Familiar Faces in Philanthropy

When a member of Forbe’s 400 pledges to give most of his wealth away, a ripple effect occurs, prompting other members of the nation’s richest to follow suit. That is what happened when Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that he and his wife Priscilla Chan would be donating 99% of their total wealth to various charitable organizations in their lifetime.

Most people look at the top 400 and think of what intelligent business people they must be to achieve such successes, and they would be right. However, people don’t always consider how charitable most of the 1% are. Zuckerberg is an epitome of a philanthropist, but there are some other notable members of Forbe’s elite list that deserve mention as well.

The CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, holds the title of the number 1 top philanthropist, according to Forbes. To date, Buffett has donated over $34 billion, about 28% of his total net worth, so far and does not plan to stop anytime soon. He donates every year to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among many other charitable organizations.

As chairman of the world’s largest private charitable foundation, it is no surprise that Bill Gates ranks as the second most philanthropic person, right behind longtime best friend, Warren Buffett, according to Forbe’s. Bill and his wife Melinda, along with Buffett, started The Giving Pledge in 2010, committing billionaires who sign it to give away more than half of their worth. Gates has lived up to this commitment and is still very involved in the foundation.

Oprah Winfrey’s claim to fame may have been sparked through her daytime talk show, but the television star quickly became one of the most popular ‘self-made’ billionaires. With this fortune, Winfrey has not only donated over $400 million to various charitable causes, but she has also created the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Winfrey primarily focuses her philanthropic contributions to organizations that aid women and children.

Former Mayor of New York and co-founder of Bloomberg LP, Michael Bloomberg is very involved in various philanthropic organizations. Some of his most passionate causes that he has donated to are that of public health and safety efforts, and education support, to name a few. Bloomberg has also donated a record-breaking $1.8 billion to his first alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to provide the opportunity for students to complete their studies there without the fear of affordability. To date, Bloomberg has donated over $6 billion and his organization Bloomberg Philanthropies has donated close to $700 million.

This article was originally published on http://matthewgorelik.info

Student-Run Philanthropy

Philanthropic events are lead by people of all ages and groups, from successful billionaire entrepreneurs, to non-profit organizations, to young girls selling $4 boxes of cookies. Many educational benefits pair with participating in philanthropic activities and events, especially for students. In many ways, student-run philanthropies are becoming very popular at all ages, from elementary and high school to higher educational institutes.

At a young age, students can join organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, and learn fundamental life skills. In addition to practicing these skills and lessons, the scouts heavily partake in fundraising through various outlets to raise money for their organizations, as well as to help support local foundations. The delicious cookies in exchange for a donation make it all the more worthwhile as well.

In some high schools, students have the opportunity to participate in grant programs for local organizations, as well as fundraisers for scholastic clubs and athletics. These activities can directly impact students at a young age and provide them the experience to learn about working in teams, building creativity, and the effects of fundraising and charity on a community. They also serve as a great way to build relationships between the schools and the local communities in which they reside.

One perennially trending topic that is helping to raise money and awareness for important causes is student-run dance marathons. In universities across the United States, students are quite literally dancing their way to supporting great causes, such as cancer research in most cases. Students will collect donations for these dance marathons leading up to the event, in exchange for a pledge to stay awake and dancing for the entire event. In most cases, these dance marathons last 24 hours and include entertainment, music, food, and an ecstatic atmosphere. In addition to being a fun event that students look forward to each year, they tend to raise an incredible amount of awareness and money for their respective causes. In fact, Penn State University’s THON (short for dance marathon) currently holds the record as the world’s largest student-run charity, raising over $150 million towards pediatric cancer research since 1973.

Today’s youth is tomorrow’s future, and instilling an understanding and appreciation for philanthropic work in students has many benefits for not only the students and the next generation of workers, but for the greater good as well.  

This article was originally published on http://matthewgorelik.info

Where To Volunteer In Los Angeles

Generosity and gratitude are linked to being happier. One of the best ways to cultivate those things in your life is to spend time volunteering. Here are 3 volunteer opportunities in the Los Angeles area.

1. One Incredible Family

One Incredible Family is just that–incredible. At this organization, people come together to prepare meals for local shelters. Volunteers are needed to help with cooking and transporting those meals. You can either help with preparing and cooking meals if you would like to limit interactions, or choose to help distribute the meals if you want to be interacting with the community. They have annual events in November that include all-day needs for volunteers. they need help with prep, cooking, assembly, delivery, serving and cleaning up. You can also choose to donate food items or necessities if you would like to instead. They are always in need of Thanksgiving food items such as turkeys, pies, canned goods, juices, and water. They also need things such as delivery vans. There are many ways you can help One Incredible Family.

2. Midnight Mission

Midnight Mission is located in downtown Los Angeles. It’s credited to be one of the best-run charity organizations in the city. They offer a plethora of services such as counseling, training, education, help with job placement, medical care, personal hygiene, food, and shelter. They work diligently to serve the city’s homeless population however they can. They hold special holiday events on Christmas and Thanksgiving. Around these times there is a particular need for volunteers. You can sign-up and apply to become a volunteer on their website. They also advise female volunteers to bring a friend with them to volunteer, due to the Midnight Mission being an all-male facility.

3. One Voice

One Voice provides a unique social service to a group of individuals who may be forgotten in their struggles. They provide emergency resources to families who are experiencing a crisis and to programs for low-income students. They have yearly holiday events where they distribute toys, books and food baskets to over 2,500 families who live in poverty in the Los Angeles area. In the week before the event, over 2,000 volunteers gather in order to prepare the food baskets and holiday gifts. They keep the atmosphere festive by playing holiday music and socializing.

4 Philanthropic Podcasts You Need To Be Listening To

Philanthropy was once generally the province of the wealthy elite that could afford to give or raise millions of dollars for charities. Today, however, philanthropic endeavors are becoming attractive to even people of the most modest means. In addition, philanthropy is even merging with the corporate sector to create more hybridization between the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds. Whatever your philanthropic interests may be, here are 4 podcasts that you need to know about.

1. The Impact Podcast

Every business on the planet has the potential to create social impact. From design to nutrition to impact investing, The Impact Podcast can help you better understand how to take your own talents, ambitions, goals and dreams and create social impact with them. Whether you are a small business owner, student, entrepreneur or work for a large corporation, the opportunities for social impact are all around you. The Impact Podcast can help you identify them and maximize their potential.

2. Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs

People are influential and we are easily influenced by others. This is why it is important to surround ourselves with people heading in the same direction we want to go in. If you are an aspiring social entrepreneur or would just like to be inspired by what others are doing, this is the podcast for you. Entrepreneurship is never just an upward trajectory.

It involves a complicated series of highs and lows. The Inspiring Social Entrepreneurship podcast connects with social entrepreneurs at every stage of the journey, from the frustration of being a fledgling startup to watching your social enterprise soar to sometimes watching it crash and burn before your eyes.

3. The Tim Ferriss Show

If you want to be inspired by some of the greatest minds in the philanthropic and even self-betterment world, then The Tim Ferriss Show podcast is a must. Hear from industry leaders from sectors ranging from sports to business to psychology that share their best tactics and tools you can use to achieve your goals and live your best life.

4. Tiny Spark

Tiny Spark is an independent nonprofit news program that deep dives into some of the biggest philanthropic, nonprofit and social initiatives across the globe. If you want to know how some of the largest organizations in the philanthropic world are currently addressing global issues, then Tiny Spark has the answers.