Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Robert Lappin is a class act!

As reported in the Chronicle of Philanthropy on 12/22/09:

Madoff Victim Recognized for Making Up Staff's Pension Losses

Robert Lappin, the Massachusetts real-estate mogul and philanthropist, has been named one of The Boston Globe’s Bostonians of the Year for restoring his employees’ retirement funds after they were decimated by Bernard Madoff’s fraud.

Mr. Lappin and his family paid more than $5.1-million into staff members’ 401(k) accounts, which, like his family’s wealth, had been heavily invested with Mr. Madoff. Mr. Lappin, whose foundations are major supporters of Jewish causes, lost most of his $20-million personal fortune to the Madoff scam.

There's a special place in heaven reserved for this guy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Support Wikipedia

Do you use Wikipedia as much as I do? If so, read HERE.

I plan to put this on my year-end giving list!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Easy gift idea that supports a great cause!

I am a proud Steering Committee member of the Tranquil Space Foundation (TSF), a DC-based charity whose mission is to expand opportunities for girls and women to develop their "inner voice" through yoga, creativity, and leadership activities.

A couple of my favorite TSF activites include:

Giving out mini-grants to amazing organizations like Girls on the Run, Nest, and The Women's Collective.

Teaching TranquilTeens workshops for at-risk teenage girls, helping them to positively express themselves and learn relaxation techniques through yoga and creativity exercises.

Now you can support the Tranquil Space Foundation through your holiday giving. Donate a "goody bag" for one of our TranquilTeens workshops in the name of a friend or family member. The goody bags include a yoga CD (so the girls can practice yoga at home), a journal, and creative crafting items.

You can learn more and make your donation by clicking HERE.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Proud of my alma mater, UVA

Everyone who says you can't raise big dollars in this economy, take note:

I was reading my University of Virginia alumni magazine last night, and I saw that the University just reached the $2 billion mark in its 7 year, $3 billion campaign. Not only has the university received some serious "mega-gifts," but more than 77,000 alumni have contributed. That's what happens when you have an outstanding campaign chair, clearly articulated campaign goals, a great development office, and an alumni base that is incredibly passionate about the school.

$3 billion may seem like an audacious goal, but take note: In 1990, state revenues made up 29.9% of the academic division budget and 22.9% of the overall budget. Today, those numbers are 10% and 6%, respectively.

Meanwhile, we're not slacking academically! Far from it. The same magazine reported that in this year's US News & World Report ranking of America's best colleges, UVA is again the #2 public university in the country, tied with UCLA, and tied for 24th among all universities, public and private. UVA has ranked either first or second among public colleges and universities since 1992.

Another secret of fundraising success? Having a great product to sell.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Microlending, American Style

You might be familiar with the concept of "microlending" - making a small loan (or grant) to help would-be business owners start their own businesses and stop the cycle of poverty. For example, when I was in Uganda several years ago I heard about a woman who got a small loan to buy a sewing machine, so she could start a sewing and tailoring business. The money helped her to launch the businesses, providing an income for her and her family, and it also helped her to establish credit so that she could someday approach an established bank for a bigger loan.

Groups like Kiva and Grameen Bank are famous for enabling every day people to make microloans to benefit people in developing countries. (and the founder of Grameen Bank is famous for winning a Nobel Peace Prize). GOOD magazine recently highlighted some groups that are enabling folks like you and me to make microlending-type gifts to people and projects here in the good old U.S.of A. Here are the groups that GOOD highlighted:

Accion USA
Project Enterprise
Grameen America

I love the idea of helping someone in New York, Appalachia, or any poor neighborhood in America start their own business and lift themselves out of poverty. I think this will land on my year-end giving list!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Holiday Shopping to Benefit Lombardi Cancer Center, 12/10

I am a longtime volunteer at the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital (I volunteer w/ cancer patients every Wednesday morning), and I want to let you know about a great opportunity to buy unique holiday gifts while supporting Lombardi.

The annual Gift of the Arts event is taking place on December 10 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. You can purchase one-of-a-kind holiday gifts made by local artists. A portion of the proceeds from each purchase will support the the Lombardi Cancer Center's Arts & Humanities program - where artists work with patients on beading, creative writing, painting, knitting, and other artistic pursuits. I have personally seen the great benefits that patients get from these arts programs. There will be everything from oragami gift boxes to handmade wooden flutes (with flute lessons!) to unique knit projects.

