Eugene Chrinian Charity

Top 16 Charities That Accept Clothing Donations

An organization that advocates for global responsibility, the World Wear Project estimates that the average person discards approximately 70 pounds of clothing and shoes each year. Of this amount, a large percentage of these items end up in costly and limited landfill space in spite of the availability of more viable, socially conscious alternatives, such as recycling, repurposing, and donating.

Charitable organizations that accept clothing donations often aid in the recycling process. In fact, since groups such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill receive such a large volume of donations, the vast majority of incoming clothes and shoes are redirected to recycling companies. While the redistribution of clothing and shoes to people in need is the focus of the donations, the sale of these items to recyclers also generates proceeds for nonprofits to strengthen their efforts.

If you’re interested in finding out where and how to donate clothes that either no longer fit or that have been gently used, you have many options. Consider the following organizations and initiatives:

salvationarmylogoThe Salvation Army

Since its inception in 1865, the Salvation Army has become an ubiquitous presence around the world. People who would like to donate their items can schedule a time to have them picked up at their convenience.

Goodwill

Donating clothing to Goodwill makes it possible for people to purchase items at a discounted price and also creates job opportunities that would otherwise not exist. In 2015 alone, the organization employed more than 88,000 new staff members.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross (ARC) provides relief to survivors of natural disasters and other types of adverse events. Clothes given to ARC can go a long way toward helping people who have lost everything to start the rebuilding process.

United Way

A leader on the global social support front, the United Way depends on volunteers and donations. Contributions of gently used clothing can help people in need to gain better footing.

Cinderella Project

The Cinderella Project originated in the Northeast with ongoing programs in Virginia, New Hampshire, and New York. Project participants can donate their old formal dresses from dances or weddings to provide other girls in their area with the opportunity to have a nice dress for the prom.

Donate Your Dresses

Similar in scope to the Cinderella Project, Donate Your Dresses allows women to make space in their closets by donating their prom dresses to those in need. The organization maintains a comprehensive list of drop-off locations in the U.S. and Canada.

clothing donation

Fairy Godmothers, Inc.

A provider of high school formalwear, Fairy Godmothers, Inc., offers a full inventory of prom dresses and gowns for special occasions at a discounted price. By donating to this organization, you can help a student make it to the big dance.

Brides Across America

The Brides Across America (BAA) initiative launched in 2008 as a platform to host giveaways of wedding dresses to military brides. All of the dresses are donated, and BAA only accepts gowns that are no more than 5 years old so that brides have access to the latest trends.

Madre

Madre, a foundation that endeavors to help women around the world, operates in countries such as Nicaragua, Haiti, Kenya, Syria, and Iraq. Among other programs and services, Madre accepts clothing donations to help women living in shelters.

bigbrothersbigsisterslogoBig Brother Big Sister Foundation

The Big Brother Big Sister Foundation makes donating clothing easy with a combination of accessible drop boxes and scheduled pickups. Interested parties can arrange for pickups privately and anonymously.

Soles 4 Souls

While the organization’s name suggests that it focuses on shoes, it also collects clothing to distribute to those in need. Soles 4 Souls has provided gently used footwear and garments to people in need throughout the world.

Share Your Soles

Mona Purdy founded Share Your Soles in 1999. Since then, she has led the organization, which depends on the help of volunteers, to deliver millions of pairs of shoes to deserving children around the world. Share Your Soles also hosts regular events to aid in the shoe collection effort.

Dress for Success

Contributions to Dress for Success provide opportunities for woman seeking to develop their careers and achieve economic independence. Over the course of approximately 20 years, the nonprofit has assisted nearly 1 million women across 20 countries.

Career Gear

Career Gear provides men what Dress for Success offers to women. In addition to clothing, the organization imparts personal mentoring and a job preparedness program. Since Career Gear opened in 1999, it has established locations in cities such as New York City, Baltimore, Houston, Jersey City, Miami, and New Haven.

Change Purse

Change Purse’s mission is to generate funding to fight sex trafficking. Change Purse’s personnel sell donated purses, and the funds go toward spreading awareness of sex trafficking and supporting those individuals affected in any way.

Indigo Rescue

Supporters of the charity Indigo Rescue donate their used and unwanted jewelry. The organization then holds jewelry sales to raise funds for animal shelters. In 1999, Indigo Rescue began selling jewelry, a fundraising method that has resulted in widespread success.

 

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14 of the Most Useful Charity Blogs to Follow

For charities and nonprofit organizations, maintaining an active blog can serve as an invaluable tool. The practice of online journaling, which surfaced in the 1990s, helps individuals and groups establish new networks that assist in spreading the influence of their cause, and the digital platform can also generate valuable feedback from people with similar passions. Publishing original content on a regular basis is one of the best ways to increase and sustain search engine relevance, too. In fact, with the recent aid of social media, blogging is now a solidified strategic approach that is both viable and essential to the success of any charitable endeavor.

Of equal importance to writing a blog is reading those published by others in your area of focus. Investing time in reading the ideas and experiences of others can lead to new levels of creativity and help to avoid trying things that have proven ineffective or inefficient. The charity sector, however, is consistently growing, and knowing where to begin and which blogs are worth consistently reading presents a rather daunting task. To get started, consider the following selections, many of which are published in and around England.

charity science logoCharity Science

Charity Science aims to “revolutionize doing good the same way that science revolutionized medicine,” and the Canada-based organization leverages quantitative data to illustrate best practices for running a cost-effective charity campaign. Ultimately, the mission of the group is to save you time.

