Social Media: a new way of giving
Buy tickets at: philanthropy20.eventbrite.com
5:30-9 pm full dinner | 7-9pm hor d’oeuvres | Sunday, 23August | Prana Restaurant | 540 Howard St.| San Francisco, CA
Social Empowerment Organization Hosts Children’s Rights Benefit at Prana Restaurant
Genesis Network, an international human rights development organization, to hold fundraiser to help build schools in Burma and Thailand.
08.23.2009 – Prana SF in the SOMA district will be hosting a benefit to help make Philanthropy 2.0 possible. The elegant evening will include live music, a silent auction and fusion dining with a dynamic and caring crowd. Genesis Network is a social media platform that increases the efficiency of philanthropy by connecting givers with the needy. The goal of this fundraiser is to raise funds for site development and pilot projects that provide Thai and Burmese children with schooling.
Imagine if when we donated to a cause a regularly updated profile was available along with online communication with the aid recipient instead of a simple thank-you card. Imagine we could see where our money went and interact with those we helped.
Genesis Network is essentially Facebook between philanthropists and NGOs. Non-profits will be given profile pages, as will philanthropists. The philanthropists will have a massive database of NGO’s at their finger tips and be able to choose from a buffet of causes and organizations (soon to be rated by peers on the site) to donate to. Once a donation is made, representatives and beneficiaries from the project will be in communication with the donors like pen pals. This is a way to see where your money goes first hand. Philanthropists will be able to form communities and initiatives together. The aim is to connect investors, donors, organizations, volunteers, and community leaders, in hopes of building a decentralized, open source network . We are a democratically determined 501C who embrace the open-source philosophy. We want to give everyone the tools to organize and make an impact. The Network is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and was incorporated in 2008 in Providence, RI by founder Adam Swartzbaugh. www.gnetwork.org
Entry is $175 dinner and first bids (table Price $100 discount). $75 Hor d’oeuvres. Donations are always welcome. RSVPs are requested by August 10th. For more information, call 415-533-7601 or visit www.genesisnetwork.org.
In the midst of a severe economic depression, philanthropy is surprisingly more popular than ever. Giving USA 2009 noted that “charitable giving in the United States exceeded $300 billion for the second year in a row in 2008.” Though financial realities created a decrease from 2007’s figures, the amount given was considered “remarkable” by Giving USA chairwoman Del Martin and represented just a two percent decrease in current dollars.
Some facts about philanthropy today, from “The new face of giving” (USA Today 7 October 2008):
• Younger donors, especially in their 20s and 30s, are making an impact on the giving landscape. Though without the financial power of their older counterparts, they contribute “earlier, more consistently and in more imaginative ways than their grandparents did.”
• Among this younger set, environmental and international causes have gained an unprecedented amount of popularity in the current decade.
• The internet and text messaging has made it possible for charities to directly communicate with potential contributors and raise donations. Only six percent of households gave online in 2007, though these newer tools have made an impact.
The most important point noted, however, is that philanthropists want to know what is being done with their money. This has made an impact in ways ranging from donors spending more time directly volunteering with projects, charities using the internet to show what is being done with the money they receive, and even the formation of “giving circles” where members decide what causes they want to support.
The contrast between the immense desire of potential donors to give and their uncertainty over where their money will go emphasizes the need for a framework of accountability and transparency. Through creating a platform where philanthropists and charities can connect and communicate, the Genesis Network hopes to make an impact on giving in the 21st century.
“ICTs”, or Information and Communication Technologies, identifies any long-distance communication outlet, ranging from radio and television to cell phones and broadband. Along with convenience, the impact established and emerging ICTs can have on activism and social programs cannot be overstated. In particular, the United Nations is emphasizing Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICT4D) to link populations in developing areas. Since 1992, the UNDP has taken on various initiatives including the creation of a trust fund to fund expansion of ICT use “in close to 25 developing countries, on a demand-driven basis.”
Since its inception, the Genesis Network has sought to take social networking to a new level in this regard. Genesis’s ongoing objective is to give human rights-focused nonprofits a new way to reach out to prospective donors and partners, as well as connect with volunteers and beneficiaries. Among the Network’s features:
• Users can synch Genesis with existing networks, connecting through Facebook and using Twitter feeds to update their status.
• Users can invite friends and search for members who have similar interests or projects.
• Direct communication with individual beneficiaries. Through using network profiles, donors can search for both children in need of assistance and existing programs working to help them. Ongoing connections between benefactors and those they aid can be established.
