Benojo weekly roundup – what’s happening in the giving space?

Each week we aim to bring you the biggest stories across the corporate giving and charity space. Here’s what’s causing waves globally, the things stirring up people like you and all the latest in the world of social good.

Benojo weekly roundup

10 companies spending millions on education

The sheer number of worthy issues that deserve corporate attention and investment can often seem endless. There’s infrastructure, health, food, clean water and much, much more. In this context, it’s perhaps easy to understand why education, key to pulling people out of poverty, often falls by the wayside.

Global education faces an annual budgetary shortfall of $26bn, according to Unesco. While governments, foundations and nonprofits can help with various aspects of this problem, education spending is certainly also a business issue. After all, educated workers are better equipped to become gainful employees – and profitable consumers. But education spending among the world’s largest companies isn’t nearly enough to meet the shortfall.

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Corporate Philanthropy Increases Workers’ Productivity - Study

Working to benefit a good cause increases employee productivity by up to 30 per cent, according to the findings of a new UK study.

Research from the University of Southampton showed that when workers were given a social incentive such as a charitable donation linked to their job, performance increased by an average of 13 per cent, rising to 30 per cent amongst those who are initially the least productive.

"A lot of studies have shown how financial incentives, like bonuses and stock options, can improve performance," University of Southampton economist Dr Mirco Tonin, lead author of the study, said.

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This Alarm Clock App Donates To Charity Every Time You Hit Snooze

Here's one way to feel a little less guilty about your inability to get out of bed in the morning: Use an alarm clock app that donates money to charity every time you hit the snooze button.

The app, called iCukoo, was the brainchild of developers at the Chelsea Apps Factory in London. "It came from my girlfriend snoozing every morning, and me getting increasingly irritated with waking up three times before actually getting up," says Josh Hart, one of the developers. "We wanted to create a bit of a silver lining."

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Introducing FORBES' 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs, Class Of 2015

As you might imagine, the competition to join our third annual list of 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs was steep. To select the finalists, my colleagues Prerna Sinha, Glenda Toma, and I reviewed more than 100 nominations. The winners were selected by our distinguished judges: Jean Case, cofounder of the Case Foundation; Cheryl Dorsey, the doctor who runs social venture fund Echoing Green; and Randall Lane, Editor-in-Chief of FORBES and the chief force behind our magazine’s increased focus on philanthropy.

We hope you find this group as inspiring as we do.

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The good, the generous and the galvanic: Marketing with purpose

We invest serious resources to probe, sense and respond to customer needs, yet we disregard the fact that well-being is just as much a consumer need. Not addressing it could potentially drive down demand. Well-being goes beyond the individual to the community and all the way to the planet that we inhabit.

If we overlay this with the fact that concern for a consumer’s well-being is one manifestation of corporate social responsibility (CSR), it becomes apparent that marketers have a reason to be actively engaged in CSR.

Earlier this year, the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) released a whitepaper titled The Good, the Generous and the Galvanic: Marketing’s Role in Social Responsibility as part of its thought leadership series. The paper takes an offbeat approach to exploring how the marketing function could play a more proactive role in finding the elusive balance between profits and purpose.

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Want to Be Happy? Stop Being So Cheap! An interview with the authors of an enormous new study of generosity

Start giving your money and time away: New research shows you’ll be happier for it. Americans who describe themselves as “very happy” volunteer an average of 5.8 hours per month. Those who are “unhappy”? Just 0.6 hours. This is just one of the findings in The Paradox of Generosity, a new book by sociologists Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson presenting the findings of the Science of Generosity Initiative at Notre Dame. Researchers for the initiative surveyed 2,000 individuals over a five-year period. They interviewed and tracked the spending habits and lifestyles of 40 families from different classes and races in 12 states, even accompanying some to the grocery store.

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Steps added on path to home of their own

A UNIQUE scheme that gives Aboriginal people who hold down a job and send their children to school the chance to own their own home will be expanded across Western Australia’s chronically disadvantaged Kimberley region.

The government-backed program — hailed as a huge success by local leaders — is designed to encourage Aboriginal people to escape social housing and move into affordable rental properties that they can ultimately buy.

It has been trialed in the east Kimberley town of Kununurra, where 40 families are renting houses under the scheme and 23 of them are in the process of ­applying for home loans. The first loan offer was recently made to a scheme participant — a single mother with four children.

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Philanthropy: reclaiming the ‘P-word’ for a modern world

For such a beautiful concept, philanthropy, meaning “the love of humanity”, is an awkward word and has some rather negative connotations of very rich people trying to avoid tax or create vanity projects.

So low is its standing among the general public and so poor is their understanding of philanthropy, that those involved in the “philanthrosphere” are opting for more accessible terms. Words like plain old “giving” are being used – for example #Giving Tuesday on 2 December, or “generosity” – as is preferred by the founder of the Rainmaker Foundation, which connects philanthropists with those wanting to create social change.

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Do you have something to share with us? Comment below or feel free to contact us to see how we can help your business or charity connect with others in the giving space.