Sahba Naderi | Philanthropy

Sahba Naderi is a committed philanthropist

Category: Charity

plastic-pollution

The Dangers of Plastics in the World’s Oceans

It’s difficult today to grocery shop without coming across hundreds of products encased in plastic in some form or another, including the bags in which we carry our goods home. While this can be an everyday convenience for shoppers, it can be extremely hazardous to marine life, should that plastic reach our oceans.

Aside from packaging and bags, plastics can come in many different shapes and sizes. Microplastics for example, which are found in shampoo, toothpaste, and polyester, can easily enter waterways leading directly to the oceans. Larger plastic materials, like bags, soda and water bottles, and fishing nets pose as a serious threat to all animals within our oceans, and can even contribute to the population of microplastics after breaking down over time.

As mentioned, nearly every species of marine animal is affected greatly by plastic pollution. Sea turtles can easily mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, of which are a main part of their diets. Birds flying overhead searching for fish eggs will consume smaller plastic pellets that resemble them. Fishing nets left in the waters by fishermen entangle nearly everything in their paths, catching and eventually starving any animal that falls victim to them.

Plastic is an extremely durable material that does not break down easily. It can take up to 500 years before it is no more, which spells disaster for marine life when it reaches the oceans. There are many ways it can get there as well. Aside from careless littering, flushing plastic materials down the toilet and reaching the main sewer systems in any way can carry these materials far and wide. Though it is now illegal for fishermen and boaters in general to dump plastic overboard, that law is not always followed, and many individuals sailing the world’s oceans continue to do so regardless.

The argument that oceans are big enough for one’s pollution to never actually come in contact with a marine animal is entirely false. Ocean currents are constantly moving any and all materials found in the water, and are also popular areas for millions of fish to spend their time searching for food and breeding. One animal that was affected particularly badly was the seal. Several different species of seals were being killed at an alarming rate due to plastic entanglement back in the 1970’s, which led to 6% decrease in the seal population in 1976, and a 50% decline in Northern fur seals. Hundreds of other marine species have been harmed over time as well, leading to a plea by the American people to regulate and reduce the production of plastics.

Finally, laws were set in place restricting the dumping of plastic in oceans around the world, but there is no way for law enforcement to ensure that everyone is actually following these rules. Companies across the United States are doing their part by using more biodegradable products, but there is still plenty of plastic debris floating around today. To do your part, recycle as often as you can, take part in local cleanups, and spread the word.

Sahba Naderi

5 of the Best Environmental Charities

It is no secret that President Donald Trump is in search of methods to cut federal spending. Just days after taking office, he cut off all funding to upwards of 19 agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts.

More recently, President Trump made the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) his next target, both by proposing a 30 percent decrease in funding and trimming back on regulations to permit environmentally hazardous activities.

However, hope is not lost. There are several ways to counteract such dramatic environmental setbacks, with the most effective being making donations. Here are 5 environmental charities that deserve your attention and contributions:

1. Friends of the Earth

This organization is bold in their approach to combating environmental injustice, setting itself apart in its pursuit to “push for the reforms that are needed, not merely the ones that are politically easy.” Some of their accomplishments include: shutting down the nuclear reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California, blocking the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and reducing the number of genetically enhanced seafood products in grocery stores. Furthermore, 83 percent of FOE’s funding goes directly toward program expenses, so those who make donations know their money is being put toward the cause rather than an executive’s paycheck.

2. Greenpeace Fund

Greenpeace has been a major player in environmental activism since its inception in 1971. With several active campaigns under way, the Greenpeace team is advocating for several critical causes, such as: fighting global warming via energy reforms, saving the Arctic and the polar ice caps, and protecting our forests — and the creatures that reside in them — from depletion. All funding for Greenpeace comes from public donations, with 79.6 percent of revenue being spent on program expenses,14.2 percent on fundraising efforts, and 6.2 percent on administrative expenses.

