And the Foolanthropy 2007 Recipients Are ...
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Please consider donating to one of the charities chosen for this year's Foolanthropy drive.
After receiving dozens of nominations from our readers on our Foolanthropy discussion board and after much research and deliberation, the Foolanthropy Committee is pleased to announce this year's most Foolish charities: Corporation for Enterprise Development, JA Worldwide, Mercy Corps' Silent Disasters Program, Operation HOPE, and Share Our Strength's Operation Frontline.
In case you missed our Foolanthropy 2007 kick-off letter, The Motley Fool will henceforth align Foolanthropy with our core mission -- to educate, amuse, and enrich -- by focusing our efforts on financial literacy. And we're aiming high. Specifically, our long-term goal is to ensure that every young person in the world gets a basic financial education. This won't occur overnight, of course. We realize how long the road ahead of us is, and we're looking forward to another decade as successful and enriching as the past one. Please read more about the organizations we've selected this year that are doing outstanding work in the world of financial literacy.
Revolutionary programs developed by CFED combine financial education with personal savings. Thousands of young people are realizing dreams they once thought were out of reach. Individual development accounts and "SEED" accounts provide financial instruction, while teaching kids the practical discipline of saving. When savings are matched, account balances grow, and peers use the accounts for college, starting businesses, and even buying homes, young people realize they can take control of their own lives and set their sights high. Read More
Junior Achievement has been inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy for more than 88 years. Today, in more than 115 countries, JA is synonymous with financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work-readiness education for students of all ages. JA partners with businesses and educators to provide programs that bridge the gap between school and the real world, preparing future employees for the workplace and helping them manage the income they generate. JA programs reach more than 8 million students each year through a dedicated network of business and community volunteers, 287,000 strong. Read More
Across the world, a silent disaster is unfolding: Over the next 10 years, one billion young people in developing countries will be competing for a scarce number of jobs. Mercy Corps is working to create opportunities that will help unleash the potential of tomorrow's workforce and avoid the deepening poverty and potential conflict that unprecedented unemployment could cause. Mercy Corps works with communities to empower and educate young people and their families. Through innovative approaches that incorporate financial literacy, microfinance, mentoring, capacity building, and job skill training, Mercy Corps is preparing the next generation with the tools they need to define what their economic futures will look like. Read More
Operation HOPE was founded in 1992, following the civil unrest in Los Angeles, as a way of providing an alternative solution to building wealth and creating stakeholders in underserved, inner-city communities. We do this through economic education and empowerment. We improve the economic quality of life for individuals, families, and communities through programs that create stakeholders: converting check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small-business dreamers into small-business owners, and minimum wage workers into living wage workers. Read More
Share Our Strength is a national organization working to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry. Its Operation Frontline program teaches low-income families how to use their limited financial resources wisely through hands-on courses on financial literacy and food budgeting. This can mean the difference between feeding families for just one night, and making sure they never again have to worry where their next meal will come from. This is how Operation Frontline, and those who support it, helps Share Our Strength make sure that no child in America grows up hungry. A donation of just $100 allows us to send a low-income family through an entire Operation Frontline course, giving them the skills they need for sustainable financial security. To date, more than 45,000 families have benefited from these classes. Read More
Each charity has set up special tracking links to keep track of how much money comes in through these pages, and they'll also count in their tallies any snail-mail checks that come in with Foolanthropy indicated on the check, if you prefer giving that way. Just be sure to make your check out directly to the charity and write "Foolanthropy" in the "for" space.
Each week, we'll post a running tally of how much each charity is bringing in so you can see how your favorite charity is doing. Remember, the charity that raises the most by Jan. 7 gets our additional $10,000 bonus, chipped in by The Motley Fool.
As an additional incentive, we'll also sweeten the pot with the proceeds from our "My 2 Cents Campaign." For every single post to all of our Fool boards in the month of December (and we have many, many boards with very vocal posters), we'll donate $0.02 to the pot, to be divided equally among the four charities not winning the $10,000.
These organizations have been put through a thorough due diligence process, following the tenets that have guided Foolanthropy for over a decade. We looked for organizations with long-term, sustainable goals and transparent, sound finances -- the same thing we'd expect of any of our stock picks.
- Does the organization offer a long-term, sustainable solution, or just a quick and temporary fix?
- Are its finances transparent and sound?
- Do our readers support it?
- Finally, does it provide financial education, amusement, and enrichment?
We thank you for taking the time to consider these organizations, and we hope you agree they're doing exceptional work in the world of financial literacy.
Last year, we raised $337,429, pushing us over the $2.9 million mark in total. Help us shatter that number this year with your generous donation. And for your own due diligence, see where the money raised last year went in our follow-up article, Where Are They Now?
Thanks in advance to everybody who decides to join us in supporting Foolish charities that will deliver dramatic returns on even the smallest investment. Just think how astounding the results can be if each of us, more than 5 million Fools strong worldwide, gives just $1!