The spirit of giving – Benojo weekly roundup

Each week we aim to bring you the biggest stories across the CSR, philanthropy and charity space. Here’s all the latest in the world of social impact. Easy ways your business can give this Christmas

Christmas is the perfect time to introduce your team to corporate giving. For businesses that have not yet considered the benefits of charitable partnerships, one-off seasonal campaigns are the perfect entry point.


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Adelaide retirees donate hand-crafted wooden toys to children's charities

A group of Adelaide retirees are bringing the Christmas cheer with a donation of a thousand or more handmade wooden toys to charity.

The charity woodworking group, Toymendous, have spent the better part of a year at the Grand Junction Trade Training Centre in Adelaide’s north, creating 56 different types of toys for charity.

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Is there anything wrong with giving to charity?

In his 2009 book The Life You Can Save, ethicist Peter Singer suggests people should donate 1 per cent of their incomes to charity. In these last weeks of 2015, when thoughts typically turn to acts of goodwill and gentle philanthropy, it's a target worth bearing in mind.

As a matter of principle, it is difficult to disagree with Singer's position – at least as a bare minimum. It does, however, raise some troublesome thoughts.

salvosA Salvos Red Threads fundraiser. Photo: Phil Hearne

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A model philanthropist on fashion’s generosity

In fashion, model Natalia Vodianova is known as something of a Cinderella. As the lore goes, she was born in Russia and operated a fruit stand with her mother before being discovered and moving to Paris, where she scored so many campaigns that Mario Testino dubbed her the “Supernova." More recently, Vodianova has become known as a philanthropist through her work with her charity, the Naked Heart Foundation. The Pirelli calendar recently celebrated her, and she presented her new charity app at a Clinton Initiative presentation.

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Best places to work have happy employees

Happy employees are empowered and have a sense of purpose—they come to work every day and feel good about the people they're working with and working for. And that held true in this year's edition of Best Places to Work. Yes, the employees we surveyed are fans of on-site yoga and free snacks, but the really glowing reviews came from employees who adore their bosses, understand their company's vision and feel valued. It's at once the most simple—and most complicated—formula to get right.

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Can love be the right metric for a billion-dollar philanthropy? A Buffett scion aims to find out

Early this year, Jennifer and Peter Buffett, co-directors of the NoVo Foundation, wrote an op-ed in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, calling for a model of philanthropy that “leads from the heart.” As the non-profit funding sector focuses increasingly on numbers (how to do the most good, based on evidence, not on sentiment), the Buffetts seek to counter that trend. The hyper-focus on measurement, in their view, ignores what truly motivates people to give away large amounts of money and, in fact, weakens the spirit of giving. The answer, according to the Buffetts, should be, simply: love. By emphasizing strategy and viewing grants as “investments,” donors prize head over heart and the spirit of giving gets lost. Peter says of the op-ed’s origins, “We’d been hearing, ‘How do you measure, measure, measure?’ And that has been bothering us for quite some time.”

refugeeA Kosovar refugee boy looks out a window of his home inside a refugee center. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj)

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A place to collaborate, donate and volunteer, Benojo is a social impact platform that connects the giving space.

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