New App Looks to Put Philanthropy in the Hands of Mobile Generation

At a certain point in life most people feel the need to give back. Philanthropy plays a big part in the lives of many of the wealthy people, but there are also some young people that would like to give to others as well. Fortunately, this new generation of smart device users are going to be able to become philanthropists through their apps. They don’t have to write big checks for any colleges and make donations in this way. They can actually get connected to an app that allows them to do what they need to do without ever leaving their home.

A new app like Give 2 Charity makes it possible for people that have smartphones to convert their location into points for a donation. This is something that has become innovative over the years because it gives people the ability to donate to different causes as soon as they find out about something that is going on. The great thing about apps like this is that it provides people with the opportunity to give to lots of to organizations like American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, American Cancer Society and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

This is where technology is going, and people can look forward to moving apps like this where technology plays an important part in communication and regular donations towards certain causes.

App users have a lot to think about when it comes to the development of apps. It has always been stated that there is an app for everything, and this joke has taken life and become reality. It is possible that there are apps for just about everything that people would like to engage in, and philanthropy appears to be the newest thing that is getting buzz in the app community.

The thing that has managed to make this app spread is the attention that it gets from social media. There are a lot of people that are tweeting about it and posting likes about it through Facebook. That allows even more people to become connected with this type of app and the possibilities that exist for giving through a philanthropy app like this. No longer do people have to complain that they do not have the possibility to give. This app is putting the concept of giving into the hands of those that have smartphones. This shows how app software is evolving.

Why Facebook Dropped the Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey Relief

In times of global strife, especially stemming from natural disaster, all available agencies seem to step into place and offer easy, direct ways to donate and help make a difference; Facebook has always been at the forefront of connecting people with places where they can donate to aid relief efforts. Previously, the social network acted as a pipeline for donations to the American Red Cross, but in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Facebook has begun to steer donations and donators to a small, relatively unknown charity called the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP).

For many years, the Red Cross was the go-to charity when it comes to disaster relief efforts. In 2013 following Typhoon Haiyan and in 2015 during the Ebola outbreak, Facebook users were prompted by a button on their home feeds to donate money to the cause through the Red Cross. Even now, President Trump and former President Obama, alongside numerous other celebrities and corporations, are donating copious sums to the charity giant. So what prompted the largest social network in the world to break from the norm and reroute hopeful humanitarians to a much smaller nonprofit?

Plainly put, the Red Cross caught a lot of backlash and criticism for how it handled the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the subsequent millions of dollars it raised for relief. Following the devastating disaster, millions of people donated to the Red Cross which collected nearly half a billion dollars to help recovery efforts. It pledged to use the $500 million to help rebuild the devastated areas with new homes, roads, and schools.

However, we’re now seven years after the fact and, while the Red Cross claims to have provided housing to over 130,000 people with that money, only six permanent homes have actually been constructed. While the organization is vastly experienced in the realm of providing emergency disaster relief, it is woefully inexperienced when it comes to rebuilding after a disaster in a developing nation. It also appears to have grievously miscalculated the number of Haitians whom the relief efforts impacted, citing the number at 4.5 million Haitians: Jean Max Bellerive, prime minister of Haiti during the earthquake, notes that this simply cannot be possible as the number of Haitians affected by the crisis did not even come close to 4.5 million.

All of these discrepancies, a desire to get help where it’s needed in as timely a manner as possible, and a goal of changing how people view donations were what prompted Facebook to partner with CDP instead of the Red Cross. In less than four hours after announcing the partnership, CDP reached Facebook’s matching goal of $1 million.

Most Devastating Hurricanes in American History

Natural disasters are a force against which we are all but powerless. The best military in the world can’t defend against an earthquake, and all the planning and preparation in the world can’t stop the devastation rendered by a tornado. When it comes to these naturally occurring phenomena, we as a species and as a society are at the mercy of the power of Mother Nature. All that we can do in their aftermath is pick ourselves up and try to help one another the best way that we’re able.

Texas is currently experiencing this aftermath following the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, which started on August 25, 2017. It has widely been recognized as one of the largest disasters to take place on American soil and is the costliest, estimating damage costs at nearly $180 billion. Now, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, let’s take a look back to the most devastating hurricanes faced by the United States over the past century.

Superstorm Sandy • 2012

In late October of 2012, the eastern half of the United States was hit with one of the costliest storms ever to hit the nation. Of the 50 states, 24 were affected by this Category 3 storm which destroyed more than 650,000 homes and rendered over $50 billion worth of damage while cutting power to 8.5 million people in the Northeastern United States. Just over a month after the hurricane, the 12-12-12: Concert for Sandy Relief raised money for disaster relief, and the United States government passed a bill to provide $60 billion in aid to the areas affected by the storm.

