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Spotlight on ProPublica

ProPublica - We're still not shutting up.

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have ProPublica, nominated by donor zardoz. They produce journalism in the public interest.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

ProPublica

The Mission

To expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.


ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. We dig deep into important issues, shining a light on abuses of power and betrayals of public trust — and we stick with those issues as long as it takes to hold power to account.

With a team of more than 75 dedicated journalists, ProPublica covers a range of topics including government and politics, business, criminal justice, the environment, education, health care, immigration, and technology. We focus on stories with the potential to spur real-world impact. Among other positive changes, our reporting has contributed to the passage of new laws; reversals of harmful policies and practices; and accountability for leaders at local, state and national levels.

Investigative journalism requires a great deal of time and resources, and many newsrooms can no longer afford to take on this kind of deep-dive reporting. As a nonprofit, ProPublica’s work is powered primarily through donations. The vast bulk of the money we spend goes directly into world-class, award-winning journalism. We are committed to uncovering the truth, no matter how long it takes or how much it costs, and we practice transparent financial reporting so donors know how their dollars are spent.

ProPublica was founded in 2007-2008 with the belief that investigative journalism is critical to our democracy. Our staff remains dedicated to carrying forward the important work of exposing corruption, informing the public about complex issues, and using the power of investigative journalism to spur reform.

So visit ProPublica's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And finally, check out their video explaining what they do and why they do it:

Spotlight on Youth Pride Inc.

Youth Pride Inc. (YPI)

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have Youth Pride Inc., nominated by donor melissa745. They offer a safe space for LGBTQQ young people.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

Youth Pride Inc.

History

YPI started as a support group of the YWCA of Greater Rhode Island in December of 1992. In the middle of a snowstorm, four youth and an adult facilitator held their first meeting at Brown University’s Sarah Doyle Women’s Center. They shared their experiences, built community and named themselves, “The Way Out.” This small weekly group grew quickly soon overtaking the Women Center’s living room, with dozens of young people sitting on laps, tables and every part of the floor. In order to meet the needs of this rapidly growing group, “The Way Out” became Youth Pride, Inc, (YPI) and received its own tax-exempt status as a not-for-profit organization in 1994.

Our Mission

Youth Pride, Inc. is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of youth and young adults impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expression while working to end the homophobic and transphobic environments in which they live, work and play.

Our Statement of Values

  • LEADERSHIP: YPI is committed to creating the leaders of today. Youth voices drive our process, and we seek to develop the leadership skills necessary both within the organization and outside of it.
  • AFFIRMATION: YPI believes all youth must be affirmed for who they are and how they express themselves. We are committed to making that a reality in all of the environments in which young people live.
  • COMMUNITY: YPI believes building strong connections is essential to youth success and empowerment. We strive to create a caring, respectful and diverse community of young people and adults.

So visit Youth Pride Inc.'s page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And finally, check out this video about them:

Congrats to July winner, RAICES!

Charitocracy's 23rd check: to RAICES for $1375

First, a general update

We're back above 200 donors. Our monthly pot is over $1300. We just received a really generous double-employer-matched donation earmarked to attract new donors. So all is well! But we have our work cut out for us coming up with a marketing message that'll translate into more donor sign-ups. If you have ideas, give us a yell!

As always, you can help us grow organically (i.e. for free!) by joining yourself or convincing someone you love. It would be great to get our August prize closer to $1500, and to chart new territory with our donor count!

July 2018 winner: RAICES

A couple days ago we voted in Charitocracy's 23rd monthly winner. Congratulations to RAICES! They've been working especially hard lately to reunite immigrant children with their families at our borders. Also big congrats to donor TdotWING, who nominated RAICES just last month. She's the first member of Charitocracy's 3-timer club!

You have a week to further sweeten the pot with a special one-time donation of any amount, which we'll add straight to the check we write to RAICES next week.

RAICES is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas.

Founded in 1986 as the Refugee Aid Project by community activists in South Texas, RAICES has grown to be the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. With offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, RAICES is a frontline organization in the roiling debate about immigration and immigrants in the world.

As an organization that combines expertise developed from the daily practice of immigration law with a deep commitment to advocacy, RAICES is unique among immigration organizations. A diverse staff of 130 attorneys, legal assistants, and support staff provide consultations, direct legal services, representation, assistance and advocacy to communities in Texas and to clients after they leave the state.

In 2017, RAICES staff closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client. Our advocacy and commitment to change are driven by the clients and families we serve every day as our attorneys and legal assistants provide legal advocacy and representation in an immigration system that breaks apart families and leaves millions without pathways to legal status.

Check out this thank you video from RAICES, and feel good about your part in our collective $1375+ grant to help with their work!

