How to Make the Most Out of Your Community Serivce

Community service should be looked at in a positive light in order for you to get the most out of your experience. You may think back to a time when your parents forced you to volunteer at the local community center, or participate in a midnight run around Christmas time, and thought of it as a chore. But, if you change your mindset community service can be something you look forward to and dedicate to on a more regular basis. Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your community service:

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First, helping others makes you feel good. Not only are you giving back to your community and helping those in need feel better, but the actual act of charity can elevate the levels of serotonin in your brain – making you feel great about yourself. By giving back, you recognize the power that a single person has on other lives, that you really can make a difference in the world, despite what you may have thought before.

Second, you can cater your community service to something you are passionate towards and therefore spend time working in a field you love. For example, if you love teaching and one day hope to become one (or if it’s just for fun), you can volunteer at after school programs and help children with subjects they are struggling in. This way, you can gain experience teaching all while helping children become better students and inspiring them along the way. If you are passionate about the environment, you may want to think about volunteering at a community clean-up day, or perhaps an event that raising awareness of pollution or anything else environmentally-related.

That being said, you can use community service as a resume-builder to help you gain experience in a field that you are looking to make a career out of. This way when you are going for job interviews, your interviewer will not only notice that you have experience, but that you are an active member of your community and are so motivated to work in a particular field that you’ve done it for free. Side note: having volunteer experience in your resume always looks good.

Last, being involved in your community will help you develop strong relationships that will stay with you wherever you go. Committing to community service helps you make friends you may not have otherwise met or thought of speaking to, and you’ll realize that the world is filled with wonderful, different types of people with kinds souls.

Community service will lift your spirits on the world as a whole, and you will be astonished by how much of a difference one person can make.

Queen of Philanthropy

Mark Bronner Diamonds 55b46a307dbb6.imagePageants are renowned for churning out crown-worthy queens, each with their own “personal mission” to answer the many questions thrown at them during the Q&A portions of their competition. Topics range from solving world hunger, to fighting the AIDS epidemic, but few winners make good on their promises to change the world. McAlester’s pageant winner, Sanders, is looking to change that tradition.

Many philanthropic issues are used as a stage, a platform for attention. Sanders feels that if you’re to champion a cause, it needs to be seen through. “One in four children in America will grow up without learning how to read,” Sanders says. “Two out of three children who cannot read by 4th grade end up in jail or on welfare.” Pioneering her program “The Storybook Exchange,” Sanders hopes to get books into the hands of those young minds who so desperately need to be stimulated.

During the years following her coronation, Sanders’ program was able to give away 15,000 books to children in the surrounding area thanks in part to financial support from corporate sponsors. With lofty goals for this year, the philanthropic spirit still burns brightly inside this pageant queen. “This year I hope to give away 25,000 books, and this year we hope to get $5,000 [in corporate donations].” Encouraging anyone to give whatever they can, Miss McAlester believes that no donation is too small.

In a time where promises made eclipse promises fulfilled, Miss McAlester has risen above her peers. Deserving of the crown placed upon her head, this queen will not let her reign pass unmarked. Giving the gift of education, inspiration, and imagination to thousands is a treasure beyond measure, and one the people of McAlester are sure to remember. For more on the queen who truly rules, follow the link here.

New York City Charity Events

Whether you are a resident of New York City, or just there for a visit, there are always ways for you to make one of your days spent in the big apple extra meaningful by devoting it to charity work. Organizations like City Meals on Wheels, the Robin Hood Foundation, Learning Leaders, and Seeds of Peace always have opportunities for you to lend a hand to help out those who struggle in NYC.

Along with these great organizations comes charity events that you won’t want to miss if you’re in New York. Year-round there are different events that you can partake in depending on what kind of charity or nonprofit organization you feel most strongly about. Whether you want to raise money for cancer research, promote a green environment, or improve education, there are plenty of philanthropy events that you can choose from.

