Victor Jung is a committed philanthropist from New York City

Author: Victor Jung Page 1 of 9

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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. 

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