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Donation

Chinese Business Magnate to Donate $961M Bonus to Charity

Photo: Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun launches the company’s own chipset Surge S1 and Mi 5c smartphone on Feb 28, 2017 in Beijing, China.
Source: zhangjin_net / Shutterstock.com

One of China’s most successful entrepreneurs has pledged to donate his entire bonus to charity—a sum that totals nearly $1 billion.

Lei Jun is the founder and CEO of Xiaomi, one of China’s leading smartphone manufacturers. On Wednesday, Xiaomi said in a regulatory filing that Lei would be given more than 636.6 million shares as a reward for “his contributions to the company.” According to CNN, that equates to roughly 7.54 billion Hong Kong dollars, or about $961 million.

In the filing, Xiaomi announced that Lei intends to donate all of the shares (after deducting taxes) to charitable causes. However, the company did not name any specific recipients.

While $961 million may sound like a lot of money, it’s relatively little compared to Lei’s overall net worth. According to real-time wealth estimates from Bloomberg and Forbes, the 49-year-old is worth approximately $11 billion.

Xiaomi, which Lei founded in 2010, was once considered the world’s most valuable startup. After just three years, it was worth more than LG, Motorola, and Sony combined. By 2018, it became the fourth largest phone manufacturer in the world.

Early critics called it a cheap replica of the iPhone. But as CNN reports, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Xiaomi’s range of smartphones priced under $200 has made it the most popular phone manufacturer in India.

But dominating the Indian market is far easier than dominating the U.S. market. If Xiaomi wants to take on that challenge, it will have to compete with leading manufacturers Apple and Samsung.

Adding to that challenge is the fact that Xiaomi’s stock has taken a dip due to concerns about the U.S.-China trade war. The company is unlikely to infiltrate the American market until those issues are resolved.

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Advice

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty if You Can’t Afford to Donate

A lot of people find themselves asking, “When is the right time to donate?” The answer is simple: when all of your needs are taken care of first.

If that sounds selfish, allow us to explain why it’s not.

As a society, we’ve been conditioned to put others’ needs above our own. But when you sacrifice your personal necessities in the name of others, you’ll end up feeling stressed, dissatisfied, and unfulfilled.

Generosity is not supposed to make you feel that way. Giving to others is supposed to make you feel inspired, joyful, and exuberant. And the only way you’ll be able to experience those positive vibes is to give from a place of love rather than guilt.

If you’re not doing well financially, chances are you already feel bad about your situation. Don’t compound those feelings of guilt by giving away money that you don’t have.

And for the record, there’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first. In fact, in survival situations, it’s a necessity. Just think about how airlines encourage passengers to put their own oxygen masks on first before helping others.

Put another way, think about this quote from Eleanor Brownn:

“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve others on an empty vessel.”

If giving is your passion even though it’s not financially feasible to do so now, then use your current misfortunate as motivation to earn more income. In other words, it’s time to set some goals. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much money do I need to be making in order to cover my own basic expenses?
  • How much money would I like to give to charity?
  • What are some ways that I can increase my earnings?
  • What is a realistic timeline that I can set for myself to accomplish my financial goals?

Remember: just because you cannot donate now doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to. Your current predicament is not your permanent predicament. There’s always room change, grow, and donate in the future.

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Donation

Donating Stocks to Charities

There are a lot of ways to donate money to charitable causes, but one that often gets overlooked is donating stocks. While donating cash is generally the most efficient way to give to an organization, by donating an appreciated stock, you give the organization the opportunity to sell that stock and add the resulting cash directly to their coffers, which generally allows them (and you) to avoid paying taxes on that money.

In essence, this is a way for people who own stocks that have appreciated to reduce their taxes on them. Sure, it’s not the noblest reason to donate them, but whatever works. Frankly, it doesn’t matter why somebody donates to a nonprofit, so long as that donation isn’t illegally obtained. And donating makes people feel good, so even the smallest donations are still at least a little bit driven by personal benefit.

The difference between selling a stock, paying the taxes on it, and donating the remainder versus just donating the stock isn’t all that great, but it does result in more money for the charitable organization (provided the stock in question doesn’t end up dropping in value, but it’s still money that the organization didn’t have in the first place). So if you happen to own appreciated stocks, and you were thinking of selling some of them off in order to make a donation to a specific group, donate the stock instead.

