[b]How can you give more effectively?[/b]
[b][url=https://soundcloud.com/givology/givology-impact-series-effective-ways-of-giving]Click here to listen to our ~7 minute Givology impact series podcast[/url].[/b]
Andrew Tisch at a recent meeting of the Board of Advisors to the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative said, No one gives away money as intelligently as they made it. While large foundations have the ability to conduct rigorous due diligence on financial and social impact, there are still many steps an individual donor can take to give more effectively. Here at Givology, we spent a lot of time thinking about maximizing impact per dollar and curating our grassroots partnership network to present to our supporters highly effective grassroots education causes around the world. While we wont go into examples specific to our organization today and our process for screening projects, here are our top 4 tips that any individual donor can benefit from.
1) Prioritize your cause
According to the National Philanthropic Trust, the average American household gave $2,974 in 2014. Americans typically give between 2.5-3.5% of their annual income. Especially since individual contributions represent 72% of total charitable funds, if each person can budget effectively and maximize impact per dollar, collectively we can be much more effective. To give effectively, identify your priorities and the key issues that matter most, balancing subjective and objective perspectives. We mention objective and subjective because while certain causes make us feel good because they are very personal to us, if we can take a more rational approach (thinking independent of ourselves), we can collectively do much better. As discussed in a recent article entitled The Global Good in the Atlantic, the wisest question to ask is not, Where is the greatest good? but rather, Where is the greatest good where the next dollar could have the greatest impact? Whether time or money, the most important aspect is to make giving part of daily life and to recognize that just $34k per year equates to a global 1%, which makes the average middle class American highly empowered to make a difference.
2) Do some basic calculations
While there are plenty of innovative and effective charitable organizations, there are also some truly terrible and wasteful organizations out there. All US charities are required to file form 990 annually so a little bit of digging on Charity Navigator, Give Well, GuideStar, and Charity Watch, among other sources, can really go a long way.
To give you some important ratios:
Program expense ratio - of the total expenditures made by a charity, look at what % goes directly to mission related activities as compared to overhead and administrative expenses. If the program expense ratio falls below 50%, its not worthwhile to give
Fundraising expense ratio and efficiency ratio - charities need to fundraise in order to cover program costs, but if they end up spending most of their money on fundraising rather than mission activities, its not a good organization. Fundraising costs really should not be higher than 20% of total expenditures. Also, check how much it costs for an organization raise a $1 - the lower the fundraising cost per dollar, the more efficient the organization
As an example, the Center for Investigative Reporting releases an annual table of the worst charities. Even though the causes sounded worthwhile, from cancer funds and wish granting networks for sick children to veterans support and police unions, many of these worst charities manage to raise millions of dollars annually but spend less than 5% on the underlying cause and much more on consultant fees, salaries, and expensive public image-boosting fundarisers. We urge you to do some basic research to make sure that you dont get duped.
3) Focus on the outcomes not inputs of the organization
But good financials and metrics alone arent sufficient. To cite an example from Toby Ord, an Oxford researcher in moral philosophy and founder of Giving What We Can, the cost of training a seeing eye guide dog dog is $40,000. This can certainly improve the life of one blind person here in the US, but if we spend that same money abroad on $20 surgeries to cure trachoma, you can cure 2,000 people of blindness in sub-saharan Africa. This is certainly a simplification and I dont want to get into the details of calculating disability adjusted life years (DALYs as they call in global health studies), but the simple point is that there can be dramatic differences in the impact effectiveness of different interventions. Ord goes on to argue that in a hypothetical example of different interventions funded equally, 80% of the benefit comes from 20% of the programs.
While its true that the individual donor does not have access to the same data transparency as the large foundations and that the charitable industry as a whole is still in the early stages of impact assessment, you can still do some research to learn more about effective programs. We really like reading the research at the MIT Poverty Action Lab, which compares different types of programs. Does the organization frame their impact in terms of counting inputs (IE: $ spent, facilities built) or in terms of output and impact (IE: the outcomes achieved by the beneficiaries of the program)? What is their track record in the community? How do they measure the sustainability of the program or benchmark their progress? These are all important questions to ask.
4) Time matters just as much as money - everyone has something to give
This will be the subject of our next podcast about different ways to give back, but giving does not have to come in the form of dollars. Time, donation of skills and talents, commitment for advocacy and shared communication are all extremely valuable. Were 100% volunteer-run at Givology and weve seen how the passion, dedication, and commitment of our team has led us to help thousands of students around the world.
