Archive for November, 2009

 

Do You Believe in Life After Love (and War)?

Posted by Donna Callejon on November 16th, 2009

cher

In her 1998 worldwide number one hit iconic superstar Cher asks, “Do you believe in life after love?”  But these days that memorable line could be amended to add “…and war?”

For years Cher has been a visible and unabashed advocate for ensuring that women and men who serve our country are honored through policies and programs that lift up their heroism and ensure their dignity, both during deployment and after they return from combat.  She has demonstrated this commitment  by supporting organizations from Operation Helmet to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and by performing at USO events.  In 2006 Cher appeared on The Ed Schultz Show to discuss her work in support of U.S. troops fighting abroad, as well as returning veterans. Schultz noted her involvement with both Operation Helmet and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which is building a center to serve military personnel who have been catastrophically disabled in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those severely injured in other operations, as well as in the normal performance of their duties, combat and non-combat related.

Now Cher is creating her own non-profit, The Heroes Project. The mission of The Heroes Project is to improve the care and protection of heroes through individual support, community empowerment and systemic change. Through this organization, Cher will continue to support heroes through service and advocacy. The organization works closely with many of the leading military and veterans organizations and aims to leverage their work, rather than duplicate it.

GlobalGiving has been very fortunate to help facilitate a portion of Cher’s philanthropic activity, by working with her philanthropic and advocacy advisors to facilitate the funding of the Shikamana School in Kenya.  Now, we are working together to raise funds for The Heroes Project, kicking it off with an amazing auction currently running on eBay. In this auction, Cher is generously donating three sets of tickets and a backstage visit (with champagne) to the highest bidders.  All the proceeds will go to The Heroes Project.

So if you believe in life after love and war, and you want to combine your love of music and an icon with doing something good – bid now – you only have three more days!

For Profit, and More…

Posted by dennis on November 13th, 2009

There has been growing interest over the past few years in the concept of socially-oriented businesses.  This interest has been manifested in many different ways.  More and more mainstream companies are trying to do business in what they describe as a more ethical or socially conscious way.  Increasingly, they do this because it makes good business sense — it results in better products, happier employees, and more satisfied customers.

There is a movement to brand certain companies as “B Corporations” if they meet certain social and environmental performance standards.  Some states are even considering a new type of business entity called an L3C, which is sort of a hybrid for-profit/non-profit structure.   This structure is specifically for organizations that want to marry the advantages of the for-profit model (efficiency, scalability, and ability to attract capital) with the social mission of a non-profit.

The For-Benefit concept takes this idea even further.

We support this type of experimentation.  Though the vast majority of projects on GlobalGiving are run by non-profits, we have had a handful of projects run by for-profits.  For years, IRS guidelines have permitted for-profits to accept donations for activities that have a charitable purpose and that cannot be carried out under normal market conditions.  We welcome such projects as long as they comply with IRS guidelines and our due diligence processes.  Making the world a better place requires a combination of for-profit companies that generate wealth and jobs along with non-profit organizations that make sure that public goods are provided for everyone, and in particular, that the less fortunate have a fair chance in life — i.e., that the poor are able to participate in wealth creation and employment. Donations to these projects are fully deductible for tax purposes.

Giving the growing interest in this concept, we are now going to specifically highlight projects on GlobalGiving run by for-profit companies.  Though there are currently only two projects on the site run by for-profits (Building a Library in Morocco and Building a School in South Africa), there could be more in the future.

Look for the following text in the project description:

This project is being run by a socially-oriented for-profit company.

From time to time, GlobalGiving posts projects run by socially-oriented for-profit companies, whose work includes charitable activities in the public interest. ALL projects on GlobalGiving have a bonafide charitable purpose, and are required to submit extensive documentation for due diligence. GlobalGiving reviews all due diligence, and vets the projects to ensure they are legitimate, well- run, and satisfy IRS guidelines for international grantmaking as well as the new voluntary guidelines for anti-terrorism set forth in the Patriot Act. Provided projects meet all these criteria, the IRS allows public foundations such as GlobalGiving to make grants in support of this work.

Projects in this category are required to undergo an expenditure review – meaning they must detail the charitable activities for which they are requesting funding, and provide an actual review of how the funds were spent.