Ad Love: Apple’s The Human Family

Building on Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” the company recently released,”The Human Family,” a new spot with Maya Angelou narrating.

The structure is simple, and reminiscent of a wedding montage against a white background, photos and videos of different faces and families—of all colors, sizes, ages and orientations—flicker by, with the credit of each iPhone photographer underneath.

The spot debut last Friday during the Opening Ceremonies of the Rio Olympics. It’s already gone live across Apple’s social media channels and on the website, where a full subsite is devoted to the “Shot on iPhone” campaign.

I *heart*:

Ad Love: Sign Their Yearbook

Right now, young people are busy with all of the fun and festive formalities that come with the close of a school year: class rings, proms and signing yearbooks. Some may never get to experience any of these things as their lives were taken too soon at the hands of gun violence. That’s the focus of, “Sign Their Yearbook,” a sobering initiative from New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

The online “yearbook,” which went live last week, also serves as a petition; those signing signal their support for universal criminal background checks for people attempting to purchase firearms. (In 38 states, it is legal to buy guns without submitting to such scrutiny.) After 30 days, the petition—in the form of a handsomely printed physical yearbook—will be submitted to the U.S. Senate, where measures to tighten gun laws have previously failed.

This campaign is brilliant. Check out the ad, which gave me chills and be sure to sign the book:

 

Ad Love: CVS and #BetheFirst

Drugstore giant CVS Health and its foundation plan to spend $50 million over five years to bolster anti-smoking efforts with a particular emphasis on young people.

The company recently announced plans to fund Be The First, a campaign that draws its colloquial inspiration from a goal to form the first generation of Americans to spurn tobacco.

The push comes more than a year after CVS stopped selling cigarettes, saying that smoking conflicts with its mission of promoting healthy living. CVS and the CVSHealth Foundation will share the costs of the campaign. Be The First will emphasize education programs, social media and marketing initiatives through groups such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Scholastic Inc., the American Cancer Society and the National Urban League.

Cigarettes and secondhand smoke cause cancer and other preventable diseases.

CVS set several concrete goals for the five-year campaign: cutting the national youth smoking rate by 3%, reducing the number of new youth smokers by 10% and doubling the number of college campuses that ban tobacco usage.

Check it out:

It’s Lit (thanks to Akon).

One of the first celebrity philanthropic projects I worked on was over a decade ago under the helm of Senegalese -American R&B singer, Akon. It was with the Konfidence Foundation which concentrates its efforts in Senegal and West Africa to empower individuals, communities and nations.

It’s great to see that he’s still dedicated to doing great work.

Recently, Akon launched an ambitious project to provide millions of Africans with electricity through a groundbreaking solar power initiative: Solar Academy. The academy, scheduled to open in the Mali capital of Bamako, will train locals to install and maintain solar-powered equipment.

The Solar Academy is under the umbrella of the singer’s Akon Lighting Africa (ALA) initiative, launched in 2014 to bring solar power to Africans who currently live off the grid. Akon’s ALA initiative, in partnership with Give1Project and ADS Global Corporation SA, has already provided solar power to more than 1 million households. ALA has installed solar-powered streetlights in more than 11 countries on the continent.

The initiative includes installing solar-powered streetlights and residential solar systems in African villages, as well as solar tailored equipment in households. There are an estimated 600 million people in Africa who live without electricity.  Twenty-five African countries are experiencing an energy crisis, according to the World Bank.

Take a look:

#GivingTuesday is Back.

You’ve probably already saved your coins for Black Friday and, if you’re ambitious, you’ll be out and about spending them before you’ve even digested your turkey dinner. Whatever you do, save a few for #givingtuesday.

Set for December 3rd, Giving Tuesday is a daylong national effort to help charities raise money online during the holiday shopping season. Last year, the first Giving Tuesday drew donations to about 2,600 nonprofits.  GiveTuesday_700x

This year, in order to help even more non-profits get prepared for the big day, I thought it would be best to share a cheat sheet recently posted by Network for Good. Here goes:

1. Sign up. Registered 501(c)3 organizations can visit GivingTuesday.org to become an official partner organization and find ways to get involved.

2. Set a clear goal. Figure out what you want to accomplish on #GivingTuesday and set a goal that you can measure.

3. Get your emails and social media updates ready.  Craft a few emails to rally your supporters to give along with their peers on December 3. Use social media to keep the excitement going and encourage fans to spread the word. You can join the conversation by using hashtag #GivingTuesday.

4. Make it easy for your supporters to give. Create clear calls to action so donors don’t have to wonder what you want them to do. Then, remove all of the roadblocks to giving by streamlining your donation process and enabling your donors to give via mobile.

5. Make it easy for your supporters to share. Offer easy and ubiquitous social sharing options on your donation pages and content, along with pre-programmed updates that your community can share with their networks to inspire even more participation.

Ready to make #GivingTuesday your own? Here are some resources to help you make the most of this day of giving and connect with your supporters:

• Learn how to get the most out of #GivingTuesday from GreatNonprofits

• Check out the amazing Giving Day Playbook from the Knight Foundation.

•  HubSpot has posted 12 tips for amplifying your #GivingTuesday campaign.

• The folks at GivingTuesday.ca offer some great ideas for 6 super-simple social media campaigns.

• Find (and share) even more resources in John Haydon’s Ultimate #GivingTuesday Checklist.

Happy giving!

Tupac Keeps on Giving.

“Measure a man by his actions fully from the beginning to the end.” – Tupac Shakur

Recently Allhiphop.com highlighted the top ten charitable doings of the late Tupac Shakur. Here are a few that I absolutely loved reading about:

A Place called Home 

Tupac put together a benefit concert to help a growing non-profit organization, A Place Called Home, raise money for a new building. Founded in 1993, A Place Called Home is a safe haven in South Central LA where at risk youth are empowered to take ownership of the quality and direction of their lives through programs in education. More here.

Tupac Goes to the Prom 

Pac at Prom.

Pac at Prom.

A Tupac fan wrote a letter to his fan club, asking the late rapper to be her prom date. About a month later, Tupac showed up at her doorstep. He came inside the home and talked to her family and offered to purchase her prom dress & escort her to the dance. Before leaving her home, Tupac gave the family $1500. When her prom day came, Tupac arrived in a limo to pick up his fan. At the school function Tupac signed autographs, took photos, and even got on the dance floor with her for five songs before he left.

Tupac’s Partnership with J Cole 

He may not be here in the flesh, but his work continues on.
The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and J Cole’s Dreamville Foundation recently joined forces and started a youth book club in North Carolina. The first book read and discussed was, A Rose that Grew from Concrete. Tupac’s non-profit organization recently celebrated 15 years of serving the community. The center teaches vocal training, ballet, jazz, recording & engineering, theater and creative writing. The nonprofit is still spearheaded by Afeni Shakur. Other family members including Tupac’s sister are active volunteers and staff.

Get the full list on Tupac’s philanthropy here.