Thursday, August 28, 2008

IM or email for the greater good.

Hotmail has a great program about which I am happy to spread the word. You can raise money for your favorite charitable causes simply by using Windows Live™ Hotmail® and Windows Live Messenger (instant messaging) as you normally do. When you open or register your account with the i’m™ Initiative, MSN will donate a portion of their advertising revenue to the cause of your choice, every time you use their service.

This is a great way to make what you do everyday a little more meaningful. The more you email, the more your IM, the more you contribute. Thanks for the tip, Ingrid!

“Reject hatred without hating.” - Mary Baker Eddy

Monday, August 11, 2008

Join the Carnival for Change - Booth 8.

Welcome to the Carnival for Change where we explore the web for interesting items relating to social justice, health, education, and opportunity.

* Apply for a Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship. "We are particularly interested in applications from social entrepreneurs working in five critical sub-issue areas that threaten the survival of humanity – climate change, nuclear proliferation, global pandemics, conflict in the Middle East and water scarcity." The next application deadlines are November 4, 2008 and February 10, 2009. For more on social entrepreneurship, see the new SE section on Alltop.

* More from Skoll - This time it's their partnership with Sundance. Submit your film idea to Stories of Change: Social Entrepreneurship in Focus Through Documentary. Completed films are not eligible. Deadline is August 15.

* Apply for a Echoing Green Fellowship. "Each year, Echoing Green awards 20 two-year fellowships to entrepreneurs creating new social change organizations. Fellows receive up to $90,000 in seed funding and technical support to turn their innovative ideas into sustainable organizations." The next application deadlines are this fall, so start preparing now.

* I found an interesting blog on microfranchises. Microfranchises are "small businesses that can easily be replicated by following proven marketing and operational concepts. The overall objective of MicroFranchising is to promote economic development by developing sound business models that can be replicated by entrepreneurs at the base of the pyramid; therefore, the start-up costs of MicroFranchises will be minimal. The key principle is replication, replicating success to scale." Check out David Stoker's blog, appropriately titled Microfranchising.

* Nominate a worthy social entrepreneur to be an Ashoka Fellow. "Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who we recognize to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society. They demonstrate unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and prove that compassion, creativity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change. Ashoka Fellows work in over 60 countries around the globe in every area of human need." You can also donate to Ashoka's Venture Fund for Leading Social Entrepreneurs.

* Get your climate concerns heard. Submit your video on the topic to . You could win $3000 and the winning videos will be broadcast nationally and distributed to Washington lawmakers.

* Vote for So What Can I Do for the 2009 Black Web Award for Most Original Blog. Visit and vote as often as you like before October 5, 2008. Anyone can vote and there's no need to register to do so. Thanks!

* Have you found the theme here? Guess what I'm reading (other than the Bible): Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector, Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change, Social Entrepreneurship: A Modern Approach to Social Value Creation (Entrepreneurship Series), and Social Entrepreneurship.

Thanks for visiting the Carnival for Change! If you'd like space at the next booth, send your items to me with "Carnival for Change" in the subject. See you next time! In the meantime, subscribe to So What Can I Do (see sidebar) or follow us on Twitter (@sowhatcanido).

“Our country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right." -Carl Schurz, revolutionary, statesman and reformer (1829-1906)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Take an HIV test.

Right now, the 17th annual International AIDS Conference is going on in Mexico City. While there has been encouraging news coming out of the meeting, many of the reports focus on the serious challenges HIV and AIDS present. Thankfully, HIV infection is generally preventable.

* Use safer sex practices. That means a barrier method - condoms, dental dams.
* Don't use IV drugs. Other than abstinence, a new, sterile needle is the best way to prevent HIV transmission.
* Get tested before you get pregnant or very early in your pregnancy.

Most everyone should get tested for HIV and learn their status. Here's how to get started:

* Visit and enter your zip code to find an HIV testing site near you.
* Call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), 1-888-232-6348 (TTY), in English or en EspaƱol. Lines are open 24/7 and calls are confidential.
* Text your zip code to KnowIt or 566948 to find an HIV testing site near you.

Everyone should know their status. If you're positive, you can start treatment to stay healthy and extend your life. You can also take steps to make sure you don't transmit HIV. If you're negative, you can take steps to make sure you stay that way. Learn more from the CDC.

There are many new HIV tests available. Some can give rapid results in as short as 20 minutes. Some test only oral fluids and don't require a needle or blood draw. Many can be done anonymously (no name or false name (like Minnie Mouse) is fine) or confidentially (your name is held secret). Many testing services are FREE and insurance covers some others.

There's no excuse. Get tested, today. Take ControlKnow Your HIV Status?

"I have found that if you love life, life will love you back." - Arthur Rubinstein

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Use social media for good.

Some folks are really into social networks. Although I'm not too busy on Facebook, MySpace, and some other more popular ones, I do have three networks on Ning, including the XO Users Group. So when I first heard about SocialVibe I was a little curious.

SocialVibe is a social networking site with a social entrepreneurship twist. When you build a page on SocialVibe, you select a sponsor and a cause. Then every time you connect with friends, add photos, add to your profile, link your page to Myspace, Facebook and the like your sponsor donates money to the charitable cause of your choice. I'm sponsored by Mac (on whose computers I do all my work and blogging - except when I'm on my XO) and my cause is Donors Choose.

So click below to visit my page at SocialVibe. Your click will contribute to Donors Choose. And if you like, build your own page, get a sponsor, and start earning money for your favorite cause.

"Truth never damages a cause that is just." -Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)