Seeds of Kindness

GalaCon 2015

GalaCon 2015

GalaCon 2015 has been an unprecedented success for us, a success that we’ve transferred to the Against Malaria Foundation right away.

“Us” is Bronies for Good, Your Siblings, and the two of us, Nino and Denis, who have run the charity booth. But none of this would’ve been possible without our monetary and in-kind donors, and the tireless work of the staff and volunteers of GalaCon as well as former staff, whose ideas and initiative continues to boost our fundraising. Many thanks also to Stable-Tec Studios for donating their complete profits to the cause.

Considering only the effects on mortality and only the effects on children under five (who are most likely to die from malaria) and not considering costs that the Against Malaria Foundation leverages from other funders, the €20,027 we raised will buy at least 5,500 mosquito nets and will save the lives of over 10 people. (Based on research by GiveWell.)

We sold out of Bound Together at GalaCon, but we’ll have more at Czequestria!

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Charity Album: Seeds of Kindness: Building Bridges

Bronies for Good is pleased to announce its fifth Seeds of Kindness charity album, Building Bridges. Musicians, heed our call!

Over the years, Bronies for Good has raised over $200,000 for various impactful charity projects, thanks to the creative contributions of the fandom’s many talented musicians and artists, and the generosity of thousands of fans who want to make the world a better place.

Our new fundraiser will launch in November, along with the album, and all funds will benefit the highly effective prevention program of the Against Malaria Foundation.

The Music

The Seeds of Kindness albums feature hours of music from both up and coming artists and old time fandom favorite musicians alike. You can download our previous releases from our fundraiser page.

The albums encompass genres from dance to orchestral to ska to rock to 80s metal to hip-hop, and include contributions from musicians such as EileMonty, Feather, Forest Rain, So Great and Powerful, and Carbon Maestro.

The Theme

Our new album theme, epitomized by the title of Building Bridges, is global empathy: There is a vanguard among us who care equally about feeling beings of all species and countries—no matter how different they are or how far away—and who want all of them to thrive.

We want to make our new album a testament to an altruism that extends beyond the bounds of countries and species, an altruism that stands up for everyone no matter where, an altruism that inspires action!

The Charity

Over 200 million people contract malaria every year, the death toll is equivalent to half a dozen plane crashes every day, and many who survive are locked in poverty due to expensive treatments. It is a permanent catastrophe. It is also easily preventable. As the infected mosquitoes mostly bite at night, it can be prevented with cheap, long-lasting insecticidal nets. As little as $3 buys a net that will protect two people for three to four years and contribute the permanent elimination of the disease. The efficiency of the intervention has been thoroughly proven. The Against Malaria Foundation stands out in particular because of their strong track record and commitment to efficiency, program monitoring, and transparency.

Instructions for Musicians

The Timeline

Soft deadline: October 1, 2015

Hard deadline: November 1, 2015

Release date: November 22, 2015

What to Submit

  1. Pony and nonpony songs are equally welcome.
  2. No copyrighted material can be used, and we cannot accept entries that remix, sample, or cover the show either. (Sorry!)
  3. Submitting a remix requires the composers’ permission.
  4. Collabs are encouraged!
  5. There is no genre restriction besides common sense. Don’t make anything angry, creepy, or overly depressing (but sad is fine) and your song should have no problem fitting in.
  6. There is no set length restriction, and most importantly, short songs are just as welcome as longer pieces are. Don’t stretch your song solely to fit a given length—this was perhaps the most common issue with entries for the previous albums!
  7. You can submit as many songs as you want (within reason). Two songs from the same artist can get in without any problem, but over that number (not counting collabs), we might only take the best two of them.

How to Submit

Please send an email to smile.bfg@gmail.com, with the subject “[BB]” followed by your artist name, and include the following:

  1. An MP3 file without the artist’s name in its title or metadata, hosted on a service that offers streaming (preferably Mediafire). Please make sure to take the sharing link rather than copy-pasting from your URL bar. You may check your link by accessing it while logged out, e.g., using private browsing.
  2. A lossless file (preferably FLAC or AIFF) also hosted on a service like Mediafire. We tend to see a lot of Dropbox links dying when we need them, so please be careful.
  3. The title, your preferred artist name, a link for credit (YouTube channel, Soundcloud, etc.), and lyrics if applicable.

Things You Should Know

  1. For the sake of musicians who submit their songs early, there is a set release date.
  2. We recommend that you submit before the “soft deadline” so we can still give feedback on tracks that are close to making the cut.
  3. You may release your song as soon as the album is out but link the fundraiser instead of a direct MP3 download.
  4. We will continue to trust our fans to donate to download the album.
  5. You can upload your song on YouTube when the album is released, but please do not make your song public until then. However, feel free to upload previews or ask for feedback!

If you have any questions, you can email us at smile.bfg@gmail.com or ask in the My Little Remix thread.

Brony Fair 2015

The Brony Fair convention, April 11–12, 2015, in Berlin, Germany, sponsored a vendor’s booth for us, Bronies for Good. Sara Nowak and I ran the booth and also distributed effective altruism leaflets around the venue. I will estimate their conversion rates in about a week.

At the booth, we accepted donations for the Against Malaria Foundation and gave out buttons, pins, artwork, and copies of the Bound Together comic anthology as thank yous. The performance was as follows:

  • 25 copies of Bound Together given out
  • 2 Bound Together preorders served
  • 11 metal pins given out
  • about 3 postcards given out
  • 12 newsletter subscribers gained

We did not keep track of the number of buttons given out.

