Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles https://changegangs.com Turn your small donation into a BIG deal! Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:26:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 And The Charities Are…. https://changegangs.com/and-the-charities-are-2/ https://changegangs.com/and-the-charities-are-2/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:26:29 +0000 http://changegangs.com/?p=5265 After careful research and consideration, our members have chosen their charities for our second donation of 2015.

Please remember that this does not constitute an endorsement for these charities as our values may be different than yours. You should always conduct your own research or better yet, join one of our giving circles so you can be confident about your donation!

People For Pets Has A Tie!

Sometimes, it’s just too hard to pick one. This was one of those months, and we split our donation evenly between these two charities.

The Animal League of Green Valley (TALGV)
Located in Green Valley, AZ, this animal shelter has found homes for more than 2,145 dogs and cats between 2009 and 2012. On a daily basis, they typically care for 120 cats and 50 dogs. Not only do they shelter pets, they provide spay/neuter, veterinary care, training and adoption with low cost options and special assistance for lower income pet owners. And they do that all with more than 300 volunteers who contribute more than 91,500 hours of their time a year. There is no paid staff at TALGV, only dedicated volunteers who make it all possible.

Second Chance to Dance Dachshund Rescue

Founded by Teresa Shively and located in South West Wyoming, this small charity rescues Dachshunds and Dachshunds mixes throughout the Wyoming area– although Teresa has been known to take the occasionally regular road trip to Colorado and Nebraska to pick up pups in need of a home. A network of foster homes care for the dogs until adopted, and the dachshunds with medical issues (there seems to always be a paralyzed dachshund in need of a home) usually stay with Teresa at her home.

Poverty Busters Helps Homeless Youth

A Home Away From Homelessness

Located in San Francisco, Home Away helps youth who are homeless, have been homeless, or are in an unstable living situation. They are not a homeless shelter. Instead, they help these youth experience safe and supportive spaces that respect and foster his or her strengths, creativity and abilities. Their Beach House program leads hundreds of trips a year to a cottage in the Marin Headlands, where kids are encouraged to play and explore the rich and diverse environment and learn about nature. Their School House program combines academic assistance with recreational and cultural activities to provide middle schoolers with the help and support they need at a crucial stage of their development. Finally, their Youth Leadership program provides teenagers with mentoring and tutoring to help them achieve their post-high school goals

Veterans Giving Circle Supports Housing For Veterans

Operation Veterans Encouraging Recovery (O.V.E.R.)

Located in Lincoln, Ne, O.V.E.R. has a home than can provide immediate housing for up to 5 veterans at a time who are in crisis or transition. In addition, they provide community outreach to educate veterans about services available through local agencies and veterans programs, advocate on issues affecting homeless veterans and the nonprofit organizations providing services to them, provide short-term employment for veterans receiving services and matches veterans with employers, and offer no-interest microloans and a platform for small business ventures at their outreach center.

Be A Part Of It

If you like to give money to charity but feel like your donation is too small to make a difference, don’t have time to research a charity before you donate or wonder if your donation makes a difference, then choose your donation team.

You can know that you’re giving to the right charity, that your donation is going to be used in the right way, and that it’s going to make a big difference. Find your Virtual Giving Circle and turn a small donation into a BIG deal!

Find your Virtual Giving Circle here.

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Red Cross Expose: 5 Lessons We Can Learn https://changegangs.com/red-cross-expose-5-lessons-we-can-learn/ https://changegangs.com/red-cross-expose-5-lessons-we-can-learn/#respond Fri, 05 Jun 2015 23:21:22 +0000 http://changegangs.com/?p=5233 Over the last several months, NPR and ProPublica have been investigating the Red Cross. The Red Cross is one of the most important disaster relief organizations in terms of size, services, reputation, and fund raising capacity, so the investigation’s findings are quite disturbing. I think the investigation is best summed up by the following statistic:

The Red Cross raised $500 million to help Haiti recover from the earthquake promising to build 10’s of thousands of homes. They built 6.