Please consider making this part of your holiday shopping this year!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Shakira Geeks Out and Does Some Good

Music sensation Shakira recently wrote an op-ed which was published in The Economist. I have a new found respect for this smart cookie with truthful hips and a passion for doing good! The focus of her op-ed was childhood education, particularly in impoverished nations around the world.

More info on Shakira and her Barefoot Foundation HERE.
Read her article in The Economist HERE.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Great tips for big fundraising events

As a professional fundraiser, I have a bias against big fundraising events. While they may gross a lot of money for a charity, when you subtract the costs of putting the event on, most of them don't actually net that much. And then, when you add up the value of the staff time that goes into putting on the event, they make MUCH less money! My biggest beef is that most charities don't really use their fundraising events well. It's not just about who is in the room that night... it's about how you follow up with those folks throughout the year to make them ongoing friends of, and donors to, your organization.

That being said, I recently read a great column in Fast Company magazine by Nancy Lublin, the CEO of Do Something. She wrote about a big event that Do Something recently had in New York. They raised money, had high-voltage celebrities, and honored "five amazing youths for doing amazing things, from building an orphanage in Nepal to registering thousands of new voters." However, the event did not generate nearly the PR buzz that they had hoped. Her column includes some great tips. Here's my favorite:

At the beginning of an event, most people ask people to turn their cell phones off. We should be asking people to turn their cell phones on! (but, says Lauren, keep them on vibrate). That way, people can tweet, blog, and update their Facebook status during the event.

Read more of her great event tips HERE.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Celebs Gone Good

Vh1, the network for people who still think of themselves as semi-cool (like me), but can't figure out what's going on with all those kids on MTV (like me), recently aired a show I can really get behind: Top 20 Celebs Gone Good.

The show (and web site, and blog, and message board... you get the idea) chronicles the ways that celebrities are bringing their starpower to causes they care about, so that you and I will sit up and take notice.

Check it out to see what the likes of Natalie Portman, Cameron Diaz,, Bono, Matt Damon, Alicia Keys, and others are doing to change the world - or to change your mind. I'll highlight some of my favorites in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vote on Facebook for your favorite charity!

Chase Community Giving is giving away $5 million to Facebook users' favorite charities. Find info HERE, get onto Facebook, and vote!

Friday, October 30, 2009

3 DC charities left off of CFC

I just read in the Chronicle of Philanthropy that 3 DC non-profits were accidentally left off of the Combined Federal Campaign list due to an error at the the United Way of the National Capital Area. Those three groups collectively raise $70,000 - $80,000 through the CFC. Yikes! The United Way says that they'll make up expected losses to those groups through their own funds, but I thought everyone involved would benefit from a little Facebook/blog shout-out:

Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
Animal Allies
Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons

Please keep these groups in mind when making your giving plans!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ludacris - my lunch companion

OK, me and about three hundred other people, but it still counts, right?!

I went to the National Press Club last Friday to hear Ludacris (née Chris Bridges) talk about his philanthropic, delivered via his foundation, the Ludacris Foundation.

  • Ludacris and rapper T.I. each gave $10,000 to Atlanta flood relief, and then, through a series of phone calls to music industry friends, raised $100,000 in one day.
  • The Foundation is involved in some great causes, including helping runaways (he had a song about this), teaching kids about living healthy lifestyles (i.e. obesity prevention), and economic stimulus work in Atlanta.
  • Ludacris is very proud of both the money that has been given away and the direct services hours he's given. He is committed to being a physical presence among the people he is helping.
  • His diamond earrings were as big as golf balls!
  • When asked what the best thing is about being a celebrity is, he said "You have all this money, and people STILL give you free stuff!"

Overall, he was charming, intelligent, and super impressive. Chris, I'm ready for our one-on-one lunch!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Meet the 2009 Fellows - MacArthur Foundation

I love reading about each year's new crop of MacArthur Fellows - otherwise known as the MacArthur Genius Grants. Totally secret selection process, and each of the Fellows (in diverse fields including the arts, science, law, human rights, health, etc.) receives $500,000.

