Here is a great idea. While most people feel their charitable giving, since it comes out of their pocketbook, there are ways to give that you don’t really feel. There are credit cards that allow you to redeem your points and miles towards charitable organizations. Here are three cards that let you donate your points.
- Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard: Here you can donate your miles. They have ways for you to partner with organizations that can help those in need. For instance, with the Miles for Kids in Need you can give your miles so that a sick child can take a vacation. Or you can partner with Miles for All Who Serve which supports military families.
- Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express: They have also partnered with some places to offer you a way to donate to others. The Clean the World organization is a recycler of hotel soaps and amenities. Check Out for Children, another organization, has raised $30 million to help improve the lives of children.
- JetBlue Card: Another idea is the JetBlue Card that also lets you donate your points to many organizations and cardholders get three times the points on Jet Blue purchases, two times the points at restaurants and grocery stores and one time the purchase on all other items.
Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C has a new exhibit, “Giving in America.” Museum curator Bonnie Lilienfeld explains that the exhibit shows the history of giving and how many of the fundraising operations have come about.
For instance, the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started with a blue plastic bucket that belonged to a New York woman, Jeanette Senerchia. With a husband who had ALS, Senerchia was challenged to dump ice on her head to raise awareness about ALS.
There is a silver plate at the museum from 1764, for instance, that was given by Thomas Hancock to his church in Boston.
Lilienfeld explained that charity isn’t always just about money. As she said pointing to a blood donation kit, “That’s really sort of the ultimate gift of really giving of yourself. We included that story here to get people to understand, sometimes the smallest act really is an act of philanthropy.”
There is a tool belt on display, as well, that a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity used to build a house.
The exhibit is now on permanent display at the museum.
University alumni often make generous donations to their colleges. At Princeton for example, it was found that approximately 60% of graduates donate back to the university. According to Kaitlin Mulhere, in 2015 the numbers for charitable donations to colleges peaked at $40.3 billion (resulting in an increase of 7.6 from the 2014 fiscal year).
Sometimes universities are privy to an extremely large donation from just one individual. That was the case in 2010 with alumni Zhang Lei who pledged $8,888,888 to the Yale School of Management. Lei – who graduated with an MBA and an MA in International Relations from the educational institute in 2002 – donated this money to help with the construction of the school’s new campus. Zhang Lei’s donation is the largest single sum Yale ever received from an alumni. Other ways the money from Lei was used was to fund China-related activities at the University and to support an international relations scholarship.
With Lei’s donation to Yale, according to University President Richard Levin, “a significant step toward the realization of SOM’s new campus” was taken. Levin also called the donation a “truly extraordinary and auspicious gift [which] reflects the deep commitment to Yale that Lei Zhang shares with so many fellow graduates of the School of Management.”
Those who become successful in business seem to want to give back to their colleges. Matt Schifrin in an article he wrote in Forbes a few months ago, said that “The best colleges produce crop after crop of successful graduates that show their appreciation by giving back in the form of donations to their beloved Alma mater.”
It seems that people don’t forget their college years, no matter how much time has passed. For example, 1953 CSU College of Engineering graduate Walter Scott Jr. just donated $53.3 million. According to university president, Tony Frank, this donation – the largest in the school’s history – will allow the College of Engineering (which will be renamed the Walter Scott Jr. College of Engineering) to “attract and support the finest faculty and students for years to come.”
And then earlier this month Alumni Grove hosted its 2nd annual Day of Giving, during which it received $132,225 from 1,044 donors, again indicating that university graduates like to give back to their educational institutions.
A recent survey from RBC Wealth Management-US and City National Bank shows some surprising, and disheartening, statistics about charity in America. While 82% of American say that it’s important to them to give charity, most people don’t actually give throughout the year.
47% of respondents said that they give to charity sporadically without any specific plan. This can have consequences, say experts at RBC Wealth Management-US.
As Van Pate, Wealth Strategies Consultant at RBC Wealth Management – U.S , explained “A well-planned program of lifetime gifts to family, friends and charities can provide income and estate tax benefits and help preserve more assets for heirs. Taking a deliberate approach to giving can help you make well-informed decisions and increase the benefits to both you and the recipients of your good will.”
When Americans do give, do they do so to just a few causes? No. 53% give to three or more charities and 10% give to 6-10 charities. 4% even admitted that they support 11 charities or more.
Malia Haskins, Wealth Strategies Consultant at RBC Wealth Management – U.S., explained why dividing up the money may not be a good idea. As she explained,
“There is a strong argument that, if you’re interested in doing the most good, you should concentrate your giving on one, maybe two organizations.”
And who gives more in the country? Midwesterners give more than Southerners, the West and the Northeast.
The Birmingham Fire & Rescue members are heating things up, and that’s not just about the fires they put out. And in the process, they are working to benefit the American Cancer Society. In a special charity calendar that they’ve just created, they have posed in order to help raise money. As Nikki Seaborn, communications manager with the Birmingham chapter of the American Cancer Society, said “Not only are these guys handsome, but more importantly, they are community heroes with generous hearts who believe in and support the vision of the American Cancer Society and our Hope Lodge.”
And the firefighters didn’t only take their time to pose. They are serving dinner at the Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge Tuesday night to focus on the lodge’s great work and on the new calendar. The lodge is an amazing location that provides free, overnight accommodations for cancer patients and their families who need to travel for treatment.