There are a few things to check first, namely that the stock has appreciated, because otherwise you are better off selling it first. But you also need to make sure that the organization to which you donate the stock is qualified by the IRS, which is easy enough to find out by looking them up on the IRS website. An unqualified organization isn’t going to be able to avoid paying taxes on that stock.

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News Organizations

Earthquake in Italy: How to Help

On August 24, 2016, Italy was hit with a devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake that killed at least 250 people. In addition to the tragic fatalities, hundreds of civilians have lost their homes, leaving a huge demand for housing, food, water, and clothing. The following organizations are reputable charities that are dedicated to helping the victims of Italy’s recent earthquake.

All Hands Volunteers

Based in the U.S., All Hands Volunteers is one of the world’s largest disaster relief programs. Their vision is to “demonstrate the power and value of volunteer service through the tangible work done, the hope it brings to suffering communities and the transformative experiences it provides for volunteers.” With over 35,000 volunteers, the organization is estimated to have impacted at least 500,000 people from all over the world. NGO Advisor ranked All Hands Volunteers as one of the top NGOs of the year. Just this past May, the Traveler’s Institute awarded All Hands Volunteers with its 2016 Community Resilience Award. To make a donation to All Hands Volunteers, click here.

GlobalGiving

Established in 2002, Global Giving leaves its mark as the world’s first and largest crowd funding organization for nonprofits. Since its inception, GlobalGiving has raised an impressive $229,446,593 from over 500,000 donors. 85% of every donation goes directly towards supporting causes. The remaining 15% is reserved for servicing charges, including administrative costs and credit card transaction fees. To donate to GlobalGiving, click here.

The National Italian American Foundation

With a mission to “serve as a resource for the Italian American community,” the National Italian American Foundation funds scholarships, mentorship programs, and travel grants. Commenced in 1975, the organization is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that seeks to improve relations between America and Italy. Due to Italy’s recent earthquake, the organization is currently accepting donations to help with disaster relief efforts. To donate to the National Italian American Foundation, click here.

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Donation Organizations

For Animal Lovers: A List of Organizations Worth Giving To

There’s an animal lover in all of us. And yet, there are simply too many organizations, too many causes, and too many scams to make a person feel hesitant about giving to one. That’s why we did the research for you. Each charity listed has been given a 4-star rating (the highest rating possible) by industry watchdog Charity Navigator.

WildAid

“When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.” WildAid’s famous conservation slogan has captured the attention of celebrity supporters, including Jackie Chan, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kate Hudson. The organization tops the charts with an unbeatable 99.15 out of 100 score.

Animal Welfare Association

With an overall rating of 96.66 out of 100, the Animal Welfare Association’s (AWA) total revenue for 2015 was $3,073,759. 81% of the total revenue ($2,672,676) was spent on program-related expenses including spay and neuter programs, no-kill housing, and onsite veterinary care.

St. Hubert’s Animal Center

Located in New Jersey, this animal shelter received an overall rating of 96.25 out of 100 for their outstanding accountability and transparency efforts. St. Hubert’s has received national recognition for their 24/7 animal care services that are available 363 days a year.

Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals

With 86.7% of all money going towards program-related expenses, there’s no doubt that this organization is dedicated to the services it provides. The organization’s number one goal is to prevent the euthanasia of animals by providing free spay/neuter services to low and middle-income families.

Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever concentrates their efforts on habitat restoration, wetland preservation, and the protection of prairies. Instead of working against hunters, Pheasants Forever works alongside hunters, farmers, and ranchers to conserve natural habitats.

Detroit Zoological Society

This dedicated team of zookeepers, veterinarians, and ambassadors travel around the world to rescue endangered species. For every dollar donated, 86 cents will go towards animal care. With a total revenue of $44 million, there’s no doubt this organization has, and will continue, to make a huge impact.

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News Organizations

Flooding in Louisiana: Organizations To Give To

Almost 7 trillion gallons of water dumped down on Louisiana in one week. The U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, and local emergency responders had to rescue 30,000 people and 1,400 pets. 40,000 homes suffered damage from the water. This catastrophe is the worst natural disaster to occur in the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy five years ago, and people are still recovering from that disaster.

