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Telepresence Options Charities 2012 - Helping Others

December 21, 2012 | Howard Lichtman

Telepresence_Charities2012.jpgMy favorite part of being a publisher is getting to promote deserving charities each year around the holidays. In the spirit of the season I wanted to take a moment to recognize and promote some charities that were founded by members of the telepresence industry and a couple that are near and dear to some of us at the Human Productivity Lab and Telepresence Options. The list includes: Kiva, where our Linked In group: Telepresence Industry Professionals has a lending team, Bicycles for Humanity co-founded by Pat Montani, CEO & Co-founder of IP-V Gateways, Vacations for Veterans founded by Chris Carr, Director of Video Markets at MASERGY, The Fluoride Action Network which I am supporting, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. If anyone knows of any other worthy efforts supported by members of the industry then please pass them along and we will add them to the list.



Kiva is a unique charity where donors support entrepreneurs in developing countries by making microfinance loans of as little as $25. Kiva "lenders" can choose from thousands of entrepreneurs and target their loan to a specific country, sector, gender, and/or attributes like green or higher education initiatives. A typical borrower might be a Peruvian woman who makes peanut butter by hand looking for $750 to buy a machine to quadruple her output. Multiple Kiva members fund the loan and a local charity (called a field partner) administers the loan and collects repayments. As the loan is paid back the money is deposited back into the lender's Kiva account where they can lend again to another entrepreneur in need in a virtuous cycle that creates jobs and local economic development.

We have created a lending team on Kiva for telepresence and visual collaboration professionals through our industry association: Telepresence Industry Professionals (TIP). TIP is open to both members of the visual collaboration industry and the technical professionals who support telepresence, videoconferencing, UC, and visual collaboration in organizations large and small.

Bicycles for Humanity


Bicycles for Humanity is a non-profit founded by IP-V Gateway's CEO Pat Montani that collects unused bikes in North America, Europe, and elsewhere in the western world and ships them to developing countries, primarily in Africa, where they change lives by providing transportation for local entrepreneurs, charities, and deserving individuals.

Some of the groups that benefit from Bicycles for Humanity include:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation


The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been called "the ACLU for the digital age". They fight for our constitutional rights in the digital domain.

Whether your issue is Free Speech, Privacy, Ensuring Transparency, Protecting Innovation, or Protecting Fair Use, EFF is fighting for you!

How to Help: You can Donate, take action, or help spread the word. Also be sure to Get Your Employer to Match Your Contribution, and don't forget to Buy EFF Schwag

Other Worthy Organizations We Like:

Room to Read - World Change Starts with Educated Children
Kiva - Loans that Change Lives
National Vaccine Information Center - America's Vaccine Watchdog
Generation Rescue - Fighting Autism
Oath Keepers - Guardians of the Republic!
SafeMinds - Sensible Action For Ending Mercury-Induced Neurological Disorders
Amazon Cares - Amazon Community Animal Rescue and Safety

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