Monday, November 14, 2011

My new calling in life: Philanthropy

I think I would make a great philanthropist.
I am a research assistant for Professor Callister at BYU. There is a group of us (2 professors, 1 librarian, 2 grad students and one undergrad student) who are working on a project about non-profit organizations.

I spend ten hours a week researching articles about, from and to non-profits. I read them, take notes then report back. Another aspect is that I research actual non-profits and see what they are doing to fundraise specifically using social media. I have such a vast array of ideas, thoughts and suggestions that I feel like I could start my own non-profit one of these days...

Today, I spent some time on twitter (@chelsie_akers) looking up some organizations. Two really stood out to me: Charity:Water and Room to Read.

charity: water funds a range of water technologies. These solutions include hand-dug wells, drilled wells, rehabilitations, spring protections, rainwater catchments and BioSand filters. In 2011, we expanded our work to Bolivia and Guatemala. 
Photo from Here
Every day, Charity: Water posts a photo of the day. Their photos are heart warming and moving.
There fundraising is impressive because 100% of what you give goes to fund the water projects.
Even if you make a credit card donation and the CC company takes a % they will use their private funding to pay that % so it truly is 100%.

Room to Read
Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond. 
Photo from Here
On a recent trip to Vietnam, a reporter joined up with people who were receiving help from Room to Read. The inspiring and heart wrenching story really painted a picture of what the world is really like. It made me hope that I will never again take advantage of my education. The story is of a girl who has to raise her siblings because her mother died of cancer and her dad has to be out in the city working to pay off the medical bills. He told the reporter “I tell my children that we don’t own land that I can leave them when they grow up,” he added. “So the only thing I can give them is an education” (The full story can be read here).

So, If I could just be rich and become a professional philanthropist, I could not only be moved by my research but I could then click on the "DONATE NOW" buttons and give to such wonderful causes. And as such an important member of philanthropy, I would be able to join these organizations around the world as they make a difference, with a little of my help (with my imaginary riches).

As it is, I am poor as can be and can't even afford the $20 it would take to give one person clean water for a life time... But one day, after I find me a sugar daddy, our money will go towards clean water for lots of people!

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