How to Start Your Own Philanthropy Organization

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Owning a non-profit organization is a good way to give back to the society. The organization gives you the platform to show others how compassionate you are. This leads to great admiration and respect from your peers and the community at large. Before you start a non-profit organization, you must understand all the steps involved.

Do extensive research

Do some research and find out if there are other organizations out there that are already in the same work you intend to do. It can be challenging to get funding if you do similar things without improving or changing them. Find out the demographic trends of the community you want to serve and identify the specific needs that are not met by other organizations. Research on the legal requirements for non-profit organizations from the federal government or the state you intend to operate in.

Develop your mission

A mission is a detailed description of the purpose of the organization and how it plans to improve the lives of people in the community. The mission highlights what the organization will do and for whom. The mission should have specific, realistic and challenging goals. The organization should also have a set of values through which it will be led. In order to prepare a good mission, you should map your journey for a period of three to 10 years. Indicate all the steps you will take to achieve the goals stated in your mission.

Develop a plan

You need to come up with a five-year plan for the organization. The plan should include the strategies and tactics you will employ to ensure the organization survives any obstacle that might present itself. The plan may include fundraising, budget and operational strategies.

Register the organization

You must register the organization in order to operate. First, you have to incorporate it so that you can obtain a formal structure that will validate your programs and services. You will have to submit the organizing documents and management policies to the IRS. The IRS will then allow you to apply for 501(c)(3) that exempts the organization from paying taxes. The application fee for tax-exempt status usually ranges between $400 and $800. It takes three to 12 months for the IRS to give you feedback.

You must also comply with the requirements issued by the state agencies that regulate non-profit organizations. Registration requirements vary by each state. Therefore, it is imperative to ask your state’s non-profit organization office about the applicable requirements.

Plan your fundraising

You need to raise some money in order to keep the organization operational. You must know where the money will come from, how much you need and how you will raise it. Depending on the goals of the organization, you may need funding from organizations, individuals and foundations. You need to initiate contacts with those you feel can support you. Expect to make several calls, presentations and meetings at this time. Open a website and a social media account and engage people.

Begin operations

Once you have received enough capital, you can begin operations. However, ensure you keep your spending efficient to avoid financial problems. Above all, be patient and wait for the organization to expand at a considerable rate.


Up and Coming Philanthropic Organizations in New York City

Philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others through generous donations of money or other items to good causes. When it comes to philanthropy, New York City is the focal point of the nation. The city is home to many philanthropic organizations. Most of the charity foundations in New York City have a global reach. However, there are many others that are exclusively dedicated to the vibrant city. Below are some of the New York City’s up and coming philanthropic organizations:

The Rockefeller Foundation
It is a private philanthropic organization that is based in the heart of the city. The sixth-generation Rockefeller family established it on May 14, 1913. The founders of the organization were John D. Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller Jr., and Fredrick Taylor Gates. The mission of the charity organization is “promoting the well-being of humanity throughout the world.” The foundation was ranked among the top 50 largest foundations in the USA in 2015. The philanthropic organization financially supports education in the country without any bias on sex, race, or creed. The Rockefeller Foundation set up the Harvard School of Public Health and the John Hopkins School of Public Health. It also helped The New School to offer a haven for students threatened by Nazis. Moreover, the organization developed the yellow fever prevention vaccine.

The Ford Foundation
The charity organization was established in 1936. The founders of the organization were Henry Ford and Edsel Ford. The Ford Foundation is one of the largest and most influential foundations in the universe. The organization has special interests in education, human rights, economic empowerment, the creative arts, Third World development, and democracy. Darren Walker is the President of the Foundation.

Bloomberg Philanthropies
According to Crain’s New York Business, Bloomberg Philanthropies is the third largest charity organization in the city. It has assets worth $6.5 billion. The President of the organization is Patricia E. Harris. Philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg founded the organization. The charity organization mainly focuses on matters relating to arts, public health, government innovation, education, and the environment. The organization has a global reach.

Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
The organization’s main focus is on providing opportunities for young people with low income. Nancy Roob is the President and CEO of the company. Its strategy is to make long-term investments with other sponsors in programs with proven growth potential. The investments are meant to meet the urgent needs of disadvantaged people in the country. Roob stated that she loves the feeling of waking up and knowing that she was able to change a person’s life trajectory.

