publicgood

Congressman Daniel Webster (R-FL 8th) on the American Community Survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau:

the definition of the breach of personal privacy, the picture of what’s wrong in Washington D.C., unconstitutional.

That’s a quote provided by a Wall Street Journal editorial which all but implies that the Republican Party is looking a little insane by moving to eliminate funding for the ACS in the House.

Of course Daniel Webster and 209 other Republicans didn’t seem to have much of a problem voting to breach our personal privacy when they voted to extend the Patriot Act. Of course, the ACS asks citizens for innocuous information while Patriot Act gives the government sweeping powers to violate actual civil liberties as a way to investigate crimes justified by raising the specter 9-11 as justification.

Anyways. So we’ve learned that even the Wall Street Journal thinks congressional Republicans have gone off the rails and also that the WSJ does believe in government:

National statistics are in some sense public goods, which is why the government has other data-gathering shops like the Bureaus of Economic Analysis and Labor Statistics.

Amen. Link to editorial via John Sides but you have to use the Google trick to get to the full text.

Nanogram Collaborations: Limited Edition Skatedeck Series with @zoer__. Available today on our shop (link in bio). Only 1 of each will ever be made White Black and Natural. If you don’t yet follow this skilled graphic street artist….. Andres “Zoer” Jaquez is a self-taught, multifaceted artist raised on the westside of Phoenix, Arizona. Having started in his early teenage years with spray paint as a graffiti artist, Andres has since then, grown to more advanced mediums. Using photography, design, and illustration, he sarcastically plays on the current trending topics that are popular in the urban environment he grew up in.
With each purchase from Nanogram, you have contributed to the public architecture of downtown PHX by funding @FLATLOT, the first of a series of urban renewal projects intended for the public good.
#publicgood #phoenix #phx #laserengraved #skateboard #skatedeck #skate #skateshop #skater #graphicdesign #illustration #deck #phxart #flatlot #nanogram #nanogramstudio #custom #madeinusa #garagemade #prototype #laser #woodart #wallart #lasercut #laseretch

Our kids are being prepared for passive obedience, not creative, independent lives.

Let’s turn to the assault on education, one element of the general elite reaction to the civilizing effect of the ‘60s. On the right side of the political spectrum, one striking illustration is an influential memorandum written by Lewis Powell, a corporate lawyer working for the tobacco industry, later appointed to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon. At the other end of the narrow spectrum, there was an important study by the Trilateral Commission, liberal internationalists from the three major state capitalist industrial systems: the US, Europe and Japan. Both provide good insight into why the assault targets the educational system.

Let’s start with the Powell memorandum. Its title is, “The Attack on the American Free-Enterprise System.” It is interesting not only for the content, but also for the paranoid tone. For those who take for granted the right to rule, anything that gets out of control means that the world is coming to an end, like a spoiled three-year-old. So the rhetoric tends to be inflated and paranoid.

Designing is not a profession but an attitude

“Ultimately all problems of design merge into one great problem: ‘design for life’. In a healthy society this design for life will encourage every profession and vocation to play its part since the degree of relatedness in all their work gives to any civilization its quality.”

Excerpted from Vision in Motion by László Moholy-Nagy

#sydney #royalbotanicgarden #royalbotanicgardens #sydneybotanicgardens #sculpture #art #artsculpture #flower #metalflower #metalsculpture #gardens #gardensculpture #picoftheday #instagold #instagood #love #iphonesia #publicgood #publicart #sydneycity #seesydney #eyeonsyd (at Royal Botanic Gardens)

If something is viable as a business, it does not need government funding. Such funds should be reserved for things like education, health care for the poor and elderly, police, a military, etc., that are inherently unprofitable.
—  Seth Masket explains the concept of a public good to House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Who is Public Good Software?

Kelli Landes, Wednesday October 02, 2013

We created Public Good Software to provide great software to the members of the social economy. To learn more about who we are, what we do, and why we do it, watch this short video to hear about it straight from our founding team.

Special thanks to Jef Lear for shooting and editing the video.

As always, to join the conversation, follow us on Twitter as @publicgood, like us on Facebook, or join our mailing list.

What do you think? Respond to us @publicgood with your thoughts or follow @publicgood for more from us.