Have a great August and log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

Spotlight on Mission 22

Mission 22

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have Mission 22, nominated by donor emily0153. They’re fighting the war against veteran suicide.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

According to a Department of Veterans Affairs study, each day over 20 veterans take their own lives. But together we can win the war against veteran suicide. Join Mission 22 to let our vets know that they have an army behind them. Your donation dollars assist us in getting veterans treatment when they need it the most, right now.

Elder Heart is the 501(c)(3) behind Mission 22. Its Board of Directors is comprised of Special Forces operators Magnus Johnson and Mike Kissel and Infantryman Brad Hubbard. Because of their personal battles with PTSD and TBI they have made it their mission to raise awareness, enlist support, and end veteran suicide in America.

So visit the Mission 22's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And finally, check out their video:

Spotlight on Pan-Mass Challenge

Pan-Mass Challenge

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have the Pan-Mass Challenge, nominated by donor Jenn. This annual cycling event raises funds for Dana-Farber cancer research.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

Mission

The Pan-Mass Challenge raises money for life-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through an annual bike-a-thon that crosses the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Since its founding in 1980, the PMC has successfully melded support from committed cyclists, volunteers, corporate sponsors and individual contributors. All are essential to the PMC's goal and model: to attain maximum fundraising efficiency while increasing its annual gift. Our hope and aspiration is to provide Dana-Farber's doctors and researchers with the necessary resources to discover cures for all cancers.

History

Established by Billy Starr in 1980 and under his direction, the PMC has grown considerably and consistently from its modest beginnings into an event that draws 6,000 cyclists from 41 states and seven countries. Today, the Pan-Mass Challenge raises more money than any other athletic fundraising event in the country. The PMC generates more than 50% of the Jimmy Fund's annual revenue and it is Dana-Farber's single largest contributor. Over the past 38 years, PMC cyclists have ridden to raise and contribute $598 million to cancer research.

The now nationally recognized PMC is a tribute to Starr's unending desire to achieve, make a difference, and raise money for cancer research. It is also a model for all athletic fundraising events, setting the pace for a now $5 billion industry.

So visit the Pan-Mass Challenge's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And finally, check out their video of shots from 2017’s PMC:

Spotlight on RAICES

RAICES - Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have RAICES, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services nominated by donor TdotWING. They’re working today to #ReuniteEveryChild.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

RAICES is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas.

Founded in 1986 as the Refugee Aid Project by community activists in South Texas, RAICES has grown to be the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. With offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, RAICES is a frontline organization in the roiling debate about immigration and immigrants in the world.

As an organization that combines expertise developed from the daily practice of immigration law with a deep commitment to advocacy, RAICES is unique among immigration organizations. A diverse staff of 130 attorneys, legal assistants, and support staff provide consultations, direct legal services, representation, assistance and advocacy to communities in Texas and to clients after they leave the state.

In 2017, RAICES staff closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client. Our advocacy and commitment to change are driven by the clients and families we serve every day as our attorneys and legal assistants provide legal advocacy and representation in an immigration system that breaks apart families and leaves millions without pathways to legal status.

So visit RAICES's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And finally, check out their overview video:

Congrats to June winner, Together We Rise!

Charitocracy's 22nd check: to Together We Rise for $1237

First, where in the world is Benj?!

Hopefully you noticed the “Back Soon!” message posted across Charitocracy’s social media. I’m not due to return from Brazil until the 15th. But I don’t want to put the 3 newly nominated causes (yay!) at any disadvantage. I’ll try everything to blog about them prior to July’s Top 10 selection. So I’ve climbed to the top of an observation tower, rising up above the rainforest canopy. Here I’ve found a somewhat reliable cell signal emanating from nearby village Novo Airão on the Rio Negro tributary to the Amazon river. This should work!

No usual Charitocracy check image yet, since that requires my MacBook back home. But hopefully the rainforest/river placeholder will suffice in the meantime! It might sound cliché. But this vacation has been a great opportunity for me to reflect on what truly matters. [Amazon photo now pushed down here since I've replaced it with the intended check image!]

Amazon

June 2018 winner: Together We Rise

10 days ago we voted in Charitocracy's 22nd monthly winner. Congratulations to Together We Rise! Also congrats to donor SuZQ, whose personal testimony helped this cause rise quickly to #1.

Every day, 1200 kids enter foster care in the United States. We are a non-profit that changes the way they experience the system.

Together We Rise is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization comprised of motivated young adults and former foster youth. Our vision is to improve the lives of foster children in America, who often find themselves forgotten and neglected by the public. We collaborate with community partners to bring resources to foster youth and use service-learning activities to educate volunteers on issues surrounding the foster care system.

TWR works with hundreds of foster agencies, social workers, CASA advocates, and other partners to bring our programs to foster youth across the nation. Our foundation has allowed us to provide thousands of foster youth across the country with new bicycles, college supplies, and suitcases so that children do not have to travel from home to home with their belongings in a trash bag.

