The Irish are on to something

An enterprising young fundraiser in Ireland has hatched a novel idea to help small non-profits who need a bit of a lift.

It's called Charity Hack 2013 — a 12-hour design charrette of sorts that brings together a team of professional fundraisers to create campaigns to help neophyte non-profits.

Kevin Delaney, the self-proclaimed Hacker-in-Chief whose day job is coordinating Ireland's version of the Relay for Life, concocted the idea with the hopes of giving struggling non-profits a way to tap into some talent they otherwise never could have afforded. 

Delaney and his team have picked five Irish organizations that will benefit from kick-ass fundraising campaigns and are hoping to gather 25 fundraising pros to provide their expertise (they're almost there!).

The results? Well, we'll find out. They get together on August 10 in Dublin to work their magic.

This is an incredible example of how "crowdsourcing" and "kickstarting" can make communities richer and more connected.


Keep your non-profit off this list

America loves lists — especially bests and worsts. We also love to support worthy causes.

Before you give, make sure the charity or cause is doing the work you expect it to.

The Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting recently published "America's Worst Charities," a colossal reporting project that looks at how much donated money actually goes into a charity's mission. In some cases, charities that raised millions devoted less than 1 percent to the stated cause.

The result is some impressive investigative journalism that could only be done in today's "big data" era. It includes two deep and searchable databases. 

I bought new sandals … and cleaned a beach!

Cause marketing rolls on. 

My new Tevas are awesome — and there was more awesomeness when I opened the box.

I learned I also did a little something to improve the environment.

The shoes fit and feel great. And now I have an even warmer feeling about the company, too. 

Health care systems, hospitals and physician groups can be the recipients of localized cause marketing by partnering with selected local merchants.

It already happens regularly with the "buy a star and support a charity" promotions in grocery and convenience stores and with promotions from community-minded companies like Dunkin' Donuts, which supports local blood banks. 

Go out and find your perfect health connection!