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Saundra Schimmelpfennig
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Blog Entries by Saundra Schimmelpfennig

Do's and Don'ts of Holiday Giving

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2011 | 1:59 PM

December is a busy time of year with many charitable requests for your time or money. The following advice will ensure your time and money does the good you intended.

Don't get scammed by a fake website
Unfortunately, unscrupulous people have learned to mimic nonprofit websites and advertising campaigns....

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Why Waiting To Give to the Japanese Recovery Efforts Is a Good Idea

(14) Comments | Posted March 17, 2011 | 7:21 PM

It's natural to want to immediately give to Japan's recovery efforts. With all the destruction wrought by a major earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant failing, it would seem they could use all the help they can get. So my suggestion is going to seem counter-intuitive, but I agree with...

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Japan and Beyond: Advice for Donating After Disasters

(10) Comments | Posted March 14, 2011 | 10:39 PM

The following is a series of dos and don'ts to help you make the best donation decisions after a disaster, like the current crisis in Japan.

Do determine if the country is accepting international assistance
With all the photos and videos of destruction on the evening news, it may...

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Don't Choose a Charity Based on the Administration Rate

(42) Comments | Posted February 16, 2011 | 5:38 PM

Strangely enough, the one thing that most people know about giving to nonprofits is wrong. Most people believe that the percentage one nonprofit spends on administration costs is an indication of how effective they are.

Unfortunately, this percentage is often more a result of accounting practices than of the efficiency...

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Aid Bloggers Reflect on Haiti

(0) Comments | Posted January 17, 2011 | 5:24 PM

The recent one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti re-focused our attention on the crisis. As the world's eyes turn toward that nation, so do the thoughts of aid workers around the globe, who have written numerous thoughtful posts about the recovery efforts and the challenges that lie...

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Do's and Don'ts of Holiday Charitable Giving

(2) Comments | Posted December 2, 2010 | 2:10 PM

The holidays are prime fundraising time for nonprofits. Throughout the month there will be numerous requests donations or volunteer help. The following advice will you use your time and money wisely.

Don't get scammed by a fake website.
Unfortunately, unscrupulous people have learned to mimic nonprofit websites and advertising...

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Should You Save a Drowning Child?

(3) Comments | Posted September 13, 2010 | 4:13 PM

In Peter Singer's book, The Life You Can Save, he opens his book this scenario -- if you see a child drowning and there is no one else around, would you wade in to save the child knowing that in doing so you will ruin your expensive shoes and be...

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Whites in Shining Armor

(1) Comments | Posted September 8, 2010 | 2:43 PM

Pick up your local newspaper after any disaster and you're likely to encounter a story about someone from your area saving lives, a photo of a movie star or other well-known person flying in supplies, or stories of international search and rescue teams pulling people from the rubble. Rarely will...

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What Skills and Experience Would YOU Want From a Voluntourist?

(1) Comments | Posted June 18, 2010 | 4:52 PM

Before traveling overseas to lead an aid project or volunteer, think about what factors would lead to success or failure by a foreign volunteer in your own country.

Imagine that you live in one of the ghettos of New York or Los Angeles and are struggling to keep your kids...

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A Plane Full of Volunteers Bound for Haiti

(1) Comments | Posted June 14, 2010 | 5:25 PM

As we sat in the airport awaiting our flight to Haiti, I was amazed at the number of teenagers clad in matching T-shirts going to Haiti to help with the recovery efforts. It reminded me of when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand and a Thai asked me...

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Six Questions You Should ask Before Donating Goods Overseas

(2) Comments | Posted April 23, 2010 | 2:27 PM

With the recent TOMS Shoes One Day Without Shoes campaign and the confiscated goods sent to Haiti, it is easy to see why so many people believe that sending donated goods overseas is a great way to help. Unfortunately, donated goods often go unused because they...

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Don't Choose a Charity Based on Administration Costs

(5) Comments | Posted April 7, 2010 | 9:31 PM

While it seems logical that the less a charity spends on administration, the more donation dollars reach the people that need it the most, it is not as simple as that. In reality, the amount that a charity spends on administration costs is a meaningless indicator of effectiveness and it...

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Why are There so Many Natural Disasters Lately?

(2) Comments | Posted March 31, 2010 | 8:45 PM

With the flooding in New England caused by record-setting precipitation, the near flooding in North Dakota, concerns over the volcano in Iceland, and the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile all occurring in just three months, my blog has been inundated with people wanting to know why there are so many...

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Predicting the Haiti "Orphan" Rescue

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2010 | 2:42 PM

Several days before news broke of the missionaries attempting to take "orphans" out of Haiti, I predicted just that scenario.

It was easy to predict because of the misconceptions the average person has about orphans and orphanages. These misconceptions combined with a desire to help RIGHT NOW laid...

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Why Chile is not Accepting International Assistance

(5) Comments | Posted March 15, 2010 | 6:00 PM

When a disaster strikes and the news show images of people in need, it's natural to want to donate; however, before giving it is important to understand that international assistance may not always be needed or welcomed by that country. Currently Chile is allowing only very limited assistance following the...

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The Dos and Don'ts of Disaster Relief Donations

(4) Comments | Posted March 12, 2010 | 9:10 AM

With the recent earthquakes in both Haiti and Chile, everyone wants to help but many people struggle with the best way to do so. Choosing the best way to give is important as there are far too many examples of aid doing more harm than good. One common problem is...

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