Here are 5 lessons we can learn from the information being revealed that will help us make better donations in the future.

1. Fundraising For Fundraising’s Sake

The Problem: NPR reports that when the Haiti earthquake hit, the Red Cross “out-raised other charities by hundreds of millions of dollars — and kept raising money well after it had enough for its emergency relief.”

The Takeaway: Disasters are excellent fundraising opportunities, and often the charity with the best marketing strategy gets the most money. Obviously, the ability to raise money has nothing to do with their ability to use that money. During our next disaster donation, we will look at how much the disaster will likely cost to address, how much money the organization can reasonably spend, and compare that to how much they’ve already raised or anticipate raising.

2. Incorrectly Represented Expenses


The Problem:
Nonprofits are under a lot of public pressure to spend their money appropriately. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, the public doesn’t often understand the complexity of charitable work, and as a result, they simplify this value of “spend our donations appropriately” to the question, “How much of my money goes to directly to helping people?” As a result, the metric many people in the public use to evaluate a charity revolves around how much is spent on the programs vs. how much is spent on salaries and marketing. You may have heard this referred to as “Overhead Ratios” or “Admin Ratios”. The Red Cross felt this pressure and communicated often and without the possibility of misinterpretation that “Ninety-one cents of every dollar that’s donated goes to our services.”

This is patently untrue and easily debunked. A quick review of their financial records shows that they spent 26% of their funds on fundraising.

Part of the problem is that the Red Cross is a complicated organization. Their primary focus is actually on selling blood. You donate it, but they sell it. They earn $2 billion a year through these services. In a future blog post, I’ll look at the economics and ethics behind the “we donate blood, they sell it model”, but right now, the important thing to know is that they are a large organization with many expensive programs and many significant streams of revenue. However, their financial documents do not break down income and expenses by each program. Outside parties cannot possibly identify what went where, which makes it very easy for the Red Cross to present the story that makes them looks the best.

The Takeaway 1: I’ve written about how the focus on admin ratios distracts us from what’s really important. A donation to a charity with 0 expenses and 100% going to the program can be 100% wasted, because the charity does not have the technology, training, etc. to direct their donations efficiently. We will continue to focus on the results the program is having while checking that their expenses appear reasonable considering the work they are doing.

The Takeaway 2:
In addition, I will look to see how the charity is representing their expenses to the general public. If it appears to be misleading, I will note this in the new “Red Flags” section of our report (I’ll talk more about this new field at the end).

The Takeaway 3: I will continue reviewing the financial documents, but add a more thorough look at what their financial documents say they are doing compared to what their annual reports say they’re doing.

3. Excessive Focus on Public Image

The Problem: NPR’s investigation reveals internal documents and reports from former employees that empty food trucks were instructed to drive around neighborhoods to give the appearance of their presence and activity in a community, extra meals were prepared to boost reporting numbers even though that food would go to waste, delivery trucks were scheduled to appear as back drops at news conferences.

The Takeaway: The Red Cross clearly understands that we are a media and appearance driven society, and they took great care to project an image of accomplishment and professionalism. It is very hard to fight this kind of concerted facade, but I will redouble the “Reputation Research” portion of my report and include phrases such as “former employee” and “complaints”. If you have any suggestions for uncovering blog posts, blog comments, rants, and other material that might reveal problems within a charity, please let me know. I’d love to add them to my process.

4. Numbers That Don’t Make Sense

The Problem: Like many charities, the Red Cross is under pressure to produce results, but the Red Cross moved into very gray area when it claimed it provided homes for more than 130,000 Haitians. To be very clear, they built 6 homes. 6. Under pressure, the Red Cross admitted that the 130,000 figure is made up of “people who went to a seminar on how to fix their own homes, people who received temporary rental assistance, and thousands of people who received temporary shelters — which start to disintegrate after three to five years.”

