Archive for the 'Philanthropy' category

Inclusion is a challenge all over. The Ada Initiative has resources to support women in *your* community.

Note that we haven't really reached our goal until we've hit 250 donors!
Ada Campaign Progress

Real inclusion of women in a variety of professional and public spheres in a continuing struggle. We hear a lot about this struggle in the tech sector, but it's a problem well beyond tech. The Ada Initiative has awesome resources to support women and their meaningful inclusion. You might assume that these resources are just for women in tech, but you'd be wrong. I want people in my communities -- the scientists and science communicators, the philosophers, the academics, the freelancers, the parents -- to discover, use, and support the Ada Initiative's resources.

Let me tell you why, and then I'll tell you how.

I have spent most of my life dealing with the default assumption that stuff I'm interested in -- stuff I'm passionate about -- is not for me, because I'm female. I've dealt with this in math and science, in philosophy, and online. I have dealt with harassment (in academia, online, in the wider world) that my male colleagues don't face and often don't even see when it's happening right in front of them. I have grappled with my impostor syndrome in a cultural climate where others are already doubting my competence simply because I'm female.

This state of affairs is not OK with me.This is not a situation my daughters should have to deal with.

The Ada Initiative has resources we can use to make things better.

For example:

  • The Ada Initiative has been tireless in advocating for the adoption and enforcement of conference anti-harassment policies. They offer sample language that organizations can adapt as needed, plus guidance on implementation so a well-intentioned policy doesn't become mere words on a page.
  • The Ada Initiative offers Ally Skills Workshops to teach men simple ways to make their workplaces and communities more inclusive of women.
  • The Ada Initiative offers resources and training to address impostor syndrome, that pervasive feeling so many women have, nurtured by our dominant culture, that they don't have the expertise, intelligence, or skills to do the work they are doing.

These are awesome resources for the tech and open source communities, but they're awesome resources for the rest of us, too! If you are a scientist, a philosopher, an academic, a freelancer, an educator, a parent, anyone who cares about meaningful inclusion in your profession or community, these resources are for you.

These awesome resources didn't just pop into existence, though. They are the result of the work of dedicated people and an organization focused on making meaningful inclusion of women a reality. So I'm asking you to support the Ada Initiative with a donation.

Donate Now

To encourage you to give, and to spread the word, I'm putting up two challenge grants.

Challenge #1: When donations to the "Ada Initiative for All of Us" drive reach $1000, it will unlock $500 of challenge funds. (Watch our progress on this goal!)

UPDATE: CHALLENGE #1 UNLOCKED! We've crossed the $1000 threshold!

Challenge #2: When the number of distinct donors to the "Ada Initiative for All of Us" drive reach 250, it will unlock another $500 of challenge funds.

If you can't donate, you can still help by spreading the word! Tell people in your workplace or community about the resources the Ada Initiative provides and point them to my drive.

If you can donate $128 or more, you can also score a cool sticker, pictured here!

Ada F-word sticker

Deadline to unlock the challenges and lighten my wallet by $1000 is 11 PM (Pacific Time) Friday, September 19, 2014. But, if Challenge #1 and Challenge #2 both fall much before the deadline, we may figure out a third challenge…

Edited to add:

If you are a scientist, a philosopher, an academic, a freelancer, an educator, a parent, you can use the resources that the Ada Initiative provides -- but you may not be as flush with cash as the folks in the tech sector. So, on the donation page for the "Ada Initiative for All of Us" drive, you may be freaking out a little that $128 is the lowest donation level listed.

If $128 is too rich for your budget but you still want to kick some financial support to the Ada Initiative, don't freak out! Click the radio button next to "Other amount" and fill in a donation amount that works for you -- maybe $64, or $28, or $16, or $8, or $4, or $2.

Any amount that's a tile in 2048 will do the job. We'll put them together and make something bigger. (You also can choose a dollar amount that's not a power of two. Who am I to stop you?)

And, of course, if you're tapped out, you're tapped out. Boosting the signal on the drive helps, too!

Comments are off for this post

Good strategies and bad strategies for furthering your cause.

Let's say you're a non-profit organization "dedicated to building a global community who will speak up for the ocean."

Maybe part of your strategy to make this happen is to aggregate relevant news about the ocean environment and the impacts of human activity upon it on your website.

A quick and dirty way to do this might be to scrape content from other websites.

However, the people who generated that content might object to their copyright being violated by your quick technological solution.

