Giraffe Project, Inc.

Stick Your Neck Out for the Common Good

aka The Giraffe Heroes Project   |   Langley, WA   |  http://www.giraffe.org

Mission

The Giraffe Heroes Project moves people to stick their necks out for the common good, and gives them tools to succeed. The Project tells the inspiring stories of “Giraffe Heroes"—men, women and youth, from over sixty countries. They're on the front lines of social change, taking enormous risks for their causes, hanging in there year after year, and not waiting for "them" to solve the problems, including fighting for sane climate policies, social justice, public health and safety and human rights. They are voices for the powerless. Others see and hear the stories of Giraffe Heroes and are inspired to take action too. Giraffe books, blogs, curricula, speeches and trainings help them reach their goals.

Ruling year info

1984

Executive Director

Ms. Ann Medlock

Main address

Box 759

Langley, WA 98260 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3209618

NTEE code info

Citizen Participation (W24)

International Peace and Security (Q40)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There are many people with good ideas and many people with fine ideals. But there are too few people with both the ideas and ideals—and the courage to put both into action for the common good.

By telling the stories of courageous men, women and youth already in action,The Giraffe Heroes Project inspires others to stick their necks out too— moving them to help solve tough public problems and giving them the resources and training to succeed.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Selecting and Publicizing Giraffe Heroes

Telling the inspiring stories of Giraffe Heroes moves many others to get active solving the public problems that most concern them. Since 1982, the Project has collected, researched, written and catalogued into its computers the stories of over 1,300 people it has honored for sticking their necks out for the common good. These "Giraffe Heroes" are powerful models who, by their example, inspire others to move into action too. The Project has gotten Giraffe Heroes' stories on all the major television networks and in hundreds of publications, including Time, The New York Times, Parade, Scholastic and People. Now, all 1300+ Giraffe Heroes stories are being loaded into an easily searchable web database, making them instantly available to media, educators, parents, activists, government agencies, citizens -- everybody.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Project uses state-of-the-art social media platforms to get its inspiring messages and heroes' stories into every corner of the planet. Thanks to 21st century technology, the decades the Giraffe Heroes Project has spent seeding the media with stories of brave people solving public problems have segued into direct access via social media to hearts and minds all over the world.

Social media means no more gatekeepers at newspapers, magazines, TV and radio; we make the decisions on what stories reach the public and when. Hundreds of thousands of people across the planet now see the faces and read the inspiring stories of Giraffe Heroes. They can also download our free coaching tips for effective citizen action. We're using Twitter, Pinterest, and Google AdWords to tell teachers, parents, and kids about our free online teaching materials for kids; more and more of them are downloading our kindergarten-through-high school lessons in courageous compassion.

Heads Up, the Project's e-zine brings a steady supply of new Giraffe Heroes stories, plus news of the Project.

The Project's website, www.giraffe.org has all the Giraffe Heroes stories plus descriptions of all Giraffe programs worldwide.

Giraffe speeches, workshops and books bring inspiration and street-smart strategies to communities, conventions, universities, companies, service organizations and government agencies. They're suitable for experienced activists, rank beginners, and everyone in between. See www.life-ontheedge.org

Stick Your Neck Out--a Street-Smart Guide to Creating Change in Your Community and Beyond, is the Project's newest handbook for activists and would-be activists.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Giraffe workshops and training programs help build civic engagement skills in citizens of all ages. There is a free library of coaching materials on the Coaches Corner page of our website at www.giraffe.org/resources/free-coaching

The Giraffe Heroes Program (GHP) is a story-based curriculum that fosters courage, caring, and personal responsibility in kids in grades K-12, and helps them build lifelong commitments to courageous compassion and good citizenship. Students first hear stories of Giraffe Heroes—people commended by the Project for sticking their necks out for the common good. Then they search for heroes in their studies and in their communities. Inspired by heroes’ stories, the kids then choose a real-world problem they care about, then design and carry out a service project that helps solve it. As they take on projects, students learn and practice academic skills as well as the skills of civic engagement such learning to work in teams. Practicing these skills in the real world, young people learn they are valuable members of society and can live their lives as involved citizens. They gain hope and confidence for the future. 

Voices of Hope, is a great tool for teaching literacy while it encourages and guides kids to become active citizens in their communities. The book includes 40 exciting stories of Giraffe heroes, people from all backgrounds honored for sticking their necks out for the common good. The stand-alone Voices of Hope Service-Learning Guide includes simple, effective tools any teacher or youth leader can use to help kids create and carry out service projects in their communities or beyond.

New products include the Giraffe Kit (a simpler version of the Giraffe curriculum perfect for after-school programs and home schooling) and a new Workbook to go with the book Stick Your Neck Out--a Street-Smart Guide to Creating Change in Your Community and Beyond.