The Commonwealth Fund
The organization was founded in 1918 by Anna Harkness. David Blumenthal serves as the President of the organization. The mission of the foundation is to promote high-performing health care systems. The Commonwealth Fund offers grants to cater for research on health policy topics such as service delivery to disadvantaged populations.

The Importance of the Xin Philanthropy Conference

Alibaba founder Jack Ma, hosted his world famous Xin philanthropy conference in Hangzhou, China this past weekend. The conference was a one-of-a-kind event as no other philanthropic meeting of this caliber has ever been hosted. What made this event unique was its goal of synergizing local philanthropists and chinese experts in an effort to improve the infrastructure and future of China.

Ma, looks to achieve this goal by utilizing the 1 million plus Chinese millionaires currently living in their home country. The conference acted as a motivational and informational tool for philanthropists from all over. Ma, himself being one of the most influential people of the 21st century lead the conference and handled the structure and content. Since founding Alibaba, Ma has paved the way in philanthropic responsibility by creating many foundations and dispersing generous donations throughout the world.

In attendance were over 1,000 of the most well known philanthropists in China. Some notable names included Salman Khan (Khan Academy), Yao Ming and Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. During the conference there were 5 panels that discussed current issues involving health care, education and many other current events and how they may relate to philanthropic causes.

The overall attendance of this event was a catalyst to the philanthropic growth that is necessary in the years moving forward for China. Over the past few years, Jack Ma has expressed his concerns with the lack of philanthropy in China even with the current abundance of millionaires and more to come in the future.

He utilized this conference in such a way that shows how important philanthropy actually is to the Chinese Infrastructure in hopes of jumpstarting a philanthropic movement. During the conference many different donation methods were discussed that businesses can utilize in order to donate a portion of their sales to charitable causes. If utilized this system can one of the most effective tools in improving Chinese infrastructure.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to make the world better”- Jack Ma, Alibaba Foundation

2016 New York Yankees Draft Class

With the current Yankees in the middle of their season, the executives had an opportunity to look ahead last week, with the picking of new prospects in the 2016 MLB Draft. This years draft brought strong bats and consistency, something that the current Yankees could be looking for. Listed below are the newest Yankees players in rounds 1-5.

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1.Blake Rutherford

Position: OF

School: Chaminade College Prep High School

State: California

Info: Blake Rutherford is an excellent hitter out of Southern California. Blake’s smooth swing and tremendous bat speed allow him to hit to all fields making him a nightmare at the plate. With an above average physical stature Blake is well rounded in all aspects of the game. Blake was identified as the best hitter on last summer’s USA 18U Team that won Gold. That was the biggest factor in ranking Blake as a top 10 prospect. Blake is committed to the Bruins of the University of California – Los Angeles to obviously play baseball.

2.Nick Solak

Position: 2B

School: University of Louisville

State: Kentucky

Info: Nick Solak is a standout sophomore at the University of Louisville, where he just wrapped up his season in the Super Regionals. Ranked as the 5th best player out of the State of Kentucky, Solak has proven to be a steady hitter for the Cardinals. Although he missed a month this season with a hand injury, he was able to remain consistent and effective for the Cardinals in his return to the lineup. Although his draft profile has him listed as a second basemen he has played outfield for the majority of his career. Looking at his abilities as a whole, the Yankees will look to utilize him much like current player Rob Refsnyder.

3.Nolan Martinez

Position: RHP

School: Culver City High School

State: California

Info: Nolan Martinez is a hard throwing youngster from southern California. With a fastball already in the 87-93 mph range, Nolan should look to add some muscle and see that velocity increase. His tall lean stature makes him the right frame for a starting rotation. Nolan is committed to play for the University of San Diego and already projected to be one of the top pitchers in college baseball. His aggressive attitude will put him in a position of success that the Yankees can benefit from in the years going forward.

4.Nick Nelson

Position: RHP

School: Gulf Coast State Junior College

State: Florida

Info: Nick Nelson was a bit of the gamble for the Yankees, having already been drafted in 2014 by the San Francisco Giants with no contract. He capped off his season with a promising 99 strikeouts through 90.1 innings that shows signs of consistency. During his junior college tenure he was the best pitcher on the team, but intriguingly enough the best hitter as well. However it is important to note that the Yankees drafted him as a pitcher, not as a position player. Nick is already in contractual terms with Yankees despite being committed to play for the University of Florida.

