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The Dirty Little Secret About Joining A Nonprofit Board

There are many reasons that people join nonprofit boards. The primary motivation is to do something good for the world. But this post is about the reason that isn't discussed in polite company: "I want to join a board in order to develop business relationships."

Okay, here's the deal: If you just want to make business contacts, there are way easier ways to network than to commit to multiple hours of board and committee meetings,...

7 Tweeps I’m Now Following Thanks to the CMF Conference

Last week’s Cause Marketing Forum Conference had many benefits. But one of the best for me is that I have a bunch of new cause marketing tweeps to follow on Twitter. Here are six you’re going to love.

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Corporate Philanthropy Summit: "Citizen Philanthropy" Wins Big With DonorsChoose.org

How do you turn $790,000 into $2,014,000 via citizen philanthropy in order to benefit students in need?Charles Best, the innovative Founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org found a way. First, DonorsChoose qualified as the winner of ...

Why Play Matters More than Ever

Ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of media messages, e-mails, texts and tweets coming at you everyday, yet cut off from what gives you a deeper sense of purpose in life? Join the crowd. 

A recent Digital Lifestyle Information Survey from online content company Magnify.net reveals that most people, 64.2 percent, say the information streaming toward them has increased by more than 50 percent during the past year alone. A staggering 72.7 percent of...

Emergence Of Fair Trade Jewelry

Jewelry, perhaps more than any other object we own, has tremendous emotional, symbolic and talismanic value.  For this reason alone, fair trade really should be behind any jewelry purchase.  It makes no sense whatsoever that a wedding ring, which represents our most noble sentiments and commitments, may feature a blood diamond mounted on gold that caused twenty tons of toxic mine tailings poisoning some watershed in Peru.

Yet such a ring is being produced and possibly sold in your local jewelry...

10 best green marketing ebooks!

We're back again with our weekly ten recommendations on green ebooks!

This week I prepared a list that is inspired by the Joel Makower's excellent article Green Marketing Is Over. Let’s Move On and the heated debate that followed it. So this week I present you with my 10 recommendations on green marketing books that are available in an electronic version.

This...

I Am a Social Intrapreneur

When you’re looking for CSR work, there’s a very clear mantra that everyone repeats, day in and day out. It goes something like this:

“Real CSR jobs are few and far between. If you want to do CSR, go get a functional job within a big company and innovate from the inside out.”

In social change circles, this mantra could also be called social intrapreneurship. Unlike social entrepreneurship, where you’re starting something completely new and distinct, social intrapreneurship is all about finding ways to innovate within the...

Cancer Now Leading Cause of Death in China

Cancer is now the leading cause of death in China. Chinese Ministry of Health data implicate cancer in close to a quarter of all deaths countrywide. As is common with many countries as they industrialize, the usual plagues of poverty—infectious diseases and high infant mortality—have given way to diseases more often associated with affluence, such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. 

While this might be expected in China’s richer cities, where bicycles are fast being traded in for cars and meat...

No Margin, No Mission

How many times have we seen idealistic CEOs put their social mission before their bottom line and go out of business? Too often. There seems to be, for some, a dichotomy between serving others and implementing bottom-line business practices that can fund that service.

Before presenting our investment opportunity at Investor’s Circle Spring Venture Fair and Forum in 2010, I was assigned a wonderful liaison from Calvert Social...

Judgment Day for Wall Street?

Have you heard the “good” news?

The End of the World is nigh. Saturday, May 21 to be precise. Uh oh—that’s today! So if you feel any rumblings while reading this—my apologies. According to the co-founder of Family Radio networkthe nearly century-old Harold Camping is predicting “the Rapture” will begin this week and in five months the world as we know it will officially end.  This would be a surefire...

The Board Vector: A New Board Assessment Toolkit

If an organization and its board are not moving forward through innovation to meet changing needs in the world around us, then the organization is at risk of losing its way and its impact.

Based on my work in consulting to boards of directors, I've developed a new toolkit--The Board Vector--for boards to assess where they are and where they need to be in order to develop and sustain vibrant, high-achieving organizations. The...

The GRI Year in Review 09/10

Nope, it's not a Sustainability Report (that's due later in 2011), but it is a comprehensive summary of what the GRI has been getting up to between July 2009 and June 2010. It's the GRI Year In Review Report for 2009/2010, released today.

The 09/10 year for the GRI was quite a memorable one which included the outstanding third GRI conference in Amsterdam in May...

BRAC Is The Largest Global Anti-Poverty Organization, And It's A Secret

Founded by former Shell Oil executive Fazle Hasan Abed in 1972, BRAC reaches 138 million of the poorest people in nine countries in Asia and Africa, and recently launched in Haiti. Its mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. Its annual operating budget is half a billion dollars.

BRAC is one of the extraordinary organizations that is funded by the ...

Care2 Book Giveaway! Do You "Work On Purpose"?

I recently attended a launch party for Lara Galinsky's new career advice book Work on Purpose. Each guest was greeted with a nametag and a request to add what we wanted to be when we grew up (ok, so I wrote "architect"). As I milled around the room, I was fascinated to see what others had written: artist, writer, firefighter, ballerina, astronaut and yes, I did notice at least one other aspirational architect.