The Takeaway: When looking at the numbers that charities report, we will take extra care to evaluate if the numbers make sense. Does the number include the results of smaller programs? We’ll ask more in-depth questions like, “What exactly is meant by ‘provided homes’. Similar to the reputation problem above, a concerted effort to misrepresent their results may be difficult to discover.

5. Not In Their Field Of Expertise

The Problem: Like I mentioned earlier, The Red Cross is one of the most important disaster relief organizations in the world. They provide emergency shelter and food to people who have been displaced by disasters. Yet, their plan with all the money they raised for Haiti involved building houses. Did they know what it took to get building permits and projects approved in Haiti? No. Did they hire locals to navigate land rights and community objections? No. In fact, their staffers (working in Haiti with allowances for housing, food and other expenses, home leave trips, R&R four times a year, and relocation expenses which could total up to a $140,0000 per year) repeatedly missed meetings, because without being able to speak the language, there was nothing they could do anyway. Could they adapt their plan to what they met on the ground? No. In some cases, they provided training on how to wash one’s hands with water and soap to people who had neither water nor soap.

As they began to run into trouble, they started to give money to other groups to do the hands-on work. But this is expensive. The Red Cross took an administrative cut to transfer the funds and set aside additional funds to monitor those projects. According to NPR, these costs ate up to a third of the donations that were supposed to go help Haitians.

The Takeaway: We want to donate to charities who are doing what they know how to do. If we want to accomplish something outside of their expertise, we are better off finding a different charity.

The Takeaway Takeaway.

What we do here at Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles is more important than ever. We donate because we care. Our hearts tell us to help, but we must care enough to use our heads. We may not be able to avoid bad donation, but our due diligence goes a long away to making sure that we make a difference with our hard earned donation dollars.

Our reports will include a new field called “Red Flags” where I will notate any discrepancies in their financial documents, misrepresentation of their work to the public, and articles reflecting problems with the charity’s ability to do their work in the field. The “Red Flags” may or may not be a problem. We can’t always know. But enough red flags or the right red flags may give us reason to pause and direct our donation to a different charity.

You Can, Too

If you’re not already a member of a Virtual Giving Circle, now is a great time to join. Find your donation team here.

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Where Will We Donate? https://changegangs.com/where-will-we-donate/ https://changegangs.com/where-will-we-donate/#respond Fri, 29 May 2015 14:27:50 +0000 http://changegangs.com/?p=5219 It’s our favorite time of year here at Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles. Every three months, we research a bunch of charities and then choose which one we are going to donate to. The members have submitted their nominations, and we will be considering the following charities….

People With Compassion for Pets

The Animal League of Green Valley (TALGV)
Located in Green Valley, AZ, this animal shelter has found homes for more than 2,145 dogs and cats between 2009 and 2012. On a daily basis, they typically care for 120 cats and 50 dogs. Not only do they shelter pets, they provide spay/neuter, veterinary care, training and adoption with low cost options and special assistance for lower income pet owners. And they do that all with more than 300 volunteers who contribute more than 91,500 hours of their time a year. There is no paid staff at TALGV, only dedicated volunteers who make it all possible.

Second Chance to Dance Dachshund Rescue

Founded by Teresa Shively and located in South West Wyoming, this small charity rescues Dachshunds and Dachshunds mixes throughout the Wyoming area– although Teresa has been known to take the occasionally regular road trip to Colorado and Nebraska to pick up pups in need of a home. A network of foster homes care for the dogs until adopted, and the dachshunds with medical issues (there seems to always be a paralyzed dachshund in need of a home) usually stay with Teresa at her home.

