Empower Mothers and daughters this Mother’s Day

This piece if from the World Literacy Foundation’s blog.

Mother's Day

We ask this Mother’s Day to give a gift that will change a life – in addition to the flowers and chocolates you already bought her, give a gift of quality education to empower mothers and daughters for generations to come.

We all collectively recognize that when women and girls are empowered through education;

  • Fertility, population growth, and infant and child mortality fall and family health improves.
  • They are more politically active and better informed about their legal rights and how to exercise them.
  • Their earning capacity increases, in turn, has a positive effect on child nutrition.

Education helps women and their daughters take advantage of opportunities that could benefit them and their families for generations to come; equipping them for the workforce and grasping their legal rights.

Girls all around the world are excluded from education, or are in school but not learning the skills to equip them for the 21-st century job landscape.

This Mother’s Day, we want to change this, but we need your help. We want to support mothers and daughters by providing access to the quality education they need to unlock their full potential. Because, let’s face it, when a girl is educated, the whole world changes.  

Did you know that every extra year of education a girl receives, her income will increase by 10-20%

This Mother’s Day, support Ugandan Mothers who also want quality education for their daughters, but cannot access it.

We launched a crowdfunding initiative to empower these Mothers, have a look HERE

Make sure to spread the message and empower Ugandan Mothers by providing quality education to their children.

Support towards this initiative and share on your social channels to raise awareness.

Learn more about how you can support the World Literacy Foundation at  worldliteracyfoundation.org


Are You a Water Waster?

It’s World Water Week and this year’s theme is wastewater. About 80% of the water we use goes down the drain. The water we don’t use flows back into nature and pollutes the environment.  Take this quiz to find out if you are a water waster.

Here are some ways to conserve water!

  1. When washing dishes by hand or brushing your teeth, don’t let the water run.
  2. Use dishwashers. They use less water than washing dishes by hand.
  3. Use a reusable water bottle when drinking, even at home. This reduces the number of glasses that you need to wash.
  4. When you scrape pots and pans clean, soak them instead of letting the water run.
  5. Throw food, oils, and trash in the garbage, not down the sink. Limit your use of the garbage disposal.
  6. Water plants only when they need it because more plants die from overwatering than underwatering.
  7. Use your extra sink water or bathtub water to water your plants or wash your car.

There’s a lot we can do to conserve water. For World Water Week also consider giving to people who do not have access to clean water.

You can provide solar powered running water for orphans in Africa here.

Visit Water Use it Wisely to learn more water saving strategies


Honoring Strong Women

UniversalGiving is fortunate to have a team led by many bright and powerful women who work hard to create positive change! 

Below are some strong women that the UniversalGiving team chose to honor today!

From Pamela Hawley-CEO

Frances Blaisdell Williams was the first woman woodwind at Julliard School of Music in 1928.  She was a pioneer for women and women flutists all over the world.  Most importantly, she was my grandmother and one of my best friends

My dear Oma, a pioneer woman flutist in the 1920s (read about her in the New York Times) began teaching me flute at the age of 8. She was a profound influence on my life and was as phenomenal of a teacher as she was a performer. Read more here.
From Miko-Intern
Anne Frank is a very strong woman. Anne was very young when she died. Under WWII, Jewish people were in a horrible situation, but Anne was very positive, hard-working, and never gave up.
From Lisa-Executive Assistant Intern
For International Women’s Day, I chose two of the most inspirational women in my life, while I had was lucky enough to have Christa as a coach and Taylor as a coach and a teammate, I consider them both to be some of my most helpful friends and mentors. ThIMG_2240ese two women have taught me a lot about what it means to be strong and have helped me love who I am. I have strived to be the best athlete, friend, and person I can be because of them. I am so thankful for all they have shown me and done for me.

 (Right Christa Prior/Left Taylor Curdado)


Appreciate the strong women in your life, and lend support to women internationally…

Empower women through gardening!

Support women with obstetric fever.


Doing Good (twice over) with Holiday Gift Packages

Today’s guest post is from Chelsea Iverson.

If you will be giving to charity this holiday season or are considering making a personalized and meaningful donation on behalf of someone you love, you’re not alone.

