Wednesday, December 23, 2009
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
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
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
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
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:
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
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
More info on Shakira and her Barefoot Foundation HERE.
Read her article in The Economist HERE.
Monday, November 30, 2009
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
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, will.i.am, 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
Friday, October 30, 2009
Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
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
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
Shared via AddThis
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
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
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
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 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
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
The Smithsonian Young Benefactors' Roaring Twenties Gala and Silent Auction
The Washington Ballet Young Benefactors "beerandballet"
Monday, April 20, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
Monday, February 09, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
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
Thursday, January 22, 2009
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
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
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
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
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
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
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Friday, January 02, 2009
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!