Victor Jung is a committed philanthropist from New York City

Author: Victor Jung Page 1 of 5

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The Big Picture Benefits of Philanthropy

Philanthropy is an intensely popular industry that encourages people to give back to their communities. Whether through corporate giving or personal volunteerism, the more people give back each day, the more people in need get the help they’re looking for. In the short term, philanthropists gain instant gratification from knowing that they’ve done something good to help their fellow humans—this is what most people chase when beginning their philanthropic journeys. 

 

What many people don’t know is that practicing philanthropy can benefit the philanthropist, those they are helping, and society as a whole in the long run. No matter how people practice charitable giving, there’s no doubt that helping others is a crucial part of personal and professional success.

 

Take, for example, corporate giving. Many businesses take part in charitable giving through company-wide donations and giving their employees paid days off for volunteer work. This is crucial for company culture as it builds a strong sense of community between coworkers, increases productivity in the workplace, and forms loyalty among employees and their employers. 

 

Philanthropy can also give companies a huge PR boost when they act charitably. By donating money to non-profit organizations, businesses will gain positive exposure and improve their reputation with customers, employees, partners, and the community. The better a business’s reputation is, the more sales they’ll ultimately make—roughly 90% of customers will shop at businesses that actively support a cause. In the same grain, Millennial job seekers are much more likely to apply to a company that supports a cause because they’ll feel a sense of purpose while working there.

 

Charitable giving impacts people individually as well. Parents can teach their children about the importance of helping others when participating in philanthropy and build on a child’s emotional intelligence. Many non-profits are involved in projects and events, providing parents with another teaching moment for their children: they can teach their children how to set goals, manage money, and plan projects correctly. These children typically end up being adults who continue volunteering and helping their communities. 

 

Additionally, philanthropy can vastly improve a person’s health. The body is actively moving while volunteering and working, which keeps people active for however long they work the charity event. Helping others can increase a person’s mood, reduce stress, stave off loneliness, and combat symptoms of depression. 

 

No matter how people give back, it’s clear that philanthropy is beneficial to society in the long run. The more people participate, the happier they, and their communities, will be.

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COVID-19’s Impact on Donating

After more than a year and a half of the world feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, some industries remain limited, while others have adapted to continue progress one way or another. Donor behavior is one facet of philanthropy that has shifted for the better.

According to a survey conducted in March 2020 by Fidelity Charitable, 54% of donors planned to maintain their regular giving habits, while a surprising 25% planned to actually increase their donations. Younger generations have also pledged to donate more of their time and resources in the wake of the pandemic. 46% of the millennial generation, specifically, said they would start donating or continue to donate to COVID relief organizations.

In terms of what exactly donors aimed their philanthropic sights on, health-related nonprofits were of the most important. A majority of the population was concerned about the health and safety of frontline workers and people who were considered “at-risk.” However, knowing that nearly every industry in the world was impacted in one way or another, a portion of donors wanted to ensure that arts and entertainment did not fall by the wayside as well.

While the pandemic’s impact on donor habits has been trending positively, there are still a few fields that have been, and will continue to be, negatively impacted, such as volunteering. With social distancing being strongly encouraged, if not made mandatory, across the world, nonprofits that rely heavily on volunteers have seen a steep decline in their returns. Fidelity Charitable found that almost half (47%) of all volunteers stated that their time spent volunteering would either decrease or stop altogether amid the pandemic.

Another problem many donors have been facing is a general lack of information on where they should contribute in order to support combative efforts against COVID-19. One-third of the donors surveyed stated they were unsure what pipelines of philanthropy would be best to truly aid the fight in ending the pandemic. The number of confused donors only increased with age, as 35% of Baby Boomers stated they did not have enough information, versus 27% of millennials.

The fact that donations have continued and a clear need to help remains on the minds of donors is a positive sign in itself. For individuals not working in any facet of the healthcare industry, donating your time and finances is a guaranteed way to make an impact, as small as it might be.