Holiday giving is a tradition that combines the Scrooge-inspired spirit of Christmas with generous year-end-tax breaks. Each year, charitable organizations around the world receive millions from contributors during the holiday season. It seems that the tougher the economic times, the more dedicated we are to helping those who are most vulnerable. According to the Red Cross, 68% of Americans believe that it is especially important to give to charity this year due to poor economic conditions, and 79% of Americans admit that they would prefer to receive a charitable gift in their honor than a present they would not use this holiday season.

Two years ago, when my father asked that we donate to a meaningful charity in lieu of giving him a Christmas present, I immediately knew I wanted to donate to an organization that would save the world’s trees. My father loves trees. He loves their resilience, their fortitude and their ability to withstand so much human destruction. Overwhelmed with all the charitable organizations out there, I wondered how to select the most impactful, the most meaningful organization and how to be confident that my donation was going directly to saving trees.

Through my experience looking for a charitable gift in honor of my father, I discovered that there are so many charitable organizations spreading so much hope all over the world, and deciding where to give can be difficult.

UniversalGiving offers a tool that helps you find gift packages – from thousands of charitable organizations – suited to your loved ones. This tool helps ease your concerns about choosing a trustworthy organization and provides clear gift amounts that allow you to see what your gift will actually achieve.

Saving trees is just the beginning. There are over 400 gift packages available on UniversalGiving.org, which means you will be able to find a charitable gift package for all your loved ones. To give a gift package in honor of family members, friends or colleagues, begin by thinking about their interests, concerns and cares, and search for the gift package that best suits them. UniversalGiving’s pre-packaged gifts make it easy to see where your gift is going and who the beneficiaries are. Here are some examples of the gift packages that are offered:

For the teacher in your life:

Give $25 to provide an impoverished child in the US a pair of eyeglasses so he or she can see the blackboard and succeed in school.

For the cook in your life:

Donate to supply in-school meals to hungry children.

For the doctor or nurse in your life:

Give $258 to train a doctor to perform life saving surgery for children in Peru.

Check out more gift packages

UniversalGiving screens non-profits for you with their Quality Model™ standard, so you can be assured that your gift will go to a top-performing organization. You want to do as much good as possible, and since UniversalGiving takes nothing from your donation through their website, you don’t have to worry.

When I was searching online for a charity for my father, I wished that I had better options for sorting through the abundance of organizations that help save our planet’s trees. I needed an organized catalogue of charitable organizations that I could easily search by cause and have the confidence that my gift was making the greatest possible impact.

This year, I think I’ll help reforest Haiti in my father’s honor. Thanks to UniversalGiving’s gift packages, I know my gift will go directly to support the cause he believes in so much.

Chelsea Iversen is a San Francisco-based freelance writer. She works with non-profit organizations to strengthen their messaging and communications. You can contact Chelsea at chelsea@writegenuine.com or www.writegenuine.com.

Serve the Global Public: It’s UN Public Service Day!


In 2003, the United Nations declared June 23rd United Nations Public Service Day in order to celebrate the value of public service, honor those who serve their communities, and encourage members of the public to get involved in bettering their surrounding communities. Dedicated public servants around the world work tirelessly to improve living situations for others, and are often not given the recognition they deserve.

This year, the UN’s Public Service Day Awards Ceremony and Forum will be held Medellin, Colombia from June 23rd to June 26th.

This year, join UniversalGiving in celebrating United Nations Public Service Day and engage in bettering communities in need of your help. Show thanks to the public servants who have given so much to your community by paying it forward: donate your time or resources to one of UniversalGiving’s top-quality, thoroughly vetted organizations! We are proud to say that 100% of donations made through UniversalGiving goes directly to the cause, and our organizations are held to the highest standards of quality, transparency, and trust. See some of the worthy causes below and participate in public service today!

