Did you know that just by liking a charity on Facebook you actually DECREASE your likelihood of donating to that charity? A recent study by the Journal of Consumer Research found that simple public displays of support for a cause wearing a ribbon, liking a page on Facebook, or other symbolic but ultimately unhelpful efforts — don’t mean you will actually help the cause. The study is called, “The Nature of Slacktivism: How the Social Observability of an Initial Act of Token Support Affects Subsequent Prosocial Action,” and states that people click “like” or wear a ribbon out of “a desire to present a positive image to others and a desire to be consistent with one’s own values.”
But those clicks don’t mean an increase in checks, as this compelling commercial from Unicef highlights. As you likely know, Black Friday is happening a week from tomorrow (and Black Thursday too, OY, as many stores will be open Thanksgiving Day). And then there will be Cyber Monday, of course, but then finally – comes #GivingTuesday. For the second year, Giving Tuesday hopes to spur folks to give to their favorite charities this holiday season. I thought I’d round up some of the best technology charities that help kids. Please consider these organizations when you get out your credit card or checkbook on #GivingTuesday!
Giving Tuesday Charities to Help 1 of 11
Help kids get ahead this #GivingTuesday.
Black Girls Code 2 of 11
Kimberly Bryant, the inspiring founder of Black Girls Code, is determined to give young African-American girls the support they need to pursue careers in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathmatics (STEM). In her intro page on the site, she says, "I also recall, as I pursued my studies, feeling culturally isolated: few of my classmates looked like me. While we shared similar aspirations and many good times, there's much to be said for making any challenging journey with people of the same cultural background."
Child’s Play 3 of 11
Nothing is more boring to a child than being stuck in a hospital. Child's Play is an organization that helps hospitalized children have things like toys and games for them to play with during their hospitalization. According to their about page, "Child's Play works in two ways. With the help of hospital staff, we set up gift wish lists full of video games, toys, books, and other fun stuff for kids. By clicking on a hospital location on our map, you can view that hospital's wish list and send a gift." They go on to state, "Child's Play also receives cash donations throughout the year. With those cash donations, we purchase new consoles, peripherals, games, and more for hospitals and therapy facilities."
Code for America 4 of 11
Code For America has an ambitious goal: to fix all the broken down systems that create massive red tape in cities around the country. According to their about page, "Code for America believes that in order to improve government, we need to improve citizenship. We help cities create 21st century interfaces to government that are simple, beautiful and easy to use. By deploying technologies that make it easy for you to participate and engage in improving your city, we are building trust and changing the conversation between citizens and government."
Code Now 5 of 11
According to Code Now's mission, "Coding is the new literacy. It gives individuals the power to innovate and create. We need to empower our youth, especially those from underrepresented communities, to be tinkerers and to look under the hood of technology." They are committed to helping underserved youth gain access to technology and learn basic computer science and programming. They see the big picture, stating "For example, of all tech industry workers in the United States in 2012, only 22% were women, and African-Americans and Latinos each made up less than 5%. CodeNow believes this disparity is growing not from lack of interest but from a lack of access to computer programming."
Code.org 6 of 11
Code is probably the best known organization helping kids gain access to computer science and technology. According to their About page, "Code.org is a non-profit dedicated to growing computer science education by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Our vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer programming. We believe computer science should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra." They have many heavy hitters behind their organization such as Bill Gates, Salman Khan, and Arianna Huffington.
FIRST 7 of 11
FIRST is an organization that works to expose kids to the hard tech side of technology, primarily through robot building competitions, clubs, and workshops. Their mission is "to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership." They offer programs for kids starting at age 6.
Girls Who Code 8 of 11
Here's a startling fact, according to Girls Who Code: "In middle school, 74% of girls express interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), but when choosing a college major, just 0.3% of high school girls select computer science." Ouch. What's happening to our girls in high school to turn them away from STEM careers? Girls Who Code hopes to inspire girls and keep them from reconsidering.
InterConnection 9 of 11
InterConnection is not only a charity dedicated to helping get tech into the hands of underserved children, it's also green. Their mission states, "We make information and communication technology accessible to underserved communities around the world. We accomplish this mission by providing high-quality refurbished computers to nonprofit and non-governmental organizations. InterConnection is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. As a national organization that refurbishes and ships computers and laptops worldwide, we are focused on reuse instead of recycling, and are committed to the highest standards for clean, green computer recycling and disposing of parts and peripherals." Ever wondered what to do with older computer equipment when you upgrade? Donate it!
One Laptop 10 of 11
One Laptop is an organization that invented the XO tablet, a 7" tablet that is rugged, needs little power to operate, and is loaded with child-oriented learning programs. They started with their XO laptop that offers the same features. They state on their about page, "We aim to provide each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop. To this end, we have designed hardware, content and software for collaborative, joyful, and self-empowered learning. With access to this type of tool, children are engaged in their own education, and learn, share, and create together. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future." The tablet costs only $129 on Amazon right now, and the laptop is under $200. As of 2011, One Laptop had distributed over two million laptops worldwide.
Technology Access Foundation 11 of 11
The Tech Access Foundation is committed to creating social change through giving kids access to technology. "We address three problems that keep students of color away from STEM: low expectations, a shortage of role models in STEM and lack of access to a quality, STEM- focused education," states their about page. "We use STEM education as a tool for social change. Our targeted approach for addressing longstanding historical inequities for students of color develops leadership and citizenship in ALL students." TAF is based in Seattle.