Galinsky, who had jotted "veterinarian" on her nametag, and is now senior vice president of...

WomenCorporateDirectors First Ever Global Institute: It's Just Good Business

Directors of Coca-Cola Company, Avon Products, Nestle, Calvert Group Ltd., Limited Brand, MetLife, Proctor & Gamble, Xerox Corporation, and many additional companies are among the 200 women meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss vital corporate governance topics. Issues include global scarcities in critical areas governing economic activity; complexity/risk; urbanization; changing customers around the world--from niches to global mass markets; and corporate social investing - beyond philanthropy.

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The Amazing Federal Reserve Reality TV Show

The diminutive gentleman sitting behind the enormous prop desk of the premier episode of the “The Amazing Federal Reserve” was none other than Chairman Ben Bernanke. The momentous occasion was billed as the “first press conference ever.” The unusual YouTube hour had all the staged contrivance of a tacky reality TV show. Fanfare leading up to the April 27 premier was much more exciting than the disappointing rhetoric that filled it. Like the fake reality show it is, the Federal Reserve wants...

Education Leads to Lower Fertility and Increased Prosperity

As the world continues to add close to 80 million people each year, high population growth is running up against the limits of our finite planet, threatening global economic and political stability. To stay within the bounds of the earth’s natural resources, the world’s population will have to stabilize.

The United Nations’ recently revised “medium” projection shows world population...

Donations to hungry children based on the value of donors’ favorite meals

Hot on the heels of our story about a robot fundraiser from Korea, we've now spotted an international effort taking yet another fresh approach to encouraging donations. WeFeedback is a site that asks visitors to donate the value of their favorite meal to combat world hunger.

Launched...

Compassionate "Meals for Moms" Campaign

This Mother's Day, the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) is launching its second annual "Meals for Moms"campaign to bring food and smiles to senior homebound moms. MOWAA is partnering with Gallo Family Vineyards to sponsor the event. Both groups hope the campaign will raise awareness and increase funding for food programs that fight the...

Give Your Stuff Away Day - May 14

If you’re like me, you probably have a lot of extra stuff that you no longer want, but would like to see end up in a safe new home.

This year, turn your spring cleaning into an opportunity to clean out your closet and clean up the planet. On Saturday, May 14, 2011, join me by participating in “Give Your Stuff Away Day”. It’s as simple as bringing your stuff to the curb.

“Give Your Stuff Away Day”, which Mike Morone is hoping to establish as a biannual event, is an opportunity to help millions of people during tough economic times. Simply bring your surplus (safe and...

B the change you want to see

Is shareholder capitalism broken?

Few would argue that it’s working well. Business as usual has us on a path to climate catastrophe. The housing/banking industry collapse threw the world into recession. We’ve seen Fukushima, the BP oil spill, the Massey coal mine deaths. Growing income inequality has become a persistent worry.

The conventional response to all that – indeed, the one that I share – is that smarter (though not more) regulation is needed. But a growing number of business people say the problems go deeper. 

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Water Shortages Threaten Food Future in the Arab Middle East*

Long after the political uprisings in the Middle East have subsided, many underlying challenges that are not now in the news will remain. Prominent among these are rapid population growth, spreading water shortages, and ever growing food insecurity.

In some countries, grain production is now falling as aquifers are depleted. After the Arab oil-export embargo of the 1970s, the Saudis realized that since they were heavily dependent on imported grain, they were vulnerable to a grain counter-embargo. Using oil-drilling technology, they tapped into an aquifer far below the desert to produce irrigated wheat. In a matter of years, Saudi Arabia was self-sufficient in wheat, its principal food staple.

But after more than 20 years of wheat self-sufficiency, the Saudis announced in January 2008 that this aquifer was largely depleted and they would be phasing out wheat production. Between 2007 and 2010, the wheat harvest of nearly 3 million tons dropped by more than two thirds. At this rate the Saudis likely will harvest their last wheat crop in 2012 and then be totally dependent on imported grain to feed their Canada-sized population of nearly 30 million people.

The unusually rapid phaseout of wheat farming in Saudi Arabia is due to two factors. First, in this arid country there is little farming without irrigation. Second, irrigation there depends almost entirely on a fossil aquifer, which, unlike most aquifers, does not recharge naturally from rainfall. And the desalted sea water Saudi Arabia uses to supply its cities is far too costly for irrigation use, even for the Saudis.

The Role of the Nonprofit Board: Four Simple Words

You're told that the organization is high impact in addressing a vital community issue, and that its services are cost effective. You're giving your time and money (hopefully, generously). And other people see that you're involved; they trust the organization because they trust you. Simply by serving on the board, you're vouching.

A cause you believe in. Nice people. That's great. Just one question: HOW DO YOU KNOW?...

4th Grader Teaches Restaurants How To 'Be Straw Free'

Most people might assume that elementary school kids are oblivious to issues of waste or over-consumption, but not Milo Cress of Burlington, Vermont.

When the 9-year-old learned that 500 million plastic straws (that's enough to fill 9,300 40 foot-long school busloads!) were distributed for use each day, he decided that this issue was too big to...

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