Given that the people writing the stories that describe the ocean environment and the impacts of human activity upon it (whether in words or in pictures) might already be sympathetic to your organizational goals, a better strategy might be to respect their copyright (and, more broadly, their intellectual and creative labor). Instead of scraping their content, and burying attribution to the actual authors or artists at the very end of the post, it might be better to quote a paragraph, link prominently to the source, seek explicit permission for use, and cultivate a network of relationships with scientists and blog readers.

It takes relatively little to get the people blogging about science (and the audiences reading them) on your side. However, being too lazy or careless to respect their work is likely to communicate that you're running one of those non-profits that plays fast and loose with important things when it suits you. Maybe those important things are proper attribution, maybe those important things are sound scientific research. If you're cutting one kind of corner, what are the odds that you're willing to cut another kind?

Don't do that. In a crowded field of nonprofits, this kind of careless behavior will make you stand out in the wrong way.

2 responses so far

DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students 2013: let's dedicate December to helping public school classrooms.

Since 2006, science bloggers have been working with DonorsChoose.org and our readers to help public school students and teachers get the resources they need to make learning come alive.

Chances are you care about science, or education, or both. Probably you're the kind of person who thinks that solid -- and engaging -- math and science education is an important resource for kids to have as they hurtle into the future and face the challenges of our modern world.

It's a resource that's getting squeezed by tight public school budgets. But as 2013 draws to a close, I invite you to do something small that can have an immediate impact.

DonorsChoose is a site where public school teachers from around the U.S. submit requests for specific needs in their classrooms — from books to science kits, overhead projectors to notebook paper, computer software to field trips — that they can’t meet with the funds they get from their schools (or from donations from their students’ families). Then donors choose which projects they’d like to fund and then kick in the money, whether it’s a little or a lot, to help a proposal become a reality.

Over the last several years, bloggers have rallied their readers to contribute what they can to help fund classroom proposals through DonorsChoose, especially proposals for projects around math and science, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, funding hundreds of classroom projects, and impacting thousands of students.

Which is great. But there are a whole lot of classrooms out there that still need help.

To create the scientifically literate world we want to live in, let’s help give these kids -- our future scientists, doctors, teachers, decision-makers, care-providers, and neighbors -- the education they deserve.

One classroom project at a time, we can make things better for these kids. Joining forces with each other people, even small contributions can make a big difference.

How to join in the fun with a challenge of your own:

1. Go to donorschoose.org

Scroll to the bottom of the page. In the second column of links from the left, right under Campaigns, click Create a registry.

2. You'll find yourself on a page that gives you several options for what kind of Giving Page you'd like to create. Click the one that says "Science Bloggers for Students".

3. Name your challenge, add a personal message if you like, and choose a "Giving Group" from the pull-down menu. Specify the kind of classroom projects you'd like to appear on your Giving Page. (If you'd rather hand-pick projects for your Giving Page, you can do that after you've saved your Giving Page customizations -- instructions are under #3 on the "Customize Your Giving Page" page.)

4. Share your Giving Page -- on your blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, wherever! Let people know about the projects you'd like to help fund, and put your dollars (and networks of information sharing) together to make it happen. Let me know you've mounted a challenge -- and give me the link to your Giving Page -- and I will publicize it here, and on Twitter, and on Facebook!

How to help as a donor:



Follow the links to your chosen blogger’s challenge on the DonorsChoose website.

Pick a project from the slate the blogger has selected. Or more than one project, if you just can’t choose. (Or, if you really can’t choose, just go with the “Give to the most urgent project” option at the top of the page.)

Donate.

Even if you can’t make a donation, you can still help! 

Spread the word about these challenges using web 2.0 social media modalities. Link your favorite blogger’s challenge page on your MySpace page, or put up a link on Facebook, or FriendFeed, or LiveJournal (or Friendster, or Xanga, or …). Tweet about it on Twitter (with the #scibloggers4students hashtag). Share it on Google +. Sharing your enthusiasm for this cause may inspire some of your contacts who do have a little money to get involved and give.

Here’s the permalink to my giving page.

Thanks in advance for your generosity.

Comments are off for this post

DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students 2012: Into the home stretch.

Since our drive began, the East Coast weathered a big storm (and is now coping with another). People have also been maybe a little preoccupied with elections.

Still, almost 300 generous readers of science blogs have so far raised $24,586 to fund classroom projects that will reach 12,907 public school students.

That's pretty impressive. But we have a couple more days to do even more good.

The drive runs through midnight Friday, Hawaii time (to be fair to Christie and all) -- that's Saturday, November 10, 6 am Eastern time.

