Phenomenal approach to giving charitably. I was able to benefit from Doris Buffett’s gift to Louise Sawyer’s class at Tufts University, and am thrilled to hear that Louise and Doris have grown this into something bigger: a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) where participants learn about giving and then give. Watch the video (it’s cute and descriptive) and then learn more on the Learning by Giving website.
These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.
Dove conducted an experiment about how women perceive their own beauty. Very interesting to watch.
[Update 4/18/2013: I have heard as much negative about this ad as positive over the last several days. Posting was not an endorsement but rather a spark of conversation. My personal opinion: On one level, this is fascinating to see the difference in how people view themselves from how they’re viewed by strangers. To me, the difference in the second drawing was more a tone, a confidence, that makes someone more ‘beautiful’. On a different level though, I’m bothered by the homogenous subjects (just women in their 30s and 40s of mid-range weight and appearance with no normal blemishes or other noticeable appearance features) even though Dove usually does a better job than most with showing a range of women, and also the idea that beauty means narrower face, less freckles, fuller hair, etc. At the end of the day, I don’t think this ad/experiment is really helpful, and the interesting qualities would be better served outside of the beauty brand context. That’s my take.]
I’m so proud to have been a part of LIFT-Boston in its nascent stages. The name, logo, volunteers, and offices may have changed, but the work ethic, commitment, and community have only strengthened over time. Watch to learn more about this anti-poverty nonprofit’s model and impact.
Relay for Life. Does its good intentions really advance the cause?
This article by a cancer surviver attending Tufts University points out some serious concerns with the annual philanthropic event benefiting the American Cancer Society, including funding allocations and the language used to talk about cancer.
For the nonprofit data nerd in all of us, there are many productive ways to slice and dice the data from this year’s survey. The Nonprofit Finance Fund and Bank of America surveyed more than 6000 nonprofits and derived a few key learnings. One that stood out to me:
Under these challenging [financial] conditions, many nonprofits are unable to meet growing need in their communities:
- For the first time in the five years of the survey, more than half (52%) of respondents were unable to meet demand over the last year; 54% say they won’t be able to meet demand this year.
- This represents a worrying trend; in 2009, 44% of nonprofits said they were unable to meet demand.
- Jobs (59%) and housing (51%) continue to be top concerns for those in low-income communities.
- 90% of respondents say financial conditions are as hard or harder than last year for their clients; this is actually a slight improvement from prior years’ outlook.
For me, the survey re-highlighted to (the cynic in) me how struggling nonprofits need to humble/smart enough to fold or merge. While I certainly don’t want to see their constituencies’ needs completely unaddressed, I do want to see more collaborative and stable approaches to tackling concerns like jobs and housing. Right now, segmentation is huge, creating a greater-than-necessary competition for resources, which means nobody can do their job and address needs quite as well.
Happy Tax Season!
I was a victim of cyber bullying during my freshman year of college. I will never forget the moment I was sitting at my favorite campus coffee shop, glancing through anonymous posts on a collegiate online forum, when I saw my name. The post said, “Melanie – you’re fat. If you cared more about your weight, people would care more about you.” I blinked back tears and ran to my dorm room in a daze as questions rushed through my mind. Who wrote this post? Are they right about me? Do other peers of mine think this too? I was mortified beyond belief, and for months after I read the post, I no longer felt safe or at home in my college community. The post triggered my deepest insecurities, and led me to constantly criticize myself. It shattered my self-esteem and my flawless perception of the community I had so recently become a part of.
I have come a long way since that moment back at the coffee shop. I am almost ready to graduate with a double major in Government and Sociology, I hold numerous leadership roles on campus, and I look forward to a vibrant career in social justice advocacy. Despite all this, I will never forget how strongly those hateful words affected my life and how my experience with cyber bullying was minor compared to the experiences of many others on this collegiate online forum. Cruel messages can lead to eating disorders, insecurities with sexual orientation, suicide, the perpetuation of stereotypes, and unnecessary tears. Let’s remember the true impact that our words can have on others, and the power that we all have to make sure that our words are kind ones.
via an email to the listserve.
Cyber bullying is indeed a huge problem; I know few people in my generation who have not in some way been affected by it. Melanie’s message is simple, raw, and powerful. I hope that by sharing it, awareness of words and actions, especially those that are amplified online, becomes clearer to folks who find hatefulness ok.