Archive for the ‘Philanthropy’ Category

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MAPS 2014-2015

MAPS 2014-2015

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MAPS had the honor of attending the Philanthropic Roundtable for the third time. On Wednesday afternoon, four of the MAPS girls drove with English teacher Anne Rubin (Supervisor of MAPS) and Alison Basdekis (Director of Horizons) to New York City. Later that night, the remaining two MAPS girls made their way via the MetroNorth train after a lacrosse game. At 11pm, we all convened at the Four Points Hotel in SoHo, tired but excited for what the next day held.

After a quick and delicious breakfast at Angelique Cafe, we made our way to the Kimmel Center, laughing all the way (the weather was perfect). Our girls were delighted to see  former Head of School Jeannie Norris, with whom we reminisced and discussed the excitement of the Roundtable. Finally, we sat down with notepads and pens in hand, ready to be inspired.

The panelists included Ms. Charlotte Beyer (Founder of The Institute for Private Investors and President of The Principle Quest Foundation), Ms. Patricia P. Jackson (Executive Director of College and Foundation Partnerships), Ms. Jill Kafka (Executive Director of The Partnership for Inner-City Education), Dr. Jane McAuliffe (President of Bryn Mawr College), and Ms. Christine M. Pina (Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the University of Hartford). Head of School Dr. Jablonski opened the floor to a fascinating discussion about starting out as a young philanthropist, the difference between female and male giving habits, successful stewardship, not being afraid to make oneself known as a giver, and how to “amplify” one’s giving. We walked away with the positive impression that we could each be givers as young women with the right budgeting and level of confidence.

Afterwards, we had free time to eat a delicious Thai lunch, casually stroll in SoHo, and reflect. We returned to the Kimmel Center for the cocktail party, where we introduced ourselves to successful alums both young and old and listened to their stories. At 6:30, Trudy ’13 introduced Dr. Jablonski, who presented the Woman of Distinction Award to Dr. Linda C. Babcock. Babcock addressed the audience with a powerful presentation about women in business and the distinct inability to propose successful a negotiation to a boss. She included that women could save close to $800,000 in their lifetime by successfully proposing a small negotiation. The room filled with questions, one particularly from Evie, ’14 who asked, “What happens if you propose a negotiation and your boss says no?” To this, Babcock told Evie to ask “why”; there should always be a helpful answer that helps the asker strategize for future negotiation.

At 9pm, our MIRA Pilot made its way back to Miss Hall’s. We are appreciative of the experience, and we look forward to returning next year.

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Linda C. Babcock

On April 4th, Miss Hall’s School will be presenting its 9th Woman of Distinction Award to Linda C. Babcock, Ph.D. at the Philanthropic Roundtable at New York University.

This award is presented to a woman who is nationally recognized for achievements in her field, for her success in raising awareness of topics related to gender, and for her commitment to advancing the role of women in the world. Recipients embody values in keeping with the Miss Hall’s School mission of educating girls to be committed, bold, accomplished, compassionate, and honorable. This award confirms the importance of women contributing boldly to the common good.

Babcock is the James M. Walton Professor of Economics and former Acting Dean at Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. She is also the founder of the Program for Research and Outreach on Gender Equity in Society. In 2003, Babcock published an outstanding book describing her research called Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide. In 2007, Babcock received the Jeffrey Z. Rubin Theory-To-Practice Award given by the International Association for Conflict Management, which honors a person who has made a significant impact in the practice of negotiation. Today, she continues to teach and conduct research about the interface between economics and psychology. We will be honored to hear her speak next Thursday.

The award presentation will be made at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, at the Helen & Martin Kimmel Center for University Life. The event will be preceded by a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. and followed by a celebration to mark the close of the School’s Go Far, Go Together Campaign.

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The MAPS annual micro-grant application and selection process has come to an end with the collaborative efforts of the whole MAPS team in choosing the most sustainable items. After receiving more applications than ever before, MAPS has picked three winners.
The first micro-grant goes towards three sets of musical instruments for toddlers and preschoolers at the Lenox Library, the Horizon site of Zoe B., ’14. The sets of instruments are expected to last for many years to come and will help incorporate music, movement, and dance into the childrenís programs.

Meagan F., micro-grant administrator, with Bekah, Pauline, Winnie and Lianna, whose sites received microgranted items from MAPS.

Meagan F., micro-grant administrator, with Bekah, Pauline, Winnie and Lianna, whose sites received microgranted items from MAPS.

The second micro-grant goes towards a large world map for Ms. Slater’s classroom at St. Mark’s Elementary School, the site of Winnie L, ’15. The third grade class had been working with the small world maps in their workbooks, and having a large world map in their classroom has the potential to make lessons much more efficient. The final micro-grant is going towards an art drying rack at The Montessori School of the Berkshires, the Horizon site of Lianna B., Bekah S., and Pauline L., all juniors. At the school, students are often producing artwork, and the growing difficulty of finding open spaces to store the drying artwork can easily be solved by an art drying rack in the classroom.
The micro-grant applications that were selected did a great job in communicating not only what item their site would benefit from, but also how, as well as how the item is sustainable.


