Make a Difference by Watching These 6 Netflix Documentaries

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Philanthropy seems to be an increasingly popular topic in recent years, likely because the world is becoming more and more connected. It’s easier to see what other people are going through and find ways to help them. If you’re particularly interested in philanthropy and want to learn more about a specific topic or cause that needs some support, a great place for information is Netflix documentaries. The documentaries on Netflix are often well-known and many have won awards for the quality and awareness of the documentary. Here are some of the best documentaries on Netflix about various issues. If none of these appeal to you, there are many more to choose from, so go ahead and browse through them yourself!

Virunga

This documentary received stunning reviews from critics and even won a few awards. It focuses on park rangers in the Virunga National Park in the Congo. These rangers work on various conservation projects, even during the M23 Rebellion in the area. The documentary also takes a look at the activities of an oil company within the Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It covers political, economical, and environmental issues and shows a truly beautiful corner of the world that people are striving to protect.

Blackfish

Blackfish came out a few years ago and shocked audiences. The filmmakers discuss the issue of whether or not creatures like killer whales should be kept in captivity. It led to public outrage at the conditions many of these animals are kept in and eventually caused Seaworld to announce they would no longer breed orcas in captivity.

Poverty, Inc.

If you’ve ever questioned whether or not all charities are using your donations for the causes they advertise, this documentary addresses that issue. It offers a look into poverty in third-world countries and how charity actually impacts the people many are trying to help.

Fed Up

One of the many food documentaries on Netflix, Fed Up takes a look at the issue of childhood obesity in the United States and how the food industry may be contributing to this widespread health issue. There are lots of other documentaries that address issues in the food industry and they’re all unique in their own ways, so check out some of the others as well.

After the Spill

Oil spills seem to be increasingly common and we often do not hear much about them, especially after the initial disaster. This documentary examines the continuing effects of the Deepwater Horizon spill in Louisiana. Activists and locals are all interviewed and offer their views, providing a look into how an oil spill impacts an area for years to come.

Refugee

This documentary takes a look at various refugees from around the world who have had to leave their homes for different reasons. It offers a deeply personal view into their lives and allows them to share their dreams of a better life and the issues they’ve faced.

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7 Top-Notch Podcasts for Entrepreneurs that Push You Toward Success

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As an entrepreneur, it’s likely you’re always looking for opportunities to enhance your skills and knowledge. Podcasts are a perfect way to achieve these goals, because they allow you to learn while playing them in the background. You can multitask while listening to a podcast or listen to them during your commute. In the last few years, podcasts have become increasingly more popular and now you can find one on basically any topic you could possibly imagine. You should aim to continuously enhance your skills and learn more, so here are some of the best podcasts for entrepreneurs to help motivate and inform you.

Startup

The company Gimlet Media produces this podcast, known as Startup. The CEO of Gimlet, Alex Blumberg, and Lisa Chow, a former editor, run this podcast. It follows the lessons they’ve learned along the way in business. It’s an incredibly personal podcast that walks listeners through the more detailed parts of starting a company.

This is Your Life

If you’re a brand-new entrepreneur, this podcast will be a fantastic resource for you. Michael Hyatt gives you detailed podcasts on various topics that help you get a taste for what it’s like being an entrepreneur.

She Did It Her Way

If you’re a female entrepreneur or just want some perspective from one, this podcast is a good option to check out. The podcast features a successful female entrepreneur each week, from a variety of backgrounds and industries.

The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss, the author of The 4-Hour Work Week, also has a podcast. The podcast has over 100 episodes and is highly ranked. Ferriss talks to various entrepreneurs who are leaders in their industries and shares their tips for success with listeners. It offers quality advice, but is also really fun.

Social Pros

A major part of a successful business strategy is understanding how to market the company. Jay Baer and Adam Brown lead this podcast. They interview the social media strategists of large companies in order to gather advice to share with listeners. It’s particularly useful for keeping up with social media trends.

Entrepreneur On Fire

Entrepreneur on Fire offers a wide-range of topics for listeners. If you like variety, this podcast is perfect for you. Some episodes are incredibly informative, while others are simply entertaining to listen to.

Mixergy

Andrew Warner leads this podcast and features experienced entrepreneurs on his show who can offer quality advice to more novice entrepreneurs. Warner asks his guests in-depth questions that lead to interesting conversations and genuine interactions.