Most people don’t think of Minnesota as a technology hot spot, but apparently ChangeX is trying to change that. The Dublin-based social enterprise startup has just tagged Minnesota as the destination for its first foray into the American market. And, to mark their international launch, they held a gala on September 12th at the Pillsbury A-Mill Artist Lofts in St. Anthony Main.
As CEO Paul O’Hara explained, “It’s crazy to think that barely a year ago, we were just getting started, and now we’re getting ready to launch in another country.”
So, of course, one must ask, Why Minnesota? As O’Hara explained, “We chose Minnesota for a combination of reasons…a vibrant civic society, a thriving nonprofit sector and a variety of social issues.” As part of ChangeX’s “humble” goal they want to improve the lives of 1 billion people in the next 10 years.
As O’Hara said at the gala to the crowd from Minnesota, “This whole thing is pointless without you all. So please share your ideas, join other initiatives and spread the word about ChangeX.”
It’s always nice to see the rich and famous doing well by others. And that’s why it’s heart-warming to see that Bon Jovi is being honored in New York on September 19th at the 10th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards. He’ll perform and enjoy being honored for the 10th anniversary of his Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. The Foundation offers aid for housing and hunger issues in the US. He’ll be honored along with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, Dr. Haw Abdi and social activist Adi Godrej.
Bon Jovi is joining a long list of truly worthy people in receiving the Clinton award. Past recipients include Sting and Trudie Styler, Quincy Jones and Leonardo DiCaprio. And, if you’re lucky enough to be in attendance, you’ll also see a performance by opera tenor Andrea Bocelli.
Eamon Rockey is no stranger to good food. With both parents working as professional chefs, Rockey grew up with a passion for food and a love of being creative in the kitchen. He’s also familiar with hard work, having started at the tender age of 14 at the only sushi restaurant in his (Hattiesburg) hometown after school.
But Eamon is much more than just about success in the culinary world. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and co-founder of successful restaurant Betony (which has received rave reviews in both Esquire’s “Restaurant of the Year” and Wine Enthusiast’s “100 Best Wine Restaurants” list), charity and philanthropic efforts are a high priority for Eamon Rockey.
Perhaps this explains why Rockey just hosted Produce Playoff 2016 – a “celebration of New York’s finest summer produce,” which, at the same time, is working for a charity. The Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign – which Rockey supports – is the beneficiary of this event. Rockey and Bryce Shuman (the other event’s host) invited professional chefs and beverage specialists to “’draft’ a ‘star player’ from their favorite regional grower.” Guests were also able to meet with the team of culinary experts (as well as the farmers working the event).
So while Rockey might be known for his professionalism in the creative culinary kitchen, ending childhood hunger in America is a cause he works hard to combat. As he pointed out when discussing the charity, “the more talented people there are rallying together behind the same cause, the greater the impact and the more powerful the momentum.”
It is certainly refreshing to see executives giving back to those in need. Bruce Fink is one such example. Co-founder of Executive Channel International, the parent company of Executive Channel Network in Australia, France, the UK and Holland, Fink is their Executive Chairman. One area of Bruce Fink’s time and financial commitment has been directed at The Salvation Army’s Oasis (Sydney) Youth Support Network Education Centre.
The Education Centre supports young homeless and disadvantaged people while they are in the process of completing their Higher School Certificate. Often, for people in precarious situations, re-integrating into the mainstream schooling system isn’t an option. Oasis, and their Education Centre, provides an alternative in situations such as these. They have a learning environment that is tailored to the individual learning preferences of the student.
Currently, they have over 90 employees, 25 programs and the ability to support more than 350 young people every year.
While Mr. Fink has offered financial contributions, he has also been a presence at the graduation ceremonies each year. This past year, Bruce Fink invested in upgrading and updating the learning tools that the Centre uses including textbooks, study guides, field guides and new technology. As he explained, “Education is key to young people carving out a future for a better life and I can think of very few causes that are more important than this”.
Mr. Fink was first introduced to the Salvation Army’s Oasis about six years ago. He said, “I really fell in love with the place. Many of the kids come from unbelievably difficult backgrounds and it is just extraordinary how transformative the experience of Oasis has been to them. It gives them a real chance at a satisfying and meaningful future. The work that the staff does in building trust and a loving environment, as well as nurturing these young people, is quite extraordinary!”
Mr. Fink has another important reason that he supports causes such as this one, and it’s a reason from which many of us can learn. He said he believes that it is important to show his children that “life is about giving and not just taking.”
Papa John’s International Inc. is showing its commitment to its customers and to its communities. In the communities where they operate, they will donate 500 custom-designed bike helmets to lower economic youths who participate in the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective program (SLCBC). This is in addition to the company’s sponsorship of the Tour of Utah, which is a week-long professional cycling race.
As the Founder, Chairman and CEO “Papa John” Schnatter said,
“Papa John’s is excited to partner with the Tour of Utah and Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective. Our love for pizza, cycling and our local community go hand-in-hand. This is a unique opportunity to help support the local economy and bring people together to enjoy the sport of cycling and the great outdoors. As an avid cyclist, I’m encouraged by the good work that the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective (SLCBC) is doing to encourage kids to stay active, while also teaching important life skills and rewarding hard work. At Papa John’s, we are proud to help ensure more kids are able to benefit from the SLCBC program.”
The helmets have a pizza-theme on them and they will be donated to members of the SLCBC.
As the Executive Director of the SLCBC, Davey Davis, said
“We at the SLCBC are very grateful to receive these helmets from the team at Papa John’s. Every kid should get the opportunity to ride a bike, and this donation supports us in helping more kids to ride safely and have fun while doing it.”