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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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Spotlight on nominee Street Medicine Institute

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Nominee Street Medicine Institute

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Street Medicine Institute, nominated by donor cperg814. They facilitate and enhance the direct provision of health care to the unsheltered homeless where they live. 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 (see social sharing icons at top of 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 nominee Street Medicine Institute

It is the VISION of the Street Medicine Institute that communities throughout the world are transformed through the delivery of Street Medicine practices designed to meet the unique needs of persons sleeping rough.

Our MISSION: Inspiring and equipping communities worldwide to provide Street Medicine services to persons experiencing rough-sleeping homelessness.

We hope to accomplish our vision through:

  • Customized, on-site consultation and training programs designed to assist communities establish or improve their own Street Medicine programs;
  • Documentation and sharing of best practices in the delivery of Street Medicine;
  • Encouragement of a global Street Medicine community primarily through the annual International Street Medicine Symposium; and,
  • Creation of service-oriented Street Medicine learning opportunities for students in the health sciences.

Our CORE VALUES: Non-profit inspiring and equipping communities worldwide to provide street medicine services to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

Go to the People – Street medicine is effective only when we meet people on their own terms in their own spaces.

Solidarity – We stand with our sisters and brothers sleeping outside, advocating for others to see them for the beloved human beings they are.

Authenticity – Being genuine, transparent, and honest allows our organization to maintain trust with people sleeping rough and the street medicine teams who care for them.

Transformative Disruption – We drive change in our communities and health care systems to achieve justice and health equity for all of us, no matter where we sleep at night.

Streets as a Classroom – People sleeping rough are our best teachers. In learning from them, we learn how to provide healing for others and ourselves.

Healing Community – In caring for people society shuns, street medicine workers can feel equally marginalized. We offer a place of refuge for people involved in street medicine globally to refuel and grow with each other.

NOTE: While the Street Medicine Institute is comprised of individuals with Street Medicine expertise, we are not engaged in the direct delivery of Street Medicine health care services. Rather, we assist and support individuals and communities wishing to start or improve a Street Medicine program.

So please visit the page of nominee Street Medicine Institute to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And please watch this inspiring video about how SMI serves as an incubator to train providers and increase capacity worldwide to serve this vulnerable and often forgotten population.

September 2022 winner The Brigid Alliance

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Charitocracy's 73rd check to September winner The Brigid Alliance for $990

We have good news about September winner The Brigid Alliance, right after this important update...

Contribute to our Endowment Fund

Most of the excitement this month involves the OBX side of Charitocracy. You may have heard we're teaming up with the local community foundation to get more of our home community involved in philanthropy. We'll utilize Charitocracy OBX to choose the winner of OBCF's $4000 grant at their October 15 40th birthday party.

But there are two upsides to all this for Charitocracy USA:

  1. The new donation bundles we offer at Charitocracy OBX include contributions to the USA pot as well. So hopefully we'll add more Charitocracy USA donors to our ranks this way!
  2. We have a shiny new endowment fund managed by OBCF. Shiny because the metaphorical bucket is brand new and not yet marred by the crush of all your hefty gold bars and dirty $100 bills. But this is an important first step toward keeping Charitocracy thriving into the future. Let's see what we can make of it!

You can change your annual donation at any time, making it bigger, smaller, or adjusting the mix between monthly pots, the new endowment, and your "tip" to Charitocracy to help us cover expenses like servers and credit card processing.

September 2022 winner The Brigid Alliance

Last night we named Charitocracy's 73rd monthly winner. Congratulations to The Brigid Alliance nominated by donor zardoz. They arrange and fund confidential, personalized travel for those seeking abortion care in increasingly hostile environments. You can find their website 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 The Brigid Alliance next week. Then feel good about your part in our collective $990+ grant to support their ongoing work.

Have a great October, and be sure to log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause! And consider investing in our future by growing our endowment!

Partnerships and Endowments and Cakes, Oh My!

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Outer Banks Community Foundation plus Charitocracy

This bit of news about our new partnership is a long time in the making, but I'm excited to finally share it!

The Partnership

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is the most important nonprofit down here in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where we set up shop and call home. Their tagline is "Connecting people who care with causes that matter." Some years ago they ran a giving circle that our family participated in. Each family would throw $250 per year into the hat, and collectively decide on which OBX nonprofits to send the money. Sound familiar?!