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)

AMRC focuses on helping organizations reach their charitable, health-related objectives through dedicated data analytics. In addition, the blog features information crucial to regulatory and policy issues that many nonprofits must address in their work.

Irish Charity Lab

Based in Ireland, Irish Charity Lab seeks to share charity-related expertise with readers interested in the basics of nonprofit operations. Blog posts include information on such topics as deploying successful e-mail chains and improving inbound marketing efforts.

Just Giving

The team at Just Giving carries out regular research and development to gather and organize intel for charities that are seeking to improve their operations based on empirical data.  Some of this information includes how to more effectively utilize social media.

bloomeranglogoBloomerang

The Bloomerang blog comprises hundreds of posts with valuable data illustrating which techniques are better in certain situations and depending, as always, on the goals of the organization. Readers of this publication will gain insight on how to boost donor retention and increase the overall usability of their website and strategy.

Superkids Charity

An international initiative, Superkids Charity aims to help children around the world facing a variety of challenges. Blog posts on this site cover topics ranging from adoption to special needs, and allow followers to see how the organization approaches these issues.

The King’s Fund

An organization based in England, The King’s Fund focuses on health care, and its blog offers a valuable template for how to approach social issues in general. The ideas presented in the group’s articles demonstrate ways to innovate and then act on those new ideas.

Donor Dreams Blog

Readers of this blog can sign up for regular e-mails detailing the latest insights on how to amplify sustainable donations. The author of Donor Dreams holds more than 15 years of experience in designing donor-centered approaches to funding charitable initiatives.

Give Well

The Give Well blogging staff publishes frequently about charities that have found successful formulas. Where many charity analysts focus solely on financial performance, the Give Well blog shows how organizations are gaining real results with each dollar.

thirdsectorlogoThird Sector

Another UK-based outlet, the Third Sector blog has garnered the readership of many of the top business professionals in the country. Third Sector offers a peek at what causes have inspired charitable thinkers to action in other parts of the world and the ways in which they have addressed key issues.

101 Fundraising

101 Fundraising takes a crowd blog approach by featuring the writing of multiple contributing authors. The platform also operates on a volunteer basis to create a valuable fundraising resource, free of cost.

Simply, Improvement

Led by founder Ian Seath, the Simply, Improvement blog offers a wide range of methodologies to charities and nonprofits that assist with bettering process, performance, and projects. Mr. Seath has leveraged his background in both the public and private sectors to help more than 200 groups work toward their goals.

Getting Attention!

Written by Nancy Schwartz, the Getting Attention! blog aims to help nonprofit organizations with their marketing campaigns. Schwartz is known for her casual prose that allows readers to glean insight without having to wrestle with technical jargon.

America’s Charities

One more useful site is America’s Charities, which helps individuals and businesses connect with the nonprofit sector and identify causes and projects that align with their interests. The website features a News and Blog section, where readers can explore current events and developments in a wide range of charity endeavors.

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16 of the Best Social Crowdfunding Platforms in the World

When it comes to fundraising, can asking for smaller donations from your support base generate more money in the long run? This is the premise of crowdfunding, a model that has gained quite a bit of attention in the nonprofit sector of late. By definition, the approach operates on the generosity of a large pool of people contributing mere percentages of the total necessary to launch a project or initiative. Favorable overhead costs rank among the many appealing factors of crowdfunding, and other benefits include the efficiency and speed of the process.

Because of the rapid rise in interest in crowdfunding, multiple platforms have emerged, and although they share the same conceptual backbone, there exists a fair amount of differences between them. Nonprofit leaders and people interested in launching a new charitable endeavor should weigh their goals against the available options in the marketplace, as well as the ways in which they want to reach out to the public. The following is an introduction to the various crowdfunding platforms out there.

rallyorglogo1. Rally.org

Users of this platform build a free profile, share it across social media and other channels, and start collecting donations. The company also offers website integration and develops tax reports for nonprofit compliance needs.

2. HopeMob

The HopeMob site has amassed more than 10,000 members, and one of the largest current campaigns is to raise money for residents of Flint, Michigan.

3. Start Some Good

With a global support team, Start Some Good assists its users by helping develop strategies for optimal fundraising. The company charges a 5 percent fee only if the project total is reached. Since its inception, Start Some Good has raised more than $5 million for various causes.

gofundmelogo4. GoFundMe

Viewed as the top fundraising site in the world, GoFundMe offers both personal and charity fundraising campaigns. Users can start their own projects or select from an expansive list of already operating nonprofit organizations, such as the American Cancer Society.

5. CrowdRise

CrowdRise allows users to create a fundraiser in less than a minute, and it hosts more than 1.5 million charities. Along with Salesforce integration features, users collect $95 or $97 of every incoming $100, depending on the pricing option selected.

6. Indiegogo

Indiegogo creates a sense of urgency with its platform by placing a timeframe on the fundraising goal. Nonprofit organizations benefit from discounts with this company, and multiple account types are available.

