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Benj and Jessica launched a nonprofit. Follow our journey as we built a 501(c)(3) and a web site, and now usher in an endless stream of worthy charity nominees and monthly grant winners!

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May 2020 winner Rapha International

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Charitocracy's 45th check to May winner Rapha International for $1281

We have good news about May winner Rapha International, right after this quick update...

Productivity Struggle Bus

I just wanted to make it official: I've been struggling to remain productive during this pandemic. Without my house empty during the day, and without my twice weekly escapes to my favorite coffee shop / office away from home, I'm not getting as much done. I have big plans for Charitocracy, but they're progressing slowly. I do what I can each day. I don't beat myself up about it too much. I live more in the moment, and these weeks are zipping by. I look at this as (maybe?) a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really live (and be present) full-time with my family. I'm enjoying the hell out of them. Sooner or later things will go back to "normal." I'll be firing on all cylinders again. Kicking ass, taking names, growing Charitocracy. And I bet I'll miss these stay-at-home days forever after.

May 2020 winner Rapha International

Last night we named Charitocracy's 45th monthly winner. Congratulations to Rapha International, nominated by donor MADNK, who happens to be my own dear mother. (Hi, ma!) 😘 She nominated it back in October 2017, close to 3 years ago, and it's slowly made its way to the top! In fact, as of last night it was tied with Feeding America for number of votes (22.2) AND number of voters casting at least partial votes for them (25). The next tie-breaker was number of likes, where Rapha had 26 vs. Feeding America's 24. 😲 Anyway, thanks for keeping things exciting, everyone! Rapha International work to end trafficking and sexual exploitation of kids via aftercare for survivors, prevention for the vulnerable, and awareness for all. You can find their web page here.

Now 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 Rapha.

Before you go, check out this short video explaining the work and heart of Rapha International, and feel good about your part in our collective $1281+ grant to help with their ongoing work!

Have a great June, stay safe, and be sure to log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

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Spotlight on Feeding America

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Nominee Feeding America

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Feeding America's Coronavirus Response Fund, nominated by donor zardoz. Feeding America respond to the needs of individuals struggling with food insecurity in the U.S. with a mission to end the fight against hunger. You can find their web site here.

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 (scroll down for social sharing icons) 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 nominee Feeding America

No One Can Thrive on an Empty Stomach

37 million people face hunger in the U.S. today — including more than 11 million children and nearly 5.4 million seniors. Hunger knows no boundaries — it touches every community in the U.S., including your own.

Working Together to End Hunger

The Feeding America network is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, working to connect people with food and end hunger. Donors, staff, and volunteers all play an important role in our efforts to end hunger in the United States.

Food today. Food security tomorrow.

In a country that wastes billions of pounds of food each year, it's almost shocking that anyone in America goes hungry. Yet every day, there are millions of children and adults who do not get the meals they need to thrive. We work to get nourishing food – from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers – to people in need. At the same time, we also seek to help the people we serve to build a path to a brighter, food-secure future.

For more than 40 years, Feeding America has responded to the needs of individuals struggling with food insecurity in this country. In times of uncertainty, we have not wavered from our mission to end the fight against hunger.

4 billion meals, one act of kindness at a time

When you support Feeding America, you are helping our nationwide network of food banks deliver programs at the front line of hunger. Programs like school-based food pantries, emergency disaster relief, and Kids’ Cafe.

Hunger is a complex issue.

When people face hunger, they often struggle to meet other basic needs as well — such as housing, employment and healthcare. That’s why Feeding America is committed to more than providing food for people in need.

So visit the page of nominee Feeding America to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out Hidden Hunger, their 3 minute film bringing to life the work they do and lives they impact:

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April 2020 winner Equal Justice Initiative

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Charitocracy's 44th check to April winner Equal Justice Initiative for $1284

We have good news about April winner Equal Justice Initiative, right after this quick update...