Poverty Busters

A Home Away From Homelessness

Located in San Francisco, Home Away helps youth who are homeless, have been homeless, or are in an unstable living situation. They are not a homeless shelter. Instead, they help these youth experience safe and supportive spaces that respect and foster his or her strengths, creativity and abilities. Their Beach House program leads hundreds of trips a year to a cottage in the Marin Headlands, where kids are encouraged to play and explore the rich and diverse environment and learn about nature. Their School House program combines academic assistance with recreational and cultural activities to provide middle schoolers with the help and support they need at a crucial stage of their development. Finally, their Youth Leadership program provides teenagers with mentoring and tutoring to help them achieve their post-high school goals

International Women’s Coffee Alliance

Due to the popularity of coffee, more than 500 million people are dependent on coffee for their livelihoods, and of that number, 25 million are coffee farmers who typically live and work in substandard conditions and receive only a small percentage of the actual price that the coffee is sold to the consumer. Women, who represent a good majority of coffee farmers, face additional challenges. IWCA empowers women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and encourages the recognition and participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry. Among their programs include efforts to increase production and quality, to locate buyers, to provide resources like clean water, and to make business education available.

Veterans Giving Circle

Grace After Fire

Located in Houston, TX, Grace After Fire’s Table Talk program serves as a peer support system designed specifically for women Veterans. It focuses on gender specific aspects through structured interaction with trained facilitators and fellow peers while identifying and addressing barriers women Veterans face on the path to positive change. They want to help women veterans transition back into family life, achieve success in the work place, and be successful in her pursuit of happiness.

Operation Veterans Encouraging Recovery (O.V.E.R.

Located in Lincoln, Ne, O.V.E.R. has a home than can provide immediate housing for up to 5 veterans at a time who are in crisis or transition. In addition, they provide community outreach to educate veterans about services available through local agencies and veterans programs, advocate on issues affecting homeless veterans and the nonprofit organizations providing services to them, provide short-term employment for veterans receiving services and matches veterans with employers, and offer no-interest microloans and a platform for small business ventures at their outreach center.

The Next Step

The Donation Committee will research these charities thoroughly and send the members the completed reports so they can choose the charity they believe will make the biggest difference.

You Can Help Us Choose

If you want to help us decide, join us! We can be your donation team and help you turn your small donation into a BIG Deal.

Find your Virtual Giving Circle here.

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Change Gangs Considers Emergency Donation To Help Nepal Recover From A Devastating Earthquake https://changegangs.com/change-gangs-considers-emergency-donation-to-help-nepal-recover-from-a-devastating-earthquake/ https://changegangs.com/change-gangs-considers-emergency-donation-to-help-nepal-recover-from-a-devastating-earthquake/#respond Mon, 04 May 2015 02:05:12 +0000 http://changegangs.com/?p=5211 On April 25th, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. The latest official death toll as of Saturday afternoon has surpassed 7000, the vast majority in Nepal, but also in China, India and Bangladesh. The number of injured in Nepal alone is more than 10,000, and the earthquake has displaced an estimated 454,769 people.

This event has taken an incredible toll on both the people and the environment of Nepal. Take a look at these before and after photos of Nepal landmarks. They are shocking. And here are some photos of the human toll.

We Can Help

But we can do something to help. Our giving circles set aside a little bit of money every month just to help out in emergency situations, because we know that there is never a good time to donate to an emergency but there will always be emergencies.

But We Must Be Careful!

During a crisis, extra caution must be taken when making a donation. Charities with the best of intentions will raise money, but they are not equipped with the knowledge, expertise, and even access necessary to make a difference with the money they’ve collected. And unfortunately, disasters bring out the con artists who capitalize on your desire to help.

But we know our small donation is a big deal, but it’s only going to make a difference if it gets to the right charity.

Votes Due By Tuesday, May 5th at 12pm PST

Our members have nominated different charities they heard were helping survivors of the earthquake. These charities have been thoroughly researched, and I’ve provided our members with complete reports on these charities. After reviewing those reports, they will vote for either Doctors Without Borders, Save The Children, or SEVA Foundation.

That’s the beauty of our giving circles. It is possible to know that your donation is going to the right charity, that it’s going to be used in the right way, and it’s going to make a big difference.

You can join a giving circle around the cause you are most passionate about, too. Pets? Vets? Poverty? Find out more here.

