Gaming for Good – Charity at GenCon 2015!

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I neglected to take a picture of the panel, so instead, enjoy this picture of an octopus made out of balloons.

This weekend while I was enjoying the geek heaven that is GenCon, I had a chance to learn about how gaming is not only a great way to have fun, learn skills, and connect with other people – it can also be used to raise money and spread the word about worthy causes in your community. I was lucky enough to participate in a panel with lovely, purpose-driven gamers Andrew Christopher Enriquez and JR Honeycutt of DFW Nerd Night, Oliver Wojtyna of Extra Life Indy Guild, Tiffany Ralph, Dan Patriss of Gamers for Cures, and Adrienne and Jim Jones of Great Big Table and Baby Toolkit. The whole team gave some wonderful tips for organizing charity gaming events and supporting charity through geeky pursuits. Here are some of the tips they shared and lessons I learned: Continue reading

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Forward-Thinking vs. Backward Philanthropy

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Philanthropy comes from the Greek term meaning “love of humanity,” but when you take a realistic look at the way we view charity today, much of it stems from Puritan ideas about penance and making up for wrongdoing or selfishness in other aspects of one’s life. A more forward-thinking philanthropist, instead would take a practical look at how they can integrate philanthropy into all aspects of their life, and achieve the greatest good overall, not just enough that they break even. Today, I’m going to take some time to explore what forward thinking philanthropists are doing, compared against old-school styles of philanthropy.
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Understanding Nonprofit Data: The Basics

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So, you’ve made sure that the charity you are interested donating to is actually a legitimate charity, but how do you know if they are actually making a positive impact in your community or the world? There’s a lot of talk about nonprofits becoming more “data-driven” or responsive to metrics, but in a world where you are continually bombarded with shiny imagery and smooth-talking infographics, how can you tell which charities are doing good, and which are just doing marketing? This post explores the different types of program impact data you’ll see nonprofits sharing, and how to sort out what it all means. Let’s start with the basics: Continue reading

No More Excuses: Striving to be a Better Person

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“I don’t give to charity, because too many of them are scams,” “I didn’t give to that homeless person because she will just spend it on drugs anyway,” “I didn’t comfort that crying person because he should toughen up!” Too often, we make excuses for not doing the most we can to help others. As human beings, we are not always able to help everyone who needs help, but much of the time, making excuses like this do even more harm that doing nothing at all. Today, I am exploring these different excuses, their effect, and what you can do instead. Continue reading

Give to Charity, Not Scams

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News broke this week that four cancer charities were charged with fraud for raising over $187 million in donations through deceptive means. This is awful news for the nonprofit sector, which already struggles with debunking myths and misperceptions (including the much talked about Overhead Myth). Many would-be donors struggle with how to give to charity without worrying about their donations falling into the wrong hands. My advice: don’t let a few bad apples stand between you and the causes you care about, but do learn your lesson about checking a charity’s legitimacy before you give. Here’s how: Continue reading

Businesses with Standards: What is The B Impact Assessment?

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I’ve recently discussed the way that social good is quickly becoming far more measurable, but many of us (myself included) are still trying to wrap our heads around what it means for a business to be truly ethical, and how that can be measured. Today I had the chance to talk to Dan Osusky, Standards Development Manager at B Lab, who gave me some insight into what the B Impact Assessment can tell us, not only about a company’s values, but about the real, measurable impact that they are having on our community and environment.

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Tips for Partying with a Purpose

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Being kind isn’t easy, but sometimes it can be a lot of fun! One of the best ways to have fun and help others at the same time is to host a “Party with a Purpose” – in other words, a party that raises awareness and/or funds for a charity or cause. You can throw a high-end party or throw one together easily and cheaply. You can incorporate giving into a major life event (like a wedding or birthday), or you can throw for the sole purpose of supporting your cause. The possibilities are endless! Continue reading

Be Good at Being Charitable

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If you are looking to make a positive impact in the world, giving to charity is one of the most direct ways that you can contribute. But, with over 1.5 million different nonprofits in the United States alone, figuring out how to give in a meaningful, impactful way can be an incredibly daunting task. Here are some ways for you to narrow down the causes and charities that will be most meaningful for you:

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How to find a satisfying and meaningful volunteer opportunity

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As we get ready to ring in 2015, I know there are a lot of people out there looking to lend some of their time as a volunteer – either to build experience for themselves, give back to their community, build their connections, or all of the above. Today I decided I would give some advice for those of us looking to get involved in a cause: Continue reading

Socially-Conscious Holiday Shopping

Hello loyal blog readers! In order to make it easier for all of you to keep up with The Goodness Geek, I’ve decided I would like to get on a dedicated blogging schedule. I am planning to post updates by 8am (or hopefully sooner) every Tuesday morning from this point forward. If I don’t, please feel free to (gently) harass me until I do.

Now that it’s officially mid-December, many of us are scrambling to get our last-minute Holiday shopping done – I know I am. And, in doing so, I know many of you are trying to avoid buying gifts that are harmful to our social, economic, and literal environment. This is a particularly challenging task when so many companies show blatant disregard for worker’s rightsconsumer privacy, and cultural sensitivity. Here are some tips for shopping with a conscience this Holiday season:

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