3. Environmental Defense Fund

An international presence, the Environmental Defense Fund has been combatting environmental decay since 1967. Although the EDF is headquartered in New York, it currently boasts 12 total offices, with 9 established in the contiguous United States and 3 overseas. The organization’s current focuses are solving climate change, restoring oceanic life populations, fighting for sustainable agriculture, and advocating for safer chemicals and cleaner air. With only 2 percent of their funding coming from the United States government, the EDF receives over $132 million in public gifts and grants annually. These funds are spent in the following manner: program expenses (78.5%), fundraising expenses (15%), and administrative compensation (6.5%).

4. Rainforest Alliance

Founded in 1987, the Rainforest Alliance has been striving to build a global alliance in order to strengthen rainforests and rebuild dwindling rural communities. Now, 30 years later, the Rainforest Alliance has made serious headway in reaching that goal, with a presence in 78 countries and counting. Unfortunately, a majority of the Rainforest Alliance’s funding comes from government grants and aid, meaning that its progress could be seriously hindered by President Trump’s inevitable spending cuts. To prevent such a setback and balance the scales, consider making a contribution.

5. Union of Concerned Scientists

In 1969, the Union of Concerned Scientists was formed in retaliation to the U.S. government’s gross misuse of science. Today, the UCS is concerned with combating climate change via clean energy and vehicles, transforming the United States’ agricultural industry, and preventing the use of nuclear weapons. Funded entirely by public donations and gifts, the UCS strives to make every cent count, spending 77.8 percent on program expenses, 18.3 percent on fundraising, and a mere 3.5 percent on administrative compensation.

Sahba Naderi poverty

The Best Non-Profits for Poverty

Poverty alleviation is among the most popular causes in charity today. As of 2015, 43.1 million people were in poverty, 24.4 million of which were between the ages of 18 and 64. Even worse, an astounding 14.5 million members of that grim statistic were children under the age of 18. Now in the year 2017, poverty is still a serious issue. However, there are an enormous number of organizations doing their part to end it altogether. Below are just a few non-profits that have made an impact not in just in the United States, but around the world as well.

Mercy Corps

This organization strives to alleviate poverty, suffering, and oppression in countries around the world by helping people build communities rather than simply handing them food or clothing. Mercy Corps does their part amid natural disasters, extreme poverty, and communities that may suffer from instability in order to motivate those who have the capability of overcoming these hardships. Working in more than 35 countries, Mercy Corps has raised $1.5 billion for 106 nations since 1979.

Feeding America

As the United States’ largest hunger-relief charity, Feeding America is responsible for providing food for more than 25 million Americans every year. They have over 200 food banks serving all 50 states, in addition to providing both the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Kiva

Taking a different approach to charity, Kiva attempts to connect people through lending in order to end poverty in areas affected. This is the first person-to-person microlending site, and as such, have paved the way for innovation in philanthropy by empowering people to donate directly to individual entrepreneurs in developing countries.

The Hunger Project

Committed to ending world hunger, The Hunger Project is based in Africa, Asia, and Latin America where programs are taught (primarily to women) on how to empower yourself as well as others. The ultimate goal is to establish self-reliance. People who are able to meet their own basic needs, teach their children how to do the same, and improve upon this foundation are much more likely to end poverty in their country of origin than large sums of food being sent over from other nations.

Meals on Wheels Association of America

One of the more popular food-based non-profits in the United States, the Meals on Wheels Association of America is dedicated to serving senior citizens and people with disabilities who may be unable to obtain food themselves, while also building relationships between their clients and volunteers. With each meal costing roughly $6, the organization relies heavily on donations.

With that said, to do your part in any of these great non-profits fighting poverty, visit the links below, and give what you can.

Mercy Corps

Feeding America

Kiva

The Hunger Project

Meals on Wheels

How to Start Your Own Charity

Sahba Naderi starting a charity

It’s become an increasingly popular trend for people previously involved in larger companies to begin their own businesses, especially since the recession. While lots of these start-ups are for-profit organizations, there are also plenty of new non-profits out there as well. People feel passionate about many different causes, and want to do something that really makes a difference. Maybe you’re wondering how you can start a charity for a cause you care about and what is the best way to go about doing so. Here’s a short guide with some highlights of important information to know before starting your own charity.

