Meaningful Lessons Children Can Learn From National Awareness Days

Children helping father to collect autumn leavesFrom Women’s History Month to Child Abuse Prevention Month, the calendar is full of days dedicated to raising awareness and inspiring others. While each topic is as important as the next, the abundance of national awareness days can be a bit overwhelming. The flip side: They provide an opportunity to motivate and reinforce positive behaviors in our community and, more importantly, in our impressionable children.

Children learn more—from math to life lessons—through interaction. By creating fun ways to embrace awareness days, you can help stimulate your child’s brain to learn from context. Consider these awareness day topics our readers find intriguing:
Internet safety, healthy nutrition, world kindness & anti-bullying.  Continue reading

When Natural Disaster Strikes – How Can YOU Help?

It’s no secret that natural disasters pull at our heart strings. Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the recent tornado in Washington, Illinois not only took people’s lives and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless but they unraveled communities, families, and hope. Yet with all the media coverage around the world when natural disaster strikes, sometimes one question remains unanswered, “How can we help?


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A Culture of Philanthropy: 10 Tips to Ensure Your Organization Creates Social IMPACT

AltruHelp - Corporate Philanthropy

During this climate of economic uncertainty, on the forefront of most working professionals, business leaders and entrepreneurs is financial stability and profit. Because of this, a crucial aspect of business success can easily be overlooked: philanthropy. It is no mere accident that many of the greatest business leaders were revered as much for their business sense as their philanthropic endeavors. The Carnegie and Rockefeller names are as much associated with successful business achievements as they are philanthropic milestones.

Corporate philanthropy has the power to increase the esteem and reputation of your business in the eyes of the public, instantly improving your community profile and brand. A recent Cone Corporate Citizenship Study showed that 86% of Americans  are apt to switch to another brand from competitors of equal price & quality if that brand shows a partnership or association with a social cause.  Continue reading

How Corporate Volunteer Programs Help Your Business

Corporate Volunteer Program Benefits

A recent announcement by the Corporation for National and Community Service revealed that 582,000 Americans applied during the past year to serve in the AmeriCorps – an increase of almost 10 percent or 50,000 applications on the previous year. The Corps, however, has turned away close to one million potential volunteers since 2009 due to a lack of funding, and those people are looking for somewhere else to volunteer. A corporate volunteer program (CVP) offers multiple benefits to your company and employees, as well as the causes they take up.

Corporate Citizenship

Corporate America is catching on to the value of establishing CVPs, with almost one-third of corporations now offering some form of volunteerism for their staff – a growth of 150 percent over the past two decades. Continue reading

Want to Improve Your Health & Get Some Sleep, Try Altruism!

Sleep Better from Altruism

You first heard the idea in kindergarten: Share your toys. Later on, you were taught, “do unto others.”  And as an adult, you may have gotten the advice that the best way to feel better about yourself is to help the less fortunate.

No matter how you got the message, the concept of altruism is one that is ingrained (or should be) in our collective social conscience. Not only because acts of altruism benefit society as a whole but because, darn it, it just feels right!

So volunteering and giving feel good. But is altruism actually good for your health? The Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science tackled that question in 2009 and came to the conclusion that …it is.  Continue reading

A BILLION+CHANGE: Companies Pledge To Commit BILLION$ To Skill-Based Volunteering

On International Corporate Philanthropy Day, this past Monday, AltruHelp joined more than 100 leaders in business, policy and civic engagement in New York City to celebrate the continuing success of A Billion + Change, a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based volunteer service from corporate America by 2013.  Since the summer of 2011, more than $1.6 billion of skills-based volunteer services has been contributed and 78 pledge companies have joined the movement. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the campaign’s honorary chairman, announced this as part of a program hosted by Morgan Stanley at the company’s headquarters in NYC. The event recognized the innovative pro bono programs companies are developing to deliver high-impact services to address community needs.

A Billion + Change, housed and managed by Points of Light, is seeking 500 companies willing to pledge their best business skills and talents to serve the needs of nonprofits and communities at home and around the world. The campaign’s vision is to inspire the largest commitment of corporate pro bono service in history. A Billion + Change is encouraging companies of all sizes across all sectors to achieve this kind of change. Pledge companies range in size from small businesses, like gothamCulture and AltruHelp, to large companies such as Nielsen, General Mills, Boston Beer Company, State Farm, Hewlett-Packard, UnitedHealth Group and Morgan Stanley. To date, these companies have committed to give more than 11 million hours of time and talent to nonprofits by 2013. Continue reading

Do You Have a Touch of Social Entrepreneurship in You?

altruhelp social entrepreneurship

The term “social entrepreneurship” is becoming a HOT topic in the startup community and on University campuses. The concept is increasingly promoted by the Stanford Social Innovation Review and leading social sector organizations like the Skoll Foundation and Ashoka. There is something truly fascinating about notable social entrepreneurs like Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus. However, social entrepreneurship is not just about extraordinary individuals creating brilliant ideas for products or services that help the world. For many growing thought leaders and Millennials, it’s about the dedication to social change and the potential benefits that transform society!