In the wake of these floods, 86,000 people have applied for federal disaster aid. Those trying to assist the displaced and get them out of emergency shelters are already running into massive issues. The normal strategy for disaster relief rehousing is to use rental properties. But because these properties were damaged during the floods, there is a huge housing shortage.

While the National Weather Service had predicted flooding, no one estimated the magnitude of the calamity. Especially in a disaster-prone state like Louisiana, this was beyond residents’ expectations and preparations. In the areas that saw the worst flooding, property-owners are distraught not just because of the damage, but because most owners didn’t pay for flood insurance. The properties aren’t in the normal flood plane, and are at a high enough elevation to where this type of insurance isn’t generally considered.

The governor of Louisiana is calling on aid organizations and individuals to volunteer in Louisiana. The mud will need to be removed from the houses as the water recedes. Louisianans are in over their heads, and can’t do it on their own. Charity Navigator names main aid organizations that provide domestic relief in the U.S. after natural disasters. Along with the Red Cross, the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Direct Relief, and Convoy of Hope are the four main organizations handling relief. While some were lucky and only sustained slight damage, many Americans are left without a roof over their heads. They will be reliant on the help of fellow Americans for weeks to come.

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News

Americans Aren’t Saving Much, But They Still Donate

According to recent surveys by Google Consumer Surveys and bankrate.com, 62% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings, and 21% have no savings account to speak of. The data has raised some concerns among fundraisers as to the ability of people to donate to charitable causes, especially retired people. 4 out of 5 people between the ages of 30 and 54 don’t think they’ll have enough money to retire.

There are, of course, deeper problems that these numbers elude too, but it makes sense for fundraisers to be concerned about their ability to raise money for charities. Although charitable donations in 2014 totaled $360 billion, which is the highest in decades and was the fifth year in a row that donations increased, that still only amounts to about 2% of the nation’s GDP, a ratio which has stayed relatively stable for the last half a century or so. That increase is due more to a recovering economy than to a sudden spike in empathy.

For those concerned about their ability to raise funds, the relative lack of personal wealth out there might seem disheartening, but people are still donating, and willing to continue doing so. The trick to getting those donations looks to be improving communications to potential donors. People want to know what their money will go to, especially those who don’t have a lot of it, and they want to feel like their donation is going to something useful. Transparency is key here, as groups less willing, or less able, to explain how they use funds are less likely to receive them, at least form smaller donors. But not everyone can tap into lifelong donors for whom writing big checks isn’t a problem. Learning to appeal to smaller donors by being honest and working hard is the best way to overcome a fear that they can’t donate much.

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Resources

Dallas Nonprofit Sends Supplies for Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

MediSend
IMG: via MediSend

MediSend International, a Dallas-based nonprofit that distributes medical supplies, is now focusing its attention on West Africa, the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak. The company is concerned for those fighting the outbreak and is trying to make sure they are able to replenish essential supplies they may have exhausted already.

Nick Hallack, CEO of MediSend International, says care for Ebola patients requires items many hospitals in developing countries are lacking such as specialized hazmat equipment along with basic medical supplies. MediSend is trying to alleviate some of the stress being put on the likely exhausted outbreak workers and strengthen their resolve in the best way they can. By sending essential supplies, MediSend is hoping to establish itself as a resource for the medical professionals at the heart of the Ebola outbreak.

Mark Luke, who works as a respiratory therapist at JFK Medical Center in Monrovia, Liberia, came to the United States a week ago to help MediSend prepare the shipments. Luke is working towards a certificate in biochemical engineering through MediSend’s Global Education Center, and says his native country, Liberia, is currently facing its first ever Ebola outbreak. When Luke left just a week ago, the medical center he works in had as many as 52 confirmed patients quarantined in a specialized camp. Of the outbreak, Luke has said that it is the worst thing he has seen in the twelve years he’s worked in the hospital, including HIV and even cancer.

“When people heard about Ebola first [time] in Liberia they couldn’t believe it,” Luke said. “They thought it was some rumors. But, when people start to die, everybody got panicked and didn’t know what to do.”

