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

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Volunteering INCREASES Employment: Meet Scott Bailey of MassChallenge

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Scott Bailey

During these difficult economic times the job search process can be challenging but what if you tried something new? Instead of spending each day applying to jobs online, submitting your resume to Monster.com, Craigslist, Careerbuilder and more, why not try a few days of volunteering? Sounds crazy right??? New case studies show that taking time to give back will expand your network, enhance your character, and potentially lead to full-time career opportunities! This post marks the first in a series of interviews we’ve conducted with successful individuals who have obtained AWESOME Jobs, expanded their network, and increased their personal development by volunteering!

Meet Scott Bailey. Scott knows the key to success, and it’s not based on the money you make.  “It’s a weird thing,” he says.  “Right out of college, people think you need a job that really pays.”As a recent college graduate I certainly questioned this philosophy; isn’t a well-paying job the goal of a degree?  After sitting down to talk with Bailey, the Director of Partnerships at MassChallenge, it seems he had the right attitude as he set forth into the professional world.  Continue reading

Program Spotlight: Trekkers

AltruHelp Program Spotlight: TrekkersIt is well known that one of the greatest keys to success is positive mentorship. During our formative years, we find ourselves deeply influenced by the words and actions of our parents, teachers, community leaders and various others who touch our lives each day. Often though, it can be difficult for young people—especially during their early teen years—to place themselves in positions where great mentors are not only available but relying on positive influence and self-reflection is made the cornerstone of everyday life.

Trekkers, a non-profit based in Tenant’s Harbor, Maine, is an organization that brings the shaping of positive, altruistic personalities to the forefront of kids lives starting in the seventh grade. Continue reading

Cradles To Crayons: AltruHelp Visits the Giving Factory

This past Saturday morning, the AltruHelp team joined dozens of professional groups, families, and individuals at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory in Brighton, MA.  This nonprofit organization works year-round to provide children up to twelve years old with many of the necessities we often take for granted, such as clean, presentable clothing; school supplies not typically provided in the classroom; new or gently used toys; and other goods that add to the key senses of happiness and security in a child’s life.

During our time at Cradles to Crayons, all volunteers split into small teams and worked together to build winter clothing packages for children in need.  The AltruHelp team 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

AltruHelp’s Thanksgiving Reflections

Thanksgiving is here, and for some, this time of year cannot come soon enough!  Turkey, quality time with family and other loved ones, rest and relaxation are just a few of the ways one can enjoy the holidays.

Along with food and happy memories, this time of year also serves as a great pause from the daily hubbub to reflect on the things for which we are thankful.  What are you thankful for?

From the AltruHelp team, we would like to pause and give thanks to our blog readers.  We are humbled by those who continue to show us their support by viewing and sharing our content with others, posting comments, or writing to us directly.  Together we can inspire altruism and amplify our social impact!

Here are three simple idea on ways that you can show thanks by giving back: Continue reading

AltruHelp’s Halloween Volunteer Adventure

http://familiesintheloop.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Halloween.jpgIn the spirit of the season of changing leaves and things that go bump in the night, the AltruHelp team was happy to volunteer this past weekend at the Castle Island Association’s 29th Annual Children’s Magical Halloween Castle. For one weekend a year the Castle Island Association transforms Fort Independence in South Boston, into a haunted castle open free to the public.

As we helped at the event we were treated to a parade of kids in costumes; we saw brave superheroes, roguish pirates, howling werewolves, and all manner of witches, princesses, ninjas, knights, ghosts, and ghouls. After exploring the shadowy depths of the castle, kids were treated to a magician, a storyteller, a temporary tattoo station, and an assortment of pastries, donuts, cider and of course, candy. Over the course of two days, over 10,000 people came to the event! And we were proud to be a part of the 30 plus volunteers who helped to make that possible.Altruhelp Volunteer event 2011

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

9/11 National Day of Service


On September 11th 2011, Team AltrUHelp bonded together to pay tribute to the tragedy of the September 11th attacks that occurred a short 10 years ago. After the September 11th tragedy, there was a tremendous outpour of unity and altruism that should always be present in our everyday lives.

