blog

Op4G's Non-Profit of the Month: Northgate Elementary PTA!

10The Northgate Elementary Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is Op4G’s Non-Profit of the Month! Located in Seattle, Washington, the Northgate Elementary School is a K-6 school with over 300 students. It prides itself on offering the Powerful Readers program, 1 on 1 tutoring, a Spanish literacy program, and on-site math coaches. Still, the school is always looking to further ways to improve student achievement! To help, please complete Op4G surveys on behalf of the Northgate PTA.

Flickr photo credit: Lee Cannon

blog

Op4G's $500 Sweepstakes Winner: Newmarket Community Education Partnership!

8Op4G congratulates our $500 sweepstakes winner for April, the Newmarket Community Education Partnership (NCEP)! The NCEP was conceived in 2004 by a group of women concerned about education in Newmarket, NH. The women wanted to start a non-profit that would enhance social and recreational opportunities for the children and youth in Newmarket, especially those “on the fringes”.

With $10,000 in start-up funding, the NCEP was born. Since then, the non-profit has awarded over $60,000 in grants and scholarships to Newmarket schools and the recreation center.

These grants have funded a wide range of activities. They have funded learning equipment for children with and without disabilities, upgrading the technology of Newmarket schools. They have covered three room renovations in the JR/SR High School, including the Teachers Room, the ESL Room and the Special Education Room. Furthermore, a generous grant from the Love Foundation has allowed over 60 low-income children to attend summer camp and enjoy a “summer filled with friends, adventures, field trips and the outdoors”.

Flickr photo credit: Mary W

blog

Improving the Experience of our Members – It's Always on our Minds

We recently rolled out improvements to our demographic profiling to reduce the chance of getting screened out of our client studies. We know there’s nothing more frustrating than answering 5 or 6 questions, only to be sent to a page indicating that you didn’t qualify for a survey. Our goal is simple. We want to make it as easy as possible to earn funds for your non-profit.

While we’ve sent a couple notices about this topic in our Monthly Newsletter, we wanted to add a reminder in our blog. So here goes… please update your demographic profile at MyOp4G.com. The update takes less than 10 minutes but will significantly reduce your chances of being screened out of Op4G surveys and further improve your experience.

During the update process, it’s important to note that all questions must be answered for the update to be successful. If you leave any questions out, the update will prompt you to go back and finish.

And, as you know we take member privacy very seriously. Each element of Op4G is designed to fiercely protect our Members’ privacy and information. We make no distinction between “personal” and “non-personal” information — we protect both equally.

blog

A few tips for cautious generosity: the Boston Marathon tragedy

Tips for Helping with the Boston Marathon TragedyWe recently received some thoughtful tips for people wanting to help support efforts benefiting those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy. These tips were sourced directly from Network for Good, a trusted partner of 100,000+ non-profits over the past 10 years.

As we all know, generosity at a time like this can also trigger a contrary response from people or groups with no intention of helping. We want to protect your kindness by re-posting these tips. We appreciate the efforts of Network for Good and happily pass these along to our readers.

Here’s your action list:

  • Support Boston Marathon runners and their charities. You can learn more about the John Hancock nonprofit program and donate to runners’ fundraisers at Boston Marathon: Crowdwise.
  • Make an appointment to donate blood. While the Red Cross is not currently soliciting funds or blood for the Boston area, the organization asks anyone interested in donating blood to make an appointment to give in the coming months.
  • Follow #BostonHelp on Twitter to learn about additional ways to volunteer.
  • Massachusetts and Boston officials have announced the formation of The One Fund Boston to raise money to help those families most affected by the tragic events. The fund is currently awaiting 501c3 status and Network for Good will be able to process donations once their status is confirmed. Boston Marathon sponsor John Hancock has pledged $1M to the fund. You can learn more at One Fund Boston.
  • The Association of Grant Makers in Boston will meet via webinar on Thursday to discuss a larger philanthropic response. Learn more here.
  • blog

    Our Hearts are with the City and People of Boston Today

    Our hearts go out to all those affected by the terrible act of senseless violence at yesterday’s Boston Marathon. At a time when so many people turn their attention to witness the best of the human spirit, someone inserted evil. My hope is that at times like these, we can attempt to identify and nurture that which is good and right with humanity. I realize this offers absolutely no comfort to those suffering unspeakable loss. I can’t imagine their pain.

    Today happens to be the 6th anniversary of the VA Tech shootings. I’m reminded of an enduring phrase that came out of that day, spoken by poet and activist Dr. Nikki Giovanni. She said in a hastily written speech, “we are VA Tech, we will prevail, we will prevail”, over and over. It affected me then and has stuck with me since. The message is simple and unquestionably true.

