Organizations Changes Position to Paid

Lean In
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In response to public outcry, Sheryl Sandberg’s nonprofit dedicated to empowering women has retracted a posting made by an organization member for an unpaid internship.  A status update from Jessica Bennet, who edited Sheryl Sandberg’s best selling book Lean In, asked for a highly organized individual with social and editorial experience.

The status update sent people into an uproar.  Not only is the purpose of the organization to empower women to progress professional and demand being paid what they are worth, but also Sandberg recently cashed in over 90 million dollars in Facebook shares. While the organization did its best to explain that its volunteers were not replacing paid positions, the viral sharing overwhelmed the situation.

This week’s president Rachel Thomas announced that the group would be designing paid internships in response to the outcry.  No news has been released on what the positions would look like or how much interns will make.  There are currently six full time staff members at the organization.

Should nonprofits be treated like businesses when it comes to unpaid work?  The debate is strong.  Nonprofits are under constant pressure to be “efficient” in their internal costs.  Top charity rating organizations set the value of a charity by how much of the money goes directly to the cause.   At the same time, work should be treated as such.  While unemployment and underemployment is a top concern world wide, unpaid internships may be put under greater scrutiny.

Volunteers that respond to job posts do not have the same investments as a paid employee or someone close to the cause with means and free time to devote.  There are plenty of young, talented college graduates that would love to work for a nonprofit, but are too dependent on income to take internships.  The reaction from to take paid interns is a step in the right direction.  If nonprofits want to be part of the solution, paying people what they are worth is necessary.


Melinda Gates Uses Her Power for Good

Melinda Gates

The list of the world’s most powerful women by Forbes has listed Melinda Gates at position number 3. Melinda Gates is the co-founder and chair of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest grant giving foundation in the United States.

The Foundation has existed for 13 years and holds $34 billion in assets.  Goals they have set for the foundation this year are to eradicate polio within five years and distribute safe birth control to 120 million women in Africa and Asia.  She has given several TED talks on how to improve philanthropy and the important role that access to birth control plays in the empowerment of women.

Melinda and Bill have told their stakeholders that part of their mission will include investing in projects that fail. This is because they are willing to take the risk that governments and other organizations are not able to.  The Foundation specializes in immunizations, agricultural development, sanitation and other global health issues.

To read Melinda Gates’ entire profile, click here.

Organizations Profiles

Run for Congo Women’s Lisa Shannon

Run for Congo Women’s Lisa Shannon
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Democratic Republic of Congo may be one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a woman.  According to a report in The Guardian, 48 women are raped every hour in Congo.  That adds up to 1,152 every day.  It has become an unconscionable weapon of war in which almost every family has experienced atrocities.

The conflict in Congo began with the conclusion of the Rwandan genocide. The Interahamwe (the Hutu militias responsible for the massacre of 1 million in Rwanda in a period of four months) were pushed over the border into the Congo where they set up camp and began terrorizing the Congolese people.

When Lisa Shannon heard about the staggering statistics, in 2005, she was shocked to find out nobody was doing anything about it.  She knew these people were suffering so much more than she was, and she had to help.

Her first attempt to raise money began by her gaining sponsorship to run 30 miles.  Toward the end, the miles became gruelingly difficult.  Her feet bled.  Still, she felt if Congolese women could endure the brutal realities of war, then she could make it 30 miles.  This simple step lead to her repeatedly visiting Congo and writing a book called “A Thousand Sisters.” She then started a foundation, Run for Congo Women.

Her organization plans runs/walks around the country, and in Europe, to raise money.  Though it started small, her group raised over $700,000 for Women for Women International, an organization which sponsors women in order to help them learn skills to become self-reliant.

Lisa appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show along with Hilary Clinton, Nick Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn and Ben Affleck in 2009.  The airing of the show ended up raising over six million dollars and created 16,000 new sponsorships for Women for Women.

Shannon was a winner in Shape Magazine’s 2010 article about “women who shape the world.” She continues in her fight today.

Organizations Resources

Olivia Wilde and Emma Stone Support Revlon Run/Walk for Women

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The EIF Revlon Run/Walk For Women event was created in 1994 by Lilly Tartikoff, Ronald O. Perelman, and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Since its inception nearly a decade ago, the event has helped Revlon raise and distribute over 68 million dollars to help fight women’s cancers.

