7 Giving Tuesday causes and a bonus

At the beginning of every month, I share a post about my favorite SmartBrief stories from the prior month (here’s October’s, for example).

I do have favorite stories from November, but I’m changing things up today in honor of Giving Tuesday, which is December 3.

I feel so fortunate that my work at SmartBrief is with nonprofit sector newsletters (although everyone who knows me knows I get pretty attached to everything I do, including tolling and agriculture). Especially as Giving Tuesday rolls around, with its opportunity for so many great causes to discuss what they do and the difference a contribution can make, I decided for this month to share a way each of my partners is connecting on Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday


As stated on their website, BoardSource “supports, trains, and educates nonprofit leaders from across the country and throughout the world.” Donations to BoardSource ” support our research and leadership addressing issues of critical importance to the work of the social sector and the communities and people we seek to serve.”

How to donate: Click here.

Learn more via the BoardSource newsletter from SmartBrief: Subscribe here.

International City/County Management Association (ICMA)

ICMA’s website describes the organization as “the world’s leading association of professional city and county managers and other employees who serve local governments.” I had the pleasure of attending ICMA’s conference this year, so you can get my perspective here and here.

ICMA has a Future of Professional Management Fund that seeks to “advocate and promote the council-manager form and professional local government management.” Read the 2018 Giving Tuesday post about the fund here and donate here.

Learn more about the ICMA newsletter from SmartBrief: Subscribe here.

National Association of Social Workers

NASW, according to their website, “works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.”

Contributions to NASW are directed to the NASW Foundation, the NASW Legal Defense Fund and/or its Political Action for Candidate Election efforts. All three have links here.

Learn more about the NASW newsletter from SmartBrief: Subscribe here.

National Emergency Number Association (NENA)

The NENA website lists its role as being “the only professional organization solely focused on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues.”

NENA’s Gold Line Scholarship Fund seeks to help 9-1-1 professionals obtain training. Donate here.

Learn more about the Public Safety SmartBrief: Subscribe here.

Reserve Officers Association (ROA)

ROA describes itself on its website as “only exclusive advocate for the Reserve and National Guard – all ranks, all services”

There are multiple ways to contribute to ROA, including general contributions to its work, donations to its ROA STARs foundation, tribute benches and more. All are accessible by clicking here.

Giving Tuesday
ROA Tribute Bench Photo credit: roa.org

Learn more about the ROA newsletter from SmartBrief: Subscribe here.

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society

Sigma Xi says on its website that its purpose is to “honor excellence in scientific investigation and encourage a sense of companionship and cooperation among researchers in all fields of science and engineering.”

Sigma Xi’s Giving Tuesday initiative is what got me started thinking about doing this post for all my partners. I really love it!

Sigma Xi is directing its Giving Tuesday donations to help provide free one-year subscriptions of its STEM magazine, American Scientist, to 1,300 high schools. Here’s the link to contribute.

Learn more about the Sigma Xi newsletter from SmartBrief: Subscribe here.

Giving Tuesday
American Scientist Magazine

United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation expresses its purpose via its website this way: “We work by building communities and incubating initiatives to support the UN and its priority issues, including achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

I am sure the UN Foundation will have plenty of Giving Tuesday options, but to take a moment of personal privilege, I will first list Shot at Life. Shot at Life is a grassroots advocacy program under the UN Foundation umbrella that helps children around the world have access to immunizations to protect them from polio, measles, pneumonia, rotavirus and other vaccine-preventable diseases. I’ve been involved with them for years. The World Health Organization notes several key improvements in getting children worldwide vaccinated, but says ” an estimated 19.4 million infants worldwide were not reached with routine immunization services such as 3 doses of DTP vaccine” in 2018.

Giving Tuesday

Contribute to Shot at life by clicking here. Contribute to the UN Foundation in general by clicking here. Another incredibly meaningful option is giving in memory of the late Jennifer Schlecht, who worked for the UN Foundation, during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

To learn more about the UN Foundation newsletter from SmartBrief: Subscribe here.

Food & Friends

Food & Friends is a cause that SmartBrief has supported for years (I’m not sure how many, but since I started there in 2017). For that reason, I want to give them a shout out because I have come to appreciate their work and I feel a personal investment.

The Food & Friends premise is “anyone can get sick and everyone can help.” Their services include home-delivered meals, groceries-to-go and nutrition counseling.

Contribute to the work of Food & Friends by clicking here.

It’s relevant to talk about Giving Tuesday and provide this boost to these eight great causes because there are programs such as the $7 million Facebook plans to match that are specific to the day. (I also urge you to read up on how quickly those matching funds go … a great case study of the challenges nonprofits face.)

And while we’re here …

I am staying with one of my monthly traditions, which is sharing our open positions.

wrote in more detail about my experience as a SmartBrief employee here, which may help answer any questions you have. As always, I’m happy to answer questions and provide more information about the process.