7. FirstGiving

The crowdfunding site FirstGiving, which has partnered with such trusted organizations as the Special Olympics, combines peer-to-peer fundraising techniques with its model, which includes a free start up. In addition, the platform allows users to customize and manage thank you e-mails, collections, and registration information.

rockethublogo8. RocketHub

Highlighted on the A&E television network, RocketHub helps social leaders raise money with its international platform. The company only charges fees if the group or organization reaches its financial goal during the course of the campaign.

9. CauseVox

Developed for spreading social good, CauseVox offers a considerable amount of customization compared to competitors. The crowdfunding platform also allows customers to develop as many sites as they would like, though rates still apply for each.

10. Razoo

The Razoo platform has facilitated the creation of tens of thousands of fundraising sites that together have generated more than $450 million. Depending on the needs of the user, three different tax settings are available to help meet overall objectives.

11. Causes

Since the platform launched, Causes has amassed a community of millions of users from 156 countries. The company offers a social media app, Brigade, which allows users to find more people to support their cause.

buzzbnklogo12. Buzzbnk

Based in England, the Buzzbnk crowdfunding model has successfully funded 137 projects as of 2016. The company has supported clients whose focuses range from education to social welfare.

13. Pozible

The Pozible website features the motto, “We crowdfund awesome stuff.” At a success rate of 56 percent, the company has raised more than $40 million for a variety of causes and dreams. Users may select from three cost tiers, depending on goals and performance.

14. Crowdster

Established exclusively for the nonprofit sector, Crowdster offers an online and mobile platform to assist its clients. The company formed in 2007 and has continued to amplify its technological capabilities. At present, Crowdster helps Save the Children, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Autism Speaks.

15. Classy

Classy equips users with a number of modern tools, such as access to MailChimp and Google AdWords. Nearly 2,000 social organizations have turned to Classy, and many have exceed their fundraising goals. Successful campaigns include Pencils of Promise, which will build new schools in Africa.

16. Fundly

One of the main components of Fundly is its aggressive mobile application approach. By enabling smartphone users to contribute to causes they support, the platform has facilitated multiple successful campaigns, such as providing food for those in need in Ferguson, Missouri.

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9 Social Gaming Platforms That Are Making the World a Better Place

college basketballWhat if games could help solve serious social and environmental issues? Several nonprofit organizations believe they can. One such example is the Indianapolis-based Brackets For Good, a group that holds an annual fundraising event modeled after the NCAA March Madness Tournament. The platform creates a competition for charities to see who can secure the most funding, and each organization benefits from the national exposure, whether they win or lose. Fundraising Madness, as it’s called, has generated more than $1.3 million for charities since its inception.

Developing creative ways to raise money and unite communities may not be a novel idea, but a modern, technology-based version of the concept has opened new doors. Gamification involves the use of various features of games to increase participation and engagement in a project, group, or other initiative. These features often include points, challenges, achievement awards, progress meters, and other features you commonly see in video or computer games. Recent examples of gamification in the for-profit sector include Mint.com and FitBit, which aim to make budgeting and exercising fun.

Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, argues that gamification supports cooperation and bonds between people—two key aspects of philanthropy. Here are a few examples of how organizations have harnessed social gaming to advance research and create positive change.

FoldIt

folditlogoAn innovative collaboration at the University of Washington led to the identification of a problematic crystal structure in the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV), which causes immune deficiencies in certain species of monkeys. The virus is important to researchers studying HIV in humans. UW created FoldIt, an online puzzle game that invited users to attempt to solve the structure. In just 10 days, hundreds of thousands of participants found success and accomplished what scientists had been unable to do in more than 15 years of traditional research.

Pain Squad

Cundari, a business in Toronto, developed the mobile game Pain Squad to encourage pediatric cancer patients to keep a consistent daily journal of their symptoms. Through the theme of a police investigation, the game puts children in a position to help solve mysteries and earn points in the process. The tie-in is that each child must report any pain they experience twice a day to advance in the game. As a result, doctors were able to collect better patient information that assisted in creating new treatment strategies.

Zamzee

Similar in concept to the FitBit, Zamzee involves a wristband that kids wear to track their physical activity. The program helps fight childhood obesity by “gamifying” exercise. Depending on the child’s activity level, he or she gains points and medals. Follow-up studies showed that Zamzee helped participants increase their activity by an average of 59 percent.

SuperBetter

superbetterlogoThe creation of Jane McGonigal, SuperBetter is a platform that encourages people who have experienced various setbacks to work toward their goals. Games on the site present different challenges in which people build alliances with other characters and work to beat opponents symbolic of their real-life struggles. McGonigal herself utilized SuperBetter to navigate her recovery from a brain concussion.

Opower

The developers at Opower have established a network of utility companies that allow consumers to participate in energy conservation challenges. Opower presents energy consumption information to each household to encourage people to use less energy and to see how they compare to their neighbors. Consumption levels have decreased by 2 percent in areas where the competition is offered.

Recyclebank

Recyclebank was formed to address the issue of trash, as many US landfills are running out of space and pollution of all types continues to increase. The organization has grown to encompass more than 3 million members, and each time a person chooses to recycle or participates in a sustainability quiz, he or she receives points. Best Buy and WalMart accept these points as currency, thus providing an incentive to recycle.

