly noteworthy due to his own personal background.

Chance the Rapper, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, is a Chicago native who grew up in the West Chatham neighborhood. He decided to give to schools that are located in financially ailing districts—schools that coincidentally have a lot of minority students. Being African American, his donation made for a great story about how race intersects with money, education, and access to resources. That’s why the news of his donation made headlines.

Businesses looking to promote their services should seek to emulate this type of philanthropy. The best way to ensure that the donation will capture the media’s attention is to look at it through the eyes of the press. In other words, businesses should ask themselves this key question: is this a story that is engaging, interesting, and worth reading?

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News

New Report Illustrates Trends in Philanthropy Based Off Gender and Age

Fidelity Charitable has just released a new study on giving trends as it relates to gender and generation. One of the most notable findings is that 72% of Baby Boomer women are satisfied with their charitable giving, compared to just 55% of Millennial women.

“Boomer women, whose age and life experience make them more seasoned givers, report significantly more satisfaction with their giving than Millennials do—suggesting that giving gets better with age,” a statement from the report reads. “Meanwhile, Millennial women, who are still building wealth and discovering their philanthropic purpose, are more impulsive; 71 percent said they give in the moment, compared with 48 percent of Boomers.”

The study also found that Millennial women are more motivated to give from their heart versus their head. Official figures point to 75% of Millennial women giving from a place of empathy versus just 62% of Baby Boomer women. This led researchers to conclude that by and large, Baby Boomer women are more logical when it comes to giving.

But when it comes to differences across gender, the findings show that men are overall more likely to give from a place of logic versus a place of emotion. Only 53% of men said that they are motivated to give from their heart, versus 64% of women. And there’s a similar contrast when it comes to strategic giving.

40% of men said that they are motivated to give “in the moment” versus being more strategic. Compare that to 51% of women who prefer to give in the moment.

But when it comes to seeking advice, the study concluded that women are far more likely to seek counsel from experts while men are more likely to seek guidance from personal contacts. Official figures point to 61% of women who prefer receiving advice from experts compared to just 47% of men.

To read the full report, click here.

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News

Millennials Are Changing Philanthropy

Everywhere you look, people are talking about “Millennials”—the generation of Americans born roughly between 1980 and 2000 that grew up in a largely digital world. All too often, out-of-touch Baby Boomers unjustly criticize Millennials. Older generations tend to stereotype Millennials as being “anti-social,” “lazy,” and “entitled.”

Once in a while though, somebody says something positive about Millennials. Such is the case with The New York Times, a publication that has seen it’s fair share of Millennial bashing. The New York Times recently wrote a piece about how Millennials are changing the world of philanthropy.

The gist of the article is that Millennials don’t give in the same way that their parents and grandparents did. While they’re just as likely to volunteer and donate, they’re also willing to leverage their social networks. Millennials use their personal connections to help draw support for the causes they care about.

Millennials have also proven to be more concerned with causes rather than organizations. As such, Millennials often demand that groups to which they donate to operate with full-blown transparency. Millennials are very picky when it comes to how much of a donation goes towards helping people and how much goes towards administrative costs. Millennials value nonprofits that put the majority of their donations towards their mission rather than managerial costs.

They also want to see how their gifts are impacting people, whether that’s by hearing about the specific people they are helping, or through more broad terms, like frequent updates from the organization on how their gifts are being put into action. The days of writing a check or plunking money into a jar and then forgetting about it are over. Millennials are deeply connected with one another and the world around them, and they want to be connected to their charitable efforts as well.

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Donation News

Star-Studded Sing-a-Long Raises $5 Million for Historic Apollo Theatre

Since it first opened in 1934, the Apollo Theatre has been a hotspot for African American culture—particularly music. Its amateur night has been the starting point for many big names in music, including Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bill Cosby, and Lauryn Hill. These days, the theater relies on generous donations to keep its legacy going. That’s why billionaire Ron Perelman’s seventh annual fundraiser is so important.

On August 20, Perelman’s “little barn in the Hamptons” was filled with big names from a variety of entertainment and business backgrounds, including comedian Chris Rock, singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, and private equity guru Henry Kravis.

Guests paid $10,000 to mingle among the stars and hear live music performances by Lionel Richie (who led sing-a-longs to his hits), The Roots, Gwen Stefani, and Joe Walsh. But there was a purpose beyond fun—to raise funds for the Apollo Theatre.

“We’ve got to break the divide between the haves and have-nots, the rich and the poor,” Perelman told his guests. “I think we can manage to do it with the arts….And the Apollo can do that better than any other institution I’ve been involved with.”

The theater that was to become the historic Apollo was built in Harlem, New York in 1913 by Jules Hurtig and Harry Seamon. The two burlesque operators ran it as Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater. In 1928 Bill Minsky bought the building and renamed it the 125th Street Apollo Theatre. Even though Harlem was becoming the epicenter of African American culture by that time, audiences and entertainers at the theater were entirely white.

That all changed on January 26, 1934, when new owners Sydney S. Cohen and Morris Sussman reopened the Apollo as a theater specifically meant to showcase black performance. Its “amateur night” became a popular feature, creating space for the first performances for many who went on to become big names in the music industry.

The Apollo is now officially a landmark building, drawing an estimated 1.3 million visitors every year.

Perelman’s annual fundraiser provides the Apollo with regular funds—this year, about $5 million—to continue its support of the African American art scene in New York.

Photo: Felix Lipov / Shutterstock.com