Boston University Students Climb Mount Kilimanjaro for Charity

Boston University Students Climb Mount Kilimanjaro for Charity

May 24

Typically, a charity fundraising event consists of a gala, an auction, a marathon, or maybe even a raffle. But a group of students from Boston University found a different way to raise money for charity. The students (11 women and one man) decided to scale Mount Kilimanjaro in the name of philanthropy. The group raised over $66,000 for their trip, half of which went towards travel expenditures; the other half went towards the Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to families of children with cancer. “One of our main missions is to raise awareness. The climb and the students from Boston University help us to further spread our mission,” said Carly Bergstein, program director of the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. “Here we have 12 students who before knew nothing about B+ and are now taking on this incredible trek. They’re going to the top of Kilimanjaro with B+ posters and banners and T-shirts. It’s incredible for us that students care so much and become so dedicated to the mission of fighting childhood cancer—while doing something really exciting for themselves.” The trip was organized by Alexa Nutter, who is currently enrolled in Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. For her, the issue of cancer hits close to home. “My grandma has cancer,” Nutter stated. “I’ve worked with kids who had cancer and coached special needs hockey at my high school. It was something I’ve done for a really long time.” With the exception of two students who had to drop out due to altitude sickness, the group completed the 19,341-foot trek. It took them a total of eight days (six up and two down). While Nutter and her fellow comrades admit that the hike was a challenge, they maintain that their efforts were worth it in the...

The Man Who Thwarted Global Ransomware Attack Will Donate $10,000 Reward to Charity

The Man Who Thwarted Global Ransomware Attack Will Donate $10,000 Reward to Charity

May 17

At just 22 years old, Marcus Hutchins is already a hero. Hutchins, a British IT expert, was the man responsible for thwarting last week’s WannaCrypt (commonly referred to as “WannaCry”) ransomware virus. The virus has already infected an estimated 200,000 computers in Europe alone, with an additional 40,000 Chinese organizations affected as well. If not for Hutchins, the malware would have infected thousands more. But despite all this, Hutchins maintains that he not a hero. Rather, he claims that thwarting the attack was merely “the right thing to do.” “I’m definitely not a hero,” Hutchins told The Associated Press. “I’m just someone doing my bit to stop botnets.” But here at Philanthropic People, we beg to differ. It’s not just the fact that Hutchins stopped the attack, but rather what he did afterwards that has us buzzing. HackerOne, an organization that rewards “ethical hackers” for finding cyber security flaws, gave Hutchins a $10,000 (£7,800) reward for successfully foiling the attack. But instead of keeping the money for himself (as he would have every right to do) Hutchins instead decided to donate it to charity. “They [HackerOne] got in touch to offer the bounty, which I decided to claim and donate to multiple charities, as well as save a bit for helping people looking to get into security have access to educational resources,” Hutchins told The Telegraph. According to NBC News, Hutchins thwarted the attack in just a matter of hours. He was able to stop the virus from spreading by locating a website address within the malware code that acted as a kill switch. He then registered the website domain, which essentially deactivated the virus and kept it from spreading. Hutchins plans to hold a vote to help him decide which charity to donate to. Those who want to get into contact with him can find him on Twitter...

New Report Illustrates Trends in Philanthropy Based Off Gender and Age

New Report Illustrates Trends in Philanthropy Based Off Gender and Age

May 11

Fidelity Charitable has just released a new study on giving trends as it relates to gender and generation. One of the most notable findings is that 72% of Baby Boomer women are satisfied with their charitable giving, compared to just 55% of Millennial women. “Boomer women, whose age and life experience make them more seasoned givers, report significantly more satisfaction with their giving than Millennials do—suggesting that giving gets better with age,” a statement from the report reads. “Meanwhile, Millennial women, who are still building wealth and discovering their philanthropic purpose, are more impulsive; 71 percent said they give in the moment, compared with 48 percent of Boomers.” The study also found that Millennial women are more motivated to give from their heart versus their head. Official figures point to 75% of Millennial women giving from a place of empathy versus just 62% of Baby Boomer women. This led researchers to conclude that by and large, Baby Boomer women are more logical when it comes to giving. But when it comes to differences across gender, the findings show that men are overall more likely to give from a place of logic versus a place of emotion. Only 53% of men said that they are motivated to give from their heart, versus 64% of women. And there’s a similar contrast when it comes to strategic giving. 40% of men said that they are motivated to give “in the moment” versus being more strategic. Compare that to 51% of women who prefer to give in the moment. But when it comes to seeking advice, the study concluded that women are far more likely to seek counsel from experts while men are more likely to seek guidance from personal contacts. Official figures point to 61% of women who prefer receiving advice from experts compared to just 47% of men. To read the full report, click...

