Charity CHAMPs – get involved with microphilanthropy now!


Great video by CanadaHelps on online giving by sylvng

Charities are harnessing the power of social media to gain awareness, build communities and raise funds. Just how much has online social media enabled charities to reach out to donors? Check out this video prepared by CanadaHelps. It has some great stats surround what people do online, how they interact with charities, and what charities should be doing:

There’s no time like now for charities to start their presence in the online world, if they haven’t already done so!

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Kiva Not What It Seems…? Part II by sylvng
May 11, 2010, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Microphilanthropy | Tags: , , ,

A while ago I wrote about the big debate going on about micro-lending and its impact on communities in third world countries.  I cross-posted the article on SocialActions and got the following comment from Ingrid Vercruyssen, who’s seen first hand the impact of micro-lending in Cambodia. It’s very interesting to get a personal perspective from the ground level!

Hello Sylvia,

I realize this is an old post, but I just came back from Cambodia and had a chance to see micro-lending for myself during my visit.  While Kiva and the others may say one thing, the reality is a stark contrast: People are loosing their homes, their lands in the worse case. In the better cases, they borrow what they can’t pay back, and so begins the cycle of borrowing to repay previous loans.

I have seen Kiva’s micro-lending field partner in action, touring the villages with their moto and befriending the villagers. When I spoke to weavers, they said they often can’t repay their loans because they don’t make enough money selling their silks. The micro lender knows that, I know that and it’s even been written about in the Phnom Penh Post! In fact, most borrow money for personal things completely unrelated to this “enterprise myth”.

This is something that really angered me, as there is absolutely no difference between what I witnessed and the sub-prime predatory tactics recently denounced in the West. I will blog about it shortly and I can assure you I am never making another micro-loan.

Ingrid’s promised that she’ll share more details later, so when I get that info I’ll be sure to share!

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Make a difference this Mother’s Day by sylvng

Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday and as usual I don’t have anything planned yet! But part of my procrastination this year is because I’m off the hook for buying a gift. My mom has behaved quite out of character and purchased a handbag for herself 2 weeks ago that she’d like me to pitch in for, instead of buying her something new.

But still, I’d like to do something meaningful for mom, and having signed up to newsletters from a host of nonprofits, all I had to do was look at my inbox for ideas. Unfortunately there are too many ideas to write them all here, but here are some:

  • Treat mom to a nice meal. War Child Canada is running a high tea at the King Eddy. It’s $65, and there will be speakers and an auction, with proceeds going towards War Child’s programs.
  • Give the gift of helping women around the world by choosing from GlobalGiving’s Mother’s Day Menu. For $10 you can give learning materials for an adolescent girl, or for $65, give delivery kits for safe home births in Tibet.
  • Recognize your mom by writing about how great she is! During May, HuffPost Impact will be featuring remarkable stories focused on motherhood. Send your stories to impact@huffingtonpost.com and make the subject line “My Inspiring Story.”
  • Buy something for mom online while having a portion of the purchase go towards charity using BetterTheWorld’s new shopping application. For more details and gift ideas, see their Mother’s Day blog post.

For all the moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

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WellofChange.org makes giving back easier by sylvng
May 2, 2010, 2:40 pm
Filed under: CHAMPs News, Microphilanthropy | Tags:

We’ve been talking to the founders of WellofChange.org about possible collaboration with Charity CHAMPS, and recently they just launched their new Beta site, so check it out! They have a great model for volunteer work. If you have a particular skill and want to use it towards doing good, just offer your services up on their site. People who are looking to hire your  skills will come and pay you for your services, and the money goes to a charity of your choosing.

So here’s an example. Say you love baking and want to use your baking skills to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. Well the society probably doesn’t have any volunteer positions for resident baker, but there probably is somebody out there looking for some baking, like for a wedding perhaps. So you post up your baking services, designate that the proceeds will go towards the Canadian Cancer Society, and a couple planning to get married gets to have a wedding cake that gives back. It’s a win-win situation!

Best of all, skills don’t have to professional ones, so think outside the box! Instead of offering accounting or graphic services, you can offer to do gardening, painting, or anything else that you find fun! My co-worker offered to be a designated driver, and will be partying with a group of new friends for an evening, while generating a nice donation for a charity. Ingenious.

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