GuideStar Platinum 2020

Allow me to toot our own Charitocracy horn. We've once again earned GuideStar Platinum status. That's GuideStar's highest level of nonprofit transparency. If ever you want more information about how Charitocracy operates, don't be shy. We're happy to fill in any information gaps! We're an open book, so pick us up and read us.

GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency 2020

April 2020 winner Equal Justice Initiative

Last night we named Charitocracy's 44th monthly winner. Congratulations to Equal Justice Initiative, nominated by 3rd-time winning donors Alistair and Rebecca, the same power duo that nominated last month's winner! EJI work to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. You can find their web page here.

Now 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 Equal Justice Initiative.

Before you go, check out the trailer for film Just Mercy, based on the true story of winner Equal Justice Initiative's founder and director, Bryan Stevenson. Then, after you inevitably go rent it, feel good about your part in our collective $1284+ grant to help with their ongoing work!

Have a great May, stay safe, and be sure to log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

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Spotlight on Save The Children

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Nominee Save the Children

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Save the Children, nominated by donor Stephanie. Save the Children do whatever it takes to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. You can find their web site here.

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 (scroll down for social sharing icons) 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 nominee Save the Children

In the U.S. and around the world, Save the Children does whatever it takes — every day and in times of crisis — to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

When crisis strikes and children are most vulnerable, we are always among the first to respond and the last to leave. We ensure children's unique needs are met and their voices are heard. We deliver lasting results for millions of children, including those hardest to reach. We do whatever it takes for children — transforming their lives and the future we share — because we believe every child deserves a future.

So visit the page of nominee Save the Children to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this 30 second video about Jennifer Garner's #SaveWithStories campaign. She and fellow actor Amy Adams are raising money for Save The Children, as well as December 2019 Charitocracy winner No Kid Hungry, to make sure kids can learn and get the nutrition they need while they’re out of school due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak:

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Spotlight on Foodshare

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Nominee Foodshare

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Foodshare, nominated by donor MegaMom104. Foodshare maximize access to nutritious food and resources that support food security for Greater Hartford, CT and beyond. You can find their web site here.

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 (scroll down for social sharing icons) 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 nominee Foodshare

Foodshare is changing what it means to be a food bank.

Providing food for people who are hungry has been at the heart of who we are for 35 years. With food assistance as our cornerstone, we will continue this work for as long as there are people in need.

But hunger is bigger than food. Hunger is one piece of a patchwork of social issues and it needs solutions that deal with all sides of the causes and consequences. This is the work that lies ahead.

Collecting and distributing nearly 12 million meals worth of food each year through a network of partner programs gives us a stark understanding of the everyday realities of food insecurity.

This perspective is critical to creating a complete picture of the issue and establishing a shared foundation on which anti-hunger organizations, policy makers, and the broader community can build effective solutions.

We are under no illusions about the challenge we are embracing.

Hunger is indeed big. We believe the Foodshare community is bigger.

So visit the page of nominee Foodshare to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this 1 minute video bringing to life Foodshare's story:

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Spotlight on Equal Justice Initiative

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nominee Equal Justice Initiative

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Equal Justice Initiative, nominated by donors Alistair and Rebecca. EJI work to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect human rights. You can find their web site here.

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 (scroll down for social sharing icons) 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 nominee Equal Justice Initiative

Founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer and bestselling author of Just Mercy, EJI is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. We challenge the death penalty and excessive punishment and we provide re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people.

EJI works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment. We are committed to changing the narrative about race in America. EJI produces groundbreaking reports, an award-winning wall calendar, and short films that explore our nation’s history of racial injustice, and we recently launched an ambitious national effort to create new spaces, markers, and memorials that address the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation, which shapes many issues today.

EJI provides research and recommendations to assist advocates and policymakers in the critically important work of criminal justice reform. We publish reports, discussion guides, and other educational materials, and our staff conduct educational tours and presentations for thousands of students, teachers, faith leaders, professional associations, community groups, and international visitors every year.