Not sure what kind of organization you want to help raise awareness for? It’s always nice to gleam at what some of the most prominent figures in philanthropy and the arts are doing. Here are three of the most infamous charity events that take place in NYC throughout the year to help give you some inspiration:

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First is the annual New York Junior League Winter Ball, which usually takes place at The Pierre at the beginning of March. This event is the organization’s largest fundraiser of each year, and focuses on honoring seven outstanding volunteers. The New York Junior League is one of the oldest and largest women’s nonprofit volunteer organizations in the city and aims to give volunteers leadership skills needed to take charge and help change their communities for the betterment of humanity. Over 550 guests will attend this black tie event, which typically has a specific theme that attendees always admire.

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Second is the New Yorkers for Children Fool’s Fete, an event that brings together not only elite member on the guest list, but passionate volunteers who care whole-heartedly about the needs for foster children living in NYC and other parts of New York. Past attendees have included Selita Ebanks, Josh Hartnett, and Coco Rocha. In previous years, the event has taken place in mid April at the Mandarin Oriental.

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The last charity event on this list is the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award Gala, located in the Avery Fisher Hall section of the Lincoln Center. Typically, this event takes place in late April and has included guests like Barbara Streisand and Bill Clinton. The Chaplin Award Gala aims to support ongoing work in education, artist development, and cross-cultural film outreach – the core qualities of the organization.

For more information on various charity events and organizations across New York City, make sure to check out this link, which will provide an extensive list of NYC nonprofits.


Blogging For Your Charity

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Creating a blog for a charity you care about or work for is a great way to increase publicity and fundraising. According to a recent article published on Know-How Nonprofit that details how to create a blog page for a particular charity, blogging can help nonprofit organizations in various ways. Here’s a recap on how blogging can help charities:

First, blogging is a great way to communicate with others. Because we live in such a technological era, most everyone can be found on the internet. Thus, the internet has become a central communication tool for a wide range of people. In addition, blogging is a particular part of the internet that can gain authority and quickly share important information. According to Know-How Nonprofit:

“It’s important to have a place that you can link to for more information and for follow-up, instead of sharing news or updates only in a tweet or facebook message, and especially if it is just in an email newsletter. A blog can provide the space for sharing news, announcements, stories, and other information and let you reshare and distribute it all over the web,” (How to Create a Blog for Your Charity).

Plus, people can often find your Facebook and Twitter accounts through your blog page, so it will generate a lot of engagement for your charity.

Creating a blog page for your charity can also give you a chance to tell people about your cause from various, entertaining angles. A blog page can also incorporate videos, pictures, slideshows, and music (among others). These platforms give you the opportunity to tell a story through multimedia that will help your viewers understand your charity not only through words on a blog post, but through these other platforms.

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Lastly, a blog page is a great way to start conversations within your community of readers and supporters. According to Know-How Nonprofit, “Whether you are asking for feedback, sharing stories, or urging people to take action, providing a place for your community to share back with you shows your openness to feedback and interest in the community,” (How to Create a Blog for Your Charity).

For further information on creating a blog page and blogging for your charity, check out Know-How Nonprofit’s article here.

Shelter for Nepal

The average American citizen sleeps for about eight hours per night with a roof, pillow, mattress, and blanket in the comfort of their own home. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for the residents of Kathmandu in Nepal.

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This past week, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 devastatingly affected everyone who lives in and around the city of Nepal. Over 5,000 deaths were confirmed last weekend when the earthquake hit. And, according to Philanthropy News Digest, “Upwards of 8 million Nepalese have been affected by the quake. Shelter is already presenting itself as a serious problem and, based on what we have learned from other disasters, particularly earthquakes, will continue to be a major problem,” (Shelter – Then, Now, and Later).

The Nepal government reported last week that more than 70,000 homes have been completely destroyed – so now, more than ever, is the time to act on behalf of those who really need us. If there is a local fundraising event in your town, choose to be a volunteer and help the millions in Nepal affected by this quake. Think about if your family lived in Nepal, wouldn’t you want the help? According to PND, “As of 2011, the average household size in Nepal was 4.7 – which means that upward of 329,000 individuals have been rendered homeless,” (Shelter – Then, Now, and Later). This means that out of the 8 million people who were victims of this earthquake, there are around 2.8 million displaced from their homes.

In addition, individuals who have been displaced from their homes are weak, sleeping outside, and don’t have access to food or water. For more information on the devastations of Nepal, read this article published by Philanthropy News Digest.

