Shifting Values for Teens: From “Everyone Has One (Device)” to “How Can I Help One (Person)”

13 Aug

This is a re-blog from my other site, Charity Ideas Blog.  

It’s hard.  Everyone has the latest phone, or TV, or tablet, or…?  Will having the latest and greatest device make you happy?  Perhaps. Or…

If you want another new iPhone, Galaxy x, MacBook, tablet, or whatever new device “everyone else has,” taking 1 minute to ask yourself these questions might just make you a better person.  And happier whether you upgrade, or not.

(If you answer more than 15 of these questions “Yes,” you probably do not need a new _____ (fill in the blank).)

  1. Do you have water available for your family without walking more than a mile?
  2. kids getting water
  3. Do you have electricity?
  4. Have you ever been to a doctor?
  5. Have you ever been to a dentist?
  6. Are you safe from dying from almost-eradicated diseases that kill children in countries without proper vaccines and treatments?
  7. Do you have a toothbrush?
  8. Do you have a toilet?
  9. Do you know how to read?
  10. girl reading
  11. Do you go to school?
  12. Do you have a safe place to sleep, with a roof?
  13. Do you have heat and/or fans or air conditioning or covering in extreme weather?
  14. Do you know where your next meal will come from?
  15. vegetables
  16. Do you have a parent/guardian/ loved one who takes care of you?
  17. Can you do basic math?
  18. Are you relatively sure you be alive a year from now?
  19. Do you feel confident that terrorists will not storm your house, your village, or your town in the next year?
  20. Do you feel safe going outside of your home?
  21. Do you feel safe speaking your mind, or telling people what you think?
  22. kids sharing
  23. Do you feel you can share your ideas online?
  24. Do you have friends/ people you care about, and who care about you?
  25. Can you imagine doing almost anything you want in the future/doing any job you want in the future?
  26. Are you free to tell people your opinions on religion or politics?
  27. Can you be friends with anyone you want?
  28. Can you love anyone you want?
  29. Do you feel safe expressing any opinions about the government, including ideas that aren’t supporting the government?
  30. Do you feel free?
  31. freedom

Most importantly, do you feel grateful?

So many other places in the world do not have nearly (or any) the advantages available here, now.

We have the honor of being safe, healthy, wealthy, wise, and kind (to various extents). Let’s try to appreciate it.

And while we’re being grateful, let’s also make it a mission to share by volunteering, and pay it forward by helping people around the world who have less.

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” ~ Ronald Reagan

Any mentions of organizations within are due to my knowledge of them and appreciation of them only.  No organizations were involved or had knowledge of my mentions, although I do support the organizations mentioned, amongst many others.

Love #Quotes? Here are 150+ Quotes on Kindness, Social Good

29 Mar

Do you love quotes as much as I do?  Yes?  Then hopefully you’ll enjoy my book, a free downloadable collection of 150+ inspiring quotes!


Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation – Downloadable

There are more than 150 quotes about kindness, gratitude, and social good.  (If you prefer a printed book, you can get that on Amazon here – makes a fun gift!)

Smile at a stranger

You can also click here to find 88 Social Good Quotes (all short enough to Tweet) to share.

88quotesimageofpdf (2)

Or if you love visual quotes, here are A Dozen Inspiring Quotes for 2015 that you can pin!

green trees pic HP

Thanks for being all about helping and social good!

Please connect with me on Twitter @CharityIdeas, on Pinterest as CharityIdeas, or on LinkedIn.


Good Plus Tech to Become 501(c)3 in 2015 (Yay #SocialGood!)

1 Jan

Each new year is the perfect time to appreciate with wonder, and be grateful for everything in life: all the fascinating ups and downs, the people, the love, the learning, the growing, the happiness, the challenges, the overcoming of challenges.  And each year, it’s a perfect time to also think about how to give back and help others who are discouraged to feel that same sense of wonder.

green trees pic HP

In 2015, Good Plus Tech is taking the plunge into the beautiful (and sometimes tumultuous) waters of being a nonprofit.  So that instead of pro-bono help as available, my goal of distributing technology that facilitates social good can be better-funded and have greater direction.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me get to this crossroads – and it’s a lot of people.  So many of you have helped every step of the way. Most of all, thank you for always creating a positive, inspiring environment for everyone (including me) who loves social good and helping others.

sunset pic HP

As the world becomes smaller and the opportunity to crowdsource social good grows daily, the role of nonprofits changes as well.  As stewards of positive change through the love and help of countless people, nonprofits have an opportunity like never before.  No longer are nonprofits competing for the donations or attentions or volunteer hours of individuals.  Rather, we are all part of creating together vastly more awareness, more directed passion for missions, more sharing of volunteering opportunities, more donations from a larger number of people – small donations (or micro) or large.  Instead of competing for some slice of some pie, together we are all creating a much larger pie for everyone.  Delicious!

