Victor Jung | Philanthropy

Victor Jung is a committed philanthropist from New York City

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.

5 Ways You Can Support Migrant Children at the Border

Many young migrant children are currently enduring awful conditions at the United States border amidst heated discussions on our country’s immigration policies. The nightly news has well documented the overcrowding, unsanitary environments, and abuse these children are currently going through along with other family members. Some reports suggest minors are going weeks without access to enough food or even space to sleep.

Here’s what you can do to take action and help children who are struggling in detainment.

  1. Support Advocacy Organizations

Many advocacy organizations offer a wide array of services to immigrant children and families. These families often need costly legal representation that is otherwise unavailable to them as immigrants. Other advocacy organizations provide humanitarian aid and shelter for those without it.

Organizations like the ACLU and United We Dream seek to reform immigration laws at the national level. Each of these advocacy groups need monetary donations from volunteers to continue their efforts. If it is within your budget, aiding these organizations in their fight can be a tremendous help.

  1. Write Elected Officials

Putting pressure on your representative with petitions and signatures of people in your community can help tremendously. It shows our representatives in Congress that the current Southern border conditions are inhumane and unjust. Congress has voted to pass a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid bill for migrant children, which is a good start.

  1. Educate Yourself

If you live in an area with a large immigrant population, it would be wise to educate yourself. Staying up-to-date with the current immigration system is a complex order. You can show support for immigrants by opposing detention centers. Boost accurate information to increase exposure and be aware of Know Your Rights training centers in your area.

  1. Protest

Organizations like MoveOn, United We Dream, and Families Belong Together are organizing protests nationwide. You can find organization information for the latest efforts under the hashtag #CloseTheCamps on Twitter. These rallies are slated to continue until action is taken to address the issues at the border.

  1. Attend a Townhall

Many elected representatives will hold town hall sessions in their districts during the Congressional recess in August. Make plans to attend these and ask your representative what they plan to do about these conditions at the border. Making immigration reform a front and center issue for many representatives seeking re-election next year can be hugely beneficial in the fight to improve conditions at the border.

Charity is More Than Just Money for Children

With the decline in donations to charitable causes in recent years, the idea of engaging children in humanitarian acts in meaningful ways promises to provide adult donors in the future. Having been involved in charitable acts as children, these donors will understand what solutions can genuinely aid people, and they will contribute to making improvements in the conditions of peoples’ lives.

While many adults perceive charity as giving money, children’s perceptions of charity generally include social interaction and activities. Some of these acts involve children picking up litter, bringing food to seasonal festivals, dressing up for Children in Need, putting on red noses for Comic Relief, or donating their old toys for needy children. The list is endless.

Such engagement, if performed in a meaningful way, helps to foster altruism in children. In fact, since research suggests that children’s social orientations begin to form in their early years, helping children to become donors in the future by providing them experiences in which they become concerned about others is essential. Further research supports the conclusion that children who have charitable experiences before they are 10 years of age are twice as likely to be concerned about the welfare of others throughout their lifetimes than those who started when they were teenagers. Therefore, for charitable causes to succeed, it is vital that a child’s inherent socially-orientated behavior is fostered.

Equally important to the success of charitable organizations is the positive exploration of social and environmental issues. Acts of charity provide children the arena in which they can explore these issues in proactive ways. With the opportunities to acquire knowledge about the environment and their society and those of others, children can learn about the dangers to the air, land, and water. Also, when children are engaged in social and philanthropic activities, they are exposed to the inequalities of society. 

From such exposure, they can learn much to become responsible adults, having gained an understanding of citizenship and the importance of altruism. With this understanding also comes an increased motivation for giving to social causes in an effort to make improvements for people.

From their engagements in charitable activities in which they are exposed to people suffering deprivations, children gain the knowledge to know the importance of preserving clean air, clean water, and other natural resources. Interestingly, when they enter the conversation about climate change with their parents, studies in the United States have shown that these knowledgeable children have often contributed to a change in their parents’ attitudes about climate change. Indeed, knowledge fosters results.

4 Rising Trends In Philanthropy

While technology itself is not the only factor affecting changing trends in philanthropy, it is certainly having an impact. In fact, technology is often the invisible driving force behind numerous changes that don’t inherently seem to be technological in nature. With that said, here are four upcoming trends in philanthropy.

  1. Personal Philanthropy

In the past, the majority of philanthropic efforts were conducted by large foundations that collected vast sums of money and directed them towards charitable endeavors. Today, everyone is getting in on the act. Examples of personal philanthropy include building community gardens or starting small businesses that employ felons or help the homeless climb their way off the streets.

