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

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What Can We Learn From America’s Most Civic Companies?

In 2012, The Civic 50’s inaugural year, Bloomberg LP in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship and Points of Light came together to implement a “scorecard” ranking of America’s top civic businesses based on their community impact as well as their ability to use the time and talent of their employees toward their service goals.  These top 50 companies are purpose driven, conscious of their impact on the world, and focus on shared human value, not just shared economic value. So what can entrepreneurs, businesses leaders, and even individuals learn from these changemakers? Here are seven key insights:

Civic 50

  1. Use Industry Expertise to Galvanize Impact

IBM, the top-ranking business on The Civic 50 list, dedicated 3.2 million hours of service in 2011 alone to technology-related causes. The company helped launch P-Tech, a public high school in Brooklyn where students can earn an associates degree in computer science. They also developed the world’s first World Community Grid, a global grid that pools unused computer processing power for the benefit of researchers looking to solve humanitarian problems.

FedEx took similar action by providing improved transportation to Direct Relief, an organization that provides medical assistance to people around the world who have been affected by poverty, natural disasters, and civil unrest. Together, FedEx and Direct Relief helped people in disaster areas gain access to emergency medicine.  Continue reading here or on Forbes.com Continue reading

Summer IMPACT Networking For Charity

AIN Summer 2012 Impact Report

On July 10th AltruHelp hosted the second annual IMPACT Networking Event For Charity at the Microsoft N.E.R.D. Center in Cambridge, MA. Over 100 philanthropic Bostonians came together to enjoy a fun evening of speed-volunteering and networking to support the local non-profit community and increasing Millenial (ages 16-29) volunteersim. The attendees ranged from college and graduate students to accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders and more. Continue reading

Inspiring Innovation: Social Good Hackathons

Social Good Hackathon

What do you get when you bring together brilliant people that love to write computer code and program for 24 hours with a common goal of doing good? Well, a Social Hackathon of course!

This Spring, StartLabs brought together nine teams at the Cambridge Innovation Center to create the most socially beneficial, impressively designed, and well implemented websites and applications. StartLabs recruited innovative leaders from the “Social Impact” Space including Mozilla “FireFox” Foundation, AltruHelp.com, RedStar Ventures and Fundraise.com to mentor the participants, providing the newly formed teams with structure & vision in the brainstorming of product development. 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

Measuring the IMPACT of Networking on Charity

With the recent surge in corporate social responsibility and startups supporting the charity scene – a trend that became more visible at the Social Good 2.0 conference two months ago– AltruHelp has partnered with multiple nonprofits in the community (Animal Rescue League of Boston, Playworks Metro Boston, American Red Cross and more) to pioneer “IMPACT Networking For Charity,” a fun series of speed-fundraising, volunteering & networking events aimed at increasing Millenial volunteerism and community IMPACT.

On January 26th AltruHelp hosted it’s first Winter Impact networking event to kick off a new year of social impact!  Borrowing a page from speed dating, we matched professionals and college students with various speed-volunteer/fundraising stations enabling them to support multiple nonprofits in one night, under one roof, while forming meaningful career connections!

AltruHelp Winter IMPACT Networking at MassChallenge

Over the course of just 2 hours, 100+ local Bostonians generated some awesome IMPACT for the nonprofit community:

AltruHelp Winter Impact NetworkingWhat’s more, the event also raised more than $2000 for Charity! Think of it this way: while attendees were sipping on ice cold Narragansett Tallboys, eating tasty Boloco Burritos/Panera sandwiches, and expanding their professional networking connections, they created more good for the greater community on a Thursday night than the average person does in a year! If that doesn’t deserve kudos, we’re not sure what does!  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

Saving the World: Acting Local, Thinking Global

It’s not hard to believe that the ever-growing world population is close to reaching 7 billion people this year. What’s truly surprising, though, is that after experiencing advances in technology coupled with the staggering pace of development in the way we communicate, global social issues such as: health, agriculture, AIDS, and democracy, among others, would appear to have been left in the wake of progress.