Free Rice

Part of the United Nations World Food Programme, FreeRice.com offers multiple-choice quizzes that enable people to fight hunger. Every time a user gets an answer right, the organization donates rice to people in need. Users have fun and improve their knowledge of trivia while helping to provide meals around the world. Sponsors have the opportunity to run their ads on the site, which pays for the rice donations.

CrowdRise

crowdriselogoUsers of the fundraising site CrowdRise build digital profiles and pages where they can track their donations and compare with others on various leaderboards. The platform is relatively simple in design, but it encourages large-scale fundraising and has attracted attention and support from a number of celebrities. Since the site was established, users have raised several hundred million dollars for charities, nonprofits, and various personal causes.

GameDesk

AT&T has sponsored the development of GameDesk, a nonprofit that works to improve education at the K-12 levels. It offers a game-based curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), deployed through specialized software. Along with providing lessons in these subject areas, GameDesk emphasizes life skills and values such as responsibility and the importance of finding a sense of purpose.

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8 Easy Ways to Encourage Generosity in Children

What does the future hold for the nonprofit sector? Philanthropists and social impact entrepreneurs need only look as far as their own homes for an answer. In fact, research suggests that youth are psychologically equipped for charitable, pro-social lifestyles at an early age. One such study found that before toddlers reach 24 months old, they feel greater happiness when giving or sharing rather than receiving. Whether or not children continue to develop their innate potential for generosity depends in large part on parenting strategies.

Researchers at Harvard University undertook a study titled “The Children We Mean to Raise: The Real Messages Adults Are Sending About Values”. Key statistics from the report revealed that parents almost unanimously agree (96 percent) on the importance of instilling strong moral character in their children, and they note that ethics and generosity are two crucial elements of that identity. However, roughly 8,000 of the 10,000 middle school students surveyed reported that their parents prioritized personal achievement over the happiness of others. The study showed that teachers also emphasize student achievement rather than rewarding caring and kindness.

Each year, graduating high school students around the country hear the various valedictory maxims about the world they are about to enter and their obligations to make it a better place. How, then, can parents help their children to foster a lasting desire to help others and work toward social change? Here are a few suggestions for implementing charitable practices at home:

1. Encourage conversations about generosity

childrenMany after-school conversations between parents and their children focus on logistical issues, such as asking how much homework needs to be done. While these types of discussions are necessary and have their place, parents might consider first asking if their children witnessed any acts of kindness or if their friends impressed them in any unusual ways. The strategy can help children to be more mindful of goodwill as they go about their school day.

2. Involve the family in giving

Incorporating charity into a regular, predictable schedule is another way that parents can help their children. Consider setting aside one evening or an entire Saturday each month when the entire family volunteers together. Due to the millions of nonprofit organizations operating around the country, there is no shortage of opportunities to help others. However, this family time may not even involve a fully organized effort. It could be something as simple as picking up trash around the neighborhood.

3. Teach children about money management

child piggy bankGenerosity also entails responsibility. Helping children to be more socially minded should also include lessons in how to manage their finances. Some possible approaches might include providing an allowance for work done around the house and yard. However, with this payment parents should avoid giving any types of loans. In this way, children will learn how to work until they have enough money saved and then allocate their disposable income accordingly.

When kids grow older, their parents might help them open a bank account and show them how to balance a checkbook. By following these steps, parents could also demonstrate the ways they approach their own finances and how they decide to donate to or sponsor various social causes.

4. Ask engaging questions about issues close to home

Similar in concept to effective after-school discussions, questions about issues in the community and how to potentially solve them are another great way to engage children. Instead of talking at length about global issues or ones that may feel are too abstract to relate to, ask questions about matters with which children can empathize. Help them to see that people are working toward a solution and that they can also participate in brainstorming.

5. Manage the amount of screen time

Television commercials and online advertisements target the younger demographic with offers of dining and drinks, and they do attract attention. Less time spent watching shows and browsing the web means children will spend less time seeing things that they lack and want for themselves. However, screen time can also benefit children, as they watch ads for charity organizations or search for ways that children like them are volunteering in service projects—and having fun doing it.

6. Read literary fiction

children's booksWhile reading in general is always a good idea, studies show that reading literary fiction can increase levels of empathy in the reader. As children follow the storyline of the narrator and protagonist, they start to see the world through new eyes. The capacity for empathy applies to their everyday interactions with others.

7. Put a new spin on tradition

Birthdays and holidays such as Christmas or Hanukkah can evolve into new traditions when you have an opportunity to give. For example, a charity gift card or planned trip to participate in a service project can help children look outward on certain days of the year. Another option might be to create an entirely new holiday on which your family can make a difference each year.

8. Emphasize the importance of caring for others

Celebrate children’s successes in regard to pro-social living. Rewarding children beyond what their acts of kindness already provide may send a mixed message. However, reminding them of their value and worth each time they help to improve the lives of others is a technique that can positively influence them.

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6 of the NBA Cares Social Outreach Programs

Height and wingspan rank among the most important measurements of players in the National Basketball Association (NBA), but another metric is becoming significant as well: social responsibility. The NBA has committed to increasing its charitable outreach and social impact through the NBA Cares campaign, which launched in 2005. Serving as the central charitable arm of the association, the multifaceted platform allows athletes, coaches, and NBA sponsors to participate in initiatives that benefit a wide range of causes.

