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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

Spotlight on No Evil Project

No Evil Project's Kellii: Grandmother, Bipolar, Brown-eyed

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have No Evil Project nominated by donors Alistair and Rebecca. This community photo project shows that people aren't defined by their labels. So let's welcome No Evil Project to our charity of the month club!

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 No Evil Project

Are you evil? If not, we need your help!

Unless you have a secret fortress high in the mountains and are devising nefarious plots to bring about world destruction, you can help with the No Evil Project. Everyone is different, and that's a good thing. Everyone is labeled, and despite all the stereotypes out there, you know your labels don't define you. Your combination of labels is what makes you unique.

This is a community photo project where people like you (and not like you) pick three labels that describe themselves, take photos posing as the three wise monkeys, "see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil," and write a good thing they've done to show they're not evil. (Simple, right?) The goal? To show the world that anyone can do good, no matter who they are.

So visit No Evil Project's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And finally, check out photographer/executive director Troy B. Thompson's TEDx talk:

Spotlight on Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have Leukemia & Lymphoma Society nominated by donor amrizzo01. They've invested over $1.2B in cancer research, focusing on blood cancers. So let's welcome LLS to our charity of the month club!

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: 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 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. (Hint: sometimes bigger is better.)

About Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Cancer is a heck of an opponent.

It's a bully. But we aren't afraid of a fight.
It's elusive. But our focus never fades.
It's deadly. But we are known cancer killers.

Since 1949, we've pioneered groundbreaking research that leads us to believe we will find the cures for cancer in our blood.

We were born to defeat this opponent.
We are The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Beating cancer is in our blood.

Mission

The mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Three pillars of our mission:

  • Research - LLS has invested more than $1.2 billion in cutting-edge research, funding nearly all of today's most promising advances, and bringing us closer to cures.
  • Patient Support - We provided free information, support services and financial assistance to over 30,000 people last year.
  • Policy & Advocacy - Our nationwide grassroots network of more than 100,000 volunteers advocate for state and federal policies that benefit patients.

So visit Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And finally, check out their brand new Tougher Than Cancer spot:

Congrats to April Winner, Outer Banks SPCA!

Charitocracy's 20th check: to Outer Banks SPCA for $1103

First, a general update

It's been smooth sailing this past month. Tons of paperwork completed for our nationwide registration. The pot size was up in April, even if just a bit, to cross $1100. You nominated some fantastic causes, the newest of which I'll be blogging about soon. And we're even on Instagram now!

Two things you can do today to help us at Charitocracy:

  1. Grow our donor base and monthly pot: sign yourself up or convince someone you love (or kinda like).
  2. Liven up the party: check out the activity on Charitocracy and make it less anonymous.

We'd love to get our May prize closer to $1200, and our active donors above 200!

April 2018 winner: Outer Banks SPCA

Monday night we voted in Charitocracy's 20th monthly winner. Congratulations to Outer Banks SPCA and to donor bjstager for nominating it! 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 OBX SPCA next week.

Who we are and what we do....

The Outer Banks SPCA is an open-admission animal shelter dedicated to caring for all the lost and homeless animals of Dare County. As such, we take in approximately 2,000 dogs and cats each year. We never turn away a Dare County fur resident, whether they be sick, injured, aggressive or behavior challenged. We receive owner give ups, lost, stolen or stray, but we never turn away.

Outer Banks SPCA believes it is not the animal's fault for being at the shelter. We want every healthy, treatable and manageable animal to get a second chance at love. We're dedicated and determined to saving every life we can through responsible animal care practices. We strive to maintain good health and a sound temperament in all our animals. We practice humane education and employ proactive adoption programs to decrease our animals length of stay and optimize space.

Check out this video about Outer Banks SPCA's new sidekick program, pairing experienced volunteers with hard to place dogs, and feel good about your part in our collective $1103+ grant to help with their work!

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

Show me yours, I’ll show you mine

Don't be all private like this guy. Show your face @ Charitocracy!

Was that a clickbait enough headline for a blog post about privacy at Charitocracy?

I want to highlight three things in this blog post:

  1. Your privacy settings: what they mean, and how to adjust them.
  2. The activity log: where it is and what it looks like.
  3. Call to action: loosen your privacy settings and make friends to bring the activity log to life!

Your privacy settings

Especially in today's climate of social media data privacy concerns, I want to be clear that Charitocracy respects your privacy. We don't sell it or give it away. We don't use your data in any weird or unexpected way. And finally, we don't ask for more than we need to make the web site kick ass.

If you go to My Account > Settings > Privacy, you'll see this:

Share these portions of my data with...

There are 5 categories of data:

  • Donation amounts: dollars contributed
  • Voting history: causes that have received your votes
  • Rough location: zip code as used by donor map (if supplied)
  • Friends & Giving Tree: friends list, and who invited whom to join
  • Activity log: history of donating, voting, friending, etc., with details filtered out according to your other settings above

And there are 3 privacy settings for each category:

  • Public: anyone and everyone can see it
  • Friends: only your friends on Charitocracy can see it (default)
  • No one: not even your friends can see it

By default, all categories of data are visible only to friends. And by default, you have no friends on Charitocracy. So you start with a clean slate of no data visible to others. (But what fun is that?! I have more to say on this topic in the next sections.)