The future of social good is each one of us, and our networks for good.  And there’s no time like the present.

To an amazing 2015 and beyond, in partnership for good!

~ Amy

dandelions pic HP

Collaborating for Good Through Games: co.lab

12 Dec Co.lab opening

There are a couple areas of social good that are becoming more and more intriguing these days: gamification and education. So when something launches that is a cross-section of the two, it’s exciting to share!

Recently such a new opportunity came up. I had the chance to talk with‘s executive director Ken Weber about a new joint venture between Zynga and New Schools Venture Fund: co.lab.


The idea behind this incubator for startups involved with educational games is simple, yet ambitious. provides access to gaming best practices, Zynga staff, offices, tools and expertise, as well as playtests and feedback from both Zynga and schools (including students and educators). The startups provide their education technology products (apps and games), creative ideas, enthusiasm, and a burning desire to change the world for the better, just like the two supporting partners of the program.


Zynga employee Nick leads students from San Francisco’s Balboa High School through a game design workshop. Creating excitement for STEM learning is part of the idea behind many of Zynga’s initiatives. Photo courtesy of

This new program was started just this fall. The application process for co.lab’s second cohort will open in early November. If chosen, co.lab provides for-profit or non-profit startups using technology products to help improve academic or social outcomes PK-12 with help in several keys areas of developing more effective ed tech products. These include developing learning game apps (content), measurement and evaluation tools (M&E), educational platforms that distribute games and apps (distribution) and/or other educational services that are looking to learn from best practices in commercial gaming to improve distribution, retention and engagement (gamification).

First-round cohorts include Kidaptive, LocoMotiveLabs, Motion Math, Pluto Media, and Edmodo. co.lab is a venture philanthropy initiative; the primary aim of co.lab is philanthropic: to generate a social, not financial, return.

Ken Weber, Executive Director,; Mark Pincus, Founder of Zynga; Esteban Sosnik, Executive Director of co.lab; and Ted Mitchell, President and Chief Executive Officer of NewSchools Venture Fund. Photo taken at the co.lab opening; courtesy of

The idea is, as Weber explains, “to harness the power of all the good gamers out there and channel it into solving education and social problems in fun, engaging ways.”

To this end, innovative products, ideas or prototypes that demonstrate significant promise for producing transformative effects on teaching, learning and/or education in general receive preference. Each approved startup will house a team at Zynga’s offices, receive up to a $50,000 stipend and benefit from the the knowledge and talent of one of the world’s largest online gaming companies. Zynga is investing $1 million into the first year alone.

NewSchools Venture Fund provides co.lab with operational oversight and guidance, coordinates partnerships and playtesting with educators and schools and includes co.lab companies in activities with a larger network of of edtech entrepreneurs.

Volunteers from the game industry, including Zynga employees, are also a key part of co.lab’s approach to sharing best practices and advice on product development, marketing and distribution and other related topics.


Like many companies, Zynga combines creative online social good opportunities with in-person community events to raise overall engagement, as well as to give back both globally and locally. Photo of employees building a community garden courtesy of

Internally, Zynga see its involvement in co.lab as a win/win opportunity. Not only does it inspire their own employees, who also are heavily involved with “offline” volunteering like community projects, but it also draws awareness and excitement to a huge burgeoning field online: gamification for education and social good. Additionally, it creates excitement around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs and how STEM skills can be used for a wide range of interesting passions.

Passions that even — or especially — can change the world.

If you would like to be notified when the application for the next co.lab cohort is open, contact

We Need YOU! Team #NoKidHungry Holiday Give-A-Thon 12/3/13!

27 Nov NKH Photo

We need you! Join us for our annual Team No Kid Hungry Holiday Give-A-Thon!