NBA Cares has successfully generated more than $270 million in fundraising efforts, and millions of hours of volunteer service have strengthened the presence of the campaign. All-Star week, for example, has evolved into a hallmark event of the NBA Cares initiative as the association organizes dozens of service projects in the host city, where star athletes gather to work side-by-side with their biggest fans.

NBA Cares operates on a year-round basis through six major programs, and the specific objectives and achievements of each are outlined below.

1. Hoops for Troops

hoops for troops
Image courtesy The USO | Flickr

The Hoops for Troops initiative at NBA Cares has flourished into a major collaboration between members of the NBA, the United States Department of Defense, and organizations focused on serving veterans. Promotions for the cause appear throughout social media channels, allowing fans to pledge their commitment and participate in a number of activities and receive giveaways. In addition, the Hoops for Troops component of NBA Cares advocates for hiring veterans and former military members.

Examples of NBA teams and players supporting the troops include the Brooklyn Nets inviting military members to shooting practice and the Philadelphia 76ers hosting Stars & Stripes Night. In addition, the New York Knicks recently organized a Military Appreciation Day for families to meet and practice with the players.

2. My Brother’s Keeper

President Obama and his administration launched the My Brother’s Keeper program to build a network of mentors for young men and boys of color. Several players in the NBA, such as Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics, have joined the cause. NBA Cares as a whole has initiated a multi-year commitment to help increase the number of mentors by 25,000. Along with recruiting mentors, the organization will promote school attendance and academic excellence in underserved communities.

3. NBA Community Assist Award

Andre Drummond
Image courtesy Disney | ABC Television Group | Flickr

In partnership with Kaiser Permanente, the NBA encourages charitable giving by awarding a player every month for his contributions. A first-time all-star and league-leading rebounder, Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons received the NBA Cares Community Assist Award in February 2016. He has demonstrated a strong commitment to assisting youth with special needs in the Detroit community. Along with presenting the award to Drummond, the NBA and Kaiser Permanente donated $10,000 to Special Olympics Michigan, the charity of Drummond’s choice.

The organization also presents a Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award, and the 2014-2015 recognition went to Russell Westbrook, a point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Westbrook earned the award for his consistent contributions to charity and for his overall commitment to the NBA’s mission to give back. In fact, shortly after he was named the 2015 Kia NBA All-Star MVP, he donated the Kia he won to a family in need through his involvement with Sunbeam Family Services.

4. NBA FIT

The NBA FIT initiative has three messages for kids everywhere: be active, eat healthy, and play together. NBA Cares provides a link to the FIT website, where children can read tips on how their favorite players stay in shape and improve their teamwork skills. Infographics also give young fans access to fun facts, such as how many miles D’Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers runs per game (1.9). From lists of nutritious food suggestions to videos of training workouts, the FIT campaign offers a number of helpful health and wellness resources for kids in the US and around the world.

5. NBA Green

NBA Green
Image courtesy cityoforlando | Flickr

Environmental awareness is another top concern for the NBA, and NBA Green represents a collaboration with the Green Sports Alliance and each team in the league. As part of the initiative, the Portland Trail Blazers hosted a series of five “Green Games” over the past season, each focused on a different aspect of sustainability: energy, water, food, transportation, and waste. The team also launched a new website to update fans on ongoing projects to conserve energy in the team’s arena, eliminate waste, and offset water consumption. On the East Coast, the Miami Heat completed renovations on American Airlines Arena to qualify for LEED Gold Recertification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2016.

6. Season of Giving

During the holiday season, NBA Cares promotes charitable giving through the #NBACares hashtag challenge. Basketball fans can post a description or picture of their efforts on Twitter or another social media outlet, and the posts allow people to connect and inspire each other to give back in their own communities. In addition, the Season of Giving page at NBA Cares features a mosaic where individuals can search for their Twitter handle and find themselves pictured in the NBA family of giving.

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7 Inspiring Humanitarian Organizations Created by Celebrities

In his acceptance speech at the 2016 Academy Awards, Leonardo DiCaprio took the opportunity to close his remarks by sharing his passion for humanitarian and environmental change. He noted that the film The Revenant, for which he won an Oscar for best actor in a leading role, speaks to the importance of the relationship that exists between humans and the world they inhabit. While the Oscar was his first after years of nominations, he has supported causes such as climate change since starting his namesake foundation in 1998.

Leonardo DiCaprio is just one of the many celebrities who have utilized their platform to address charitable causes. However, he is among a shorter list of movie and television stars who have developed and managed their own organizations. Starting with Mr. DiCaprio, the following offers an overview of celebrities and the charities and foundations they have established:

1. Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) – Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio
Image courtesy Danny Harrison | Flickr

Since his first film role in 1991, Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio has starred in multiple major motion pictures, including Blood Diamond, the Aviator, Inception, and The Great Gatsby. He formed LDF the year after he played Jack Dawson in Titanic, and he has since created several partnerships and initiatives to support the longevity of the earth and its population.

In 2015, LDF contributed $15 million to conservation efforts. Mr. DiCaprio most recently spoke on climate change in France.

2. Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research – Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox
Image courtesy Teodor Bjerrang | Flickr

An Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor, Michael J. Fox is best known for his roles on the TV show Family Ties and Spin City. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s diagnosis in 1991 and retired from Spin City nine years later. Months after retiring, he founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which has developed into the leading research organization for the disease. Under the direction of Mr. Fox, the foundation has generated more than $450 million in funding in an effort to identify a cure.

3. Julian D. King Gift Foundation – Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson
Image courtesy JPAvocat | Flickr

Jennifer Hudson originally caught the attention of the public eye as a contestant on American Idol. Since entering the entertainment industry, she has garnered several accolades, including a Grammy, Golden Globe, and an Oscar. In 2009, she partnered with her sister, Julia, to establish the Julian D. King Gift Foundation, which was started in honor of her late nephew. The organization focuses on providing school supplies, Christmas presents, and other resources to children in need.

4. Eastern Congo Initiative – Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck
Image courtesy USAID U.S. Agency for International Development | Flickr

Ben Affleck most recently played the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The winner of multiple Oscars and Golden Globes, he set out to drive economic and social development in Congo by founding the Eastern Congo Initiative in 2010. Affleck operates the organization out of the United States, where he actively leads efforts to secure grants and legislation that will facilitate positive change in the area.

5. Eva’s Heroes – Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria
Image courtesy California Community Foundation | Flickr

Actress Eva Longoria, who is best known for her roles on The Young and the Restless and Desperate Housewives, entered the field of acting with appearances on General Hospital and Beverly Hills 90210. During her career as a television star, she has earned extensive recognition, including a People’s Choice Award, Teen Choice Award, and the ALMA Award.

In 2006, she co-founded Eva’s Heroes, a nonprofit organization based in San Antonio, Texas, that aims to help individuals with intellectual special needs and similar challenges. She has established a program that allows boys and girls to come together on a monthly and after-school basis, as well as during the summer, to develop social skills and build friendships.

6. Water.org – Matt Damon

matt damon
Image courtesy Global Panorama | Flickr

A movie star with a long list of film credits, Matt Damon is perhaps most popular for his role as Jason Bourne in the Bourne series. His most recent projects include a forthcoming Bourne sequel and The Martian, for which he won a 2016 Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture.

Away from the silver screen, Matt Damon stays active as a co-founder of Water.org, a group that sponsors clean water and sanitation supplies for underdeveloped countries throughout Asia, Africa, and Central America. Thus far, millions of people have benefited, and the organization hopes to keep expanding its influence until everyone on earth has access to safe water and toilets.

7. The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation – Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg
Image courtesy Eva Rinaldi | Flickr

Mark Wahlberg served as the executive producer of three movies in 2015—Ballers, Stealing Cars, and Entourage—and has three more announced or nearing completion. Among other distinctions, he has received Oscar, Golden Globe, and Emmy nominations as both an actor and as a producer.

In 2001, Mark Wahlberg teamed up with his brother, James, to form the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. The foundation serves as a platform for raising and allocating funding for programs such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which aims to create positive environments for children.

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5 of the Most Charitable Athletes in the World

One of the best ways to encourage charitable giving and volunteerism is to provide a strong example for others, and many professional athletes have the public platform to fill such a role. The staff at DoSomething.org, a website that allows people to get involved with charitable initiatives, understands the special role that athletes can play in promoting a good cause. Keeping fans updated on the charitable activities of their sports heroes, the site recently compiled the Athletes Gone Good list, which includes men and women competing in sports ranging from tennis to cricket.

Here is a closer look at the top five athletes on the list:

Cristiano Ronaldo

ronaldo
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The all-time leading goal scorer for Real Madrid F.C., Cristiano Ronaldo has set dozens of records in his league and at the European and international levels. He has received four Golden Boot awards and the FIFA Ballon d’Or three times, and he is the top-paid athlete in his sport at $79.6 million each year.

Away from training and competing, Ronaldo advocates for a number of causes, such as ending childhood hunger and protecting the environment, and he has supported UNICEF, World Vision, and Save the Children. He has donated considerable sums to a cancer treatment center, and he even sponsored the brain surgery of one of his fans. In addition, he has made a strong effort to give back to his fans, including a spontaneous trip to Indonesia to raise money for victims of the 2004 tsunami.

John Cena

Jon Cena
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In 2000, John Cena transitioned to professional wrestling and quickly gained success with an Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) title that same year. He entered the World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE), scene in 2002 and has won 15 WWE world heavyweight champion titles. During his career, he has defeated a number of Hall of Fame wrestlers, including The Rock, Brock Lesnar, and Randy Orton.

Cena has achieved several milestones in his charitable work, as well. An advocate for cancer awareness and treatment, he supports the Susan G. Komen initiative and has guided efforts at WWE to raise more than $1.5 million for the foundation. Through his partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he has granted more wishes than any other celebrity, and he continues to receive the most requests of all individuals affiliated with the organization.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams
Image courtesy Aleksandr Osipov | Flickr

Ranked number one in the world, tennis champion Serena Williams started competing at the professional level before graduating from high school. She quickly rose to her position as the leading athlete of her sport, amassing titles at the U.S. Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon along the way. In December 2015, she was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year a few months after clinching her sixth Wimbledon title.