Here are the advertised open positions at SmartBrief as of 12/1/19:

(There are other opportunities with our parent company, Future plc, that are not specific to SmartBrief and are located in multiple places. Find all openings here.)

If you are interested in applying, please list me as your referrer or email me so we can discuss further.

A Recap

To subscribe to one (or more) SmartBrief newsletters, including the “end of the work day” While You Were Working, for which I am a contributing editor, click here.

If you aren’t in a subscribing mood, you can still keep up with us at the site of our parent company, Future; on FacebookSmartBrief TwitterLeadership SmartBrief TwitterLinkedIn and SmartBrief Instagram.

#GivingTuesday 2017

Twas the night before Giving Tuesday 2017 and I was …..

  • facing down a deadline
  • wishing I had instituted an email newsletter so I could shoot one out instead of inflicting a blog post on people

BUT since there’s no newsletter option and the deadline is breathing down my neck, a blog post will have to do. A few quick pre- #GivingTuesday thoughts.


I am participating in the Big Bend #UNSelfie contest for Giving Tuesday, and my charity of choice is the Hang Tough Foundation. Hang Tough helps the whole family when a child has a life-threatening illness (more here).

If Hang Tough gets the most votes, they win a $500 grant from the Community Foundation of North Florida and $500 toward a direct mail fundraising campaign from Target Print & Mail.

*********   Vote for me here all day on 11/28/17 only!   ********

BONUS: Giving Tuesday 11/28/17 is my birthday and this is the only gift I want!

Giving Tuesday 2017

It’s also a Llamatastic day for Heifer!

Look for my llama and me on social media!

In addition to Hang Tough, I’m supporting Heifer International today! The gift of an animal (LIKE A LLAMA) from Heifer increases access to education, empowerment, and dignity. It’s an easy way to give gifts that really matter. When you give today (11/28) all gifts are doubled! 2x the help for 2x the families.

Giving Tuesday 2017

(Note – Yes I’m wearing a Team in Training shirt. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is ANOTHER fave of mine because so many friends are dealing with blood cancers.)

My Awesome Friend Nicolette

My friend Nicolette is running for Orange County Commission District 4.

I am positive Nicolette is going to make a positive difference in her community so, although this isn’t strictly a Giving Tuesday request, I encourage you to support a candidate who is running for all the right reasons (for a non-partisan seat).

The link to donate is here.


Giving Tuesday 2017

The Other 364 Days

If you find yourself stressed out today (after voting for Hang Tough in the #UNSelfie context, because HOW COULD THAT BE STRESSFUL LOL?), remember there are 364 other days on which you can make a difference. My thoughts on that here.

Giving Tuesday 2017

Bashira: Surviving Fistula in Tanzania

When I had an opportunity to write about women who made an impact on the Global Goal of Health (Number 3 of the 17!), one of the organizations I learned about during my research was CCBRT (Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania). CCBRT, a locally registered NGO, is the largest indigenous provider of disability services in Tanzania. CCBRT empowers people with disabilities and their families, improves their quality of life, and ensures access to medical and rehabilitative treatment. CCBRT is also a leading partner of the Government of Tanzania in the fight to improve the quality of maternal and newborn healthcare in the country. This #GivingTuesday, I am sharing their story.


The CCBRT Facility

The best way to learn about CCBRT is to get acquainted with someone for whom CCBRT has been a life changer. Bashira (whose name has been changed to ensure her privacy) is one of those “someones.”

Bashira was 17-years-old and working as a field laborer in Tanzania when she became pregnant. In the months leading up to her delivery, she did everything she was supposed to, attending antenatal appointments and preparing for the birth of her child.

Fistula_Bashira_Maddie Johnston_2015_2

When the labor pains began, Bashira’s grandmother called a Traditional Birth Attendant to assist her granddaughter through the delivery, but there was a complication. After two days of labor, Bashira went to the hospital where medical teams rushed to perform an emergency C-section. They were too late. Her newborn son only lived for one hour.

Two days after she lost her baby, Bashira started leaking urine. Her doctors diagnosed the leaking as a birth injury, obstetric fistula; a condition Bashira had never heard of, and couldn’t afford to have corrected.

“I felt depressed; I felt like my heart was heavy,” she says, now 21-years-old.

Three years passed, and the chronic incontinence forced Bashira into isolation. Her parents remained supportive, but her friends, other relatives, and community abandoned her.

“I couldn’t go to work,” she remembers. “I couldn’t go to church, I couldn’t talk to my friends; they ignored me.”

Bashira was isolated from the friends she desperately needed: except for one. This year, one of her friends saw an advertisement on the side of a bus for CCBRT, one of the leading providers of fistula treatment in Tanzania. Every year CCBRT changes the lives of over 1 million people by providing healthcare services, training local medical teams, strengthening the existing infrastructure, and piloting advocacy and health education programs in Tanzanian communities.

