Philanthropy is Changing!

As the Millennium Development Goal 2015 deadline approaches we are constantly faced with the question of “what’s next?” Countless countries will not meet the eight goals set forth by the United Nations to increase equality, health services, and education among other social problems.  When the MDG’s were first proposed both government and NGO’s implemented programs to increase services. While there have been countless successes, there remain many issues that need to be addressed. In answering the “what’s next” query many organizations today have shifted their focus to hybridization, institutionalizing the best practices of each of the public and private sectors, and are being referred to as private enterprises.

A private enterprise is defined as “an organization that applies business-like structures and practices to produce social as opposed to private returns.” [McInererny, 162] The greatest opportunity that a private or social enterprise presents is the transnational leveraging and transferring of ideas.  Social Enterprises can essentially bridge gaps and facilitate progress between existing public organizations, private businesses, subsidiaries, donors, and the communities and individuals receiving services. Philanthropy is changing!  Traditional Non-Governmental Organizations that work solely in the public sector are decreasing in number as a new model of non-profit work replaces the old. Simultaneously, traditional for-profit ventures are changing to incorporate the ideology of non-profits and the data driven business model of the private sector.

Public- private partnerships and the opportunities that private enterprises possess are one aspect that will be discussed during the World NGO conference this week in Helsinki, Finland.  Interestingly, many applications received for the 2013 Children’s Prize were at the nexus between public and private sectors. This social enterprise framework is representative of organizations that are driving social innovation worldwide. As NGOs and social enterprises, we’d like to celebrate some of our applicants for their immense effort in saving the lives of children under five. Happy World NGO Day!


Maternova Research

”We differ from many non-profit and aid groups in that we do not choose countries and set up programs. Rather we research and promote life-saving products that have already been developed and proven; we break down barriers to accessing those products for clinics already in operation in remote, areas with high child mortality. Our project, Small Clinics: Big Impact will leverage our network, research, social media reach and expertise on disseminating low-cost innovations for global health. We will link a network of small maternity and primary care clinics across and within countries motivated to introduce a set of life-saving interventions where the government health systems are not functional. We interface with dozens of these clinics literally ‘holding up’ the populations they serve.”

International Fund for Africa

“The International Fund for Africa was created in the belief that biodiversity is essential for human life and maintaining and expanding biodiversity are crucial for sustaining human cultural diversity, cultural wealth being intimately interwoven with environments rich in life forms. We believe our human health, our treatment of each other and nonhuman animals, our relationships to Earth’s ecosystems and biosphere, our protection, management, and distribution of Earth’s wealth, and human relationships in a global community and economy are all directly connected to our fundamental attitudes about ourselves and how we fit in the natural world.

ICAP at Columbia University

“Strong Start is focused on enhancing the availability and quality of—and increasing demand for and access to—maternal and neonatal services. Most births in the target regions occur at home, along with the associated risks to both mothers and babies.”


“Embrace's mission is to advance maternal and child health by delivering innovative solutions to the world’s most vulnerable populations. We do this by catalyzing the creation of new products with strong potential to improve health outcomes in developing countries, and then working to get those products directly to the people who need them most. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that every woman and child has an equal chance for a healthy life.”

East Meets West

“East Meets West delivers innovative solutions to difficult development problems faced by poor families and communities in Asia and Africa. Our core program work is in the areas of education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, and infrastructure and reflects our commitment to removing the barriers that prevent people from enjoying life's fullest opportunities. Nearly six million individuals have benefited from these high-impact, sustainable, cost-efficient programs.”

CURE International

“CURE is a network of charitable hospitals and surgical programs that delivers life-changing medical care and the good news of God's love to children and families with treatable conditions. Since 1998, our hospitals and programs in 29 countries around the world have seen over 2.1 million patients, performed over 150,000 surgeries, and trained over 6,600 medical professionals.”

Catholic Relief Services The Gambia Program

“Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching as we act to: Promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies; and, serve Catholics in the United States as they live their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world. As part of the universal mission of the Catholic Church, we work with local, national and international Catholic institutions and structures, as well as other organizations, to assist people on the basis of need, not creed, race or nationality.”

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

"MSF is an independent, international medical relief organization aiding victims of armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and social marginalization. Each year, MSF doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation experts, administrators, and other medical and non-medical professionals depart on more than 3,800 aid missions. They work alongside more than 22,500 locally hired staff to provide medical care in more than 60 countries. In emergencies and their aftermath, MSF provides health care, rehabilitates and runs hospitals and clinics, performs surgery, battles epidemics, carries out vaccination campaigns, operates feeding centers for malnourished children, and offers mental health care. When needed, MSF also constructs wells and dispenses clean drinking water, and provides shelter materials like blankets and plastic sheeting. MSF was founded in 1971 by a small group of French doctors and journalists as the first non-governmental organization to both provide emergency medical assistance and to publicly bear witness to the plight of the people it assists."