We are the Chicago Public Library's Geeks In Residence

Kelli Landes, Thursday September 12, 2013

We believe in the power of shared experience, in communities working together, in the innovation that arises from collaboration. That’s why we’re excited to be the inaugural startup of the Chicago Public Library’s Geeks In Residence program. This program is the first of its kind in the nation, and is part of the Chicago Public Library’s initiative to support 21st century learning through innovation and technology.

We are housed in the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street, on the 5th floor in the old Social Sciences Microfiche Room. As the first participants in CPL’s “Geeks in Residence” program, PGS will offer advice on our two biggest areas of expertise–technology and starting a business. We will host informal talks in the Innovation Lab featuring the PGS team, local entrepreneurs, and members of the creative community that powers economic growth in the 21st century economy.

A library is the perfect place for our offices as we begin our endeavor to create the world’s best software to retool civil society. As a public clearinghouse of almost unlimited information available to anyone, libraries represent not only the “hard copy” version of the Internet, but they also encapsulate the belief in shared information and the benefits it creates. We believe in that, too. As civil society and the organizations–like libraries–that serve it reinvent themselves, we look forward to helping them navigate that reinvention. That’s why we’re so honored and excited that CPL has asked us to partner with them on this groundbreaking initiative. We’d love to talk about all this with you. Come to one of our Geeks in Residence talks at the Harold Washington Library Center, or drop by when our office hours go into effect (more on that in a later post!) to join the discussion.

What do you think? Respond to us @publicgood with your thoughts or follow @publicgood for more from us.

New Feature - Embeddable Forms

Kelli Landes, Tuesday March 24, 2015

Our partner organizations know what they’re doing. They’ve created consistent, thoughtful donor experiences on their website. These organizations also fundraise with Public Good to simplify meeting new donors and to raise more money. Here at Public Good, we thought it would be helpful to combine the two.

Today we’re rolling out embeddable forms, allowing nonprofits to bring their PublicGood.com donation form into their existing website for a seamless donor experience. Nonprofits can customize the experience of their current donation page by using the features PublicGood.com offers, like saved payments information, recurring donations and secure payment processing.

With embeddable forms, an organization can just copy and paste a small snippet of HTML code to their website and voila!

It creates an elegant and customizable donation form, and donors never leave an organization’s website. Like everything we do, it’s mobile-optimized and easy to use.

We love making it easier for nonprofits to fundraise. Leveraging the existing donation process that our partner nonprofits have created with the features of PublicGood.com makes online donations better for everyone.

Want to start using embeddable forms on your website? Click here to find out how. Your donors, and your mission, deserve it!

What do you think? Respond to us @publicgood with your thoughts or follow @publicgood for more from us.

Charitable Donations and Your Taxes: A Quick Guide

Kelli Landes, Tuesday February 24, 2015

Chances are, you made a charitable donation this year. According to The National Philanthropic Trust, just over 95% of households donated to charity in 2013, and there’s reason to think that may increase in 2014. Thank you! I know that you did it because you’re a nice person, and because of the warm fuzzy feeling it gives you (it really does make you happier!). But you also get a tax donation. However, the tax code can be confusing at best, and charitable donations have nuances that bear explanation.

To help make things a little easier, here are a few common questions and confusions about charitable donations.

First and foremost, what can/can’t I deduct?

Money — You can deduct monetary donations to qualified organizations (you can search here or just use PublicGood.com, since all the organizations on our platform qualify). But, you’re usually not able to deduct donations to most foreign nonprofits, with the exception of some Canadian, Mexican and Israeli ones.

Volunteering — You also can’t deduct the value of your time as a volunteer, but you can deduct any expenditures you made as a direct result of volunteering (like this cat lady who won her court battle with the IRS, or even your mileage, tolls or public transportation expenses for getting to your volunteer stint.

Event tickets — If you enjoy eating, and are the nice person I know you are, you may go to fundraising dinners. You can deduct the ticket price for those dinners (and any auction items you win there), but only the amount in excess of what you received in return. So, for example if you paid $150 for your ticket, and you got a $75 dinner, you can deduct $75. Raffle tickets you buy are not deductible.

Noncash items — If you’re donating non-monetary items like clothing or household items, they must be in good used condition or better, and you can deduct the fair market value. Any donations valued in total over $250 must have a statement/receipt from the charity describing the property and value. Vehicles have their own special rules, and noncash donations over $500 and $5000 require filling out one or both sections of form 8283

Why doesn’t my deduction make as big a dent as I thought?

