Archive for the ‘Guest Posts’ Category

That Cancer Came Too Young

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

by Mike Duchen, Manager of Biz and Development

“Cancer” is a strange word. When most young people who have never been touched by this disease hear someone say “Cancer”, it usually goes in one ear and out the other without ever really thinking about it. Maybe it is that young people hear about it all the time in the news and see it in movies, or maybe they are just too afraid to really take the time to understand it.

I was one of those people.


[Working in Guatemala for Community Enterprise Solutions]

I didn’t fully understand what cancer was until it literally hit me so hard in the stomach that it made me physically stop in my tracks and threw me into the fight of my life. Suddenly, I went from working in Guatemala to lying in a hospital bed in Colorado Springs with a doctor telling me that I was going to have surgery in a day and start chemotherapy in a week. As anyone one can imagine this was a bit of shock.

Four rounds of chemo (wish I had a LibreClothing sweater for my port access), two surgeries and many additional trips to Rocky Mountain Cancer Center later I found something. I found that the word “Cancer” led me to meet some of the most courageous, generous, and inspirational people that I have ever met. I quickly discovered that there is an army of Cancer survivors that not only beat this terrible disease but, for the most part, want to help others that are currently going through similar, physical, mental, and emotional feelings. It led me to meet new friends; it gave me the courage to follow my passion.

[After my last round of chemo visiting my sister]

My personal passion is to help others who are dealing with cancer because I know what it is like to be in the trenches, and I learned how uplifting sharing feelings with other people can be. I had the privilege of becoming good friends with Laird while living in Boulder, Colorado this past year. Laird was not only the toughest and most engaging five-year old I have ever met, but he also went through a cancer treatment that made mine look like a walk in the park. Laird and I became quick friends after sharing a burrito and laughing hysterically through the movie Despicable Me, during a hospital visit. Laird taught me that I should step back and take a drink of my own “medicine” of what I was sharing with others; so, I quit my job in Boulder, chased my dream, and moved to San Francisco to work for GlobalMojo.

[My friend Laird! He's in remission and I look forward to sharing more burritos!]

GlobalMojo is my dream job because I have the opportunity to not only help others battling cancer everyday, but our technology has the capability to support all types of great causes by driving revenue to their organizations in such a new and unique way. Working with non-profits in the past and personally knowing the financial expenses that accompany battling a disease, I truly think that GlobalMojo is going to change the way that non-profits and organizations generate money to become more sustainable.

“Cancer” led me to be a part of our awesome team at GlobalMojo, and I look forward to the exciting journey to help make the world a better place now and change the way people support nonprofits and causes in the future!

This post can also be found as a guest blog on Libre

A Hungry Child Cannot Wait: Ask5for5

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Guest Blogger: Sarah Lenssen from #Ask5for5

Family photos by Mike Fiechtner Photography

Thank you GlobalMojo and nearly 150 other bloggers from around the world for allowing me to share a story with you today, during Social Media Week.

A hungry child in East Africa can’t wait. Her hunger consumes her while we decide if we’ll respond and save her life. In Somalia, children are stumbling along for days, even weeks, on dangerous roads and with empty stomachs in search of food and water. Their crops failed for the third year in a row. All their animals died. They lost everything. Thousands are dying along the road before they find help in refugee camps.

At my house, when my three children are hungry, they wait minutes for food, maybe an hour if dinner is approaching. Children affected by the food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia aren’t so lucky. Did you know that the worst drought in 60 years is ravaging whole countries right now, as you read this? Famine, a term not used lightly, has been declared in Somalia. This is the world’s first famine in 20 years.12.4 million people are in need of emergency assistance and over 29,000 children have died in the last three months alone. A child is dying every 5 minutes. It it estimated that 750,000 people could die before this famine is over. Take a moment and let that settle in.

The media plays a major role in disasters. They have the power to draw the attention of society to respond–or not. Unfortunately, this horrific disaster has become merely a footnote in most national media outlets. News of the U.S. national debt squabble and the latest celebrity’s baby bump dominate headlines. That is why I am thrilled that nearly 150 bloggers from all over the world are joining together today to use the power of social media to make their own headlines; to share the urgent need of the almost forgotten with their blog readers. Humans have the capacity to care deeply for those who are suffering, but in a situation like this when the numbers are too huge to grasp and the people so far away, we often feel like the little we can do will be a drop in the ocean, and don’t do anything at all.

