4 Ways To Help Out At Your Child’s School


Chances are you’ve heard the expression the “children are our future”. We need to work hard to ensure that the children of today grow up to build a better world of tomorrow. And the only way to make this happen is through top notch education provided to as many children as possible. If you have a child who is in school and want to thank the school for what it has done for your child, there are a few things you can do. Here are a list of ways to give back to your child’s school:

1) Volunteer in the classroom

Teachers have a lot on their plates, and they often need volunteers. Parent volunteers can help out in the classroom by assisting with hands-on classroom activities, reading to the students, or completing tasks such as correcting students’ papers. The teacher will be extremely grateful, and there will also be a lovely bond between the parent and the teacher.

2) Volunteer After School

Whenever the budget of a school district gets cut, the first things to go are after school activities. It is unfortunate that these enriching activities such as sports, music programs and other activities that allow children to explore their passions are being cut. But the programs are much less likely to disappear if parents volunteer to help out. If your child is involved in an afterschool activity, ask the coach or leader if he or she needs any help. This will allow to you spend time with your child and your child’s friends while also lending a hand to programs that need assistance.

3) Donate School Supplies

All too often, teachers need to pay for school supplies out of pocket because they are working on tight budgets. there is always a high demand for everyday supplies such as pencils and paper. It is rare for a teacher’s annual stipend for supplies to last longer than one or two months. If you’re in an office supply store, buy some supplies for your child’s classroom. Your child’s teacher will be extremely grateful.

4) Join the PTA

The PTA, or the National Parent Teacher Association, is a great way to get involved in your child’s education. If your child’s school is not affiliated with the PTA, it probably has something similar such as “home and school” or a booster club. These are independently operated clubs that function in a way similar to the PTA. If you help out in the PTA, or the equivalent in your child’s school, you will be able to get to know your child’s teachers and build a strong network with the other parents. You will also be able to stay up-to-date on the happenings within the school, and the school will thank you for your help.

It is clear that your child’s education is important to you. And one of the best ways to make sure your child gets the best education possible is by helping out within the school. By staying in the know in your school community and assisting the school’s faculty, you are showing your child how important education is, and you’re working to give the future generations an enriching educational experience.

Facebook Is Turning Internet Activism Into Something Bigger

Facebook_icon_2013.svgIt is common to hear the term “slacktivism” thrown around. Many people criticize the idea of people showing their support for a cause by liking a Facebook status or changing the filter on their profile picture because they feel that it is not doing something tangible. Others do not see need for criticism, as utilizing social media to raise awareness is better than doing nothing. And after all, who is to say that these people are not taking concrete action as well? But this conflict may be put to an end as Facebook is now making a site specifically for nonprofits.

This site, called nonprofits.fb.com, aims to make it easier for non-profit organizations to fundraise and to gain donors. In a statement, the team at Facebook said “We are inspired by how many people use Facebook to improve the lives of others and help their communities, and we are committed to helping people do more good through Facebook.”

The new site functions partially as an instructional for nonprofits and activist individuals, supplying them with information about the best practices on making fundraising campaigns, increasing awareness, and engaging people in charitable action. This information is all provided in user-friendly step-by-step guides. The site will also be a great forum for groups and individuals to create strong networks with one another. These people will be able to see which tactics worked for similar groups, thus bouncing ideas off of one another and creating group success.

While none of the tools on the site are new, this is a first time there will be a platform on which these features will be specifically directed at those who use Facebook for charitable causes.

The first step to joining the site is having a public “Page” for your cause or group. It is possible for all Facebook users to add a Donate button to their page, but it is best to have your Page officially recognized by Facebook as a charitable cause. If it is not recognized as such, a pop-up appears showing that the page is “not endorsed by or affiliated with Facebook.”

Because the new site was inspired by the way charitable organizations have grown via Facebook in the past, the site features a number of success stories on its page. These are stories of organizations that have used Facebook for social impact and ultimately made big changes in the world. One example is the Malala Fund, which got over one million signatures on a Change.org petitition using the hashtag #withMalala.

Facebook decided to create a team for “social good” in November of 2015. Facebook has been working hard to make charitable efforts, but not all of these efforts have been well received. For example, Facebook’s “Free Basics” campaign worked with the aim to bring Facebook and other web services to users in the developing world. This initiative led to tremendous backlash in India and was banned by the Indian government.

Social media can be a great catalyst for change. Facebook has recognized this and therefore has created its very own platform for charitable organizations. It will be exciting to see how this platform does, and what impact it helps to create.

Valentine’s Day: Gifts that Keep On Giving

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. Many of us may have plans to spend the day surrounded by beautiful roses while enjoying chocolates and romantic dinners (did you remember to book that reservation?). More often than not, we get so caught up in the romanticized hype of Valentine’s that we neglect how truly philanthropic it could be.  Below are a few gift ideas that not only come from the heart but will be appreciated for many Valentine’s Days to come.


