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Charity Recommendations


NormR
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Charity would be more effective if people found unfunded start ups who have difficulty finding money. 99% of the time the money will not earn a return but the money allows new ideas to emerge.

 

An example was Google when it received its first $100,000 from a hero. I call that investor a hero because I remember what it was like using Alta Vista search. Fast but useless.

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Well, I've got two that I support personally and through Corner Market Capital:

 

- The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of Canada - We've raised nearly $50,000 to date through our annual Fairfax Financial Shareholder's Dinners, and I've been part of the team helping with our BC Gala that raised almost $100,000, as well as we had a little assist in getting Mark Ram (formerly of Northbridge) onto the board of the CCFC.  Not to mention the annual June 9th Gutsy Walk that is across Canada!

 

- Dakshana - Mohnish's foundation does amazing work prepping gifted, but underprivileged and less fortunate Indian children preparing for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT's) entrance exams.  Extraordinary high success rates that will undoubtedly change not just the lives of those that get into the IIT's and other highly recognized schools, but many others in the student's immediate family, neighbourhood and in some cases, entire villages.  Dakshana Canada just launched, and Tim McElvaine, Francis Chou and myself are on the board, alongside Mohnish and his wife Harina.  So Canadian donors get tax receipts going forward!  Prem also has committed $1M a year for five years to Dakshana.

 

- I also raise food and toys for our local toy bank and food bank that assists lower income families that just need a little help to get them through the Christmas season.  There's bound to be a similar local non-profit doing the same thing in virtually every city and town.  Cheers!

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I'm on the Board of Young Professionals for a terrific young organization called Blue Engine based in New York City (http://blueengine.org/).

 

Essentially they are supporting teachers in low income schools with teacher's assistants to break up the classes into smaller groups and get the kids to learn more effectively (similar to the private school described by Ericopoly, just for less privileged children). They have made incredible strides in getting kids to college-level readiness and they are very adept at tracking all sorts of data to refine the process and identify progress and problems on the most granular level. The founder got his Phd in Princeton by exploring why children from low income backgrounds have low college enrollment and graduation rates. He found that academic rigor and preparation in high school are paramount - not necessarily financial aid (many kids will enter college but drop out relatively soon as they are not properly prepared, often with disastrous financial consequences). That's what this charity is starting to fix.

 

I could write a long post about this but I'll refrain and suggest that you write me a PM if you're interested in learning more.

 

I would ask you to please contact me in case you do consider donating any amount vs. doing it anonymously - I work with our Development/Fundraising Chair and it would be very helpful in several ways.

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I have taken a two prong approach. Both approaches are very long term focussed and can potentially lead to massive gains for humankind with a relatively tiny investment.

 

1. Perimeter Institute - http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/

Massive upside potential.

 

This Waterloo, Canada based institution invites and hosts full time theoretical physicists for long durations. It essentially lets them do what they do best without the need to worry about pesky things like food and shelter. They also do wonderful outreach work involving school kids. The upside is unknown and likely very far away in the future. Just like how the work at Princeton's IAS gave birth to today's technologies, I hope that the Perimeter will give birth to world changing technology 50-100 years from today.

 

 

2. B612 Foundation - http://b612foundation.org/

Massive downside protection.

 

All of humankind's achievements will come to naught if we don't protect our civilization from destruction. I am talking about threat from large approaching asteroids. This may sound fantastical/crazy, but the risk is very real. The problem boils down to two steps: 1) Detect civilization destroying asteroids on a collision course with earth, 2) deflect them before they get here. Here is the surprising part-- step 2 is easy! B612 project is working on step 1. There also happens to be some of the brightest engineering minds on the planet working at this place.

 

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As some of us have been talking about previously education is a great hand-up.  I think you should give to a local school or organization that can provide help.  Some great examples from above.

 

A great school in Rochester that provides scholarships for kids who can attend and tries to keep tuition low so as others can attend also.  It has a good mix of both city and suburban kids that is hard to find in the Rochester area.  I am on their finance committee and have seen how it has helped many kids.

 

www.finneyschool.org

 

Packer

 

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Bruce Trail Conservancy. Our family are volunteer trail captains to a 4km section of the trail, do 2-3 trail building days a year, & lend some of our time & expertise to the board. Anything that comes out of talking to people while hiking the trail is bonus. Our preference is also to NOT do more of what we already do.

 

http://brucetrail.org/

 

SD

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Bruce Trail Conservancy. Our family are volunteer trail captains to a 4km section of the trail, do 2-3 trail building days a year, & lend some of our time & expertise to the board.

 

If you don't mind my asking, which section?  I walked much of the Northern part in my youth.

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Have you looked at givewell.org? They do extensive research on charities and give their recommendations on some of the best along with the reasoning.

 

Thanks,  I didn't know about them.  IIRC, there's a Canadian outfit that does something similar.

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Dakshana Canada just launched, and Tim McElvaine, Francis Chou and myself are on the board, alongside Mohnish and his wife Harina.  So Canadian donors get tax receipts going forward!  Prem also has committed $1M a year for five years to Dakshana.

 

Do you have more details on the effort / where one can give money? 

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I have a physical stock cert I was issued this year.  It is a penny stock.  Its worth between $500-$1000 depending on the day.  I wanted to donate the cert because it is a pain in the @ss/costly to get deposited in electronic form to actually sell, and I thought a large charity might have larger resources to more cheaply/effectively liquidate the shares.

 

Long story short, I've tried a few charities; nobody wants the shares.

 

The ticker is URHG...if anyone has a favorite charity and can verify they'll take the shares, then I pledge I'll donate them to the charity of your choice.  PM me if interested. 

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Dakshana Canada just launched, and Tim McElvaine, Francis Chou and myself are on the board, alongside Mohnish and his wife Harina.  So Canadian donors get tax receipts going forward!  Prem also has committed $1M a year for five years to Dakshana.

 

Do you have more details on the effort / where one can give money?

 

Been given non-profit status.  Basic structure is set up.  Mohnish will have more details shortly available for Canadian donors.  Cheers!

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careforaids.org

 

AIDS is no longer a death sentence in NA with lots of resources, effective meds and support groups, but that is not so in poor countries.  In Kenya, people with AIDS, are often shunned as if they had Leprosy, especially women.  Care for Aids is a Christian ministry that helps fund and organize physical support, medicine and compassionate care for those neglected outcasts, through local churches that are in close contact with those with great needs. 

 

We fund their accountancy, a difficult task in poor countries where funds are often diverted for unintended use.

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Not sure if your looking to help out people that might not have a Christmas or not for your donation.

 

In the past, for Christmas, I've used a local biker club where I grew up.  They were raising money to adopt 1 or 2 families for Christmas through a raffle and approached them to do my donation through them.  Laid out the terms of my donation (no overhead and any toys that were bought for kids could not be anything video game related) and then worked with them from there.  Most of the people they were targeting or names I provided were people in a tight spot like needing a place to live, providing food, and things like that.  One would dress up like Santa to deliver the presents for the kids on Christmas Eve. 

 

 

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