How Do Politics Affect Philanthropy?

There is no denying that the philanthropy is influenced by the leadership on the political stage. Who is president and what party they are affiliated with can cause significant fluctuations all the way to the core of non-profit organizations. The political party can cause a shift in several ways, including the amount of funding an organization gets. You may be wondering how exactly politics influences philanthropy. Yuri Vanetik discusses how the change in leadership can shift funding for organizations across the nation in the future. 

Different Leadership
When the country is introduced to new leadership, their viewpoints and agendas will likely differ. As a result, this can directly impact non-profit organizations who rely on funding to function. For example, two organizations may share the same vision to reduce the suffering from cancer, with one investing in ongoing cancer research, while the other one provides resources to families navigating a diagnosis. Based on the viewpoints of the leadership, the organization who receives funding can shift, based on the belief that a long-term investment, like cancer research, is a better investment over immediate assistance. While it can be worrisome for organizations when there is new leadership, but there are a couple different strategies that they can use to maintain their funding.

What Organizations Can Do
In order to prevent any potential loss of funding, organizations around the country should ensure they are taking steps to protect that moving forward. All organizations should not only listen to what is going on in the political realm, but should actively work to make Americans aware of what their organization does. Keeping a close eye on politics can keep them prepared for any changes. Additionally, having more support can help an organization retain their current funding.

Secondly, organizations should put together evidence of their success through tangible data. This could come from research that the organization has done that shows that their services are having a positive impact on society. By having data ready, organizations can defend themselves by providing the evidence of their success. Lastly, organizations should maintain, and recruit additional donors. If an organization were to lose a portion of their government funding, they can continue their work through the other donors.

In general, organizations around the country should always keep a close eye on changes in leadership moving forward. In doing so, they can work to get additional funding from other sources, reducing their chance of closing if government funding was taken away. 

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Education Organizations Are Breaking Down Barriers With Virtual Classrooms

As the field of education continues to evolve, so does the need to continue expanding Americans’ access to a proper education. To do so, innovators and entrepreneurs around the world have worked to solve the problem by taking education to the internet. These organizations have reduced the barriers that many students face when trying obtain a comprehensive education.

Florida Virtual School (FLVS)
Florida Virtual School is an online school that provides opportunities for students between kindergarten to 12th grade to complete courses online. FVS is one of the pioneers to begin building on the idea of virtual education. Chief Operating Office and Founder Julie Young first created the idea for FLVS after receiving a grant to create online courses that allowed homeschooled students and those in rural areas to stay up-to-date on their education. FLVS offers over 150 courses to students around the nation who may not have the resources to succeed in a classroom setting. Since 1997, Florida Virtual School has expanded from 77 students to over 2 million students across the nation and 68 countries worldwide.

The Khan Academy
When the Khan Academy first began their operations in 2004, its CEO and Founder Sal Khan would have no idea that it would become one of the world’s most used online education platforms. The Academy was built with the mission that world-class education should be free for anyone, and offers free online courses, lessons, and resources for both teachers and students. Today, the Khan Academy offers tutorials for the basic subjects, including math, economics, and computer science, to over 42 million registered users from 190 different countries. Additionally, the content from Khan Academy has been translated to over 38 languages, with plans to expand in the future.

edX
Known as one of the largest online providers of massive open online courses, edX offers free online courses from a variety of universities. The concept for edX was created by MIT and Harvard University in 2012. Moocs provide students free, continuous access to a massive list of online courses from 130 leading universities worldwide. edX currently offers over 1,900 free online courses to over 14 million learners worldwide.

Florida Virtual School, The Khan Academy, and edX are just a couple examples of how organizations are working to make a quality education attainable through by providing it virtually. Advances in technology has allowed organizations and educators alike to reach students around the world in a new way.

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Great Organizations Dedicated To Children’s Health

When a child becomes ill, it can be incredibly scary for the parents to navigate their healthcare when looking for answers. In today’s turbulent society, access to adequate, affordable healthcare continues to grow as a concern for parents everywhere. For the nation’s most vulnerable population, lack of access of healthcare can contribute to future chronic health problems. Below are organizations that are working to help increase access to affordable healthcare for families and children around the nation.

Children’s Health Fund
The Children’s Health Fund is committed to helping children in underserved communities get access to the best healthcare possible. When a child lacks access to basic, affordable healthcare, it not only interferes with their life, but preventable illnesses can become an increasing problem overtime. To combat this, the Children’s Health Fund began operating 56 “blue buses,” or pediatric mobile homes that travel the country to provide pediatric healthcare. In doing so, the organization is bringing crucial medical care to children. The blue bus program contains 53 mobile homes and has had 4 million health encounters with Americans since its inception.

