Charities: Relationary’s Pick

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Right now I am starting my own business and the issue of doing something larger than my narrow business plan became an issue.  I made the decision that I would practice charitable giving, but I also decided that giving to one charity was not enough.  There are several issues at several levels I felt needed support.  I will be placing donation icons on my blog and on my company website. What follows are the charities I’ve decided to contribute to and what they say about themselves.  They are not always restrained.

Rights and Freedoms

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Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights to be respected and protected for everyone.

We believe human rights abuses anywhere are the concern of people everywhere.

So, outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world, we work to improve people’s lives through campaigning and international solidarity.

Our mission is to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice  for those whose rights have been violated.

Our members and supporters exert influence on governments, political bodies, companies and intergovernmental groups.

Activists take up human rights issues by mobilizing public pressure through mass demonstrations, vigils and direct lobbying as well as online and offline campaigning.

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Healthy Communities

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Global Impact member charities touch 400 million lives each year in virtually every developing country in the world, through disaster relief, education, health training and economic programs that promote self-sufficiency, strengthen communities and offer hope.

Global Impact raises funds for more than 50 of the most respected U.S.-based international relief and development charities. Each member charity is recertified yearly to ensure it is upholding Global Impact membership criteria.

Workplace Giving

A workplace giving campaign is an annual, employer-sponsored program that offers employees the opportunity to make a charitable contribution through payroll deduction.

Every year, Global Impact raises funds for its more than 50 international relief and development member charities in nearly 600 campaigns worldwide.

Companies and employees value Global Impact as a giving option because Global Impact appeals to diverse giving interests and helps achieve global philanthropic objectives.

How it Works

Campaign participants complete a short pledge form indicating the charities of their choice. Many campaigns offer hundreds of choices so that employees can give to the charities and causes they support.

Campaign season typically begins with a kickoff event where employees can:

  • Learn about participating charities and their programs;
  • Meet with field workers and hear success stories; and
  • Discover the variety of giving options available through their workplace campaign.

Why International Contributions are Important

  • According to Giving USA, international giving is the fastest growing sector of giving. As the world becomes more connected, Americans are choosing to respond individually to the critical need for help.
  • Nearly 1 billion people worldwide are unable to read a book or sign their name.
    At least 1.4 million children die every year because they lack access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.
  • Every night, 800 million people—300 million of the children—go to bed hungry.

The U.S. Government’s humanitarian foreign aid amounts to less than 1 percent of the federal budget—only a fraction of what people think is spent. It is your support that allows Global Impact member charities to help the poorest people on Earth.

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Fresh Air

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We are the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 77 national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent.

With over 2 million members and supporters around the world, we campaign on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues.

We challenge the current model of economic and corporate globalization , and promote solutions that will help to create environmentally sustainable and socially just societies.

Our decentralized and democratic structure allows all member groups to participate in decision-making. We strive for gender equity in all of our campaigns and structures.

Our international positions are informed and strengthened by our work with communities, and our alliances with indigenous peoples, farmers’ movements, trade unions, human rights groups and others.

community testimonies… where the people speak out

Across the world, communities are affected by the pressing environmental problems of our day. All too often, it’s big business, governments, and even large NGOs that have the loudest voice.

The communities who have to live with the consequences of these environmental issues can struggle to get their opinions heard.

We’re trying to redress that balance, by letting the people speak for themselves. Check out these testimonies produced by Friends of the Earth groups and allied organisations around the world.

Climate Justice Assembly Declaration

At this year’s World Social Forum in Brazil, Friends of the Earth International supported and participated in several events on climate justice, plantations and food sovereignty. The allowed social movements and civil society organizations opposed to a world dominated by capital to debate just and sustainable alternatives. Below is the statement on climate justice produced in one of the workshops.

No to neoliberal illusions, yes to people’s solutions!

For centuries, productivity and industrial capitalism have been destroying our cultures, exploiting our labor and poisoning our environment.

Now, with the climate crisis, the Earth is saying “enough”!

Once again, the people who created the problem are telling us that they also have the solutions: carbon trading, so-called “clean coal”, more nuclear power, agrofuels, even a “green new deal”. But these are not real solutions, they are neoliberal illusions. It is time to move beyond these illusions.

Real solutions to the climate crisis are being built by those who have always protected the Earth and by those who fight every day to defend their environment and living conditions. We need to globalize these solutions.

For us, the struggles for climate justice and social justice are one and the same. It is the struggle for territories, land, forests and water, for agrarian and urban reform, food and energy sovereignty, for women’s and worker’s rights. It is the fight for equality and justice for indigenous peoples, for peoples of the global South, for the redistribution of wealth
and for the recognition of the historical ecological debt owed by the North.

Against the disembodied, market-driven interests of the global elite and the dominant development model based on never-ending growth and consumption, the climate justice movement will reclaim the commons, and put social and economic realities at the heart of our struggle against climate change.

We call on everyone –  workers, farmers, fishermen, students, youth, women, indigenous peoples, and all concerned humans from the South and the North – to join in this common struggle to build the real solutions to the climate crisis for the future of our planet, our societies, and our cultures. Together, we are building a movement for climate justice.