Meet the 2009 Fellows - MacArthur Foundation

Shared via AddThis

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kindness, Facebook, and $10,000

A random act of kindness that was documented on Facebook has yielded $10,000 in donations to food banks in California! Is it possible that Facebook is more than just a massive time suck? Read the inspiring story HERE.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson, Philanthropist

A recent entry on the Chronicle of Philanthropy's Give and Take blog talks about Michael Jackson as a philanthropist and suggests that he was at the forefront of celebrity-driven philanthropy:

The entertainer supported dozens of charities during his life, including USA for Africa, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. He reportedly was listed in the 2000 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for “Most Charities Supported by a Pop Star.” The number was 39.

As a humanitarian, he is perhaps best know for “We Are the World,” the 1985 song he wrote with Lionel Richie that raised millions of dollars for famine relief in Africa. To honor the King of Pop’s philanthropy, some fans and small companies have pledged to make donations to his favorite charities.

What a special soul. Read the entire post HERE.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Holocaust Museum, and Honoring Officer Johns

I was absolutely heartbroken last week after the tragic shooting at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). A place that was designed to teach tolerance became a site of hate and violence.

I am very proud to have worked at the USHMM in the late 1990s. I was a fundraiser there, and I also volunteered in their education department, giving tours to school groups and to law enforcement officers (including FBI agents and local police forces). It was so inspiring to see the ways that the Museum transformed its visitors every day.

I felt moved to visit the Museum on Friday, because I really wanted to be a part of the Museum's visitation numbers that day. I am happy to report that this was not an original idea! The Museum was CROWDED. Lots of visitors, including school groups, and the Museum was out of Permanent Exhibiton passes by the time I got there in the late afternoon. Evidently, there were lines around the block to enter the Museum on Friday. I'm so glad that people showed up to show the world that one lunatic act of hate will not deter people from getting educated and valuing diversity and tolerance.

A fund has been set up to honor Officer Johns, the security guard that died in the shooting. Find information about the fund, and about Officer Johns, HERE.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gotta Love Dolly!

More great news from one of my favorite philanthropists, Dolly Parton, who has an amazing childhood literacy program called Imagination Library. She will work with United Way to provide 1 million children with free books every month by 2014. Learn more about the Divine Miss Dolly's efforts HERE.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Poorer You Are, the More Things Cost

BRILLIANT article today in the Washington Post. "The High Cost of Poverty" explains how "the poorer you are, the more things cost." A brief excerpt:

"The poor pay more for a gallon of milk; they pay more on a capital basis for inferior housing," says Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). "The poor and 100 million who are struggling for the middle class actually end up paying more for transportation, for housing, for health care, for mortgages. They get steered to subprime lending. . . . The poor pay more for things middle-class America takes for granted."

Poverty 101: We'll start with the basics.

Like food: You don't have a car to get to a supermarket, much less to Costco or Trader Joe's, where the middle class goes to save money. You don't have three hours to take the bus. So you buy groceries at the corner store, where a gallon of milk costs an extra dollar.

A loaf of bread there costs you $2.99 for white. For wheat, it's $3.79. The clerk behind the counter tells you the gallon of leaking milk in the bottom of the back cooler is $4.99. She holds up four fingers to clarify. The milk is beneath the shelf that holds beef bologna for $3.79. A pound of butter sells for $4.49. In the back of the store are fruits and vegetables. The green peppers are shriveled, the bananas are more brown than yellow, the oranges are picked over.

(At a Safeway on Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda, the wheat bread costs $1.19, and white bread is on sale for $1. A gallon of milk costs $3.49 -- $2.99 if you buy two gallons. A pound of butter is $2.49. Beef bologna is on sale, two packages for $5.)

The article goes on to talk about things like banking - the poor often do not have checking accounts, so they have to pay high fees to go to check cashing establishments, which means that they get less of their hard-earned money.

Link to the article HERE.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Obama budget and nonprofits

How will Obama's budget proposal impact nonprofits? It's getting mixed reviews. Find out more from this Chronicle of Philanthropy article.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Fun DC charity events!

