Why #CharityTuesday is Important

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a huge love for technology, and in today’s world, we are surrounded by tech. While some see technology as a nuisance, I see it as a vast opportunity for our society to become as advanced and efficient as possible. The advancement of technology has given birth to another equally admired and hated sector of society: social media. And even though social media has seen its fair share of detractors, it has, much like technology itself, paved the way for some tremendous advancements and causes. One such cause is #CharityTuesday.

What is #CharityTuesday?

#CharityTuesday was started by LoveBox, a voluntary organization. Apparently, on a Monday afternoon, LoveBox’s founder wanted to create a worldwide awareness for charities of all kinds and so, the idea for #CharityTuesday was born. In the world of social media, hashtags (#) are a way of organizing keywords and topics in order to ease search queries. Once the hashtag #CharityTuesday began, it became something of an instant hit. Currently, several hundred charities use the hashtag on popular social media networks in order to promote awareness for their particular cause.

Why is it Important?
#CharityTuesday is important because it changes the way that charitable organizations and institutions can fundraise. It takes less pressure off of individuals and increases the odds of volunteers and contributions. For example, most charities, in order to raise funds, awareness or attract volunteers, make phone calls or stand outside of businesses and buildings, often directly asking citizens for help. This can create a sense of pressure on people, thus making them more reluctant. However, by utilizing social media profiles and using hashtags and calls to action, there is far less pressure, and people are far more likely to contribute to the cause, whatever it may be.

And all of this is possible through social media. In most cases, hashtags in social media consist of trending celebrities and world news; however, with #CharityTuesday, once the hashtag is picked up by Twitter or Instagram or Facebook, it can reach a worldwide audience in a matter of minutes, thus creating the ultimate awareness level. It’s incredibly important to continue to utilize technology in methods such as these.

Since today is Tuesday, why not get on social media and see what charities you can give to today?

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.

The Dawn of Smart Contacts

Living with diabetes is difficult. 29.1 million Americans have to deal with the reality of the disease every day. One of the most difficult aspects of the disease is the constant need to monitor blood sugar levels. Currently, the most effective, and common, way of monitoring one’s blood sugar is by drawing blood from a finger, and placing the sample into a monitor. Recently, however, scientists and researchers have been developing newer and less intrusive methods of blood sugar monitoring. From fully automated pancreases to implantable glucose monitoring chips, the race to find a better way to monitor glucose levels is heating up. And the most unobtrusive method may be coming soon: smart contact lenses.


According to Gizmodo, researchers from Oregon State University have created a transparent biosensor that can be implanted into contact lenses which can detect sudden changes in blood sugar levels, among other health issues. According to the Gizmodo article, the lead scientist behind the project, Gregory Herman, was looking for a far safer and more practical method of monitoring blood glucose levels, as the current means can be painful and inconvenient.


The project came to be after Herman and his colleagues developed a semiconductor made out of gallium zinc oxide; this would be the foundation of the smart contact lenses. In short, the biosensor is engineered in such a way that when it comes in contact with glucose, it oxidizes blood sugar, which allows for noticeable changes in the body. While the technology is still new, Herman hopes that it can be developed to measure any number of diseases.


“There is a fair amount of information that can be monitored in a teardrop,” Herman stated in an interview with Gizmodo. “Of course, there is glucose, but also lactate, dopamine, urea, and proteins. Our goal is to expand from a single sensor to multiple sensors.”
If Herman and his group can hone the technology and mass produce it, they could potentially change the way that diabetics live their lives. Hopefully, the lenses will not only take off, but become a standard in blood sugar monitoring and even help detect other diseases.

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.

Project Fi’s New Referral Program

Nearly everyone now has a cell phone in the United States. For most people, those cell phones are smartphones, allowing them to access the internet at a moment’s notice through mobile data. Ever since the rise in popularity of the smartphone, people with these types of phones, especially families or those on a tight budget, are looking for ways to reduce the amount of money they pay to their carrier, where costs can often accumulate to hundreds of dollars in a single month, without sacrificing the technology. Because of this issue, many are looking for alternate carriers who offer more affordable options. This is where Google’s new service provider, Project Fi, comes into play. Luckily, Project Fi is gaining popularity and could very well be an alternative to traditional carriers, and a solution to the “sacrificing technology for a lower cost” dilemma.

What is Project Fi?

Project Fi is a cell phone service carrier that Google has recently developed that allows users to use three different networks: Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular, while also subscribing through Google. The cost is $20 a month, and an additional $10 for each gigabyte of data used. It’s a prepaid service, but Google will refund you for any data not used and if you go over, you’re just charged the flat $10 rate for each extra gig of data.

One of the program’s downsides is the lack of phone choice, since users can only choose from some of Google’s new phones or three different types of Nexus phones. Luckily, switching over to the carrier is relatively easy; it only takes porting your number onto the phone and downloading some basic software that transfers your information and adds the apps and features you’ll need to use Project Fi.

Referral Program

Google has recently started pushing a referral program in order to get new users to join Project Fi. They’re running the campaign for a month, offering current users a $20 credit for every person who signs up using their referral code. Another perk is that the person who signs up gets a $20 credit as well, which essentially waives the basic monthly fee. This bonus is only available until January 17th, 2017, so if you’re a current user of Project Fi, take advantage of this opportunity while you can! Unfortunately, you can only benefit from ten uses of your referral code, but that’s probably enough for a couple months of free service, if you can find enough people to use all ten.