Given this year’s conference in Detroit on June 27-29, I wanted to share some additional thoughts from last year’s conference in Houston. In part I, I shared observations on what can be considered volunteering, faith based volunteering, and making the most out of every volunteering opportunity. A second huge component was engagement and impact. Here I’ll touch on how nonprofits engage with volunteers, why capacity building in a nonprofit is important, and what nonprofits can leverage from the for-profit space! Continue reading
It’s a new year and many organizations are evaluating how to get more involved in their communities so why not learn from the best??? The latest Civic 50 corporate change-makers were recently announced and results published by Bloomberg show innovations in civic engagement are on the rise in corporate America. If you missed our last article, the Civic 50 measures the nation’s top 50 S&P companies that set the standard for infusing responsibility practices, behaviors, and thinking into corporate culture. If your organization wants to increase community impact, expand employee volunteer policies, or launch new responsibility programs, you’ll want to see this research. Continue reading
Thanksgiving is here! This time of year is synonymous with turkey, spending quality time with friends and family, and pausing to reflect on the things for which we are thankful.
From the AltruHelp team, we would like to pause and give thanks to our community, supporters, and all those who have shared in our journey. We are humbled by those who continue to support our mission of increasing volunteerism! Thank you for using AltruHelp to find new meaningful ways to give back, share your act of kindness with the world, and inspire others to help us create a lasting culture of service. Together we can strengthen our communities to make a difference!
Interested in creating positive change this Thanksgiving? Here are a few ways to show thanks by giving back:
The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe…it all comes from nature. This Earth Day, join people around the world in a global celebration of our planet and the bounty it provides. The first Earth Day in 1970 was instrumental in mobilizing public support across the country for passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other key environmental initiatives!
Join us Saturday, April 20th, to support Earth Day with Stonyfield Yogurt Works’ annual Earth Day 5K Celebration. Stonyfield, the world’s leading organic yogurt maker, has organized this family-friendly event and annual run to include giveaways, costumed characters, and more! At the AltruHelp Social Impact tent, visitors can sign up to see real-time local volunteer opportunities and amplify their impact via our ipad station. You can also join our upcycling volunteer project as we turn plastic water bottles and yogurt cups into planters, bird feeders, and blocks. We’ll be donating $1 for everyone that signs up for volunteering at our station to support victims of the Boston Marathon Tragedy. The first 100 people will also be able to win free car washes from our eco-friendly partner, ScrubaDub, and Social Impact t-shirts while they last! Proceeds from the Earth Day 5K will benefit the Life Is Good Kids Foundation, New Hampshire’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, and scholarships for Londonderry High School students. Continue reading
When one thinks of dedication to service and inspiration, few individuals epitomize these attributes in the same way as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As a father, scholar, pioneer, and civic activist, King served as a role model to countless Americans. King spread hope and the creed that doing what is right is at the core of strengthening our communities and advancing our nation. It’s no surprise, that only a few weeks ago, this civic leader was honored across the nation by millions with a National Day of Service.
Points of Light, the largest national nonprofit dedicated to increasing volunteerism, mobilized people across the nation to transform veteran’s homes in Phoenix, complete school makeovers in Los Angeles, repair communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy in New York and more. Their signature event was in Washington DC, the largest single-site service project of the inaugural weekend, which was made possible by Target, as they give 5% of their profit and thousands of volunteer hours to communities every day! Continue reading
At AltruHelp, we encourage our team to practice what we preach and get involved in local communities as well as projects around the globe. From August 31 to September 13, one of our team members, Paige Herlihy, had the opportunity to travel to Humjibre, Ghana and help build houses with the Ghana affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. Below, from the eyes of Paige, is her story.
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
With all the talk about going green and building a sustainable planet, its easy to miss some of the awesome action individuals and organizations are taking to make the world a better place. This past weekend, Radio 92.9 & Whole Foods Market teamed up to present EarthFest with musical performances from Third Eye Blind, Switchfoot, Eve 6, Spin Doctors and local Boston artist Twin Berlin. Thousands of people came out to hear some great live music while meeting environmental non-profits from across the country, tasting free samples from Whole Foods companies that focus our attention on being green, and experiencing Kids’ Planet – an interactive family area with environmentally focused learning, volunteer opportunities, and exhibits for children.
In addition to EarthFest, only a few short weeks ago more than 175 countries celebrated Earth Day where volunteer events were held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the earth’s natural environment. Did you know Earth Day was designated to be held on April 22 in 2009 by the United Nations??? Continue reading
Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to give back. It’s about working together to take action, encouraging individuals and their communities to be a catalyst for social change. This week (April 15 – April 21, 2012) is a time to celebrate volunteers and share ideas, practices, and stories – wherever they happen – that help shape social impact!
Volunteering is more than just a great way to help out in the community. Here we’ve outlined six benefits of volunteering that are sure to get you pumped about giving back!
1.) It can help you professionally. Volunteering improves your chances of nabbing a great job! Organizations want to hire people who can help them inspire a culture of giving back. In an article published by World Volunteer Web, a survey from TimeBank showed that 73% of employers will recruit someone with volunteer experience over someone who doesn’t have any. Taking time to volunteer shows companies you are a person of initiative that spends your time caring for others & improving the community. Continue reading
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 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
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
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
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
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!
Over the course of just 2 hours, 100+ local Bostonians generated some awesome IMPACT for the nonprofit community:
- 150+ Postcards for Postcards From Farr Away
- 80 Letters To Our Soldiers & Military Families for The American Red Cross
- 52 Fleece Blankets Made For The Animal Rescue League of Boston
- 52 Booklets Made For Playworks Boston
- 50+ technology surveys completed for the members of Tech Goes Home
- 30+ video interviews for the City of Cambridge
- 20+ books donated to Horizons for Homeless Children
What’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
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
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
Boston, 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
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
In 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.
BOSTON, 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 Microsoft, Liberty 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
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
Have 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!
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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
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