What Are Some Major Focuses With Philanthropy Currently?

As our world has continued to grow and evolve, so have some of the biggest issues that we face around the world. From extreme poverty to growing concerns of climate change, it is becoming increasingly important to focus on both new social problems, and problems that have been around for awhile, but have also had an increased effect on communities worldwide. With this concept in mind, what are some areas that philanthropists have been shifting more focus to in recent years?

Global Warming
Many people are not surprised to learn that a significant amount of focus has shifted towards global warming for several reasons. To begin, natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes have only continued to grow in strength and frequency, oftentimes leaving vulnerable areas to devastating damage, and at times, loss of life. This has been a growing trend in recent years as well. Not only has the United States experienced a significant evolution of the danger of natural disasters, but the rest of the world has been directly impacted as well.

To help combat this, some of the world’s
leading philanthropists recently pledged to provide $450 million to help save forests, which in turn, can help slow down global warming. This is done by providing more protection to some of the world’s biggest forests from being demolished for human use.

Gender Gap in Technology
Most Americans are aware that some professions in today’s workforce continue to be dominated by males, leaving little room for women to make their way in. To help combat this, some philanthropists are working to not only shed more light on this, but to point out where women continue to be underrepresented.

A recent study found that only 5 percent of the philanthropic efforts by the technology industry focused on supporting more women in the field. Well-known philanthropist Melinda Gates recently announced her intention to dedicate more funding towards helping women enter and remain in the technology industry by providing resources they would not have otherwise. Gates has been advocating for more diversity in a variety of industries, and plans on providing more resources to help reduce the amount of hurdles that women face in the technology industry.

While both pledges are still in the early stages at this point, the financial support that will be provided can help improve both global warming and gender gaps in technology in the coming years. This can help reduce the strain that both issues can cause in the future.

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Podcasts To Follow For Politics

In today’s age, the ability to remain current on a variety of topics has become more accessible than ever, with information being readily available in countless forms. One medium that has taken on a new form in recent years are podcasts. In short, podcasts are audio files that can be found on the internet and is available to download to one’s computer or smartphone. In general, podcasts are recurring pieces that cover a popular or controversial topic. One industry that has made significant use of podcasts is politics. Podcasts have allowed working professionals in politics to voice their viewpoint, resulting in a significant number of political podcasts. With this in mind, it is important to learn about some of the podcasts that are offered, and how they differ from others.

The Federalist Podcast
Based off of an online magazine, the Federalist podcast provides their conservative viewpoint on a host of topics. What makes this podcast appealing to many Americans is its ability to view politics from the conservative standpoint, and not solely from one party. As a result of this approach, the Federalist podcast continues to be a popular choice for politics.

Pod Save America
As a podcast featuring former employees of President Barack Obama, Pod Save America dives into current events in politics. Because of their work with the former president, the podcast focuses on a left-leaning analysis of anything going on in the world of politics.

Left, Right, and Center
The podcast titled Left, Right and Center takes a different approach than many other political podcasts by bringing three people in, all with different political affiliations, to discuss some of the more recent politics stories. What makes the podcast exciting is the ability of the speakers to discuss such controversial topics without it becoming overwhelming while bringing interesting insights to the table. Left, Right, and Center allows listeners to hear the different sides of politics in a new way.

Nerdcast
Originated from the publication, Politico, Nerdcast provides another show that does not significantly lean either way in politics. Instead, the podcasts’ host regularly has guests on the show with differing political affiliations, thus providing a show that analyzes all sides of a debate.

For anyone who is beginning to become interested in politics will often find that a podcast, like the ones discussed above, could help them learn more about the topic and its influence on today’s society.

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Philanthropists That Are Making A Big Difference

Did you know that in 2017, the wealthiest people in America donated a combined $14.7 billion to foundations, charities, and causes they are passionate about? Their donations allow the hard work of organizations to continue by providing the financial support that they so often need. With so many significant contributions each year, it is important to become familiar with some of today’s biggest donors and philanthropists.