5.Dom Thompson-Williams

Position: OF

School: University of South Carolina

State: South Carolina

Info: Dom Thompson-Williams is a consistent outfielder from the University of South Carolina. Dom Started all 64 games for the Gamecocks this season and finished second on the team in batting. The former Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year has already signed a deal with the Yankees and is set to forego his senior season to start his professional career. Dom was a big factor in the Gamecocks success these past two seasons, and the Yankees expect nothing less from him.


Improving the Way We Think About Philanthropy

Amidst everything that is going on in our personal lives and what is going on at the office, there is no question that many donors, volunteers and charitable organizations themselves have indeed lost sight of what philanthropy means.

By definition, philanthropy is the act to serve others in a way that truly helps their long-term or short-term needs. In order to most effectively aid people around the world, it is necessary that we change our mentality, business models, and most importantly how we approach philanthropy on an intellectual level.

To better serve the needs of people, it is important for charities and philanthropies to alter their business mentality in order to focus on results rather than how many dollars the organization raises. The Foundation Center has numerous lists ranking the top foundations in the United States based on total giving and assets. Contrary to popular belief, this does not necessarily indicate success.

unicefUnfortunately, when money is the main measure of success, the focus tends to shift away from doing actual work; it becomes all about how much is in the bank. This line of thinking perpetuates a cyclical mentality emphasizing what a for profit company would focus on instead of what a non-profit charity or organization should work towards.

Sometimes, many philanthropists today are not thinking through what people really need. Although these individuals do not necessarily intend to misunderstand this important step, assuming what others need help with fundamentally counteracts success.

We make assumptions based on what we believe or “know” to be true. It is clear that intentions do not necessarily help those in need and, more importantly, no amount of money is going to make a difference if it’s not spent in ways that directly meet the needs of the people that we are serving.

Before doing anything, we need to understand something about what we’re doing. If we rush in and haven’t thought through the roots of the problems we want to solve, or the ripple effects of our actions, we inevitably will do the wrong things.

Traditionally, philanthropy has meant giving large sums of money to charitable causes, and philanthropies have existed as entities with specific tax designations, boards of directors, and all kinds of regulations and red tape. Recently, there’s been an increase in more creative forms of philanthropy, which provide some flexibility for how money can be spent.

The Legacy of Jackie Robinson

April 15, 1947 marks the exact day Jackie Robinson stepped onto the field as a Brooklyn Dodger, forever making his brave stance and legacy in the world of baseball forever.

After Robinson played in an African-American league for some time, on this exact day, president Branch Rickey approached Jackie about joining the Brooklyn Dodgers which was a completely new, exciting option for him. While the excitement of playing in a new sphere within baseball was intriguing, Robinson was also courageous enough to face many of the challenges that were present during this era.

jackie robinsonWhen Jackie first donned a Brooklyn Dodger uniform, he pioneered the integration of professional athletics in America, which is one of the many reasons why his legacy remains so important and groundbreaking in baseball today. As Jackie worked to break down this racial barrier, he courageously challenged and succeeded in dismantling various preconceived notions about not only baseball, but also segregated sport as a whole.

Robinson’s career is generally considered to mark the beginning of the post–”long ball” era in baseball, in which a reliance on raw power-hitting gave way to balanced offensive strategies, which were completely new to the sport.

These new offensive strategies included the use of foot speed to create runs through aggressive baserunning, while also exhibiting the ability to not only hit well, but also run incredibly fast. The combination of both hitting the well with such precision, along with his speed quickly gained international attention. Interestingly enough, Robinson also averaged more than 110 runs from 1947 to 1953 and had an impressive .311 career batting average.

Due to his incredible speed, he accumulated 197 stolen bases throughout his career. As his stolen bases out rank many of his competitor’s numbers, Robinson titled to by David Falkner as “the father of modern base-stealing.” It is clear that Robinson was definitely a rare breed in terms of skill, tenacity and dedication to becoming the best he could in his respective field.