The match code SCIENCE will be active until the very end of the drive. At last check, more than $6,000 of the available $50,000 in matching funds (from the DonorsChoose Board of Directors) have been deployed, but that still leaves more than $40,000 in matching funds on the table.

We don't want to leave that money on the table when we can use it to help pay for textbooks, microscopes, science kits, field trips, and other resources that will make learning come alive for kids in public school classrooms.

Making a donation through the drive and entering the SCIENCE match code at checkout will double each donor's contribution up to $100.

Some of you may have blown through your whole $100 match already. (I still have $30 left on my match as I try to choose where I want to put it.) Some of you haven't. To get the remainder of the matching funds on the table, we'd need the equivalent of 400 new donors each contributing $100.

A donation of $100 is not a small thing, especially for those of you who are students, or retirees, or unemployed or underemployed. So probably we want to get more than 400 people to step up and contribute what they can -- even a buck (which, with the match, becomes two bucks). And, we need to spread the word -- to family, co-workers, friends who understand how the right teacher, with the right tools, can get kids really excited about learning. If there's a teacher who made a big difference in your life, maybe this is a good excuse to track him or her down to say thanks and point out a project that we can fund by working together.

Share your enthusiasm about specific projects on Twitter, or Facebook, or G+, or FriendFeed, or your Tumblr or LiveJournal. Encourage your online friends to band together to do a bit of tangible good for kids and teachers in the three-dimensional world.

My giving page is here, but I encourage you to check out the giving pages of other Scientopians, and of science bloggers in other parts of the blogosphere.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

2 responses so far

DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students 2012: Super-storm Sandy is not going to stop us!

Gerty-Z got there first, but a good idea is a good idea.

Super-storm Sandy did major damage to the East Coast, especially New Jersey and New York City. The offices of DonorsChoose are in New York City. Their fabulous staff is safe (and mostly dry) and their computer servers are up, which means the Science Bloggers for Students drive has been operational and ready to receive your donations. However, a bunch of potential donors to the drive have probably been kind of distracted keeping their own selves safe and dry.

So, a few things we're doing about this situation.

FIRST, we're extending the drive through next Friday, November 9. This gives our East Coast compatriots who are waiting to get power back a chance to join in the fun. The dollar-for-dollar match from the DonorsChoose Board of Directors will be extended to the end (unless we blow through all $50,000 first, which would be awesome). Just enter SCIENCE in the "Match or gift code" field at checkout, and every dollar you give up to $100 will be doubled.

SECOND, I've added three projects to my giving page from hurricane affected area:

Chemistry textbooks for Thurgood Marshall Academy in New York City where students have been relying on their teacher's notes and outdated textbooks.

Inquiry-based genetics lab kits for Dr. Charles E Brimm Medical Arts High School in Camden, New Jersey, to help students get hands-on experience with modern biological techniques.

Plants and animals for ecosystem and terraria studies at Weequahic High School in Newark, New Jersey, where students are connecting their studies in biology, environmental science, and engineering to everyday issues like what's on the dinner table and how it got there.

In the event that we get these fully funded before the end of the drive, I'll add more.

THIRD, for each of these new projects that we get to full funding before the end of the drive, I will donate $25 to the American Red Cross for Sandy relief. If we get all three fully funded, I'll donate $100 to the American Red Cross for Sandy relief. If we fully fund additional Sandy-affected-area projects beyond these three, it will be an additional $25 out of my pocket to the American Red Cross for each of them.

If you hit your $100 limit on the matching funds, I know you'll lean on your family and friends who care about science education.

We can do this!

Comments are off for this post

It's not the end of the world (yet): DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students 2012 enters home stretch.

We're coming into the home stretch of our annual DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students drive:

Science Bloggers for Students: No Apocalypse in Sight (Transcript below)

And, now until the end of the drive, you can get your donations matched (up to $100 per donor) thanks to the generosity of the DonorsChoose.org Board of Directors. Just enter the match code SCIENCE in the "Match or gift code" field as you check out.

By the way, the DonorsChoose.org Board of Directors has put up $50,000 in matching funds, so once you've hit your match code limit, you might want to nudge your family, friends, and social media contacts to give to worthy projects and get their donations matched.

My giving page for the challenge is here. You can find other giving pages from Scientopia bloggers here.

Thanks in advance for your generosity!

Transcript of the video:

Today is November 1, 2012, which means that the prediction that the world would end in October of 2012? Didn't happen. Now what?

After your hard work laying in emergency supplies for the apocalypse, a new day dawns ... and there's stuff to do: dishes to wash, rabbit runs to clean, and public school classrooms that still need help getting funds for equipment, field trips, even basic classroom supplies.