6 Guaranteed Ways of Keeping Volunteers Happy & Making Your Philanthropy Succeed

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When your organization utilizes volunteers to remain in operation, it is essential to keep the individuals happy with these tips. I’ve written before about the importance of keeping your volunteers happy, but now I’d like to share some tangible ways to actually accomplish this goal. When you have happy volunteers, your philanthropy is much more likely to achieve its goals and succeed.

Tip 1: Provide training for your volunteers

To help your volunteers feel more confident, make sure to provide training for them. For example, if your volunteers are helping out in an assisted living center, then teach them about emergency first-aid procedures. When you are training volunteers to work in a crisis call center, teach them how to remain calm while talking to someone who is having suicidal thoughts. Make sure to update the volunteers’ training occasionally in order to keep them abreast of the best developments in the field they’re working in for your philanthropy.

Tip 2: Have group meetings for your volunteers

While it is possible that your volunteers don’t work at the same times, it is important for them to know each other. Have group meetings on a routine basis so that your volunteers can communicate with one another. This is a good time for your volunteers to make suggestions to you concerning any changes in an organization as well as share their experiences and ideas with other volunteers.

Tip 3: Get to know your volunteers

Take time to talk to your volunteers to understand their knowledge. It is possible that a volunteer has specialized education and experiences that will make them more valuable for your charity. By knowing more about your volunteers, you can place them in the best positions in an organization and both of you get get the most from their volunteering.

Tip 4: Offer rewards to your volunteers

Reward your volunteers to make them feel more valuable at your philanthropy. At least once a year, have a reward dinner to give out certificates or plaques to your volunteers for things such as having excellent attendance or providing extra services to a client. This step also helps you retain great volunteers who can continue to help the charity.

Tip 5: Permit volunteers to choose their own schedules

To make volunteers happy, permit them to choose their own schedules. Many individuals want to volunteer, but they must have an open schedule that works with raising a family or working a full-time job. Some volunteers may only have a few hours available each month, but if they’re dedicated to your cause, they can still help make a difference.

Tip 6: Treat your volunteers with respect

Volunteers aren’t getting paid for working for you, and they also don’t get health care insurance or retirement benefits. Make sure to treat your volunteers with respect by acknowledging how valuable they are to your organization. Determine how a volunteer wants to help you with your philanthropy so that you can place them in the correct role that suits their interests.

The New, Revolutionary Way of Giving

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Many times, philanthropy and charity have been redeveloped, especially in how they function and their mission. There has always been some form of philanthropy, stemming from the basic human need to help others who sincerely need it. Recently, philanthropy is much more widespread and monitored to make sure no organizations are taking advantage of volunteers, donors, or those in need. Each year, people donate billions of dollars to various organizations, usually as individual donations or as a company. However, now there’s a new way to give, known as donor-advised funds (DAFs), which accounts for over $80 billion. The topic of DAFs has recently been discussed in-depth in a recent Economist article. I’ll go into more detail about what exactly DAFs are and other information regarding them.

What are DAFs?

Donor-advised funds are becoming increasingly popular. DAFs are basically like bank accounts, but for nonprofits. Donors deposit money into the DAF, which can only transfer money to a nonprofit, according to standards set by the IRS. As the donations sit in the account before being passed onto a philanthropy, the funds are invested and gain interest while also remaining tax-free.

Donors can instruct the DAF on where to donate their money, making the process simple, but also allowing a philanthropist to choose where their money goes. DAFs have been around since the 1930s, but have recently become more popular, mainly in the United States. Many financial firms have now joined the world of DAFs and set up their own accounts for philanthropists to deposit money into.

Why are they preferred?

A big part of the appeal of DAFs for donors is that the tax breaks are better. While this may seem like a selfish reason, people are very conscious about how to avoid as many taxes as possible and the money is still going toward good causes. There are also plenty of online platforms to manage DAFs and donate, which makes it easier for people to deposit their money than working directly with many charities. For people who wish to donate goods besides money, DAFs make the entire process easier, because the DAF sells the goods and deposits the money into its account, saving the donor a significant amount of hassle.

Are there any drawbacks?