  1. Micro-Giving

If a large organization such as the Red Cross received 500 checks for $5 each, it would cost them almost as much to simply process all those donations as they received in donations. With digital banking and transfers, however, the vast majority of even the smallest donation can be directly applied to their mission. In addition, with the rise of smaller philanthropic endeavors that may only need a few thousand dollars in contributions to accomplish their mission, smaller donations are having a much greater impact.

  1. Data-Driven Solutions

Advanced analytics were once the purview of the largest corporations and wealthiest businesses. Not only was data time consuming to collect but if often had to be compiled and analyzed by highly trained experts. Now, data is plentiful and can be gathered, compiled and analyzed by programs available to even the smallest organizations. Offering both data-driven solutions and hard analysis of results can help even small organizations attract a wealth of donors.

  1. Corporate Philanthropy

While corporate philanthropy is coming under attack for a wide range of reasons, it is still a driving force in the philanthropic world. In many cases, corporate philanthropy is seen as self-serving or merely solving problems the corporation itself is responsible for creating in the first place. For instance, Mark Zuckerburg’s Chan-Zuckerburg Foundation recently pledged $500 million for affordable housing in the Bay Area. In Menlo Park alone, home to Facebook’s headquarters, median home prices have more than doubled in the last 20 years to a whopping $2.5 million. This means that even a mid-level executive making a 6-figure salary would have difficulty making ends meet in the area.

Social Media Tips for Nonprofits

Social media outlets are often useful tools that entities such as nonprofit organizations can utilize to help promote their message and build a brand. This short blog highlights several tips such establishments might employ to accomplish those tasks.

Put Services Into Action

Nonprofits can maximize the use of social media sites by creating videos or voice spots depicting the goods and services said entities provide. Some individuals refer to this strategy of showing rather than telling what an organization’s mission is.

Give Others the Opportunity to Offer Support and Praise

Social media outlets enable individuals who benefit from a nonprofit agency’s efforts to share their appreciation. Supporter plaudits could go a long way to improving the organization’s reputation and increasing said entity’s influence.

Stimulate Fundraising Efforts

Many nonprofits rely heavily on fundraising efforts to fund the services and programs said agencies offer. Social media avenues provide a direct and public medium to create and promote various fundraising activities.

Engage with the Local and Larger Community

Online public platforms provide nonprofits with an easy and straightforward method of interacting with the communitythey serve, as well as the general public as a whole. Visible online presences enable said organizations to introduce themselves, inform their viewing audiences what their purpose is and keep them informed about important events.

Communicate on a More Personal Level

Nonprofits can utilize social media platforms to interact on a more personal level. Through the creation of videos or photos captions, said agencies can introduce specific people within their organizations or provide a more intimate glance into the entity’s everyday activities. Said actions could endear themselves to many people and improve the organization’s presence.

Allow for User Feedback

Social media outlets make it easier for nonprofit agencies to receive direct and immediate feedback about their performance rendering needed services and programs. Organizing a poll or survey regarding such efforts can be executed with relative ease. Additionally, comment sections give the public the chance to voice their opinions. Organizational heads have this information on hand and, if a significant percentage of the feedback is negative, said professionals can implement improvements on the fly.

Reduce Advertising and Marketing Expenses

Because nonprofits are much more reliant on funding than other organizations, said entities often possess limited advertising budgets. Utilizing social media provides a less expensive method of advertising than taking out ads in publications or using other forms of media like radio and television.

What is Community Philanthropy and Why is it Important?

Traditionally, philanthropy has generally been defined as the act of giving large sums of money to charitable causes, or participating in fundraising activities. Through the years, however, philanthropy has changed as various models have succeeded or failed. Today, philanthropists are just as likely to create their own foundation as write a check and they are just as likely to give their expertise as their money.

Philanthropy is also changing on the outgoing end as well. Previous charitable models have often done far more to create dependency than self-sufficiency, which just leads to the need for more aid. In addition, when outsiders bring their money in, they often bring outside agendas as well, particularly when there is either a religious or commercial component. This has given rise to a new type of philanthropy known as community philanthropy.

Attempts to solve the water crisis in Africa offers a perfect example of why traditional charitable models don’t work. Early attempts to solve the crisis involved charitable organizations simply raising money to build a well in a village or community and building it. Initially, this cut down significantly on the amount of time it took each day for women and children to gather water, which theoretically should have given them more time to improve their conditions or get an education.