Hurricane Katrina • 2005

In 2005, the Southeastern United States was hit with a storm whose devastation is still being felt over a decade later. While the winds alone wreaked catastrophic damage, the storm surge, peaking at 28 feet in some parts of Mississippi, was what really hurt the area alongside the levees and floodwalls that broke in New Orleans. Until Hurricane Harvey, this was the costliest storm, flooding more than 80% of New Orleans and costing approximately $108 billion in damaged property.

Hurricane Charley • 2004

This Category 4 storm hit ground in Southern Florida during August of 2004. The storm was so bad that Florida Governor Jeb Bush declared a state of emergency for the residents of Florida and, for only the second time in history that a park at Disney World was closed due to a hurricane. All told, the hurricane caused about $15.1 billion worth of damage, making it one of the costlier storms to affect the country.

The Importance of Balance between Work and your Social Life

Various experts worldwide have resoundingly agreed that it is important to maintain a balance between your work life and your social life. For many college graduates and millennials entering the workforce, they tend to make the mistake of overworking themselves beyond the societal norm. While it is great to assume that  ‘go-getter, first to enter last to leave’ mentality, it is imperative for you to understand the dangers that come with this level of work. Now I am not saying that you should not work hard. Investing in your job and your company is incredibly beneficial in shaping your overall career and professional development. But to overdo this can lead to physical and emotional damages.

One of the more popular negative damages many companies and hiring managers are seeing, especially amongst millennials, is the high burn out rate amongst employees. At any job, the position and responsibilities will always be new. Unlike college where you have various breaks in between classes and clubs, corporate, private, and startup culture will always demand more from you. Those senses of responsibilities can eventually lead to self-doubt and stress. But as much as I can fluff around the responsibilities and objective of the workplace, I have to be realistic. Work will always be stressful. There will be times where you will be overwhelmed to a point where you are unable to concentrate at the task at hand. To prevent this from becoming a problem, you need to, of course, gain the much-needed confidence at the office so that you can perform at your best. While some people think this requires more work, this confidence can actually come about through just a simple work-life balance.

Now, finding a healthy balance between your work and your social life is not always easy. There will be days where you will be required to stay late at the office or you will be asked to work weekends answering emails. While those days will come, it is important for you to create and establish a strong and healthy balance between your work and social life. To do this, begin by organizing your calendar. Organization will always be key to this level of balance. Make sure you fill out your schedule in its entirety. This will help you iron out any logistics and provide a stronger sense of open slots and times where you can use for yourself.

As for your social life, keep this one simple idea in mind: stay active. For many millennials, they burn out from work because their life schedule becomes clockwork where it looks something like this:

 

  • Work => Drive home => Watch television => Sleep => Work again

For anyone, this type of lifestyle is simply not sustainable. To prevent you from diving into that cycle, try to join various extracurricular activity groups. Think of any hobbies or interest groups that you enjoy and try and find various meet ups through Google or word of mouth. In addition, look into joining a gym or any extracurricular sports club. The more socially active you are the better. Lastly, to truly ease your mind and refresh your batteries, try planning a weekend or week trip. This will help ease your mind and prevent you from over-stressing about the workplace.

How to Email Efficiently and Effectively

Email is a widely used tool for business communication. However, because of its overpopulated use, it has caused some tension, confusion, and other negative consequences for many professionals within their careers.

So how do you avoid sending unwanted or unwarranted emails? What is the most effective and efficient way possible to write a professional email that can get the results you want?

In this article, I will go over a variety of strategies that can help ensure that your email is clear, effective and successful. At the end of the day, an average office worker will receive around 15 to 50+ emails each day from administrators, coworkers, and clients. With this amount of volume, you want to make sure your email gets noticed and acted upon so that you can continue with the day-to-day operations at your workplace.

To begin, you want to make sure you are not over communicating by email. As effective as emails are, you want to make sure that the particular person or people receiving this email are not thinking to delete the conversation from their history. To avoid this, make sure you are being simple and precise. Be sure to highlight all of the information without going too in-depth with the content. The worst thing you can do is sending an overcomplicated email that is just rushed through by your receiver. At times, you may even want to consider calling that person to simply explain the overall situation than to send a 500+-worded email.

Now to of course help get your email noticed by your receiver, you want to make sure you are making good use of the ‘subject lines.’ Think of this as a head-title or text feature that can grab the attention of your audience. Overly worded subject lines or one to two worded titles can be overlooked or rejected as spam. Instead, choose a few well-integrated words that can tell the recipient what the email is about. If you know that this is something important, make sure you note it in your subject line along with a date for said-task to be done. For example, if you have an email that simply says ‘meeting’ or ‘assignment’ this can be clicked on very quickly and breezed through. Instead, you want to specify what the meeting is about like ‘Contract Meeting with John Smith, submit at the end of the day.’ Having that type of title provides a holistic understanding of what your recipient should accomplish with your message.

