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Updated: 5 years 44 weeks ago

Gay Rights Debate Consumes Boy Scouts' Facebook Page

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:12

A fierce debate over gay rights has gripped the Boy Scouts of America's Facebook profile as its leaders meet this week to decide whether to reverse their ban on gay members.

More than 4,000 replies have been sent in response to the Scouts' latest Facebook post — a simple message providing contact details for those who want to have their voice heard regarding the organization's vote.

The debate over whether to change that policy centers around a struggle between religious teachings and discrimination based on sexual preference

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Homeless People Anchor the Weather in Striking Awareness Campaign

Fri, 02/01/2013 - 21:59

It's been a very cold winter — especially for the homeless

In a new campaign called "Days of Hope," people who are homeless stand in place of TV weathermen to bring awareness to the harsh impact of the cold winter in Europe, Osocio reports. Real men and women are invited from the streets to read the weather. When they're done presenting, they can ask the audience to make donations to local charities.

The above news cast is from Romania, a similar weather program is running in Russia, and more will soon roll out in Germany, Poland and Switzerland

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Facebook Campaign Rescues 'Gay Bulldog' From Execution

Fri, 02/01/2013 - 20:32

A male bulldog was saved from execution earlier this week after a clamorous Facebook campaign jumped to its defense

According to the Daily Dot, the dog — pictured here — was returned to the Tennessee shelter where it was purchased after its owner found it snuggling over another male dog, which led her to believe it was gay.

Facebook user Jackson TN Euthanasia posted about the dog last week:

"He hunched over another male dog so his owner threw him away bc he refuses to have a ‘gay’ dog! Even if that weren't the most assinine [sic] thing I've ever heard, its still discrimination! Don't let this gorgeous dog die bc his owner is ignorant of normal dog behavior!"

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Here's How Data Can Solve the World's Most Challenging Problems

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 19:26

Swedish academic and Gapminder Foundation co-founder Hans Rosling says data doesn't always back up our conceptions about the world. In the video above, Rosling explains that our ideas about developed and developing countries largely reflect the reality of fifty years ago, rather than today

The video, The River of Myth, was released to coincide with Bill Gates' annual letter, and shares its emphasis on the power of measuring to achieve progress

Rosling begins by examining the huge gap between child mortality rates in developed and developing countries fifty years ago, in 1963. By 1990, many countries had made progress, while others, such as Ethiopia, had hardly moved. In the last decade, however, Ethiopia caught up significantly. Rosling says that the East African nation's rapid progress can be an example for the countries where child mortality rates are still crippling

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Text Messaging Brings African Voices to World Leaders at the UN

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 17:45

Text messaging is giving Africans the opportunity to make their voices heard by world leaders in a new campaign that kicked off Wednesday.

Poverty fighting organization One launched its "You Choose" pilot program in South Africa, Malawi and Zambia, hoping to give Africans from those countries a voice at the U.N. when post-2015 development goals are considered in March

The Millenium Development Goals, created to help lift the world's poorest from extreme poverty, were established in 2000 and are set to expire in 2015. As U.N. leaders gather to create a new set of goals, One hopes it can bring the priorities of the world's poorest to the negotiation tables.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

'World of Warcraft' Players Raise $2.3M for Sandy Relief

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 21:56

World of Warcraft players have raised more than $2.3 million for Hurricane Sandy victims, after embarking on a real-life quest to help with relief efforts last month.

Blizzard, the company behind WoW, announced that the funds will go toward supporting the American Red Cross' Sandy relief initiative.