A History of the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund

The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund got its start thanks to a single visionary heart surgeon in 1988. Duncan Walker, a congenital cardiac surgeon in Leeds, realized that his facility was missing out on opportunities to save the lives of infants and children. Though there was new equipment available that could provide benefits, the Leeds hospitals could not afford to purchase these highly specified tools.

Therefore, Walker decided to set up a charity that would help fund pediatric cardiac surgery. The public immediately responded to this cause, and in just a year, enough money was raised to build a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Once Walker realized just how much the public cared about this important cause, he decided to continue running the charity even after the initial goal was met.

The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund continued to raise money for keeping the Leeds unit operational. This took on a whole new sense of urgency in 2011 when changes to legislation threatened to close the entire clinic. The issue arose after a scandal in the 1990s when several children died in the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Due to this problem, the government had decided to move all children’s heart surgeries to a few specialist clinics.

If this law was enacted, the Leeds unit would have to shut down. However, the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund launched the ‘Save Our Surgery’ campaign. With a petition of over 600,000 signatures and a massive demonstration, they generated national interest. When even this was not enough, the charity then used funds to start a legal action against the Department of Health. This ultimately proved successful in 2013, when a High Court judge ruled that the Leeds clinic deserved a more thorough analysis before closure.

In 2015, it was determined that the LGI actually did meet most of the national standards for pediatric heart surgery units, and the clinic was allowed to stay open. This whole saga showed just how successful the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund could be when the people of Leeds united for a cause. With pressure to continue meeting national standards, the charity has continued to run fundraising efforts. Recently, £500,000 was raised in a year to launch a revolutionary hybrid theatre that continues to help save lives.

Australia bushfire disaster

Australia Bushfire Disaster: What Can You Do to Help?

The Australia Bushfire tragedy has caused an estimated damage of $110 billion. From damage to infrastructure to loss of life, the fires have left disaster in their wake. Nearly 25 people have died. However, the biggest tragedy is the death of half a billion animals that perished in the bushfires. Relief efforts are underway, but there is still a long way to go until the country emerges from this tragedy. Australia needs your help and it needs it now. If you are not sure how you can contribute to the relief efforts, here are a few charities that you can donate to:

Top Charities for Australia Bushfire Relief Efforts 

 

1. Red Cross Australia 

 

Red Cross Australia is leading bushfire relief efforts in Australia. The charity is managing the evacuation of individuals residing in areas where the fires have caused the most damage. People are being transferred to relief centers for further rehabilitation. 

Click here to donate to Red Cross. 

 

2. The Intrepid Foundation

 

The Intrepid Foundation is also making headway with relief efforts. It is working alongside Red Cross, Australia. Donations made to this charity will be used to provide support to the people displaced in the fires. This includes the provision of emergency grants to people whose homes got destroyed or are unfit for habitation. The foundation is also working toward establishing long-term recovery programs for communities affected by the fires. 

Click here to donate to the Intrepid Foundation. 

 

3. Center for Disaster Philanthropy  

 

This charity has set up a Global Recovery Fund meant to provide short-term and long-term aid to Australian communities. The charity is working with Google to help donors from around the world make donations to relief efforts. 

Click here to donate to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. 

 

4. Wildlife Victoria 

 

If you want to make a contribution and help elevate the wildlife crisis, then Wildlife Victoria is one of the best charities for Australia bushfire relief to donate to. The donations to this charity will be used to help wildlife shelters that need to rebuild animal enclosures and purchase machinery. These shelters are struggling to care for the animals they have rescued and need all the help they can get. 

Click here to donate to Wildlife Victoria.

 

5. WIRES 

 

WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) is another great charity to donate to for helping animals that have suffered in the fires. The organization has been actively involved in the rehabilitation and preservation of Australian wildlife for over 3 decades. It has launched multiple grant programs for providing care to animals in the bushfire crisis. 

Click here to donate to WIRES. 

Bushfires are not an uncommon occurrence in Australia. However, this particular fire season has been exceptionally devastating. It doesn’t matter how much you donate. Given the extent of damage that the country has suffered, every cent matters. Besides donating to charities for Australia bushfire relief, you can also help by visiting the country later this year. This will have a positive impact on the tourism revenues generated, which can be used for recovery.