Project Muso 

“Muso’s mission is to eliminate preventable deaths in the world’s most impoverished communities. We envision a world in which 6.6 million children no longer die each year from preventable and curable diseases, in which every child has the opportunity to make it to age five. We envision a world in which every mother has access to the essential tools she needs to protect her health and the health of her children. Muso is a for-purpose organization. We are data-driven and community-led. We’re obsessed with efficiency and transparency. We are designing for scale, and for transformational change.”

American Medical Overseas Relief

“American Medical Overseas Relief exists to provide health care to those who cannot provide for themselves. AMOR is dedicated to improving the health of people in impoverished areas; focusing on maternal and newborn care, children’s health, trauma and urgent care, and health and hygiene education. We are committed to providing quality health care that will not only meet the immediate needs of the population in a specific area, but also introducing new standards of care in each country we serve.”

Gidron, B., Hasenfeld, Y., & Ebooks Corporation. (2012). Social enterprises: An organizational perspective. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

World NGO Day

“It’s only right that, on just one of those days, the world should celebrate NGOs and thank them for the tremendous work that they do."- Mr. Andris Piebalgs @APiebalgsEU,  European Commissioner for Development, 
the European Commission.

      On February 27th, 2014, nearly sixty-three years after the definition of “International NGOs” (Non Governmental Organizations) was first introduced by the United Nations, hundreds will gather in Helsinki, Finland for the World NGO Day 2014 Forum. Organized by the World NGO Day Initiative, the forum will address “Universal Education – NGOs and Private Enterprises”, “Health and Social Welfare”, “Children and Youth Empowerment – A Multi-Sectoral Approach” and “Society Empowerment via Gender Equality.”  NGO’s from all around the globe will “collaborate, commemorate, and celebrate" the work they are doing in communities worldwide. It is a “day for sharing initiatives and experiences with others."

      Among many others, NGO’s work to alleviate injustices and inequalities in the areas of health, education, and economics which governments cannot tackle alone. At the Children’s Prize we received applications from 565 of those individuals and organizations. Submissions came both transnationally and domestically suggesting everything from simple health access intervention tactics, to innovative elaborate technologies.

      This week we are honoring several applicants for the work they are doing to save the lives of children under five. World NGO Day is an excellent occasion to share the initiatives of those on the ground that are towards the reduction of child mortality across the globe. And so without further ado here’s a BIG thank you and sincere appreciation to all of those that are helping make the world a better place for our children especially!


“ZimHealth is a non-profit association established by Zimbabweans living in Europe to mobilize financial, material and human resources to support health services in Zimbabwe. Donations received go towards the procurement of clinical, surgical and other commodities for the purpose of refurbishment of clinics in Zimbabwe.”

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology
Institut Pasteur
“The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) in Hanoi is a Vietnamese national institute. It was created in 1924 and operates under the authority of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health for training, education, and research.”

T-MARC Tanzania
“T-MARC Tanzania is a local NGO that delivers innovative, evidence-based social marketing and behavior change communication solutions. Our work helps increase positive behaviors and improves people’s lives in Tanzania.”

Shoeman Water Projects
“Shoeman Water Projects collects donated shoes – any kind, new or gently used – from schools, churches, businesses and shoe drives, exports the shoes to street vendors in places like Haiti, Kenya and South America and uses the funds from exporting for clean water programs in communities around the world."

Save the Rain
“To achieve our mission, we educate communities on how to harvest the rain by constructing catchment system built from local materials, by the local work force, thus assuring sustainability. We educate people to farm water through roof water collection, surface water collection, ground water recharge, soil conservation, reforestation, bio-remediation, passive irrigation practices and sustainable agriculture curriculums.”

Safe Mothers, Safe Babies
“Safe Mothers, Safe Babies (SAFE for short) was founded with the mandate to improve maternal and neonatal health through projects conceived and implemented in true partnership with the citizens and professionals of the local communities in which SAFE operates.”

Population Services International/ Association de Santé Familiale (PSI/ASF)
“PSI is a global health organization dedicated to improving the health of people in the developing world by focusing on serious challenges like a lack of family planning, HIV and AIDS, barriers to maternal health, and the greatest threats to children under five, including malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.”

Plan International Sri Lanka / USA
“Plan has been working in Sri Lanka since 1981, on the invitation of the national government. We work with nearly 20,000 sponsored children and around 125,000 marginalized children in close to 270 rural communities across 7 districts.”

Operation ASHA
“Operation ASHA’s goal is to make TB treatment available to the most disadvantaged patients.  We do this through focusing on patient convenience, community mobilization, and comprehensive counseling.  Our management information systems include continuous monitoring and rigorous reporting.”

Mother Health International
“Mother Health International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to respond and provide relief to pregnant women and children in areas of disaster, war and extreme economic poverty. We are committed to reducing maternal and infant mortality rates by creating culturally competent, sustainable and holistic birth centers, supporting basic public health measures and projects using the midwifery model of care.”

