Kicking Off Christmas Crazy: My Parents Inadvertently Stole a Cabbage Patch Kid

Part of me understood why my parents hadn't rushed out to buy one. I knew money was tight. Why else would we be living in a run-down trailer where rent was less than what some people spend on groceries in a week? I understood that there were medical bills to pay, that scraping by meant sacrifice, and that a doll was the last thing our pennies should be spent on. But I was still devastated. ...more

Paying off all the layaways on Christmas Eve would seriously be the most amazing thing in the ...more

Make Sure You Know Who Your Charity Really Is

It is once again that time of year when philanthropy and shopping occur at a fever pitch. Securing deductions for the end of the tax year and holiday shopping help charities fund their programs for the year to come. Outright donations, shopping at our marketplaces, or simply making a donation in someone's name all help your spcaLA. It is also important to research and donate wisely. Nothing upsets all of us more than hearing a person say "I gave to your national office" when, in fact, there is no such thing....more

A Word About Poop and Plastic Bags

Minutes after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to ban disposable single use plastic bags I received a call from the media requesting an interview to answer the question "what do people do with dog poop?"...more

Proud to be an Enabler! Permission to Treat Animals Humanely -Granted!

I was at a meeting with both leaders in and outside of the animal protection business, discussing strategies to place more pets in good homes and to foster responsible pet ownership, when one of the "outsiders" called me an "enabler". She said that because spcaLA was so well run and boasted beautiful facilities - we were enabling people to turn in their pets without guilt. We were, in fact, letting people off the hook by providing safe, humane and loving places where unwanted pets could live while waiting for a new family to adopt them....more

The Healthy Voyager's Kenyan Adventure

The Healthy Voyager goes to the Massai Mara & Nairobi, Kenya! Join me as I find healthy, vegan, vegetarian, low fat, gluten free & other special diet friendly meals in this gorgeous country. Lots of great food to eat, healthy activities to partake in and beautiful people to meet! I visit the Sarova Mara resort, spend time with the Massai tribe, document the wonderful work of volunteers chosen by Virgin Atlantic to help build dorms and bring a water system to the Sekenani school children of the Massai Mara, and party with the Kenyan soccer team in Nairobi!...more

Meg Whitman: Can Her $59 Million Save California?

I’ve never really gotten involved in politics.  But I was totally jazzed when Meg Whitman - a mother and wife who has had a successful career, including a 10 year stint as CEO of eBay, announced she was running for California Governor.  Everyone knows the state of California needs someone who can get things done, build consensus amongst wildly disparate groups and is transparent while doing it. ...more

If you read one blog post of mine, make it this one

[Cross-posted at] Funders expect the nonprofits they support to demonstrate impact, prove their effectiveness, all of which makes perfect sense.  Even when charities push back, donors still want to know that their dollars are going as far as possible to solve social problems.  But. ...more

Brigid Slipka

Event Chair Matrix - Worker Bee to Diva

When it comes to chairing an event in the world of volunteer fundraising, it's no question it takes a certain type of dedicated character who can pull off a successful event. The responsibility of managing committees, budgets, vendors, marketing, and all else in between requires an individual who can demonstrate leadership while being a team player. ...more

Vivanista is the go-to community for philanthropic living and giving. Come visit, let us know if ...more

Are Charity Galas Facing Extinction?

The earth evolves and the world turns. The poor old dinosaur hit a brick wall due to the ice age…or was it a meteor? Or both? Whatever you believe one thing is for sure, they ultimately couldn’t survive the resulting dramatic climate change. So is the lavish black-tie Charity Gala in for its own abrupt end? A storm of factors are causing fundraising organizations from Newport Beach to Palm Beach to re-evaluate the scale and grandeur of black-tie galas. ...more

Is the Junior League relevant?

As volunteer groups diversify with the addition of men and fundraising goes viral with the click of a key, where does that leave female-only charitable organizations like the Junior League?  Founded over a hundred years ago by young debutantes with time on their hands, its relevance is called into question in this age of equal pay, mommy-blogs and hip young professionals flocking to Arts organizations. ...more