You and your co-workers are around each other A LOT! Why not show each other how much you appreciate each other by sharing candy grams filled with kind words. The candy gram prices can be as low as $1 and all proceeds can be donated to your local charity.

vday candy pic


There are 260 nursing homes in the Boston, Mass., metropolitan area. It may be seemingly impossible to reach every resident at each nursing home, but it wouldn’t hurt to find the nursing home closest to you and spread some love. Here’s what you can do:

  • Reach out to your local nursing home facility
  • Find out the total number of residents and staff
  • Gather a group of friends
  • Decorate Valentine’s Day cards and have them delivered to your local nursing. You could even hand deliver the cards yourself. The added joy you will feel from actually seeing those happy faces will be magical.

 nursing home pic


February is definitely the month of love and not only because of Valentine’s Day. This month is also known as  National Wedding Month. Planning a wedding in itself is a bit of a headache and adding a philanthropic edge to it may seem daunting. It’s not. There are so many things, big and small, that you can do. Every little bit counts. Here are a few ideas:

  • Instead of accepting traditional wedding gifts, create a charity registry
  • Thank your vendors and guest by giving them charity gift cards
  • After your wedding, donate your wedding dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer

wedding image

Kofi Annan Commends Philanthropists of Today

David DonovanRecently, Kofi Annan; former Secretary-General of the United Nations, recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize and current Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, took to Linkedin to share his thoughts on modern philanthropists. In the beginning of the article, Annan confides that throughout his storied career he has witnessed numerous changes in how we collectively approach global issues. But he claims that the seeming resurgence of philanthropy in recent memory has truly been a change for the better.

david donovanAnnan recounts that the intractable global challenges have been tremendously aided by the involvement and contributions of today’s major philanthropists. He recounts the integral role that the Gates Foundation played as an early contributor to the launch of the Global Fund as a means of fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

According to Annan, The Gates Foundation not only provided additional resources, but approached the task at hand with a mentality completely different that of the U.N..

Annan goes on to describe modern-day philanthropists as courageous innovators unafraid to implement creative solutions in the hopes of delivering the desired outcomes. He also describes the inherent understanding among these philanthropists of a need to cultivate partnerships across many sectors in order to successfully attack an issue or cause. While some NGOs may fear the power that these philanthropists yield, the philanthropists acknowledge the value of collaboration and rarely act solely on their own whims.

Modern day philanthropists are usually very well-considered and thoughtful when it comes to contributing to different causes. However, there is still room for their own convictions and beliefs to be expressed in the process. Many philanthropists choose a cause or causes that are dear to them or meaningful to them in some way. Although many still contribute anonymously, many members of the “new breed of philanthropy champions” have increased the visibility of certain causes and questioned traditional thinking about different issues through openly discussing their cause publicly.

Annan cites the growing number of successful companies that have thrived in Africa then gone on to set up charitably foundations there. These foundations bear a certain amount of credibility owing to the skill sets that these philanthropists bring from their professional lives to these more personal endeavors.

Annan ends his article expressing how delighted he is to see this “next generation of philanthropists leading the way [in doing more than funding, but coming up with great ideas and focusing on making these ideas work in practice]”

These sorts of observations from someone who has truly dedicated his career to fighting the challenging global issues of our time are encouraging and hopefully, we can take note of the iconic philanthropists of today and apply some of their lessons to our own engagement in charitable causes.

Warren Buffett: How To Give

David K Donovan

Recently, Forbes held its 4th Annual Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy in New York. This summit gathers some of the most powerful and wealthy people in the world today. These industry heavyweights assemble in order to have critical conversations regarding how to best utilize their resources  to combat some of today’s most pressing issues. This event includes ceremonial recognition for those that have proven themselves to be innovative and committed to philanthropic causes.Business magnateWarren Buffett shared his unique perspective on philanthropy both with Forbes Magazine editor Randall Lane and during his speech this year.

Mr. Buffett presented the Lifetime Achievement Award in Philanthropy to Bill and Melinda Gates for their continued dedication to improving the lives of others. In discussing the tireless efforts of the recipients, Mr. Buffett also shared some of his own thoughts on how to approach philanthropy with the audience. Although Buffett felt comfortable drawing certain parallels between leading a company and overseeing a not-for-profit or a charity organization, he also addressed the significant differences.

His points highlighted the dangers of always applying a corporate mindset to a philanthropic cause.

The first point that Buffett made, was the importance of delegation and hiring. He talked about how in business he has a manager responsible for a $4 billion dollar business to whom he rarely speaks. However, Buffett trusts him to do the job and subsequently provides that manager with the space necessary to do it. That’s not to say that Buffett is completely disconnected from that business. He discussed the delicate balance of being able to delegate while still staying informed. To delegate well, Buffett identified what tasks are non-essential for him to perform personally and figuring out who is not only capable, but determining who he trusts will do the job. If any of those aspects are missing from this person, it’s likely that the delegation would be short-lived.

The way that Buffett’s vision for philanthropy truly differs from his thoughts on business has to do with the projected timeline. Buffett states that he has no way of knowing what issues will be most pressing in the future. However, he can clearly evaluate what societal ills exist now. With that in mind, he is much more focused on the present when it comes to giving. Leading by example, Buffett donates a significant portion of his wealth to philanthropic causes encouraging short-term spending. When making business decisions, Buffett considers the future health of his business even after he is no longer there to oversee it. Buffett suggests that while planning is a key component in contributing sizable donations to philanthropic causes, there is a sense of immediacy that’s absent in the case of strategizing on behalf of an enduring company. And finally, Buffett suggest that other potential philanthropists reconsider or even abandon their current metrics for success. He suggests that being so focused on numbers won’t accurately reflect the “rate of success” of a charity. Instead, he acknowledges that some causes may need time to establish quantifiable “success”, if it ever happens at all.

The big takeaway from the most generous man today, is that while not-for-profit organizations should take hints from their for-profit counterparts on the executive side, philanthropy is a whole other beast.