So I wondered: Where does the disconnect between humans, technology and social responsibility lie? Could it be that when it comes to addressing social issues, a global solution has thwarted us from acting locally?  In looking for the answer,  I first thought of my personal approach in helping solve world problems:

I was truly committed, and felt responsible as an individual to get involved and save the world, but: Where and how to start? I tried donating money to organizations in other countries; still, deep inside I knew I could do much more. I discovered that having global perspective on social issues triggered something within me, but I concluded that thinking global yet acting local, would allow me to get hands-on and achieve REAL impact. Turns out I wasn’t alone…

 Young people (Gen Y’ers), those under the age of 25 who represent  nearly half of the world’s population (almost three billion people) are creating tremendous IMPACT. Continue reading

The Three Degrees of Altruism – Volunteer Social Networking

volunteer social-networkHave you ever wondered if social networking promotes cooperative behavior?  The nature of human social networking—our ability to connect deeply and instantaneously with friends, family, and other individuals—would seem to suggest that social networking can foster cooperation with others. Until recently, there was no scientific proof that social networking itself leads to altruistic cooperation. If one person helps another, could a third party be influenced simply by participating in the same network?

In an attempt to answer this question, Fowler and Christakis (2009) researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego designed an experiment (n=240) to test whether people really do “pay it forward,” or pass along altruistic behavior through indirect, “networked” interaction (Experiment Details).

The results of the experiment suggest—objectively—that cooperative, altruistic behavior can spread as far as three degrees within a social network (from person to person to person). In other words, by helping others, we can create a “cascade” of altruistic behavior! Volunteer Social Network

Because each “degree” in a social network represents exponential growth, helping your friend could trigger a wave of altruistic behavior in hundreds or even thousands of people!

Does this research make you think differently about the impact of your altruistic actions?

Check out AltruHelp.com to trigger your own volunteer network.


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

MassChallenge StartUp Bootcamp Week 1: The Intern Perspective

Last week marked the beginning of the FINALIST round of the 2011 MassChallenge Global Startup Competition—the world’s largest startup accelerator. Over the next three months, AltrUHelp and 100+ other startups will compete for a slice of $1.2 million in funding. Each company has been awarded office space in the brand-new One Marina Park Drive through October along with access to lawyers, business mentors, investors, and support staff.

Day 1 of the finalist “Startup Bootcamp” began with Scott Griffith, CEO of Zipcar, discussing the importance of constant personal development, sharing his incredible story of battling cancer while growing ZipCar 8000%. Bill Warner—founder of Avid Technology and inventor of nonlinear video editing—urged the audience to avoid compromise and maintain integrity, offering his own mistakes as evidence.

We also heard from Jeff Taylor, Founder and CEO of Monster.com, who focused on 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!

Read More

Selfless Therapy Part II: Sharing as Giving – A Prisoner’s Perspective

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AltrUHelp

This marks the second post in AltrUHelp’s new series of guest blog posts from industry professionals.  Jordan Nacht is a Mental Health Counselor from New York and a thought leader on the topic of altruism in the therapy arena.

As a mental health counselor who works with parolees, probation and pre-trial clients, I’ve heard countless anecdotes of the horrors of prison life.  As it is with most daunting experiences, there are points of happiness and growth in these perceivably “dark” experiences.  I make it a point to assume a nonjudgmental and unconditionally positive stance toward my clients (which is utterly necessary for any therapist). To do so, I search for these shining lights—redeeming, uplifting moments—however bright or dim.

I often ask my clients a particular question regarding their time in prison: “How did you keep your sanity,” or more pointedly, “how did you maintain the goodness I see inside you while stuck in such a ‘bad’ environment?”  This question can elicit such emotion that clients decline to answer–in which case I revisit the question once a more trusting relationship has been established.  Oftentimes, though, a response comes forth immediately. It never fails to relate to altruism.  In this piece, I will depict some of these experiences, those through which incarcerated persons maintain their humanity. Read More

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

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