When news of the famine first hit the news in late July, I selfishly avoided it. I didn’t want to read about it or hear about it because I knew I would feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. I wanted to protect myself. I knew I would need to do something if I knew what was really happening. You see, this food crisis is personal. I have a 4-year-old son and a 1 yr-old daughter who were adopted from Ethiopia and born in regions now affected by the drought. If my children still lived in their home villages, they would be two of the 12.4 million. My children: extremely hungry and malnourished? Gulp. I think any one of us would do anything we could for our hungry child. But would you do something for another mother’s hungry child?

My friend and World Vision staffer, Jon Warren, was recently in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya–the largest refugee camp in the world with over 400,000 people. He told me the story of Isnino Siyat, 22, a mother who walked for 10 days and nights with her husband, 1 yr-old-baby, Suleiman, and 4 yr.-old son Adan Hussein, fleeing the drought in Somalia. When she arrived at Dadaab, she built the family a shelter with borrowed materials while carrying her baby on her back. Even her dress is borrowed. As she sat in the shelter on her second night in camp she told Jon, “I left because of hunger. It is a very horrible drought which finished both our livestock and our farm.” The family lost their 5 cows and 10 goats one by one over 3 months, as grazing lands dried up. “We don’t have enough food now…our food is finished. I am really worried about the future of my children and myself if the situation continues.”

Will you help a child like Baby Suleiman? Ask5for5 is a dream built upon the belief that you will.

That something I knew I would need to do became a campaign called #Ask5for5 to raise awareness and funds for famine and drought victims. The concept is simple, give $5 and ask five of your friends to give $5, and then they each ask five of their friends to give $5 and so on–in nine generations of 5x5x5…we could raise $2.4 Million! In one month, over 750 people have donated over $25,000! I set up a fundraiser at See Your Impact and 100% of the funds will go to World Vision, an organization that has been fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa for decades and will continue long after this famine has ended. Donations can multiply up to 5 times in impact by government grants to
help provide emergency food, clean water, agricultural support,
healthcare, and other vital assistance to children and families suffering in the Horn.

I need you to help me save lives. It’s so so simple; here’s what you need to do:

  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (http://seeyourimpact.org/members/ask5for5)
  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
  3. Share #Ask5for5 on Facebook and Twitter!

I’m looking for another 100 bloggers to share this post on their blogs throughout Social Media Week. Email me at ask5for5@gmail.com if you’re interested in participating this week.

A hungry child doesn’t wait. She doesn’t wait for us to finish the other things on our to-do list, or get to it next month when we might have a little more money to give. She doesn’t wait for us to decide if she’s important enough to deserve a response. She will only wait as long as her weakened little body will hold on…please respond now and help save her life. Ask 5 for 5.

Thank you on behalf of all of those who will be helped–you are saving lives and changing history.
p.s. Please don’t move on to the next website before you donate and email your friends right now. It only takes 5 minutes and just $5, and if you’re life is busy like mine, you probably won’t get back to it later. Let’s not be a generation that ignores hundreds of thousands of starving people, instead let’s leave a legacy of compassion. You have the opportunity to save a life today!

Who Gives?

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

A Guest Post by Kristie Price

People give—people who care, who see what’s happening in the world, and who understand that even the smallest bit counts.

They’re people who have been affected by the recession.
They’re people who give time when they have no money.
They’re people who give anyway. No excuses.

They’re people who are fiercely loyal supporters, who find creative ways to give, even when when money is scarce.

They’re you.

You give.

You count.

You are making change.

Giving a Little – Less is Still Something
When the economy slowed people’s giving did too. But did it stop? No. People had less, so they gave less. The studies say that you may give less because you have less, but you do not stop giving.

But you probably already knew that.

Giving USA, 2010 had this to say about individual giving:
  • As a general rule, the more information that is shared about giving, the more people give.
  • People give more when they are asked in person by someone they know.
  • Volunteering is up even if money is down.

Giving Time – The Mighty Volunteer

  • A total of 61.8 million Americans reported doing unpaid work through an organization in 2008, an increase of nearly 1 million from the previous year.
  • 19.9 million people worked with their neighbors to address a community problem in 2009.
  • In 2009 there was an increase in volunteering among young adults (people aged16–24) from 7.8 million to 8.2 million

It looks like mojo givers can really come together and get stuff done. Whether it’s time, money or information, everything you do to spread the word about important causes can truly make a difference.