We are humbled here at Charitocracy that OBCF has decided to breathe life back into their giving circle in the form of Charitocracy OBX. We will continue to offer participation for as little as $1 per month, embracing Charitocracy's mission of making philanthropy accessible to everyone. That's always been a popular option, and as always, each donor gets one vote regardless of how much they donate. However, as always, a bigger donation doesn't have a louder voice at Charitocracy, but it does have a bigger impact...

So we'll also offer donation "bundles" at the $250 per year "Golden" level, familiar to past participants in OBCF's giving circle, as well as a new $100 per year "Silver" level. These bundles include monthly contributions to the OBX and USA monthly grant pots, so you can vote on both monthly grants, locally and nationally. They also include contributions to OBCF's Community Fund as well as "tips" to help offset Charitocracy's expenses. (Remember, we're an all-volunteer nonprofit ourselves, and have to pay the costs of credit card processing, servers, insurance, etc., so these tips, while optional, are very important to keep us afloat!) Finally, the bundles include contributions to our new endowment!

For Charitocracy USA donors, the default bundles don't include any OBX-specific contributions. But if you want to add some OBX to the mix, just switch over to the OBX site and sign-up or change your current donation over there instead, and the OBX bundle components will show up for you, too. Go nuts!

The Endowment

The former giving circle at OBCF just happened to have some funds left over and looking for a new home, to the tune of over $6000. As part of our partnership they're going to assign those funds over to Charitocracy! We'll be able to withdraw a small percentage annually, and use that to top off the monthly pots, cover expenses, or whatever is our biggest need in fulfilling our charitable purpose. We'll also keep track of how much of the new endowment deposits are coming from Charitocracy OBX vs. Charitocracy USA, by looking at the monthly pot contributions accompanying each endowment contribution. That way we can maintain a fair distribution of those funds back out into the OBX and national nonprofit sectors.

This is how I like to think of it: You can give $1 now, and we'll put it in the next grant check. You can give $20, and we can continue to put it into upcoming grant checks. Or you can give $20, and we can put it into the endowment, and now that becomes the same as $1 every year... forever*.

*For some rough approximation of forever, and some rough guess at how the endowment investments perform over time. But at least OBCF has been going for 40 years now and knows a thing or two about managing endowments! They hold over $22,000,000 in ~200 charitable endowments.

The Cake... and $4000!

I'm glad I got your attention. The cake is not a lie, and neither is the $4000 grant. Except it might be a bit far for many of you, spread around the country or even the world, to travel... On Saturday October 15, from 2pm to 6pm, at the Outer Banks Brewing Station, we'll be celebrating OBCF's 40th anniversary with a backyard birthday bash! Let's raise pints of our favorite cold beverages to toast the next 40 years of charitable giving in the Outer Banks! And eat cake, and take this new partnership for a spin...

We'll be hijacking Charitocracy OBX that day in order to vote on a special $4k grant from OBCF to some lucky local nonprofit with the most votes! Every OBX nonprofit nominated on Charitocracy OBX is eligible, even if they've already won in the past 12 months. And any local 501(c)(3) that needs a nomination can either join up and self-nominate the good old-fashioned way, or email scout@obcf.org before October 1st to be auto-nominated. After the event, we'll narrow to the Top 10 for the usual October grant, and it'll be back to our normal schedule. (Charitocracy USA will remain unaffected by any of these shenanigans!)

I look forward to seeing you there! In the meantime, consider logging in and switching your annual donation to one of our new pre-configured bundles, or customizing your own perfect combination of monthly pot, endowment, tip, and Community Fund contributions. Your continued generosity shouldn't surprise me any more, but it always does. Thank you. ❤️

The Outer Banks Community Foundation invites the public to its 40th Birthday Backyard Bash at the Outer Banks Brewing Station on Saturday, October 15 from 2 – 6 pm. The free event will feature live music, birthday cake, and a $4,000 grant to be awarded to one local charity by event-goers. This community grant kicks off a new partnership with Charitocracy OBX, our new, local, online giving circle, where donors pool their contributions, nominate, and vote for local nonprofits to receive grants each month.

“Our Community Foundation was built on a model of many people making modest contributions, for the betterment of the entire community,” said President and CEO Chris Sawin. “As we reflect on 40 years of giving, we are humbled by the efforts of others and inspired to do our part to position this extraordinary organization into its next 40 years of service. We are very pleased to mark this auspicious occasion by launching a new giving platform the whole community can be involved in, starting at just $1 a month.”

[Read the whole news post here on OBCF's website.]

Outer Banks Community Foundation's 40th Birthday Backyard Bash