How can a Non Profit Be Profitable?

mark brannier non profitWhen one thinks of an non profit, you don’t often think of there actually being a profit. It needs to be realized that a nonprofit is actually a business and not just volunteer work. You need actual revenue in order to keep your non profit viable and sustainability. Furthermore, your staff should also be compensated for their time that they put into keeping your non profit running. Of course you should always be cognizant of the profit and exactly how much profit you make and show. Legally, there are restrictions on what a non profit can make in revenue. But this doesn’t mean that your nonprofit can’t be a profitable. There are a number of ways a non profit can make money in order to be a profitable organization. These suggestions will not only help bring in profit, it will also help with promotion and marketing.

One of the main ways that you can bring money into your nonprofit is to apply for a grant. In this instance, the main grants that are available are foundation, government, and corporate grants. When writing a grant, be sure to outline all expenses, operational, and administrative costs. These costs can include staff salary, any benefits, and as well as additional costs for basic upkeep (supplies, travel expenses, etc.). Be sure to be as specific as possible and outline each possible scenario.

Another suggestion is to hold a some sort of a fundraiser. There are a number of ideas and avenues you can go with this route. Furthermore, any donations made through this channel can be a tax write off for the person donating. A good way to go about this is to highlight that that the proceeds of the fundraiser is going to a specific purpose. You can create a marketing campaign surrounding this in order to get the consumer emotionally invested. By getting your guests to be emotionally invested, people will become more compelled to donate and they will feel like they are an actual part of the process.

You can also generate revenue by passive resources. you can obtain profit through rents, royalties, investments and/or interest payments. However, being that your organization will most likely be a 501(c) 3 tax exempt organization, you have to be 100% transparent with exactly where the money is coming from and what purpose the money is for. Be sure to check any legal restrictions to make sure that you are up to code and that you can accurately generate revenue.

As stated earlier, just because you are nonprofit, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be profitable. Running a nonprofit as a business will only ensure that you remain relevant and sustainable.

4 Ways to Raise Money for a Fundraiser

Raising money can be a tough challenge for anyone involved. Many times an organization will prompt for someone to raise a certain amount of money in a set amount of time. That’s not always the easiest task. If you don’t do fundraising for a living, starting from scratch can be a frustrating experience. Where do you start? What’s the best avenue to actually raise money? And more importantly, how do I get people to give me money toward my cause? These are all questions that people may have. Due to my experience in the Philanthropy sector, I have gained a vast experience in the industry of fundraising.

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Below are the top fundraising plans that have helped me:

Hold a Rummage Sale

A rummage sale can be an easy way of not only raising money, but also purging your life of items you don’t necessarily use or want anymore. You can get the members on your team to donate items to the rummage sale so that you are able to have a nice variety of items. Additionally in an effort for extra promotion advertising, you can also get other people to donate items for the sale. One thing that will be key to the success of the rummage sale will be to actively advertise and promote the sale. This can be done a number of ways. If it’s something a little more local, one of the best ways to go about this would be regular snail mail and flyers. Make sure the flyers are visually entertaining and don’t contain too much wording. In addition to that method, make sure to utilize social media. Most social media properties are free and one can easily take advantage of that medium and reach a vast audience.

Sell Meals and Baked Goods

The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. Selling food is a good way to get people to give money to your cause. Everyone loves a good meal and people don’t feel like they’re necessarily wasting money on something they may never use. However, all the cooking that takes place for the event can be not only exhausting and tiring but actually not to mention ridiculously expensive. The best way to combat this is to split the responsibilities up between members of your group. This will split up the costs as well as all the responsibilities. Another tip is to buy food that is able to be bought in bulk. Examples are hot dogs, burgers, wings, etc. You can feed a large mass of people as well as cut down costs.


In this new digital age, we have the opportunity to reach a large range of people in different regions and parts of the world than we are in. There are a myriad of websites that offer services to put your cause out to the public. When going the crowdfunding route, be sure to have a clear concise plan for your target market to read. Don’t have the plan written in jargon specific to your field because it automatically turns people who may not understand off to your cause. Before to write the plan in your words and convey your personality so people feel personally attached to the project.