Check out this video about Together We Rise, and feel good about your part in our collective $1237 grant to help with their work!

Have a great July and log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

Spotlight on the You Rock Foundation

The You Rock Foundation

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have the You Rock Foundation nominated by donor misadowling. These rock musicians share their stories to spread awareness and help battle stigmas attached to mental illness.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

ABOUT THE YOU ROCK FOUNDATION

It's estimated that nearly twenty million people are affected by depression in the United States. Left untreated, depression can lead to feelings of hopelessness, decreased neurological function, interpersonal isolation, and loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed. Depression remains the largest perpetuator of suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death amongst adolescents ages fifteen to twenty four and the second leading cause of death in college students.

The You Rock Foundation was created to serve as a safe haven for those who have suffered or are currently suffering. Using music as a backdrop, You Rock seeks to pull those suffering out of the dark and show them the possibilities of moving forward with life.

OUR GOALS

SPREAD AWARENESS - Using popular bands and artists as a catalyst for communication.
EDUCATE - Battling stigmas, ignorance, and embracing acceptance.
EMPOWER - Giving everyone the power to choose through sharing and inspiration.
THRIVE - Seeking hope and positive actions to live a life that rocks.

So visit the You Rock Foundation's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And finally, check out their 2017 overview video:

Congrats to May winner, Sky’s the Limit Fund!

Charitocracy's 21st check: to Sky's the Limit Fund for $1114

First, a general update

The Charitocracy board has been talking a lot about catalyzing growth. We've experimented with advertising, hopefully converging on something that works. If this is your wheelhouse, we welcome your advice! We have corporate matching funds we intend to use to grow our donor base. But the learning curve is... significant.

As always, you can help us grow organically (i.e. for free!) by joining yourself or convincing someone you love. It would be great to get our June prize closer to $1200, and our active donors above 200!

May 2018 winner: Sky's the Limit Fund

Thursday night we voted in Charitocracy's 21st monthly winner. Congratulations to Sky's the Limit Fund! Also congrats to donor obxlisa, whose family has been personally touched by this charity, for nominating it! This is obxlisa's 2nd winning nomination! I would welcome her to the two-timers club, but that sounds weird. So instead I'll encourage her to become founding member of the three-timers club!

You have a week to further sweeten the pot with a special one-time donation of any amount, which we'll add straight to the check we write to STLF next week.

Mission

The mission of Sky’s the Limit Fund (STLF) is to transform the lives of youth in crisis by providing grants, support, and hope through wilderness therapy programs and beyond.

Vision

Our vision is for youth to achieve their full potential as healthy and valued members of society.

Why Wilderness Therapy

Wilderness therapy programs use the wilderness as a tool to quickly and effectively impact students at risk. Experiential in nature, emotional growth wilderness programs provide struggling youth an opportunity to challenge themselves physically and emotionally while exploring the unhealthy behaviors that have prevented them from making progress in their lives. The wilderness program environment provides a supportive, non-judgmental arena in which students can process their limiting beliefs and core issues, and begin to view themselves and their abilities from a different perspective. The challenges inherent in a wilderness setting provide daily success experiences which serve to challenge old, negative beliefs and lead to new, more positive self-perceptions.

Check out this video about Sky's the Limit Fund, and feel good about your part in our collective $1114+ grant to help with their work!

Have a great June and log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

Stop the presses!

Wait, no, don't stop! Keep that press cranking!

The first Charitocracy article ever, printed in actual ink no less, appears in the new issue of North Beach Sun. This is a quarterly magazine for locals and tourists in the Outer Banks of North Carolina where we live. We made it into the summer edition, their most widely read of the year for a beach magazine, I have to imagine?

On any given Friday on the Outer Banks, you can stroll into Waveriders Coffee, Deli & Pub in Nags Head to find local Benj Lipchak tucked away near the corner of the cafe, sitting in what he refers to as "the comfy chair" -- a cushiony throne complete with beige upholstery and two oversized arm rests that can double as small desks. Amidst coffee enthusiasts and nine-to-fivers on their lunch breaks, the young entrepreneur works tirelessly on his graduate school project turned passion: Charitocracy.

We were honored to have an editor of the local First Flight High School's Nighthawk News tell our story for North Beach Sun. Arabella Saunders expertly captures who we are and what we're all about. And Kati Wilkins's photo puts us right in our natural habitat. Waveriders is where Charitocracy makes its giant leaps of forward progress each Friday.

Thanks to Amelia Boldaji, editor of North Beach Sun, for running into me months ago at Waveriders, being curious enough to ask about Charitocracy, and make this story happen. She also encourages me to drink beer after a certain hour. You can probably imagine my violent protests.

@ Waveriders, Benj far left: the young entrepreneur