Franklin & Marshall College Establishes Revolutionary New Educational Program, Thanks to Generous Gift By Alumnus

Franklin & Marshall College Establishes Revolutionary New Educational Program, Thanks to Generous Gift By Alumnus

May 05

Franklin & Marshall College has introduced a radical new program that is designed to help students develop the characteristics that are most often associated with success. The program, called the Mehlman Talent Initiative, is funded by Ken Mehlman, who earned his B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College in 1988. Throughout his many years as a successful businessman, Mehlman has found that grit is the number one attribute that all successful people have in common. And he’s not alone in this theory. An article published in The Muse lists “resilience” as the number one quality that all successful people have in common. Even Business Insider credits “persistence” as a collective trait that the world’s most successful people share. But how does one teach the qualities of resilience and persistence (commonly referred to as “grit”)? That’s what Mehlman is trying to figure out. The entire focus of the Mehlman Talent Initiative involves studying the ways in which high-achieving, disadvantaged students have overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges. These challenges range from poverty to disability to illness and even discrimination. “At a time of increased global competition, accelerating technological evolution, and rapidly shifting business, political, and social environments, resilience and the ability to rebound and reinvent are critical,” Mehlman stated. “Young men and women who have already overcome adversity bring different life experiences and are well positioned for 21st century success, but they need practical tools to flourish. This initiative will support these students and provide a framework for the rest of us to learn from them.” Daniel R. Porterfield, president of Franklin & Marshall College, couldn’t be more excited about the program. He praised Mr. Mehlman’s dedication to the project, and even likened it to an empowerment program. “As a Trustee, Ken Mehlman has been deeply involved in our collective decision-making to pursue an expanded financial aid strategy for talented students that has reshaped the College dramatically in the past decade, making an F&M education available to many more first-generation, lower- and middle-income students from all across the country,” Porterfield stated. “With this tremendous gift—half of which is dedicated to financial aid—he further enables the College to cultivate the greatness of high-achieving students so that they will be empowered to achieve big goals in their lives and make disproportionately positive contributions to society. The Mehlman Talent Initiative will continue to make F&M a stronger school and help us create an...

Top 10 Charity Wine Auctions in the U.S.

Top 10 Charity Wine Auctions in the U.S.

May 03

Last week, Wine Spectator magazine released their annual report on the top 10 charity wine auctions in the U.S. Using data gathered from previous years, the publication has determined that overall revenue was down in 2016. In total, $33 million was raised from live auction bids in 2016, compared to $36.9 million in 2015. Nevertheless, charity wine auctions are still a very effective means of fundraising. Here, we’ve listed the top 10 based on how much money was raised from live bids. 1. Naples Winter Wine Festival Located in Naples, Florida, the Naples Winter Wine Festival raised a whomping $10,485,000 for charity. This will be the 11th time that the Naples Winter Wine Festival has made it into the top 10. 2. Auction Napa Valley Based out of St. Helena, California, Auction Napa Valley closed in at $9,800,000. All proceeds went towards local health and children’s charities. 3. Destin Charity Wine Auction This Florida-based charity wine auction raised an impressive $2,359,225. The money was used to support local children’s organizations. 4. Auction of Washington Wines Washington State came in at number four with a total of $1,900,500 raised during the Auction of Washington Wines. 5. Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction Trailing just behind Auction of Washington Wines, Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction raised $1,862,500. 6. Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest managed to raise $1,549,584 during their annual event. 7. Rusty Staub Foundation Wine Auction Dinner New York made the list of the top 10 with The Rusty Staub Foundation Wine Auction Dinner. During this event, organizers raised $1,524,350. 8. Classic Wines Auction The Classic Wines Auction, based out of Portland, Oregon, came in at $1,514,565. 9. V Foundation Wine Celebration Based out of Oakville, California, this charity wine auction raked in $1,377,850. 10. Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction & Dinner And at number 10 we have the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction & Dinner. This Texas charity wine auction raised $1,304,500 for the Houston Livestock Show and...