Submit For a Grant

This option is the most successful but definitely the hardest option on this list. Grants are highly competitive and are tough to get. When using this option, be sure to search for the grant that applies to you and your cause. There are usually applications to fill out, be sure to be thorough and concise in this process to reduce any room for error. In addition, when it comes to writing the proposal, be sure to enlist the help of a professional writer or have your proposal edited by a couple of eyes. You want to make sure it’s easy to read and to the point all the while telling your story.

These are some of the ways that have helped me in the past raise money for my fundraiser. What are some of the ways that you have raised money?



Belgian Politician Warns Against Diamond Sanctions

(IDEX Online News) – The 36th World Diamond Congress has opened in Antwerp, with Minister-President of Flanders, Kris Peeters, cautioning of the “disastrous” affect that authorizes identifying with the jewel business could have. The Congress is the half-yearly gathering of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA).

Talking of the immense part of the precious stone industry in the Belgian economy – with turnover in 2013 of $55 billion – and the paramount connections that Belgium has, subsequently, with Russia, India and China, Peeters said that “investment assents identified with jewels can’t be permitted to happen”.

“Jewels are our area [flanders] and nation’s calling card,” he said. “They give work to 35,000 individuals in the Antwerp range alone. Authorizations would be a fiasco.”

The European Union has talked about conceivable approvals against Russia because of its movements in Ukraine. Around 70 percent of Alrosa’s precious stones are promoted in Antwerp.

Peeters additionally said talks were occurring at the territorial and elected level in Belgium in an offer to diminish work costs and present a ‘carat charge’ under which organizations would not be exhausted on the premise of their benefit yet on a rate of their turnover. “That would give Antwerp organizations a basic edge,” Peeters clarified.

In the interim, WFDB President Ernie Blom said the business required to make a reasonable procedure for how to achieve expanded gainfulness and to overcome difficulties, for example, the absence of worldwide non specific promoting.

He portrayed the jewel business as a standout amongst the most enacted on the planet and that intense money related controls as of late have hit gainfulness, subsequently making banks significantly more careful about giving to diamantaires.

Taking after Blom, Antwerp Alderman of Economy, Philip Heylen, said that Antwerp had flourished as a jewel place for more than 500 years because of its liberality, financing in engineering and comprehension that it couldn’t live alone and the need to work and create relations with others, saying that the city was home to 172 nationalities.

Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC) President Stephane Fischler said that despite the fact that precious stones are mined and fabricated everywhere throughout the world, Antwerp remained “the thumping heart” of the jewel business.

“Permit me to say a couple of words in regards to what AWDC, speaking to around 1700 jewel organizations here in the heart of Europe is centered around.

“Yes in fact we have been prudent pioneers for a long time. Yes for sure we accept that exchange more than governmental issues fabricates scaffolds, enhance dialog and cultivate fellowships. Yet additionally, that nobody ought to be left aside. That every one of those men and ladies burrowing or cleaning, here and there in conditions that must continue testing us, are a piece of this enormous jewel family and help immensely in making included quality.

“Along these lines, the AWDC, among others, gladly upholds the vital and highly perceived work of the Diamond Development Initiative.

“This industry can’t bear to deliver THE most novel and valuable, without keeping up all in all the most elevated notoriety in the eyes of governments and bu

Top Non-Profits to Work For

Philanthropy is quite important in day to day life. By working for a non-profit, you are able to help others on a day to day basis. Working for a not-for-profit association could be a remunerating way for business majors who need to do something more generous in their professions. A significant number of the traits that draw in individuals to business professions can additionally apply to vocations in philanthropies.

Staff improvement, correspondence or more normal pay were regular practices at associations that accepted the most astounding positioning among the 2014 Best Nonprofits to Work For, as per The Nonprofit Times.

The main three associations on the schedule went from 23 to 420 representatives. Generally, the most noteworthy appraised associations of any size had three characteristics in as a relatable point, the distribution said:

Pay, profits and motivating forces: Some associations paid specialists more than normal compensations, others disseminated rewards for execution accomplishments and others expanded profits to make up for lower pay rates.

Correspondence and engagement: Workers are kept educated and included with the association’s bearing and pioneers look for counsel and proposals from representatives.