So visit the page of nominee Equal Justice Initiative to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this 1 minute video featuring the cast of the 2019 film Just Mercy. It's based on the true story bestselling book of the same name by Equal Justice Initiative's founder and director, Bryan Stevenson:

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March 2020 winner RIP Medical Debt

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Charitocracy's 43rd check to March winner RIP Medical Debt for $1281

We have good news about March winner RIP Medical Debt, right after this quick update...

COVID-19

Crazy how a month ago this was a foreign concept. Coronavirus was hitting China hard, starting to spread in Europe, but still seemed a distant threat in time and space to most of us. Now it's on all our minds all day every day, and has altered nearly every aspect of our daily lives. And there's no light yet at the end of the tunnel...

I wrote a blog post last week about where to send coronavirus donations. I covered some of our Charitocracy nominees that are having a positive impact during this crisis, and called on you to consider nominating other causes that can help during the pandemic, and provided some resources to help your discover them.

If like many of us you're facing financial uncertainty during this time, please don't hesitate to reach out and I can hit the pause button on your recurring Charitocracy donations. We'll get through this together. ❤️

March 2020 winner RIP Medical Debt

Last night we named Charitocracy's 43rd monthly winner. Congratulations to RIP Medical Debt, nominated by 2nd-time winning donors Alistair and Rebecca. RIP Medical Debt empower donors to forgive the billions in oppressive medical debt at pennies on the dollar, so far $1.4 billion for ~650,000 Americans. You can find their web page here.

Now 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 RIP Medical Debt.

Before you go, check out this news footage of Nashville resident Jaclyn Jones whose medical debts have been dramatically reduced thanks to March winner RIP Medical Debt. Then feel good about your part in our collective $1281+ grant, which should eliminate over $128,000 in medical debts like Ms. Jones's!

Have a great April, be well, and be sure to log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

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Where to send coronavirus donations?

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coronavirus donations

The speed of spread of coronavirus snuck up on us in the United States. So did the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and that it afflicts young and old, healthy and sick. We're only starting to feel the economic impacts that the critically needed social distancing and home isolation will have. During the first week of March, our last open nomination period, we had no idea what was coming. So you may be wondering how Charitocracy can help channel coronavirus donations right now.

It just so happens that the March 2020 front runner is well aligned with today's needs: RIP Medical Debt. Coronavirus tests may be freely available (rationed for those with symptoms). But the care required for patients with positive test results is not free. And for those without health insurance coverage, it's just one more hardship at an already bad time. RIP Medical Debt empower donors to forgive the billions in oppressive medical debt at pennies on the dollar, so far almost $1.4 billion for ~650,000 Americans. Quite relevant right now!

Pandemic-related charity nominations

On April 1st the floodgates will reopen at Charitocracy for new nominations! There are already some great nominees at Charitocracy that are helping with the crisis. Also peruse the resources listed below for more ideas. Then during the first week of the month, feel free to nominate a new charity that's well positioned to help stop the spread of coronavirus, expedite the treatment of COVID-19, or somehow lessen the emotional, financial, or other suffering of the most vulnerable among us.

Need to pause your Charitocracy donation?

Speaking of which, if you feel like you're being hit from all sides these days, don't let us add to your burden. Charitocracy donations automatically recur annually for most of us. (There are monthly options for those who prefer!) But if your renewal comes at a bad time in the middle of this mess, I get it! Reach out and I can hit the pause button for you, or you could cancel future donations for now and resume them when you're rolling in cash again. Soon I hope! 🤞

You can find the date and amount of your next recurring donation in the "Me and My Votes" widget on the Dashboard once you're logged in. It's in the sidebar if you're on a big screen, or scroll way down on your device. Here's an example:

Charitocracy nominees worthy of your coronavirus donations

While some are recent winners and not yet eligible to receive votes again, consider donating directly to these highly relevant charities during the pandemic crisis:

  • American Red Cross: They recently won for Hurricane Dorian relief in September 2019. Now, more than anything, they need blood donations for the record number of COVID-19 patients.
  • Feeding America: Food security is more problematic than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic while more folks are out of work and children are out of school. Feeding America has launched a Coronavirus Response Fund to redouble their efforts of providing meals safely through their network of regional food banks and local food pantries.
  • Heart to Heart International: nominated on the very day Charitocracy opened shop back in September 2016, this cause hasn't won the prize yet. But they're helping slow the spread of coronavirus by distributing thousands of Hygiene Kits to local shelters, healthcare facilities, school districts, faith-based programs, food pantries, and public safety organizations. Sponsor a $10 Hygiene Kit here!
  • No Kid Hungry: This is an easy one, and our December 2019 winner. A billion kids worldwide are now out of school, where many of them usually receive meals. For some it's their only meals. No Kid Hungry is helping feed as many as possible during this pandemic. Since they just won, they won't be eligible again until next December, but you can make a donation here.
  • UNICEF: This is another long-time nominee that hasn't yet won. To date UNICEF has delivered almost 1.5 million protective items to health workers. Learn more about how they're looking out for children during this crisis.
  • World Central Kitchen: July 2019 winner, this organization responds to just about every crisis in the world, and coronavirus in no exception. They're a group of chefs creating smart solutions to hunger and poverty. You can find out how they're responding to the pandemic in the US and make a donation here.

Additional resources to discover more coronavirus charities

Whether you're looking to volunteer, donate, or nominate at Charitocracy in April, here are sites with great ideas on how you can help:

I'll update this post as more worthy recipients crop up for your coronavirus donations, or more useful resources become available. In the meantime, stay well, stay safe, and take care of each other! ❤️

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Spotlight on Clean Air Task Force

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nominee Clean Air Task Force

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Clean Air Task Force, nominated by donor Bethany. CATF push the change in technologies and policies needed to get to a zero-emissions, high-energy planet at an affordable cost. You can find their web site here.

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 (scroll down for social sharing icons) 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 nominee Clean Air Task Force

Catalyzing realistic solutions for climate change.

Our task is to reduce climate change by applying an overwhelming amount of force to some of the biggest levers to reduce carbon and other climate warming emissions.

Through technology innovation, policy change, and thought leadership, the Clean Air Task Force drives impact to prevent catastrophic climate change through realistic solutions.

CATF is a group of climate and energy experts with decades of collective knowledge and experience.

We are scientists, engineers, MBAs, policy experts, lawyers and communications professionals who achieve impact through technology innovation, policy advocacy, and thought leadership.

So visit the page of nominee Clean Air Task Force to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this 2 minute video describing CATF's approach to the challenges of climate change:

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February 2020 winner Sea Change OBX

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Charitocracy's 42nd check to February winner Sea Change OBX for $1262

We have good news about February winner Sea Change OBX, right after this quick update...

This is how you Charitocracy!

In February we had the biggest influx of new donors at Charitocracy since the first few months of our existence. 38 new donors! And most of them joined thanks to the recruiting efforts of our new nominees, the lion's share coming from, you guessed it, the winning cause. In fact, other than hurricane relief winners, no cause has gone from new nominee to winner so quickly, and only Hurricane Harvey relief has attracted more votes.

So if you have a favorite cause and a squad of friends and family who you believe will support your effort, February's winner has proven it's doable. And the beauty is that if/when your cause wins, 11 other worthy causes also benefit from your Charitocracy fundraising. So without further ado...

February 2020 winner Sea Change OBX

Last night we named Charitocracy's 42nd monthly winner. Congratulations to Sea Change OBX, nominated by donor jennagwaltney. They work directly with the Outer Banks Latino community to promote education and encourage cross-cultural understanding. You can find their web page here.

Now 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 Sea Change Partnership. ❤️ Here's how they plan to spend it:

Your donation will go towards publishing a bilingual cookbook of original OBX Latino recipes. Each recipe will include a personal narrative and a photo from the country of origin. The proceeds will sustain our ongoing programs.

Before you go, check out this video (en español) from winner Sea Change OBX, welcoming members of the community to attend their free English classes. (Expecting fewer than 30 students, they accommodated over 50!) Then feel good about your part in our collective $1262+ grant to help with their work!

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

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