Give To Colombia Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Give to Colombia

Give to Colombia, a US-based nonprofit organization is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special event.  The organization is known for their transparency and delivering targeted dollars toward Colombia’s biggest issues.

According to the organization’s website, they “create, promote and facilitate alliances between international donors and Colombian grassroots organizations.”

This year is the nonprofit’s tenth anniversary.  They are thriving as more and more people get involved.  Give To Columbia has three branches which each serve to support and enhance the other two.  They are education, economic development and health and nutrition.

In terms of education, they provide teacher training and an elevated academic success.  For economic development, they provide job training and teach how to start and maintain a business as well as save money for the future.  For health and nutrition, they partner with other organizations to bring the necessary people and medicine to the region.

“It is the way to have an impact through donations in a directed and trustworthy manner, with an organization established according to the legal standards of the United States which for multi-national companies like ours is very important,” said a representative of Give to Columbia.

To celebrate their anniversary, the non-profit is hosting a celebration.

“With the help of our allies and supportive community, our organization has been able to benefit the most vulnerable populations in Colombia, raising funds that supported more than 160 projects and impacted over 250,000 people,” said a representative of Give To Colombia.

The Colombian Central Bank has given the organization a collection of vintage bills that will be signed by famous Colombian celebrities, artists and musicians.  The idea is that they will “leave their mark” on the bills to express how your donation adds value to Columbia and multiplies.

Some of the people on the host committee include Andres Santo Domingo, Alejandro Santo Domingo, and Lauren Santo Domingo—that’s almost the whole Santo Domingo family—Angela Maria Tafur, Missy Carricarte, and many more. Let’s get giving!

Organizations Resources

Turnaround for Children: Annual Impact Awards Dinner

Turn Around for Children
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Turnaround for Children is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2002 to help poverty-stricken children and schools succeed. Turnaround for Children partners with some of the most impoverished schools in New York and Washington, DC, and works to transform them into “calm, effective learning environment[s].” In a time when one in four children in the United States is being raised in poverty, the need for effective and innovative programs is greater than ever before.

The organization is currently partnered with 20 and is exploring expansion options in Baltimore and Newark. Its partnerships are determined through a mutual selection process, and selected schools agree to hire and pay a full-time social worker to work with students and staff. Turnaround partners with local mental health providers and deploys a team to work intensively with the schools for between 3 and 5 years.

This team consists of a Social Work Consultant, and Instructional Coach, and a Program Director. Together, they help the school build a student support system to help children in need; train teachers in classroom management and instructional strategies to combat poverty-specific challenges like disruption and engagement; and strengthen the school’s leadership and achievement expectations.

“Some people believe we must fix poverty in order to fix public schools,” Turnaround writes. “We do not. We believe poverty presents profound but predictable and recurring challenges to students, teachers, and schools. This enables us to design a targeted, precise intervention to address them.”

Now Turnaround is preparing for its “Turnaround Impact Awards Dinner,” which will honor Goldman Sachs Gives for its generous giving spirit. The Goldman Sachs has a vast array of projects that it gives money to, features on its website, and encourages community members to get involved with. Past award recipients include Goldie Hawn, Joel Klein, John Legend and Merryl Tisch, among others.

This year’s gala will be held on Tuesday, April 30th. John Legend will give a special guest performance, along with some of the children involved with Turnaround. Speakers will include Joel Klein, Katherine Bradley, and Pamela Cantor. Chairs for the event include notable New Yorkers such as Cristina & Chris Cuomo, Lauren & Andres Santo Domingo, and Stephanie & David Wolkoff.

As of Monday, March 18th, Turnaround had already raised $835,650 of its $1.2 million or more goal. Tickets to the event are still available for purchase, ranging in price from $1,000-$2,500 per person. Full 10-person tables can also be purchased for $10,000-$50,000 each. Those interested in supporting Turnaround for Children can also make individual donations online.


How Effective Are Galas at Raising Money?

