How to Afford Giving to Charity

Being charitable is one of the most important parts of our society. We all must work together and help each other out in order to make the world a better place. It may sound cliche, but it is true. Unfortunately, being charitable can also be quite difficult for some. Being charitable requires money in most cases, and that is almost always a touchy subject to bring up. However, there are ways to fulfill charitable endeavors without breaking the bank.


Donate clothes

People automatically assume that all charity requires some sort of financial exchange. And while there is certainly nothing wrong with giving money, it is not the only form of charity. One of the most cost effective ways to donate is through old clothes. Dig deep into your closet and find those pants and that shirt that just don’t fit anymore and give it to someone who could actually use it instead of throwing it away.


Donate Blood

This may be difficult for those of you who get queasy easily, but for those with an iron stomach, why not donate some of your blood? Again, in most situations, many assume that the only way to give back is to open their wallets. You can do just as much good by donating blood. In fact, according to the American Red Cross, 36,000 units of red blood cells and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S. That is a lot of blood.



If you really wanted to help and see the impact of your donation in real-time, you should consider volunteering. This can take many forms, all of which are fantastic ways of spending your time. Visit your local soup kitchen and assist in serving food to the needy; go to a homeless shelter and help out the needy; stop by an animal shelter and bring some light into an animal’s life. Most charitable organizations will never turn down a volunteer.


There is so much that needs to be done in this world in order to make it a better place to live. But if we each spend a few moments of our day thinking of others, then we could certainly achieve such a lofty goal.

Marketing Philanthropy: (RED)’s Strategy to Success

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to this blog, and so, I wanted to return with something a bit more lighthearted. I recently came across a commercial for (RED), the worldwide organization dedicated to eradicating AIDS. And since this website is dedicated to promoting philanthropic and charitable efforts and organizations, I figured I could do a light analysis of the commercial.

Firstly, I would like to point out that the video is almost two years old, and that it is based around the holiday season. Regardless of its age, it is still a clever video.

As for the video itself, it begins with Barry Manilow answering a phone call from Jimmy Kimmel. It is no surprise that commercials use celebrities as spokespeople, however, (RED) is famous for its specific use of celebrities in almost all of its ad campaigns. It is clear that this commercial is aiming for a comedic theme as Barry Manilow, legendary singer and songwriter, answers the phone by stating his record of writing songs that, “make the whole world sing.” Kimmel, confused by Manilow’s answer, pushes forward with the call, asking for Manilow’s assistance in writing a jingle for (RED)’s Holiday Shopathon, to which Manilow obliges. As Manilow goes to write the song, it cuts to actress Scarlett Johansson singing the jingle that Manilow has created. Johansson, wearing a (RED)-branded t-shirt, dances and sings the jingle in tandem with Manilow. The jingle’s lyrics invite shoppers to purchase (RED) products in order to help stop AIDS. Fitting in with the comedic tone of the video, Johansson’s gestures are all exaggerated and cartoonish, and once the song is finished, Johansson breaks the fourth wall by asking the camera crew who wrote the song. It’s an incredibly catchy song and a very clever video that entices viewers to purchase products during the holidays through (RED).

If the (RED) brand name sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve written about it before in a previous blog. You’ve also probably purchased or seen Product (RED) items before. The organization, co-founded by U2 frontman Bono, partners with large, worldwide brands to create Product (RED) goods and services for purchase. Up to 50% of the proceeds then go to fighting (AIDS) around the world.

Through the use of catchy songwriting, self-awareness and a light hearted tone, the (RED) Shopathon commercial is memorable and important. And (RED)-branded items are not solely sold during the holiday season; there are Product (RED) goods sold year round through various companies and brands, including Apple, Coca-Cola and Starbucks.

AIDS is a terrible disease that has afflicted millions throughout the world; by purchasing (RED)-branded items, you can easily and affordably help make a difference.

UK’s Tech Startups Giving Back

Tech startups have taken the world by storm over the past few years. It stands to reason seeing as how the world is in the midst of a technological revolution. It seems as if all of the major aspects of our lives are getting smarter each day with phones, houses and cars receiving major tech upgrades. The UK in particular has seen a major uptick in tech companies, with a 92% increase in startups over the past three years. Tech companies also employ 1.56 million people in the UK.

These new companies come with the standard and expected benefit of creating new and exciting jobs. They also provide new technology that several other industries can use and benefit from, such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

These new tech startups are also contributing to an unexpected industry in an extremely positive way. Startups have an intense passion for philanthropic work. More than 50 companies have joined the Pledge 1% movement in the UK, which sees businesses allocate 1% of time, product and equity to charitable contributions. And most of those businesses are related to the tech industry.