According to various sources, historical statistical analysis points to the fact that Robinson did indeed show outstanding skills as a fielder during his ten year career. Right after he played his rookie season at first base, Robinson then spent most of his career as a second baseman, in which he also excelled. In addition to being one of the leading baseman in 1950 and 1951, he also played about 2,000 innings at third base and about 1,175 innings in the outfield, towards the end of his career.

In 1949, he was selected as the NL’s Most Valuable player of the Year and also won the batting title with a .342 average that same year. As a result of his great success as an inspirational baseball player,, Jackie was eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, further reaffirming his mark in the sport as an icon for many.

Among the many awards Jackie Robinson received, some important forms of recognition included his election as a top baseman in 1999, while also being named as one of the most influential African-Americans on Molefi Kete Asante’ list. Robinson was also named one of the most influential people of the 20th century in 1999.

Even around sixty years later, baseball players and fans are still in awe of the amount of struggle and hardship Jackie Robinson endured to eventually grow into a an admirable team player and human being.

How to Make Sure Your Donation Matters

As more Americans donate to charity, there can be some skepticism as to if hard-earned dollars are efficiently allocated to grow a charitable cause or if those funds are being used for other purposes that we are unaware of. With this in mind, it is actually quite important to do some research about a new or existing charity you are donating to in order to gain a better understanding of the organizational body’s functions, primary message and their financial operations which allow them to run their philanthropic tasks.

In terms of numbers, American households gave around $335 billion in 2013, the fourth straight year of gains, according to the latest research from Giving USA Foundation and its research partner and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. As a result of the overall increase of Americans donating to charity continuing to grow, this number is only expected to rise within the next few years.

In terms of charitable giving across various types of households, most of charity’s revenue came from individuals, with more than $241 billion coming from nine of out of ten households.

A fundamental tool to help you choose a charity or philanthropic organization to donate to is CharityWatch, which analyzes IRS filings, audited financial statements and potential donors to provide their readers with the most accurate results. Earning an A rating from CharityWatch is quite difficult, with most of these top rated charities or organizations efficiently utilizing their budget on the charitable work with a very minimal percentage focused on other activities such as fundraising, expenses, etc.

To illustrate an A earning charity, Doctors Without Borders is an organizational body that spends around 87 percent of its budget on programs and only $12 to raise $100, thus further underlining the philanthropic body’s productivity.

If you’re looking for an alternate source to evaluate whether or not your charity is efficiently using their financial resources to the best of their ability, another fundamental reference to use is Guidestar. Similar to CharityWatch, Guidestar provides free access to IRS Forms 990 and annual reports so that donors can access how charities are operating on a large scale framework in terms of finances.

In relation to underrepresented charities, one area that seems to be under the radar for many donors are charitable causes within the area of education. Luckily, in recent years, individuals and households alike have started to donate more to education-related to charities that offer charities, learning programs and various other forms of support that place more emphasis on the students.

For more information on how to choose a charity, please take a look at this link.


NBC Helps Youth in L.A.

In recent history, Comcast NBC Universal has continued to maintain and further improve their efforts to participate in face to face, hands on volunteer service in different urban neighborhoods across the country. To effectively help these students, it is interesting to recognize that NBC took a wide approach with respect to comprehensively offering help from all angles, therefore creating a support net for these young people to find their voice. NBC’s mentee network is comprised of a range of passionate, established experts from career fields such as Telemundo news anchors to human resource professionals.

This essentially allows for maximum face to face time with students who are looking for different ways to better understand how different industries operate within media companies. Although the nature of the mentor program did not necessarily have the initial implication of navigating these young adults into media per se, it provided a network of successful professionals who are connected to them.


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Moreover, NBC runs a mentor program that consists of some entertainment fun, academic help and career advice with different pairings of students and advisers as a means to help young people adjust to changes in their lives. The NBC mentors and City Year mentees in Los Angeles participate in themed activities month to month as a part of the bigger process to grow in all areas of their lives.

Interestingly enough, they discuss topics such as teamwork and growing into adulthood after graduation, while focusing on how to jump start on different forms of progress in their respective potential careers. After creating this one on one personal connection with an NBC employee, the mentee learns a wide array of skills in terms of morale, workplace conduct and how to specifically offer community outreach services once they become established professionals.

