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Sex Trafficking has become the issue du jour in America during the past decade. The amount of legislation, coalitions, nonprofits, campus clubs, and documentaries focused on the issue have proliferated. With such an extensive amount of attention, what gaps still exist for donors to address? Excellence in Giving has spent the past year reviewing every study, interviewing sector leaders, and completing brand new research to answer that question.
So many urban legends about “100,000 trafficking victims in the USA with only 100 beds to care for survivors” have been circulated that it is time to set the record straight on what we do know, what we don’t know, and what we just discovered about the extent of the social sector’s role in the fight against domestic sex trafficking.
Did you know?
- About 100 charities focus the majority of their work on domestic sex trafficking but that number more than doubled from 2011 to 2016 fueled by the 161% increase in private funding from 2010 to 2014
- 88% of trafficking survivors had contact with healthcare workers while enslaved so training medical personnel how to recognize and respond to signs can rescue more victims
- Sex traffickers believe selling sex is safer than selling drugs, and "Johns" who pay for sex have no fear of repercussions for posting online about the sexual favors received at 6,339 illicit massage parlors in the USA
Check out our entire ground-breaking study of The Fight Against Domestic Sex Trafficking.
ABOUT: Excellence in Giving's Research team can identify key data trends for any topic ranging from homelessness in Houston to poverty alleviation in India. Gaps in services are identified so strategic funders can invest where action is needed to make progress solving a problem they care about. The goal is not just to understand an issue or categorize contributing factors to the problem, but to acquire actionable intelligence. Good research leads to smarter giving. Check out our Research & Evaluation Services.
By Lexi Peterson
The concept of young professionals’ engagement with philanthropy today is a hard one to fully grasp. It seems that every week there is a new study, theory, or article written about how Millennials, myself included, are choosing to spend our (oftentimes) meager paychecks and free time. One article might cite that our chief goal is to blow all our resources on experiences, while another claims we are an untapped resource, already giving away more than older generations give us credit for. Amid all of these conflicting reports, what is the truth?
Well, I won’t pretend to have the answer to a question with which many before me have wrestled. If that were the case, this would be a New York Times best-selling book instead of a blog post. However, I will provide a personal anecdote about my recent trip to the Dominican Republic and how it impacted the way I view philanthropy in the hopes that it encourages others as well.
This past April, I participated in Generosity Outreach’s first-ever Vision Trip, hosted in the Dominican Republic. Generosity Outreach hosts vision trips that “lead individuals down the path to discovering their true philanthropic passion.” When I agreed to go, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect other than having a general outline of our activities and the nonprofits we would be visiting. I knew that the main goal of the trip was to “unlock the joy of giving” in young professionals. But what does that look like?
Over the course of our time in the Dominican Republic, we visited five different nonprofits, and the days spent with the organizations were nothing short of amazing. Our first stop was a church supported by Compassion International. There, we sat in on educational classes for kids of all ages, seeing lessons about letters and numbers to more specialized vocational training sessions like sewing. We then spent a day at a club foot clinic run by Cure International, an organization that serves children with conditions like clubfoot, bowed legs, cleft lips, burns, and hydrocephalus. Next, we listened in on a loan meeting and visited businesses that are thriving due to the loans given to them by Esperanza International, a microfinance organization. And on the last day, we participated in a Healing Waters International Water Walk, where we learned what life would look like without a clean water source. We walked half a mile to find a natural water source, filled our buckets, and carry it back with us. Later that afternoon, we visited a farm supported by Plant with Purpose, an organization that works to transform the lives of rural poor through environmental restoration and economic impact.
Though I could go on and on about this trip, (I won’t—you’re welcome) I will say that seeing philanthropy in this way was incredible. This model of philanthropic involvement, unlocking the joy of giving by seeing for yourself where your dollars are going and what they are doing, is something I think more young people should get behind. It’s what my company, Excellence in Giving, has been doing with our clients for years. But it wasn’t until I saw it for myself that it finally clicked in my own life. Leaving your comfort zone, learning about giving and other cultures, and bonding with like-minded people, all while having a lot of fun? What a great way to do philanthropy!
The biggest lesson I took home is, Why wait? When you’re young, it’s so easy to put off the idea of giving until you’re older, citing a lack of money or of time to invest. But why do we convince ourselves of this? Giving doesn’t suddenly mean more if the number on the check has a few more zeros behind it. We continually strive to find what we’re passionate about in our careers and personal lives, so why don’t we channel that same drive into finding out what we’re passionate about in terms of giving? Discovering that is a cause for celebration at any age.
Al Mueller, President of Excellence in Giving had this to say about Ashley. "We are thankful to have Ashley provide her wisdom and insight as we continue to serve families who desire to have greater joy and impact. She has modeled generosity well and encouraged others to be wise stewards of their resources. Ashley’s perspective is a valuable addition to our Board of Advisors."
Find out more about Ashley here
Mr. Van Vugt joins the Excellence in Giving team as a Research Analyst. In this role, he sets up systems to measure program outcomes for charities that Excellence in Giving clients support. He specializes in designing research plans and analyzing impact data to evaluate program effectiveness and recommend improvements. His work gives our clients confidence they are supporting great organizations committed to getting better.
Mr. Van Vugt earned a BA in Finance from Calvin College and an MA in International & Development Economics from the University of San Francisco. He began his career in Kenya working with microfinance institutions and has extensive experience with a variety of international development organizations and social enterprises around the world. Most recently,
Mr. Van Vugt worked as an independent consultant, helping nonprofits better measure and understand the impact of their programs. He has led rigorous research projects in several countries throughout Africa and Latin America for clients including Compassion International, Living Water International and Partners Worldwide.
In his spare time, Tim enjoys golfing, skiing and travel. His claims to fame include cameo appearances in Kenyan music videos and competing in the World Skeeball Championships.