While there is no hard evidence that DAFs aren’t beneficial, people are concerned over their sudden surge in popularity. Many aren’t sure that DAFs actually lead to more help for the poor, which some people claim they do. Others are turned off by the appearance of the tax breaks helping out wealthy donors, seeing it as another way for the wealthy to get out of paying more taxes. Finally, a major concern is that people will opt for a DAF instead of setting up a foundation, which could decrease the amount of donations because foundations are required to make regular donations to charities. Without foundations, less money may be put into various causes.

6 Blogs to Help You Kill the Philanthropy Game

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As a philanthropist, you might not think of reading blogs as something that can directly benefit your work. However, whether you work for a philanthropy or are just heavily involved as a philanthropist, reading up on blogs about philanthropy can be incredibly beneficial. It’s important to stay up with the latest trends, so you can see what philanthropies are doing well and which ones could use some more help. You’ll also learn about new methods philanthropies are using to raise donations or spread awareness about their cause. Staying up-to-date with the latest philanthropy news keeps you informed, which makes you a more responsible philanthropist. Also, if your philanthropy has it’s own blog, it can be helpful to see what other people are writing about and what’s currently trending.

Nonprofit Pro

Nonprofit Pro is a great resource for people to learn more about managing a nonprofit and developing quality strategy to help it succeed. Beyond the blog, you can access webinars and various other helpful resources, which can definitely be used to your benefit as you strive to become a better philanthropist

Guidestar Blog

Every day, you can get new content from this blog that is extremely informative. If you like thought leadership pieces from well-known philanthropists and speakers, definitely check out this blog. You’ll learn so much from these interesting people.

Passionate Giving by the Veritus Group

Fundraising can often be tricky for nonprofits, so it’s beneficial to seek out any advice that you can. This blog helps by offering detailed information regarding major donor fundraising, which is hugely beneficial to nonprofits.

Beth’s Blog

Beth Kanter runs this blog and focuses mainly on how social media can help out philanthropies. Kanter has over 30 years of experience working in the nonprofit industry and this knowledge is certainly helpful to readers. This blog is one of the longest on philanthropies and definitely something you should check out.

The Storytelling Nonprofi

For nonprofits, storytelling is a vital aspect of attracting donors and raising awareness of the cause. You need to learn to effectively tell the story of your philanthropy and why you care about that specific cause. This blog helps you learn how to tell your story and draw attention to your nonprofit. This blog also has consulting tools you can use to help develop your story.

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

In order to be a successful nonprofit, marketing is a must. No one will know about a nonprofit if it’s not properly marketed. This blog teaches you how to utilize your resources and make people see your nonprofit. These nonprofit marketing tips are especially important if your philanthropy is relatively new and unknown.

Content Marketing Can Make Your Philanthropy a Quick Success

No matter what kind of organization you’re running, you’ll need to market it. As a nonprofit, you should be using some sort of blog and creating your own content; any organization can benefit from the creation of original content that draws people in to learn more about the organization. A philanthropy is no exception to this rule. As you create content, you need to work on how you market that content to benefit the organization. Content marketing can be tricky if you do not know how to do it, but there are also simple basics to it that nearly anyone can learn. Here are some of the top tips on how to market content for your nonprofit in a way that’ll help you get volunteers and donors, along with necessary exposure to spread the mission of your organization.

Regularly post content

A mistake many organizations make when working with content is that they don’t post enough. Make sure you post at least once a month, though more than that would be ideal. Consider finding a volunteer to deal exclusively with the marketing (and mainly content marketing) for your nonprofit. Creating quality posts is the foundation of your content marketing, because it’s what you’ll be sharing.

Craft & tell your story

The best step you can take when creating content is utilizing your story. Share how your philanthropy came into being and why you felt called to run it. Let readers know what your mission is, share challenges with achieving your goals, and share your victories. Storytelling draws people in and helps them become invested in the organization.

Share it on other social media

The next step to take is to share your content on various social media channels. Create accounts for your charity and regularly update them. Add pictures and make sure the sites are as optimized as possible; the last thing you want is it to look like you slapped together your online presence. Create unique blurbs when you share content and interact with your followers.

Utilize forums

Forums are a great way to spread the word about your philanthropy and content. Find a group that’s related to marketing or the cause you’re supporting and share your content. Invite others in the forum to take a look at your content and give you feedback and do the same for them. Forums are a great way to find ways to improve your content marketing strategy and charity as a whole.

