Microsoft Uses Philanthropy, Web 2.0 for Non Profits, Africa and Private Aid, Millennium Village

Causes and college campuses go hand-in-hand, which made it a natural venue for Microsoft’s “i’m Making a Difference” campaign, where users of Windows Live Messenger can select one of nine charitable organizations to give a share of ad revenues. Link.

What should a savvy non-profit organization do to succeed in the Web 2.0 era? Link.

Private investors want to prove that development aid for Africa is money well invested. Wealthy philanthropists from around the world are funding more and more programs on the continent. And some of them seem to be working. Link.

Just two years ago, Sauri was an ordinary Kenyan village where poverty, hunger, and illness were facts of everyday life. Now it is an experiment, a prototype “Millennium Village.” The idea is simple: Every year for five years, invest roughly $100 for each of the village’s 5,000 inhabitants, and see what ­happens. Link.

A Review of Socially Responsible Corporations By Motley Fool

Can big business walk the talk and effectively integrate sustainable approaches into profitable corporate strategy?

The “Making Money, Making a Difference” series of articles on The Motley Fool suggests that US firms are successfully adjusting their thinking.

via PSD Blog.

The series is written by Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy, who is writing an ethics and law thesis paper on corporate social responsibility at Duke University.

Catching Up: IBM is soliciting good ideas in Africa, Digital Divide Metrics, Charity Link Love

IBM is soliciting good ideas for solving problems in Africa... As part of its three-week “ThinkPlace Challenge,” IBM wants people from around the world to submit suggestions on how it and other companies can partner with African governments, universities and local businesses to improve the economy and, subsequently, the lives of Africans.” — Link

A new study (pdf) published by the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that there is a growing digital divide across America.” —Link

There is a charitable meme going around among search engine marketers: give non-profits some link juice! — “The rules are simple, copy the list of charities and links (grab it from whomever tags you) and add your 5 favorite charities or non-profit organizations to the end (link to their sites with anchor text of the causes they champion). Of course finish things off by tagging 5 other webmasters/bloggers and then publishing the post or the webpage.” —Link

Weekend Reading: Solar Flashlights In Africa

Check out this article in the New York Times about a man who brought solar powered flashlights to many villages in Africa:

The inspiration for the flashlight hit him, he said, while working for Perenco in Asmara, Eritrea. One Sunday he visited a local dump to watch scavenging by baboons and birds of prey, and came upon a group of homeless boys who had adopted the dump as their home.

They took him home to a rural village where he noticed that many people had nothing to light their homes, schools and clinics at night.

With a little research, he discovered that close to two billion people around the world go without affordable access to light.


Weekend Reading: Businesses Try to Make Money and Save the World

Here’s this weekend’s article which comes from the New York Times. I haven’t finished reading it but wanted to link to it since it’s pretty long. Here’s a great quote that gives you some flavor:

“You run into fundamental problems in trying to grow good because neither for-profit nor nonprofit is set up to do what new entrepreneurs and others are trying to do — namely, harness the power of private enterprise to create social benefit,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, a start-up organization based in Philadelphia that will develop what he calls “B corporations,” which engage in fourth-sector pursuits.

Socially Responsible Business Models

Another excellent piece for this weekend’s reading– Venturebeat, a blog about new technology ventures, publishes a piece on social capitalism, its two basic models, and why some companies are likely to succeed while others are not. The post is written by Jay Parkhill, who is an attorney that works in the technology sector. Keep in mind that most Venturebeat readers are technology investors so Jay is writing for that audience.

According to Jay, the two basic models are:

1. Companies that seek to do good by capitalizing on our existing shopping patterns. Example: Ethos water.

2. Businesses that encourage consumers to spend money in ways they would not otherwise in order to create a social and/or environmental impact. Example: Terrapass, Kiva.

Read the article for the complete analysis and the pros and cons of each model.

A U.N. initiative to promote business ethics could change the way B-schools operate

This week’s reading comes from Business Week and is about social responsibility— the article discusses a U.N. initiative that was launched in 2000, called UN Global Impact, to promote socially responsibly business practices in the world. The program looked at social responsibility from a financial perspective and adopted principles for responsible investment. It currently has more than 3,800 participants in 100 countries.

Recently, the Global Compact decided to expand its efforts to the academic community and is in the process of developing a set of Principles for Responsible Business Education. In January, Angel Cabrera, president of Arizona-based Thunderbird School of Global Management was named senior adviser to the Global Compact and is heading the task force developing the principles, which are to be presented at a meeting in Geneva in July.

Check out the Business Week article for the full Q&A with Angel Cabrera.

How Social Entrepreneurs Innovate

Colin Stewart, who writes for the Orange County Register blogs about the innovation styles of Mohammad Yunus, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering microfinance, and Michael Young, a British social activist.

The blog covers a talk given by David Galenson at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University last week.

$100 Laptop (OLPC) Updates- Will Be Sold By Manufacturer In Developed Countries As Well

Latest update on the $100 Laptop–

Quanta, which is the Asian manufacturer making the $100 Laptops, has announced that it will be selling commercial versions of these $100 laptops for around $200 dollars in some parts of the developed world. They are going after the underprivileged markets in the developing world but I’m not sure how viable this market is, considering that cheap desktop machines can be had for about $300 these days.

Zaadz- Social Networking for Spiritual Changemakers

Zaadz, a social network for conscious capitalists , just received funding from John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods.

I have to admit that I’ve never heard of Zaadz until now but it looks like a promising community of like minded folks wanting to “change the world”

Our Mission. We’re gonna change the world. Our math goes like this: you be the change + you follow your bliss + you give your greatest strengths to the world moment to moment to moment + we do everything in our power to help you succeed + you inspire and empower everyone you know to do the same + we team up with millions like us = we just affected billions = we (together) changed the world.

Read more about their mission here. I don’t know anything about Zaadz, so check out their entry on Wikipedia for more info. Note that there is some criticism about the social network.