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Jaime Fitzgerald's Fundraiser:

Save Common Cents: Innovative 20-year Old Non Profit At Risk due to Bureaucratic Debacle

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BENEFITING: COMMON CENTS NEW YORK INC

HOURS PLEDGED: 1,000

Jaime Fitzgerald

THE STORY:

Help Save The Nations Largest Children's Service Non-Profit from Closing. 

One of the most innnovative non-profits I knowis at risk of closing unexpectedly, despite doing great work for 20 years.  As my 5 year old son would say "I'm not even kidding!"  Please help Common Cents continue their 20-year record of teaching kids ethics, empathy, and community service.

The non profit I respect the most is at risk of shutting down, affecting hundreds of thousands of students at nearly one thousand schools, most of them in underprivildeged neighborhoods.  The 20-year old non profit has innovated, won awards, and been asked by New York City to lead their student community service initiaitives, yet due to a bizarre debacle described here by the New York Times involving broken promises by NYC bureacrats, it may not be able to meet payroll this month! 

Through their annual Penny Harvest, a year-round program in public schools, Common Cents has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, who in turn have used the program to give back to their communities through fundraising, community service, and advocacy.  Common Cents is my favorite non-profit, which is saying a lot considering that I'm a stickler for smart giving who sets a high bar for social-impact investments, both personally and in my work helping non-profits and social entrepreneurs maximize impact per dollar.

Dollar for dollar, the 20-year old NYC-based non-profit has helped more children develop values of character, emphathy, and community-service than any other nonprofit in the organization.  It does it all on an annual budget of $1.2m, which is remarkable when you consider how many young lives the program has changed.

Operating at nearly 900 schools nationwide, common cents is remarkably efficient. It provides a rich year-long program for less than $1,500 per school, which is amazing considering the average participating school involves nearly 500 studens in the program.  One of trhe coolest things about the program is how it involves children from 4 years old to 14 years old in age appropriate ways.  Many students are involved for years, first as newbies, then as decision makers, and later as mentors, trainers, and volunteers at local charities in their neighborhood.  When my teammates, wife, and friends learned more about common cents, a common observation was "it's like an extra full year course on ethics and empathy."  I agree, and at $1,500 per school per year, it's the best deal in education today.

Research shows that over the long term, investments in the development of children are among the best investments in social good we can make.  And for 20 years, Common Cents has been on the vanguard of this trend, running programs in thousands of schools through which students learn about the less fortunate, raise funds from neighbors, and decide how to best invest these funds to improve their world.  A large portion of student giving does to local non-profits, especially at schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and an increasing portion of student giving is combined with community service and after-school volunteer work.

 

Despite a lifelong commitment to social good and a long-time commitment to maximizing social impact per dollar, I rarely ask friends to donate or fundraise.  I'm making an exception because time is of the essence, and because Common Cents makes the world a better place reliably, innovatively, and effeciently. Please give what you can to keep Common Cents in operation.

Thank you in advance, 

Jaime

 

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