Looking for inspirational stories about changing the world? Want a resource for easy ways to give? Interested in finding a good way to volunteer? We’re still happy to give you all that–but we’re on a new page now! We changed our name and changed our web address. We moved everything–posts, pages and comments–over to the new place, so from now on you can come look for us at:
All you have to do is click the link above. We look forward to seeing you over there!
Filed under: Uncategorized
by Daphne Su
Today’s technology is growing at exponential rates, bringing with it unprecedented potential for the future of philanthropy. We are living in a world where faster communication and an ever more connected global community make giving increasingly easy and ubiquitous. Where will we be in five years? Ten? What can we do to maximize the use of technology for doing good and introducing philanthropy into the lives of people across all ages and continents?
Take, for example, the new model of citizen philanthropy that capitalizes on social networking. Made popular by actor Edward Norton’s initiative Crowdrise, it allows people to create projects and use their social networks to raise money and track impact. Norton says in a CNN article that the crowd-sourcing model “has the immediate advantage of easily engaging a young generation,” a section of the population that traditional organizations have found difficult to reach and inspire.
Smart phones have also contributed to a huge leap in ease for fund raising–mobile payments enable people to give small amounts of money on the go; volunteering apps have been created for the younger generation who would not otherwise make the extra investment in discovering or participating in philanthropy. In the arena of education volunteering, mentors are no longer restricted by geography and can now use Skype to teach students all over the world via video-conferencing. Continuous development of innovative inventions such as the XO-1 $100 Laptop created by One Laptop per Child make technology accessible to those without resources, opening doors for learning, opportunities, and progress.
All of these are small but marked steps in making giving a natural part of life for the future. However, as Voltaire and Spider Man once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Advancement of philanthropy on all levels highlights an importance for stricter vetting and monitoring. Luckily, technology should also be able to improve the transparency of projects in many ways. One possibility would be to use citizen journalism by volunteers, recipients, and organizations to clearly showcase work and impact behind the scenes and at the forefront of efforts. This not only creates transparency, but goes hand in hand with the trend towards instant gratification that is becoming an important part of today’s culture. People want immediate and tangible results that show their efforts and donations are being put to good use, and online tools are rising to the challenge. A new organization called Charity Water has created its own online tool that shows donors how every dollar is digitally accounted for, accompanied by continuously updated photos of projects taken by volunteers.
This is a global connectivity and evolution in human relationships that we have never experienced before. It is important to ask ourselves how we can best utilize this to effectively direct and transform the landscape of philanthropy into what we envision for the future.
Filed under: Give to Children, Poverty, Volunteering | Tags: change, children, Dental Services, education, International Volunteering, Vietnam, Volunteering
By Whittney Tom, NGO Services Intern
On international plane rides, I always look forward to meeting my co-passengers and learning more about out their travel stories. On my way home from Kenya this May, I was fortunate enough to sit next to a fascinating woman on the 16-hour ride from Dubai to San Francisco. She was a student at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry who had recently moved from her home country, India, to the California Bay Area. She had just completed her first experience providing free dental care to people in southern India where she had been able to utilize her fluency in Hindi to translate for her fellow volunteers and their clients in their mobile dental services caravan. We discussed at length the extensive and expanding need for dental services in remote areas in India and other growing and developing countries. Through my experience with dozens of non-governmental organizations promoting access to health care, there has been a constant lack of dental services or a comprehensive program that coordinated more opportunities for people to seek free dental services in other areas in the world.
After starting my internship with the NGO team at UniversalGiving, I came across an amazing organization called East Meets West Foundation carrying out extraordinary work in Vietnam. East Meets West(EMW) strives to improve health, education, and economic conditions in an effort to eradicate poverty and to help Vietnamese people to achieve self-sufficiency. Of their many efforts, their Dental Program really impressed me and reminded me of my conversation with the dental student from India. Through EMW’s website, I learned that dental disease is the most widespread ailment in the world, with over 5 billion people suffering from its effects and with little resources devoted to this disease that threatens the quality of life of children and adults. Remembering the pain I experienced before having my wisdom teeth removed, I can only start to empathize with people who lack access to dental care but have daily toothaches.
East Meets West Dental Program began in 1996, about eight years after EMW was founded, with a three-member team providing emergency, corrective, and preventive services to about 2,500 children per year. After an increase in funding, including a grant from the United States Agency for International Development, East Meets West has been able to reach over 75,000 children to which they have provided nearly 300,000 free dental services. Services are facilitated through the Tuong Lai School for Disabled Children in Da Nang City.
Not only does East Meets West provide free dental services to the population in close proximity to their clinic, but with over 100 volunteers coming from all over the world every year, they continue to take a mobile clinic to rural areas in Vietnam and they are now expanding their efforts throughout Southeast Asia. In addition to providing dental services, EMW develops comprehensive strategies to address situations of extreme poverty and poor access to health services. Lead by this strategy, EMW provides clean water and sanitation, education, medical, and climate change adaptation programs. This array of widespread programs and services provides an all-inclusive approach to serving populations in need. With local expertise in Vietnam, EMW highlights how a mixed approach that is both culturally sensitive but also allows for the use of foreign expertise and resources can positively affect tens of thousands of people in our global community.
Filed under: Uncategorized
On Saturday, June 12, 2010, Ernst & Young recognized Pamela Hawley, CEO of UniversalGiving, as well as 26 other exceptional entrepreneurs in a gala at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. Entering its 24th year, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes entrepreneurial spirit and is judged by an independent panel of business, academic and community leaders.
Twenty-four companies and organizations were represented spanning a total of eight categories, including software, medical devices, consumer products, and, yes, social entrepreneurship.
Pamela Hawley was selected as a finalist after a robust vetting process and several in-person interviews from the Ernst & Young team for her ability to match business acumen with an innovative product. Pamela Hawley received recognition for her outstanding work pioneering a business for social good.
In the social entrepreneur category, Pamela was selected along with Steven K Morgan of Wildlands, Inc., which works on restoring and protecting wetlands, as well as Scott Johnson, who won the award through his work with The Myelin Repair Foundation — a non-profit research organization focused on developing treatment for multiple sclerosis.
The banquet honoring the entrepreneurs lasted several hours and included videos showcasing the businesses and entrepreneurs. Several of the UniversalGiving team attended as well as some KEI members.
UniversalGiving shared the spotlight with such notable entrepreneurs and fellow finalists as Kenneth Grossman from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Kevin Surace from Serious Materials. The event just showed that Pamela can pioneer social good with the same entrepreneurial spirit as the best of them.