There are a couple of really fun DC charity events coming up this week. I wish I could go to them! Alas, I have conflicts - teaching a class on Wednesday night, and going to the Opera on Saturday night. But I am totally behind both of these artsy causes and encourage you to go in my stead... and let me know how they are!

The Smithsonian Young Benefactors' Roaring Twenties Gala and Silent Auction

The Washington Ballet Young Benefactors "beerandballet"

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hop on the Bus, Gus....

Besides the fact that I loved that Simon & Garfunkel song when I was a kid (I thought it was hilarious, until I became a lover who had been left in 50+ ways... but that's a whole other blog post...) I was excited to dig into my GOOD Magazine this weekend for "the transportation issue."

I've lived in the DC area for almost 16 years and looooooove public transportation. Love it, love it, love it. I've also had the pleasure of taking public transportation in lots of other places around the world - just used the heck out of Le Metro in Paris; have ridden the rails and public buses in India; and know the 1/9 subway in NYC almost as well as the Metro here in DC.

And I love the bus. That's right, not a misprint. I love the bus. Love riding above ground. Love saying "good morning" and "thank you to the bus driver." The bus is the bomb. When it's on time. And I don't have to wait 20 extra minutes in the cold. And it doesn't double my total travel time...

Believe it or not, it looks like the good folks in Bogota, Columbia really got it right. Their bus system is amazing. Read about it here.

And take the bus, or the Metro, or whatever is available where you live. It's cheaper than driving, it's good for the planet, and you see all sorts of new, interesting faces there!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Join me at Lunafest DC!

I just bought my ticket to Lunafest DC, taking place on April 23 from 7 -9 p.m. in DC's Dupont Circle. This event is being sponsored by the Tranquil Space Foundation, an organization that I'm so proud to be a part of. From the Tranquil Space Foundation's web site:

LUNAFEST was established in 2000 by Luna, the makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, to simultaneously promote women filmmakers, raise awareness for women’s issues, and support worthy women’s nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. 100% of proceeds from the DC LunaFest will benefit Tranquil Space Foundatino and the Breast Cancer Fund.

We'll be showing short films by, for, and about women, while raising money for some great causes. Please join me at this fun event! Find event into and purchase tickets HERE.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I am an economic stimulus package

Recession? What recession? I've been spending money like a fiend lately. I don't know what's gotten into me, but... you can't take it with you, right?

If everyone chokes up and stops spending money, this economy is gonna go nowhere fast. Enough with the "recession chic." Maybe instead of packing our lunches, we all should be supporting our local sandwich shop once a week! Instead of eating frozen pizza, we all should be heading to the locally-owned restaurant down the street.

Instead of making due with a frayed, 3 year old dress for my upcoming vacation, I just bought a new dress from a local designer - the "little black dress" that I'll do doubt use for years. I'm doing my part!

Come on, people! Don't leave me out here all alone, wearing out my credit card!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Earmarks - not the coming of the apocalypse!

With the passage of the Federal omnibus spending bill today, there's been lots of talk about earmarks - almost all of which seem to be portrayed as wasteful pet projects that Members of Congress and Senators sneak in at the last minute to make themselves look good, pay off people who have supported their campaigns, etc.

I was thrilled today when I found out that one of my clients will be getting funding through an earmark. Their funding, in the $200,000 range, will provide much needed mental health counseling to senior citizens in the community who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (I don't want to provide too many details, out of respect for the client's privacy). This client is part of a consortium of nonprofits that also got funding for things like mental health counseling for homeless people, senior citizen housing, and programming for young adults with developmental disabilities.

I think that the earmark reforms that President Obama is suggesting are a great idea (click HERE to learn more), but I hope that people out there in cyberland realize that earmarks can provide incredible services to people in communities all across this country!

Monday, February 23, 2009

My 15 mintues of fame

OK, if this is really my 15 minutes of fame, I demand a recount! But I'll take what I can get - I think this is the closest I ever will get to the Society Pages. Look for me in the pink top and gray skirt.