Two little girls reading

5 Charities that are Promoting Children’s Literacy

If you’ve ever lent a hand to a charity in the global fight for literacy, you’ll be glad to know that literacy rates have risen in recent years. Literacy programs and charity organizations have a huge role in this!

However, literacy rates are still below par in many underdeveloped and developing countries. The following is a list of charities that are promoting children’s literacy across the globe by working day in and night out.

 

1. Reading is Fundamental

 

Ready is Fundamental is an organization that aims to fight the literacy crisis in the U.S. Committed to spreading the light of literacy among kids, the charity works with schools, book publishers, distributors, community centers, health facilities, and homeless shelters to provide needy children with books and other reading resources. 

They invite you to join hands in creating a completely literate nation and accept donations online as well as by mail or phone. 

 

2. Literacy for Incarcerated Teens

 

This New York-based organization focuses on an important population: youth. It strives to educate teens who are imprisoned and confined by creating libraries in juvenile prisons. This one-of-a-kind non-profit organization aspires to inspire teens to read and learn to become better human beings.

 

3. Everybody Wins!

 

Everybody Wins! is another non-profit charitable organization that utilizes an innovative shared reading experience approach to encourage children to read. they feature an interesting program called ‘Power Lunch’ where an adult mentor and a child pair up for a fun reading session. 

Since its inception in 1995, Everybody Wins! has donated approximately 200,000 books to kids in need and has supported 60,000 children on the fight against illiteracy. You can sign up for mentoring kids or simply donate books and money online to support their cause.

 

4. World Literacy Foundation 

 

The World Literacy Foundation aims to fight the 20% illiteracy rate in the world. It uses the power of research and advocacy to promote literacy in underdeveloped communities across the globe. 

Currently, they are working on eradicating illiteracy in 25 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Africa, and Latin America. To make your contribution, you can volunteer or donate money to the World Literacy Foundation or any one of the three organizations: North America, the UK, and Europe.

 

5. Milk and Bookies

 

Milk and Bookies is a non-profit organization that works to promote literacy and reading among children. Not only this, but it also aims to spread awareness regarding the importance of community work and giving.

This organization has an inspiring Leaders + Readers Program for student volunteers in Los Angeles. In addition to this, it also hosts a program called Book Raisers to motivate children to pick and donate books for other unfortunate kids who can’t afford them. 

You can donate money or books for the needy children or even host your own book drive in your community.

Thanks to the many charities that are promoting children’s literacy, the global literacy rate is improving. Nevertheless, a lot of work still needs to be done. You can do your part by donating money, books, or any reading resources that needy children don’t have access to or can’t afford. 

Koala

How to Help Australia’s Wildlife

Most of the population of Australia lives in the Southeastern region; an area in which most of the devastation from recent forest fires has taken place. There have been some human casualties, but significantly more animals that have lost their lives. Australia has been home to some of the most beautiful and rarest animals on earth, and so many of these are now on the brink of being endangered, if not already deemed so. This tragedy has inspired individuals from all around the world to offer their services, the following being a number of ways you can contribute yourself.

 

Relief for Burned Animals

 

For the lucky animals that have survived these fires, many are still suffering from severe burns to their coats and paws. Among them are koalas and kangaroos, two of the most world-renowned Australian animals. Some people are giving pain-relieving shots to any injured animals they find. Others are stocking up on blankets to cover animals as they take them out of danger’s way to secure shelters. However, hundreds of millions of animals may have already perished from the devastating fires.

 

Visit WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation’s website here to donate!

 

Leaving Food and Water

 

Many of the surviving animals are threatened with starvation or dehydration. Entire habitations for unique wildlife have been destroyed, leaving these animals lost and confused. All the rivers and dams are drying up, but many local southeastern Australians are creating watering holes in surrounding areas for surviving animals they cannot locate themselves. 

 

Koalas get most of their water from the eucalypt leaves they eat. The recent droughts have made life hard enough for them, and now they are coming down from the trees looking for water. This provides rescuers a good chance to save them before they come to more harm, however. To help in these efforts, visit the Australian Koala Foundation to adopt a koala today and protect this species from further devastation.