In the classic Peter Singer example, imagine that you are in route to work and you notice that a child has fallen into a shallow pond and appears to be drowning. To wade in and pull the child out would be fairly easy, but you would ruin your clothes and be late to your meeting. Nearly everyone would unanimously agree that the right thing to do would be to step in and pull the child out, but when Singer modifies the scenario to include a child far away in another country (also equally easy and within means of a middle-class American), caveats start to arise.
Poverty is an ethical issue. We all have something to give - whether 5 minutes, $5, 5 miles, 5 letters...these small dollars and small hours can aggregate into a powerful force for change.
We are excited to launch our [b]#myfavoriteteacher [/b]back to school campaign! This campaign gives you an opportunity to help our Givology students directly by making a pledge or simply participating.
[b]How it works:[/b]
Each of us has stories and memories of how teachers have made a difference in our lives. Share your stories, pictures, videos, and/or thoughts with @Givology on [url=https://www.facebook.com/Givology]Facebook[/url], [url=https://instagram.com/givology/]Instagram[/url], and/or [url=https://twitter.com/givology]Twitter [/url]tagged with [b]#myfavoriteteacher.[/b] Tag 3 friends to spread the word and maximize your impact!
[b]For each response that we get, we receive a pledge from our donors[/b]. By sharing your story, you'll help us support our students and teachers around the world.
In addition, [url=https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Vxhr8tGxCiuu6-EfA91-bpeYXPwLFMzYg7ROx1SOvgo/viewform]if you would like to sign up for a pledge, please visit here[/url].
We're very excited to partner with [url=http://www.dreamsthatcouldbe.com/]Dreams That Could Be[/url] in a story-telling project that shares the experiences and aspirations of children around the world. Allison and Andrew will travel to visit Abaarso School students, Cercle Social in Benin, and Aid India to capture photographs and stories to share with all of us!
Follow [url=https://instagram.com/dreamsthatcouldbe]@dreamsthatcouldbe[/url] here on Instagram.
[b]We're very excited to announce our collaboration with [url=http://falserealityco.com/]False Reality[/url]! [/b][b]For each product sold, they will donate 5% to Givology, [/b]We love the concept of consumerism with a cause and their dedication to sourcing exotic materials from around the world. Thus far, Nick has helped us fully fund the [url=https://www.givology.org/~trpproject1]Raspberry Pi project[/url] to bring computers and technology into Tori Agouako in Benin!
[b]Tell us a bit about yourself Nick![/b]
Im Nick Kramer, and I am the Creative Director & Co-Founder of False Reality.
[b]Were really excited about False Reality how did the company get started?[/b]
[url=http://falserealityco.com/]False Reality[/url] was created because we felt that you should always know what youre wearing and how it was made. After looking for high quality accessories that are responsibly made and not being satisfied with what was out there already, we decided to create them for ourselves.
[b]What inspired your products?[/b]
Weve always been fascinated with products and items that have an interesting origin story beyond just the way they look. Anything you own that you can explain what its made of, who made it, and how it was made, is so much more interesting than just saying I bought this. We could not think of a better way to showcase this ideology than through a product selection that is tied to the most diverse cultures from all corners of the world.
[b]What criteria do you look for when you buy materials from around the world? Any interesting stories to share?[/b]
We always try to find materials that are timeless and could be worn for years to come durability, aesthetics, and origin story are three main points we check before committing to creating a product from a material.
[b]Whats your vision for the company?[/b]
Eventually, we would want to be able to expand to a full product line of accessories and goods made from different fabrics, minerals, and metals sourced from all over the world.
All of our products are hand assembled in Philadelphia so we are also working hard to add another philanthropic point within False Reality to help disabled individuals in the Philadelphia area. Once this is in place, I would say that we are effectively doing our part to have a positive impact on both local and worldwide communities.
[b]Buy a story, change a reality sounds really intriguing. Please share with us your philosophy of philanthropy. Why are you inspired to give on a personal and corporate level?[/b]
Philanthropic efforts should be sustainable and instead of funneling resources to try and fix a problem from the outside, I believe that it is important to understand any problem at the most fundamental level and then attempt to fix them from the inside out. We feel that it is only right since we are telling the stories of these materials and the fantastic cultures they come from that we do our best to try to preserve them as well.
