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.