More Info = More Giving

So, thank you for giving time, money, and information. The world could do with a little more of your good mojo floating around.

Information for this article was used with permission from Giving USA 2010. Giving USA is a public outreach initiative of Giving USA Foundation, which endeavors to advance philanthropy through research and education. Download a copy of the study on individual giving here.

A Need for Nonprofits

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Why should we care? Are there any perks to keeping nonprofits around–you know, besides helping feed, educate, support, and protect people? So glad you asked.

In her paper Nonprofits and the Economic Rescission, Dr. Laurie E. Paarlberg notes why nonprofits are vital to any community.

  • They are important contributors to our economy–providing jobs and bringing resources from outside foundations and state and federal government to our community.
  • They provide many instrumental services that government and business cannot and do not provide.
  • They provide an opportunity for people to join together to address common concerns and express their values through volunteering, donating, and serving as board members. Would we want to imagine a community without the potential for such a high level of civic engagement?

About the Money
These past few years have meant tough times for nonprofits. Nonprofits rely heavily on individual donations and both private and public funding. The Bridgespan Group conducted a survey of over 100 nonprofit leaders in November of 2008. In the survey “75 percent of the respondents reported that they [were] already feeling the effects of the downturn, and 52 percent [had] already experienced funding cuts.

Funding cuts and a decline in donations have been a part of the nonprofit story for a few years now. A June 2011 article by The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that “the previous two years showed the steepest drop in giving ever recorded in the ["Giving USA"] report’s five decades—a decline of 7 percent in 2008 and 6.2 percent in 2009.”

However, there’s still good news, even if it’s slow coming. The article also states that donors are “increasing their contributions by slightly more than 2 percent after inflation.” It might not seem like much, but it’s definitely a start.

GlobalMojo & Nonprofits
At GlobalMojo, we talk a lot about non-profits. You could say we’re fans–big fans. We help raise awareness for important causes and try to make donating easy and effortless. We might just be a browser app, but our little toolbar helps ordinary people do big things. As the economic climate begins to change, we hope to see a steady increase in giving to charities and nonprofits. We’ll continue to feature amazing nonprofits here on the blog and provide info on more ways you can get involved, besides downloading our browser app.

A Guest Blog Post, by Kristie Price

An adapted excerpt from  Nonprofits and the Economic Rescission was used with permission. 

You Can Help The Famine in Africa! Ask5for5

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

guest blogger: Sarah Lenssen from Ask5for5
photos courtesy of Cate Turton / Dept. for International Development


First, thanks to GlobalMojo for allowing me to post on their blog today! Over the last week, over 35 blogs, including this one, are standing with me to Ask 5 for 5 for Africa. Here’s why….

I began pursuing a BIG dream two weeks ago. After deciding I could no longer avoid the news about the famine in the horn of Africa, I had that gut feeling that I couldn’t sit this one out. I HAD to do something because I could. Something bigger than I could do alone.

A malnourished child in an MSF treatment tent in Dolo Ado

Two of my children, Ashen and Bereket, were adopted and are from the region affected by the drought in Ethiopia. They would be two of the statistics if they still lived there. I see my son’s and daughter’s faces in the photos of those suffering in the refugee camps. It could have been him. It could have been her. The thought haunts me.

And moms just like us are watching their children go hungry day after day. I can’t imagine what it’s like, but I have to –I have to be there to help them, because it could have been my children. These families have lost their livestock, their crops, food prices are inflated at the market if there any food there, and don’t have any more lifelines to tap into. Many are traveling hundreds of miles through parched land in hope of finding help. Many are dying along the way. It is estimated that 29,000 children have died in the last 90 days in the famine in Somalia alone.

Malnourished children, weakened by hunger

But I KNOW we can do something about it. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed, we can rally ourselves and our friends to respond! I set up a fundraiser through See Your Impact. 100% of your gift will go to the relief and development organization World Vision, where it will be combined with government grants to multiply up to 5 times in impact!

You’ll receive updates on just how your funding is being used to help save lives affected by famine in East Africa. I’m amazed at how much we’ve raised already — over $7,000 in just four days! We blew through our first 3 goals in just 3 days and are well on our way to $10,000 and beyond!

I need you to help me save lives. It’s so so simple; here’s what you need to do:

  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (http://seeyourimpact.org/members/ask5for5)
  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
  3. Share Ask5for5 on Facebook to stay updated too!