National Institute for Children’s Health Quality
The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality is another organization that focuses on providing children access to quality healthcare. Although NICHQ takes a different approach from organizations like the Children’s Health Fund, they are also focused on not only improving a child’s access to healthcare, but the quality of the healthcare they receive. The work of NICHQ has had a profound impact on different pediatric initiatives. For example, the organization has provided 11,000 children with sickle cell disease access to the necessary medical care  they need to control the disease.

HealthyChildren.org
Originally created by pediatricians, healthychildren.org is managed by American parents and is backed by nearly 66,000 pediatricians. HealthChildren.org is focused on helping children receive access to physical, mental and social health services. Additionally, the organization provides resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), as well as fighting to get American children access the healthcare they need to thrive. The website provides information for every stage of a child’s development, so a parent feels comfortable knowing that the information they receive is medically sound.

Children are one of the most vulnerable populations around the world, make it vital for others to act as their advocate. Whether to provide access to adequate healthcare or help a family find a specialist, parents and doctors alike should work to provide that to children. The Children’s Health Fund, National Institute for Children’s Health Quality, and HealthyChildren.org are all reputable organizations that actively work to not only improve access to healthcare, but bring new opportunities to children around the nation.

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Talking To Your Kids About Politics

It is more important than ever for parents to think about the most appropriate way to explain politics to their kids. The ever-changing political field can make it seem daunting for parents who have never done so, but it remains important to teach your children early. Here are tips that can make the conversation smooth and productive.

Talk to your kids at different ages, and tailor the conversation
According to Care.com, parents should not only begin talking to their children at an early age, but they should tailor the language to the child’s age. Essentially, this means that parents should slowly begin the conversation by covering basic information. An example of this could include a discussion about what a president is, and what he does. Learning about politics can be a confusing process for a child, so patience remains important, particularly in the early phase.

Try to keep the conversation neutral
While politics has been known to bring out passion and emotion during a discussion, but it is important to stay somewhat impartial when entering the conversation. This will oftentimes be the child’s first time discussing the topic, so parents should strive to keep the conversation free of bias. While it is nearly impossible to engage in a discussion without any bias, but the goal should be to keep it the conversation equal. This allows the children to receive a more well-rounded lesson about politics.

Do not focus on the negative parts of politics, but the positive
As we all know, it is very difficult to keep your personal viewpoints out of the conversation, especially if there are a lot of questions. Some of the questions may prompt your desire to begin talking negatively in your answer, but parents should make an effort to keep it positive. This keeps your child’s mind open to differing opinions as they grow up.

Make it a conversation
Children learn when they have the ability to ask questions about a confusing topic. The parents should encourage the child to ask plenty of questions and answer them to the best of their ability. As children ask more questions, they slowly begin to pick up on more complex concepts along the way.

As the children continue to get older, parents should make it a point to discuss politics regularly. This ensures that they are informed about what is going on the world. There are other ways to encourage children to become involved in politics. For example, middle schools have student government that they can get involved in. Giving children the opportunity to learn about politics from different sources will allow them to develop their understanding and involvement in politics.

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How Social Media is Affecting Today’s Voters

Social media has become a driving force in today’s society, with people all over the world logging into social media accounts on a daily basis. As the different platforms have grown in popularity, so has the amount of information that has become available, making social media one of the biggest sources for news.

According to a study from Pew Research Center, 35% of respondents between 18 and 29 disclosed that social media was the most useful source of information during the 2016 election. The information that someone discovers on social media likely influences their viewpoints in everything from sports teams to hobbies. As a result, social media will heavily influence different areas of society, including politics. Yuri Vanetik examines different ways that social media affects voting Americans.

Fake News and Conspiracies
The term fake news has taken on a new and explosive meaning with the 2016 elections, and has only continued to become more common. For example, there are websites like the Onion, that have only post false news posts. People that have never interacted with these types of websites may take the information as true and share it among their social media platforms. This influences your followers on your social media platform, even if the content is inaccurate.

In addition, most news organizations write based on the viewpoint that the organization as a whole has. For example, stories on CNN will tend to lead more liberal, while Fox News leans more on the conservative side. The viewpoint of the outlet will also significantly influence the type of news stories that are released, making it difficult to avoid any bias in the articles.

Friends and Followers Share Similar Viewpoints
The purpose of social media is to allow users stay in contact with friends and family around the world, meaning that many people’s core followers will be friends or family. What makes this an important idea to understand is that, in many cases, a person’s friends and family share incredibly similar viewpoints.