• Within Genesis, individual organizations can create their own networks with features including being able to track proposed plans and budgets for new projects.
Through growing and developing this unique platform, Genesis hopes build new connections that can make a better world possible, project by project.
In the past two years, events catapulted Myanmar (Burma) to the forefront of world attention, as coverage of the “Saffron Revolution” protests and Cyclone Nargis shined light on a country suffering from extreme poverty and conflict. As the Christian Science Monitor observed in a September 20, 2007 article
“While Burma was once so productive that it was known as Asia’s rice bowl, today nearly a third of Burmese are chronically malnourished or physically underdeveloped, according to the World Food Program. The per capita income is around $175, among the lowest in Asia-even below neighboring Bangladesh. Ninety percent of the population lives at or below the poverty line.”
In its 2007-2008 Human Development Index the UNDP ranked Burma 132 out of 177 countries, taking into account life expectancy, adult literacy, school enrollment, and GDP per capita.
• According to the U.S. Campaign for Burma, “in 2004, only 85.1% of Burmese children are enrolled in primary school, down from 97.8% in 1991.” Financial hardships and safety concerns lead to only 34% enrollment rates in secondary schools, leading many to “trek through the jungle to the refugee camps on the Thai border for education.”
• A June 2009 U.S. State Department report on human trafficking noted Burma as a “source country” for trafficking for sexual and other forced labor and a “destination country for child sex tourism.”
• Human Rights Watch identified Burma in 2002 as having “the largest number of child soldiers in the world,” with both the national army and opposition groups contributing to the dilemma.
As Burma’s devastated condition critically impacts the younger generation, long-term stability is put at severe risk. Fortunately, organizations are responding with programs emphasizing local empowerment and educational support to give children a future.
The Genesis Network’s own New Hope is one of these initiatives. Active along the Burmese-Thai border, New Hope provides social, medical, and educational support including school construction. It emphasizes an approach that develops “children’s emotional strength and wisdom along with their physical strength. “ Its Three Pagodas Pass project hopes among its goals to provide schooling to over 60 orphans per year and social support services to over 300, targeting an area of the country that has long been a center of political and ethnic conflict.
Though there is much work to be done, social and educational programs such as New Hope indicate the possibility of change for the future. Through building up local communities and giving children an opportunity to learn, organizers set the groundwork for an end to the cycle of poverty and create the opportunity for progress. As New Hope emphasizes, “the future can…likewise be changed-one mind at a time.”
Philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, business leaders and volunteers from New England are expected to attend a gala benefit on Saturday, August 1, 2009, 6:30PM on Portsmouth (NH) Harbor to support needy children in Burma and Thailand. The evening will include special guest Terie Norelli, New Hampshire’s Speaker of the House and a presentation by Adam Swartzbaugh, Genesis Network founder, on how the philanthropic organization’s efforts have helped children’s rights in developing countries.
“The New Hampshire Portsmouth Harbor is a picturesque setting for the event. The elegant evening will include live music, a silent auction and sunset dining with a dynamic and caring crowd.” – Adam Swartzbaugh, Genesis Network Founder.
All proceeds will go directly to build schools and support Genesis Network initiatives. Projects will help prevent child trafficking, prostitution and slave labor.
To attend the event, visit: www.HopesandDreams.eventbrite.co
About The Genesis Network:
The Genesis Network is an international empowerment and sustainable social improvement organization. The Network is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and was incorporated in 2008 in Providence, RI by founder Adam Swartzbaugh. www.gnetwork.org
Entry is $50, and donations are always welcome RSVPs are requested by July 26th. For more information, call 603-380-3284 or visithttp://hopesanddreams.eventbrite.com/.
Genesis will be undertaking two new projects at the end of July and beginning of August. The first will be the second of three schools in northern Chiang Mai, Thailand as part of the Kid Launch education program. The second is the first of two schools/homestays in Burma for chilren prone to trafficking and recruitment as soliders in the Army as part of the New Hope orphan support program.
Kid Launch New Hope
The Genesis Network was incorporated in 2008 as a nonprofit international nongovernmental human rights protection networking organization. It connects the dots of philanthropy in a mission built upon heart and soul. Transparency and accountability form the rock upon which its legitimacy and credibility are built and sustained. We back projects that have the highest returns on human rights advancement to every dollar irrespective of the beneficiaries’ gender, culture, religion or nationality.