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Random Acts of Flowers

First you notice the faint scent of roses and the gentle hum of voices. Small knots of people, grouped around tubs of flowers, are gently pulling off dead leaves and plucking brown petals. These blooms, rescued from the compost bins at local stores, like Costco and Trader Joe’s, are about to be transformed into breathtaking floral arrangements.

The happy beneficiaries will be local hospital and hospice patients and seniors.

Special Offer: Shop for Good this Valentine’s Day

Don’t know where to shop for Valentine’s Day? Go beyond flowers and chocolate this year and shop for good.

Shopping for good means your dollars don’t just go into a large business’s piggy bank—they go toward creating livelihoods for underprivileged people around the world.

We’ve made it an even sweeter deal by partnering with three shop-for-good organizations to offer discounts just for our blog readers. Now you can buy the perfect gift while giving others a better life AND saving money. Check out the world-changing organizations below and start shopping!

How Charitable is Your Favorite Super Bowl Team?

As the biggest day in NFL football nears, we thought we might see how the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos measure up off the field. How involved are these two teams in volunteering and charitable giving? Let’s find out.

How Charitable Are the Top Presidential Candidates, Really?

Turns out, that’s a good question. I started out this article wanting to play detective and provide a ton of useful information. But, the charitable giving and volunteering records of the top presidential candidates from both parties are curiously hard to find. Still, I scrounged up what I could find so we can see it all in one place. Take a look!

18 Things You Can Do to Stop Human Trafficking

Large-scale slavery didn’t end with the Civil War.

According to A21, an anti-human trafficking nonprofit, an estimated 27 million people are in bondage across the globe. Only 1-2% of those are ever rescued. And the average age of a victim is 12-years-old.

What can we do to stop it?

There are several ways you can take action against human trafficking. For example, educate yourself and others about it, lobby for legislations that will help defeat it, only purchase items from companies that know where their labor is coming from or volunteer at one of the many anti-human trafficking nonprofits. Awareness is great. Action is even better. Check out this list and pick one–or several–things to do and get started.

5 Ways Volunteering Can Help You Get a Job

Not only does volunteering increase your happiness, but it allows you to make a difference in someone else’s life. The benefits don’t stop there though, it gets even better.

Giving back can seriously help out your career.

Volunteering experience adds an edge to your resume and can hook you up with valuable connections. Check out these five ways that it can give your career a boost.

9 Organizations Making Progress Towards Gun Control

President Obama will no longer tolerate gun violence.

obama gun control

(Image Link)

On Tuesday, President Obama announced executive actions to reduce gun violence in America. The executive actions, outlined by the White House here, require those “in the business” of selling or trading guns to obtain a license and run background checks before all sales, and expand programs and personnel in the fields of background checks, weapons information tracking, and mental health.

Gun control groups around the country celebrated the President’s efforts toward a safer America. Gun control legislation at the federal level has been slim in recent years, despite the success of many gun control groups on the grassroots’ level.

Here are nine nonprofits working tirelessly in the field of gun control.

1 . Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
coalition to stop gun violence (more…)

7 Reasons Why Giving Makes Us Happy

http://www.hephzibah.org/planned-giving/

http://www.hephzibah.org/planned-giving/

Giving makes donors feel joyous and connected, and can physically good for you. Studies have shown that volunteering makes people feel physically healthier, manage chronic health conditions and lower stress!

When people give to charities, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.”   

Here are 7 reasons why it feels so good to give. 

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Inspiration Break: Craig Newmark on (dry) humor, humility, and helping others

Inspiration Break: A series of interviews with Nonprofits thought leaders.

Craig Newmark is a self-described nerd, Web pioneer, philanthropist, and advocate of technology for the public good through his craigconnects initiative. Craig is the founder of craigslist, started in 1995 and now one of the world’s most-visited websites. He continues to work with craigslist as a customer service representative.

Craig serves on the board of directors of the Poynter Foundation,  Center for Public Integrity, Sunlight Foundation, Consumers Union/Consumer  Reports, Blue Star Families, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; on the Board of Overseers of the Columbia Journalism Review; and as advisor to nearly twenty other renowned non-profit organizations, of which GreatNonprofits is one (see the full list at  craigconnects.org/organizations).

CN-11 Craig Newmark Photo credit Bleacher+Everard

2015 Top-Rated List of Nonprofits This Season of Giving

http://www.generousnomads.com/benefits-of-international-volunteering/

http://www.generousnomads.com/benefits-of-international-volunteering/

Redwood Shores, Calif. –  To help donors and volunteers find worthy charities to support this season of giving, GreatNonprofits released their annual list of Top-Rated Nonprofits. The 2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit List spans the entire country and covers a variety of causes. In 2014, Charitable giving reached $456 billion with the majority of giving happening at year’s end.

“We are heading into the season of giving back—when donors and volunteers are looking to support nonprofits,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits. “This Top-Rated List makes it easy to find excellent nonprofits that help Syrian refugees, or local homeless people, or charities that help animals.”

Unlike other charity awards, the Top-Rated award winners were selected solely by people who have had involvement with the nonprofit as volunteers, donors, or those who have been helped by the nonprofit. Over 1,400 nonprofits made the list this year with over 37 issues addressed.  With over 25,000 city and issue pages, donors and volunteers can find charities in their cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Diego, Houston, Chicago, and San Francisco or even suburbs like Santa Ana, California.