Social entrepreneurship relies on being driven by the needs you see around you.  In your corner of the world, you see a breakdown and think to yourself, “I could do something to help…”And you’re not alone.  Everywhere, empathetic people of the world are concerned with giving what they can to others in need.  They’re dedicated to commanding their resources to address various issues…. and make money while doing it!

Chances are likely you already have an idea or two in your mind.  Here are 5 key pieces of research the AltruHelp team has put together for you to consider while you brainstorm or work towards the success of your venture in social entrepreneurship: Continue reading

Social Good 2.0

Social Good 2.0Boston, MA, is best known for it’s rich history, but in recent years this New England city has become a hot spot for technological advances and innovative minds.  Academic research, clean energy, and health care are some of the most prevalent fields of business here, but beyond these powerful industries is a buzzing (and buzzed-about) progressive startup community that’s causing a stir out of positivity and new media advancements.

One of the strongest branches of this young community is an added element of social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, and altruism never so clearly seen before in the tech world.  New technology has innovated processes in the nonprofit community Continue reading

Turning The Gears of Social Innovation: AltruHelp Partners With Cambridge Chamber of Commerce

Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and AltruHelp PartnershipBOSTON, MA and CAMBRIDGE, MA — AltruHelp, a social media platform, toolbox and online community to support volunteering and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), has announced a partnership with the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce (CCC). The Cambridge Chamber will use the AltruHelp platform to measure enterprise involvement in the local community.

The goal of the partnership is to create a more detailed report of enterprise social impact in the Cambridge community than has ever been created before. Previous Chamber reports have highlighted the philanthropic initiatives of companies with local offices like MicrosoftLiberty Mutual, Novartis, Biogen Idec and more.

“Citizens today are much more interested in how companies are giving back to their community and aware that CSR can provide profound impact,” said Kelly Thompson Clark, president & CEO of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. “Sometimes this impact is difficult to capture, track, and showcase. By working with AltruHelp, the CCC will be able to produce a report for the City of Cambridge and our own efforts that will highlight company involvement in community programs and set the stage for a larger scale inventory of the Cambridge business community.” Continue reading

AltruHelp & Syracuse University Announce Social Entrepreneurship Collaboration

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BOSTON, MA and SYRACUSE, NY–(Marketwire – Sep 22, 2011) – AltruHelp, a social media platform, toolbox and online community to support volunteering and corporate social responsibility, has announced a collaboration with the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service (CPCS) and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. The partnership will provide students with an opportunity to experience the real world of social entrepreneurship and support the growth of AltruHelp.

AltruHelp is a skills-based volunteer platform that uses social media and networking to increase the philanthropic impact of corporations, non-profits and individuals. Co-founders Mathew Paisner ’07 and Michael Saris ’07, both alumni of SU’s Whitman School, were guest lecturers in Whitman faculty member Tom Lumpkin’s course on social entrepreneurship in action, speaking about their experiences as socially-conscious start-up founders. A team of students from the class will organize a campus marketing strategy for the AltruHelp “social experiment,” looking to prove people enjoy helping others and that altruistic action can motivate social impact on both an individual and enterprise level. Continue reading

Masschallege Bootcamp Week 2: An Intern Account

…And thus began week 2 of the Masschallenge Boot Camp. As you might remember, week one rapidly introduced us to the startup universe, introducing us to the skills we’d need to help AltrUHelp win! But even with all that we learned, we had no idea what was in store for us in week two. Masschallenge really kicked it up a notch (or a couple of notches). We saw more CEOs this week than all of CNBC’s anchors combined…except maybe Jim Cramer.
 
Wednesday started off with David Cancel of Hubspot and Gina Ashe of Krush dishing out executive secrets in a panel moderated by Christopher Austin from Goodwin Procter. They covered every aspect of running a startup: financing, hiring, vision, product, and customers. David and Gina used a lot of powerful personal examples, going so far as to reveal some gory details about their more unfortunate hiring decisions providing us with an unadulterated glimpse into the inner workings of two amazing startups. After another great (and free) Foley and Lardner lunch, we were treated to an interview with David Friend, CEO of Carbonite and prolific serial entrepreneur. Continue reading

Forbes & AltrUHelp Collaborate on Coverage of 2011 National Volunteer Conference

Last week thousands of non-profits, volunteers, and corporate executives gathered at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering and Service (NCVS) in New Orleans to discuss innovative solutions for addressing the challenges of the social IMPACT sector.

