GUST: Global Universities Social Trip

About GUST:

We are 3 French students currently making a trip around Asia on Social Business. The project we are currently leading is aiming at raising awareness of people and especially students about social business.

We first meet social entrepreneurs in several countries of South-East Asia and make videos on their business, to show people that it’s possible to create a business which is having a great impact on society and environment and making money at the same time.

After that, we showcase these video-reportage in local universities in the cities we visit, and animate creativity workshops with students on social business, to involve them in the creation process by finding solutions to one of the entrepreneurs’ Challenge.


Facebook App Causes To Pivot, Will Now Be A Web Site For Good

The Facebook App Causes came rushing out of the gate several years ago but never lived up to all the hype.  However, word is that the company is planning to roll out major new features in the coming months, with a full launch planned for mid-March.

From TechCrunch:

The design has been streamlined from the clunky-feeling app to focus on the key aspects of Causes today. A big rotating image shows major Causes across the top of the site, with recent activity by your Facebook friends underneath. The search bar, along with links to your profile and to finding or starting a Cause are located across the top navigation bar. To their right, you’ll find an image of yourself (your Facebook photo) as well as the amount of money you’ve raised and the number of actions you’ve taken. Below on the right-hand side, you’ll see a link to your profile, your friends’ new Causes, and the Causes raising the most money on the site.

We hope that this pivot will help the Causes team deliver some needed innovation into the space.

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What are benefit corporations?

Benefit corporations are new legal structures that we should know about.  It is one of several new legal structures to emerge alongside the rise of “social entrepreneurship” in recent years.  The interesting thing about these structures is that they shield the board from investor lawsuits.  In a regular corporation, any actions other than those taken with the purpose of maximizing shareholder value could be liable.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

What is a ‘benefit corporation’?
A company whose charter allows the board to consider social or environmental objectives ahead of profits.

What is the advantage?
Protection from investor allegations of not maximizing shareholder value.

Does that make it a nonprofit?
No, a benefit corporation isn’t a nonprofit nor is it tax exempt.

How many states allow it? Seven. With bills introduced in four additional states.

What are the downsides? ‘For an investor, this is a terrible idea’ due to lack of accountability, says Charles Elson, who teaches corporate governance at the University of Delaware. If management makes a bad decision, ‘there’s very little you can do about it as a shareholder.’

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WSJ: New Legal Structures for ‘Social Entrepreneurs’

WSJ outline some innovative legal structures designed for entrepreneurs who are driven as much by mission as money. The cost of using one of these new legal structures will vary depending on lawyer fees, but generally those fees shouldn’t exceed more than $10,000 for a start-up with fewer than 10 employees.

Here’s an overview:


Ideal for: companies that want to blend traditional capital with “philanthropic” capital, such as from foundations

Available to start-ups in: Vermont, Michigan, Wyoming, Utah, Illinois, North Carolina, Louisiana, Maine and soon in Rhode Island.


Ideal for: companies that want to create a measurable positive impact while and providing greater transparency to the public

Available to start-ups in: Maryland, Vermont, Virginia, New Jersey, Hawaii, California and soon New York


Ideal for: companies seeking to do good on their own terms

Available to start-ups in: California.

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Donating Startup Equity To Charity: 1% Of Nothing Launches

1% of Nothing is a startup organization that sits on the intersection of technology and charitable giving.  Its purpose is to inspire founders of early-stage companies (tech startups) to donate 1% of his/her assets to a cause of their choice.

The idea is that the promise of new companies to 1% when theequity may be worth nothing, but if they are acquired, that 1% becomes a major donation. Starting today, all companies and employees alike can make a commitment to donate 1% of its assets.  1% of a startup may not be worth much, but in essence, it’s like a lottery ticket in the case where the startup find a successful exit.

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Palindrome Advisors Looks to Team Tech Executives With Nonprofits


An organization called Palindrome Advisors thinks so, and it launched a program Wednesday that aims to match executives in technology and other industries with nonprofits that need their help.

“In technology terms, think of Palindrome as a “” for industry leaders and the boards of nonprofits,” the group’s founder, Zaw Thet, told Digits in an email.

Palindrome has 100 executives signed up already — including Twitter’s president of global revenue, Adam Bain; Apple’s director of iPhone apps, Dag Kittlaus; and Ellen Siminoff, a founding executive and former senior vice president at Yahoo. The list of advisers is mostly from the tech world, but there are some outliers, including those in government, the energy business and even nightclubs.

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Google for Nonprofits Launches


Google just announced Google for Nonprofits, which is a this program that bundles together a bunch of useful Google products and services:

Instead of applying to each Google product individually, you can sign up through a one-stop shop application process. If approved, you can access our suite of product offerings designed for nonprofits: up to $10,000 a month in advertising on Google AdWords to reach more donors, free or discounted Google Apps to cut IT costs and operate more efficiently, and premium features for YouTube and our mapping technologies to raise awareness of your cause. We’ve also developed other online resources such as educational videos, case studies and better ways for you to connect with other nonprofits.

Here’s the link to the website, and a link to the blog post introducing this new service.

Results for Chrome for a Cause

Here are the results for Chrome for a Cause:

Did you join in Chrome for a Cause? The $1 million tab-heavy campaign has come and gone (with a 250 tab per day maximum, much to our click-frenzied dismay), and Google’s tallied up the final scores. Of the nearly 60.6 million tabs “donated”, 16.2m went for vaccinations, 14.8m tabs for trees, 14.1m for water… 8.6m for books and 6.8m for shelter.

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SwipeGood, all your credit card purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference goes to charity

Here’s another tech startup that makes donating to charity much easier.

SwipeGood is the company and their process is pretty straight forward.  The way it works is that your credit card transactions  are rounded to the nearest dollar and the actual difference from the rounding (less than a dollar) is given to a charity of your choice.

Currently, that list is small, but it includes popular choices such as charity:water and

On average, SwipeGood users end up donating about $20 each per month. The “spare change” is totaled and charged on a monthly basis. Of those amounts, SwipeGood pockets around 5% — a relatively small amount that serves to cover their operating expenses.

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Affinity web surfing with Google Chrome- Browse for a good cause

Google is marketing its web browser, Chrome, with an extension where your web surfing and usage of the browser can support a list of causes.  The Google Chrome blog does an excellent job in simply describing the campaign:

Starting today, we invite you to support five worthy causes by counting and “donating” the tabs you open in Chrome.

Everyone’s total tabs will determine a charitable donation made on behalf of the Chrome community, up to one million dollars. Here’s what your tabs can do:
10 tabs = 1 tree planted
10 tabs = 1 book published and donated
25 tabs = 1 vaccination treatment provided
100 tabs = 1 square foot of shelter built
200 tabs = 1 person’s clean water for a year
To find out more about this effort and the organizations we’re partnering with, visit

Here are the rules:

  • Get the Chrome for a Cause extension
  • Browse the web with Chrome between December 15 – 19
  • At the end of each day, you’ll be prompted to click on the extension to submit your tabs
  • Choose which charity you’d like to support with that day’s tabs — you can always support the same charity, or pick a different one each day