DID YOU KNOW: The month of May is named after the Greek goddess Maia, the mother of Hermes.


Today is May Ray Day; the day that encourages everyone to enjoy a little fun in the sun. For those of you living in the Northern Hemisphere, May is the last month of spring. Temperatures begin to rise and the anticipation of summer can be felt all around, especially for those of us living in California. In the Southern Hemisphere, however, the month of May represents the end of autumn. Those living below the equator celebrate May Ray Day by soaking up a few last minute rays before winter ushers in lower temperatures. Thinking about extending your lunch break for some extra time in the sun? Go for it… it is a holiday after all! Catch up on these five nonprofit headlines before you go, and don’t forget your sunblock.

1.  Can a Machine Measure Gender Equality?

Google.org has teamed up with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a nonprofit research organization, to develop software that can correctly measure how often women are seen and heard on TV and film. The revolutionary Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ) uses machine learning to accurately identify the character’s gender, precisely how long they were speaking, and the amount of time they spent on-screen. The GD-IQ is shedding light on the gender disparity that is present in the media, and is using its data to encourage creators, executives and producers to improve the portrayal of women in TV and movies. Discover more about the GD-IQ and its findings by clicking on the link above.

2.   Is Robin Hood Alive and Well?

The Robin Hood Foundation, New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization, raised $54.4 million at its annual benefit on May 9. The “Night for NYC” brought together nonprofit innovators and philanthropists, celebrities, politicians, and business leaders to help rally NYC residents around its mission to improve the living standards for 1.8 million low-income New Yorkers. In addition to the benefit, Robin Hood hosted several other events around the City on May 9, including an opening bell ceremony, a vehicle donation, two concerts, and a pre-game ceremony at Yankee stadium. Read more about Robin Hood and its annual benefit by following the link above.

3.  No Octopus Garden, but the Next Best Thing

The Ocean Discovery Institute (ODI) is a nonprofit that provides hands-on science education programs to the underserved young people of City Heights in San Diego. In 2015, ODI partnered with San Diego Unified School District to create Living Lab, a cutting-edge facility that will provide a tuition-free, learning and research environment to more than 20,000 individuals per year. The strategic location of Living Lab will help to serve a neighborhood burdened by poverty in which many students have never ventured further than a few blocks from their homes, let alone seen the ocean. Living Lab has scheduled its Grand Opening event for September 16, 2017. Learn more about how ODI and Living Lab are addressing the crisis in science education by checking out the link above.

4. Is SPAM Diminishing Your Bottom Line?

The 2017 Nonprofit Email Deliverability Study, conducted and released by the email-marketing platform EveryAction, shows that many emails sent by nonprofits are being misclassified as spam. This results in emails that are deleted without having been opened or read, and thus going entirely unseen. A single percentage point of fundraising emails that are marked as spam has the potential to result in an annual loss of $1,308,85. The study also found that a potential 22.2 % of fundraising revenue could be gained through email simply by keeping email lists up-to-date. According to the study, spam rates soared during fundraising season, particularly on Giving Tuesday—where it peaked with an average of 36.68 %. Check out the link above to read more about how spam is affecting your nonprofit.

5.  Grateful Dead Guitar as an Instrument to Fight Hate?

Lead guitarist and singer of the Grateful dead, Jerry Garcia’s legacy lives on. The late singer’s guitar, “Wolf,” was purchased at an auction in 2002 for $789,500 and will return to the auction block with all proceeds going to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC is a nonprofit organization that combats hate, intolerance and discrimination through education and litigation. This auction is one of many ways the SPLC will continue to shed light on extremism and its shift into the mainstream. Where will “Wolf” next call home? How about your place?! Take a look at the article linked above to read more.

That concludes this week’s Friday Five. Sunscreen in hand, we’re stepping outside of the office to bask in the sunshine! See you next week!

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