We support the mobilizations against the G20 summit and on the global crisis from March 28th to April 4th, and the April 17th mobilization of La Via Campesina.

We support the call for an International Day of Action in Defense of Mother Earth and Indigenous Rights on October 12th, 2009.

We call for mobilization and action everywhere leading up to, during and beyond the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, especially on the Global Day of Action on December 12th, 2009.

In all of our work, we will expose the false solutions, raise the voices of the South, defend human rights, and strengthen our solidarity in the fight for climate justice. If we make the right choices, we can build a better world for everyone.

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Pure Water

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ORCA is dedicated to the protection and restoration of marine ecosystems and the species they sustain through the development of innovative technologies and science based conservation action.

With support from the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research, the organization is using the latest technologies to develop high tech sensors and communication systems capable of detecting the presence of certain plants, animals and other factors important in evaluating water quality. Such systems will report back to scientists and resource managers, so better solutions can be implemented against threats to healthy marine ecosystems.

The Ocean Research & Conservation Association is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to the study and protection of marine ecosystems and the species they sustain through the development of innovative technologies, science based conservation action and public education. The organization operates from its Duerr Laboratory for Marine Conservation housed in the historic Ft. Pierce Inlet coast guard station, operated by the Indian River Community College.

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Sustainable Earth

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Earthwatch Institute is an international non-profit organization that brings science to life for people concerned about the Earth’s future. Founded in 1971, Earthwatch supports scientific field research by offering volunteers the opportunity to join research teams around the world. This unique model is creating a systematic change in how the public views science and its role in environmental sustainability.

Today, Earthwatch recruits close to 4,000 volunteers every year to collect field data in the areas of rainforest ecology, wildlife conservation, marine science, archaeology, and more. Through this process, we educate, inspire, and involve a diversity of people, who actively contribute to conserving our planet.

Currently raising approximately $15 million a year from the generosity of institutions, individuals, governments and corporations, Earthwatch has a global reach. Earthwatch is supported by more than 150 staff, located in our headquarters in Maynard, Massachusetts, as well as in offices in Oxford, England, Melbourne, Australia, and Tokyo, Japan.

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Abundant Life

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The Earth is at a critical point where the decisions and actions taken by one species –  ours – will determine the future of all life.

In order to survive and prosper, we must urgently change our course. We must ensure a healthy planet where people and nature thrive in a stable environment, now and for generations to come.

The only way to ensure this is to preserve biodiversity, the places they live, and reduce humanity’s impact – our footprint – on their natural habitats. This work must start right now.

The need for decisive action NOW

The diversity of life on Earth is not simply something to marvel over – it’s also vital for our own health and livelihoods.

Plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms form a complex, interconnected web of ecosystems and habitats that provides our life support system.

They give us clean water, breathable air, food, medicine, energy, and more. We simply cannot survive without them.

There’s a problem though.

People are already using nearly 30% more natural resources than the Earth can replenish and our activities are drastically changing the planet’s climate.

As a result, biodiversity is under threat – and the life support system is starting to break down.

Millions of people are already feeling the consequences. Around the world, in rich and poor countries alike, people are facing uncertainties over food security and water availability, and increased vulnerability to natural disasters and diseases.

Things will get much worse if we keep going the same way.

Under a business-as-usual scenario, by 2050 people are predicted to be using twice as many natural resources than the Earth can replenish.

If this happens, exhaustion of natural resources and large-scale ecosystem collapse become increasingly likely.

Business-as-usual will also lead to dangerous climate change, further threatening biodiversity as well as people.

WWF’s response – its work

WWF has embarked on a bold and innovative approach to tackle this enormous challenge in cooperation with our many diverse partners.

Our global conservation framework is a science-based plan, a detailed way forward for catalyzing change on a large scale.

  • It uniquely combines traditional conservation with work to address the global dynamics driving biodiversity loss and humanity’s unsustainable use of natural resources.
  • It focuses efforts on the most important places, species, and issues, and integrates this work to offer local and global solutions.
  • It also taps into the enormous power we all have – as consumers, local community members, landowners, politicians, policy makers, business and industry leaders, development and conservation workers, farmers, and fishers

…to protect biodiversity and steer the world towards sustainability.

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Creative Wealth

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Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization

We work to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in “the commons” — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing.

CC provides free, easy-to-use legal tools

Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The Creative Commons licenses enable people to easily change their copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”

Some Rights Reserved

Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright and the public domain. From all rights reserved to no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while allowing certain uses of your work — a “some rights reserved” copyright.

CC Licenses work alongside copyright

Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright, so you can modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs. We’ve collaborated with intellectual property experts all around the world to ensure that our licenses work globally.

Our other legal tools and resources

For those creators wishing to opt out of the copyright altogether, Creative Commons helps them do so by providing tools that allow you to place your work as squarely as possible within the public domain — a “no rights reserved” alternative to copyright.

Your Support

Creative Commons today is alive and thriving thanks to the generous and continued support of people like you. Spread the word about CC to your friends and family or donate and help build the commons.

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