Congratulations to all the micro-grant winners!

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…MAPS will have made a total of 57 microloans through Kiva. Wow.  It turns out that this has been the best kind of journey: our process of figuring our what MAPS is all about has been full of twists, turns, successes, challenges, and, of course, cupcakes.

When we first started MAPS, we were not totally sure of the scope or reach of our work.  Would this be about learning to give? we asked ourselves.  How can we make our giving last? What do we want to learn in the process of giving and fundraising?   It felt like we were creating MAPS from the ground up every single day.

Our first year, we spent much time and energy throwing ourselves into fundraising.  We figured that we needed to make money to support women through micro-lending, and cupcakes seemed like a logical solution to pacify the hungry bellies of MHS girls while raising necessary funds.  We made about 800 cupcakes that first year.  That’s a LOT of butter and sugar, and a ton of elbow grease!  We learned so much…about fundraising, about how to properly fill a cupcake liner, and about the great power of our Miss Hall’s community when we throw our back into causes we care about.  It was a whirlwind.   We started the Horizons micro-grant that first year and gave three small gifts to three sites in the Berkshires.

Our second year, we raised $1000 for water.org, continued to bake, and had the chance to ask ourselves really important questions about our mission as philanthropists.   What kind of causes do we want to support? we asked ourselves.  How can we vary our approach and keep our community interested and involved in what we do?  That year we baked about 600 cupcakes, had our first Instagram sale, got involved with Dig Pink, learned about water.org, held an auction of gifts and favors donated by faculty, and gave our second round of micro-grants to Horizons sites.  We wrote a ton of blog posts (we welcome comments!).  We tweeted (follow us!).  We made a Facebook page (“like us!”). By the end of the year, we accomplished so much, but were completely exhausted.

This year, our approach has been different.  Instead of running headlong into fundraising, we have been careful and selective about how we are funneling our energy. We have done one cupcake sale, baking a total of 200 cupcakes.  We have continued our Instagram sale and nearly doubled our profits, and we have just announced our third round of mirco-grants to the MHS community.   Instead of thinking about how we will raise money for our next round of micro-loans, we are asking ourselves how can we maximize our efforts and collaborate to support our community?  What are we trying to learn from this experience?  Instead of breathlessly planning fundraiser after fundraiser, we are helping other groups promote their events and initiatives, we are collaborating with other groups to come together to educate our community about important issues pertaining to girls’ education.  We are working in teams.  We’re trying to figure out how to use our blog in meaningful, helpful ways.  We ditched Twitter.  Our Facebook page is still out there (you can still like us!).  The nature of our work is changing, and it feels like we are growing in important ways.  We are learning to think of ourselves as entrepreneurs and not fundraisers, and  we are learning how to better support ongoing work at MHS.

We MIGHT make cupcakes again this year for old time’s sake.  After all, what is spring at MHS without the sweet scent of buttercream in the air? But one thing is for sure: we know now that MAPS is more than cupcakes.

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A special shout out to Miss Hall’s student Kelsey MacEachern ’12, who was the photographer of the highest-grossing Instagram photo! 

MAPS would also like to thank the wonderful students of Miss Hall’s for all of your creative submissions! We made a grand profit of $250, which puts us a step closer to our Water goal.

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Water.  Everyday, it affects our lives when we cook, take showers, and go about routine activities.  We think of it as inconsequential, a resource that it always available, yet in the developing world it is a paucity.  Across the world, over 3.5 million people die from water related complications annually.
This year MAPS, Mira’s Alliance for Philanthropic Sustainability, wants to help demolish this problem through Water.org. “Water.org is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries.” (water.org) MAPS became very interested in studies concerning water when we learned that women are greatly affected by this water crisis. When their basic needs are not met, these women shoulder the responsibility of keeping a village alive with water.  They are unable to attend school, or improve their lives, because of this responsibility.  It creates a cycle that MAPS is determined to halt.
We found that Water.org was the best match for us in terms of transparency and sustainability. Water.org’s total revenue as of 2009, when it was first established, was $5,945,270. Expenses including the program, administrative, and fundraising totaled to $5,213,647, with the program expenses being the majority. Excess amount for the year was $731,623. The Net assets totaled $2,792,389. (Charity Navigator.org)
MAPS is planning to raise $5,000 to donate to water.org so that a well can be made in a foreign country that we will announce in the upcoming weeks. With the money we donate, Water.org will use that money to train local villagers to build and sustain the well, creating jobs and providing an entire village with clean water which will decrease the number of people who die yearly from water related issues across the world.
MAPS will start reviewing and researching various organizations to continue educating our community to a more transparent and sustainable philanthropy effort.

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