Weekly Round-up: vending machines for charity, champions of change, and Google+ for non-profits

Posted by ServeNext Staff on August 2, 2011

A Japanese vending machine that allows customers to make small donations to the Red Cross with their purchases

1. In the first good news we’ve heard regarding junk food and soda for quite some time, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that vending machines all over Japan are now raising money for the Red Cross of Japan by allowing customers to make small charitable donations along with their purchases.

2. The Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation’s blog highlighted this week’s Champions of Change, or Americans recognized for their hard work towards helping our country meet the challenges of the 21st century.  To learn about every week’s Champions of Change, go to

3. The Corporation for National and Community Service posted a story about Nancy Ryan, a woman who was so inspired by the help she received from RSVP volunteers in caring for her dying husband that after his death, she joined RSVP herself.  “I had other people help my family in times of need. I am giving back by helping others. It gives me a fellowship with other volunteers and gives me a purpose and something to look forward to,” said Ryan in the article.

4.  With the recent introduction of Google +, a new social network and competition for Facebook and Twitter, a lot of people in the nonprofit world have been wondering if this new networking tool is a worthy place to invest time.  Beth Kanter discusses her outlook on Google + and the role it will play in the nonprofit world.

5.  The New York Times published an article in its July 15, 2011 issue about how social innovation is currently attracting the country’s best and brightest.  One example of this trend given in the article cites the figure that the number of MBAs among Teach for America applicants has tripled between 2007 and 2011, and Business schools are adding electives in sustainability and education to respond to students’ interests.


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