Bill & Melinda Gates
Most well-known for their previous work with Microsoft, Bill and Melinda Gates decided to leave the massive technology company to focus on their work in philanthropy full-time. Through their foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the duo helps provide resources to help improve healthcare, reduce extreme property, and expand educational opportunities, among other causes. In 2017 alone, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated approximately $4.78 billion to these causes worldwide.

Michael and Susan Dell
Known originally for creating Dell Technologies, which remains of the world’s largest technology companies, Michael and Susan Dell have created a big name for themselves in philanthropy. The couple created the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to help provide more opportunities to children living in urban poverty. They do so by improving access to education, healthcare, and family economic stability. In 2017, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation donated $1 billion to help children and family poverty in Central Texas, India, and South Africa.

Henry Hillman
Henry Hillman is an American businessman and philanthropist, who gained his wealth by working as the Chairman of the family’s investment company, The Hillman Company. Since 1986, Hillman has worked to create 14 non-profit organizations that focus on a variety of social issues. In 2009, Henry Hillman officially created Hillman Family Foundations as a way to house all of the organizations. In 2017, Hillman donated approximately $850 million to the foundation to help support the causes of the 14 organizations.

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The Rural Vs. Urban Split In Politics

The most recent presidential election demonstrated that there is a deep divide between rural and urban communities based on political beliefs. Hillary Clinton had significant support from the large cities in America, and she did very poorly in rural areas especially in areas in the heartland of the nation. On the other hand, Donald Trump’s main areas of support were in areas outside of urban areas. He did well in rural areas and suburbs, and this allowed him to win the election.

After the election, the big cities that have a more liberal political identity attempted to pass city ordinances which expressed a more liberal agenda. Some cities enacted measures increasing the minimum wages. Some other cities tried to defy the new administration’s laws concerning immigration. Other cities have attempted to enact environmental legislation that bans plastic bags.

Cities are finding that in many instances that their efforts are being resisted and repealed by the more conservative state legislatures. In the American political system, there are levels of precedence in the law. Federal law supersedes state laws, and state laws supersede city ordinances.

There are a few examples. In the state of Arizona, a couple of the larger cities attempted to ban the toys that come in Happy Meals from McDonald’s. The idea was that the toys made the children want to go to that restaurant and therefore they would eat less nutritious meals. The state issued a law stating that cities could not ban these toys thus overturning city ordinances.

Another case in point is the state of Mississippi. Rural Mississippi is one of the most conservative areas in the United States. When some cities in Mississippi sought to regulate sugary soft drinks, state lawmakers stepped in and made it illegal for any city to place regulations on the soft drink industry.

Some of the greatest division between rural and urban communities has occurred over the issue of transgender rights. In some southern states, the major cities have passed transgender non-discrimination bills. The state legislatures and those in rural communities immediately passed legislation to overturn these transgender bills.

Over the next few years, there will continue to be a great divide between the more conservative rural areas which still make up the largest portion of some states, and the more liberal urban areas of states that want to implement a progressive agenda.

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How Can You Make An Immediate Difference In The Community?

Making a difference in your community is one of the best things that you can. It makes you feel great and helps others in a big way. Here are various ways that you can make a difference right now:

Your Work
Even when you’re at work, you can make a difference in your community. First of all, you can offer pro bono work to people who truly need it, no matter what profession you have. Many charities would love your skill set. Secondly, you can donate a portion of your sales to certain groups.

Your Hobbies
Whether you are an artist, wood expert, or anything else, you can provide value to your community. Doing things that people enjoy will make your hobby even more meaningful. See if you can teach a workshop or at least place your work in public locations.

Volunteer With Kids
There are many kids from broken homes who do not have the love or attention they deserve. Volunteer with a group to take them out for activities, sports, or other experiences. A simple gesture can change a life.

Help the Homeless
You don’t need money to help those without a home. You can simply offer to help distribute goods that were already collected. Furthermore, you might be able to connect with someone with employment.

Teach the Elderly
Local libraries always have events to teach technology skills to older people. If you can do something with social media or technology, consider teaching it to others.

Donate to Charity
Setting aside a portion of your income for charity is a great thing to do. Not only is it tax deductible, but it also helps those groups in a big way. Every little bit counts.

