Nonprofits

8th January 2016        Holiday Giving, Nonprofits     ,     No comments yet

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to ten causes in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During December and January, each team member will be blogging about their chosen nonprofit. For her gift, Paula chose St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

According to The American Childhood Cancer Organization, there are an estimated 15,780 children in the U.S. between the ages of birth and 19-years old who are diagnosed with cancer each year. Globally more than 250,000 children are diagnosed with the disease each year. Thanks to treatment advances, survival rates for many types of childhood cancer have improved. However, for too many kids cancer will shorten their lives. Cancer remains the most common cause of death by disease for children in America.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital works hard to be at the cutting-edge of the latest medicine and research in fighting life-threatening pediatric diseases, such as cancer. The greatest thing St. Jude’s does is shield families from the expense of treatment. St. Jude says that “families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.”  St. Jude does accept insurance; however, many services provided by St. Jude have never been covered by insurance, and will not be in the future.

St. Jude treats some of the toughest cases of childhood cancer. They also have the world’s best survival rates for some of the most aggressive cancers.

I have a soft spot in my heart for children. I wish all children could live with peace, love, security, food, and health. I want them to be able to just be kids and enjoy that period of their lives. Many years ago, I volunteered for Make-A-Wish Foundation. But I’ve always been drawn to St. Jude for all the good work they do. It costs $2 million a day to operate St. Jude, and 75% of the funds to cover those costs come from public donations. If the contribution in my name will can help save a life and ease the financial burden for parents who need to be strong for their children, it makes me sincerely happy.

7th January 2016        Holiday Giving, Nonprofits     ,     No comments yet

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to ten causes in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During December and January, each team member will be blogging about their chosen nonprofit. For his gift, Doug chose the American University of Foundation's undergraduate scholarship program.

Although a client of ours, my choice is not connected with a desire for continued business. Rather, because they are a client, I’ve learned first hand what AUN does and the vital role the faculty, staff and students play introducing a modicum of hope and civility to a part of the country that has little of both.

All lives certainly matter, and there is no shortage these days of lives in peril. There is also no shortage of people willing to help, as we’ve seen most notably in Europe, where hundreds of thousands of Syrian and other refugees have been welcomed with mostly open arms. Many here in the U.S. would gladly welcome more refugees here. But many will not welcome them, and have turned their suspicions on the foreign born already living here.

Most people in the world aren’t looking to immigrate and, as a practical matter, can’t. That’s why it’s important to provide help where they live. I recall reading that the poorer northern part of Nigeria has been that way for many decades. It is largely Muslim, where the south is largely Christian. I hope this isn’t a permanent division of central government attention and resources. A new government has recently come to power, and the leadership would be wise to treat the north more fairly.

The terrorist group Boko Haram, which wages violence against western education and other values, has wreaked havoc on the people of the region, burning schools, churches and, counter intuitively, mosques, driving people from their homes and farms. It will take years to recover—longer in the absence of international assistance. And the bad guys will be ready to creep back. They thrive on ignorance and anger.

That’s why I’m helping, and hope others will too. AUN is a highly credible institution, which I’m confident will spend the money in a responsible way.

I wish I had resources like the American philanthropist who recently announced he’d provide scholarships for more than 20 young female students. The students somehow managed to escape from Boko Haram. I don’t have such resources, but what I can give will mingle with gifts from other people like me. Together, we can make a very positive difference, as AUN produces a new generation of leaders who represent the best chance yet of reversing decades of deprivation.

Yes, a Nigeria in chaos would be very bad for Africa and for the rest of the world. I worry about this but what I alone do will not affect what happens. What I can do is try and help equip maybe one person who will commit his or her life to making things better. Depending on the beneficiary, this could turn out to mean a great deal.

 


This month, we highlight the Academy of Hope, a local nonprofit organization, which focuses on providing basic education to the marginalized adult populations of the Washington, D.C. area.

Academy of HopeThe educational inequality between marginalized adults and the rest of the adult population is no starker than in Washington, DC, where one-third of adults are considered illiterate and one-in-five lack a high school diploma. Thirty years ago, two teachers, Maria Hilfiker and Gayle Boss, set out to take the first steps toward breaking the cycle of poverty that has flourished in the Washington, DC region in large part due to the lack of access to education and opportunity to learn basic life skills. The teachers founded the Academy of Hope with a vision to change lives and improve communities by providing high-quality basic education to adult learners.

The academy provides a continuum of services ranging from adult basic education to workplace skills and literacy training programs. Academy of Hope programs are accessible to adults with limited financial resources. Students can volunteer in exchange for enrollment or pay a $30 fee per semester.

AOH students are empowered to continue their education after completing these programs, with some 60% of graduates attending college, vocational training or other higher education. Since its founding in 1985, AOH has helped 6,000 adults improve basic reading, writing, math and computer skills.

AOH has made significant progress toward improving the educational opportunities available to adults, who in turn are more likely to become invested in their children’s education and future. 53% of parents who participated in AOH’s programs say that they are more involved in their children’s education.  AOH believes that parental involvement in their children’s education is a crucial first step towards breaking the cycle of poverty.  The need for adult education programs is still as important today as it was 30 years ago.

To learn more about the about the important programs offered by Academy of Hope, visit their website.

30th June 2014        Nonprofit of the Month, Nonprofits     No comments yet

This month we turn our non-profit spotlight on Franklin, Massachusetts-based Horace Mann Education Associates (HMEA).hmea

HMEA’s highly skilled and caring staff provide a wide array of services for people with disabilities; from educational programs for toddlers to young adults, housing and everyday living support, to employment and habilitation programs.

HMEA provides services to nearly 4,000 people in 110 communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These services help meet the range of needs for people with disabilities that they may not otherwise receive. They work to promote the values, dreams, and potential of people with disabilities through education, support and life experience.

While their services are truly impressive, their accomplishments demonstrate how they are fulfilling their mission. HMEA’s Early Intervention program works with children newly diagnosed with Autism, Pervasive Development Disorder or other Autism Spectrum Disorders to provide intensive educational services in home and in the community. This also helps families understand the needs of the children. Their Day Habilitation programs provide services that promote individuality, self-reliance, and self-support by helping people determine their interested skill areas and becoming more involved with the community. Day Habilitation programs provide on-site nursing, speech language therapy, and physical or occupational therapy.

They also put the people they serve to work, helping them learn valuable job and life skills. HMEA operates several redemption and recycling centers and operates a landscaping service. They also partner with companies large and small to provide a wide range of employment opportunities in the community for individuals with disabilities.

In addition, HMEA has started its own consulting service, Cloud For Causes, which provides cost-effective IT services to other area non-profits as a way to defray overhead expenses and maximize the amount of funding available for direct services.

To learn more about all the great things HMEA is doing for people of all ages with developmental disabilities, visit their website or, better yet, check out their new video.

30th April 2014        Nonprofits     No comments yet

Each year we make a commitment to donate time, expertise and resources to nonprofit organizations because as a company, and as individuals, we believe it is important to give back to the local communities in which we work, as well as to the broader global community. This monthly blog series will shine the spotlight on some of the nonprofits that we admire and to kick it off, we would like to highlight the excellent work of “e” inc.

einc logo

Founded in 2002 in Boston, Massachusetts, their purpose is to foster a deep understanding of environmental protection, natural resources, and sustainability in both children and adults. They have expanded exponentially to teaching 1,500 children and teens per year and work solely in under-resourced areas. ...continue reading