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2015 Top-Rated List of Nonprofits-Austin

http://tbg-inc.com/project/texas-state-capitol-south-grounds-austin-tx/

http://tbg-inc.com/project/texas-state-capitol-south-grounds-austin-tx/

Redwood Shores, Calif. –   As people are shopping local, eating local, this year they are also more interested than ever in supporting local charities. Charitable giving reached $456 billion in 2014 with the majority of giving happening at year’s end. To help donors and volunteers find worthy charities to support this season of giving, GreatNonprofits just released the 2015 Top-Rated List of Nonprofits in Austin.

“We are heading into the season of giving back—when donors and volunteers are looking to support nonprofits,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits. “This 2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit List helps people easily find terrific charities in Austin that are making a difference.”

Donors and volunteers can easily choose among causes that they are interested in―such as animal shelters, arts, or education. They can also see photos and read vivid reviews by people who have direct experience with the nonprofit.    

Some Top-Rated nonprofits in Austin include:

  • Love-a-Bull, Inc.
  • Paws of Austin
  • The Miracle Foundation

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2015 Top-Rated List of Nonprofits-Washington, D.C.

http://ihitthebutton.com/13-facts-washington-monument/

http://ihitthebutton.com/13-facts-washington-monument/

Redwood Shores, Calif. –   As people are shopping local, eating local, this year they are also more interested than ever in supporting local charities. Charitable giving reached $456 billion in 2014 with the majority of giving happening at year’s end. To help donors and volunteers find worthy charities to support this season of giving, GreatNonprofits just released the 2015 Top-Rated List of Nonprofits in Washington, D.C.

“We are heading into the season of giving back—when donors and volunteers are looking to support nonprofits,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits. “This 2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit List helps people easily find terrific charities in Washington, D.C. that are making a difference.”

Donors and volunteers can easily choose among causes that they are interested in―such as animal shelters, arts, or education. They can also see photos and read vivid reviews by people who have direct experience with the nonprofit.    

Some Top-Rated nonprofits in Washington, D.C. include:

  • Women In Film & Video, Inc.
  • Lubuto Library Partners
  • Society for Science & The Public

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2015 Top-Rated List of Nonprofits-San Jose

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jose,_California#/media/File:Downtown_san_jose_south_market_st.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jose,_California#/media/File:Downtown_san_jose_south_market_st.jpg

Redwood Shores, Calif. –   As people are shopping local, eating local, this year they are also more interested than ever in supporting local charities. Charitable giving reached $456 billion in 2014 with the majority of giving happening at year’s end. To help donors and volunteers find worthy charities to support this season of giving, GreatNonprofits just released the 2015 Top-Rated List of Nonprofits in San Jose.

“We are heading into the season of giving back—when donors and volunteers are looking to support nonprofits,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits. “This 2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit List helps people easily find terrific charities in San Jose that are making a difference.”

Donors and volunteers can easily choose among causes that they are interested in―such as animal shelters, arts, or education. They can also see photos and read vivid reviews by people who have direct experience with the nonprofit.    

Some Top-Rated nonprofits in San Jose include:

  • Breakthrough Silicon Valley
  • Victory Ranch Inc
  • Human Connexus

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21 Companies That Pay You to Volunteer

As we enter into the height of the giving season, many of us make donations to our favorite charities. But giving doesn’t have to be limited to the holidays. Or your wallet.

An increasing number of companies offer explicit opportunities for employees to volunteer, whether that entails paid time off or creating a sense of community. Below are 21 companies that encourage giving back.  Does yours?

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The Force is Strong With These Nonprofits: 15 Charities ‘The Force Awakens’ Cast Members Love

Written by: Susan Peters

“There is good in him. I’ve felt it.” -Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi

star wars

The dark side and the light have set aside their lightsabers to unite for a good cause.

 The cast members of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ gave back to charities close to their hearts in an Omaze campaign supporting Star Wars: Force for Change.

Donations received from the campaign will equally support the 15 nonprofits hand picked by the cast members. See who they nominated below:

  1. Adam Driver (Kylo Ren)- Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF)

Adam Driver

Omaze

 Arts in the Armed Forces, founded by Driver, bridges the cultural gap between the United States Armed Forces and the performing arts communities by bringing the best modern American theater to the military free of charge.

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Inspiration Break: Jim Doty, Neurosurgeon, on Why Compassion is Important.

Inspiration Break: A series of interviews with Nonprofits thought leaders.

Growing up in the high desert of California, Jim Doty was poor, with an alcoholic father and a mother chronically depressed and paralyzed by a stroke. Today he is a clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University School of Medicine, of which the Dalai Lama is a founding benefactor.  He is the author of the upcoming book Into the Magic Shop.  

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Spread the Generosity!

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Today is Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. People all over the world are getting together to celebrate generosity.

Join the movement and celebrate #GivingTuesday with us! Spread the love by sharing this post to show your support for giving back to the community.

Visit http://www.givingtuesday.org/ for more information.

10 Ways You Can Actually Help Syrian Refugees

Written By: Maria Losada

syrianfeatureimage (1)

With the recent and unfortunate tragedy in Paris, the road for refugees will only get rougher.

The continuous barrage of news updates may make some feel overwhelmed, and unsure of how they can make a difference. We want you to know that there are ways to help, and we’ve collected some inspiring stories of effective human rights organizations. If you find yourself sympathizing with the plight of refugees seeking a better tomorrow, we encourage you to look into the following nonprofits.

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