Much more information at www.giraffe.org

Population(s) Served
Adults

Giraffe Heroes International (GHI) helps citizens solve tough public problems in the developing world, from poverty to poor leadership. Working with partners in selected nations around the world ~

• GHI gives those partners a tested strategy for finding their country’s heroes and getting their stories told nationwide on radio and TV, in print and social media, in public presentations and on the Web; the mix will vary from country to country. These stories inspire other citizens to take action too, helping to
heal conflicts, conquer hunger and poverty, protect the environment, build honest and effective government and more.

• Through on-site visits, GHI Director John Graham helps GHI’s partners gain the cooperation and support they need from local media, government agencies, businesses, NGOs and key individuals. Graham also gives speeches, training workshops and media interviews, all introducing the Giraffe idea, and the inspiration and skills it
can bring to the nation.

• GHI offers its full array of books, articles, graphics, website designs and trainings in citizen action developed by the Giraffe Heroes Project, all of which can be adjusted to fit national traditions and languages.

• GHI works with its national partners to help educators use Giraffe curricula and themes to build programs for schools and youth organizations, helping young people move into lives of courageous and compassionate service. GHI English-language materials also double as texts for teaching English.

• GHI stays involved--via the Internet, Skype and follow-on visits--offering coaching and support as each national program expands.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2012

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We know there are rough waters ahead. The challenges we confront in the US and abroad seem overwhelming and at times intractable. But we also know that no matter how troubled the times, there's something in the human spirit that calls us to press for progress, in ways both large and small.

Our goal now is to increase the reach and volume of the Giraffe call to courageous, compassionate service, and to give those who hear it the tools they need for making positive change.

Our purpose is to help catalyze a renewal of citizen courage and caring, and an inspired commitment by ordinary citizens to get involved in solving the problems that test our communities, our nations, and our planet.

Specifically we want to:

1) Significantly increase the impact of our storytelling by expanding the outreach and power of our social media programming. Giraffe Heroes, as all heroes over all times and places, are compelling examples of action. When we tell their stories from podiums, in schools, in our books and blogs and, most of all online, others are motivated to follow their leads on the public problems important to them. Our independent media voice shows people they can have agency. It inspires them to see that they're not subjects but actors who can make changes in their world. Our work puts more people on the front lines of social change and promotes game-changing action. Our training tools offer proven guidance for success.

2) Provide a visionary example to other media of competent, trustworthy, popular programming that serves the common good. In the United States, the recent election raised huge questions about who we are as a nation—and about how poorly we're served by commercial media that focuses on the game rather than the issues and solutions. What's needed is media that focuses on the important things: “Here's a real problem: here's what real people are doing about it." We need a counter-balance to the commercial media triviality that's destroying citizenship, condescending to us as consumers and dolts in need of entertainment. We need the Giraffe Heroes Project, telling even more people the stories of brave, caring citizens rising up to create change. In a world where the media seem to have all but abandoned their power to educate and enlighten, the Project provides courageous, compelling, independent content.

3) Challenge unfair media coverage of social change advocates and help protect them from violence.
We've known from our days using press releases and faxes that our publicity can literally be a shield for the whistle-blowers and other activists we honor. We've also seen how our dramatic and well-researched stories of Giraffe Heroes often help activists and their organizations challenge unfair and stereotypical media treatment of their issues. The bigger audiences we can reach with our stories of Giraffe Heroes, the harder it gets for their detractors to get away with slander, lies, and misrepresentations of their work.

Selecting and Publicizing Giraffe Heroes. Telling the inspiring stories of Giraffe Heroes moves many others to get active solving the public problems that most concern them. Since 1982, the Project has collected, researched, written and catalogued into its computers the stories of over 1,300 people it has honored for sticking their necks out for the common good. These "Giraffe Heroes" are powerful models who, by their example, inspire others to move into action too.

Outreach. The Project uses state-of-the-art social media platforms to get its inspiring messages and heroes' stories into every corner of the planet. Thanks to 21st century technology, the decades the Giraffe Heroes Project has spent seeding the media with stories of brave people solving public problems have segued into direct access via social media to hearts and minds all over the world. Heads Up, the Project's e-zine brings a steady supply of new Giraffe Heroes stories, plus news of the Project. The Project's website, www.giraffe.org has all the Giraffe Heroes stories plus descriptions of all Giraffe programs worldwide. Giraffe speeches, workshops and books bring inspiration and street-smart strategies to communities, conventions, universities, companies, service organizations and government agencies.