For many of those who participated, in addition to feeling certain that she made a difference in other young individuals’ lives, one volunteer Erica Marie points out the fact that this experience also produced a new, profound bond with her coworkers. “When you get your hands dirty on a project or you get your family involved, you develop a broader outlook about what’s important in the world,” she says. “I’m happier working here knowing that the company cares about the big picture in the community. It makes a difference.” To read more about NBC’s ongoing program, please visit this link.

Fundraising on Facebook & Twitter

Tapping into Facebook as the primary way to fundraise for a charity or a specific philanthropic cause is absolutely essential in terms of reaching said donation goals. It’s no question that in many cases Facebook still dominates as one of the most effective social media platforms that drives traffic to your donation page or your brand’s site. Liz Ragland’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog touches upon endless methods and best practices on different, popular social media platforms that can help you angle your cause in order to yield effective results for every partner in the situation.

One method that is highlighted that some social media users partake in is the scheduling out of content or information in accordance to specific time frames when people are more active on the platform. It’s a common mistake for users to tweet out posts that contains important content that doesn’t receive a ton of traction or engagement. This doesn’t go to say that the information was useful or resourceful at all, it just didn’t appeal to the people you wanted it to at that time or sometimes more importantly, that platform.

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In addition, when promoting the information related to your charity’s mission statement, a good rule of thumb is to dedicate a specific day a week that allows current followers or potential ones to engage with your brand. Consistent branding is a key point that many people tend to forget when they are fundraising for their nonprofits. If you have the resources, using a web designer to create some visually appealing graphics to pair with tweets, facebook posts and/or linkedin updates to create a level of engagement. Studies do show that the overall level of engagement actually increases when an aesthetically pleasing visual complements text in a post, creating more of a likelihood for users to retweet, like or tweet at your organization.

Also, purchasing Facebook ads to target users that have a high chance to engage with your charity, but gaining a better understanding of their online behavior to see if they are valuable enough to buy an ad for. If you are running a campaign for a soup kitchen in Chicago, you would therefore make a special effort to actually buy ads for users that have volunteered at a neighboring soup kitchen or showed an interest in your brand’s page.

With this in mind, it is also important to pay special attention to the statistical data that you can analyze from platforms like Twitter to help you improve your campaign the next time around. For example, Twitter analytics can actually allow you to view which times of the day receive the most user engagement and how many people connected with your profile in one way or another. Read more about how to fundraise on Facebook and other social media profiles here. 

Apple’s Technology To Assist Health Needs

apple COO jeff williams

Along with tech companies such as Microsoft or Nokia, Apple is no way taking a back seat in terms of releasing ways consumers around the world can maintain their health and overall physical well-being. Tech companies are constantly reinventing themselves in every facet of the business, and this includes how different forms of technology their loyal consumers can benefit from the most.

Apple is currently launching different digital platforms that allow a wide array of people to access apps or products in order to more effectively keep track and maintain health. For example, the apple watch is an incredible device that essentially incorporates a heart-rate sensor, to record and monitor biometric data generated by the product’s consumer. Williams also remains certain that these are only beginning steps for apple watch as it continues to develop more health care based functions for developing nations including, but not limiting to Africa.

On the radio show Conversations on Healthcare, Apple’s COO Jeff Williams firmly expressed the company’s moral stance to spread the democratization of healthcare. In the future, Williams stated that Apple would eventually create a sense of interconnectedness with its user, by detecting potential users, while also treating the illnesses that the consumer is suffering from. He discussed how the company plans to use innovative practices as a means to create useful resources to tackle the healthcare discrepancy globally.

The COO Apple also took some time on the radio show to highlight how the use of smartphones as a cultural phenomenon is one that gives the company motivation it needs to further affect how users engage with their products to shape their health. He also pointed out that Apple is passionate about commoditizing health services in their products, while emphasizing the fact that smartphones act as the fundamental starting point for this to be successful both domestically and globally. Jeff Williams said “The power of taking smartphones into that region and having an impact on people’s lives in terms of their IQ and their social skill by intervening early on autism, that’s the kind of thing that makes us get up in the morning.”

With the sort of advancements Apple has in mind, there is no doubt that the tech giant’s competitors will also conjure up innovative methods to aid people in their efforts to monitor their physical and mental well-being. To read more about Apple’s future endeavors in the health service field, click here.