The Co-Founders of AltrUHelp were on site to cover the event for Forbes and spotlight pockets of social entrepreneurship (To see the Forbes article: Click here). Organized by the Corporation for National & Community Service and the Points of Light Institute, more than 4000 attendees came together to explore this budding space.

Discussion topics ranged from Bringing Community Organizing into Online Campaigns to seminars like Does Your Employee Volunteer Program Measure Up? A seminar led by a community engagement leader from Timberland focused on developing reporting standards for corporations to measure the impact of CSR activities. Leaders from Citizen Schools, Heart of America, Fidelity Investments, and Capital One also lead an intriguing workshop titled Building a Sustainable and Results Oriented Volunteer Movement Within Your Company.

I was able to sit down with Kelly Fisher, Assistant Manager of Philanthropy for Toyota Motor North America, who walked us through one of Toyota’s current CSR programs, “100 Cars for Good.” Read More

AltrUHelp Selected Finalist in 2011 Global Startup Competition

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MassChallenge is the world’s largest $1 million startup competition & accelerator program that connects early stage entrepreneurs to the resources they need to launch high-growth, high-impact businesses.

Last week MassChallenge joined by Governor Deval Patrick and business leaders, announced AltrUHelp as a FINALIST in the world’s largest start-up competition. Hundreds of expert judges from the startup ecosystem (CEO’s, lawyers, VC’s, angel investors & more) selected 125 finalists after several rounds of judging on 733 original startup entry applications from around the globe (24 countries).

The finalists range from high-tech and life science business to social impact ventures like AltrUHelp. The finalist companies represent 19 states and five countries, including Kenya and South Korea. According to MassChallenge, last year’s finalists from the 2010 competition have raised more than $30 million in funding and hired over 300 new employees. Read More

Lights, Cameras, ACTION: Celebs Taking Altruism to Heart

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Writing checks, headlining the occasional soiree, a photo-op with some charity – These are the common images which come to mind when people think of celebrities and altruism.  With their otherworldly lives, good looks, and sheer fame, can we expect celebrities to empathize, to really get it, when all the rest has gotten to their heads?

Actually, there are many celebrities out there who do!!!  In fact, a roll call of A-listers are putting their energies and passion toward an amazing breadth of causes. For a dose of true celebrity star power, check out this brief list of celebs: Lady Gaga, Brad & Angelina, Mark Wahlberg, and Prince William & Princess Kate to see the dynamic work they are doing for causes they value.

Lady Gaga

Few celebrities combine fashionista, musical talent, global reach and Twitterati quite like Lady Gaga.  Just 25 years old, she’s already a 5-time Grammy award winner, the holder of two Guinness World Records, and She’s closing in on 10 million followers on Twitter @ladygaga – more than any other twitting being on Earth.  With every red carpet cameo, she upends the fashion world with her avant garde ensembles and slightly absurd sensibilities. Lady G is the quintessential 21st century celeb, and with that comes extraordinary altruistic clout!

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Selfless Therapy Part I: Insights on Altruism in Mental Health

This post marks the beginning of a new series of guest blog posts from industry professionals. We will be highlighting how altruism plays a role in the careers of several individuals. Today we are spotlighting Jordan Nacht, a Mental Health Counselor from New York on the topic of altruism in the therapy arena. Thank you Jordan for this profound and inspirational post:

Selfless Therapy: Insights on Altruism in Mental Health Part I

As a therapist who works in a private practice, I have encountered the mentally ill and substance abusers in the guise of convicted felons, parolees, average joes, and the elite.  Being out of grad school for only eight months, I am already beginning to reap the rewards of the interaction commonly referred to as “The therapeutic relationship.”  Many clients have inadvertently inspired me in a way I never thought they would, and have done so through the sharing of their selfless experiences.  Now, assuming generalizations from the specifics of each client’s case would be like bringing together thirty differing instruments of varying make, tone, pitch, and intensity to create harmony.  Yet, somehow it works.  To some conductors it just makes sense, and the end result is often an orchestra exuding such power and such awe-inspiring beauty that it can bring tears to the human eye.  If I am this conductor, my clients’ experiences are those instruments, and the harmonious, awe-inspiring product is the conclusion that each of their cathartic experiences shares a common bond – ALTRUISM. Continue reading

AltrUHelp Enters 2011 MassChallenge Startup Competition

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Hello AltrUHelp Believers and Welcome New Readers!

I would like to thank each of you for your tremendous support! AltrUHelp has just entered the 2011 MassChallenge Global Startup Competition because of your belief in our mission: to build the world’s largest online altruistic social experiment to prove humans enjoy helping each other and being helped themselves.

