Altruism Today

Over $50 million dollars raised for hundreds of charities through mobile giving in 2010.

December 13th, 2010  |  Source: Mobile Giving Foundation



This holiday season, the Mobile Giving Foundation (MGF)encourages everyone to have safe travels and remember the true meaning of the season: giving to those who need it most. The gift of mobile giving is an ideal way to donate to important causes in $5 and $10 increments (up to a total of $30 monthly), and make a social impact that will last well into the New Year. According to Jim Manis, Chairman and CEO of the Foundation, performing text-to-give donations to a favorite charity is so safe and easy, even Santa would consider it as a stocking-stuffer.

“Many people make philanthropic gifts on behalf of others during this holiday season, and mobile giving offers a safe, convenient way to perform those donations,” said Manis. “The process takes less than 30 seconds and 100 percent of the funds are passed through to the recipient charity, ensuring a trusted donor experience.”

Most donations on behalf of any given charity occur in the month of December.  To make a donation on behalf of someone, visit the website or social media presence of a favorite charity to see if it has a holiday mobile-giving campaign in place. Many national charities have a text-to-give campaign, and they will post a keyword and short code (i.e. 5- or 6-digit phone number) through which a donation can be made. Donors can simply text that keyword to the short code to initiate the process. A confirmation prompt will appear to validate the donation. Once that confirmation is accepted, the donation is performed. The contribution will show up on the donor’s billing statement. 

Below are just a few of the MGF Certified Mobile Giving Campaigns for charities making a difference:*

·         Salvation Army Greater New York:  Text NYSA to 52000 to make a $10 donation 

·         The William J. Clinton Foundation: Text CLINTON to 20222 to make a $10 donation

·         Paralyzed Veterans of America:  Text 4VETS to 25383 to make a $10 donation

·         National Wildlife Federation: Text NWF to 20222 to make a $10 donation

·         Food Lifeline:  Text MEALS to 20222 to make a $5 donation

*Standard messaging and data rates may apply.  All participating wireless operators due so with a 100% pass through.

In 2010, more than $50 million dollars have been raised for hundreds of charities across North America through mobile giving. To learn more about the Mobile Giving Foundation and current campaigns, please visit




WikiLeaks: Big Waves Around a Small Nonprofit

December 10th, 2010  |  Source: NPQ


Source: The Christian Science Monitor | Wikipedia’s description of itself reads in part:

WikiLeaks is a not-for-profit media organisation. Our goal is to bring important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for sources to leak information to our journalists (our electronic drop box). One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth. We are a young organisation that has grown very quickly, relying on a network of dedicated volunteers around the globe.

Yesterday tens of thousands of “hacktivists” took to cyberspace in an effort coordinated by a group calling themselves “Anonymous” to deliver consequences to corporations that cut off services to Wikileaks this past week. Among those slapped by the so-called Operation Payback were Mastercard, VISA, Paypal, and a Swedish bank, Postfinance. The DDoS (distributed denial of service) cyberattack is thought to be the largest of its kind to date. It was globally launched and, apparently, loosely organized but it was effective in shutting down some fairly large targets, at least temporarily.

An attack of this kind requires that thousands of computers cooperate to target particular sites with simultaneous information requests. The Christian Science Monitorcalled it “A sort of cyber blockade.” According to Computerworld the attack has largely been facilitated by the use of one open source tool that was downloaded yesterday at the rate of 1,000 times an hour.


December 6th, 2010  |  Source: Skype




·         Bespoke Skype technology will connect humanitarian workers in the most remote and dangerous regions of the world


·         First partnership of its kind between Skype and a humanitarian organization


·         Fundraising button to be hosted on Skype, for the first time ever, in a bid to raise money to support computer technology and education for refugees


Humanitarian workers in the most remote parts of the world will soon have a new and low-cost way to communicate with colleagues, friends, and families thanks to an unprecedented partnership between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Skype.


Skype has developed a bespoke, low-bandwidth version of its software, for deployment across 120 hardship locations served by UNHCR staff members around the world.   Aid workers such as these are typically separated from their families for months at a time, sometimes with very little notice, and have limited opportunities for communication.  In addition, all UNHCR employees have to pay for personal calls. Thus, the UNHCR-version of Skype will provide both free and low-cost voice and video calls over the Internet even when accessed through low connectivity networks.  This will enable communications for humanitarian workers in some of the world’s most remote postings on the one hand, whilst lowering the cost of calling home on the other.