This year, actresses Olivia Wilde and Emma Stone participated in the New York City five-kilometer event, which was held on Saturday, May 4th. Both women are Revlon brand ambassadors. Stone’s mother, Krista, is a breast cancer survivor, so the charity strikes home for the actress. The two participated among other friends and family on team “Stone – Wald – Sullivan Warriors” and raised a total of $32,790, exceeding their $25,000 goal by far.

“Our team is named in honor of some very special people who were diagnosed with cancer since our team walked last year,” team captain Krista Stone wrote on the team page. “If you can’t join us in the walk, you can join us in the fight by making a pledge or donation on behalf of one of our team members.”

Wilde teamed up with Alyssa Bricklin to form “Team Badass.” Together, the two raised their goal amount of $20,000.

“Together, we will run or walk to raise funds that fuel ground-breaking research, provide diagnostic services, and support women facing cancer,” the team’s page reads. “Every step and every dollar brings us closer to the ultimate Finish Line – an end to women’s cancers.”

The next Revlon Run/Walk for women will be held on Saturday, May 11th. Registration is still open for interested participants, and even those who can’t attend the event can help by donating and spreading the word.


Organizations Resources

V-Day Launches One Billion Rising

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Today is the 15th anniversary of V-Day, a global initiative to end violence against women and girls. According to its website, V-Day is “a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery.”

In celebration of its 15th anniversary, V-Day launched One Billion Rising this year. It is estimated that one in three women will experience violence in their lifetime—which equals out to over 1 billion women worldwide. One Billion Rising calls for one billion women to rise up, stand out, and demand an end to such violence.

Through benefit performances, V-Day has raised both awareness and funds that help fight violence everywhere. In 2012, over 5,800 benefits took place on V-Day around the world. If violence against women is ever to end, we need to show the world a front of solidarity—no matter where we live, what we look like, or who we are—and that’s just what V-Day seeks to do.

In the fifteen years since it began, V-Day has raised over $90 million, which it distributes to grassroots, international and national organizations alike. It reaches across 167 countries worldwide and has consistently been named a top non-profit organization by sources like Marie-Claire Magazine, Worth Magazine, and GreatNonprofits.

The “V” in V-Day stands for many things, as does the organization itself. First, it stands for “Victory,” then for “Valentine,” and lastly for “Vagina.”


Jim C. Hines Fights Aicardi and Sexism

Jim C Hines
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Last year, Sci-Fi/Fantasy author Jim C. Hines decided he was fed up with the way women were depicted on the covers of books. He wanted to comment on it, but he also wanted to do so in a playful way that would catch people’s attention. So naturally, he decided to imitate the poses himself. What he got out of it was back pain—and a strong response from readers who either agreed with his sentiment or enjoyed the photos.

Rather than leave it at that, Jim C. Hines wanted to push the envelope a bit further. Next, he had his wife take photos of him posing again—but this time the males on covers. What he discovered was that males typically hold the position of dominance over a woman if they are both present—and if they are not, they still hold a “macho” pose. No strange contortions, no residual back pain for Hines at the end of the shoot.

In December, Jim C. Hines also decided to host a charity drive to raise money for Aicardi Syndrome. Aicardi Syndrome is a rare but vicious genetic disorder that can cause brain malformations, delays in development, seizures and more. Life expectancy is between 8 and 16 years old. Jim C. Hines has friends whose children suffer from Aicardi Syndrome—including one whose daughter recently passed away due to complications of it.

Hines told readers that in exchange for donations, he’d duplicate more book covers—at their request. If he raised his goal of $5,000 or more, he promised he’d gather together four other authors to duplicate the cover of Young Flandry at ConFusion: John Scalzi, Pat Rothfuss, Charles Stross, and Mary Robinette Kowal.

Needless to say, Hines met his goal and kept his promise. He raised a total of $15,405 for the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation, which funds research for treatment and helps family members of those afflicted stay connected with researchers. At the end of the day, Hines did some great work to be proud of. Not only did he bring the spotlight to sexist book covers and the portrayal of female characters, but he also raised a pretty penny to help in the fight against Aicardi Syndrome.