The Oscar Night Gala to benefit the Red Cross of the National Capital Area was a blast! Lots of posh folks decked out in their finest, and I met some really fun people. It's so nice to have a fun night AND support a great cause at the same time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I was blown away by Diane Sawyer's hour-long special on the people of central Appalachia, which aired last night on ABC. So many of us are touched by stories of poverty from halfway around the world - what about the extreme poverty that Americans are dealing with right here, on our shores? Sawyer highlighted several children and families in the Kentucky hills who are battling homelessness, joblessness, drug addiction, and poor or non-existent healthcare. There was the young high school football star who chose to live in his truck, rather than dealing with the poverty and alcoholism in his own home. And the young mother who walked SIXTEEN MILES to and from school each day to earn her GED. And the young girl who desperately hopes that her drug addicted mother will kick the habit. I am definitely putting some of these organizations on my own philanthropic giving list.

Monday, February 09, 2009

15 minutes of fame...

I recently purchased a really great product to help me with my business planning - it's a new, creative approach to the traditional business plan, called the Right-Brain Business Plan. I sent a copy of my business plan - now in the form of a colorful mobile hanging next to my desk! - to the creative guru behind the Right-Brain Business Plan, Jennifer Lee of Artizen Coaching. She posted it in her newsletter - my 15 minutes of fame!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Swanky Oscar Night Soiree

If you're as big a movie fan as I am, you are always looking for something fun and festive to do on Oscar Night. Personally, I'm pulling for Slumdog Millionnaire to take the big prize (the soundtrack also is great!), and I also think Micky Rourke was amazing in The Wrestler...

Through Pamela's Punch (a blog written by a local gal about town), I just found out about a fun, swanky Oscar Night soiree taking place at the Hard Rock Cafe downtown. Oscar Night 2009 will benefit the Red Cross of the National Capitol Area. There will be a silent auction, a "swag bag," 17 big screen TVs to watch the Oscars, good food and drinks... and cheering for your favorite flicks! It's the only Academy sanctioned Oscar viewing event in the DC area.

Party goers are encouraged to dress to the nines! It's black tie, baby.

Anyone want to join me for this fun, philanthropic event?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Tranquil Space Foundation

I had such a great meeting yesterday with the board and steering committee of the Tranquil Space Foundation. What a smart, dedicated, and compassionate group of volunteers! I can't wait to get started on our next project - deciding which women and girl focused nonprofits will be the recipients of our next round of mini-grants. To learn more about the foundation, or contribute to the foundations' work, check out their web site.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Month of Charities: The Washington Ballet... plus, Inaugural reflections

Whew! Now that the Inauguration buzz is subsiding, I can get back to blogging and sharing some great charities with you for the rest of the month of January. I took part in all sorts of fun events, including an Inaugural concert at the 9:30 Club (featuring Sheryl Crow and the Beastie Boys!), trekking down to the National Mall to witness the main event (had Silver tickets and was DENIED! Secret Service shut down our area. But made up for it by witnessing the event w/ friends and thousands of others on Pennsylvania Avenue, about 3 blocks from the Capitol), checking out the Art of Change Inaugural Ball, etc, etc....

One of the highlights was taking part in a Move For Change yoga workshop the day before the Inauguration with the lovely yogini and activist Seane Corn. Unfortunately, Seane was under the weather and had to step out of her class - a great guy filled in for her. Then I took a wonderful makeup class w/ Seane on Wednesday, which was a fitting "bookend" to the whole Inaugural whirlwind - a great way to get centered after so much excitement and to focus on change, positivity, and unity (rather than the "us versus them" mentality that so much of the election period fostered).

The Move for Change workshops took place at The Washington Ballet. I practiced next to a fantastic yogi who could move and stretch like crazy. His practiced was so focused and so impressive - it's fun and inspiring to do yoga next to someone who can really rock it out like that. I didn't find out until class was over that I was practicing next to none other than Septime Webre, the celebrated Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet! So, to honor him, I am highlighting The Washington Ballet in this post. They have some great community programs, including movement and language arts programs for DC public school students. (plus, I hear that their galas and parties are the place to be!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Month of Charities: Goodwill Fashion Shows

I love this trend - places like Goodwill Industries are starting to launch fashion shows that feature the clothes you can get at their stores. You can find some really good vintage stuff, and LOW priced designer wares, at Goodwill! Goodwill Greater Washington has actually launched a Goodwill Fashion Blog. Brilliant! They are even having an Inauguration Donation and Travelin' Trunk Show in DC on January 17, to capitalize on all the Inauguration frenzy. What a great way to be both charitable and fabulous.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The next time a charity calls you to ask for a donation...