With the actual email itself, you want to make sure you are following the traditional business letter format. As much as you want to stay professional, do not over complicate your emails with jargon words. While it may highlight your professionalism, you want to make sure your message is clear and concise. Any type of confusion could compromise the overall success of the email. In addition, you also want to tailor your writing to the person you are communicating with. For example, if you are sending an email to a client or an administrator, make sure you are framing your message in a professional manner. In comparison, if your email is a nontraditional email to a coworker or friend, be sure to stay personal. The main idea here is to internalize the topic and theme you want to correspond with in order to get your point across.

Now, there will be times where emailing can be taxing and downright stressful. Whatever is the case, make sure you are polite. People often think that emails can be less formal than traditional letters. But in the world of business, you want to reflect your own professionalism, values, and attention to detail. Stay formal and professional. Even towards the ending; make sure you close your message with ‘regards’ or ‘all the best’ depending on the situation.

Last but not least, make sure you proofread the entire message before you hit ‘send.’ Taking an extra five-minutes to make sure your email does not have spelling or grammar mistakes can be a huge game changer for how your peers and clients look at you.

How you can Professionally Improve your Customer Service Skills

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Whether you are working for a private business or a nonprofit organization, effective communication will always play an integral role in your overall success at your company. At the end of the day, it is no secret that many hiring managers and recruiters are looking for qualified candidates that are already equipped with strong verbal and nonverbal communication skills. The reason why is that during the day-to-day operations within the office, you will be required to constantly communicate across a wide range of departments. While many companies will invest a large amount of their time, money, and resources into strong and viable communication, it is imperative that you reflect and internalize your own personal strengths and weaknesses with this overall skill. This type of reflective mentality will allow you to identify your own personal and professional flaws that you can alter to be a more confident and effective worker at your office. Remember, rock stars are not born; they are made. All you need to do is take that first step and the rest will come to you.

Now, for this particular editorial, I would like to speak more loudly on improving the customer service communication than internal communication within the office. If you would like to learn more about how to effectively communicate as manager or supervisor, you can visit my previous blog here: Scott Storick, Managerial Communication.

When we talk about client communication and customer services, we are initially talking about confidence and control. For this to be translated appropriately, you have to of course gauge the overall perspective of the client. Remember, good communication is about putting yourself in the position of your clients. Don’t be afraid to ask those overarching questions like: Why do they want to talk? What are they interested in talking about? Is this going to be a delightful experience or an absolute nightmare? By evaluating the overall situation in a holistic manner, you will be able to better prepare your side with the necessary information and tools your client or customer will want to hear. The worst thing you want to do to yourself is find yourself blindsided with various questions about numbers and progress and not having a strong and sufficient answer to back up your claims.

Now during the course of conference calls and emails, you want to make sure you are providing a sufficient amount of information to the table. Much of my advice to clients is based on being informed, and for good reason. All of us gravitate toward that one person who always seems to have the answer. It is that idea of being one step ahead of the game that gives the person you are talking to the necessary reassurance and trust that you are working with them than with their money. One of the things I like to do is of course provide some engagement task with my own personal clients. This type of information not only challenges your clients to think, but also have them explore new intellectual territory. By establishing that type of conversation, you will be able to ultimately build that much need trust for your future relationship with that person.

Now during this process, as much as you want to take control of the situation, you also want to be attentive and observant to their needs. For many of these calls, your client will contact you because of a misunderstanding within the contract or a miscommunication with the number of products delivered. My advice is simple; just listen. Humanizing many of your calls can help diminish any negative emotions coming into these customer service meetings. It will also give you a chance to control the situation even if you do not have the answer. For many of these cases, customers and clients just want to vent their frustration. Once that is all said and done, you are able to provide them with the necessary information to move forward into a better place.

The last piece of advice is more to do with you than anything. Be confident in your own personal abilities. At the end of the day, you are the expert on the call. If you weren’t, they wouldn’t be calling you for your help. By internalizing that one small piece of information, you will be able to remove those barriers and improve your abilities with customer communication. Just think of it like this. How would you react if you were in their situation? In the grand scheme of things, you would probably react the same. All you need to do is calmly and respectfully control the discussion so that you can move it into a more informative and effective call.

Resume Tips: How to Best Advance your Career on Paper

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No matter what field you are working in, the first key in unlocking that dream job all comes down to how you brand and market yourself on your resume. For many people, this process becomes quite meticulous and downright frustrating. But fear not! Below, you will find some of the best resume tips that can help convey your professional experience, skills, and goals for your future job.

