Two Aid Workers Are Being Treated for Ebola.

Western Africa is currently under the shadow of the largest Ebola outbreak to have ever happened since the disease was first discovered. With over 1,200 known cases and over 670 people dead so far, governments and medical organizations around the world are scrambling to deal with the disease before it reaches other countries and continues to cause damage. Two of the most recent high-profile victims to fall ill are two American employees who were working with non-profits to provide aid and help to treat victims in Africa. Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol are currently fighting for their lives and are going to be flown back to the US so that they can receive more treatment.

This decision to fly back two people with a disease that can cause epidemics and has an, at best, 60% fatality rate is controversial to say the least. One of the patients is being flown to Emory University to be placed in their state-of-the-art isolation unit in the school’s hospital while the location of the other patient is being kept confidential. Is it intelligent to bring back patients who have a dangerous disease so they can continue to be treated? Even though people seem to have complete faith in our ability to prevent the disease from spreading on our soils, it still seems like a risky move. Even with preventative measures working at their best, people have still been getting sick. And with no known cure, the potential for more death is definitely likely. Here’s to hoping that everything works out for the best and everyone with the disease makes a speedy recovery.

If you’d like to read more, the link is below:

Philanthropy Doesn’t Just have to Deal With Money

While the most common ideas and actions of philanthropy involve open your wallet and writing a hefty check, one nonprofit is proving that all you need is a good idea…and volunteers. When Wei Min “Al” Sheen died in 2012, his son Alex had an epiphany while writing his eulogy. Even though his father had never accomplished anything that most people would see as being newsworthy, he left a legacy in his family that Alex felt the need to pass on to others; that of the importance of keepings one’s word.

To spread his father’s message to others, Alex founded the nonprofit “Because I Said I Would” with the idea that he would help other realize both the importance of keeping your promises as well as the good feelings that come from it. His company distributes “promise cards”. Simple blank white business cards with the phrase “because I said I would.” in the bottom corner. The idea is to write a promise on the card and then give to the person who you’ve promised something to. When you have followed through with your promise, you get the card back as a reminder of what you did.

While the company had some minor success, a series of high-profile cases and interviews with various people have raised the profile of this small company to new heights. Heights so high that they are now having trouble fulfilling all the orders for the cards people are asking for. So many have inundated his office with requests, that the staff of four is having trouble distributing the 70,000 cards that are asked for every week. And that’s ignoring the fact that there are still 11,000 that have been requested but not yet shipped. With an upcoming appearance on the Rachel Ray show, one can easily assume the demand is going to increase even more.

If you want to get involved with a small nonprofit with an interesting idea or are located in/around Lakewood Ohio, you should look them up and check them out. They can use all the help they can get.


For more information as well as where and how to help, read this:

Devoting Paid Work Hours to Philanthropy

VolunteeringA number of corporations have started to create volunteer initiatives for their employees, devoting a small number of employees’ paid work hours to philanthropy.  These initiatives allow workers to take paid time off to work on a project within the community or devote time to a cause they feel passionate about.  Companies have started to create these initiatives hoping to dispel the notion that a person who takes time off to volunteer is actually hurting his or her chances of promotion because of the time that will be spent out of the office.

Companies have also started to create volunteer initiatives because of growing pressure from the public to take on a larger role when it comes to social responsibility.  In order to appease employees who may feel that they are working in a company that does not care about the world outside of the corporation, companies have started to offer paid time off for volunteer efforts.  Some corporations have even started companywide days of service in which their employees must take time off to work on a project within the community.

Companies also want to get employees to volunteer because of the skills that can be gained from working in a volunteer setting.  For lower-level employees, companies hope that volunteering will help workers see a bigger picture, one that illustrates that is more to life than simply meeting financial goals.  This will push workers to go above and beyond expectations in the workplace.

