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Join NNAAC in its Campaign to #TakeOnHate

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In celebration of its tenth anniversary this year, the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) invites you to TAKE ON HATE and participate in a multi-year campaign to eliminate discrimination against Arab and Muslim Americans. 

Announced yesterday at a press conference in Washington, DC, the initiative is a powerful response to what NNAAC Director Nadia Tonova calls America’s “accepted bigotry” against an integral part of its society. Discrimination against Arabs and Muslims is “still happening,” “it’s still wrong,” and NNAAC is doing something about it.

TAKE ON HATE aims not only to alter public perception and right the wrongs of persistent misrepresentation, it also hopes to centralize Arab American voices and inspire change on the level of state and federal policy. It calls on all of us to make a difference through individual and community activism. 

For more information on how it hopes to accomplish these goals, check out TAKE ON HATE’s official website, and be sure to take on Twitter and Facebook as well.

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CAAP announces new software for charitable account management

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The Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) today announces an exciting new partnership with Crown Philanthropic Services in the purchase of its DonorFirst online software platform. DonorFirst is now available to all our donor-advised fund holders and will allow fund holders to view all the details of their CAAP donor-advised fund, including fund balance, grant history, and contribution history. Fund holders will also be able to research nonprofits and make grant recommendations online 24/7.

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are one tool that allow donors to become more strategic in their philanthropy. DonorFirst software provides DAF holders all the convenience of online financial software, as well as higher autonomy in managing their charitable accounts.

To learn more about DonorFirst and how to set up a donor-advised fund, please visit http://centeraap.donorfirst.org or contact Katy Hanway, CAAP Donor Services & Program Officer at khanway@accesscommunity.org.

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TGI Releases 2014 Request for Proposals

It’s that time of year again! The Center for Arab American Philanthropy’s Teen Grantmaking Initiative (TGI) has released the Request for Proposals for its 2014 Healthy Lifestyles and Educational Success grantmaking program. Based on a needs assessment conducted in 2011, TGI will grant up to $5,000 total towards projects that promote health and education for youth in the Metro Detroit area. With almost $10,000 in grants to date, TGI members are making a real difference in their community. Download the RFP here, and contact us with any questions.

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A career in public service pays off for everyone

The benefits of a career in public service are endless. For those struggling to pay off the last of their student debt, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is one of many perks to consider.

How it Works:

After 10 years working full-time in a public sector job (you’ll have made 120 qualified payments on your loans by then), PSLF will pardon whatever loans you have left to repay. It might not relieve the entirety of the financial burden, but it gives an extra incentive to pursue the career you want while alleviating some of the stress of student debt.

As an added bonus (if you’re pursuing an MBA), a handful of business schools around the country offer similar programs aimed at ensuring their graduates thrive in the nonprofit field. Benefits stretch out over multiple years and in some cases add up to $100,000—all aimed toward repaying student loans.

In other words, you definitely want to check it out.

Image courtesy Flickr

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CAAP announces new software for charitable account management

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The Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) today announces an exciting new partnership with Crown Philanthropic Services in the purchase of its DonorFirst online software platform. DonorFirst is now available to all our donor-advised fund holders and will allow fund holders to view all the details of their CAAP donor-advised fund, including fund balance, grant history, and contribution history. Fund holders will also be able to research nonprofits and make grant recommendations online 24/7.

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are one tool that allow donors to become more strategic in their philanthropy. DonorFirst software provides DAF holders all the convenience of online financial software, as well as higher autonomy in managing their charitable accounts.

To learn more about DonorFirst and how to set up a donor-advised fund, please visit http://centeraap.donorfirst.org or contact Katy Hanway, CAAP Donor Services & Program Officer at khanway@accesscommunity.org.

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Our annual gift guide highlights the activities of our grantees and partners, and provides suggestions for gifts that go a bit further this holiday season.

1) Subscription to Mizna’s award-winning literary journal:

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The Mizna literary journal is the premiere collection of original writing from Arab American artists. Mizna is an organization devoted to promoting Arab American culture, providing a forum for its expression, and giving voice to Arab Americans through literature and art. Featuring fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and artwork dealing with Arab American concerns, each journal issue is carefully curated around a specific theme. A journal subscription makes a great gift for the discerning scholar of Arab American studies in your family!

2) Purchase an item from Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture:

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Why not support the innovative Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture by shopping at their store? Al-Bustan teaches Arab arts, language and culture through a variety of media, and is consistently at the vanguard for engaging youth in diverse cultural programming. The website currently features an array of artist-designed graphic tees, notecards, and books. Check it out!

3) Sponsor a woman entrepreneur at the Arab American Family Support Center:

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The Arab American Family Support Center facilitates a program that enables women to participate in a small cooperative and sell their handmade crafts in stores and on their website. Help a woman lead her family out of poverty by making a tax-deductible contribution toward the purchase of materials needed to start her small business.

We hope this inspires you to learn more about our grantees, or consider contributing to a nonprofit that captures your philanthropic imagination this holiday season!