The new software has been tested successfully in Iraq, Sudan and Afghanistan and is now available to 1,010 staff stationed in remote locations inAfghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Chad, Congo, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda. By the end of 2010, Skype and UNHCR plan for that to grow to more than 2,072 members of staff across60 UNHCR locations including Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.  Bythe end of 2011, the aim is for Skype to be in at least 80 percent of UNHCR hardship locations and available to more than 3,000 staff members.


Skype and UNHCR are subsequently exploring the development of a communications solution that will benefit refugees more directly. Using the knowledge and experience from the deployment of Skype to UNHCR staff, the solution will aim to allow refugees to reach family and friends across borders and will also be used to facilitate protection operations, including repatriation, resettlement and family reunification.


"Skype has removed, at a very practical level, some of the most challenging barriers to communications that we experience in these locations”, saidAntonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.  “This will benefit not only UNHCR staff and their families at home but, potentially, the tens of millions of refugees and other displaced people in the world today."


"For us, helping the world's displaced is not just about delivering the basics of food and shelter but ensuring they are able to access all the benefits of modernity, including the ability to communicate regularly with friends and family. Our partnership with a technological innovator like Skype significantly advances our aspirations in this regard," Antonio Guterres concluded.


“We are a company dedicated to using our software to enable the world’s conversations and effect social change. Our partnership with UNHCR delivers on this mission in a most extraordinary way,” said Tony Bates, Skype’s CEO“We are excited by the future possibilities of this partnership.  Skype truly is useful for everyone, wherever, and whoever you are.”


Understanding the need to secure financial resources for refugees and to further support this partnership, Skype is contributing financially to UNHCR and will begin a campaign to increase public awareness of UNHCR operations and help raise additional funds. The campaign will initially deliver messages via Skype to connected users encouraging them to make a difference to the lives of refugees beginning this holiday period.  To find out more visit

Civic Marshall Plan to Reach 90% Graduation Rate by 2020

December 2nd, 2010  |  Source: City


Building a Grad Nation, a new report released on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., announced that while progress is being made to stem the nation's high school dropout crisis, the nation needs a Civic Marshall Plan to mobilize the government, nonprofits, schools, the private sector and citizens at large around a set of strategic initiatives, including the expansion of national service to bring critically-needed human capital into high-poverty schools. The report, authored by America's Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and Johns Hopkins University's Everyone Graduates Center, was announced with Secretary Arne Duncan, General Colin Powell and Alma Powell.

Highlighting the 13% decline from 2002 to 2008 in the number of U.S. high schools with graduation rates of 60% or below, Building a Grad Nation offers insight into effective strategies, including the adoption of early warning and intervention systems, clear graduation goals and the key role being played by national service members, including City Year corps members serving in schools with high numbers of off-track students:

"In low graduation rate high schools and their feeder elementary and middle schools...there are often hundreds of students in need of intensive supports from caring and committed adults. Often there simply is not enough manpower in high-needs schools and communities to provide these supports at the scale needed. We must call on, and systematically organize, national and local non-profits that can bring skilled and committed young and older adults, community members, and trained social service providers into the lives of all students who exhibit off-track behavior in such schools in a consistent and committed way. National service efforts, like those pioneered by City Year, need to be expanded..."

To end the dropout crisis, Building a Grad Nation announced the development of a Civic Marshall Plan - inspired by Secretary of State George C. Marshall's comprehensive plan to rebuild Europe after World War II - to boost graduation rates nationwide from 75% to 90% by the year 2020. Among its recommendations, the plan calls for full funding of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act's Education Corps in order to provide low-performing schools with the critical mass of human capital needed to help keep students on track to graduate.

In 2009, with support from United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, City Year announced In School & On Track, a campaign to mobilize young leaders in national service to address the nation's high school dropout crisis. In School & On Track seeks to scale City Year programs to reach the majority of students who are falling off track in the 20 U.S. locations where City Year AmeriCorps members serve. For more information on In School & On Trackclick here.

City Year strongly endorses the Civic Marshall Plan, serves on the plan's Leadership Council and supports full funding of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act to support it.

World Aids Day: Bono turns Sydney red

December 1st, 2010  |  Source:

Bono and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard have turned Sydney's most famous buildings red for World Aids Day.