Below you will find a video we have created to help our new readers and the judges of MassChallenge understand our passion for inspiring a NEW WAVE of global altruism and human collaboration. We hope you enjoy this video and encourage you to share it with your friends and family.

As Winston Churchill once said, “You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.”  Please continue to show your support for AltrUHelp by voting for us: AltrUHelp MassChallenge Profile

With your vote, we can inspire altruism and spark a new global movement.  Thank you for your support!

Respectfully,

Mathew, Antoinne, & Mike
Co-Founders, AltrUHelp

Why People Do What They Do (via DIY Fitness) & Action Trumps Everything (via L. Schlesinger)

I recently read a blog post where Lyell of Do It Yourself Fitness highlighted the significance of “seeing people you’ve helped, help those around them…and seeing how all your hard work has a positive effect.”

Lyell’s post reinforces an important topic our team plans to explore: does seeing altruism make individuals more altruistic? Here at AltrUHelp, we feel that seeing is believing, because one altruistic action drives a chain of action. We believe that seeing altruism influences action and encourages others to pay it forward.We’ve all heard the saying, “actions speak louder than words,” but how many of us are bold enough to take that first step towards helping a random individual?

As Leonard Schlesinger, the president of my MBA program at Babson College, highlights in his new AWESOME book Action Trumps Everything, “The future may or may not be like the past, but you don’t have to spend a lot of time wondering how the future will play out if you plan to shape it.” Take that first step as Lyell did below and start your own altruistic chain of action. If your not sure where to start but you know you want to help others, send me an email at Mathew@altruhelp.com and I’ll send you an exclusive invitation to join the Beta launch of AltrUHelp.com this Spring 2011. Join the world’s largest online altruistic social experiment to prove that humans naturally want to help others and be helped themselves because altruism is hardwired to the brain and fun!

Thanks Lyell for sharing this great story with us! We welcome everyone’s comments on this topic as we get closer to launching the AltrUHelp Social Experiment. Thanks for reading!

I was asked the other day, “Hey Lyell, how much money do you make with DIY Fitness?” I gave him a “You’re kidding, right?” laugh and then I noticed…..He was serious. When I explained to him that I make absolutely zero dollars, he gave me an equally sarcastic “You’re kidding me” chuckle. He couldn’t understand why someone would spend so much time helping others and gain nothing from it. What the gentleman didn’t understand was that not everythin … Read More

via DIY Fitness

Community Altruism (via AMY VAN ES)

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Wonderful blog post by Amy Van ES exemplifying altruism exhibited within her community. The story illustrates how people in communities naturally come together to help each other! We will continue to spotlight these inspirational stories as we build our website and prepare for launching the AltrUHelp social experiment. Thank you Amy for sharing this beautiful blog post with us. See Amy’s story below:

As I sat in my car which was stuck atop a snow bank I thought I could get over; baby in the backseat crying; on the phone with my mom; utterly frustrated with myself for getting myself into this situation; a man approached me… Sensing my distress, he asked if he could help. I (obviously) was in no position to refuse help and say I could figure it out. He began to dig. It was about fifteen minutes later that he, too, admitted he couldn’t do it on … Read More

via AMY VAN ES

Make a Difference in Someone’s Life

Helping Homeless AltruHelp

Helping the homeless: You can make a huge difference in someone’s life with just one random act of kindness. Authentic blog post by fellow WordPress blogger Therabidpossum  below:

You can change someone’s life for the good so very easily. Today on my regular commute route to college, I found myself stopping off at a Gregg’s and buying a chicken lattice. As I strolled leisurely up the hill towards the top of town enjoying my (somewhat disappointingly luke-warm) meaty breakfast I remember thinking to myself that today was going to be one of those days again, one of those days where everything goes bad or is otherwise just an … Read More

via therabidpossum

Welcome: AltrUHelp Begins

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Hello New Readers and Welcome Back Loyal Followers!

The catalyst behind this blog and our team’s website (AltrUHelp.com launching soon!) has been our passion for helping others. We believe that people naturally enjoy helping others and want to be helped themselves. We believe the greatest entrepreneurial ideas are those that make a difference in people’s lives, ideas that inspire action to create a greater social good. From the time I learned how to walk I have been fascinated with exploring opportunities that help individuals overcome challenges. My passion for altruism has been a driving force throughout my life but I’ve always wondered how altruistic is the rest of the world? How often are most people willing to place the interests of others before their own?

If you enjoy helping others, volunteering, or you simply want to to make a difference in the world please join AltruHelp.com or subscribe to our blog. You can email me with questions at Mathew@altruhelp.com. Read More