Although you can deduct charitable donations, you don’t get a dollar back for every dollar you donate. Deductions basically work to reduce your total income for tax purposes. You don’t get to figure out your tax bill and then just subtract your deductions, unfortunately. In shocking twist, it’s actually kind of complicated. For a great explanation of how it all works, check out this article. Bottom line, you’ll get a tax benefit for your charitable donations. It may or my not be as good as the one you’ll get with a standard deduction, but I am confident that you are the kind of person who donates because you are generous and kind, and not because of the deduction.

I lost my receipt!

If you’re like me, this is the part of doing taxes that creates the most stress. Every year I make sure I have a system, but every year it seems like something falls through the cracks. Happily, most organizations email you a confirmation nowadays. If inbox searches for “tax” “donation” “receipt” or “501” don’t turn up anything — or if you actually made a donation via check or in cash — don’t panic. Keep in mind that for donations under $250, usually a copy of the canceled check or your bank statement will suffice as proof. Of course, if you donate through PublicGood.com, all your receipts are in one place and easy to find. Problem solved!

I know this probably doesn’t clear up every question that you have — especially since the sentence most often cited for being the most confusing in the entire tax code mentions 501(c)(3)s, but hopefully it’s a start. At Public Good, we want to make it easy for you to connect with and supportcauses you care about. Making your taxes a bit easier after the fact is a nice little bonus, too!

What do you think? Respond to us @publicgood with your thoughts or follow @publicgood for more from us.

Introducing Aaron

Aaron Salmon, Wednesday February 18, 2015

Get to know us a little better! Meet our Design Lead, Aaron Salmon.

Why PublicGood.com?

I want to be integral to my community – and improve the world for my son, Aleister. I’ve learned that being an active participant in my community brings me happiness on many different levels. I’ve also witnessed first-hand the difference one person can make. My mom once braved a snow storm to cast the last vote in a local election where her candidate ended up winning by just one vote; arguably, hers. Years ago I approached my neighbor about a vacant lot in our neighborhood; and from that sprung The George and Seeley Community Garden; and from that, a reformed neighborhood association; and from that, a campaign to renovate our local playground as well as successful crime reduction efforts. For years I picked up trash along Damen Avenue in Chicago between Diversey and Belmont and for the following weeks after each collection I would walk my dog enjoying the clean curbage. People would see me and smile, thanking me. I imagine some might even think twice before littering in the future.

I’ve been involved with so many people working to improve their communities and I want to amplify and multiply actions like these… spread the word that it only takes one spark to start a fire – to make a difference. What we are doing with PublicGood is creating an ecosystem to do just that. Shining a spotlight on people, organizations and actions that create sparks.

How do you fit into the Public Good team?

I try and make our platform a joy to use through a mix of visual design work, experience design and front-end development. I help navigate the product roadmap and support our amazing team with any and all needed design assets. I conduct UX Research, working with our partners to identify and map out features that help them accomplish their mission. I also serve as our team’s primary Photoshop gremlin.

What’s a great piece of advice you have been given in your life, and who gave it to you?

My Dad once told me: “You’ve got to put your order in.” You need to put in your order with the universe if you’re going to get what you want out of this life. What are you intentions and what do you want to happen next? If you put thought into it, your order will start to cook. Think hard enough about a quarter and you’ll find one on the sidewalk or in the couch. It all comes down to awareness and being opportunistic. Eh, I’ll leave it there for now… any attempt to go deeper will require longer chats at an all-night coffee shop.

How you are involved in your community

In 2014, after calling Chicago home for over a decade, my family and I moved to my hometown in Wisconsin. Here in Eau Claire I try and be as engaged in my community as my free time allows. I am on the board of the Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance. I serve on Eau Claire’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Commission and am on the steering committee of our neighborhood association. I’m also in the process of forming a local Code for America brigade. Stay tuned.