In addition, upper-level employees get to hone an entirely different skill set in a volunteer setting than they would in a normal corporate setting.  With financial incents removed, upper-level employees get to enhance their persuasion and mediation skills on completely level interpersonal communications grounds.  These employees get to develop supervisory and leadership skills, often leading larger teams on a project, and have the opportunity to network with groups of people they might not have had the chance to meet in a corporate setting.

For more information about corporate volunteer initiatives please visit

LinkedIn now has volunteer job listings

Jonathan OfftAccording to an article on Forbes, LinkedIn is now offering listings for volunteer jobs. The listings are apart of the “Volunteer Marketplace,” where people can find anything in the volunteer sector. It is great that LinkedIn is using it’s professional social network to help various nonprofit organizations cast a wide talent search for people who genuinely want to help.

Nonprofit organizations receive a %90 discount when posting volunteer job adds. That is roughly $20-$40 per month. LinkedIn recognizes that volunteer jobs are what help drive nonprofit organization, so they don’t want to taking too much money away. Some people might think that is completely unfair for LinkedIn to charge anything for a volunteer job. LinkedIn says they need to charge a small fee so it will keep others away who don’t truly work for nonprofit organizations. They used an example of someone posting a volunteer job to clean up cat litter. LinkedIn also said they aren’t going to pocket the fees generated from volunteer listings. They plan to donate the money to nonprofit partners who helped establish Volunteer Marketplace. These partners include Catchafire, VolunteerMatch and BoardSource.

If you would like to find volunteering jobs on LinkedIn, be sure to check out Volunteer Marketplace. It is a separate section in LinkedIn. You cannot find volunteer jobs when searching in the standard search bar on the main page.

Helping others can benefit your career

I came across a great article that talks about three ways in which helping others will benefit your own career.

The first talks about how helping others will make you a team leader. True leaders are those that are willing to go out of their way to help others get better or learn more about what they do. If you are a CEO, your job is to inspire and get those working in your company to be the best they can be. If you aren’t willing to help others understand or learn than your company could collapse right beneath you. You need to be willing to teach others so they will advance within the company, and in turn people will feel more comfortable and happy in their position. Apple’s past CEO Steve Jobs might have seemed like a very hard person to work for, but he cared so much, especially about the people who worked for his company. He was a true leader, which helped the company grow to be the biggest company in the world.

Helping someone also increases your network and provides a moment of connection between individuals. You are making a difference in others. If you were to help someone, you figure that person would be willing to help you in return too. “What comes around, goes around.”

Helping others also makes you a team player. Most companies are looking for employees who are true team players. People who are looking to learn and teach others without being asked to. By being a team player you are willing to be open to new ideas and work with others for the betterment of the company.



Will digital philanthropy come to the aid of the Philippines disaster?

Jonathan OfftTyphoon Haiyan that recently rocked the Philippines is quite possibly the worst storm ever recorded. The super storm has killed thousands of people and counting and nearly a million people have been displaced. Food and drinkable water is scare and people are truly in need of help.

After recent natural disasters money has been collected so seamlessly with the help of the digital age and the internet. Will we see a similar reaction by people all around the world? Most likely we will.

According to an article, some of the easiest and direct ways to donate money to the disaster is via phone. “You can send the World Food Programme $10 by texting the word AID to 27722. The Salvation Army is TYPHOON to 80888. The International Medical Corps is MED, also at 80888.” Money can be collected more efficiently and areas impacted can be aided sooner.

“Digital philanthropy” has changed the game for the better.

If you were to Google keywords such as philippines and aid you will see a number of results honing in on relief efforts. Apple has even stepped in to help with a way to donate via the iTunes store.

We are starting to see the digital age transcend more generations far rapidly. With news being spread instantaneously via the web, people pick up on what is current in their network and respond accordingly. Social media isn’t just for those who are young and it is almost impossible to ignore. So much information is shared so rapidly, which can cause more impulse decisions. Why not feed into those impulses, like donating money after such a terrible tragedy. We see things on the news, go to the web, find out more information and act. It is a great thing, especially for philanthropy, as we now can help people far more faster.