NKH image 2

Childhood hunger affects more than just the 16 million kids going to school hungry—it affects us all. We can put an end to that. In order to end childhood hunger, Team No Kid Hungry needs to continue raising critical funds to put programs in place that provide access, education, and awareness.
On Tuesday, Dec. 3, the annual Team No Kid Hungry Holiday Give-A-Thon will be taking place in conjunction with #GivingTuesday, a movement and day dedicated to giving. This is a one-day social media blitz with the goal of raising $25,000 for No Kid Hungry. And this year, Tyson Foods will match the donations—dollar for dollar—giving us the potential to raise $50,000 in a single day, providing hungry children with access to 500,000 additional meals.
Here’s how you can you help Team No Kid Hungry reach our goals:

NKH Photo

WHAT: Team No Kid Hungry Give-A-Thon on #GivingTuesday

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m.—9 p.m.
• Sign up for the Thunderclap to spread the #NoKidHungry and #GivingTuesday message simultaneously on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
• Make a donation—and encourage others—at Not only will you be doing good, you’ll have a chance at some awesome prizes!
• On Twitter:
• Follow @NoKidHungry and @TysonFoods, and retweet messages about the Give-A-Thon from both accounts.
• Use the hashtags #NoKidHungry and #GivingTuesday in all your tweets.
• Sample tweets:
• Join @nokidhungry & @tysonfoods for the Team #NoKidHungry Give-A-Thon! Change kids’ lives on #GivingTuesday.
• No kid should go hungry. Donate to the Team #NoKidHungry Give-A-Thon today with @nokidhungry & @tysonfoods! #GivingTuesday
• Join #NoKidHungry & @TysonFoods Holiday Give-A-Thon! Can we provide 500K meals to hungry kids in US? #givingtuesdayOn Facebook:
Like the No Kid Hungry page.
• Join us on Facebook all day on 12/3 and share ourposts about the Give-A-Thon with your Facebook friends.

NKH Thunderclap

We can end child hunger in America. Just $1 connects a child to up to 10 meals. When we reach our goal of $25,000 and Tyson Foods adds in their generous match, we’ll provide hungry children with access to 500,000 additional meals.

NKH image 3

Please join us. We hope to see you on #GivingTuesday for the Team No Kid Hungry Give-A-Thon!

3 New Emerging Technologies for Good

9 Oct

This is a guest post by Missi Winterburn.

3 New Emerging Technologies for Good

New technology is constantly being developed to solve all kinds of problems, from making our everyday life easier to truly revolutionizing the way we interact with the world around us. Social media is undoubtedly one of these developments, and when harnessed in the right way can offer excellent reach and communication for non profit organizations and charities. Because communication is so fundamental to organizing and impacting positive change, it’s important that we share some of the newest, most promising technological developments that could impact our quality of medical care, long term sustainability and access to clean water.

new day rainbow

Technology is continuously allowing new solutions to appear that can help solve problems.

The Nanotube Sponge

Developed last year, the carbon nanotube sponge has some very interesting properties, and huge potential for limiting environmental disasters such as oils spills and providing access to clean drinking water. The sponge itself is made of carbon nanotubes which are essentially sheets of carbon rolled into cylinders. The sheets themselves are only an atom thick. Being made of almost pure carbon, the sponge naturally repels water, but attracts oil. As a result, this material could prove invaluable when it comes to cleaning up oil spills, and elegantly simple approach. Furthermore, the sponge itself is magnetic, which offers some options as to how these might be deployed in a large scale, and recovered. Additionally, the sponges are extremely durable and resistant to burning, which makes them have a long life span. It is also being explored as to how this technology might be further developed to allow the filtration of microbes and harmful bacteria from unsafe drinking water. Currently, this is being explored by coating more traditional polyurethane with carbon nanotubes, and additionally with silver nanowires. The sponges then form a very good conductor, and can cleanse contaminated drinking water with a very low voltage input.


Nanotube sponges can solve challenges like cleaning up oil spills, and cleansing drinking water.

Robot Doctors

One of the major problems that medical staff often face, especially doctors, is having enough time to get around and visit all their patients. Robot avatars have been developed to enable doctors to interact with patients and do their rounds while being somewhere else entirely. There are currently around seven hospitals in the US making use of the avatars, and one hospital in Northern Ireland is also implementing the technology. This enables doctors to focus on attending to patients from any point in the hospital, while still retaining the advantage of face to face contact and direct communication, in essence. The avatar, developed by iRobot, is still relatively new, but is likely to see more widespread use in the future. Additionally, the advantage of using the avatar is that the doctor has access to volumes of medical documents and information while communicating with the patient directly, but it is not the only new medical technology being developed. According to Licensed Prescriptions, along with some of the other advances in the field, we could see the way we receive care in hospitals become much more efficient – and this could lead to better, faster diagnosis and result in saving more lives.