Let’s start off by understand the overall purpose of a resume. For hiring managers, they cannot afford to waste their precious time trying to figure out your work skills and your overall career goals. This is where your resume comes in hand. Your resume, or curriculum vitae, provides a holistic summary of your skills, abilities, and overall accomplishments. Think of this as a snapshot of your professional life. It’s intent is to capture and emphasize interesting events that can help you secure that much needed interview.

Now, let’s get into the good part! When a future employer reviews a candidate, they want access to their professional skills, achievements, and future goals. Many people try to provide a quick blurb of this through an Objective section in their resume. While it is important for your resume to include a clear career goal, you do not have to convey this with this section. Instead, many hiring managers can look for this through a Personal Statement and match it up with your Work Experience section. For most jobs, an optional personal statement section will be added for your application. While it is not required, make sure you are able to write a strong subjective essay that highlights your work experiences and intended interest for the job and the company. To learn more about how to write a personal statement, you can check out this website here.

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When writing your Work Experience section, begin by having an overall theme to for your resume. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes many people overlook. Your work experience is something that can go on for days. Rather than listing out each and every job you did since high school, try highlighting specific jobs that are tailored specifically for your future employers. For example, if you are looking into the field of education, make sure you provide roles that showcase your skillset and knowledge with teaching and leadership. If you are looking for something more into the banking or finance sector, try pinpointing experiences that highlight your fundamental knowledge such as internships or shadowing positions. Be cognizant of what you put on your resume. This can be the make or break point for your future career.

For the actual job description, you want to make sure you are descriptive and meaningful in highlighting your skills. To do this, think of a list of adjectives that represent you professionally (for example: leadership). Use those descriptors as guides in how you frame what you have done for that position. In addition, be sure to highlight any achievements. One mistake many applicants do is that, for these achievements and descriptions, they oftentimes use broad and vague language. When a hiring manager is looking at your resume, they do not want to see that you ‘brought in a lot of money’ in to your firm. Instead, they want to see numbers. In your resume, be sure to quantify your job description as much as possible. If you brought in $4 million dollars into the company, make sure you say that! This will give your future employer a better idea of both your work ethics and goals for their company.

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Moving beyond the Work Experience, make sure you highlight both your Educational Background and additional Extracurricular Activities. Similar to your work experience, try and quantify each section as much as possible. In addition, be very aware of how you can translate those positions (for the extracurricular activities section) as an asset for your work ethics. Go back to those adjectives. Think about your resume’s them and how you want to be perceived. Many hiring managers love to see leaders and overachievers that go above their job description. Show them this through these two sections.

Last but not least, try and humanize your resume by adding a short and brief personal interest section. Try and stick to one line. This can be something like: “Outdoor Enthusiast – Avid fly-fisherman, endurance cyclist, sea-kayaker, nature photographer, lover of all charitable 5K runs.” These quick descriptions give your hiring managers a better idea of your own interest and whether or not they relate to that of the company.

Fantasy Draft Gone Wrong

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In the midst of football season, the big story today in the New York Times and all of other financial papers is the insider trading held amongst the two leading fantasy football sites, DraftKings & FanDuel. New York Times reported earlier this week that due to an accidental post of confidential data by a DraftKings employee, various fantasy players and members were notified and alerted of possible insider trading within the company. Because of these findings, the New York attorney general has opened an inquiry into the fantasy sport site’s employees and overall operations.

DraftKings and FanDuel are two of the most popular daily fantasy sports-contest service providers. They are recognized to be two of the biggest leaders of the fantasy sports industry that allows customers to enter daily and weekly fantasy sports-related contest and earn money based on individual player performances. The categories of sports include baseball, football, hockey, basketball, golf, soccer (UEFA and Premier League) NASCAR auto racing, mixed martial arts, as well as American college football and college basketball.

On Tuesday, the New York attorney general began an investigation into the perspective employees who won a lucrative payout based on the inside information not available to the public. Word of the inquiry came about when DraftKings & FanDuel actually allowed their employees to play on each other’s sites with the unpublicized information. Due to illegal activity, many primary sponsors have begun distancing themselves from lucrative advertising and sponsorship deals. Last week FanDuel has already announced that they had already tried to permanently prevent its employees from playing daily fantasy games on their own sites or any other company’s site.

In addition, ESPN and the NFL has already reduced its association with DraftKings in lieu of the scandal and declined to comment. DraftKings announced in a statement that they will fully cooperate with the inquiry.

Regardless of how you look at it, fraud is fraud. These employees at DraftKings & FanDuel kept important information from the public and leveraged their knowledge to capitalize on their own greed. This type of transparency and credibility that these sites use to have is now considered problematic.

To fix this, the inquiry needs to hold both the sites and those accused at fault. In addition, the overall operations and logistics for an employee responsibilities should be thoroughly reviewed so that this does not happen in the future. Any easier punishment could reinforce this type of negative behavior to happen again in the future.