Saturday, October 22, 2011

Giving back...

I was excited to do a little research this morning, because in lieu of client gifts, my company is considering the option of doing a large charity donation (yes, please!!) I wanted to present my top choices to our President, for consideration.

I know it can be a bit daunting to know where to donate these days - especially because many of the "charitable" organizations out there actually only end up giving about half-of-every-dollar that you give, to those in need (much of your donation can go to marketing efforts, staff and running the org). There are so many organizations, so many causes, and so many choices - and I know that many of my friends are incredibly giving & thoughtful, but they just don't know where to offer their hard-earned money, to help make a difference!

Well, I hope this helps. I stumbled across a fantastic article from Marie Clair magazine -

It details their top 10 choices (also listed below), and highlights exactly what % of your dollar goes to those in need! Once you identify what you'd like to support, I hope you will donate - and even set up a monthly donation (believe me, you will never even notice the money is taken out)! Even if it's just $20/month (c'mon, that's like 7 coffees or 2 cocktails), YOU WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

My personal choice - Save the Children - (#3 below).

If you are reading this, you are most likely my friend or family...and I urge you to do whatever you can to give back, because everyone I know is capable of doing's just about taking action. XOXO

AmeriCares: 99% of funding goes to programs
When an earthquake, hurricane, violent conflict, or other disaster strikes in the U.S. or abroad, AmeriCares provides urgent necessities like medicine, doctors, food, tents, water purifiers, and baby formula. This charity has given approximately $5 billion in aid over the past 23 years.

V-Day: 93% of funding goes to programs
Active in 81 countries, V-Day works to end violence against women and girls. V-Day gives grants for programs — such as the V-Day Safe House in Kenya, which helps girls escape female genital mutilation. V-Day has raised over $30 million in eight years and boasts support from celebs like Rosario Dawson and Marisa Tomei.

Save the Children: 90% of funding goes to programs
Ten million children under 5 die each year, including 4 million newborns. A critical goal of Save the Children? Saving the lives of these infants in 18 of the world's poorest countries by providing infant vaccinations and health care for pregnant women. Sponsor a child for $28 a month, or earmark your dollars for initiatives, like educating girls or providing microloans for women.

Polaris Project: 90% of funding goes to programs
While seniors at Brown University in Providence, Katherine Chon and Derek Ellerman were shocked to learn human trafficking was taking place in their neighborhood. The issue, which they had associated with foreign countries, became personal. They founded Polaris Project in 2002 — modeling their strategy on the grassroots spirit of the Underground Railroad — to combat trafficking in the U.S. and abroad.

Breast Cancer Research Foundation: 89% of funding goes to programs
Its funds have been behind some of the field's biggest discoveries — including the finding that women of African ancestry often have a form of breast cancer that is genetically distinct from that of women of European descent.

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI): 88% of funding goes to programs
IAVI funds research to develop an AIDS vaccine with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, universities, and governments worldwide.

National Partnership for Women and Families: 86% of funding goes to programs
This group has fought for every major policy advancement that has helped women and families in the past three decades. The group fights for national legislation but can help individuals find resources needed for their own battles.

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN): 85% of funding goes to programs
RAINN, the country's largest antisexual-assault organization, runs the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE).

Women's Funding Network: 85% of funding goes to programs
Looking to help women but not sure where to give? Consider WFN, a coalition of private and community foundations around the world. In the past 20 years, its 115 funds have given more than $200 million to a wide variety of women's and girls' organizations.

The White House Project: 76% of funding goes to programs
A nonpartisan organization looking to put more women in leadership positions, from local school boards to corner offices to the Oval Office.