[b]What draws you to Givology and education as a cause?[/b]
Since Givology is hyper localized and works with heroes within the communities they help, these individuals actually know how their community runs so that they can have an extremely high positive impact in a shorter amount of time. This was extremely appealing to us and made us want to partner with Givology once we learned of this.
Beyond learning basic skills to be a productive member of society, a quality education allows for people to be able to think critically and ask questions about everyday things in their lives so that they are not taken advantage of. Education can lead to the preservation of cultures, encourage personal and communal growth, and establish a stable and viable economic way of life for individuals and those around them. Unfortunately, many people, children especially, do not have the opportunity to obtain a quality education and we want to do our part to help individuals get the education that they deserve.
[b]Whats your favorite item in your collection?[/b]
My favorite accessory would have to be the Lava Stone Bracelet from Iceland. These beads are extremely eye-catching and the texture is really unique it is always a great conversation piece! [url=http://falserealityco.com/iceland]You can take a look at the bracelet here[/url].
[b]Our mothers play such an important role in our lives. [/b]Not only does a mother's love nourish her family and children, but mothers are at the heart of their children's education. Studies have shown that around the world, the more educated the mother, the healthier the child. Empowered mothers result in more educated, successful children. In the developing world, when mothers work, they invest 90% of their earnings back into their family (compared to 35% for men).
[b]In celebration of mothers around the world, Givology will be giving out a Greentag wallet for every donation $50 and above until Mother's Day[/b] (Sunday, May 10th). By giving a Givology gift certificate to your mother or making a donation on her behalf, you give a gift that keeps on giving in supporting children and families around the world.
Greentag wallets are made from 100% recycled excess jacket trimmings and fabric sourced from manufacturers in the Los Angeles fashion district. We're excited to launch this giveaway campaign in support of mothers and their families around the world!
March is International Women’s Month to celebrate the contributions that women have made around the world to improve society and build a better future. Here at Givology, we’re constantly inspired by the heroic women in our network who fight for education and social justice, one community at a time. In the spirit of International Women’s Month, we’re kicking of a special #GivWomen Instagram challenge ([url=http://instagram.com/givology]@Givology[/url]) to share the spirit of volunteerism and feature the stories of women & girls fighting the world’s fight!
[b]Duration[/b]: March 1st – 31st, 2014
[b]How to Participate[/b]: Send us on [url=http://instagram.com/givology]@Givology with the tag #GivWomen[/url] on Instagram an original picture focusing on volunteerism within your community. Include a caption that answers in one sentence how you think women have inspired change around the world.
[b]Prizes[/b]: In the first week of April, we’ll be giving out $300, $150, and $100 Givology gift certificates to the photos shared with us that receive the most “likes”
Happy International Women’s Month! #GivWomen
[b]Announcing the 2013 “GivImpact” Essay Competition[/b]
At Givology, we believe in the power of education to transform communities. We give to education programs in developing countries because it enriches peoples’ lives, and because we want to make the world better. Givology partners are chosen because we believe they are great organizations that create change. [i][b]But, how do we measure social impact? [/b][/i]
To celebrate the International Day of the Girl, we’re launching our annual 2013 GivImpact essay contest. To enter, answer the following question in no more than 1,000 words, excluding references:
[b][u]What are the most relevant metrics to evaluate the impact of educational programs in the developing world?[/u][/b]
The Millennium Development goals have targeted universal education by 2015, and enrollment in primary education in the developing world has reached 90%. More kids are in school today than ever before. But are enrollment statistics alone sufficient? If not, what ought to be incorporated into the assessment of the quality of education programs globally?
[b]All entries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 15th November 2013[/b]
The winner of the “2013 GivImpact essay competition will receive the following:
[ul][li][b]$300 Givology wallet cash credit[/b][/li][li]Option of a Givology internship[/li][li]Givology merchandise [/li][li]Title of Givology’s “GivImpact Student of the Year”[/li][li]Feature article in the Givology blog & newsletter, to be advertised among our social media, university, and partnerships network[/li][/ul]The second place recipient will receive:
[ul][li][b]$150 Givology wallet cash credit[/b][/li][li]Givology merchandise[/li][li]Option of a Givology internship[/li][li]Feature article in the Givology blog & newsletter, to be advertised among our social media, university, and partnerships network[/li][/ul]The third place recipient will receive:
[ul][li][b]$75 Givology wallet cash credit [/b][/li][li]Givology merchandise[/li][li]Option of a Givology internship[/li][li]Feature article in the Givology blog & newsletter, to be advertised among our social media, university, and partnerships network[/li][/ul]Most importantly, all participants will have the benefit of knowing their ideas and analyses will help Givology become more effective in evaluating the impact of our grassroots initiatives globally. All participants will receive an official certificate of achievement.