Civic Engagement Programs. Giraffe workshops and training programs help build civic engagement skills in citizens of all ages. There is a free library of coaching materials on the Coaches Corner page of our website at www.giraffe.org/resources/free-coaching

The Giraffe Heroes Program (GHP) is a story-based curriculum that fosters courage, caring, and personal responsibility in kids in grades K-12, and helps them build lifelong commitments to courageous compassion and good citizenship Inspired by heroes' stories, the kids then choose a real-world problem they care about, then design and carry out a service project that helps solve it. As they take on projects, students learn and practice academic skills as well as the skills of civic engagement such learning to work in teams. Practicing these skills in the real world, young people learn they are valuable members of society and can live their lives as involved citizens.

Giraffe Heroes International (GHI) helps citizens solve tough public problems in the developing world, from poverty to poor leadership. Working with partners in selected nations around the world, GHI gives those partners a tested strategy for finding their country's heroes and getting their stories told nationwide on radio and TV, in print and social media, in public presentations and on the Web. These stories inspire other citizens to take action too, helping to heal conflicts, conquer hunger and poverty, protect the environment, build honest and effective government and more. GHI Director John Graham also gives speeches, training workshops and media interviews, all introducing the Giraffe idea, and the inspiration and skills it can bring to the nation.

We know how to motivate. There are plenty of people with good hearts, but too many think they are alone, or that their actions will not matter, others lack the motivation, the hope and/or the skills. The Giraffe Heroes Project is perfectly placed to help turn this powerful but diffuse will to "do something" into focused citizen action.

What we offer are not blanket exhortations to serve. The stories of Giraffes we tell over traditional and social media inspire people to act and show them how. Giraffe books, blogs, speeches and workshops offer detailed training in the skills of active citizenship. The Giraffe Heroes Program teaches kids in kindergarten through high school to become active, caring citizens. GHI brings the power of our vision and our programs to the world.

What the times demand from the Giraffe Heroes Project now is not a step forward but a quantum leap. This leap will build on experiences, strengths and skills already gained.

21st century technology already gives our small, tightly budgeted nonprofit low-cost channels for feeding stories to a vast audience, far beyond what we could do in our early days with costly print, mail and phone. Many of the other tools we need are already in place. We have 34 years experience, an experienced and media-savvy staff,
and a stable financial and donor base. We have a worldwide reputation as a leader in promoting citizen action and positive change, and in training change agents through our books, blogs and workshops. And we have a story bank of over 1300 stories of heroes.

The Giraffe Heroes Project has been addressing the challenges of citizen apathy for 35 years. We're a counter-balance to the commercial media triviality that's destroying citizenship, condescending to us as consumers and dolts in need of entertainment. We show people they can have agency—inspiring them to see that they are not subjects but actors who can make changes in their world.

For over three decades weve been building civic engagement by telling the motivating stories of “Giraffe Heroes"— real people already engaged in courageous and compassionate action. then getting the stories of these remarkable people told from podiums, in schools, in the media and, for two decades now, online through a massive and growing social media presence. Others see their stories and are inspired to take on the public challenges they see repeat—speaking out against corruption, building bridges across conflicts, taking a stand against injustice, and being a voice for the powerless.

We follow up those stories with powerful, tested tools for successful citizen action, including books, blogs, speeches, and trainings.

We spent ten years and two million dollars creating a K-12 curriculum helping young people build lives as courageous and compassionate citizens. The curriculum has now reached over a third of the million kids worldwide. Our overseas arm, Giraffe Heroes International, has now established affiliates in eight countries in the developing world, helping citizens there learn from their own heroes to help solve enormous problems of violence, corruption and poor leadership.

We have just finished the mammoth job of transferring all Giraffe Hero stories to a new and better web platform.

We also just finished creating a private Facebook page so all 1400 Giraffe Heroes can now easily communicate with each other and with us.

Next steps. We need to:
1. Ramp up our momentum to take full advantage of the newest communication technologies and expand our social media presence and, with it, the impact of Giraffe Heroes' stories. This will include constantly refining our use of social media, taking advantage of the latest and best options and making sure that our social media messages and website designs remain optimum for the most modern phones, tablets, computers—and whatever may come next. .

2. Create and post short one-minute videos of Giraffe Heroes stories in order to increase our outreach, especially with young people on their phones and tablets.

3. Double the size of Giraffe Heroes International by hiring and training new staff to do the rigorous, often sensitive, punishing, and sometimes dangerous work of extended travel in the developing world.

4. Greatly expand our social media efforts to tell teachers worldwide about the free downloads of our curricula now available off our website, www.giraffe.org.

Financials

Giraffe Project, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Giraffe Project, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 2/9/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Rev. Ron Reed

retired clergy

Term: 2019 - 2022

Ann Medlock

Giraffe Heroes Project Executive Director

Patrinell Wright

Total Experience Gospel Choir

Ron Reed

Episcopal priest (retired)

Peter Tavernise

Cisco Foundation

Melissa Ransdell

consultant

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/09/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data