Here's where DonorsChoose comes in: Pick a giving page from the Science Bloggers for Students challenge. Check out the projects and find one that matters to you. Give what you can, even if it's just a buck. And now, until the end of the drive, you can use the match code SCIENCE to double your donation, up to $100. Give a dollar, the project you're funding gets two dollars. Give $100, the project gets $200.

The world didn't end -- this time. So take this opportunity to do some good and help some kids before it does.

Comments are off for this post

Want to play BINGO?

Apropos of some of the talk around the 'tubes, it's possible that you may be in the mood for a game of BINGO.

You came to the right place.

.

These are "Blogging Science While Female" cards, but in a pinch they work pretty well in a "Being Female in Science" BINGO game.

You are invited to download the PDF here.

Or, if you'd like a set of 6 cards printed on nice card-stock, I will send you some for a donation of $1 (or more) to my DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students giving page. Just email me (dr dot freeride at gmail dot com) with the snail mail address to which you'd like them sent (and the name under which you made your donation, if it's not obvious from your email handle).

Thanks!

2 responses so far

The glorious return of DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students (plus the story of how it began).

Since 2006, science bloggers have been working with DonorsChoose.org and our readers to help public school students and teachers get the resources they need to make learning come alive. Is there an origin story for the annual Science Bloggers for Students drive? As a matter of fact*, there is:

Science Bloggers for Students Origin Story (Transcript below)

If you're reading blogs in this neighborhood of the blogosphere, chances are you care about science, or education, or both. Probably you're the kind of person who thinks that solid -- and engaging -- math and science education is an important resource for kids to have as they hurtle into the future and face the challenges of our modern world.

It's a resource that's getting squeezed by tight public school budgets. But we have the opportunity to do something small that can have an immediate impact.

This year, from October 15 through November 5, a number of science bloggers, whether networked, loosely affiliated, or proudly independent, will be teaming up with DonorsChoose in Science Bloggers for Students, a philanthropic throwdown for public schools.

DonorsChoose is a site where public school teachers from around the U.S. submit requests for specific needs in their classrooms — from books to science kits, overhead projectors to notebook paper, computer software to field trips — that they can’t meet with the funds they get from their schools (or from donations from their students’ families). Then donors choose which projects they’d like to fund and then kick in the money, whether it’s a little or a lot, to help a proposal become a reality.

Over the last several years, bloggers have rallied their readers to contribute what they can to help fund classroom proposals through DonorsChoose, especially proposals for projects around math and science, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, funding hundreds of classroom projects, and impacting thousands of students.

Which is great. But there are a whole lot of classrooms out there that still need help.

To create the scientifically literate world we want to live in, let’s help give these kids -- our future scientists, doctors, teachers, decision-makers, care-providers, and neighbors -- the education they deserve.

One classroom project at a time, we can make things better for these kids. Joining forces with each other people, even small contributions can make a big difference.

The challenge this year runs October 15 through November 5. We’re overlapping with Earth Science Week (October 14-20, 2012) and National Chemistry Week (October 21-27, 2012), a nice chance for earth science and chemistry fans to add a little philanthropy to their celebrations. There are a bunch of Scientopia bloggers mounting challenges this year (check out some of their challenge pages on our leaderboard), as well as bloggers from other networks (which you can see represented on the challenge’s motherboard). And, since today is the official kick-off, there is plenty of time for other bloggers and their readers to enter the fray!




How It Works:

Follow the links above to your chosen blogger’s challenge on the DonorsChoose website.

Pick a project from the slate the blogger has selected. Or more than one project, if you just can’t choose. (Or, if you really can’t choose, just go with the “Give to the most urgent project” option at the top of the page.)

Donate.

(If you’re the loyal reader of multiple participating blogs and you don’t want to play favorites, you can, of course, donate to multiple challenges! But you’re also allowed to play favorites.)

Sit back and watch the challenges inch towards their goals, and check the leaderboards to see how many students will be impacted by your generosity.

Even if you can’t make a donation, you can still help! 

Spread the word about these challenges using web 2.0 social media modalities. Link your favorite blogger’s challenge page on your MySpace page, or put up a link on Facebook, or FriendFeed, or LiveJournal (or Friendster, or Xanga, or …). Tweet about it on Twitter (with the #scibloggers4students hashtag). Share it on Google +. Sharing your enthusiasm for this cause may inspire some of your contacts who do have a little money to get involved and give.

Here’s the permalink to my giving page.

Thanks in advance for your generosity.