 

Providing Temporary Shelter

 

All around the country, people have come together to find, feed, and house rescued animals. Some have gone as far as digging out their bedrooms to shelter kangaroos. Communities are coming together to build shelters, but it’s not happening fast enough. The wildfires have brought animals that were once considered endangered to near extinction. It will take some time for the smoke to settle before the true level of destruction caused by these wildfires is realized. The two states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria have suffered the worst from the fires.

To do your part in providing these animals shelter, consider donating to the Scituate Animal Shelter, asking for homemade “Joey Pouches.” Another helpful nonprofit organization rescuing these animals in need is the Australian Animal Rescue.

Charities to Donate to This Holiday Season

According to Giving USA, Americans donated more than $400 billion dollars to their favorite charities in 2018. It’s imperative to point out that close to $292 billion dollars came from private donors. Many insiders around the country believe these numbers will increase in 2019.

There are many exceptional charities in need of your donation. However, no one wants to see their money go to a lost cause. Here’s a list of the most popular charities around today. Also, keep in mind that these charities have an exceptional reputation for using donated funds properly.

Action Against Hunger – This charity focuses on feeding homeless citizens and low-income families.

Direct Relief – If you really want to help people dealing with catastrophic losses from storms, you should consider donating to this charity.

Prevent Child Abuse America – If you have a heart for abused kids, this charity should be on your radar.

Fisher House Foundation – This charity helps our beloved veterans. Fisher House Foundation has a solid track record.

Conservation Fund – There are so many things happening in our environment these days. Donating to this charity can help keep our environment intact.

The charities listed above have a good reputation for making wise use of donated funds. However, there are tons of charities around today. It’s not unusual to turn on the television and see news stories about fraudulent charities. This is one of the main reasons why some people are reluctant to make a donation.

It’s important for you to understand that you should not allow fraudulent activity stop you from helping others. Let’s take a close look at a few solid tips that can help you choose a worthy charity.

  1. Do Your Due Diligence

You should do your research before sending your money to a non-profit organization. Check out the organization’s website and coverage in the press. You should also check out the organization’s financial records closely.

  1. List Your Favorite Causes

What are your favorite causes? Make a list of the causes close to your heart. This will help you choose the charities that serve your interests or passion.

  1. Ask Around

Consulting with your family members, friends, and co-workers can help you find a good charity that’s worthy of your money. For example, you may know someone who volunteers at a non-profit that helps teenage runaways. A non-profit organization like this could use your donations to help teens get back on the right track.

Giving USA stated they believe more Americans will give money to charities as time progresses. There are millions of people in need of help. Donating money to a reputable non-profit is a powerful way of helping them.

Why Philanthropic Businesses Should Focus on Social Purpose

For decades, many corporations have had just one singular focus – increasing value for the shareholders.

Early education has taught us the value of philanthropy, but it has also been enshrined into several laws that permit shareholders to hold executives responsible for attempting to increase profits at any cost. Such a policy has led to some great innovations in technology, making the supply chains faster and more efficient than previous years. It has, unfortunately, also led to some of the most damaging exploitation, abuse, and neglect of the workers, communities, and environment that support these corporate giants.

The larger, social issues that they are primed to address or possibly prevent have disappeared from the list of priorities for corporate executives in pursuit of this singular goal. The belief was that, in time, the “market” would fix most of the bugs in the system. Businesses would be forced to improve working conditions, create safer products, and preserve the environment, because failing to do so would affect the bottom line. After nearly five decades of such a policy, people and (most importantly) corporations are waking up to the fallacy of that world view.

Vast income inequality, social upheaval, and environmental disasters have forced businesses to rethink the idea of shareholder primacy. Calls for a shift away from a purely profit-driven corporate culture to one that takes the business’s responsibility to the communities they serve and the planet are growing. Even investors are shifting their focus, with more and more investors putting money into sustainable, responsible, impact-driven investments.