The panic, fear, and chaos the Ebola outbreak has caused in West Africa is likely making the outbreak even harder for the hospital staff to contain. With nonprofit organizations such as MediSend aiding the situation by sending supplies, there is hope that the outbreak will be more contained soon.

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Profiles

Australian Billionaire Paul Ramsay Leaves Bulk of Fortune to Charity

Paul Ramsay
Paul Ramsay. IMG: via Paul Ramsay Group.

Earlier this month, Australia’s “gentleman billionaire” Paul Ramsay died at age 78 after suffering from a heart attack while abroad. Known for his kindhearted nature, immense generosity, and world-renowned health care empire, Ramsay is survived by his twin sister Anne and brother Peter. The self-made billionaire and philanthropist will reportedly leave the bulk of his $3.2 billion dollar fortune to charity, allowing his legacy and commitment to bettering the lives of others live on.

A college dropout, Paul Ramsay built Ramsay Health Care from the ground up in 1964. Today, Ramsay Health Care has grown to become a global hospital group, with 151 hospitals and surgery facilities across Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Indonesia, and Malaysia. “The company is well-respected throughout the health care industry for operating quality private hospitals and for its excellent record in hospital management and patient care,” explains its profile. Ramsay Health Care operates on a humanitarian-minded set of philosophies known as “The Ramsay Way,” cultivated over time by its founder. Not only are patients of Ramsay Health Care hospitals and clinics well cared for; the entire company fosters a culture of compassion for employees and their families as well.

Forbes reports that nearly all of Ramsay’s multi-billion dollar estate will go to the Paul Ramsay Foundation, making the estimated $3.2 billion dollar donation the largest in Australia’s history. In the past, Ramsay’s philanthropic efforts have benefited the health care industry, the arts, education, and the environment. Ramsay has also donated vital funds to Parent Infant Family Australia, a charity that supports vulnerable women and children during and after pregnancies, as well as liberal political endeavors. He has held the title of the eighth-richest person in Australia for a number of years, in addition to his fortune representing the largest monetary donation in the country’s history.

A kind and generous human being, Paul Ramsay gave his life to providing better health care, and supporting others. His passing represents a tremendous loss, but his legacy of giving will continue to live on.

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Resources

American Philanthropists Lead the Global Ranking of Giving

The United States ranks highest in  in regards to their amount of philanthropic giving.
The United States ranks highest amount of philanthropic giving.
IMG: via Shutterstock.

Have you ever wondered how different parts of the world rank in regards to their amount of philanthropic giving? Thanks to the “BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index” by Forbes Insights, now you don’t have to.

According to Forbes, “the 2014 BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index measures and reflects the commitment of individual philanthropists from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and, for the first time, the U.S. in terms of three main criteria: the amounts given, innovation and the effort invested to promote their causes,” of the annual study. The data for the Philanthropy Index is compiled in part from a survey of more than 400 individuals, as well as from additional interviews with “ultra-wealthy philanthropists” in the listed regions conducted by Forbes. The purpose of the Index is to measure the amount of sustainable and efficient philanthropy is being cultivated by the world’s top individual givers.

The Philanthropic Index measures the commitment of individual philanthropists based on the set criteria, and gives them a score out of 100, before evaluating these scores for regional trends. This year, the United States scores 53.2, followed by Europe at a score of 46.3, Asia at 42.4, and the Middle East at 29.4. According to Forbes, “In the highest-scoring regions, not only to individuals give the most, but they also approach philanthropy in an innovative way and actively promote their causes.

The overall regional scores of this year’s Philanthropic Index reveal that although the U.S. has the top ranking, Europe and the other regions are actually not that far behind. As Forbes notes, “The lead of the U.S., viewed as an innovator, is not wide. […] Outside the U.S., more philanthropists are operating their own programs,” rather than relying on inheritances as is the trend in Western Europe and America. Forbes calls Asian philanthropists “trailblazers in wealth creation and philanthropy,” and pegs them as being more innovative in this realm.

Some American philanthropists that can be considered innovators include Pierre and Pam Omidyar, Bill Gates, and dozens of others who are as committed to promoting their causes and being trailblazers as they are writing checks. Thanks to the BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index, American philanthropists can take cues from other philanthropic leaders abroad, who are slowly gaining on them in terms of individual giving.

Learn more about the Philanthropic Index by visiting Forbes Insights.