Ask for testimonials

Getting testimonials from volunteers, community members, or people your philanthropy has helped is a fantastic way to market your content. Encourage people to provide feedback and leave testimonials then share those on your social media. It gives you content that other people are creating and it also provides a genuine sense of your organization and what it does.

Learn How to Take Your Charity to the Next Level with this Simple Step

It can be a challenge to find stupendous volunteers for your philanthropy. There are lots of people out there who want to donate their time to an organization, but far too many of them are only doing it to put on their resumes or meet a requirement for something. You want to find the best volunteers for your organization, which means you need to put a little extra effort into locating them. While you do not want to be too picky when it comes to volunteers (most charities need the free help in order to continue running and further their causes), you should be slightly selective in choosing volunteers and what tasks you assign them.

Ask for a resume

First off, most volunteer opportunities ask for basic information on their volunteers. Usually, volunteers have to fill out a short application, but receiving a resume could be more beneficial. It’ll save both parties time because it gets rid of the need to fill out a separate application, and it lets you see if the applicant has any former volunteer experience or seems to have a good work ethic. While a sparse resume isn’t a reason to count someone out, it can help you identify great volunteers.

Conduct an interview process

Some philanthropies just don’t have time for this step, but if you do, it should be something you prioritize. Just taking a few minutes the first day someone volunteers, you’ll be able to get a better idea of who they are as a person. Ask why they wanted to volunteer with your charity in the first place and what they’re hoping to get from the experience.

Determine what they can handle

Before assigning tasks to volunteers, ask them what experience they have and what they’d like to work on. You could also have new volunteers try out different tasks and see what they excel at the most. The longer volunteers are with you and the more adept they show themselves to be, the bigger tasks you can trust them with at your philanthropy.

Match them with a mentor

If your organization has been around for a few years, you can match new volunteers with those who are more experienced. Giving new volunteers a mentor provides them with a chance to get thorough training and it also helps you gauge what kind of volunteer they are. If you choose to conduct a mentorship program with your volunteers, make sure you aren’t giving seasoned volunteers too much to do and preventing them from helping the organization.

Give back to them
When you finally do find fantastic volunteers, make sure you keep them happy. Provide them with a meaningful experience and offer to be a reference when they look for a job or apply for something. You might also want to consider giving your loyal volunteers some kind of gift around the holidays or just make it a point to recognize those who are doing a great job.

If Your Fundraisers are Missing These 4 Elements, You’re Making a Mistake

When you work on fundraisers for a philanthropy, it can be difficult to continuously think of fresh ideas. You can only sponsor a 5K so many times because it gets old, especially when every other charity around you is doing the same kinds of fundraisers. It may seem like you only have a limited amount of options when it comes to fundraisers, but there are a lot of events you can do that involve minimal monetary investment from your organization and promise sizeable returns if you correctly market the event. Here are some great creative fundraisers you can implement into your philanthropy.

Art & craft auction

This event is a fairly popular one, but many organizations do not take advantage of it. When planning an art and craft auction, it’ll take a lot of time to organize, because it involves getting donations from local artisans and selling tickets to the event. As long as you’re diligent, you should be able to find a significant amount of people willing to donate items. Then, you just have to attract a crowd willing to bid on the items and use the money raised from ticket sales and bids for your philanthropy.

Talent show

Sometimes, talent shows do not go over well. However, if you market correctly to the local community, you’ll find plenty of people willing to show off their talents (especially children!) and people who want to see their neighbors perform. Hand out flyers advertising the show and find people to volunteer as judges. Sell tickets and ask for donations at the event, then consider giving away a small prize to the best act in the show.

Carnival

Carnivals take a lot of planning, but they’re an immense amount of fun for the entire neighborhood. A carnival will likely require some financial input from your organization, unless you can find a lot of people from the community to donate items and help prepare games and attractions. The cost of tickets could offset the cost, so do some research ahead of time to see if this event would work for you. It’s sure to be one the entire community enjoys, so it might be worth the cost, considering carnivals usually draw large crowds.

Trivia tournament

Trivia has become increasingly popular in the last few years. People flock to bars each week to play with large groups of people. Setting up a trivia tournament is relatively easy; all you need is a location, a list of questions and answers, some food, and possible prizes. Charge a few dollars for entry, ask for donations of food and prizes, and collect more donations while at the event. With some good music (possibly even a live band), you’ll run a great event that is simple to put together.