Development and advancement: Organizations give open doors and preparing to laborers to development and learn.

Privileged insights of the Top 3 Nonprofits to Work For

The National Older Work Career Center, Inc., in Arlington, Virginia, was evaluated the No.1 association in general. In the classification of little associations with 23 workers at the time of the rating, its CFO told The Nonprofit Times that blending groups from distinctive divisions in errands was a piece of a method to open correspondence with specialists.

The association exploits its little size that permits executives to stay in contact with laborers and meet with them every month, adding to worker contribution. Additionally, workers accept general appraisals of how they are getting along through individual improvement programs that incorporate preparing and after vocation objectives.

AHC, Inc., the No. 2 general association and top medium-size philanthropic, ingrains a concentrate on client administration beginning with new workers. The organization searches out recommendations from beginners and recognizes their plans at a gathering at the end of every year. Everybody who submits a recommendation gets a blessing card, said AHC’s head of human assets.

Furthermore, about 75% of the staff of 61 partakes in a health motivation program that incorporates a fiscal prize for specialists. Workers accomplish a healthier lifestyle and the projects expand correspondence and association among specialists.

The Kardashian-West Engagment Revealed: Lorraine Schwartz Ring

Four months ago, pop culture fans were shocked that Kim Kardashian had managed to get engaged once again, to rapper Kanye West, who is also the father of her first and only child North. However, yesterday, in the midst of the NBA All-Star game, fans got to see the magical moment happen on the reality tv show Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Kanye, 36 proposed to his girlfriend in front of entire family and closest friends at AT&T Stadium in San Francisco. Momager, Kris Jenner, was the only one in the family that knew about the surprise engagement, telling friends and family that Kanye had planned a surprised birthday party. She had just four days to invite guests on the trip and an even bigger challenge was keeping quiet, as the Kardashian clan grilled her about the night’s events as they traveled on private jets to San Fransisco. But Kris remained tight-lipped under pressure, saying: ‘I don’t know. I’m in the dark.’

When Kim’s sisters and brother Rob arrived inside the baseball stadium, they began to get suspicious that perhaps they weren’t just there for a birthday surprise and something bigger was going to occur. They were all guided into hiding in the stadium dugouts with strict instructions to keep absolutely quiet and off their phones, refraining from posting on social media.

Extravagant: The setting had roman candles burning and a 50-piece orchestra playing

As Kim, who was blind folded, and Kanye drove into the stadium, the 50-piece orchestra took position and a hushed silence fell.

‘I can’t breathe,’ an emotional Khloe whispered. ‘This is the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m gonna cry. I didn’t know this was real. This is a movie.’

She's in charge: Instead of putting the ring on Kim's finger, Kanye let her take the ring out of the box herself

While roman candles burned, and the orchestra played Kanye told told Kim: ‘I just want to know.’ as he dropped down on one knee. Kim  gasped and covered her face in shock as her sisters Khloe and Kendall Jenner gasped from their hiding place. ‘You want to know what?’ Kim asked coyly. ‘If you’ll marry me,’ Kanye responded, grinning from ear to ear. After Kim whispered ‘of course,’ Kanye handed over a box containing a 15-carat diamond ring made by celebrity jeweller Lorraine Schwartz.’I can’t believe this is happening,’ Kim said as she kissed and embraced the father of her daughter, North, with the words ‘Pleeease marry meee!!!’ glowing on the stadium’s giant screen.

Whoa! Kim's sisters Kendall and Khloe Kardashian were shocked as they watched the surprise proposal, but also extremely happy to be a part of the magical night

Careful! Even her sister Kendall Jenner joked that Kim would need a security guard for her ring
Admiring her ring, which sparkled under the floodlights, Kim told her future husband: ‘It’s, like, the perfect size for my hands.’ ‘I actually preferred to get a smaller stone that was flawless than some off the bigger offsets,’ Kanye said.
He also revealed that he had been up all night finishing the design of the ring and making sure it was perfect.

Even better: After sealing the deal, Kim and Kanye's friends ran into the field to greet the newly engaged couple

”To get engaged and then see all my family and all my friends be there really surprises me and it’s so sweet that Kanye thought to bring them all here.’

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