Altruism Today

A Tale of Two Nonprofit Messages on U.S. Gun Violence

December 17th, 2012  |  Source: NPQ

In 2010, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave President Barack Obama an “F” on gun control based on his administration’s “extraordinary silence and passivity.” That was after the killings in Fort Hood, Texas in 2009 but before the Obama administration’s statements of concern (followed by no action) after the attempted assassination of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) in Tucson in 2011, the movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colo. in 2012, and the gun violence at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisc., also in 2012.

In the second 2012 presidential debate, the president said something to the effect that while he supports some unexplained interpretation of the Second Amendment, he doesn’t think weapons meant for warfare belong on the streets of American cities. Still, the Obama administration didn’t do anything about it, which presumably didn’t improve his grade from the Brady Campaign. But after the horrible murders of elementary school children in Newtown, Conn., the president has indicated that now, at last, is the time for “meaningful action.”

Facing off against the nonprofit Brady Campaign is a much larger nonprofit, the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA has been almost completely silent since the Newtown shootings, even cancelling a “Tweet and Greet” with country music rapper Colt Ford. Several sources are citing an unnamed NRA spokeswomanwho said, “Until the facts are thoroughly known, the NRA will not be making any comment.”

You can all imagine the comments that the NRA will be offering members of Congress. Think about the pending legislation in the 112th Congress that would limit the capacity of large ammunition feeding devices, close the gun show loophole, keep guns away from federal events (like the one that resulted in the shooting of Gabby Giffords), and prevent people on terrorist watch lists from obtaining guns. Not one of those bills moved an inch during the past two years. How about the legislation to reinstate the assault weapons ban? To our knowledge, a bill to that effect wasn’t even introduced. The NRA essentially tells lawmakers to see no evil, do no gun control legislation. The Brady Campaign gives lawmakers—and the White House—a failing grade for doing exactly what the NRA wants.

Will the president and his Democratic allies finally take the meaningful action that the president said he would pursue? Will it happen in the wake of 20 dead kids in an elementary school in Newtown, or the 87 gun deaths that occur every day in the U.S.? Will something be done to address the more than 18,735 suicide deaths, 11,493 homicide deaths, 493 unintentional deaths, and 73,505 non-fatal injuries attributed to firearms in a year? Launched by CAF

November 29th, 2012  |  Source:

Today, Charities Aid Foundation of America (CAFAmerica) officially launched, a streamlined approach for corporations, foundations, families, and individuals to support important philanthropic efforts both at home and abroad with confidence.

These new services are a comprehensive response to new proposed Treasury Department regulations, announced via advance notice of proposed rulemaking on September 24, 2012, which may be relied upon now and until final regulations are issued. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlighted these regulatory changes in September when she spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative and called for a simpler system for investing in legitimate foreign charities. is the nation’s first response to the urgent need highlighted by Secretary Clinton, emerging at a time when austerity budgets on many continents have raised the needs of vulnerable populations, placing at risk public health, education, economic development, and disaster recovery efforts.  The increased need for assistance, coupled with a tough economic climate for even the most charitable institutions and individuals, makes it even more pressing that America’s deep commitment to helping others is matched with equal dedication to ensuring donated dollars are used meaningfully by credible and impactful organizations.

For more go to:

Version 11.0 of ResultsPlus released

November 19th, 2012  |  Source:

—ResultsPlus, a constituent relationship management (CRM) and fundraising software provider, releases the eleventh version of its fundraising software solution – ResultsPlus 11 – to assist nonprofit organizations and professionals manage donations and memberships, as well as track CRM and fundraising efforts.

Serving more than 3,500 nonprofit organizations and professionals for the past 27 years, ResultsPlus has helped clients like Cancer Support Community, the Ronald McDonald House and regional Boys and Girls Clubs of America manage their individual fundraising efforts. ResultsPlus was one of the first fundraising applications offered in the Microsoft Windows marketplace and is one of the six original fundraising software companies still in market due to the company’s technical updates and enhanced features made over the years.

By partnering with Moneris, a payment processing company, ResultsPlus’ newest edition of software is integrated with simplified online giving, credit card and ACH donation processing. New interactive graphs and features also allow for versatile reporting and processing, granting customers the freedom to focus on donor cultivation and segmentation.

For more go to:

The disruption of education: How technology is helping students teach themselves

November 2nd, 2012  |  Source: Giga Om

Even with no teachers, students taught themselves

One example: At a recent conference on emerging technology at MIT, Nicholas Negroponte — the former head of the MIT Media Lab and founder of the OLPC project — talked about what his group noticed about the villages in Ethiopia, where some devices were dropped off. The Motorola Xoom tablets, which were distributed along with a solar-charging system, were delivered in boxes to two isolated rural villages about 50 miles from the capital of Addis Ababa, where Negroponte said the children had never before seen printed English words — not even packaging or road signs with printed letters.