Here are 5 Email Resources to Save Your Philanthropy

No matter what you’re doing, whether it’s running your own business, going to school, or working for a philanthropy, you’re going to need to use email. People communicate primarily over email, especially if they’re trying to get into contact with an organization. If you’re in charge of that organization, you’ll be bombarded by dozens, if not hundreds, of emails a day. You likely also send dozens of emails a day, trying to keep track of whether or not someone responded. If this situation sounds familiar to you, it’s time to use some of the fantastic email resources out there that can make your life much easier and more organized. Check out a few of my favorites here.

Touchstone Subject Line Analyzer

As a nonprofit, you’re likely sending out a fair amount of emails, letting people know about events, asking for donations, and searching for volunteers and sponsors. This tool shows you what your projected open rates will be, along with plenty of other stats. You get this information by sharing your email with Touchstone’s database and it gives you an estimate of what your results should be once you actually send the email; if you aren’t satisfied with the estimated results, you have the chance to tweak your email before sending.

The Best of Email

A resource you really need to check out is The Best of Email’s Inspiration Gallery. This gallery provides users with high quality email examples they can use as inspiration when creating their own marketing emails. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a high likelihood you’ll find it in The Best of Email’s Inspiration Gallery.

Flashissue

If you’re sending newsletters about a specific topic, which is pretty common for philanthropies, Flashissue allows you to pull information from all over the web to include in your newsletter. Flashissue summarizes the content and you can then tailor the information to better fit your newsletter. It also provides you with ways to send your newsletter across various social media platforms.

The Hemingway App

I personally find The Hemingway App incredibly useful, since it makes sure the content you’re sending is readable. You can use the app for anything, not just something being sent over email. The Hemingway App helps you make sure your writing is free of grammatical errors and also shows you how to write in a way that anyone can understand it. When you’re working with a philanthropy and are incredibly knowledgeable on the subject, this tool is useful when you’re trying to explain your mission and function to the general public.

Boomerang

Boomerang is a fantastic tool for philanthropies because it helps you sort through the large volume of mail you’re constantly receiving. This resource allows you to schedule your emails to send at any time and re-sends you emails that you do not have time to read when you first receive them. It prevents you from missing emails or forgetting to send them in the first place. You can even set up notifications for when an email is read or if someone hasn’t responded for a few days.

Innovation: The Secret to Success in Business

As an entrepreneur, you want to continually work on new ideas for your business. No matter how successful your company becomes, you always need to refresh your ideas and certain aspects of the business. It’s important that you don’t become too complacent with how you’re running things, even if it seems to be working. Search for new ways to be innovative. While you shouldn’t chase after every new idea because you can’t implement all of them, you need to pick a few that seem very promising and test them out. Always push for innovation in your company. Also, pay attention to trends in your industry and marketing in order to stay up to date with the latest methods.

Greatest time for innovation

One of the biggest reasons you should pursue innovation in your business is that it’s the best time for it. Never before has there been a such a huge market for new companies and ideas. With technology, you can easily reach consumers and investors to test out your ideas, whether it’s a new company or just a different way of doing a task. Outlets like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Shark Tank (along with many others) can provide people with the funds to carry out their ideas. If your idea needs funding and is good enough to get it, it’s that much easier to make it a reality. Innovation is hot right now and people want to encourage those coming up with new ideas.

Gives you flexibility

With innovation, you have the flexibility to change the way you do tasks, which means you never have to feel trapped in a role. Most people are open to innovation, so if you have an idea, you can likely find others who want to help you try it out. If you have plenty of new ideas, you give yourself the flexibility to change your job and routine.

Improve what already is

Since very few avenues haven’t been explored, you can focus on improving what has already been done. Do not get discouraged if you have an idea, but find out something similar has already been created; it gives you the opportunity to build on something and improve it. If the initial work has already been done, it makes your job easier.

Cater to consumers

People love to talk about their opinions. As you’re working to improve something or spread your innovative idea, talk to people who work in the industry and consumers. Find out what people think could be improved in your industry or if there’s something specific they’d like to see. Take this feedback and use it to your advantage when developing new ideas.

Change is constant

Even if you aren’t thrilled at the thought of innovation, it’s going to happen in one way or another. Change is a constant in life, so you might as well participate. Prepare yourself for changes by staying up to date with trends and implementing your own ideas. Instead of letting organic change dictate how you do things, be innovative and make your own path.