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Our First Donation of 2015 https://changegangs.com/our-first-donation-of-2015/ https://changegangs.com/our-first-donation-of-2015/#respond Fri, 03 Apr 2015 20:07:28 +0000 http://changegangs.com/?p=5005 Every three months, we research a bunch of charities and then choose which one we are going to donate to. Here are short descriptions on the charities our giving circles chose last month.

Please note, our giving goals and values may be different than yours. You should always conduct your own analysis before donating to a charity.

Download the 4 Level Charity Evaluation System for help discovering the charities that are right for YOU!

Pets Giving Circle: It’s A Tie! Companion Animal Advocates And Lucky Dog Rescue

Companion Animal Advocates keeps pets out of shelters by providing pet food to food banks so that those who are struggling to feed their families can feed their pets, too. They provide 391 bags of food every month to 3 local food banks and operate on $61,000 in funding. They also have a low/no cost spay/neuter effort, and since it costs $500 to spay/neuter a pet in their area, low/no cost spay/neuter is sometimes the only way a family could afford to have the procedure done. They also supply pet sized resuscitation equipment to fire departments. Almost every single fire dept in Bergen county has the pet size masks. So now they are expanding to other counties.

The Lucky Dog Rescue’s mission is to help unwanted dogs find forever homes and to be a leader in Colorado Springs community educating the public on the importance of spaying and neutering, advocating for animals that have no voice, offering training and other resources as alternatives to re-homing, and preventing cruelty to animals. Although they are a small charity with less than 50k in revenue, they’ve saved 450 total dogs as of 1/17/14, since 7/13/10

Poverty Busters: Hephziba Children’s Association

This charity helps children thrive and families flourish through innovative, community-based programs. There aren’t a lot of resources out their for children in and out of the foster care system, so I’m especially glad to see a donation support their important work.

Here are a few examples of programs they provide:

The Diagnostic Treatment Center which provides abused and neglected children a 90-day period of stabilization and evaluation. It is the only diagnostic shelter for children between the ages of 3 and 12 in Illinois.

The Residence at Hephzibah Home which provides long-term (1 or two years) therapeutic support for severely traumatized children.

Foster Care Program that trains foster parents to provide the love, constancy and additional support needed to help traumatized children heal and learn to trust again.

Veterans: Horse Rhythm Foundation

Horse Rhythm Foundation helps veterans and first responders heal from physical or emotional trauma (including PTSD and Military Sexual Trauma) through Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), Equine Driving Facilitated Learning (EDFL), and Therapeutic Riding.

Last year, 350 men and women went through their program. You can read some of their testimonials here: http://www.horserhythm.org/what-people-are-saying-about-hrf/

They are in the midst of an exciting research project that involves doing brain maps of participants before, during, and after horse therapy. This research will allow them to put science behind what they do. If spending time with horses is not just a warm and fuzzy effort but has real, measurable impact, then it is easier for insurance companies and the VA to pay for the treatment. Their medical director is from Mayo Clinic and they have multiple persons with medical backgrounds on their board, so their study has been carefully designed to meet the accepted scientific study requirements. This means that the research will be accepted by the scientific community and can be used by other organizations doing similar work.

I am very excited to learn about the results of this study. If it turns out that this type of work does not help veterans recover, then we need to know that so we can direct our donations to the programs that do work!

Thanks To The Members!

They make it possible, and I thank everyone who is the change they want to see in the world.

Are you walking your talk? If so, thank you! If you want to make a big deal out of your small donation, I’d love to welcome you to the giving circle that is right for you. There is no someday. There is only today.

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Movies, Books, and Speakers Oh My! https://changegangs.com/movies-books-and-speakers-oh-my/ https://changegangs.com/movies-books-and-speakers-oh-my/#respond Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:42:42 +0000 http://changegangs.com/?p=4952 Heart and MindEducation is an important part of what we do through our giving circles. The more we understand our cause, the better we can direct our donations to the charities and the programs addressing the root causes, so that fewer people and animals ever have to suffer. We want to solve problems at their roots, so that maybe someday, we’ll don’t have to donate!