Note on Friends & Giving Tree data: privacy settings for both sides of each connection are respected. So if you make your friends list public, it doesn't mean all your friends will be revealed. Only if their privacy settings are sufficiently open will others be able to see them on your friends list. So no need to worry about outing someone who may want to remain private. They're still in full control of their own data.

The activity log

On the dashboard you can see everything happening on Charitocracy. Every vote, every donation made, every profile picture updated, etc. But which details you see depends on the privacy settings of the donor who took the action (and any other donors involved in the action for things like friend or invitation acceptances).

Activity log

This is what the activity log might look like to a random user right now. Plenty going on all the time, but who's doing it?! Notice a couple early adopters have loosened their privacy settings so we can see their activity and their vote recipients. Wouldn't it be great if more of these activities had names and faces associated with them?

A call to action

After all that talk about how private your data is, now we'd like you to loosen the drawstrings and let the cat out of the bag. If you love something, set it free! Change some/all of your privacy settings to Public!

Here are reasons to make your data public:

  • Donation amounts: When others see your dollar amounts, big or small, they're more likely to give more (or more often) themselves! For once, try to be less modest.
  • Voting history: How better to hype your favorite cause than to show everyone your support for it?! And remember, this isn't a government election. There are no bad choices on the ballot to be ashamed of! Just a variety of 501(c)(3) nonprofits competing for your vote.
  • Rough location: This is just a fun way to see how far-flung (or not) other donors are. We're only talking about zip codes, or even states or countries. Street addresses aren't accepted even if you want everyone to know!
  • Friends & Giving Tree: This helps discover more friends on Charitocracy and encourages bringing more friends into Charitocracy, and in turn growing the monthly pot for our winners!
  • Activity log: This is the way to get your name and face on the activity log when you do stuff, even if you've redacted some/all of the details above. The less anonymous, the more fun and vibrant for everyone!

If some bits make you panicky and others don't, only make public what you're comfortable with. And if you don't want to share everything/anything even with friends, you can change settings to share with no one, and then feel more comfortable making friends on Charitocracy with hasty abandon. That's another way to improve the activity log: make more friends so you can at least see their stuff (still subject to "no one" privacy settings) and vice versa.

Here's looking forward to activity logs full of friendly faces and full-fledged facts and figures!

If you love something, set it free.

Spotlight on Sky’s the Limit Fund

Sky's the Limit Fund

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have Sky's the Limit Fund nominated by donor obxlisa. This charity provided a grant that helped her son attend SUWS of the Carolinas, a wilderness-based treatment center for children, adolescents, and teens struggling with autism. So let's welcome Sky's the Limit to our charity of the month club!

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: 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 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. (Hint: sometimes bigger is better.)

About Sky's the Limit Fund

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.

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.

So visit Sky's the Limit Fund's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And finally, check out this short film about STLF:

Spotlight on Homeboy Industries

Homeboy Industries Homegirl Cafe

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have Homeboy Industries nominated by donor skipshoe. So let's welcome Homeboy Industries to our charity of the month club!

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: 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 share this post and ask your friends to vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. (Hint: bigger is better.)

Let us know if there's some way we can support you in spreading the word about Charitocracy! You're our cheerleading squad. Enthusiastic, loud, repetitive. Pom-poms everywhere. Go-o-o-o-o Team Charitocracy!

About Homeboy Industries

Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community. Each year over 10,000 former gang members from across Los Angeles come through Homeboy Industries’ doors in an effort to make a positive change. They are welcomed into a community of mutual kinship, love, and a wide variety of services ranging from tattoo removal to anger management and parenting classes. Full-time employment is offered for more than 200 men and women at a time through an 18-month program that helps them re-identify who they are in the world, offers job training so they can move on from Homeboy Industries and become contributing members of the community - knowing they count!

“Homeboy Industries has been the tipping point to change the metaphors around gangs and how we deal with them in Los Angeles County. This organization has engaged the imagination of 120,000 gang members and helped them to envision an exit ramp off the 'freeway' of violence, addiction and incarceration. And the country has taken notice. We have helped more than 40 other organizations replicate elements of our service delivery model, broadening further the understanding that community trumps gang -- every time.” - Father Greg

So visit Homeboys Industries' page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And finally, check out this short film about their mission:

Congrats to March Winner, NPR!

Charitocracy's 19th check: to NPR for $1073

Update on the monthly pot size

The March pot was up from February's. One dollar. $1072 to $1073. It's moving in the right direction, and a perfect reminder that every dollar counts. "It's all about the Washingtons, baby."

I sound like a TV commercial for Save The Children or Save The Animals or something. "For less than the price of a cup of coffee..." But that's really what we're talking about: a small but regular contribution that pales in comparison to most coffee budgets, yet delivers way more. And there's also the network effect. The more donors, the bigger the pot, the more fun it is for all of us, and the bigger impact we have. (Scary thought: if you all donated coffee instead. Zzingg!)

See this blog post for ways you can help. Bottom line: convince a friend to join us!

March 2018 winner: NPR

Last night night we voted in our 7th cause of Charitocracy's 2nd year. Congratulations to NPR and to donor Maurice for nominating it! You have 1 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 NPR next week.

The NPR Mission

The mission of NPR is to work in partnership with Member Stations to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

To accomplish our mission, we produce, acquire, and distribute programming that meets the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression; we represent our members in matters of their mutual interest; and we provide satellite interconnection for the entire public radio system.

Check out this NPR Tiny Desk Concert, and feel good about your part in our collective $1073+ grant to help with their work!

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