[u]Criteria for judging[/u]
[ul][li]How [b]feasible [/b]are the metrics for implementation? [/li][li]Do the proposed metrics accurately [b]measure [/b]social impact?[/li][li]Is the argument [b]well supported [/b]by case studies, theory, etc?[/li][li]Are the [b]limitations[/b] clearly articulated?[/li][/ul]We encourage contributions that suggest both qualitative and/or quantitative evaluation systems.
[b]Video Transcript [/b]
I got involved with a group of people that started an NGO called 108 Lives Project. And the mission of the 108 Lives Project back then was basically to intervene in 108 lives Katmandu, Nepal and bring each of these people whatever they needed most in their lives.
My mission with the organization was basically to document the whole project. As I am doing this and seeing how each of us are stepping into a mindset of generosity we start working with the kids and start working with the beggars and start meeting with people who wanted to do similar things as what we wanted to do. The idea of the documentary started taking another dimension and it was now not only what 108 Lives is doing. [url=http://theperfectionofgiving.com/]The documentary is now called “The Perfection of Giving.”[/url]
The importance of it and the angle that I am taking is that giving will put a kid in school and that giving will feed a couple of mouths sometimes, but the real practical benefit of giving is not so much in the recipients but in the giver. The joy of giving is bigger than any other joy that I have experienced. There was not one person that would say “now I feel poorer because I gave,” “now I feel sadder because I gave.” There is no such thing.
I don’t know if it is only giving that inspires me right now. The idea that it is possible to make a better world and to be happier people is what really drives me to tell the stories that I am telling right now. We all do it because we are helping somebody else, but that helping somebody else makes us so brutally happy.
[b]About Javier:[/b] Javier Perez-Karam is a storyteller and film producer with a strong background in digital marketing and advertising. He founded Green Carrot, a storytelling and production company with the mission to tell stories designed to connect with people at an emotional level, building audiences around multi-platform content. Perez-Karam is currently in production of a multi-platform documentary: [url=http://theperfectionofgiving.com/]“The Perfection of Giving”[/url], a sociological and anthropological exploration of the act of giving, the benefits for society and individuals and the practical consequences of a generous mind.
What sketch notes or what is professionally referred to as professional recordings is actually visually recording a talk by a speaker. Every illustrator has a different style. And that’s what kind of makes new little design niche interesting.
I like to do arrows. There’s no real linear format. It started out to be a bit messier and I did it for myself, but eventually through progress I kind of created a better layout. It looks like a graphic art in the ends of just plain-note taking that you usually see. I kind of fell into it by accident, but I’m glad I did cause I found something that makes me happy and something that just feels effortless.
I’m inspired by events that I go to, what the speaker says, some of the speakers that I see at events are actually people that I admire. Taking visual notes is kind of like my ticket to having a one-on-one talk with them. Usually when I see, kind of show my raw sketch notes to a speaker just after they come off stage, they are like “Oh!” They are really surprised. Then some of them are like “What is this witch-craft that you practice? Did you just take this?” That’s also encouraging for me to keep on going, to keep on improving as well.
I like to put a summary of the event into an artwork. It helps in a way of educating people on certain subjects. It’s understandable for people from every different background even someone who doesn’t understand English could understand the content of what the event was about. The art that I create through sketches is kind of like a gift that I share with everyone else. I think most artists and designers feel that way about their work. It’s just that they put part of themselves out there and hope that it kind of inspires and helps other people understand things or see things in a different way. So that’s what I see design as. It’s a very natural thing that you can’t really explain exactly why you do it or how you learn to do it, but it just happens. Then if it has a positive effect on other people, I think that’s really a gift on it’s own. It’s kind of like an obligation (the gift) to share it with other people.
[b]About Bernie[/b]: Bernie is from Malaysia and holds a Degree in Interior Architecture and Design. She enjoys working on graphic recordings and sketchnotes that simplifies complex ideas to engage people, making ideas stick. She is the founder of SketchPostStudio, which transforms ideas and words into real-time, hand-drawn visuals that brighten up brainstorming sessions and events. [url=http://www.behance.net/sketchpoststudio]Check out her projects here[/url]: