Catching Up Links

This has been a busy summer for me so here’s a collection of relevant links from the past week. Posting will be light for the next few weeks.

Wal-Mart extends financial services to low-income customers. The world’s largest retailer will sell prepaid payment cards at over 3300 of its discount stores in the U.S.


Americans gave nearly $300 billion to charitable causes last year, setting a new record and besting the 2005 total that had been boosted by a surge in aid to victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma and the Asian tsunami.


At an event in Google’s New York offices on Tuesday, the company unveiled a new initiative to make its Google Earth geography software a more accessible tool for nonprofit organizations.


‘Hey Project Red Stripe, why the silence?’…Why? Because we wanted to start a not-for-profit. Then, imagine if our pitch hadn’t worked and we had to kill the site. It would have been embarassing for The Economist, we thought.


Weekend Reading: PR for Philantropy, Societal Value of Corporations

From Business Week:

Philanthropic outfits increasingly are adopting PR programs to achieve their goals. Here’s why some old PR objections are no longer valid


From Conde Nast Portfolio:

Indeed, the likes of Robert Barro, writing in the WSJ yesterday, go one further. Never mind Bill Gates’s personal philanthropy, he says, the real good that Gates has done for the world comes from his for-profit venture, Microsoft.


Weekend Reading: Small Companies That Try to Bring Innovative Technology to Teaching

“A revolution is needed in education — students exist in a world where technology is pervasive but classroom teaching hasn’t basically changed in 50 years,” said Mona Westhaver, a founder of Inspiration Software, a Portland area firm that developed a visual learning system for kindergarten through 12th grade.

Link to NY Times.

Weekend Reading: How To Set Up A Non-Profit

Via Guy Kawasaki’s blog, here’s a story about how a non-profit, FROG, was created using online resources. Here’s the short list of resources used: PBWiki, Gmail, Google Apps, YouSendIt, LiveMeeting, Skype, GoDaddy, Blogger, WordPress, FormAssembly, Craigslist,, Eventful, Idealist, Reactee, Flickr, Facebook, Technorati, Feedburner,, and Paypal.

Weekend Reading: What Does Africa Need Most: Tech or Aid?

Here’s an article in the New York Times covering the TED conference in Africa.

But beyond this Panglossian message, however much a corrective to the common images of African misery and however flattering to the pride of TED’s African attendees, was something that everyone at the conference knew (and which I saw every morning on my runs). Whether measured by per capita income or by the gross domestic product of its nations, Africa is the poorest place on earth. The question that the conference was really exploring was this: How can we make every African family richer?

Citi Will Plant A Tree On Your Behalf If You Go Paperless

I love seeing programs like this. In conjunction with The National Arbor Day Foundation, Citi will plant a tree on your behalf if you enroll in paperless statements. Here’s the text from the message:

Enroll in Paperless Statements today, and Citi will plant a tree on your behalf.

Maybe you recycle. Maybe you drive a hybrid car. Then again, maybe you don’t. That’s why Citi has created an easy way for you to help protect our environment.

When you enroll in Paperless Statements, Citi will donate one tree on your behalf to the National Arbor Day Foundation, who will then work to plant your tree where it’s needed most. By replenishing our national forests, you’ll be taking a significant step in keeping our air and water clean. In fact, the net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day (US Dept of Agriculture).

American Public Media’s Public Radio Business Show Is Looking For Stories About Social Entrepreneurship

American Public Media’s public radio business show Marketplace ( reports on entrepreneurs and the issues they face. American Public Media is also doing a new kind of journalism that involves reaching out to communities of people with knowledge, expertise and experience on a topic.

To support Marketplace’s entrepreneurship coverage, APM is building a Public Insight Network of entrepreneurs from around the country (and the world) to inform reporting. Marketplace is also very keen on exploring social entrepreneurship. So for all you social entrepreneurs out there, tell APM your experience, become a source for public radio, and help shape national media coverage of (social) entrepreneurship.

Tell APM what it takes to be a social entrepreneur, here
Give a more general description of your business, here
Sign up for the Public Insight Network without filling out either survey, here

Being in the Network means receiving an email about once a month asking for your insight on stories APM is working on. You can respond if the questions connect with your experience or delete the email if they don’t. You can unsubscribe any time.

Zerofootprint Fights Global Warming Through Technology And Innovation

Zerofootprint is a non-profit that “combines the best financial engineering, environmental engineering, social networking tools and business intelligence to create products and services that help large corporations, organizations and individuals significantly reduce their environmental footprint.”

Zerofootprint sells carbon offsets and also raises awareness about Global Warming by leveraging technology. They offer widgets, white-label web solutions, and other tools to help get Global Warming on everyone’s radar. Their website also features a community based website and a blog.

The carbon offsets idea is similar to the Terrapass model but Zerofootprint goes an additional step further by leveraging Web 2.0 tools to fight Global Warming.

Internship: Win Photo Challenge to Participate in an All-Expense-Paid Earthwatch Expedition

Experience Offers Students and Graduates Exclusive Experience for Life Environmental Expedition with Earthwatch

College Students and Grads Invited to Enter Photo Challenge by September 7 to Participate in an All-Expense-Paid Earthwatch Expedition

BOSTON, MASS, June 6, 2007 – Recent Experience survey results conclude, today’s college students believe making a difference in the world is more important than achieving professional success, with nearly one in five students naming “environment” and “climate control” as the most pressing issues our world faces today. Experience has partnered with Earthwatch to offer students and alumni the chance to do both by applying to participate in an expedition with Earthwatch, the world’s leading environmental volunteer organization. Entrants must submit an original photo and caption that best represents to them why it’s crucial to save the environment. Entries must be received September 7, 2007 on

Experience for Life is an all-expense paid opportunity for college students and grads who are interested in careers in biology, geology, archeology, veterinary medicine, social sciences and social enterprise, to name a few, to trek alongside seasoned scientists as they work to preserve the environment and interact in extraordinary habitats rarely seen by humans. In addition to this expedition, the chosen student will also receive a $200 gift card to Patagonia to help prepare for the trip.

As Earthwatch’s Director of Volunteer Outreach, James Fry, said “We are depending on tomorrow’s leaders to save the world’s endangered animals and habitats, but to do that, they have to know them first. By getting them out there to really get their hands wet, to track jaguars or lions, to capture enormous Nile crocodiles, or to follow the migrations of grey whales, students who have spent the last four years in lecture halls get to apply what they’ve learned, and learn even more. We regularly hear from people that Earthwatch expeditions change their lives and open new doors in ways they never expected.”

What is an Exclusive Experience? offers more than 20 Exclusive Experiences in various industries each year to help students gain professional experience and skills, while simultaneously networking with industry professionals. The Exclusive Experience program provides students with the opportunity to job shadow, perform a video interview with a high level executive or participate in a unique event, offering a behind-the-scenes look at interesting careers in a wide variety of fields.

“We teamed with Earthwatch to have a well-respected industry leader contribute to our online Non-Profit and Social Enterprise career content, and the Experience for Life expedition is just one in a series of our “Exclusive Experience” opportunities available to our growing member base,” says Jennifer Floren, founder and CEO, Experience, Inc. “Through these exclusive opportunities, Experience is providing college students and alumni the tools needed to gain unique experience and skills, while simultaneously networking with industry professionals.”

How to Apply:
Those interested can apply online by submitting an application at To be considered, applicants must submit an original photo, taken by them, that best represents why it’s crucial to save the environment. Applicants should include a short caption (no more than 40 words) to better describe their photo. Only one photo per applicant. Ten photos will be selected to be voted on by our online audience and members (September 12-September 26). The applicant with the highest number of votes will be selected. The application period for Experience for Life ends September 7, 2007. The Earthwatch expedition will be scheduled in coordination with the winner during 2007/2008 (some restrictions/requirements apply). The winner will be required to journal, blog about and photograph the expedition, which will be published on

About Experience:
Founded in 1996, Experience is the only career site specifically for college students & alumni that provides extraordinary opportunities, real-world insights, and a network of inspirational role-models to help them explore and launch careers they love. Experience’s web-based platform spans more than 3,800 universities, 3 million registered candidates, 100,000 employers, and 800,000 job and internship opportunities. For more information, visit