Foolanthropy is The Motley Fool's charity project, founded in 1997.
Since 1997, Foolanthropy has now raised over $3 million – money from both Fool HQ and the worldwide Motley Fool community – for a wide range of worthy causes.
From 1997 to 2006, Foolanthropy primary focused on accepting community nominations of worthy charities that fit the company's Foolanthropic tenets. A Motley Fool volunteer committee would then select from that long annual list of nominees five worthy and Foolish candidates, and publicize those as the "Foolish charities" for that year. The Motley Fool community would then respond member by member voluntarily sending funds via check or stock donation directly to the charities themselves, in the name of Foolanthropy. In addition to the $3+ million of funding, Foolanthropy has helped many up-and-coming charities, for instance Grameen Foundation (whose founder Mohammed Yunus would later win the Nobel Peace Prize), to become better identified, broadcasted, and publicized.
From 2007-2008, Foolanthropy narrowed its focus more directly on a core Motley Fool mission: financial literacy. Foolanthropy selected a few partners and worked to focus contributions on them. In 2009, Foolanthropy shook things up again to focus on volunteerism, with a financial literacy angle. This was in contrast to past years in which Fool Inc. solicited direct donations of money from its membership. The campaign launched in December 2009 and will runs through January 8, 2010.
Below are some specifics on Foolanthropy '09: o What we’re doing: Foolanthropy ’09 is dedicated to volunteerism. The plan is to “adopt” a local charter school (Thurgood Marshall Academy) by making a generous donation and having Fool employees volunteer there. o Community engagement: For every action taken by any Motley Fool member online during the campaign (e.g. article comments, blog posts and comments, discussion board posts) ten cents will go to the Motley Fool HQ campaign pledge. At the end of the campaign, Fool Inc. adds up all the actions and donates the corresponding amount to the school. o Throughout the year, Fool committee members will send out internal requests for volunteers. Opportunities range from teaching workshops on financial literacy and budgeting to helping parents with filing their taxes to being a mentor for a high school student.
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