Williams balances a variety of charitable endeavors, from her namesake foundation to her role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Among other passions, she has supported causes that create educational opportunities for children, such as the 1 in 11 campaign, which focuses on helping children in developing countries obtain access to education. She assisted with launching the movement in 2015 and created the Keep Ups challenge to help spread awareness and encourage donations.

Yuna Kim

Yuna Kim
Image courtesy { QUEEN YUNA } | Flickr

Olympic gold medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea won her first international figure skating competition at age 12. Upon entering middle school, she joined the Korean national team and achieved success despite injuries. She commanded two consecutive first place finishes at the Grand Prix Finals during the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons, and in 2010 she set a world-record score of 228.56 points and won gold at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Kim has supported responses to natural disasters in Haiti, the Philippines, and Nepal. She contributed $100,000 to relief efforts in Nepal following the devastating earthquake in 2015, and $100,000 to relief efforts in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.  Additionally, she recently participated in the FENDI Seoul Peekaboo project, in which she designed a bag for auction. The Yuna Kim Peekaboo bag sold widely and generated $15,000, which she donated to UNICEF.

Neymar 

Neymar
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Brazilian soccer sensation Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. debuted as a senior player with Santos F.C. in 2009, and he scored his 100th professional goal three years later. During his relatively short career, he has amassed several honors, including the FIFA Puskas Award and four consecutive Player of the Year awards. He gained widespread fame for his performance during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in his home country.

Neymar ranked fifth on the DoSomething.org Athletes Gone Good list for his humanitarian collaboration with FIFA in 2014. The organization developed an emergency health campaign titled “11 Against Ebola” in which Neymar recorded video and audio public health messages to help combat the disease in Africa. Neymar also joined with Paypal in the Waves for Water project, which aims to increase access to clean water in Brazil. In addition, he founded the Neymar Junior Institute, which will offer free classes in sports, reading, and computers to Brazilian children in need.

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12 Generous Businesses in the Social Entrepreneur Industry

The landscape for charitable organizations and foundations has widely diversified in recent years as groups and companies have developed and refined new platforms for achieving positive social change. One such innovation is the “buy one, give one” or “one for one” business model, which TOMS first launched in 2006.

Buy one, give one (BOGO) allows for-profit companies to run their businesses while simultaneously supporting the cause of their choosing. In the case of TOMS, consumers buy a pair of shoes, and the company matches their purchase by donating shoes to children living in impoverished areas of the world.

TOMS has set a trend in the social entrepreneurship marketplace, which now includes dozens of businesses operating on the BOGO model. Here is a look at the efforts of some of these companies, starting with the industry pioneer:

1. TOMS

toms_logoFounded by Blake Mycoskie, TOMS started with the vision of providing footwear to children in need and has expanded its reach to include eyesight and clean water initiatives. The decade-old company has donated more than 50 million pairs of shoes, assisted more than 360,000 individuals with their eyesight, and generated safe water in six countries.

2. Project 7

Tyler Merrick launched Project 7 in 2008 and has created an opportunity for consumers to donate to a variety of causes by simply purchasing gum, candy, and similar items. Each purchase combines to support environmental initiatives, build homes and emergency relief centers, and improve education in developing nations.

3. Better World Books

betterworldbookslogoBetter World Books (BWB) launched its “you buy, we donate” campaign in 2011, and since that time, the company has supplied more than 17 million books to the nonprofit organization Books for Africa. BWB also contributes to book recycling and raises funds for library and literacy support.

4. Out of Print

Another partner of Books for Africa, Out of Print offers a line of clothing and accessories featuring themes of classic literature, such as Shakespearean t-shirts or library card-inspired coffee mugs. Every purchase translates into a donated book for a community in need.

5. Yoobi

yoobilogoWith a flagship store in Arcadia, California, as well as an online marketplace and availability at major U.S. retailers, Yoobi produces and sells unique office and school supplies with the slogan “one for you, one for me.” The company matches each purchase by donating an identical or similar item to schools across the United States without adequate resources.

6. Faucet Face

The developers of Faucet Face have created a product and business model with two objectives. First, the company sells glass water bottles and promotes the consumption of tap and hose water to eliminate the pollution associated with plastic water bottles. Second, the company donates 100 liters of clean water to communities in India for every bottle sold, and it assists the Third Millennium Awakening organization with setting up local water filtration systems.

7. Baby Teresa

babyteresalogoDedicated to clothing babies in need, Baby Teresa sells 100-percent organic cotton clothing and accessories for infants. Customers buy these outfits and the company donates an outfit on a one-for-one basis. In addition, a percentage of sales from accessories cover formula costs for babies in more than 20 countries around the world.

8. WEWOOD

In 2010, WEWOOD designed its first wood timepiece in Florence, Italy, and months later the company opened its first location in Los Angeles, California. WEWOOD has established partnerships with American Forests and Trees for the Future, and with every watch sold, the business sponsors the planting of a tree. WEWOOD has planted more than 420,000 trees and aims to reach one million by 2020.

9. Warby Parker

warbyparkerlogoThe founders of Warby Parker started with a goal to make glasses more affordable. In the process, they set up a system that contributes to nonprofit organizations with each transaction. As a result, these charity groups donate eyewear for people in developing countries to sell. They also sponsor eye exam training for men and women in less-developed regions.