After calling CCBRT, Bashira’s bus ticket was paid for by one of CCBRT’s Fistula Ambassadors, as part of their innovative TransportMyPatient Program. A few days later, Bashira arrived safely at the hospital in Dar es Salaam for surgery. She also received physiotherapy, health education, and counseling to address the emotional and psychological trauma she had suffered as a result of her condition. Every stage of Bashira’s treatment and rehabilitation was provided free of charge. She now wants to study to become a doctor or lawyer when she returns home. Thanks to a life changing procedure, Bashira has the confidence to aim high, and look towards a brighter future.

There are thousands like Bashira who need our help.

Tanzania has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality and morbidity in the world. Estimates suggest that one woman will die every hour from birth-related complications. For every woman that dies, 20 more women will develop an infection or debilitating impairment. By improving the quality of care available to expectant mothers and their newborns we can prevent the tragic loss of life and years of silent suffering. The cost of the surgery that restored Bashira’s future was $750. The cost to have a trained team assist with her delivery would have been $215. An investment in prevention makes sense.

How can you help?

Kupona Foundation is the US-based sister organization of CCBRT, mobilizing resources and activating awareness to enable the continuation of CCBRT’s life changing programs. Kupona Foundation gives individuals and institutions in the United States the opportunity to foster direct, local impact, empowering people like Bashira to realize their full potential by improving their access to quality healthcare. From 2009 to 2014, Kupona mobilized nearly $1.5 million for CCBRT.

As of December 1st, Kupona is participating in a competition through the GlobalGiving.org page, with up to $3,000 of bonus funds available. Their goal this month is to raise $10,000 to support CCBRT, and provide safe deliveries for over 45 mothers in Tanzania.

As they kick off the holiday season, they ask that you stand with them to provide the mothers and newborns of Tanzania with the healthcare they need and deserve. The beginning of Bashira’s story has been the status quo for too long; your support can change that.

Kupona Foundation is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit. Donations to Kupona Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please visit www.kuponafoundation.org to learn more about our work, and check out our social media pages on Twitter and Facebook. You can contact us directly for more information at info@kuponafoundation.org.

Kupona New Logo-03

Dramatically Doubling Dollars on #GivingTuesday

After Thanksgiving, Every Day Is “Special”

My daughter and I went shopping Friday morning (yes, on Black Friday.) We didn’t get up at a ridiculously early hour, but she was in town from college and we were both intrigued by the idea of a deal, so we set off to see what we could find.

Although we did find some bargains, the best takeaway of the day would not fit in a shopping bag. The best takeaway was time with my daughter, lunch at our favorite sushi restaurant, and catching up on each other’s lives.

Bonding Over Bento

Bonding Over Bento

With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, she returned to college, leaving me with a social media stream full of all the “deals” available on Cyber Monday.

It’s the activity in cyber space on #GivingTuesday, though, that comes closest to fulfilling the message of the upcoming holiday season.

Why Is #GivingTuesday Different?

December 2, 2014 is marked #GivingTuesday – a day of giving. This global day inspires personal philanthropy and encourages bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season, showing that the world truly gives as good as it gets.

Many causes I love are having campaigns on #GivingTuesday, but I do want to take a moment to highlight Shot at Life, one of the Giving Tuesday 2014 causes nearest and dearest to my heart, and one which has the potential to have an enormous impact thanks to matching donors.

This Giving Tuesday, Shot at Life is focusing on pneumococcal disease, which kills an estimated 1.1 million children under the age of five annually.

The only cute pneumonia is a stuffed pneumonia.

The only cute pneumonia is a stuffed pneumonia.

This disease hits hardest in communities weakened by poverty. Malnutrition and undernourishment leave babies without the ability to fight infection. This video, originally created for World Pneumonia Day, really made me think: What if this were my child?

Five Dollars Will Become Ten …

$5 can immunize a child against pneumococcal disease. I am committing to either raise $5 from 5 friends or donate $25 myself because that $25 is going to magically become $50 (yes I wish it always worked that way but this is a very limited time offer for some extremely deserving children in our global family).

giving tuesday graphic

Bill and Melinda Gates believe that vaccines are one of the best investments you can make to improve global health. They are very supportive of Shot@Life advocating and fundraising for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. With replenishment coming in early 2015, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would like to support Shot@Life and Gavi by matching donations on #GivingTuesday (up to $200,000)!

In addition, this #GivingTuesday, MAM (@mambaby) – a global leader in pacifiers, baby bottles and infant oral development products – is supporting Shot@Life. Their generous donation of $25,000 will help provide thousands of pneumonia vaccines to children in need around the world. Donate to Shot@Life and help give children everywhere a shot at a healthy life and join the conversation on Twitter by following @ShotAtLife and #GivingTuesday.

Thank you, MAM, for making the first gift of $25,000 toward our $200,000 goal!

Makes my $5 seem pretty do-able, right? How about you? You can easily donate your $5 at this link.

five dollars