-----
*It's possible the origin story presented here is not entirely factual, but it sure is compelling! Also, it was created with less than 10% child labor!

Transcript of the video:

In 2006, a small band of science bloggers was bitten by a radioactive spider.

They soon realized their only hope was for teachers to help kids learn math and science so those kids could, some day, find a cure for the relentless tingling.

Public school teachers and students need our help. DonorsChoose gives you the great power to support the classrooms, the supplies, the projects, the field trips that matter to you.

Help Science Bloggers for Students get a generation of kids the math and science education they deserve. Thank you, and we'll see you on the web.

3 responses so far

#scibloggers4students: This is going to get me to avoid procrastination how exactly?

The DonorsChoose Board of Directors rewards your procrastination... but only if you manage to actually make a donation before the end of the drive!

The DonorsChoose.org Board of Directors is excited about the success of the ongoing Science Bloggers for Students challenge. But, between now and the end of the drive Saturday, the Board of Directors thinks we can do more to connect public school classrooms with the resources they need to make education come alive. So, to encourage you to give -- especially of you've been putting it off or letting someone else do it -- the Board of Directors is matching all donations to Science Bloggers for Students placed between the first moment of Thursday October 20th and the last moment of Saturday, October 22nd (midnight to midnight, Eastern time).
 
Here's how the match works:

  • At the end of the three day period, all dollars donated will be totaled, and the Board of Directors will match those dollars. If the donors put up $100, the Board of Directors puts up $100. If the donors put up $10,000, the Board of Directors puts up $10,000. For every dollar you give, you are soaking the DonorsChoose.org Board of Directors for a dollar! Maybe that kind of power to double your impact will help you find a few spare dollars to give.
  • The number of dollars given by the Board of Directors will be divided by the number of people who donated, and gift codes will be issued to every donor (via e-mail) for an equal share of the matching dollars. So, if 100 people donate a total of $10,000, each donor will receive a $100 DonorsChoose.org gift code.
  • Individuals will, in turn, have the chance to apply the funds to whatever classroom project they choose.

This is a great opportunity to spend someone else's money to help kids learn about electricity, or to help a biology classroom get microscopes, or to fund a field trip to a science museum (all projects you can support through my giving page) -- or to choose some other classroom project that is dear to your heart and that needs funding.
This is also a good time to show the world that Scientopia blog readers love science so much that they want to help public school classrooms get the materials and experiences in place so students can find their love of science, too. The Scientopia leaderboard is holding steady on the challenge motherboard in the number two slot, ahead of Discover Blogs and behind Freethought Blogs. With the match now in place, donations in any amount, even $10, or $5, or $1, will make a difference while giving those freethinkers something to think about.

(And remember, if you make a donation in any amount to my challenge giving page, you get to assign me a topic for a blog post. You know you want to ...)

2 responses so far

DonorsChoose #scibloggers4students: I am a donor.

When I was in school, my science teachers had the materials they needed for hands-on teaching.

Since my kids have been in school, there has never been a year where parents were not asked to provide the most basic school supplies -- even paper and pencils.

Materials for science experiments have become a luxury item -- and so has hands-on learning.

All our kids deserve better, so I AM A DONOR.

donorschoose.org/sciencebloggers

* * * * *

If you're a grown-up who's into science, chances are that some teacher or mentor-like person in your childhood did something to spark your interest, to expose you to cool experiments or patterns of scientific reasoning. Maybe it was a trip to see dinosaur skeletons at the natural history museum, or that baking soda and vinegar volcano, or the year your class grew fruit flies or silkworms. Maybe it was learning something unexpected about clouds, or about the digestive system. Maybe it was looking through a telescope for the first time, or discovering what the math you had learned was good for.

Kids today will have a better chance at having that kind of "a ha!" moment if their teachers have the materials and funds to make those moments happen.

If you can spare a little money, you can help make that happen. And, in the process, you can tell the current generation of school kids that their educational experiences matter to you. After all, these kids are going to be the scientists, doctors, engineers, teachers, voters, parents, and decision-makers of the future. What they know about science -- and how they feel about science -- will affect us all.

If you've already donated through Science Bloggers for Students, tell the world why you are a donor. Post a photo on your own blog (please drop a link in the comments), or email me a photo and I'll share it for you. I'm guessing there are even more reasons to be a donor than there are donors ... so far. (As I type this, the leaderboard shows 286 donors to the drive. By Saturday, can we bring that up to 500?)

And remember, if you donate through my giving page by the end of the drive (midnight October 22), you get to assign me a topic for a blog post!

Comments are off for this post

Older posts »