We use our hearts AND our minds.

Each quarter, we read a book, watch a movie, or hear from an expert on our favorite causes. This time, we have a little something different for each circle.

Check out the educational item we’ll be discussing at our giving circle meetings in April.

People for Pets: Teresa Shively

Join us to hear from Teresa Shively, founder at Second Chance to Dance Dachshund Rescue, who has many years of dog rescue under her belt, and she’ll share with us some of the lessons she’s learned over the years.

Poverty Busters: Girls Rising

Join us for a discussion of the documentary Girls Rising.

“Travel the globe to meet nine unforgettable girls- striving beyond circumstance, push past limits. Their dreams, their voices, their incredible stories are captured in a film about the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world.”

Available for rental on ITunes for $4.99.

Veterans: The Evil Hours

Join us for a discussion of The Evil Hours.

“Just as polio loomed over the 1950s, and AIDS stalked the 1980s and ’90s, posttraumatic stress disorder haunts us in the early years of the twenty-first century. Over a decade into the United States’ “global war on terror,” PTSD afflicts as many as 30 percent of the conflict’s veterans. But the disorder’s reach extends far beyond the armed forces. In total, some twenty-seven million Americans are believed to be PTSD survivors. Yet to many of us, the disorder remains shrouded in mystery, secrecy, and shame.Now, David J. Morris — a war correspondent, former Marine, and PTSD sufferer himself — has written the essential account of this illness. Through interviews with individuals living with PTSD, forays into the scientific, literary, and cultural history of the illness, and memoir, Morris crafts a moving work that will speak not only to those with the condition and to their loved ones, but also to all of us struggling to make sense of an anxious and uncertain time.”

Available at Amazon.

Your Suggestions?

If you know of a person, book, or movie we should check out, leave a comment and let me know!

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You Can Help Us Choose https://changegangs.com/you-can-help-us-choose/ https://changegangs.com/you-can-help-us-choose/#respond Fri, 13 Mar 2015 14:03:33 +0000 http://changegangs.com/?p=4902 Every three months, Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles donates our pooled donations to charities. We love that we each give only $25, but together we donate THOUSANDS!

And we’re not content to donate, cross our fingers, and hope our donation makes a difference. Nope, these charities have been thoroughly researched and the members receive the full reports. Are these charities efficient? Are they making a difference? These are the answers we want to know before we send our hard earned dollars. We use our brains and our hearts.

Below you’ll find a brief description of the charities we are considering. If you join now, you can help us choose the charity!

Click here to find and join the giving circle you care about most. You will love being a part of our giving circles and making small donations that make a BIG impact.

People for Pets

We’re deciding between

Companion Animal Advocates whose primary mission is pet retention, and they keep pets out of shelters by providing pet food to food banks so that those who are struggling to feed their families can feed their pets, too.

Kindness Ranch who provides a sanctuary and place of rehabilitation for animals who have previously been used in laboratory research.

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue who helps unwanted dogs find forever homes and is a leader in Colorado Springs in educating the public on the importance of spaying and neutering, advocating for animals that have no voice, offering training and other resources as alternatives to re-homing, and preventing cruealty to animals.

Poverty Busters

We’re deciding between

Care International
whose mission is to end poverty by focusing on women’s education, rights, health, and economic opportunities.

Hephziba Children’s Association helps children thrive and families flourish through innovative, community-based programs. For example, one of their programs is a Diagnostic Treatment Center which provides abused and neglected children a 90-day period of stabilization and evaluation. It is the only diagnostic shelter for children between the ages of 3 and 12 in Illinois.

Liya Kebede Foundation
who focuses on training, community education and safe birth service delivery priorities.

Veterans Giving Circle

We’re deciding between

Growing Veterans who helps veterans transition into civilian life, create healthier lifestyle habits, build relationships with other veterans and civilians, build leadership skills, and even find employment opportunities through farm work.