Curiously, it is the handful of brave companies that have bucked that convention that has reported greater growth and stability. By creating a corporate culture that aims to promote an economy that serves everybody instead of just the shareholders, companies have outperformed the market by 5-7% annually. They are proof that being a genuinely philanthropic entity is profitable and sustainable.

When corporations shift focus and begin to examine the impact they can have on the larger community they are primed to come alongside government and NGOs to address serious issues. They can become change agents that not only enrich their shareholders but the communities in which they exist and serve. Not only are the communities happier and healthier, but the employees are also more engaged in their work and find greater meaning.

Educational Nonprofits for Families and Teachers

There are many nonprofit organizations available to help supplement the educational system in the United States. Whether these organizations are geared towards teachers, students, parents, or all of the above, their support often bridges gaps that would otherwise linger between educators, schools, and families. Here are three great nonprofits that are making a real difference in today’s education system.

  1. The Association of American Educators

This organization’s mission is to provide support to the teacher of the country. They do this through programs such as teacher scholarships and grants, liability insurance, member discounts on supplies, tuition discounts, and more. They also advocate on behalf of educators for their rights and for improvements in their careers and classrooms.

This organization seeks to reduce or eliminate strikes and boycotts, which, in the end, negatively affects students more than anyone. They do this by attempting to provide the essentials that educators need (such as supplemental insurance, for example) that they may not be getting from their jobs. By keeping educators happy, peace and balance is maintained within the education system.

  1. Help 4 Kids

This is a small organization located in Florence, South Carolina whose mission is to make sure that underprivileged elementary school students don’t go hungry during weekends. In coordination with local schools and administrators, this organization provides a bag of food to these students in need on Fridays before they go home.

Help 4 Kids is fairly new, having been in operation since 2013. It was inspired by their other chapter Help 4 Kids in Horry County, South Carolina. As the organization continues to be successful, hopes are that the chain will continue to grow and open even more chapters throughout several other communities in the country.

  1. National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

This 120-year-old organization has accomplished thousands of amazing feats for children. Some of which include creating the National School Lunch Program, pushing for teacher pay raises, rounding up resources for financially-challenged schools so they can keep up with modern education, and so much more. In fact, there is almost nothing that this organization doesn’t do to help parents, teachers, and students. 

The PTA is comprised of over 4 million members. This includes teachers, parents, students, other family members of students, foster parents–basically anyone involved in students lives and education. Their mission statement is “to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.”

Teaching Children the Importance of Personal Finance

Victor Jung

Personal finance is one of the most important topics that children should learn about at a relatively young age. Giving children some teachings and practicals on the topic ensures that they grow with the right foundational knowledge. It also advances their strength in personal finance planning as they grow up.

According to the president of JumpStart Coalition, a children’s finance literacy group, parents should lead the way by starting conversations and incorporating finance lessons in everyday activities at home. Using a systematic approach when performing these lessons ensures that children can progressively grow their competency on the subject. Here are a few ideas on how to go about teaching your children the importance of personal finance.

Start with the importance of money

From the beginning, children should be taught how to identify and value money accordingly. Giving them a fundamental understanding and demonstration of financial value ensures that they can appreciate its importance whenever they see it. This can be done by showing them what exactly money can do for them and how it should be handled.

Spending vs. saving

Children also need to have sufficient knowledge on how to acquire money, how to save it, and how to spend it wisely. This can be perfectly demonstrated by asking your child to do a mild task and then ‘paying’ them a small salary. The essence of an allowance is to ensure that children understand that to get money, they have to do some work. It also reinforces the idea that money should be appreciated. Once they acquire money, you should then proceed to show them how to set a personal budget of prospected expenses, including setting aside some savings.

Setting a good example

There is perhaps no better way to teach children effectively than by serving as a good example. Using your life as a case study on how to handle money, how to budget, and how to save gives your children a reinforcement of ideas that are highly unlikely to be forgotten. Taking them on a trip to the grocery store, for example, demonstrates that they can set a clear budget to purchase only the necessary goods. From the change you get back after your trip, you can then teach them the value of setting aside some money for future use by tossing coins in a private piggy bank.

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