adrian is rad


birthday giving

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:33 pm

A few years ago I started a tradition of giving money to charities around my birthday*. After taking a few years off while I was in South Africa and then recovering from the financial impact of living in South Africa, I’m happy to restart the tradition.

As usual, I like to give to some local, national and international–particularly Africa-centric–charities. I also like giving to efficient charities.

Here’s who I gave to this year:

  • 20% Local Year Up [Boston Chapter] (CN) They run one year programs for low social-economic status 18-24 year olds with mentoring, apprenticeships and skills training. They have a pretty high success rate.
  • 20% National/ Good Idea Fresh Moves A mobile produce market that serves the ‘food deserts’ in Chicago. Seems like a cool idea that I thought about giving money to for a while.
  • 20% National American Red Cross (CN) For the first time in years (that I’ve seen, at least) they were not a top rated charity as far as efficiency goes, but I also couldn’t find another equivalent national relief organization. When it comes time for next year’s birthday giving, I’ll reconsider if they’re still not a four-star charity.
  • 20% International/ Africa African Medical and Research Foundation (CN) I’ve given to them every year that I’ve done the birthday giving. They focus on less known, but high impact diseases and health issues in Africa.
  • 20% International/ Africa Books for Africa (CN) I worked with a library building organization while I was in South Africa who cited a statistic that 93% of schools in South African did not have a serviceable library. And South Africa is probably better off than most countries in Africa in that regard.

As always, I’m reluctant in posting these because I don’t like to draw attention to myself. Perhaps you’ll find an interesting charity to donate to, or if you think I’m doing it all wrong, you can find a charity more in line with your ideals and donate to it.

*And, of course, I’m a bit late for my birthday. It took me a while to research and choose charities.

7 Responses to “birthday giving”

  1. Michael Goldstein Says:

    Adrian, thank you for your gift! We’re honored to be in such good company. That was a kind and thoughtful act, and I’m grateful.

    One of the rising stars in the Africa-centric non-profit world is Refuge Point (, formerly Mapendo International. They’re based in Cambridge, MA, and I have a great deal of respect for their approach and leadership.

    Warm regards,

    Michael Goldstein
    Senior Director of Development
    Year Up Boston

  2. Liz Says:

    Yay Adrian! Giving is good! Also, YearUp is one of my favorites—they do amazing work!

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