AltruHelp Team Volunteering on 9/11/11This past Sunday, our team volunteered on a community project in Waltham, MA as a part of the September 11th National day of Service and Remembrance with volunteers from Boston Cares, City Year, and AmeriCorps Vista Project Leaders. The National day of Service was written into law in 2009 and is promoted heavily by the White House. 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

Altruism in the wake of Irene

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As Hurricane Irene tumbled through the East Coast this past weekend, leaving a trail of destruction, the team here at AltrUHelp has been inspired by the stories of Altruism and individuals going above and beyond to help others. Individuals traveled thousands of miles to give their time and energy for the benefit of others. Stories like the ones below are the motivation that team AltrUHelp uses to push forward in creating a social media platform to prove that individuals inspire the uninspired.

Red Cross volunteer travels from IL to Boston to help in Irene recovery (link)

Pat Johnson, a Red Cross volunteer, traveled from her home in Knoxville, IL to travel to Boston, MA to volunteer at a shelter for two weeks. Johnson has been an active volunteer ever since retiring in 2005, and says ““I just wanted to do something and have a sense of accomplishment. It’s been a very great experience for me. I’ve learned a lot and met a lot of wonderful people. I have some very good friends I’ve remained in contact with. I feel I’ve received more than I’ve given out.”

Search dogs part of Irene rescue team (link)

Search dogs came to the East Coast from Ohio to New York after training their whole lives to rescue trapped individuals. 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.


AltrUHelp Interns Organize Boston Team Volunteer Day

Have you ever painted kid’s faces and blown up beach balls while simultaneously making snow-cones? How about doing this for hundreds of elementary school students in Boston’s South End and then leading them in a Hokey Pokey flash mob dance?

This was exactly how AltrUHelp’s co-founders and several members of the team spent our Tuesday morning, volunteering through Boston Cares at the Arts in the Park festival in Titus Sparrow Park.

The festival, run by the United South End Settlements—a nonprofit that provides Boston children, teens, adults, and seniors with educational programs and social services—drew over 600 children and adults from the Greater Boston community. Many of those 600 attendees stopped by the snow-cone booth to cool off with AltrUHelp-handmade cherry, orange, grape, and blue-raspberry flavored ice. Keep reading to see the video of the elementary school kids hokey pokey flash mob dance! Continue reading

How to Live Past 100?

Lillian Davis was about to celebrate her 101st birthday—but you’d never know it—this centenarian takes only two prescription medications, lives alone in an apartment, and…still volunteers at the International Dyslexia Association after more than twenty years.

In fact, volunteering might just be Lillian’s secret to long life: She claims that her time stuffing envelopes for the IDA has helped her stay “physically and mentally healthy.”

It shouldn’t be surprising that she plans on volunteering “as long as [she] can.”

Could volunteering really be the key to living healthily into (very) old age? Research (and our recent blog post on the science behind altruism) shows that taking time to help others is as hard-wired into our brains as having sex and eating food: it’s a basic need that many of us don’t fulfill. So maybe it’s not such a big stretch to think that altruism is the secret to a long and healthy life.

What do you think? Could volunteering make you live forever?

Source

3 Movies That Inspire Altruism! What Inspires YOU?

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Patch adams with Robin Williams

I consider human satisfaction a metric of success. In life, your outlook has a major impact on how you interact with the world. Seeing the glass as half-full and not half-empty can turn your day around—works for me all the time.  When dealing with my day-to-day life, having a positive attitude helps me get through many situations while achieving the results I want.

Feeling positive and confident not only effects how you experience the world around you, but also improves your ability to connect and form relationships with others.  Of course, it’s part of our human nature to experience a plethora of negative emotions. The question then becomes: how do you let those emotions effect you?

All of our actions and reactions are interconnected. It’s rare to see people at work—or even friends—stick around when we are continually radiating negative energy. Realizing the powerful impact that mood and mindset can have, I came up with a fun way to get inspired: feel-good movies.  Below I have compiled a list of 3 AMAZING movies that moved my spirit in a meaningful and enduring way: 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

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

Altruism: The Human Fuel

Altruistic Hero“You are a superhero. You just made my day.”Those were the words of Bernice, an eighty year-old, in appreciation for the time we spent chatting on a Sunday afternoon. I have to admit I experienced a flow of energy inside that made me feel better than ever.As I left St. Cecilia’s Parish, my mind was racing thinking about what just had happened with this woman.  Did I do something really extraordinary? How long did it take to make someone happy to be considered a superhero? And more importantly, why did it feel like she was the one who changed my entire day for good?  I couldn’t believe how powerful this action was. In two hours I had changed someone’s life by just donating some of my time, and yet I felt like I was glowing. It was in fact therapeutic: by helping others you end up unintentionally helping yourself.