Favorite Quotes

"Professionalism begets colleaguery, that spirit of mutual support and collective identity that contributes so potently to creative exchange and the sense of progress. It’s my responsibility to engender this spirit by setting an amiable, stimulating, creative and professional example." - Yuri Rasovsky

"Allow events to change you. - You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them." - From Bruce Mau’s “Incomplete Manifesto”

"Citizenship – a word at the very heart of our founding, at the very essence of our democracy; the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another, and to future generations." - Barack Obama

"To clarify add detail. Clutter and overload are not an attribute of information. They are failures of design…" - Edward Tufte

"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value." - Theodore Roosevelt

"Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it." - Mark Twain

"Go forth under the open sky, and list to nature’s teachings." - William Cullen Bryant

In such hard times I heard the gentle but strong whisper of the Sequoia gigantea: “Hear me, you poor man. I’ve stood here more than three thousand years in rain, snow, storm, and even mountain fire still keeping my thankful attitude strongly with nature-do not cry, do not spend your time and energy worrying. You have children following. Keep up your unity; come with me.” - Chiura Obata

"Get to the Chopper" - Dutch

What do you think? Respond to us @publicgood with your thoughts or follow @publicgood for more from us.

The Ultimate Guide to Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits

Noreen Siomos, Tuesday February 17, 2015

As part of Google’s nonprofit offerings, Google Ad Grants offers $10,000 a month in free search advertising to nonprofits. This little-used program is available to most 501(c)(3)’s. The infographic below details Google’s Ad Grant program, including how to apply for, use and maintain a Google Ad Grant.

If your organization is fundraising with Public Good, we’re happy to help you apply for a Google Ad Grant. Email us at info@publicgood.com today!

What do you think? Respond to us @publicgood with your thoughts or follow @publicgood for more from us.

Get All Your Donation Receipts in One Place

Kelli Landes, Tuesday February 03, 2015

It’s that time of year again — tax season! While it my not be your favorite time of year, one great thing about it is that you can look back at all the charitable donations you made and think about all the good you did. The Public Good platform makes it easy to get all your donation receipts in one place so you can take some well-deserved deductions on your taxes.

Here’s a short video showing you how just a few clicks can get you all your donation receipts. It’s a great way to simplify your taxes, and a great way to see all the good you did last year! Go you!

What do you think? Respond to us @publicgood with your thoughts or follow @publicgood for more from us.

Introducing Charlie Festa

Charlie Festa, Tuesday January 27, 2015

Our Director of Community, Charlie Festa, is responsible for getting the word out about all the people and organizations doing good, and building connections to help more people do good. Get to know him a little better!

Why PublicGood.com?

Public Good is something I believe in; it is something we should all believe in. I personally feel that what we are doing is the future. I grew up in an interesting area of our beautiful country. My youth was a common US tale we are all familiar with, and the things I observed growing up is the reason I’m here. Through failing industries, I watched my own and other communities go from bad to worse in the course of a couple decades. I’ve heard stories about how great it was, and unfortunately, I never experienced the “great”. I’m here because if I can’t experience great in my lifetime, at least I can help make the future generations great. (Message to the future, there are people on this earth who care.) I’m here because we are all in this together and it’s time to rise up.

How do you fit into the PG team?

My official title is Director of Community, and my job is spreading a simple message. Like I stated before, there are a lot of people on this earth who do good everyday. I’m here to join, support, and promote that.

What are you listening, reading, and watching right now?

Listening: I’m on a big Harry Nilsson kick. Reading: Constant state of automotive trade magazines. Watching: Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks.

What’s a great piece of advice you have been given in your life, and who gave it to you?

I can’t really say a single piece of advice. But every bit of advice my mother has given me has always been in the key of greatness.

Where is someplace you’ve enjoyed traveling?

No place in particular, as long as it is with my wife Lauren.

What is your favorite organization to volunteer with?

The most recent was a wonderful after-school program in the Uptown neighborhood. When I worked at Leo Burnett I was able to work on several creative campaigns for some great organizations around Chicago, which was a fantastic opportunity.

What do you think? Respond to us @publicgood with your thoughts or follow @publicgood for more from us.

Introducing Donate to a Cause

Kelli Landes, Wednesday January 07, 2015

PublicGood.com cause pages connect you with organizations working on the issues you care about most. But once you see all the incredible organizations working on a particular cause, how do you choose between them? Now you don’t have to.

With our new “donate to cause” feature, you can support organizations fundraising through PublicGood.com by giving an equal amount to each with just a few clicks. You’ll know who’s getting your donation, and how much you’re giving. You’ll also know that you’re making an impact in the lives of countless people.

We have so many amazing organizations, doing extraordinary things. By giving to a cause, you can support the things that matter most to you without leaving out any organization. It’s one more way we are making it easy for you to do good.

What do you think? Respond to us @publicgood with your thoughts or follow @publicgood for more from us.