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Introducing Madeline Warren as Membership & Marketing Director

PRESS RELEASE – PORTSMOUTH, N.H., September 30, 2016 – Philanthropic Online Market Research Panel, Opinions 4 Good “Op4G”, is pleased to announce today the appointment of Madeline Warren as Membership and Marketing Director based in the Op4G Portsmouth, NH office.

Madeline started her career interning at Op4G in the summer of 2015 as Non-Profit Coordinator while attending the University of New Hampshire where she graduated this past May. Madeline is a Yarmouth Port, MA native. She brings to the new role 5+ years of experience working in non-profit marketing departments including Alaska SeaLife Center, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, and the Cape Wildlife Center.

According to Frank Nappo, Chief Executive Officer, Madeline’s addition to the Op4G team means good things for Op4G’s clients: “Madeline’s wealth of experience in marketing and communication will further increase the recruitment of qualified members ultimately leading to strengthening our panel size, and the ability to meet the needs of our growing client base.”

Madeline comments, “I am excited to start a new role within Op4G and look forward to servicing our members and non-profit partners who are passionate about raising significant additional funding for their mission.”

About Op4G

Founded in 2010, Op4G invites its panel members – non-profit donors, fundraisers and volunteers – to participate in paid online research surveys, and then donate a portion of their income to one or more of its 400 plus registered non-profits in 10 countries globally.

Op4G provides client access to a unique database of highly qualified leaders and engaged members who participate in internet-based research for the opportunity to earn funds for themselves and/or to donate up to 100% of their earnings directly to one of our partnering charities. Since 2012 our clients’ incentive funds have allowed our panel members to donate over $426,388 to our growing number of non profits. Panel member trust is the key to our quality data. Each element of Op4G is designed to fiercely protect our Members’ privacy. Every activity is opt-in, every survey participant is anonymous, and every member is in full control of their secure information. Op4G is headquartered in Portsmouth, NH and operates globally.

To learn more about our client services http://op4g.com or how to begin a partnership that benefits your charity,http://opinions4good.com, please contact support(at)Op4G(dot)com.

-End-

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All You Need to Know about the US Presidential Debates

The 2016 presidential election is now less than 50 days away. So, the time has come for the candidates to square off – face to face – in the presidential debates!

The first of the three debates, held in Long Island, will start at 9:00 EST on Monday, September 26. NBC Anchor Lester Holt will moderate, posing questions on “America’s Direction”, “Achieving Prosperity”, and ”Securing America”. Each debate segment will begin with a question, followed by two minute answers, brief rebuttals, and a “deeper discussion on the topic”.

Such debates have become “a de facto election process” since their debut in 1960. But this year’s match-up will be far from conventional. It will be the first to feature a woman on the debate stage (Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton). It will pit “the two most unlikable presidential candidates in the history of US polling” against one another. And according to network executives, it could attract a record audience of 100 million viewers (via television and internet streaming)! That would surpass the audience of most Super Bowls, as well as the finales of M*A*S*H and Cheers.

To prepare for this epic showdown, the candidates have adopted diverging approaches. Clinton has taken 4 days off the campaign trail to engage in drills and mock debate sessions (with different Trump personas). She has studied a “thick dossier on Mr. Trump” based on “months of research and meetings”. Trump, on the other hand, has “largely shun[ned] traditional debate preparations”, believing that “debates are not won or lost on policy minutiae“.

So which candidate will win? Will the debate even have an impact? Political scientists maintain that “presidential debates rarely have a huge effect on the outcome of the election”. After all, most Americans watch the event “to confirm what we already think we know” and ultimately “return to their ideological silos, absorbing instant analysis from left-leaning anchors on MSNBC or commentators at right-leaning outlets like Breitbart News”. There can be an effect on voters who are weakly partisan or undecided, but it is typically minor.

Additionally, any observed effects “are often caused by factors wholly beyond the candidates’ control”. These factors include media coverage, reactions on social networks, and candidate appearance. As proof, experts point to the famous Kennedy vs. Nixon debate, in which Nixon looked “pale and clammy” as he battled illness. They also cite the 2008 debate, in which 72-year old McCain saw his support decline after appearing in high-definition.

Of course, in the end, the voters will decide! So be sure to tune into the first presidential debate on September 26. Additional debates will follow on October 9 in St. Louis and October 19 in Las Vegas.