So why do UK’s tech startups want to give back so much? One reason has to do with the millennial mentality. Millennial’s are focused on using technology and making the world a better place. After conducting a survey, research company Achieve found that 84% of millennials donate to charity and 70% volunteer.

Millennials are also very picky about their job choices. According to a millennial survey conducted by Deloitte last year, the factors ‘a sense of meaning from my work’ and ‘the impact it has on society’ were the highest ranking factors for millennials when deciding on job offers.

And technology, for the most part, is synonymous with improving or helping the lives of human beings, so it makes sense that those working with technology enjoy charity.

It’s great to see these tech startups with the mindset of helping out your fellow man. Hopefully other industries will take notice and begin to implement philanthropic efforts into their business models.

How the Cloud is Helping In the Fight Against AIDS

Most people view the Cloud as a mysterious entity that knows all, but nobody can truly understand. Several tech companies (like Google, Apple and Microsoft) all have their own version of the Cloud. And while the Cloud may be a bit confusing to many (and incredibly complex), it is actually being used for a tremendous cause: the fight against AIDS.

Since its discovery in 1981, AIDS has affected 1.2 million U.S. citizens, 18,000 of which were diagnosed just last year. It is an extremely sensitive and serious issue that has claimed the lives of an estimated 35 million people worldwide since its discovery.

One of the world’s leading organizations dead set on fighting to end AIDS is (RED). In a recent report from Fox Business, Deb Dugan, CEO of (RED), mentioned that she believes that the Cloud can be used with great effect in their efforts, saying, “the Cloud has made us smarter and more efficient. It’s a game changer.” The Cloud’s biggest contribution is its ability to pinpoint exactly where companies like (RED) are most effective. What’s most impressive is that it manages to do this in real time, giving extremely accurate and up-to-date statistics. Another one of the Cloud’s features is that it simplifies the process of delivering and storing documents and files, allowing for easy access to important information.

Founded in 2006 by U2 lead singer Bono and philanthropist Bobby Shriver, (RED) is dedicated to eradicating AIDS in Africa. To this day, (RED) has earned over $360 million dollars for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.

After the Cloud-based customer relationship management software company Salesforce helped to install the Cloud-based programs that (RED) currently uses, (RED) is now able to seamlessly manage several aspects of their organization with ease. Some of the services provided through (RED)’s Cloud software include: analytics, sales and marketing.

The implementation of the Cloud in (RED)’s services has impacted the company tremendously. By using the Cloud, staff at (RED) can now access information at any time, in any place, giving them much more freedom of travel. They can also share their real time statistics with their large corporate partners, in order to show them just how important their work is in places that need it.

(RED) is also very active on social media, and has used the Cloud to their benefit. “We use the marketing cloud loudly and feverishly,” says Dugan. “We want to deepen our relationships and reach our engaged community and share information.”

With the rapid acceptance of technology and Cloud computing, (RED) is hoping to end mother-child transmission of AIDS by 2020, and to completely eradicate the syndrome by 2030.

If you are interested in helping stop AIDS in Africa, visit (RED)’s website by clicking here and donating.

Cash Out to Charity

Credit card rewards programs can be tricky things. Sure, they look good on paper— earn cash back! Get more miles!— but how often do you really stay on top of them? If your answer was “not very often”, you’re not alone. A good deal of us aren’t. In fact, $16 billion in rewards went unused back in 2010. Those numbers may have changed in the half decade that has followed, but even if it were a minor improvement of 10-20%, that’s still a solid chunk of change that’s gone to waste.

One credit card company though, is looking to change that by allowing card holders to donate unused rewards to charity.

Rewards go unused for a number of reasons. If there’s a reward you can get by redeeming points, often times you need to have spent a lot in the process. After all, no one is thrilled by redeeming their paltry earnings for something like a keychain. For other users, especially those with a smaller credit line, the thought of redeeming points to shave a few dollars off of the bill also may not be at the front of the mind. The point is, a model like the one used by Charity Charge ensures that what would be otherwise gone and forgotten is donated to useful causes.

Charity Charge isn’t the first company to forward rewards to charities, but it is redefining how we give. Bank of America, for instance, offers a card that donates cash back rewards to breast cancer research, but the amount itself is tiny— .08% of each purchase. Another snag with donating to charity is the total of processing fees. Many donations go towards salary, utilities, and other overhead costs. But charity charge underwrites these fees, so the donations go straight to the cause itself.