3-D Printers

The concept and development of 3-D printers has been around for a few years now, but the current advances and implications are staggering. While the basic technology has in fact been around since the 1980s, recent developments have led to major breakthroughs in efficiency and practical application. One of the most fundamental aspects of 3-D printing is that it generates zero waste, and when paired with sustainable materials truly offers a fantastic option for ecologically sounds manufacturing. Not only that, it could completely revolutionize the way we manufacture anything and everything. Currently, 3-D printers can make just about anything you can imagine, from chocolate to glass, titanium to nylon. Once the technology becomes widely available, we could see a huge reduction in manufacturing waste and energy usage, not to mention that almost anyone will be able to print extremely complex and detailed products.

These are just some of the truly innovative and potentially groundbreaking technologies that are becoming a force for good in the modern world. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and we can expect to see many more in the coming years, whether in the form of ‘hard’ tech such as robot avatars, or innovations in accessibility to communications and social platforms. All of these offer us great potential to help shape the world into a better, fairer and more sustainable place.

How To Accept Credit Card Donations for Your NonProfit

21 Sep

Whether you’re running a charity or a non-profit organization, it pays to give your contributors and backers as many options as possible to donate their hard-earned money toward your cause. While many companies accept credit card payments despite the fees attached to them, these companies are happy to take on the cost, because they provide their customers with the easiest way possible to spend their money. Online credit card processing is the most convenient method one can offer their supporters to make donations with their credit and debit cards through your website. Let’s look a little deeper and better understand what goes into accepting credit cards online.

business people laughing LyndaSanchez

Capture the enthusiasm of donors who want to give right away with credit card payments. Photo courtesy of LyndaSanchez on Flickr.

Credit Card Processing Fees

With plenty of different options, it can be difficult for a charity or NPO to choose the best one for their needs. However, knowing the right option for your organization can have a substantial impact on the amount of each donation your organization keeps. Many charities have turned to PayPal for their credit card processing needs, largely due to it being one of the most recognizable names in merchant services. However, there may be other services available that can offer your organization better rates. If you’re running a charity, you want to find low rates to ensure a contributor’s donation goes to your cause.

Many companies have sprung up in an attempt to enhance the types of services PayPal offers, so there are plenty of options, even in areas we may not expect them. If your organization is already using Intuit software, for example, you can also accomplish credit card processing with QuickBooks. However, if you don’t use accounting software at the moment, options such as WePay also provide you with significantly reduced rates compared to the 4% PayPal typically charges per transaction. With PayPal, a $100 donation becomes $96 of useable spending money for your organization after fees. But with other services offering fees between 1 and 3%, you can quickly see how these fees add up and can detract from your received donation.

How it Works

Before you pick your merchant services provider and sign a contract, you need to fully understand how the process works. By acquiring a merchant services account, your organization will be able to decide just how long the donation process works. Merchant services allows an organization to create an online payment/donation gateway that will allow your supporters to provide their credit card information directly to your website. This is a perfect solution to increase donations if you’re already in the midst of a marketing campaign that is driving additional traffic to your site.

If your charity is in dire need of increased donations, the options your merchant services provider can offer are much more advantageous for you than you might think. Donations will be sent to a secure website that will then be passed along to your merchant services account. You will then be able to withdraw the money from your service provider, or have it wired to your organization’s bank account. As an additional bonus, some service providers will allow you to accept donations from a supporter’s bank account instead of their credit or debit card. What’s the bonus of this? Well, for the most part, merchant services providers charge a significantly smaller percentage when you receive a donation from a supporter’s bank account. These fees are usually around 1% of the total donation, meaning your organization is truly gifted with nearly the entire donation made.

In the end, your goal should be to make it as simple as possible for anyone to donate to your organization. If you’ve ever tried to donate to another charity, or have even attempted to make an online purchase, only to have your experience end in immense frustration, you know how dire it is for your organization to be fully-functional. Don’t allow one more donation to pass you by; do the necessary research and find the right merchant services provider to allow your charity receive as many donations as possible.

This is a guest post by Bradley Derringer, a blogger for TechBreach, giving you the latest on all things tech. 


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