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Help is On the Way: Charitable Giving

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Seniors | Art & Culture | Business | Government | News

You know you want to save the world.   You have a heart the size of our great State o’ Maine and finite finances. Where, oh, where to begin?

The good news is that there are some terrific resources out there to help you make good decisions that suit your priorities. Before your good intentions grind to a confused halt, take a look at some of these websites.

Where to start? A really terrific site to check out is Philanthropedia, Guide to Better Giving.  It is a great tool to help you focus and to understand various strategies for giving. It answers questions you may not know you have!

Sometimes you have a good idea of who you’d like to give to, but you’d like some reliable nuts-and-bolts rating information* about how they use your hard-earned donated dollars.

* Keep in mind that different sites will use different grading scales when rating nonprofits, as outlined in this TEDTalk. This one is well worth a few minutes viewing time. It presents an interesting view of nonprofits’ spending strategies.

That said, here are two sites that sort some of it out for you: Charity Navigator  and Guidestar.

These sites can also provide some focus when you know you want your donation to go toward a particular area of need, but need to find an organization that is a good fit.

It isn’t easy to know who to trust when unsolicited pleas for donations come your way. It might be a phone call, an email, something in your mailbox, or someone at your door. The Federal Trade Commission has a few things to say on the subject.

And let’s not forget that when we indulge our urge to be generous, we do so with the blessing of the US Tax Code. Here are some tips from the IRS.  Charitable giving can really pay off !

There are so many ways to make a difference. Finding what works for you can feel overwhelming. When opening your wallet seems like the best option, these resources may serve as guides. And, let’s just say it: there is nothing like the good feeling you get when you use your head to put your money where your heart is.

Happy Giving! Eileen of the Business and Government Team.


Announcing the Call for Presenters: Makers @ PPL

posted: , by Samantha Soucy
tags: Programs & Events | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Business | Portland History | Science & Technology

The Portland Public Library is thrilled to announce Makers @ PPL—the first Maker Fair event to take place in Portland, Maine. It will take place on Saturday, April 25 from 11 am to 4 pm.  In true maker spirit, we’re opening up the event to public contribution, asking: what skill have YOU got that you can teach to others? We know Portland is brimming with creative energy, technical expertise, and unique crafters, and it is time to come together to share these skills, pick up some new ideas, and walk away with a tool belt full of new ways to engage with the community.

Everyone has a hobby. Some people make cat beds from old computer monitors, while other people can make mini battle robots!

If you have a passion for creation, and can boil it down into a workshop style presentation (hands on encouraged!) we’d love for you to fill out this form to be a part of the event.

The event is themed like a conference, so participants can take part in a specific track (Entrepreneurship, Creative Arts, Science & Technology, Local History, and Food & Drink). There will be an exhibit hall in the auditorium for people to display and present creative endeavors that are not suited to workshop style presentation. Special programs for children and teens will happen too.

Get you application to present in by January 15, and be a part of the Presentation Team putting on this exciting event. Fill out the form here to submit an application. You’ll be notified by February 1 if you’ve been selected. The Library will be unveiling some cool new tools that we’re adding to our collection…so stay tuned!


Participating in Portland: a Portland Public Conversation

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Art & Culture | Government | Portland History

Join the Choose Civility Initiative tomorrow, November 25th at 7:30 am  for a Thanksgiving week public conversation on the topic of “participating.”

(Coffee, Treats & Networking / 8:00am program start)

Thanksgiving asks us to amplify a spirit of generosity and inclusion that we hope to find in ourselves and our communities throughout the year.  Despite high levels of perceived incivility in our culture, we also live in a time where “giving” happens frequently, in formal and informal ways. The connection between thankfulness, service and a stronger community is robust — that is, we know that when everyday people give their time and energy to strengthen their communities it serves everyone… but we also know that civic engagement is sometimes easier said than done.

Tomorrow (November 25th) we will share strategies for increasing pathways to civic engagement, share stories of how and why volunteering matters, and tackle some of the obstacles that make volunteering hard.  We will also feature a dozen area nonprofits to share a sample of volunteer opportunities available now!Among the organizations participating, we will learn from the United Way of Greater Portland, Maine Animal Refuge League, Learning Works, the Maine Tool Library, League of Women Voters, Lift 360 and more!

Also happening this week: MPBN will offer a special “Maine Calling” on the topic of Thankfulness on Wednesday.  MPBN and the Maine Community Foundation are sharing  “Voices of Giving” throughout this month, documenting all sorts of reasons that people choose to give their time, money, and other care.   Bangor Daily News is sharing stories of people for whom the rest of us “should be thankful.”  We offer books on thankfulness, including this wonderful list of poems.

 

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