... bear in mind this shocking (and kind of depressing) article from the New York Times ("Telemarketers Take Hefty Share of Charity Dollars, Cuomo Says", December 30, 2008):

On average, just 39 cents of every dollar raised by commercial telemarketing companies for charities in New York State actually go to charity, the state attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, concluded in a report issued on Tuesday. The balance, he found, is used to pay fees and expenses associated with professional fund-raising.

I've personally had a very bad experience with a charity telemarketer. I got a call from a local charity that I had donated to in the past, and while I thought the call was from one of the charity's volunteers, it was actually from a paid telemarketer. This person was relentless in asking me for a gift, and when I mentioned that I was having a problem and could actually use some assistance from the charity, he just kept pushing for a donation. Ugh!

Next time you get one of these calls, ask if the caller is a volunteer, or ask if they can mail you some info, or ask if you can donate online. Lots of options for you, the generous donor!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Month of Charities: American Film Institute

On Saturday night, I saw Slumdog Millionaire in the magnificent American Film Institute (AFI) Theater in Downtown Silver Spring. What a great space! If you love the art of film, you have to be a part of AFI! From their web site:

AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media.

AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers at its world-renowned Conservatory, maintains America's film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and explores new digital technologies in entertainment and education through the AFI Digital Content Lab and K-12 Screen Education Center.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Month of Charities: Kiva

One of the coolest ideas out there, Kiva "lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur in the developing world - empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty"

Through Kiva, you can make a small business loan to:

Isiah, who sells electrical parts in Ghana
Anastasia, who sells clothing in Tanzania
Asunscion, (71 year old!) a cook in Peru
Tuilaguila, a fisherwoman in Samoa

and countless other hardworking business owners around the world. Become your own, mini Donald Trump and invest in these worthy businesses!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Month of Charities: Capital Area Food Bank

Our nation's food banks DESPERATELY need your help - this economy means increased demand and decreased funds. From the web site of the Capital Area Food Bank:

Did you know that calls to the Capital Area Food Bank's Hunger Lifeline, our emergency food referral hotline, have increased 113% over a 6 month period versus last year?

Please consider making a donation of healthy food, or cash, to the Capital Area Food Bank.

Monday, January 05, 2009


Another fun advert from Lululemon Athletica (a yogawear and sportswear company):

Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Month of Charities: Tranquil Space Foundation

The Tranquil Space Foundation is dedicated to: "Expanding opportunities for girls and women to develop their “inner voice” through yoga, creativity, and leadership activities." In addition to making grants to nonprofit programs that help women and girls, the Tranquil Space Foundation also runs a yoga and creativity for teenage girls called "Tranquil Teens." It's a really unique group! (full disclosure: I'm on the steering committee!)

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Month of Charities: Environmental Integrity Project

I'm going to kick off 2009 by highlighting some of my favorite charitable organizations and nonprofits on my blog. I'd love to call this "Charity-a-Day," but heck, a girl's gotta take some time off once in a while! But I will update almost every day. If you have a suggestion of a nonprofit organization I should highlight, please let me know.

Today I'm drawing your attention to the Environmental Integrity Project, an amazing nonprofit with a unique and critical mission: enforcing environmental laws that already are on the books.

From their web site:

Environmental laws that guarantee clean air and water, protect human exposure to toxic waste, and preserve natural resources are viewed as a birthright by most Americans. On paper, these laws are impressive in scope; in practice, they are often ignored. The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) works closely with local communities to protect the public's health and resources by promoting better enforcement of federal environmental laws. EIP also seeks to protect these laws from political interference.

Their work means so much to folks in local communities - cleaning up local rivers where fish are dying off due to power plant runoff, reducing air pollution in a town that is in the shadow of a huge factory expansion, helping an elderly woman with asthma breathe a little easier now that a nearby power plant is monitoring its fine particle emissions...

No other organization is fully focused on the important work that EIP is doing - check them out!