Get on the Board of an Organization
Try leading a local group in certain causes. You might find that your unique experience can uncover opportunities for them to grow. It also helps to have on your resume for future employment opportunities. Remember, everyone loves someone who is giving back to their community. It shows compassion and discipline.

When you give back, it helps you in more ways than one. You will feel more confident, able, and ethical. So don’t make excuses. Use the ways above to make an immediate difference in your community today.

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How We Can Make A Difference To Struggling Communities Around The World

How We Can Make a Difference to Struggling Communities Around the World

There is a great deal of poverty in this world. Millions of people live on less than $2 each day. With so much poverty in struggling communities, it is often difficult to come up with strategies that are the most effective in bringing needed help to people.

Even though making a lasting impact may be difficult, there are ways to make a difference. Following a five-step approach is helpful.

First of all, those who are affected by poverty in any given community have to be involved in the effort to combat poverty. Any group or charitable organization that is working with poor communities has to understand the culture of the group that they are working with. The leaders within the community need to be consulted as to what is the best way to bring aid to people.

After the leaders in a community are consulted, it is important to build up a group of people within the impoverished community who will form the basis of an organization that will distribute aid and services. This works better than simply giving aid to individuals. When the impoverished community is acting on its own behalf, the community feels a greater stake in the overall outcome of the program.

Those working with impoverished communities need to listen to the people as to what methods will and will not work. The people on the ground know what has been tried before. They know the methods that have succeed, and they know the methods that have failed.

In some communities, poverty is so entrenched that many don’t even know that there is another way to live. The people are discouraged, and they don’t have the vision to see that life can be better. For this reason, those who are seeking to alleviate poverty have to encourage people and provide them a vision for the future. The people have to come to the realization that they have the power to help themselves.

Finally, those who want to make a difference have to be willing to work for a long period of time. The causes of social injustice and poverty didn’t just manifest themselves overnight. It takes time for anti-poverty programs to work. For this reason, those who are fighting poverty need to stay positive and resist the feeling of becoming discouraged.

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What Are The Biggest Differences Between The Democratic Party And The Republican Party?

Politics is a thick and messy intellectual quagmire to navigate. If you find yourself unable to decide which political party your ideals are more aligned with, take a look at three of the biggest differences between the Democratic and Republican parties.

Women’s Reproductive Rights
Notice that this section isn’t labeled simply “reproductive rights.” This is because, for the Republican party, reproductive rights are only an issue if you’re a woman. The Republican National Convention recently reaffirmed their political position to be opposed to the freedom of women to control their reproductive rights with regards to abortions. Republican lawmakers have worked tirelessly for years to put forth legislation would make it so abortion clinics would have to relocate or close entirely, essentially destroying women’s access to abortion methods across the country. The focus of their attacks has been Planned Parenthood. Alternatively, Democrats have been long supporters of women having control over their reproductive system with the most recent Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, running on a platform of demanding women retain control over their bodies.

LGBTQ Rights
Republicans consider themselves to be the party of the religiously dedicated. They have been opponents of LGBTQ rights, including gay marriage. More recently, Republican president Donald Trump signed a bill to ban all transgender citizens from serving in the armed forces. Additionally, once the Trump administration began to take over the White House and implement their agenda, the LGBTQ section of the White House website disappeared, sparking controversy and suspicion. Democrats have a long history of not only standing by the LGBTQ community, but Democratic lawmakers and presidents have shown a steadfast dedication to preserving the rights that the LGBTQ community has fought so hard to achieve while expanding them for future generations.

Climate Change
Climate change is a topic that has been turned into a political talking point instead of being recognized as the immense global threat that it truly is. The Republican party has decided to go against intelligence, science, and the facts presented by 99% of the world’s scientists to say that climate change is a hoax. Republican president Donald Trump has even pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement which was struck between several industrialized countries who vowed to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions in the hopes of slowing the damages of climate change. Meanwhile, Democrats have been at the forefront of many movements with regards to advocating for lower carbon emissions, a turn towards greener and more renewable energy sources, and have openly accepted the scientific community’s findings that climate change is a real event that we are currently experiencing.

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