I’m also looking for 100 bloggers to stand with Ask5for5 to spread the word during Social Media week, September 19th – 23rd. If you’re interested, email me, ask5for5@gmail.com.

Extra food for every child under five

Thanks! Please donate and email your friends right now–don’t wait for a calmer moment, because if you’re like me, other demands inevitably crop up and you won’t get to it. A child’s life hangs in the balance, but you can help save her!

When You Have None, Food Is a Big Deal

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Guest Blog Post by Kristie Price

“Phinney Ridge Food Bank. How can I help you?“ The conversations are similar. ”Have you been here before? What’s your last name? Can you spell it for me? How many adults are in your family? How many children?”

Monday afternoon a woman asked, “Can I come in tomorrow? I’m out of everything. I’m out of food.”

“Tomorrow? Yep. You sure can. We’re open between 2pm and 3pm.”

“Praise, Jesus!” was here response.

Food Lifeline – The Other Big Deal
Nonprofits like Food Lifeline and the food banks they support are a big deal. Food Lifeline is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending hunger in Western Washington. They make every penny count, and 94% of the food they receive from local, state and national contributors is donated. You can be sure that 96 cents of every dollar you give to Food Lifeline goes directly toward feeding hungry people.

Who are the hungry?

  • 37% are children
  • 12% are seniors
  • 9% are homeless
  • 47% have some sort of post-secondary education

Food Lifeline provides a creative link between food sources and hungry people. They encourage the food industry to donate unmarketable but usable food it would otherwise discard, and collect millions of pounds of food each year as a result.

The Faces of Food Banks
Volunteering at a food bank is a humbling experience. The differences between those giving away the food and those receiving it are sometimes indistinguishable. One week ago we might have both had jobs, a family, and a paycheck. This week? Well, life has a way of changing when we least expect it.

Food Lifeline allows you to donate food so someone else can help pass it along to another. We all become part of the bigger story of ending hunger in out cities.

Wherever you are in the story, whether you donate money, time or food, you’re a big deal. You’re the reason a woman with empty cupboards says “Praise, Jesus!” and really means it.

For the first time in history it is possible to end hunger…rather quickly. The world has the resources, knowledge and structures. The world’s fiels, livestock and oceans produce enough food. The world’s economies provide sufficient wealth. - Bread for the World

Additional Resources
Seattle Food Banks
Donate to Food Lifeline
Volunteer with Food Lifeline

All information on Food Lifeline was obtain directly from their website.

GlobalMojo Makes Helping Nonprofits Affordable – Even for College Students

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

A Guest Blog Post,  by Kristie Price

Student Loans & Saltines
I was broke. I was a freshman in college paying for textbooks, laundry, phone calls, and saltine crackers. A few quarters were the difference between clean clothes or my roommate’s febreze. When a nonprofit came asking for money all I could think about was how I was going to be paying student loans into retirement. Where was the money going to come from?

Photo by kristiepricephotography.com

To Help or Not to Help
One day I was at an assembly hearing about the problem of HIV/AIDS in Africa. I couldn’t say no. I couldn’t decide not to help.

When you have the information about what’s happening around you and you’re smart enough to know that even a little bit can make a big difference—I mean you’re in college for goodness sake—well, you do something.

It wasn’t a lot at first. I sponsored a child whose family had been affected by the AIDS epidemic. Somehow I found an extra $20 every month. I figured I could ration the saltines and a few quarters and help someone else who might not have the luxury of febreze or even clean water. I made a conscious choice to help—to be involved.

Making a GlobalMojo Team
These days, giving doesn’t have to be a solo gig. My small donation isn’t much on its own, but when I combine it with a few others it adds up. That’s why I’m a fan of creating a team through GlobalMojo.

I pick a cause and with a few clicks, invite friends and family to join. My cause? Northwest Harvest Why? In 2010, one in seven households in Washington State struggled to provide enough food for their family. This matters to me.

Now, each time a friend joins my team, my impact increases by 5%. When I first started using GlobalMojo, 25% of the revenue I generated was donated to Northwest Harvest. When my sister decided to team up, it became 30%. Add another teammate like my college roommate? They’ll make it 35%.

So, when I surf the web I might raise $5 for Northwest Harvest. But when a team of 10 does exactly the same thing they’ll make some significant change. Suddenly, helping a nonprofit becomes easier and student loans less daunting.

We get to decide to help, we make a difference, and everyone gets to eat.

Trust me, it doesn’t take a college degree to figure this one out.