Throughout December, players contributed by virtually adopting the "Cinder Kitten," available in Blizzard's pet store, for $10. For more on WoW's charitable efforts, watch the video, above

WoW players, did you purchase the Cinder Kitten? Tell us in the comments below

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Experience Human Trafficking Through MTV's Digital 'Backstory'

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:33

MTV's college station, mtvU, launched a digital experience Wednesday, created to teach students about the harsh realities of human trafficking

"The Backstory," the video experience, is the latest component of mtvU's Against Our Will campaign, which unites students in the growing movement to end modern-day slavery. The interactive site was inspired by four James Madison University students who won mtvU's Against Our Will Challenge, which calls for students to innovate with digital tools to spread awareness for modern slavery. The Backstory puts you in the position of a victim of sex trafficking or labor trafficking victim. After completing the experience, you'll learn ways to get involved with the ongoing fight to end human trafficking.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

10 Key Takeaways From Bill Gates' Annual Letter

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:53

Bill Gates' 2013 Annual Letter highlighted the power of data and measurement to help lift the world's most needy up from poverty

This year's letter was presented through an interactive experience fit with shareable quotations, embedded films and infographics. You can also view photos of Gates and his wife Melinda's work around the world, from meeting with high school students in Denver to visiting agricultural facilities in Ethiopia

"In previous annual letters, I've focused a lot on the power of innovation to reduce hunger, poverty, and disease," Gates writes, explaining this year's focus. "But any innovation — whether it's a new vaccine or an improved seed — can't have an impact unless it reaches the people who will benefit from it. That's why in this year's letter I discuss how innovations in measurement are critical to finding new, effective ways to deliver these tools and services to the clinics, family farms, and classrooms that need them."

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

'LinkedIn for Social Good' Moves Your Career Forward While Giving Back

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:32

Eight months ago, Jason Nicosia found himself at a charity event in New Orleans that was raising money for the Louisiana Technology Council by auctioning lunch meetings. At the time, Nicosia was working as a sales representative for a billing software company and recognized purchasing some facetime with high-power execs presented a great opportunity.

"These guys were my ideal clients and this was a lot easier than getting a meeting otherwise," Nicosia told Mashable. "So I took the company credit card and spent a couple thousand dollars."

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Facebook Partners With Suicide Prevention Group for Research Project

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 17:21

Facebook has announced its partnership with suicide prevention group Save.org to monitor what they're calling "suicide warning signs" posted through social media.

Essentially, the site will research the online behaviors of suicide victims in the months leading up to their deaths. The initial goal, the company said, is to provide researchers at Save with patterns to help detect potential suicides as early as possible

Renewed public interest in the issue was triggered after the apparent suicide of Internet activist Aaron Swartz on Jan. 11.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

How Social Media Can Reunite Lost Children With Their Families

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:30

In November 2011, Tony Loftis's 13-year-old daughter ran away from their suburban hometown of Wayland, Mass. She was last seen boarding a Peter Pan bus to New York from downtown Boston, and Loftis assumed she'd headed to Brooklyn where his daughter had frequently visited family

Not a stranger to social media, Loftis took it upon himself to spread word that he was looking for his daughter on email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

"We tweeted the heck out of it," Loftis told Mashable

After a few days, Loftis' story was picked up by The Huffington Post, the New York Daily News, the Boston Herald and four TV stations. On day 12, following a live TV appearance, Loftis received word his daughter had been found living with a sexual predator in Jersey City.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Internet Applauds Waiter for Defending Child With Special Needs

Thu, 01/24/2013 - 16:20

Restaurant patrons often have picky requests for waiters, like moving tables because of a draft or ordering a rare — but not too rare — steak. But those fussy needs don't compare to those of a party of four at Laurenzo's steakhouse in Houston, Texas, who told a waiter, "Special needs kids should be kept in special places."

The Laurenzo's waiter, Michael Garcia, refused to serve the party, who complained that they'd been seated next to a family with a son who has Down syndrome. The customers were moved out of his section and subsequently left the restaurant. Garcia is now being showered with love on Facebook for standing up to the insensitive customers.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Viral Campaign Lands Inspiring Kid on 'SportsCenter' Top 10 Plays

Thu, 01/24/2013 - 14:37

Owen Groesser won Twitter and SportsCenter at the same time as his improbable, inspiring sports story took the web by storm Wednesday night

Who's that, you say?