P.S. A Membership at our partner institution, the Arab American National Museum (AANM), provides several benefits beyond free admission. The AANM is the first and only museum in the United States devoted to Arab American history and culture. Become an AANM Member by clicking here

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Typhoon Haiyan: How Arab Americans can help

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With thousands living in temporary shelters and a full-scale health crisis threatening, survivors of the recent typhoon in the Philippines are in desperate need of support. The Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) is responding by researching various humanitarian relief organizations and providing donors with a list of recommended organizations effectively responding to the crisis:

American Red Cross: The global Red Cross network is responding to emergency needs with food, water, and relief supplies, and the American Red Cross is lending people, expertise and equipment to the efforts.  Learn more.Donate.

Catholic Relief Services, in cooperation with their partners, is working to provide 100,000 families with shelter, essential living supplies, clean water, and sanitation. Learn more. Donate.

Doctors Without Borders is sending doctors, nurses, surgeons, psychologists, and water and sanitation experts to the area to provide critical medical care. Doctors Without Borders is also providing medical supplies, hygiene kits, shelter materials, and water and sanitation equipment.   Learn more. Donate.

Life for Relief and Development is providing emergency food, clean water and medical assistance to families in areas that were severely affected by the typhoon. Learn more. Donate.

MercyCorps is working with their partners on the ground in the Philippines to provide families with food, water, shelter and other basic supplies. Learn more. Donate.

UNICEF: United States Fund is rushing to aid children in the Philippines by providing them with clean water, health kits, shelter, sanitation equipment, and nutrition.  Learn more. Donate.

Image courtesy EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

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Incorporating good into the everyday

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List-making is an under-appreciated art form. Practiced and perfected by the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Umberto Eco (not to mention you and probably everyone you know), lists form a crucial part of our lives. Belle Beth Cooper recently wrote a piece for the Buffer Blog on the history and allure of the list, reminding us of the incredible power it has to make sense of the world around us and to enhance our productivity.

Lists can be just as useful when it comes to incorporating good into your daily routine. The next time you find yourself organizing a daily, weekly, or monthly to-do list, try to remember Cooper’s advice and apply it to your philanthropic giving:

  1. Prioritize – You can’t do everything. Make the most of your giving (whether that means giving money, time, or labor) by focusing on causes important to you.
  2. Break projects down into smaller, manageable tasks  Whatever your major goals are, you can make them more accessible (and much less overwhelming) by thinking of them as a series of tasks.
  3. Plan ahead: Set apart time every week or month to engage in philanthropic giving.  
  4. Be realistic: Accomplish what you can within your own limits.

November 15 is National Philanthropy Day - what better time to start doing daily good deeds?

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November is National Philanthropy Month, and the Center for Arab American Philanthropy is inviting you to get into the spirit of giving by sharing your stories of generosity (karem in Arabic) by submitting them on Tumblr or posting on our Facebook page. Just use the hashtag #KaremContest in a post of 200 words or less. We’ll share the stories across our social media platforms throughout November. The winner, who will be chosen on National Philanthropy Day (November 14), will receive a $50 giving card to donate to the charity of their choice. Email caap@centeraap.org for details (some restrictions apply).


We can’t wait to read your stories of giving!

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Checkout charity: More bang for your buck?

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Checkout charity is no doubt one of the most pervasive forms of modern-day philanthropy. You see it at your local Walmart, Costco, and Kmart, even at your local McDonalds, Chili, and Wendy’s. Nearly everywhere there’s a cash register, you have the option of donating a dollar or two to charity. As it happens, checkout charity is also one of the most successful forms of modern day philanthropy. In 2012, 63 campaigns across the country raised $358.4 million in donations. JCPenney alone raised $10.4 million in six months.

But it isn’t all good news.

In an article for the Tampa Bay Times, Susan Thurston takes a look at both sides of the issue. Checkout charity may be “big business for nonprofits,” but the practice isn’t necessarily sustainable. Charities receive no information about their donors, and, as a result, can’t make any follow-up requests down the line. Donating a dollar to cancer research at your local McDonald’s doesn’t do much to inspire a long-lasting relationship with the nonprofit accepting your money.

On the side of the consumer, the checkout charity model discourages responsible philanthropy. Spontaneous, “point-of-sale” fundraising makes it highly unlikely a person will do much research on the charity in question. The better option is to give to charities directly and diminish the risk that money might be diverted somewhere along the way. Direct donations also come with the benefit of a tax deduction and complete transparency with respect to where and how your money is being used.

In the words of Daniel Borochoff, president of CharityWatch, a prominent charity rating service in Chicago, be “more thoughtful, do some research, and find out what the charity is accomplishing.”

Photo courtesy NateOne

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Center for Arab American Philanthropy
2651 Saulino Ct.
Dearborn, MI 48120
313-842-5130


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The Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) strengthens the impact of strategic Arab American giving through education, asset building and grantmaking, in order to improve lives and build vibrant communities.



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