Horse Rhythm Foundation helps veterans and first responders heal from physical or emotional trauma (including PTSD and Military Sexual Trauma) through Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), Equine Driving Facilitated Learning (EDFL), and Therapeutic Riding.

My Favorite Part

Making these large donations to the best charities is my favorite part of what I do.

I hope you’ll join us!

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Giving 2.0 Review https://changegangs.com/giving-2-0-review/ https://changegangs.com/giving-2-0-review/#respond Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:50:00 +0000 http://changegangs.com/?p=4839 Last week, I was honored to have a mention in an article at the Stanford Social Innovation Review. In this article, The Disruption for Good, the author looks at how “rapid advances in technology are changing philanthropy in fundamental ways—making it potentially more rational, effective, collaborative, transparent, and democratic.” We are mentioned as one of those leveraging technology to create communities of people joined by a common cause. We are a disruption for good! But you already knew that didn’t you?

Let’s set aside how cool it is to be mentioned in an article in this prestigious publication (and it is really, really cool!). I’m especially honored because the author, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, has been fundamental to my own development as a philanthropist.

I picked up her book Giving 2.0 as I was starting to work on our giving circles. I appreciated this book immediately for its thoughtful approach to philanthropy. Often times in this type of genre, there are prescriptions for the right way to give and the right kind of charities to support. But from the beginning, she asked questions and proposed scenarios designed to get the reader to think deeply about what they have to give, the kind of causes they want to support, and how to choose charities.

As she wisely notes, “Online ratings systems are a starting point rather than a comprehensive solution to philanthropic due diligence”, and as I developed our own strategy for due diligence, her insights guided me. The “Charting A Course” chapter, lists 50 questions to ask a nonprofit before making a donation. These questions along with her “Warning Signs” raised my awareness of the intricacies of evaluating and choosing the non-profits that meet our own goals.

This book is packed with useful information. In fact, it might have too much information, so when she put together an online course, I eagerly signed up. I was not disappointed. The format of the course allowed her to organize the material in Giving 2.0 into lessons that greatly expanded their content and usefulness. Plus, she introduced a new framework for engaging philanthropy called Reflect, Assess, Decide, Act, Reflect. (R.A.D.A.R.).

The common thread throughout her book and her online course is her emphasis that philanthropy is a deeply personal effort that evolves as the giver becomes more experienced and more connected with what their giving means for them. Mistakes will be made. Lessons will be learned. Priorities will change. Fortunately for us, she shares her own lessons and processes in the hope that we can start our own philanthropic journeys a little more thoughtfully and a lot more effectively.

Giving 2.0 the book and Giving 2.0 the MOOC are both musts for the person interested in mastering charitable giving.

So here is a belated thank you to Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen for her wonderful advice and timely thank you for mentioning us in her recent article!

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What Is Your Giving Style? https://changegangs.com/what-is-your-giving-style/ https://changegangs.com/what-is-your-giving-style/#respond Fri, 13 Feb 2015 13:26:02 +0000 http://changegangs.com/?p=4829 ]]> https://changegangs.com/what-is-your-giving-style/feed/ 0 Do You Know A Great Charity? https://changegangs.com/do-you-know-a-great-charity/ https://changegangs.com/do-you-know-a-great-charity/#respond Sat, 31 Jan 2015 13:32:42 +0000 http://changegangs.com/?p=4772 We have money to give, and we’re on the look out for exceptional charities.

Our nomination period is officially open, and for the next month, we will identify possible candidates.

Can you help us?

Pet Charities

Let me know about a great pet charity by going to this link: http://peopleforpetsgivingcircle.com/your-favorite-pet-charity/.

Poverty Busting Charities

I’d love to hear about your favorite poverty busting charity, and you can let me know about it at this link: http://povertybustersgivingcircle.com/your-favorite-poverty-busting-charity/.

Veteran’s Charities

Our veterans need so much support right now, and they deserve it! Do you know of a charity make a big difference in the lives of our veterans? If so, go to this link and let me know about it: http://veteransgivingcircle.com/who-is-your-favorite-veterans-charity/.

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