June 2, 2009, The New York Times — THERE was a time when holidays meant a break from working. Not so anymore, as seemingly every day of the year is National Something-or-Other Day. And a handful of nonprofits, with help from the White House, are working to rebrand occasions like Martin Luther King’s Birthday and Sept. 11 as national days of volunteering, to say nothing of César Chávez Day (March 31), Make a Difference Day (the fourth Saturday of October), National Volunteer Week (the third week of April) and Be the Change Day (this year, Oct. 3). Add one more to the calendar: Mandela Day, July 18, when people around the world will be urged to perform 67 minutes of community service to honor the 67 years (and counting) that Nelson Mandela has fought for racial and social equality. The holiday is the brainchild of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and 46664, the advocate group that bears Mr. Mandela’s prisoner number.
PALO ALTO, Calif., April 14, 2009 — Jeff Skoll, founder and chairman of the Skoll Foundation and Participant Media, announced today that he has hired Dr. Larry Brilliant as president of a new organization Skoll is launching to address urgent threats confronting humanity and the planet. Brilliant will focus the new organization, the Skoll Urgent Threats Fund, on identifying and supporting innovative high-impact initiatives to combat climate change, water scarcity, pandemics, nuclear proliferation and Middle East conflict. Brilliant will also serve as senior adviser to Skoll to ensure alignment of work on these urgent threats across Skoll’s business and philanthropic activities.
Kurt Aschermann has years of marketing and resource development experience. He has worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and March of Dimes, and has been a consultant for a variety of for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He currently is president of the Boston-based Foundation for Charity Partners, which provides fundraising solutions to charities. Kurt also is a member of our Editorial Advisory Board. To learn more about him, check out this feature that looks at his background, experience and fundraising advice. Hometown: Born in Ossining, N.Y., lives in Falls Church, Va. Education: Bachelor’s degree in physical education from Springfield