The U2 frontman symbolically lit the Harbour Bridge and Opera House red and claimed the Aids virus would soon be coming to an end.

The humanitarian singer is committed to raising awareness of the disease and set up the ONE campaign to help fight the Aids epidemic and combat global poverty.

He said: "This is a great night, it's not a small night, it's a historic night and I would like to end it by prophesying that we will, soon coming, see an end to this dreadful little virus called HIV/Aids.

"We will definitely, by 2015, see the first HIV free generation in 30 years."


Who Is the Most Philanthropic Baseball Team? Not the Yankees!

November 29th, 2010  |  Source:


They may have trailed the Yankees and the Rays in the American League East, but they led the league as measured by philanthropy.

The Red Sox became the inaugural recipient of the commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence, partly because of the Red Sox Foundation's support of the Red Sox Scholars program

Food Pantries Increasingly Stressed as Economy Sags

November 22nd, 2010  |  Source:


Northwest Florida Daily News | This article is like many others about food pantries we have seen in our search of news about nonprofits around the nation. In Destin, Fla., food pantries say that they are responding to increasing numbers of hungry people and that these people are emotionally devastated by their circumstances. Already hurting from the soft economy, the area has also been affected by the oil spill. Lisa Martinez at the Salvation Army says they keep running out of food and “It just keeps getting worse and worse.”

This has caused some of the local food programs to reduce the amount of groceries they distribute to applicants and to limit their hours. Carolyn Ketchel, the Regional Director of Catholic Charities, says, “Food is a symptom of a greater problem . . . If someone is coming in for food, there’s low employment or no employment.” Ketchel goes on, “I hear every once in awhile that things are improving, but I don’t see it. I see just the opposite . . . It’s the deepest, greatest recession of my lifetime. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Can Warren Buffett and Bill Gates save the world?

November 21st, 2010  |  Source:

How the Giving Pledge, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's quest to get billionaires to donate half their wealth to charity, will impact philanthropy and the world's needy.


Bill and Melinda Gates (r.) meet with a women’s group in rural Nigeria, where their foundation has invested in health projects.

Courtesy of Prashant Panjiar/the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Making Seed Aid Blossom

November 19th, 2010  |  Source:


The quake in Haiti and floods in Pakistan highlight that the multimillion-dollar emergency seed aid industry is in need of a makeover.

Writing for, Elisabeth Best reports on the weaknesses of current seed aid approaches, including five myths that undermine its effectiveness:

1) Whenever food aid is needed, seed aid is, too

2) Seed aid can do no harm

3) Disasters wipe out seed systems

4) Giving seed effectively is a straightforward logistical exercise

5) The best form of aid is improved, modern seed

But Best also finds hope for change, such as recent initiatives in Zimbabwe and Niger.

Read the full post at

And the Award goes to Mobile Giving!

November 18th, 2010  |  Source: Mobile Giving


The Mobile Giving Foundation (MGF),the pioneer of mobile giving dedicated to helping charitable organizations raise funds through the mobile channel, was named the winner of the 2010 Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Awards for its Social Impact. The award winners were announced at the MMA’s Annual Global Awards dinner and ceremony, which was held last night at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Each year, the MMA’s highly anticipated awards ceremony serves as the concluding event at the MMA’s Mobile Marketing Forum.

“This has been a breakthrough year for mobile giving in terms of industry and public awareness, and we are thrilled to top it off with this recognition,” said Jim Manis, Chairman and CEO of the Mobile Giving Foundation. “As  we  strive to promote the mobile channel to charitable organizations to raise funds and increase donor engagement, we appreciate the continued support of our industry peers, especially the MMA and wireless operators, in helping us achieve our goals.”

As the MMA’s highest honor, these awards recognize significant contribution within the global mobile marketing industry. Award winners represent the commitment and accomplishments of the world’s leading companies and individuals in the mobile marketing industry.

“The MMA, its members and the entire mobile marketing community come together each year to honor our industry’s exemplary campaigns and remarkable leaders throughout the world,” said Paul Berney, CMO of the MMA. “We congratulate the MGF on its outstanding achievements, and look forward to its ongoing success as it continues to demonstrate the power of mobile marketing and provide positive proof of its indispensable role in the marketing mix.”

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