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3 organizations doing cool sh*t | Round 2.

3 organizations doing cool sh*t | Round 2.

The first time we posted about some organizations doing cool shit, we got a large response from people with ideas for who to cover next.  It was awesome to see that response, because it indicated to me that my peers are getting really excited about non-profit organizations that are on their radar.  Read on below for three more organizations that we think are doing cool shit.

  1. Resilient Coders – When we took a poll asking for people’s recommendations for cool organizations, this one took the cake.  It was so popular that I asked the founder, David Delmar, to chat with me more about what they do.  Resilient Coders‘ mission is to help young people from communities underrepresented by technology to prepare for technology jobs.  They do this in three ways: the first is through their high school program, an after school program that occurs on Tuesdays and Thursdays for high school students to pop in and out as they choose and learn computer skills.  Their bootcamp, which is an 8-week, all day coding bootcamp for young adults ages 19-26, targets higher risk young men who have been recommended by the Boston Police Department and Youth Options Unlimited.  After graduation from bootcamp, graduates are invited to work in the website lab, the third prong of their mission, which provides real coding and design work for real clients.  Right now, mentorship is available for highly skilled coders and young technologists.  If, like me, you can barely figure out how to use Snapchat, you can always donate.  

2. ArtLifting – It seems like everywhere you look, ArtLifting is getting great press nationwide.  A huge point of pride for the city of Boston, ArtLifting empowers homeless and disabled individuals by selling their artwork.  Their founder and self-proclaimed Chief Happiness Spreader, Liz Powers, literally lights up when she talks about the numerous success stories the organization has under their belt since they were established a few years ago, and in turn, she lights up a room too.  If you’re thinking about purchasing some new art for your place, consider buying a piece from ArtLifting, who not only has originals but also sells prints and posters.  They are also starting to spread to other cities.  Super cool indeed.
3. Catie’s Closet – My friends and I often talk about how difficult it must be to be a teenager nowadays, with all the pressure social media must place on how you look or what you say and do.  I think perhaps that’s one of the reasons Catie’s Closet appeals to me so much.  Recognizing that children are the largest age group living in poverty in the United States, Catie’s Closet wants to “improve school attendance and remove social stigma by providing an in-school resource of clothing and basic necessities to students living below the poverty line.”  They partner with schools to turn an unused room into “Catie’s Closet,” where children are given access to the room by trusted faculty members to pick out a change of clothes and toiletries to wash up.  The Closet is restocked by donated clothes on a regular basis.  There are currently 31 closets in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, serving over 18,000 youths and teens every year.  To donate clothing (just in time for spring cleaning!) or money, learn more on their website.  

Got other suggestions?  Email us at julie@nextgenerosity.org to recommend more cool organizations!

3 organizations doing cool sh*t.

3 organizations doing cool sh*t.

With nearly 1.5 million non-profit organizations in the United States alone, it can be pretty overwhelming to try to figure out where to focus your philanthropic energies.  Every couple of weeks, we’ll be highlighting 3 organizations that we think are doing cool sh*t.  These will range in terms of cause or program – we’re omnivorous in terms of that stuff.  But, when it comes to engaging young professionals, these non-profits really have it down.  For this week’s post, we picked a handful of organizations in Boston, but we want to widen the lens and capture some other great ones elsewhere.  Got a non-profit you’re really proud to support?  Let us know, and we’ll highlight it in a future post.

  1. The Social Innovation Forum

Full disclosure: I’ve been crushing hard on the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) for a pretty long time.  SIF is a fantastic program that helps a half-dozen non-profit innovators build capacity and prepare for their next phase of growth through a comprehensive training program.  To select these innovators (through a highly competitive application process), SIF works with passionate, focused funders to identify areas of need, and subsequently, to find the organizations that are working in that space.  After non-profit innovators have been accepted, they go through an intense training program and work closely with specialists and consultants to meet their goals.  Short the long of it: Not only will your donations to SIF go a long way to help non-profits be more effective, but it’s also a great outlet to give time and expertise, too.  Plus, I’ve found tons of other great organizations I support directly through them – they’ve got their finger on the pulse, they’re smart, and they get things done.

2. Artists for Humanity

When you walk into the Artists for Humanity (AFH) Epicenter in South Boston, it’s hard not to immediately be drawn in.  Committed to providing studio space for under-resourced Boston youth to create art, AFH has employed over 3,000 young people in its 24-year existence.  In addition to the thousands of talented teen artists they’ve empowered through their program, AFH has also reached 12,000 other young people through their cultural programs and youth in enterprise activities.  Short the long of it: AFH’s mission to bridge socio-economic and racial divides for urban youth is effective, powerful, creative, and is leaving the world a little more beautiful as a result.  You can purchase art and directly support a teen artist, or get involved in their new young professionals group, the Luminaries.  And for a pro tip – their event space is next level gorgeous.  If you’re looking for a different space to host an event, get married, or just have an intimate dinner party, I highly recommend it.

  1.  InnerCity Weightlifting

What moves me most about the power of the non-profit sector is the ability to approach real problems that feel insurmountable in unique, interesting ways.  InnerCity Weightlifting (ICW) is a great example of one of those organizations.  Founded by a Millennial, ICW “reduces youth violence by offering proven risk young people a meaningful career track in personal fitness training, and through the gym, connects our students with new networks and opportunity. By replacing segregation and isolation with economic mobility and social inclusion, we disrupt the system that leads to urban street violence.”  Their wonderful mission and the results they’ve had in a few short years really speaks for itself: 154 “high-risk” students have been trained through their program, boasting a client list of over 260 people.  Short the long of it:  Next time you’re working on your fitness, consider signing up for personal training services at ICW – their session packages are pretty affordable compared to other gyms in the area.  Or, just donate.