The Most Costly Mistake That Charities Make

The Most Costly Mistake That Charities Make

Apr 26

As the nonprofit sector grows increasingly competitive, charities cannot afford to make too many mistakes. Unfortunately, there’s still one mistake in particular that charities are making, and it’s costing them both donors and resources. The mistake is inundating donors with unwanted solicitations, whether that’s in the form of snail mail, e-mails, texts, or phone calls. It’s costly because it takes up time, money, and assets and in the end it only annoys donors and makes them less likely to donate in the future. Part of the reason it’s still so commonly committed is because once upon a time, it was considered a best practice. But it is now 2017. People live busy lives. The average American is already swamped with junk mail; the last thing they need is more spam. Do this instead: ask donors if they would like to receive newsletters and other information pertaining to the charity. Better yet, leave a checkbox on their donation form so that they don’t feel compelled to say “yes” when asked in person. Believe it or not, there are literally thousands of people who just want to make a one-time donation… and that’s okay. It’s unrealistic to think that sending tons of mail will convert this demographic into life-long donors. If anything, it will have the reverse effect. Not to mention, due to technology, most donors refer to an organization’s website for all the latest news and updates. Heavily invested donors can also follow the organization on social media as a way to stay current. In the end, if the person cares enough about the charity and the cause, they will continue to donate. It is the charity’s responsibility to ask donors whether or not they would like to receive additional news or information pertaining to the organization. It’s all about respecting the wants and desires of...

Harvard Business School Grads Give Back to Their Alma Mater

Harvard Business School Grads Give Back to Their Alma Mater

Apr 21

The year was 2013, and it was time for the Harvard Business School Class of 2008’s five-year reunion. As usual, two alumni stepped up to chair the committee that planned the reunion, and as usual, there was a lot of discussion on how to make the event both a fun experience and a meaningful way to fundraise for their alma mater. Reunion committee co-chair Alex Crisses decided to take on the fundraising element. He had some ideas about what would appeal to his classmates, but he wanted help from a mentor who had a lot of experience in raising funds for Harvard Business School. He found that mentor in Alan “AJ” Jones, who had been involved in HBS fundraising since he received his MBA in 1987. Together, they formulated a plan that led to a great deal of support for Harvard Business School’s HBS Fund for Leadership and Innovation. “AJ did a phenomenal job of helping us see the connection between support of the HBS Fund and the priorities of the school,” said Crisses, now a managing director at global private equity firm General Atlantic. “He spoke at our class event in New York about why HBS is important to him. It resonated deeply with our class members.” As well it should. The HBS Fund for Leadership and Innovation supports four major areas: fellowships, educational innovation, global understanding, and research. Fellowships are need-based financial aid awards that enable Harvard Business School to attract the most talented students regardless of their financial circumstances. Through its educational innovation initiatives, the fund allows HBS to continue to develop its curricula, most recently adding more hands-on learning and online content. Gifts supporting the development of global cases and courses allow students and faculty to get firsthand experience in markets around the world. Support of research allows faculty to pursue their own ideas without the constraints of sponsored research. “AJ gave us the blueprint for talking about what the HBS Fund supports,” said Crisses. “Together, we developed a fundraising mantra—educate people about what’s going on HBS and tell them how we are raising money for change and transformation.” The HBS Fund allows the school to quickly and thoughtfully pursue innovative ideas because, unlike other funds, it is not restricted. “In business, venture capital or R&D budgets seed the most promising new ideas,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohira. “In academia, where endowments are generally restricted...

California Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Horse Rescue/Veteran Charity

California Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Horse Rescue/Veteran Charity

Apr 19

The Central Coast Equine Rescue and Retirement (CCERR) and Wounded Warriors Support Group (WWSG) are facing a civil lawsuit brought on by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The two charities claim to rescue abused horses and provide therapeutic horseback riding to wounded military veterans. But according to Becerra, none of that is true. Becerra alleges that the two charities scammed the public out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. A press release from the attorney general’s office reads: “CCERR and WWSG run raffles purportedly to support veterans and horses, but instead spend the donated proceeds for personal use.” Matthew G. Gregory and his wife Danella Gregory run the two charities with the help of their two adult children, Matthew J. Gregory and Gina Gregory. According to court documents, the family used public donations to fund their own personal expenditures, which include a $10,000 shopping trip to the hunting store. “Veterans and their families sacrifice immensely for our country,” Becerra stated. “There is no place for sham charities that claim to support our veterans when in reality they’re lining their own pockets. It’s a breach of the public trust to deceive and exploit the goodwill of generous Americans. It’s worse when you do so at the expense of our veterans. I will vigorously investigate and prosecute any charity falsely claiming to help our veterans.” But Matthew Gregory maintains that he and his family haven’t done anything wrong. “We will prove ourselves to be innocent because they can’t prove that we are doing anything. Let them try and prove that we squandered donated dollars. It’s not there,” Gregory told news outlet KSBW. But when asked by a KSBW reporter where the horses were being boarded, Gregory declined to give an answer. Aside from misallocating funds, prosecutors also allege that the Gregory family plagiarized photos and quotes from the Washington Post and used them on their website. Court documents reveal that the two charities raised a total of $782,434 over the 2014-2015 year, but the prosecution claims that none of that money was ever put towards the intended...