    When an evil act occurs, our focus becomes an attempt to gain clarity and understanding. While we may never fully answer those internal questions, we’re often positioned and inspired to look for ways to do good work. That’s what good old regular folks do.

    The people who run marathons are an inspiration. They are good old regular folks too. They come from all walks of life, and they all have a story. My brother ran the Boston Marathon four years ago. He started his quest, just because… just to see… could he make it happen? Getting prepared was a journey and along the way he happened to find himself running for a charity that spoke to his heart. He didn’t sign up for the race as an extension of charitable work, but the race became an inspiration for good. How many of the folks running yesterday’s race were running not only for themselves, but for lots of others as well? THOUSANDS!!! You can bet on that.

    The Boston Marathon is the second biggest single-day sporting event in the U.S., just behind the Super Bowl. Evil wanted a platform to spread that which none of us good old regular folks will ever understand. Instead, our attention will turn decidedly towards helping those directly affected while illuminating and elevating all the good work that comes out of an event like this marathon. We will prevail, we will prevail.

    blog

    Celebrate International Earth Day!

    April 22nd is International Earth Day! It is the annual day to demonstrate support and increase awareness for environmental protection.

    Conceived by activist John McConnell, Earth Day was officially founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental-teach in on April 22, 1970. The Earth Day Network began promoted the day internationally in 1990, organizing events in 141 nations. Today, Earth Day (or Earth Week) is celebrated in over 192 countries.

    So how can you get involved this Earth Day? At Op4G, we encourage you to begin making environmentally-friendly choices in your daily life. This might include minimizing car use, recycling garbage, planting trees, buying used goods, and reducing your personal consumption.

    We also encourage you to support Op4G’s environmental non-profit partners. The Ocean River Institute and SuAsCo Watershed Community Council promote sound water stewardship. Solar Sonoma County and Clean-Air Cool Planet advance technologies and practices to mitigate climate change. Furthermore, the Friends of the Moran State Park protect wildlife habitats on Washington’s San Juan Islands.

    To learn more about these and other Op4G non-profits, please visit Our Non-Profit Partners Page.

    blog

    How Do U.S. Students Stack Up? The Verdict is In

    Education is critical to the future of the United States. It instills the knowledge, develops the critical thinking skills, and fosters the creativity that will help Americans compete in the 21st century.

    According to recent studies, however, the United States continues to lag behind its industrialized counterparts in education. In the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), for example, US fourth and eighth graders ranked 8th and 11th, respectively. In the 2011 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test, evaluating 15 year old students in OECD countries, the US ranked 14th for reading and 25th for math. Furthermore, in a 2012 Pearson report, the US ranked 17th in the developed world for overall education.

    Fortunately, trends from several tests suggest that the United States is improving. In fact, in several cases, the US has made greater gains than the top-scoring countries. These results are promising, however, there is still significant room for improvement.

    Many non-profits recognize this reality and are working to boost American students’ academic achievement. At Op4G, we are proud to partner with 21 such non-profits. These include Books for Charity, Cabrini Connections, Alumni for Public Schools, and Junior Achievement chapters across the United States. But these non-profits need support! To offer your help, please complete Op4G surveys on their behalf.

    blog

    Op4G's Non-Profit of the Month: United Cerebral Palsy!

    Op4G’s non-profit of the month is United Celebral Palsy (National Office)! With over 100 affiliates, UCP works to advance the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities. It does so by advocating for civil rights and public policies for disabled peoples, providing an online resource of information for parents and caregivers, and by harnessing adaptive technologies to enable greater self-reliance.

    But the backbone of UCP is the services it provides. These services include housing placement, therapy, assistive technology training, early intervention programs, family support, recreation programs, referrals, and employment assistance.

    To support our partner, and learn more about its work, please visit their website today.

    blog

    Op4G's $500 Sweepstakes Winner: JDRF San Diego!

    Op4G is proud to announce that JDFR San Diego is our $500 sweepstakes winner! JDRF San Diego is the San Diego chapter of JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Its goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until a world without T1D is achieved. T1D is a disease in which the body’s autoimmune system attacks and kills the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Those with T1D are therefore unable to produce insulin naturally and must inject themselves with the hormone 2 – 3 times daily to stay alive. Long term consequences of this disease include kidney damage, blindness, heart disease and amputations.

    Currently, the JDFR organization funds $530 million worth of T1D research across 17 countries. Locally in San Diego, JDRF is funding $8.5 million in T1D research at institutions such as UCSD, The Salk Institute, and The La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology. In addition to funding research, JDRF supports and educates those dealing with the challenges of T1D through support and mentor groups in San Diego and Southern Riverside counties. To learn more about our partner, please visit their site today.