  1. What If? Foundation. The Caribbean country of Haiti is home to countless hungry children. What If? Foundation provides meals to needy children of Port-au-Prince, the capital of and largest city in Haiti. A gift of just $24 provides a month’s worth of meals to a hungry Haitian child: a large plate of vegetables, rice, beans, and meat. Be a public servant today.
  2. Operation USA. Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda, was one of the strongest tropical storms ever recorded–as a result, South East Asia, and especially the Philippines, was devastated in its wake. Although the typhoon took place in late 2013, these regions are still struggling to recover and rebuild. Your gift of $25 will go a long way in helping rebuild the area’s infrastructure and economy.They need your help; donate today.
  3. Nepal Orphans Home Inc. For the children of Papa’s House in Nepal, fruit–especially fresh fruit–is a luxury. Every child should have access to natural, nutritious food, but unfortunately, this is not the case. A gift to Nepal Orphans Home Inc. will not only give these orphans access to the nutrition they need, it will also give them a special treat to look forward to. Just $50 will provide 140 children of Dhapasi with a serving of fruit. Brighten these kids’ days with the simple gift of fruit.

Give your dad a gift that keeps on giving by donating to a cause that reflects his interests!

Consider celebrating your dad by donating to an organization that reflects his interests. Donating to a cause that he cares about is the perfect way to demonstrate your care for him–this way, you can make an impact in his life and the lives of many others. Give the gift of giving this Father’s Day: honor your dad by donating to a cause in his name.

UniversalGiving makes finding the perfect gift easy and worry-free by providing you with numerous high-quality giving opportunities.  Each of the organizations on our website has been thoroughly researched and vetted according to the highest standards of quality, transparency, and trust. Through UniversalGiving, you can rest assured that you are giving to the most worthy and credible of causes. We are proud to say that 100% of donations through UniversalGiving go to your chosen cause.

So what is your dad interested in? Give the gift of giving today:

  • Education

      • Is a good education one of the best gifts your father has given to you? Honor that legacy by donating to one of the causes below.
        • Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation. Education is the best gift: just $25 can help a child immensely by providing him or her with money to pay for school fees and food.
        • Develop Africa. Girls in sub-Saharan Africa face the widest gender disparity when it comes to education. Your gift of $25 will help provide a scholarship, books, and school supplies for a girl in Sierra Leone.
  • Health Care

      • If healthcare is important to your dad, consider donating to one of the causes below.
        • Uganda Village Project. In the Iganga District of Uganda, less than half of all households have functional latrines. A gift of just $40 can equip 20 households with tippy taps, a handwashing device that prevents the spread of infectious disease.
        • World Food Program USA. WFP is the world’s largest hunger relief organization. A gift of just $15 can provide a month’s supply of emergency food to a person in need.
  • Arts

      • If your father cares deeply about the arts, consider giving a gift to
        • Selamta Family Project. A $1200 gift provides an abandoned child with a home at Selamta and an education at a local private school for a whole year. This child will be exposed to artistic opportunities like trips to museums.
        • Cultural Canvas Thailand. Cultural Canvas Thailand’s artistic outreach program, Art Relief International (ARI), believes in providing a voice for individuals through artistic expression. ARI believes art is a tool for change–with your gift, ARI can continue to provide a voice to the vulnerable people of Northern Thailand.
  • Environment

      • Is your dad committed to protecting our environment or its animals? If so, consider donating to one of the below organizations.
        • Osa Conservation. A gift of just $10 goes towards planting a tree and restoring the rainforest in the Osa Peninsula of southwestern Costa Rica. Plant a tree today for the forest of tomorrow!
        • In Defense of Animals- Africa. A gift of $300 will help IDA-Africa care for an orphaned chimpanzee whose mother was killed for the illegal bush meat trade. Help provide a sanctuary for these noble animals!
        • Osa Conservation. Give $20 to protect the sea turtle population of Costa Rica from harmful poaching and predation. Osa Conservation protects these endangered animals by monitoring and patrolling nesting beaches.
  • Technology

    • If your dad is loves technology, one of the below organizations could be a perfect fit.
      • Nepal Orphans Home Inc. NOH provides life-changing sustainable technologies to Nepalese villagers. A gift of $25 or $50 goes towards teaching villagers how to make briquette stoves, which reduces their dependence on wood, improves air quality, and empowers villagers.
      • Benetech. Benetech’s SocialCoding4Good brings together communities of individuals and corporate social responsibility teams from companies like Cisco, Google, and more to volunteer their technical skills to nonprofit partners that develop and maintain free and open source software addressing critical social problems.
      • Develop Africa. It’s estimated that 80% of the African population does not have access to computers. Technology plays a huge role in empowering individuals and qualifying them for better jobs. A gift of $100 goes towards providing computers to schools in Sierra Leone.