A Week in Cuba with Jimmy Diefenderfer

At our 10,000 Volunteers event in November, we raffled off a flight to a volunteer trip anywhere in the world. Jimmy Diefenderfer was the lucky winner, and he just returned from an incredible experience in Cuba. “My trip to Cuba with Globe Aware had two principal objectives: make meaningful contributions to several community projects and become familiar with the Cuban people and culture. As such, we spent part of each day being introduced to a local project in Havana, including a tuition-free school for young adults interested in becoming barbers, a tree-planting sanctuary aiming to prevent damaging landslides in a hillside … Continue reading A Week in Cuba with Jimmy Diefenderfer

“That incident taught me to think independently and is giving me courage even today.” – Prithvi Mattur

At UniversalGiving, we ask important questions of our Interns and Returnees during the interview process.  It helps us understand more of who they are and their motivations. We can then provide them a superior Internship or Returnship experience. It also helps them gain clarity and purpose as to why they are joining us. Below is from new team member Prithvi Mattur. She’s from India, and helping us with our Executive Assistance and Social Media. Here’s her answer to one important question: Please tell us a challenge you faced and what you learned from the experience    “A very common problem an Indian … Continue reading “That incident taught me to think independently and is giving me courage even today.” – Prithvi Mattur

Kids and Kickstarter: The Rise of PhilanthroKids and Kid Crowdfunding!

(A guest post by Beth Kantor, you can read her original post here).

Crowdfunding in general has raised more than 5.1 billion in 2013 and nonprofit fundraisers using crowdfunding platforms and techniques continue to explode (according to this infographic from Craig Newmark). As nonprofits hone and refine peer-to-peer fundraising best practices, we are also seeing more people make philanthropy a part of their everyday personal expression – whether on social networks or in the real world. There is a growing recognition, that personal success is not solely about making a lot of money, but also giving it to charity as Arianna Huffington points out in Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.

But giving isn’t just about making a donation or volunteering your time. It’s about engaging, participating, and being part of something bigger than you. Perhaps that explains the appeal of community Giving Days or participating in global giving days like GivingTuesday. We are starting to see a rise of crowdfunding projects done by and for kids, perhaps as part of the trend of “PhilanthroTeens” or “PhilanthroKids.” These are teens (and pre-teens) with a passion for social change and who grew up not knowing what it was like to not have a cell phone or be connected to Facebook, known as Generation Z. The media has dubbed this generation – “Qwerty Monsters” who send hundreds of text messages a day and don’t even like to use their phone for calls (and with two teens in my house, I can attest this is true). But it is more than the technology; it is also their passion to do good in the world. Continue reading “Kids and Kickstarter: The Rise of PhilanthroKids and Kid Crowdfunding!”