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IMG: Land Rover MENA via Flickr

Gala benefits have received their fair share of criticism over the years, with many individuals complaining that they are an inefficient way to make money for organizations. Indeed, galas do take a LOT of volunteer time and money to put together, but there’s no question that they can also bring in stunning amounts of donations when carried out properly.

Gala benefits require staff—waiters, bartenders, auctioneers, DJs, and more—and it’s not always possible to find good Samaritans willing to volunteer, so part of the revenue must go toward paying those employees. If a gala is carried out correctly, though, costs should be minimized and donations should far outweigh them; if not, an organization could lose money hosting a gala.

Gala benefits are hosted for a few purposes. First, they tend to get people excited about a cause. Second, they might honor a particularly committed or influential donor/community member. Third, they raise money through tickets, auctions, and donations. One-time donations are popular among guests who aren’t overly involved in the organization, but it’s certainly possible that other more committed donors could emerge.

Donations at gala benefits may not be as altruistic as simply writing and sending a check, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Revenues will be smaller because of the cost of the event, but donors will get a chance to socialize and get each other excited about the cause. This can ultimately create more “buzz” and awareness within the community, which could attract new supporters.

When organizing galas, groups should be sure that the hosting committee is full of influential and affluent members of the community. People with better connections will create a bigger buzz and can attract more donors and attendees. Some of the biggest and best galas have been hosted by well-known names: Actress Sarah Jessica Parker (Dance By Design), Vogue contributing editor Lauren and husband Andres Santo Domingo (DKMS Linked Against Blood Cancer), and businessman François-Henri Pinault and wife Salma Hayek (Costume Institute).


DKMS: ending the Fight Against Blood Cancer

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Heidi Klum at the 2012 DKMS Event
IMG: lev radin /

Every year, millions of people struggle to win the fight against blood cancer. DKMS is an organization that began with one girl’s heart-wrenching experience of watching her mother fight and lose that battle. Katharina Harf was just thirteen when her mother, Mechtild, was diagnosed with acute leukemia. Mechtild was told she could be saved by a bone marrow transplant, but there were only 3,000 donors in Germany at the time.

Mechtild’s husband and Katharina’s father, Peter Harf worked tirelessly to find a donor, recruiting nearly 70,000 donors in one year and forming DKMS with his wife’s doctor at the time, Dr. Gerhard Ehninger. They knew that other families and patients needed the same access to donors, and wanted to make that information accessible to all.

Mechtild was beaten by her blood cancer, but now her daughter, Katharina, works to make sure others don’t have to lose their loved ones in the same way. DKMS has a registered bone marrow donor list of 3.3 million people who have provided more than 32,000 transplants worldwide. Katharina is its Chief Inspiration Officer.

In 2004, Katharina expanded DKMS into the U.S. and established recruitment programs and educational campaigns throughout the country. Each year, DKMS holds a gala to further raise awareness and money for the cause, which is organized by New York socialites such as Lauren and Andres Santo Domingo (we previously profiled Andres Santo Domingo). This past year, Heidi Klum was honored for her efforts in raising awareness.

The DKMS website offers information about bone cancer as well as fundraising opportunities and a section to register to get swabbed. Each swab costs $65 to register, and yet DKMS does not require new donors to pay and therefore relies on donations from the public to continue functioning.


Andres Santo Domingo: a New York Philanthropist

andres santo domingo
IMG: via Forbes Credit: Billy Farrell/Sipa/Newscom

Andres Santo Domingo is one of those people who is a true philanthropist.  A record label owner and New York socialite, both he and his wife Lauren Santo Domingo are heavily involved in the community in the city.  The son of Colombian businessman Julio Mario Santo Domingo Pumarejo, Andres grew up in New York City, attending St. Bernard’s School, and it makes sense that he would continue to give back to the community he lives in and loves.

Both Lauren and Andres Santo Domingo have been heavily involved in the arts in the city, as well as various environmental initiatives.  For more information about Andres Santo Domingo and his involvement in the community check out our profile on him.