In this fast-paced world, we execute a significant amount of tasks everyday, trying to get the most of our busy lives. Required to multitask—and now to manage life online and off—we have learned Read More

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

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

Altruism: The Helper’s High

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*Welcome to Part II of The Science Behind Altruism, our series of posts exploring the new scientific discoveries surrounding altruism.

“When I do good, I feel good.” – Abraham Lincoln

Leave it to Honest Abe, who provided America such oratorical masterpieces as the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural, to sum up altruism in seven simple words.  Plain yet spot-on, what Lincoln described is the core experience of being altruistic: that doing good for others really provides us an unmatched feeling of well-being, simply from knowing we helped another person.

Psychologists call it the “Helper’s High.”  But here at AltruHelp we know it’s more than that.  Why?  Because of the flurry of cutting edge research that is bringing new understanding to how and why this sensation of “feeling good” happens, and the possibilities ahead for recognizing the contributions of altruism to our health and happiness.

Thanks to advances in brain-imaging technology and the advent of neuroeconomics, a new field that applies neuroscience to study economic behavior, scientists have designed several experiments that actually trace altruism—and the pleasure we gain from it—to specific regions and systems in the brain.  In fact, two studies offer striking evidence that our brains are naturally wired to help us be altruistic.  Read More

Help Japanese Disaster Victims & The Brave Fukushima 50

Our hearts, minds and prayers are with everyone suffering from the Japanese earthquake and Pacific tsunami that struck this past Friday, March 11, 2011. The earthquake was one of the worst ever recorded, triggering a tsunami that wiped away entire towns and left massive devastation in its wake.

First, we want to highlight the individuals selflessly placing the interest of the Japanese nation before their own. The Fukushima 50 are the team of volunteers currently attempting to prevent a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. The team of 50, who have since been joined by 150 others, are sacrificing their health and safety for the greater good of society. Several members of the team are presumed dead, 15 are reported to be injured and others have said they believe the radiation may kill them as they battle to cool overheating nuclear reactors in Japan. Our prayers go out to the families of these brave individuals courageously working to repair the nuclear plant and inspiring altruism worldwide. Click here to learn more.

Secondly, we want to share a really helpful post from Rinth, a fellow WordPress blogger, that highlights how you can help organizations providing food, shelter and medical response to the victims in Japan.

As Rinth highlights, there are three things we should all try to do. Read More

Tap Your Inner Child: The Science Behind Altruism

Do humans have an innate desire to help others without expecting anything in return? It’s a simple question that has tested the wits of scientists and philosophers across millennia, including the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Hobbes and Darwin. Now it’s AltruHelp’s turn to weigh in on this perennial question.

Today’s post marks the start of a three-part series examining the emerging research on how humans are naturally altruistic—i.e. how we are innately composed via our brains, genes and neurons to help others selflessly. By looking at recent experiments conducted at leading institutions such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the German-based Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, as well as articles from prominent science and psychology journals, our goal is to shed light on the cognitive, genetic and neurochemical processes that likely combine to make altruism an innate human behavior.

One of the most fascinating areas of research focuses on whether young children have a natural (versus a learned or socialized) willingness to be altruistic. Read More

How Altruistic Are YOU?

AltruHelp
Have you ever wondered why helping someone feels good?  Or why you feel that psychological urge to help somebody even when you aren’t expected to?

Take a moment and think back to an instance when you helped someone and expected nothing in return.  Maybe it was giving directions and information to someone who was lost, or giving up your seat on a bus or train, or lending a hand to someone who was clearly in need.  Remember that brief positive energy you felt after?

What explains this impulse to behave altruistically, and the positive sensation we feel afterward?  Is altruism hard-wired into our brains, a function of morality, or just a way to satisfy our egos by validating that we’re a “good” person?  Is it a learned behavior driven by social mores, karma, or a reflexive process linked to genetics and evolution?

Here at AltrUHelp, we want to explore and inspire altruism – both inside the human mind and in our everyday lives. Read More

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