Groesser isn't some NBA rookie or NHL hotshot. He's a middle schooler with Down Syndrome, from Rochester, Mich. He's a member of his school's basketball team, but reportedly had not played a minute all season

Until Wednesday

SEE ALSO: How Facebook Inspired One Woman's Incredible 'Tough Mudder'

Coaches inserted him during the squad's final game of the season, and he made the most of his opportunity — to say the least. Owen promptly sank a pair of three-pointers to wild applause from the crowd and celebration from his teammates. One of the shots was caught on video, and that launched what would become a viral campaign to spread Owen's story far and wide

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Film Engages Millennials in Choice Dialogue on Roe v. Wade Anniversary

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 00:30

On the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's historic decision about a women's right to chose, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws is kicking off a social-focused campaign targeting millennials. NARAL released the short film 40 on Tuesday to launch its new Choice Out Loud campaign

"40 is the beginning of a dialogue with a younger generation," Jeff Martin, 40's creative director told Mashable. "We're going to have millennials be the core of the voting population in the next 15 years, and the dialogue about women's reproductive rights is a different dialogue than it's been in the past."

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Bill Gates Is Now Doing 'God's Work'

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 17:38

Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, is known to be decidedly non-religious. In an interview this weekend, he broke from his usual tune with an uncharacteristic mention of God

In an interview with UK newspaper The Telegraph, Gates addressed the consequences of his foundation's work in Pakistan. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been working for the past few years to eradicate polio, which only remains in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Pakistan, some health workers have paid with their lives for distributing the vaccine, because Islamist groups have spread a belief that the vaccine is a Western evil.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Download 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' by Newtown Students

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 13:18

Children who survived the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School have recorded a heart-melting version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" with singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson for charity.

The 21 students performed the tune with Michaelson on Good Morning America last week

SEE ALSO: Newtown Students Record 'Over the Rainbow' With Ingrid Michaelson

The song is now available to download on iTunes and Amazon. It is also available for free on Spotify, which you can listen to below.

All proceeds from the sale of the track will be donated to the United Way of Western Connecticut

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Crowdfunding for 100 Urban Gardens Across America

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 12:02

Whole Kids Foundation, PACT and Indiegogo have joined forces to create an inspiring crowdfunding initiative: building 100 urban gardens across the United States. This is the first time a non-profit, a brand and a global crowdfunding platform have partnered to help drive change in local communities around the country.

Whole Foods' non-profit arm will facilitate each grant and provide online resources, while PACT, an organic apparel company supporting global causes, will provide physical perks in exchange for donationsIndiegogo will provide the platform through which donations can be made until Feb. 28.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Obama's Gay Rights Inauguration Mention Makes History

Mon, 01/21/2013 - 15:06

Barack Obama made history Monday, when he became the first president to mention gay rights in an inaugural address. The socially progressive remark drew mixed reactions on Twitter, as some users applauded his words and other's found them out of place.

"It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well," Obama said in a widely quoted moment of his second inaugural address.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Lenovo Releases ThinkPad Chromebook for Schools

Thu, 01/17/2013 - 11:57

Lenovo is launching its latest laptop model for schools that will now run Google's operating instead of one from Microsoft

The rugged ThinkPad X131e Chromebook was designed with school administrators and teachers in mind, ZDNet reports. The device can be easily controlled from the cloud and runs thousands of educational apps. The company has yet to announce pricing of the computer, but special bidding will begin for schools on Feb. 26

Lenovo has previously made Windows-powered X131e ThinkPad for schools — which has sold out in the education market — but the company's switch to Google OS allows students to take advantage of Google's Apps for Education and its Chrome Web Store.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Google Grants $3.7 Million to Civic Innovation and Open Data Projects

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 15:49

Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, announced it's funding two new tech projects on Wednesday, one to encourage civic innovation and the other to open government data

The larger of the two grants, a $2.1 million gift, was given to the Sunlight Foundation. The Foundation will use the money to grow its local programming, particularly to create consistant standards for open data in all U.S. cities.

Another $1.6 million was given to mySociety, a UK charity that builds open source codes for local authorities, governments and corporations. The grant money will be used to accelerate building new civic apps.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News