What factors make Georgia communities flourish to create a more prosperous and welcoming place to call home? The answer is at the heart of The Georgia Center for Nonprofits’ (GCN) mission to support, strengthen and serve the nonprofit community. When nonprofits get smarter, stronger and more sustainable, bigger and more powerful results accrue to the community.
For more than 20 years, GCN has been developing more effective resources to help nonprofits succeed. From developing a robust mix of membership programs, to sponsoring an annual Nonprofit Summit (the largest sector event in the Southeastern U.S.), to creating a day-long giving initiative called Georgia Gives Day, GCN is truly shaping the role nonprofit organizations play across the state.
“You have to pay for heating with gas?”
“I wish I could afford organic food.”
“I need to make more than $21,000 a year!”
“This is hard. I want to go back to being a kid!”
The week before Thanksgiving, a group of 20 volunteers from IBM and our client Union Bank came together in the community to teach ninth graders from Southern California’s
Long Beach Polytechnic High School how to be adults for a day. The event at Junior Achievement of Southern California’s Finance Park assigns an adult “life situation” to each student – including marital status, a number of children, an annual salary and a tax bracket. The students build a budget based on their adult role, and then go shopping for a home, a car, clothing, food for the family, and a list of other items from utilities to charitable giving. As the students make their tough choices and tradeoffs, they interact with our volunteers from the business world for a valuable learning experience.
Earlier this year, actress Angelina Jolie made headlines when she announced that she had chosen to have a pre-emptive double mastectomy because she carries a faulty gene that gives her an 87 percent lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. The identification of that faulty gene – known as a cancer marker – led to her potentially life-saving decision.
Cancer markers are unique combinations of chemical indicators, such as DNA and proteins, that can be detected in tissue samples. They can indicate a person’s risk of developing a particular form of cancer, as well as how they might respond to a specific treatment. Though researchers believe that thousands of clinically useful markers exist, only a handful have been identified to date. As more markers are discovered, doctors will be able to detect cancer earlier and personalize treatment based on a patient’s genetic profile – both of which usually result in significantly better treatment outcomes.
I’m always excited to witness the results of collaboration. When people work together across boundaries – focusing their energies on big-ticket problems that no single group can overcome alone – the results can change the world. We see it when governments collaborate with their citizens, and now we’re about to see it in the collaboration between IBM and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to create the world’s largest and most comprehensive cancer patient registry.
The joint effort will begin in sub-Saharan Africa, where less than 1 percent of the region’s
1 billion-plus population is included in a cancer registry. Registries provide governments, health workers and researchers with the data they need to develop, deploy and evaluate effective policies for cancer control. More immediately, cancer registries save lives by giving health care providers the information they need for intervention and customized care.
On Tuesday, November 19, I testified before the full U.S. House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee on the importance of improving the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to better prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs. This is the major source of federal support in the U.S. for career and technical education (CTE).
You can contribute to the ongoing conversation on this topic by using hashtag #perkinsIBM.
In the ongoing aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, corporations continue to fight for credibility on at least two fronts – the fight to distinguish themselves from their competitors, and the fight to overcome a general sentiment that corporations are untrustworthy. Now, more than ever, it is essential for companies to integrate responsible corporate citizenship into their core business strategies.
The integration of citizenship with business strategy yields multiple benefits to our nonprofit clients and to we who serve. Locally and globally – across mature and emerging markets – gaps persist between where people are and where they need to be. Issues of public health and access to health care, education and skills development, and environmental sustainability and access to basic resources (to name a few) represent crisis points for significant populations around the world. But by utilizing our technologies, our expertise and our commitment to service, we can help ease these points of crisis and improve quality of life while developing and strengthening our own resources.
(La versión española más abajo)
For the 10th consecutive year, IBM México has been recognized with the “Ethics and Values Award” by the Industrial Chambers of Mexico (CONCAMIN) in the multinational companies category. This award – among the industry’s oldest and its most important – recognizes best practices from Mexican companies in a wide variety of contexts, with emphasis on their commitment and responsibility toward the communities in which they
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera and CONCAMIN President Francisco Funtanet presented the award to IBM Mexico External Relations Director Jesús de la Rosa at the 2013 Industry Annual Meeting. CONCAMIN selected the winners for each category after an audit by Caux Round Table (CRT) – an international network of experienced business leaders that works with business and political leaders to design the intellectual strategies, management tools and practices to strengthen private enterprise and public governance to improve the global community. Among the winners are industrial associations and chambers of commerce; large, medium-sized and multinational Mexican companies; and Value Chain.
(Versão em Português do Brasil abaixo)
Corporations and governments aren’t the only entities that need to operate with transparency and focus their strategies on delivering results. Nonprofit organizations
also must pursue their missions with professionalism, openness and a commitment to affecting meaningful (and measurable) change. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the country’s 290,000 NGOs account for five percent of GDP – about $USD 14 billion. While that figure may sound significant, NGOs in Brazil and around the world operate in an environment of increasing needs and diminishing resources. To continue to be effective, nonprofits must be every bit as competent and efficient as their for-profit counterparts.
Over the last 16 years, NGO Volunteer Partners has worked with corporations and national and international nonprofits to provide development expertise and management training for organizations focused on social welfare. Among our most recent initiatives is a partnership with Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to develop the methodology “Educating for Transparency,” and with IBM Brazil, to make the training course for Brazil’s NGOs possible.
Just days before today’s conference in North Carolina about giving all high schoolers early access to college and skills and a pathway to careers, President Obama gave the concept a boost by visiting a school in New York City that epitomizes the positive aspects of the “early college” movement but also advances the model. When I talk to 500 educators, policymakers and educators today at the National Early College Conference, co-hosted by Jobs for the Future and North Carolina New Schools, I will explain why this innovative education model has captured so much interest and why it takes the promising model of early college to the next level.
Catch the livestream of my talk today at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, and read my op-ed in today’s Raleigh News & Observer about this important issue.
Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation. Mr. Litow is a former Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools.
I was raised by a single mother whose basketball dreams were cut short when she got pregnant with me at age 16 and dropped out of high school. As a senior attending Jasper County High School in Ridgeland, South Carolina 27 years ago, I entered and won an essay writing contest responding to the question, “Is the United States Ready for a Black President?” I wrote that essay while living in the area called, Wagon Branch that you will not even find on a South Carolina map. My life is an incredible journey enhanced by the foundations of public Head Start and public schools from pre-K through grade 12, and is proof that the zip code where you reside as a secondary student does not have to ultimately predict your place in the world.
It’s impossible to overstate how thrilled we were to have President Obama visit P-TECH. Of course, the students, faculty and I had been delighted when the President called us out in his State of the Union address – saying that our country needed to give every student the types of opportunities found at P-TECH – but to visit us in person…Wow!
What really moved me was the effect Mr. Obama had on my students. These are young people from all over New York City who have come to P-TECH in search of a better education and a better life. Our school is open admissions; we don’t “cherry pick” our students. All that’s required of them is interest, drive and the willingness to work hard to achieve their goals. For many of them, that means breaking free of generations of poverty, walking away from the patterns of failure that plague their contemporaries, and becoming the first members of their families to obtain a postsecondary degree.