10. FIGS

Heather Hasson and Trina Spear founded FIGS to give people who wear scrubs an alternative. They started by developing new uniforms with a focus on comfort and function, and they added a “threads for threads” selling model that benefits healthcare professionals in more than 25 countries. FIGS donates a set of scrubs for every set sold, and these clean medical uniforms help decrease infection rates in hospitals around the world.

11. Hand in Hand Soap

handinhandlogoSocial entrepreneurs Courtney Apple and Bill Glaab founded Hand in Hand Soap in 2011 to help people around the world gain access to proper hygiene and clean water. They specialize in bath soaps and beauty products such as lip balms and fragrances. The company matches every sale of a bar or bottle of soap and include a month of clean water for a child for each purchase.

12. 2 Degrees

The staff at 2 Degrees leverages the BOGO business model to help their customers eat healthy snacks while simultaneously contributing to end childhood hunger. By selling items from a menu of vegan, gluten-free bars, the company has facilitated more than one million meal donations in countries such as Somalia, Kenya, and Haiti.

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13 Easy Ways to Support Charity from Your Smartphone

app-storeThe phrase “there’s an app for that” originated as an Apple marketing strategy nearly ten years ago. Today the saying holds truer than ever, with mobile applications now even serving charitable functions. The advent of the “app” occurred in 2008, when a total of 550 apps were released between the Apple App Store and the Android Market. BlackBerry App World, the Nokia Ovi Store, and the Windows Phone Marketplace quickly followed suit.

For many people living in the digital age, apps offer convenience in discovering information, pursuing various forms of entertainment, and connecting with others via social platforms. Charitable organizations have collaborated with app developers to establish creative options for people to engage in causes with the same ease.

Here is a list of 13 mobile platforms developed for supporting charities and foundations from your smartphone or device, some of which are free for users:

  1. Make a Stand App

The Make a Stand campaign started with a lemonade stand run by a 10-year old girl passionate about ending child slavery. As a result of her commitment and entrepreneurial drive, the movement now operates as a global app that allows people to create campaigns and support causes ranging from literacy to environmental issues.

  1. Snap Donate

This app is for the generous-minded who like to seize opportunities to give when they see them. When a subscriber sees the logo of a charity they would like to support, they simply take a photo and submit it. The app then presents a page for that charity with donation amount options.

  1. Give 2 Charity

Users of this app can designate which group they would like to support, and based off of points accrued through cellphone usage, funds are allocated to the selected charity. In addition, the data collected about when and where the user carries his or her phone benefits usage surveys for service providers.

  1. Instead

The Instead app creates opportunities for people to forego a regular part of their routine in benefit of someone else. For example, a user might pass on Starbucks one morning, brew their own coffee, and donate the savings to humanitarian projects. One way the concept appeals to users is that they can issue challenges for themselves and others to meet on a daily or weekly basis.

  1. I Can Go Without

Similar to Instead, I Can Go Without is a program that allows subscribers to keep track of their eating habits and generate funds for charity. Each time a user decides to make a sandwich rather than eat out, for example, the reported cost difference accumulates on an invoice, which he or she can pay all at once at any time.

  1. Budge

Budge operates on dares or bets agreed upon by participants. Two friends, coworkers, family members, etc., determine the rules of the contest or challenge, set a dollar amount, and whoever wins sends that money to a charity of their choice. The social aspect of the app has succeeded in differentiating Budge from others apps that focus on the individual.

  1. Donate a Photo

Staff members at Johnson & Johnson developed this app as a way for people to be active in the world of charity without spending a dollar. Each photo a person submits receives a $1 donation toward the organization of their choosing. A maximum of one photo each day can translate into $365 a year — for simply taking pictures.

  1. GoodShop

GoodShop is a shopping portal with charity in mind. In fact, half of the income it receives for referrals goes straight to the group or cause the shopper designates.

  1. Charity Miles

For multitasking enthusiasts, this app offers the chance to work on fitness and charity goals concurrently. Sponsors decide how much they would like to contribute per mile reported by users, and the total tallies up for each run, bike ride, or other exercise routine. Charity Miles also fosters a social aspect, creating ways for participants to interact and encourage one another.

  1. ShareTheMeal

The United Nations led the way in creating this app, which facilitates meal funding for children around the world. Speakers of as many as nine different languages can donate money and see who benefits from their generosity. In many cases, a contribution of $0.50 or less will cover an entire day’s worth of food for a child.

  1. GoodSAM

GoodSAM operates without funding and it connects people in times of urgent need. People use this app — much like an emergency call — to notify nearby first aid-certified professionals of injured persons. These “good Samaritans” then respond and provide assistance free of charge until paramedics arrive.

  1. Check-in for Good

A quickly-growing trend, the Check-in for Good app benefits essentially everyone involved. When a person goes out to eat, for example, they check in to participating vendors using the app, and the restaurant will donate to charity as well as offer the user a deal on their meal.

  1. Charity Tap

The Charity Tap app functions much like a video game. Users face speed challenges, and each time they tap the screen, a grain of rice is donated. Sponsors of the app fund it through advertisements that appear mid-game, and the donated rice goes to the World Food Programme.

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