Get off your butt: DoSomething.org

They walk among us.

We all know one. We admire their tenacity, their determination and their leadership abilities. They amaze us with their capacity to make informed, mature decisions. Their passionate desire to make the world a better place to live is truly inspirational. The agents of change I am talking about are not heads of state, corporate CEO’s or even executive director’s multi-national charitable organizations.

They are teenagers.

I consider myself very lucky to have one such teenager in my family. My cousin Mallory and her friends believe that they can make a difference in their community and they aren’t letting anyone stop them from helping those in need. From organizing winter clothing drives to anti-bullying campaigns, these girls are taking charge and showing adults, including myself, just how it’s done. They shatter the stereotype of disengaged teenagers who are selfish and uncaring. And they are not alone. There are Read more…

Acumen Fund: Investments not Grants, Building Business Models to Solve the World’s Problems

This story begins with Jacqueline Novogratz’s favourite blue sweater…

Jacqueline Novogratz: Founder of Acumen Fund

And so this amazing tale inspired Jacqueline’s ambitious venture into social good with her creation of Acumen Fund: an organization dedicated to investing in social entrepreneurs and enterprises focused on providing critical goods to the world’s poor.

Investing Patient Capital in Social Entrepreneurs

By using the idea of patient capital (where investors are willing to make a financial investment in a business with no expectation of turning a quick profit) and investing this into people trying to solve vital problems for the poor in their region, this essentially creates a system that combines both businesses (whose bottom line is profit) and philanthropy (a focus on creating a positive impact on society), ultimately breaking the cycle of poverty.

Since a social entrepreneur’s model is based on not one but three bottom lines – People (society), Planet (the environment) & Profit Read more…

Homeless Nation: An Online Home For Those Who Have None

Their stories rushed into Daniel Cross’s camera, filling Montreal’s streets with the echo of their passions, struggles, and dreams. They had a voice far beyond his films, and Cross was determined not to lose it. He knew they needed a home, an outlet for self-expression, the freedom to voice their opinions, a place to connect and learn, and a space to share the thousands of stories packed inside his cameras.

They needed Homeless Nation

A Website By and For the Homeless

Founded by documentary filmmaker Daniel Cross, Homeless Nation is the first and only non-profit website in the world by and for the street community. As such, the website serves as a virtual home where all are welcome, and is dedicated to sharing the stories of Canada’s homeless community, a virtual home that creates equal access to online media, a space to learn and share truths with the help of audio and Read more…

Drishtee: Impacting Rural Societies Economically

According to several socioeconomic observations made by C.K. Prahalad and Stuart L. Hart, the real fortune for governments and companies to develop their services and products and to expand their prevalent businesses is at the bottom of the pyramid. But think about it – any big MNC would ponder twice before releasing a product for these ‘aspiring poor’, for the very reason that there is market uncertainty (because of the fluctuating wages of the poor).

Where’s the Growth?

Post-Cold War, what really happened is that the MNCs concluded through GDP, import and export trends that the emerging markets were China, India, Latin America, Soviet Union and their allies. They went ahead with the loaded idea that the middle-class consumers in these developing countries are the primary sources of business-return gold and market expansion. Of course, it was only obvious to think so, as the rich in the developed countries were only a Read more…

TakingITGlobal: Educational Social Networking for Social Good

“I wonder – If young people were actively engaged in all aspects of society, and thought of themselves as community leaders, problem-solvers, role models, mentors and key ‘stakeholders’…how would the world change?” – TakingITGlobal Co-Founder Jennifer Corriero

You’re a young person just beginning to carve your path in life. You have big dreams, you’re enthusiastic, and you know you can make the world a better place. Like many young people today, you’re also connected to a large circle of friends through social networking and social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.

The only problem is you aren’t quite sure how to access a combination of these resources to further understand and impact the world in a positive way.

Not to worry! TakingITGlobal (TIG) is here to help!

An Online Youth Community Dedicated to Positive Social Change

Created in 1999 by Co-founders Michael Furdyk and Jennifer Corriero, www.tigweb.org is an international online community dedicated to empowering Read more…

Ubuntu: A light at the end of a tunnel

It’s not every day that you get the chance to meet someone who just wants to make the world a better place.  These types of people come few and far between, but when they do – they can truly inspire everyone around them.

Nicole and Rodrigue are two of these individuals and together, they create an undeniable force.

After learning about the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Nicole – a Canadian – couldn’t just sit at home.  She packed her bags and left for the land of a thousand hills.  Without any knowledge of Kinyarwanda, Rwanda’s native language, Nicole knew she would need some help.  In 2005, she found Rodrigue, then a young boy, who helped her to translate and show her around Kigali.  Nicole and Rodrigue have been family ever since.

A Guide for being Self Sustaining

Nicole Pageau

Ubuntu (meaning humanity and I), under the guidance of Nicole and Rodrigue, is an organization that Read more…

Global Giving: Funding the underdog

Transparency…

When deciding which do-good organization is deserving of my hard-earned cash, I am continuously faced with the same problem: How can I ensure my money finds its way to the cause that needs it the most while not falling prey to a scam in the process? It’s no surprise that the most well known organizations are also the most well-funded.

And it is because of transparency.

Whether or not it’s a legitimate concern, people feel more comfortable donating money to an organization that is publicly renowned. GlobalGiving is seeking to change that.

In the beginning

GlobalGiving was born of the desire of Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle, World Bank executives, to find a new strategy to alleviate poverty. As explained on Whittle’s personal blog, while the pair acknowledged the merits of the top-down approach to tackling worldwide poverty taken by the Bank, they also saw a need for a bottom-up methodology which could provide financial Read more…

Soccket – Harnessing the Passion of Soccer

It’s been a hard day’s work in school and all you want to do is kick the soccer ball around with your friends.

The Copa America and Women’s World Cup games are in full flow and your favourite teams are raring to go. Passion is in the air. You can smell it. You can breathe it.

And now you want to play it.

After a tough win on the dusty field it’s time to do some reading. But you live in a poor neighbourhood and you do not have any electricity at home to read your favourite book. Not only that, you are limited in what you can do at home due to this damning unavailability of a reliable source for electric power.

But that’s fine, because now you have the sOccket.

Half Soccer Ball. Half Power Generator.

sOccket is an eco-friendly portable generator built into a soccer ball.

25% of all kids worldwide do not have Read more…