The problem is that whoever builds the well owns the well and whoever owns it is responsible for its care and maintenance. Eventually, the wells would break down because they were not being cared for or maintained because no one owned them. Eventually, organizations began to offer low-interest loans to build the well instead. This forced the community to come together to form a plan as to how to pay for the loan. The well itself became a source of income, which in turn provided both motivation and funding to maintain the well.

Once the loan is paid back, it also creates funding for another community to take out a loan to build a well. This means the same initial investment of dollars can create dozens of wells rather than a single well, all of which are cared for and maintained on an ongoing basis because they were bought and paid for by the community. Traditional philanthropy creates a black hole of never-ending need. Community philanthropy instead helps communities help themselves to pull themselves out of poverty.

A New Business Model Incorporating Philanthropy with a Solid Business Plan

For-profit businesses and non-profit organizations have always had opposing goals in the past. For-profit businesses have generally existed for one reason and one reason only: to make money. The more money they made, the better. This philosophy generally resulted in the excesses of the 80-hour workweeks that were often a badge of honor in the 1990s, and the out-of-control excesses that led to the collapse of the mortgage industry in the 2000s. Millennials, who grew up watching it all, have had enough.

Millennials are poised to be one of the most generous generations in history, in spite of being saddled early with more college debt than any generation in history. However, they are demanding more of the businesses they work for than to just turn a huge profit. Millennials want to make a difference in the world and they want their businesses to do the same. Conversely, they are also expecting more from non-profits.

In the past, non-profits have enjoyed the freedom to simply “do good” with very little oversight. Donors often gave because the mission was good, not necessarily because the organization produced significant results. The wealthy felt good about giving and the organizations felt good about “doing good” – even if the majority of their funding went towards overhead rather than actually accomplishing their mission. Once again, however, Millennials want to change that mindset.

They are demanding a better social mission from all types of businesses and more accountability from non-profits. This is giving rise to a triple bottom line in traditional businesses, and even a new breed of business sometimes referred to as a “social enterprise.” A social enterprise has a mission similar to non-profits of the past, but the same profitability goals as any other business. They may raise initial capital through donations to get their business up and running, but they don’t do so without solid business plans and a target date for becoming self-sufficient. While some may continue to rely on donor funding to some degree, most aim to at least gain no more than 40% of their income from donors.

Some examples of these social enterprises include TOM’S shoes that pioneered the idea of sending one item to a developing world for every one item purchased, and the Women’s Bean Project. The Women’s Bean Project hires and mentors formerly incarcerated women to make bean soups and other goods. These are just two of the many businesses that are bringing solid business practices to the world of philanthropy.

9 Philanthropic Businesses Bettering the World

Not every business is a cold-hearted machine solely dedicated to the pursuit of profits. Listed below are several businesses that are working to change the world in their own way.

Threaded

This inexpensive bedding brand uses all-natural materials to fabricate linens. Most of Threaded’s factories happen to be woman-run installations within India. These factories operate by recycling their water resources and solar cell electricity.

Globe In

This subscription box company offers handmade, fair trade home goods sourced from across the planet. GlobeIn has used its influence to feed starving American children, give jobs to the homeless of Malaysia, protect Rwandan elephants and ensured that disabled Cambodian artists receive their due.

Bright Endeavors

This Chicago-based enterprise seeks to help young homeless and impoverished mothers by way of a job training program, showing how to make soy candles.

Golden Door Spa

This California locale donates all of its proceeds to charities like the “I Have a Dream Foundation,” and the “Whole Planet Foundation.” This includes the money earned from their online store, as well.

Turkey on the Table

This company was started by a pair of moms with the goal of educating others on the true meaning of Thanksgiving. It accomplishes this mission by selling activity kits that encourage thankfulness throughout November. Every kit sold garners $1 to “Feeding America.”

Join Trafalgar

Trafalgar is a travel brand with its own nonprofit arm. Join Trafalgar’s objective is to support local communities across the globe in a way that sustains the region’s natural merits. Concerned travelers can look to Join Trafalgar’s “Be My Guest” program, which offers natively sourced food, contact with local artists, and a hands-on lesson about new cultures.

Alter Eco

This organic chocolatier repays the farmers and replants the lands where its product comes from. One of its products, the Alter Eco Holiday Gift Box, which offers a wide array of sumptuous confections, included the replanting of a tree within the Peruvian Amazon with every purchase.