Although the OLPC founder says the group expected most of the children to spend their time “playing with the boxes,” in a matter of minutes they had powered up the devices and, within days, they were using a number of apps included with the system. Even more remarkably, within weeks, they had figured out how to “hack” their way around restrictions built into the software to change the laptop’s display background. Thanks to the tablets, they were singing ABC songs and even spelling words in English. Said Negroponte:

“Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera, and they figured out the camera.”


October 30th, 2012  |  Source: Mobile Giving Foundation/BBB

Great initiative from the Mobile Giving Foundation and the Better Business Bureau 

List of Available Short Codes to Donate in the U.S. & Canada

What: The quickest way to provide monetary relief to those affected by Hurricane Sandy is mobile giving.  By texting a keyword to a designated short code via a mobile phone, you can make a donation of $10 to aid the millions of people affected by this disaster.  100% of your donation goes to the recipient charity, and the donation appears as a charge on your carrier bill (standard rates may apply).

Who: There are several organizations that are responding to this urgent need with mobile giving efforts, including the following national charities that meet BBB Wise Giving Alliance standards:

Text : “STORM” to 80888 to donate $10

On behalf of the Salvation Army


Text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10

On behalf of the American Red Cross


Text “HUMANE” to 80888 to donate $10

On behalf of  American Humane Association


Text “GIVEUSA” to 777444 to donate $10

On behalf of World Vision


October 9th, 2012  |  Source: Dani Dalesandro

A new PSA featuring Kevin Bacon, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Meryl Streep, Sandra Bernhard, Lisa Kudrow, and so many more in support of The Center for Reproductive Rights. Today, the organization launched a new campaign called DRAW THE LINE through which they are calling on women and men across the country to fight against attacks made on a woman’s fundamental and constitutional rights by signing the Bill of Reproductive Rights (language below) at

You may view the PSA at this link:

Nonprofit’s “Meatless Mondays” Sparks USDA Controversy

July 29th, 2012  |  Source: NPQ

Source: New York Times

The July edition of the USDA’s internal “Greening Headquarters” newsletter had included a pitch for USDA employees to participate in “Meatless Mondays” at the agency’s cafeteria.

The newsletter has since been taken down, though you can still find it here. Why the retraction of support for the nonprofit campaign? It seems the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) didn’t take too kindly to the suggestion that Americans should abstain from eating their main product at least once a week. The beef industry trade association posted a statement on its website declaring, “This move by USDA should be condemned by anyone who believes agriculture is fundamental to sustaining life on this planet.”

Kenya's Running Brand

July 22nd, 2012  |  Source: IndieGoGo

Kourage Athletic's mission is to leverage the tradition of Kenyan runners to create authentically Kenyan running apparel.

Since launching last year, Kourage has sold garments to over 20-countries and has received fantastic product reviews.  In addition, Kourage has been featured on global media outlets including CNN's Inside Africa3/GO Triathlon Magazine,and Africa's Fashion Guide.

Kourage isn't just selling shirts. Our objective is to create jobs in Africa.  Kourage's supply chain is 100% sub-saharan African - from design through distribution.  This means when you purchase a Kourage shirt, you are investing in Africa's future.

Kourage Athletics is founded by a small team of entrepreneurs:

·       Douglas Wakiihuri, Kenyan, Olympic Silver Medalist

·       Chris Markl, American, Developmental Economist

·       Hussein Kurji, Kenyan, Graphic Designer

To compete with Nike and Adidas we need your help!  

Buy your t-Shirt here:


July 16th, 2012  |  Source: Spoiled Fashionz

SPOILED! has a partnership with charitable organization, Baby2Baby. 

An online platform consigning children's new and gently worn designer clothing, SPOILED! was created to meet the growing demand for consignment shops specializing in children's items, 

SPOILED! now will offer consignees the opportunity to donate products that are not sold after 90 days to With celebrity ambassadors like, Jessica Alba and Nicole Richie, Baby2Baby supplies families in need with essential baby gear and clothing for their children up to age 12. By distributing new and gently used items to over 40 non-profit organizations, Baby2Baby reaches over 50,000 children per year.

The Coffin-Maker Benchmark

July 8th, 2012  |  Source:

IF you worry that foreign aid is an utter waste, just chat with some mortality experts here in southern Africa — the coffin makers.
They’re miserable.
These coffin makers in the street markets are idle partly because American spending on programs to fight AIDS around the world means that vast numbers of people are no longer dying at a young age. So coffin makers sit dejectedly beside stacks of lumber, waiting for business.

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