The person will consistently be exposed to news stories and updates that more closely reflect his viewpoints, without examining the other side of the matter. This can decrease a person from receiving a bias-free, well-rounded picture of a news story. What began as an efficient way to stay in contact with friends and family has become a revolving door of information for its users.

Following different news outlets with conflicting viewpoints, conducting research outside of social media, and engaging in conversations with people of different viewpoints are all ways to maintain a well-rounded understanding of politics.

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Why Is Philanthropy Important?

Have you ever thought about getting involved in your community, but are unsure of what the next step is? Understanding philanthropy can be tricky to navigate, so it is important to know common terms that are used. For example, you may have heard about philanthropy and charity, but how exactly do they differ? While the meaning of philanthropy and charity are oftentimes intertwined, there are a few significant differences to understand. Both charity and philanthropy are necessary in order to help solve social problems in today’s world.

Philanthropy vs. Charity
When a person thinks of charity, giving money to relief funds or food to homeless shelters will come to mind. When a person donates to a charity, they are providing an immediate need in their community. While philanthropy is similar in that a person can actively work towards improving a situation within their communities, they are looking for a long-term solution to a community need. As Learning to Give puts it, charity works to help reduce or eliminate suffering that individuals experience from social problems, while philanthropy works to reduce or eliminate the social problems. As a result, philanthropy is typically seen as an ongoing, long-term project.

Why is Philanthropy Important?
Not only does philanthropy work to solve a social problem that our community faces, it helps provide opportunities to today’s society. For example, philanthropists who are focused education may provide academic scholarships to different ivy league universities. In doing this, the philanthropist is providing the opportunity for someone to attain an education that they would not be able to afford otherwise. If they are unable to provide the money, they can still volunteer for the university or non-profit organization, to help raise the money for scholarships. In general, the philanthropists are providing long-term solutions that can be used in the future.

How to Get Involved
In order to become more involved as a philanthropist, it is important to think about social problems that you care about. If helping younger generations attain an education is important, you can get involved with universities or non-profit organizations that work towards providing scholarships to underserved populations in your community. By getting involved with an cause that you care about, you will enjoy what you are doing while making an impact.

When deciding on an organization that you would like to get involved in, it is also important to do research prior to committing to them. Going back to the education example, you may want to focus your time and resources towards providing undergraduate scholarships for students in underserved communities. While there are many organizations dedicated to improving education, they may not have any scholarships in their budget. By researching the organizations, you will be able to narrow the options down by the services they offer the community. 

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Why Some Wines Age Better Than Others

Wine that hasn’t been aged is no more than fruit juice. Wine that has been aged too long tastes vinegary and too tart. Like Goldilocks, you want your wine to be just right. Still, some wines age better than others. Here’s why.

Oxidation
Aging wine is dependent on a chemical process called oxidation – the interaction between oxygen and the acids, alcohol and polyphenols (things like tannins, color pigments and other flavor compounds) in the original juice. Phenols are particularly important, as a higher concentration of phenols and a deep color usually means the wines will spend more time in the aging process, leading to deep flavors with subtle differences due to the original strain or blend of grapes.

Terroir
Terroir – the environment in which the grape is grown – includes factors such as climate, elevation and ground qualities. The same grape variety grown in a different terrior will produce a completely different wine. Terrior also has a strong effect on tannins, and the ripeness of a tannin is a major factor in how well a wine ages. Terrior and the richness of the soil also affect yield, as the grapes and their vines actually compete for nutrients. Higher yields typically mean fewer phenols. Finally, older grape vines tend to produce better-quality grapes.

Wine-Making Variations
Beyond the variety, environment and growing process, the wine-making process also makes a difference. For example, the length of time the grapes are left to macerate after they are crushed affects the amount of phenols extracted, as does the temperature at which the grapes are macerated. Adding sulfur dioxide limits oxidation but is necessary to the process; the amount and timing are critical. Filtration, yeasts and whether to age in oak barrels (including how new the barrels are) all affect wine aging.

There’s always anticipation when you open a wine bottle. Even when everything seems to be right, a wine may not age well. In other cases, a wine low in tannins and pale in color (which usually means it will age poorly) turns out to be surprisingly good 30 years later. The longest-lived white wines are found among Sauternes, German Beerenauslesen and Tokaji. Burgundies and Bordeaux are the classic red wines, while the wine known as Condrieu is not very suitable for aging in the bottle. Wine-making is an art because there are so many different factors that affect aging.