Pick your passion

The first step you’ll need to take is deciding what cause you want to focus on with your charity. Make a list of what you’re passionate about and then decide which one you’ll feel the best donating lots of time, money, and effort to in the upcoming months and years. Pick a cause that you believe you can make an actual difference in and pursue that as the focus of your charity.

Plan what you’ll need

Once you’ve chosen a cause, figure out what you’ll need for your charity to succeed. A lot goes into starting a charity, so you should figure out what materials you’ll need, how you plan to utilize social media and get the word out, who’s going to help run it, and where it’ll be located. When you’ve figured out all these details, you can start making your charity a reality.

Figure out legal issues

There are a lot of small legal details to take care of when you start running your own charity. You should make sure you’re properly registered as a charity and have an official status. Also know if volunteers or employees of your organization need to have background checks or certain clearances before they become involved with your cause.

Figure out financial issues

One of the most important issues when starting a charity is understanding the intricacies of taxes and other financial reporting so you don’t have any legal problems down the road. Here’s a guide that best explains how to properly handle taxes. It’s also vital that you know how you’ll be funding your charity, so decide how much of your personal funds will be going into it, whether you’ll have donors, and if fundraising is a good option for your organization.

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Animal Charities that Truly Give Back

With countless organizations devoting their efforts to the betterment of animals, it’s difficult to find a charity that makes the best use of your donations. While you may intend for your money to go to a good cause, certain percentages may be going elsewhere, like the pocket of a corporate mogul, for example. However, thanks to CharityWatch compiling a list of the most effective animal charities, you can now contribute to the causes of those who truly mean well.

Animal Welfare Institute

With 96% of their financial expenditure going directly to the programs they take part in, the Animal Welfare Institute has rightfully been given an A+ by CharityWatch. This charity’s initiative involves everything from the prevention of animal cruelty, to taking part in the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species, as well as abolishing factory farms and animal experimentation.

Friends of Animals

This non-profit organization has facilitated more than 2.5 million procedures with their spay/neuter program as a contribution to nationwide breeding prevention. 87% of their earnings go into their efforts, earning them an A on CharityWatch, which include the Chimpanzee Refuge Project, Wildlife Law Program, and ending forms of entertainment involving animal abuse like circuses, bull-riding, and rodeos.

The Marine Mammal Center

Teaching communities about the relationship between humans and marine animals, this charity reaches approximately 30,000 people through their educational programs per year. In the past 40 years, they have rescued over 18,000 marine mammals, most of which being threatened by possible endangerment. 78% of their donations are put to good use through the conservation of elephant seals, whales, sea lions, dolphins, and much more.

Humane Farming Association

With over 250,000 members dedicating their time to the abolishment of factory farming, this organization is currently the only charity able to put forth legislation against animal cruelty through the Human Farming Action Fund. Protecting farm animals from abuse, 82% of their earnings go toward their programs and activities. They are also the operators or Suwanna Ranch; the world’s largest farm animal refuge.

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue

Leo Grillo led the charge for this admirable organization starting in 1979, as he personally rescued every single one of the dogs and cats lucky enough to cross paths with him. An acronym for the Dedication and Everlasting Love To Animals, this charity has two veterinary hospitals and a full-time staff on the premises, and is a “No-Kill, Care-For-Life” sanctuary.

To donate to all of these truly beneficial organizations, see here:

http://bit.ly/2fMUuBV – D.E.L.T.A. Rescue

http://bit.ly/1pESzwa – Humane Farming Association

http://bit.ly/2egnzEW – The Marine Mammal Center

http://bit.ly/2egqiOv – Friends of Animals

http://bit.ly/18z8CVK – Animal Welfare Institute

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