Containers to Clinics
“C2C operates fully equipped primary care clinics, made from retrofitted shipping containers and staffed with local personnel, to treat women, children, and families in the developing world.”

What's in a language?

Unlike Shakespeare perhaps you may ask, What’s in a language? Perhaps similar to Shakespeare you might say, that which we call a [language] by any other name would [still sound] as sweet.

On International Mother Language Day, we honor mother tongues around the world. When interacting with children and adults in our surroundings language becomes a quick and easy signal that alerts us to similarities, differences, and even perplexity. Celebrating the mother tongue provides an opportunity to be inquisitive about the world around us and commemorate the diversity of the native languages we speak within the construct of culture and tradition.

"Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue."  -from the United Nations International Mother Language Day
"Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue." -from the United Nations International Mother Language Day

Language is a vehicle that provides a means to celebrate our differences while paradoxically engaging in unity. This year’s theme revolves around the necessity for an inclusive education system and instruction in the mother tongue. It seems rather apt to have this theme as the Millennium Development Goals deadline approaches in 2015. Millennium Development Goal 2 (MDG2) focuses on achieving universal primary education and the current data on the progress towards meeting this goal indicates that inequalities in accessing education still persist throughout the world. Language is an incredible leverage in education, it is a basis for identity on one hand but it can also transform and empower individuals within their society.

In general, reflecting on International Mother Language Day highlights the important role languages play in advancing an organization’s mission. For example, a significant component of reducing child mortality for The Children’s Prize focuses on education – Why is it that so many children still die of diarrhea? What are the benefits of breastfeeding a baby? How does malnourishment impact child development? What is the difference between undernourishment and malnourishment? Why do so many babies die in the first 28 days of life? Language is the foundation upon which education flourishes; it allows children to reach their full potential and enables regions to develop with a greater awareness of today’s most challenging issues.

Innovative Philanthropy

“The Children’s Prize is not innovative in creating target products, but instead is innovative philanthropy; the Prize creates a holistic approach and follow-up that ensures a positive donor experience.” -John Oddy

On the 24th of January in Miami Beach, Florida several of the Children’s Prize Judges gathered for a strategic workshop. With backgrounds in global health, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy, the judges discussed the 2013 million-dollar competition and strategized the future of the Children’s Prize.

Our expert panel included Physician and Chair of Pediatrics for Emory University School of Medicine Dr. Barbara Stoll, Global Health expert for Save the Children Dr. Francesco Aureli, Managing Director at and Founder and Managing Director at Philantropia Inc. Erik Detiger, Co-founder and head of Epiphany School Rev. John Finley, Senior Philanthropic Director at Foundation Source Mr. John Oddy, and Founder/CEO of Agora Partnerships Mr. Ben Powell.

Judging Committee and CCP Team
Judging Committee and CCP Team

The workshop commenced with a discussion led by Dr. Anita Zaidi on her winning project, a five point package intervention for perinatal and child healthcare in Rehri Goth a rural fishing village just outside of Karachi, Pakistan. Dr. Zaidi elaborated on the impact that the Children’s Prize will have, “even after the one-million dollars for the project runs out, long-term effects will still be generated in Rehri Goth.” The judges interacted with Dr. Zaidi by posing questions regarding the implementation and sustainability of her project, asking her thoughts on the future of the Prize, and extending their support to ensure the success of her project in Pakistan. When asked to comment about her decision to apply for the Children’s Prize, Dr. Zaidi stated, “the attraction was that the application was to the point, and completing the application did not require an extensive amount of time.”

Throughout the day, the judges engaged in a variety of focused mini-sessions that gave key input to the Children’s Prize. This included reviewing the current prize process and brainstorming ideas for improvements. We received a range of suggestions that we will explore further including strategic partnerships, the structure and growth of the Prize, the application/judging process among many other points. For example, Dr. Barbara Stoll suggested, “what about specializing the Prize every year?” Each focused mini-session of the workshop generated genuine, lively, and meaningful discussion among all of those participating.

“The Caplow Children’s Prize is a terrific experience for public good.” –Dr. Barbara Stoll
“The Caplow Children’s Prize is a terrific experience for public good.” –Dr. Barbara Stoll

As the workshop came to a close, the conversation focused on the valuable lessons learned in 2013 and the variety of challenges and opportunities which these present. One such opportunity is to leverage philanthropy – “if an organization cannot measure the impact of their intervention with a credible degree of accuracy, then money is being inefficiently spent,” expressed Dr. Ted Caplow. The Children’s Prize encourages scientific excellence in saving the lives of children under five.

We look forward to hosting future workshops that connect with individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives that share a unified goal of saving the lives of children under-five. The Children’s Prize wishes to thank all of those involved with this workshop for their time and commitment. The content and ideas generated are being carefully reviewed and considered for future implementation.

It is with great pleasure that we’d like to take a moment and announce that our global call for proposals will open in April of 2014. We invite you to join us, connect with us, and Think Biggest!

2014 Children's Prize Announcement
2014 Children's Prize Announcement