To learn more about the 2016 election, please contact Rock the Vote, the Center for Civic Education, or our partner, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

 

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Are Your Electronics Conflict- Free?

As Apple celebrates the release of the new IPhone 7 and amidst all the exciting things happening in the technology industry, something else remarkable is occurring. Apple is forging a path and taking key steps towards responsible sourcing of resources used in their electronic products. The tech firm is doing this by combating the deadly trade of “conflict minerals”.

Four minerals used in electronics – gold, tin, tantalum, and tungsten- have funded and contributed to an ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, hence the term “conflict minerals”. Powering your electronics often comes at a price; over 5.4 million civilians have died in the conflict by mining these minerals since 1994. Workers are often hired at gunpoint and given no choice but to work in the worst conditions while given little to no pay.

The good news is there is much being done to end the conflict. In 2010 congress passed Section 1502 of the Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This act requires companies to identify where the minerals used in their products come from. Companies are now being held accountable for making sure that their product materials are not involved in human rights abuses.

Thousands of businesses were affected by this bill. In May of 2016, Apple was among the first to issue a progress report highlighting their commitment to ensuring that the minerals used in their products do not finance armed conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or anywhere else in the world.

Many other companies such as Intel, Signet Jewelers and Ford have joined this effort of responsible sourcing and are providing transparent reports of where product materials originate. Despite these great strides by large corporations, human rights abuses continue in Africa and across the globe signaling there is still much work to be done.

DRC’s next-door-neighbor, Sudan, faces similar conflicts. Last week, The Sentry, an initiative of The Enough Project, filed a report of a two-year investigation into South Sudan’s war economy and its links to a network of international facilitators that includes mining and electronic companies. George Clooney led the press conference, “War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping the looting and destruction in South Sudan.” Using the tools of financial pressure such as refraining from buying products that source “conflict minerals”, The Sentry’s report seeks to unveil innovative ways into countering mass atrocities.

Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) is also focusing on using the tools of financial pressure by directly targeting the purchasing of technology on college campuses. Led by college students, CFCI’s aim is to put pressure on university officials to buy electronics that are not made with “conflict minerals”. CFCI is also a branch of the Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo campaign, and STAND – the student-led movement to end mass atrocities. Together these organizations seek to hold the perpetrators and financiers of mass violence responsible for their abuses of human rights

Want to help build leverage for peace and justice in Africa? Visit the Enough Project, STAND or our partners African Soup, Develop Africa, and Plant A Seed, to learn more.

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“Ball Dogs” Steal Limelight at Tennis Open

The U.S. Tennis Open is officially underway in Flushing Meadows, New York! Players like Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Serena Williams are all competing for the coveted grand slam title. But at a recent tournament, these tennis pros weren’t the only ones chasing balls…

A team of four shelter dogs served as “ball dogs” at the 2016 Brazil Open. Rescued from the streets of Sao Paulo, the dogs (Frida, Costela, Mel and Isabelle) “dutifully retrieved the balls” during an exhibition match between Roberto Baena of Spain and Gastao Elias of Portugal. They then surrendered the balls to the players and trainers, although sometimes “reluctantly”.

The initiative was no cost saving measure. According to organizer Marli Scaramella, president of the local ABEAC shelter, the event aimed to “educate people about the charity and raise awareness about all the dogs…looking for a home”. As an added bonus, it “show[ed] people that a well-fed and well-treated animal can be very happy”.

Andrea Beckert, who trained the dogs over several months, confirmed the goal. She explained, “These are dogs that were mistreated. We want[ed] to show that abandoned dogs can be adopted and trained”.

Of course, training the pups was no walk in the park. The dogs were often distracted as they learned their commands (“pick the ball,” “let it go,” “stay” and “come”). Also, because they were abused, they scared easily. “We had to make them adapt, feel the environment, the court, the noise of the balls, and the noise of the people”.

But, in the end, the dogs delivered! In fact, they “got more attention than the players themselves”, sparking frequent claps and cheers. Now, the dogs “just need to work on dropping the ball a bit quicker”…

If you would like to adopt a dog, please consider one of our partners: Animal House Shelter, the Austin Humane Society, City Dog Rescue, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, the New Hampshire SPCA, and PAWS New England.