Category Archives: Blog

[Reviews] 2 Social Good Books For Your Bookshelf

I recently received two books about philanthropy: Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life By What You Give (now in paperback) and The Rotary Book of Readings: Inspiration to Change the World both published by Hatherleigh Press. They are quick reads that promote inspiration and encouragement for those who give.

Successful PhilanthropySuccessful Philanthropy by Jean Shafiroff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Starting the year off with the intention of increasing your giving is a noble resolution to home in on. If you don’t know where to start in your giving journey, Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life By What You Give is a decent place to start. An extremely quick read, Successful Philanthropy provides a broad look at philanthropy as a whole from adding donations and volunteering into your giving efforts to knowing what to expect when you join a nonprofit board.

Jean Shafiroff, a member of many philanthropic boards and a socialite in New York City, lays out the foundation of philanthropy in Successful Philanthropy now out in paperback. She begins by reiterating time and again that you don’t have to give large donations in order to become a philanthropist. In fact, anyone can be a philanthropist. It involves only three tenets: giving of monetary donations (no matter the amount), giving your time, and lending your expertise to people in need. Historically, we think of philanthropists like powerful people who are able to give their wealth away to charities for generation. Today, the definition of philanthropy has evolved. Philanthropy is available to everyone.

Shafiroff also talks about the importance of choosing the right charity for you. That entails doing your research and due diligence about the charities you want to work with, especially if you decide to give a large donation or dedicate entire swaths of time to volunteering for an organization. She provides the best websites to visit to look up the facts about nonprofits from their financials to whether they are even registered as a legitimate nonprofit.

For those who want to become a part of local charities in a big way by chairing galas, becoming a part of a board, and accepting awards for the work you do with nonprofits, Successful Philanthropy lays out what this all means. Shafiroff is known throughout New York City and the Hamptons about the amount of money she is able to raise for the charities she cares about like the New York City Mission Society and Southampton Hospital Association. She discusses how to network on behalf of the charities for other donations. She mentions that this also means knowing when to ask for donations and push for larger gifts to building relationships with people that may take years to cultivate in order to get a “yes” for donations. She also lets her readers know what it means to chair a gala. Hint: it’s not easy as well as what generational giving means.

The most important aspect of Successful Philanthropy is Shafiroff discusses how imperative it is to teach children about giving from a young age. It will give them greater meaning beyond their education, jobs, and relationships. It is the biggest lesson in the book by far.

If you are looking for a deep dive into philanthropy and giving, Successful Philanthropy may not be the book for you. But for those who are just starting out it will give inspiration about doing good in your life by simply giving.

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9 Maternal Health Stories Worth Reading This Weekend

Now that 2020 is in full swing I decided to catch up on the many maternal health and mortality articles that were published during the holiday season. There has been a lot of stellar reporting that you might have missed. I did. Here is a compilation of some of the articles I found the most compelling starting with a wrap-up post, 7 things I learned from spending a year reporting on mothers in Alabama,  by Anna Claire Volle about the excellent year-long reporting she did on mothers in Alabama.  I particularly liked 

Black Maternal Health

[Self] Congresswoman Alma Adams on Why She Co-Founded the Black Maternal Health Caucus: Alma Adams is the congresswoman for my district. I am proud of the bi-partisan work she has been doing to help curb black maternal mortality. In this interview in Self’s Black Maternal Health series, Adams talks about the reasons why she is a co-founder of the Black Maternal Health Caucus.

[NBC News] Extremely alarming’: New report addresses maternal mortality in the U.S.: Taraneh Shirazian, director of Global Women’s Health at NYU’s College of Global Public Health and president of Saving Mothers discusses on Morning Joe how maternal mortality has decreased globally, but in the United States maternal deaths have increased particularly for black moms.

[The Hill] Reproductive revolution: Ending black maternal health inequities in 2020: Tracey Lewis-Elligan, an associate professor & chair of Sociology at DePaul University, details the ways in which black mortality can be decreased starting this year. She highlights some of the work of doulas and midwives in the fight against black maternal mortality.

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Donate Blood This Month, Save a Life, Plus Win a Great Trip

When I was in high school I was a volunteer at my local Red Cross donation center. I did a variety of things like give donors cookies and juice after they donated blood, separated the vials (sans any blood) between autologous, directed, and regular blood donations, and also registered donors into the system. I loved every bit of that volunteer work and am always happy to talk about the lifesaving work the American Red Cross does all year long.

Every January since 1970 the American Red Cross has celebrated National Blood Donor Month. This time of year there is always a heightened need for blood donations due to the increase in communicable diseases and also because it is after the holidays when most people put off giving blood. Additionally, inclement weather keeps many away from donation centers. The American Red Cross is asking the public to donate blood, platelets, and plasma. In order to sustain the blood supply for 2600 hospitals, clinics, and cancer centers, 13,000 donations are needed per day during National Blood Donor Month.

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2020 Marks The International Year of The Nurse and The Midwife #SupportNursesAndMidwives

It is no surprise that the world needs more health workers. In fact, even though there are currently 22 million nurses and 2 million midwives globally there is an urgent need for 18 million more health workers in order to reach universal health care coverage by 2030 according to the World Health Organization.

There is a particular need for 9 million nurses and midwives as they are critical components to a robust health system and are often on the front lines of general and critical care including:

  • Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases
  • Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of noncommunicable diseases
  • Sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, and maternal and newborn health care, including immunization and breastfeeding support.
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Subscription Boxes That Give Back

As the holiday season is quickly approaching many of us are thinking about gifts that give back. Here are five subscription boxes that provide fun products for kids and adults, but also donate to a variety of charities.

Karma Candle Club donates to Mercy for Animals, No Kids Hungry as well as The Life You Can Save.


Earthlove gives back to truly eco-friendly brands and partner with environmental non-profits each season who help heal our ecosystems.


Give the gift of creativity with Green Kid Crafts! Each box is 100% recycled. They also give back. They are carbon neutral and at least 1% of sales are donated to environmental organizations through their membership in 1% for the Planet.


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