Don’t Waste Your Money When Donating to Relief Efforts

Looking to donate your hard earned money to various relief organizations, but want to make sure your money is going to a reputable outfit? Check out Charity Navigator. They provide hard stats on various charities yearly financials, how much goes to actual relief efforts vs overhead costs, etc.

Charity Navigator has been around for over 15 years. They’ve rated nearly 8,500 non-profits based on various factors that judge how much money that a group takes in and how much of it actually goes towards the organization’s stated goals. Here is a snippet from their website:

Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator has become the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. In our quest to help donors, our team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. We’ve used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 8,000 of America’s best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.


Specifically, Charity Navigator’s rating system examines two broad areas of a charity’s performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Our ratings show givers how efficiently we believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information. In the not-too-distant future, we plan to also rate charities’ reporting of their results. We provide these ratings so that charitable givers/ social investors can make intelligent giving decisions, and so that the nonprofit sector can improve its performance.

One of the best things about Charity Navigator? They don’t solicit donations from charities they rate in order to avoid impact or perceived to impact on said ratings. Various annual reports and articles are published by the group that can be helpful to donors and potential donors as well including the CEO Compensation Study, Metro Market Study, and features on groups helping with various tragedies in the news.

Go. Research. Donate.

JJ Abrams Is Giving Away A Walk-On Role In The New Star Wars Movie


J.J. Abrams took a few minutes to shoot a video while on set of Star Wars: Episode VII to announce a new initiative called Star Wars: Force for Change. Disney’s Star Wars is partnering with UNICEF Innovation Labs to help fund its projects benefitting children in need around the world. It is great to see J.J. Abrams and his team do something awesome for those who could use some help in addition to giving the world a new sci-fi classic. Continue reading “JJ Abrams Is Giving Away A Walk-On Role In The New Star Wars Movie”

RIOT: A Simulator for Your Mobile or Desktop Device

As the economical crisis advances, the discontent of an entire population cannot help but outburst in Riots, where the sounds of many voices get heard at once. The Director Leonard Menchiari has been experiencing this form of protest in person, and the game “Riot” was born as a way to express it and to tell the stories of these fights. What is that triggers such a strife? What does a cop feel during the conflict? In “Riot”, the player will experience both sides of a fight in which there is no such thing as “victory” or “defeat”. –  Indiegogo 

Riots and how they start, play out and end have always interested me. Riot is a game set to be perfect for someone like that. Why hasn’t anyone made a riot simulator before?

A Riot simulator for PC, Mac, iOS, Android and OUYA seeking funding on IndieGoGo.
A Riot simulator for PC, Mac, iOS, Android and OUYA seeking funding on IndieGoGo.

The game is under development now by a small development company in Florence, Italy. They are running an Indiegogo campaign to help cover costs including travel to current riots worldwide for game research and food/lodging at home while working on the game. The original goal of $15,000 has been exceeded with over two weeks left in the campaign. The team is a talented bunch:

Leonard Mechiari, previously an Editor/Cinematographer at Valve, is joined by game designer Mattia Traverso, programmer Ugur Ister, composer Simon Michel, sound designer Eric Wegener, and sound designer Rolando Nadal on his team. – ‘Riot’ Press Kit

I hope to see a fully functionally version on a mobile screen near me soon. Interested in the funding effort? You can pledge at or visit their website at