The Body Shop

This chain of organic and cruelty-free cosmetics stores was among the first recipients of “Leaping Bunny” certification and recently signed a petition, containing over eight million signatures, sent to the United Nations to stop global animal testing.

Laughing Man Coffee

Thespian Hugh Jackman established this philanthropic company to ensure that coffee farmers are fairly paid and can grow their crops in sustainable ways around the world.

How Fighting Child Poverty is Both an Ethical and Economical Responsibility

Poverty remains one of the biggest issues facing many Americans today. Thousands of people, including children, suffer year after year because they do not have the financial means to sustain an adequate lifestyle. Children have been one unfortunate target of poverty, as approximately one in five children grows up poor. However, the issue of poverty has impacted specific demographics harder than others.

Children of color have proven to be disproportionately poorer than their counterparts, and they comprise 70 percent of the poor children population. In addition, black children are projected to become the majority in 2020. The issue of poverty stems beyond these numbers, however, because poverty is color-blind. This calls for an inherent ethical responsibility to fix the poverty situation.

Study after study has demonstrated that poverty has an adversely negative impact on the development of children, and it can impact their ability to become successful when they grow up. This could mean not getting a decent job or not getting an adequate education. However, the impact of poverty can also affect one’s physical development as well. Being poor means they may not be able to have adequate nutrition. This can make them more susceptible to numerous infections or important deficiencies in their body that can affect their health.

This country owes it to those who do not have opportunities to not jeopardize the future of many Americans. While many people have the fortunate reality of escaping poverty, they are offset by those who enter into that same situation. The issue is further exacerbated by the fact that many people work a full-time schedule, and are just barely able to make ends meet. That should not be the case, especially considering the millions upon billions of dollars that the country spends on other pursuits such as military defense recklessly.

The leaders of this country who have the majority of wealth and cannot possibly relate the struggles of those who do not know when the next meal is coming have to be held to a higher standard. It is contingent upon leaders of every form of government to ensure that its citizens are given ample opportunity to succeed in life. The issue of poverty can be fixed, but the desire to devise a means to fix it is what’s missing.

How Your Restaurant Can Serve Both Food and Altruism

Restaurants have been leaders in serving their respective communities through philanthropic efforts for quite some time. The restaurant industry gives over $3 billion in resources every year, and over 90% of American restaurant operators donate to charity regularly. Roughly three out of four restaurant owners contribute to local and national hunger relief programs as well.

When restaurants do good for their communities, their investment pays off immensely. They garner a reputation among both their employees and their communities as a business that cares about more than the bottom line. Giving restaurants attract attention to their establishments as people learn about them and associate them with charitable efforts.

Your restaurant can help meet the needs of individuals and organizations on a local, state, national, or global level. Are you searching for new ways to engage with your community? Here are a few great examples of how to contribute wherever you may reside.

Embrace a Cause

A community program that is meaningful to you and your staff will likely have a greater impact, as you will have a deeper emotional connection, thus putting more effort into it. Florida-based Firehouse Subs has raised over $17 million to increase public safety in over 40 states and Puerto Rico. The chain has dispersed these funds to fire, EMS, law enforcement, and public safety organizations.

Host an Event

The holiday season — the season of giving — is an ideal time to rally support for a charitable cause. For decades, Rhode Island-based Gregg’s Restaurants & Pubs has joined with philanthropic groups to host a yearly event called The Giving Tree. Over 300,000 Christmas gifts have been distributed to residents in need throughout the community via this program.

Donate Leftovers

Do good with your surplus food and help alleviate hunger in your neighborhood. If you do not normally have a substantial amount of leftover food, consider using your purchasing power to acquire extra food at wholesale prices. Passport Pizza, based in Michigan, has been a hub for eateries, vendors, and retail grocery stores to distribute leftover food, which is then forwarded to shelters, soup kitchens, and other non-profits in their community.

Invest in Youth

Giving someone a meal feeds them once; teaching them cooking skills can help them feed themselves and others for a lifetime. Obviously, a paraphrase of an ancient proverb. Nonetheless, providing apprenticeship opportunities for young people could also enable to raise up another generation of faithful employees. The California-based Cohn Restaurant Group’s Garfield High School Foundation has graduated over 2,000 at-risk teenage students. The students have run the foundation’s yearly Thanksgiving benefit luncheon which has raised over $300,000 over the past 18 years.

Restaurant owners all over the country have realized the immense value of supporting the communities that support their establishments. Doing good is a significant part of good business. Your generosity builds a circle of giving that continuously benefits your restaurant, employees, customers, and community.

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