The donation performance was as follows:

Table Saturday €755
Table Sunday €312
Remainder €0.57
Total €1,067.57

We did not count the coins smaller than €1 on the first day (hence the “remainder”), and on the second day only counted the overall total, so that we calculated the subtotal for the day from the overall total.

All donations have been forwarded to the Against Malaria Foundation. They amount to 377 nets.

The 157 Bronies for Good flyers we handed out have so far yielded a conversion rate of 0% in online donations and 0.6% (1) in website visits. Some recipients may have donated at the booth, though, as a result of the flyer.

Many thanks to all donors and the Brony Fair team!

Bound Together Comic Art Anthology Bound for Presses

Bound Together

Good news to those who love art, comics, and helpfulness—Bound Together is off to the presses and will be in your hands in a few short weeks.

Bound Together is our original charity comic and art anthology, enjoyable for readers of all ages. Top quality artists in the fandom collaborated on this high-quality, full-color, and professionally printed book featuring 52 pages of pony comic stories and individual art pieces: KefkaFloyd (project director), Adlynh, Bakertoons, Centchi, Emberwisp, fxcellent, Jowybean, Leekfish, Muffinshire, Pasteur, Ponywise, Sofas And Quills, Spectralunicorn, Starry Night, and Steve Holt! While PixelKitties had to withdraw due to scheduling conflicts, she sends her earnest support for the project and we brought on additional artists like Emberwisp, Centchi, and fxcellent to help make the book even better.

Some artists have already posted samples of their contributions, which you can see here. That’s just a taste, as you can only see all of the comics and artwork by donating for the book.

True to its theme of teamwork and togetherness, all buyers are also collaborators on our joint effort to combat malaria. The revenue generated by Bound Together goes towards the Against Malaria Foundation’s outstanding prevention program. Each copy of Bound Together helps provide multiple insecticide-coated nets to thwart the spread of malaria.

In fact, the donations from preorders have already exceeded the printing costs, and the project is currently generating positive revenue for the charity. We have 30 remaining preorder slots, and all preorders will ship in April. We’d like to give a sincere thanks to everyone who preordered the book, as without your generous contributions this project would never have been printed. Couldn’t preorder? Don’t worry—the book will be available at various conventions across the globe. The book will debut at BABSCon, with other conventions such as BronyCon, TrotCon, GalaCon, Brony Fair, Czequestria, and more to come.

Already donated to the project? Please consider making an additional donation directly to our Seeds of Kindness fundraiser!

In-Kind Donations for GalaCon 2015 Charity Auction

GalaCon and Bronies for Good

We’ve become such a huge community, bustling with generosity! But what is even more important is that we know that our generosity cannot be an end in itself. Generosity is only as good as the good it does for those we help.

And we can help tremendously if we do it right. It is big-hearted and bold to treat strangers like friends—it is also necessary. The millions of people in extreme poverty and at risk of malaria are strangers to most of us, but they are the people who need our help most and they are also the people we can help most effectively. Let us prove to them that this world is not too big and never cold!

The Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) has been making distance irrelevant for over a decade. With mere monetary donations, people from around the world can save the lives of those who would otherwise have succumbed to malaria. And because AMF is one of the most effective charities in the world, even small donations—$3 for a mosquito net—have a great impact. That is why we have dedicated Seeds of Kindness to fundraising for AMF.

This year GalaCon will dedicate their charity auction to the Seeds of Kindness fundraiser for the fourth successive year. A silent auction will allow potential buyers to bid on their coveted items throughout most of the convention, and a live auction will determine who gets the most valuable of items. Plus, on the Saturday of the convention they want to surprise you!

To donate in kind to the auction, please email them at donations@galacon.eu. They’ll be happy to give you all the instructions you’ll need and their shipping address. If you have any questions about your in-kind donations at the last GalaCon, you can reach ask them at the same address.

Seeds of Kindness Digest #1

Great thanks to all of you who have set up monthly donations for Seeds of Kindness! You are helping to bring forth great change, and allowing the Against Malaria Foundation to plan its future budget.

If you would like to set up monthly donations too, please do so through our fund-raiser:

sok.yoursiblings.org

A lot has happened within the effective altruism movement recently:

  1. Our Bound Together comic anthology is rapidly taking shape, and some artists have independently published WIPs and previews. Check out their portfolios in our original announcement. Preorders are still open.
  2. Peter Hurford’s great fundraising tips offer advice if you’d like to contribute to Seeds of Kindness but don’t have the financial means to make substantial donations yourself. Good luck with your event!
  3. The “2015 Gates Annual Letter” has been published. It addresses important topics such as opportunities for health and financial security for the poorest in the next fifteen years. The letter calls for “informed, passionate individuals working together to form effective movements for change. People who care about helping those in the world’s poorest places improve their lives. We call them global citizens.” That’s you!
  4. Six new studies show the limited and mixed effectiveness of microcredit, and show, by implication, the importance of informed, evidence-based altruism.
  5. Raising for Effective Giving promotes effective giving to top animal charities.
  6. One of our members has written an article titled Effective Altruism 101. It can serve as introduction for your friends who are interested in the effective altruism we facilitate in our fandom and can encourage them to join us.

Currently, our collaborative effort with the Against Malaria Foundation has raised enough funds for more than 2,500 mosquito nets, thus offering over 5,000 people protection from the deadly disease. Please help spread the word and donate to save even more lives!

Bound Together: The Comic and Art Anthology for Charity

Bound Together

We are excited to announce the upcoming release of Bound Together, an original charity comic and art anthology. Bringing together a team of some of the best artists in the fandom, this high-quality, full color and professionally printed book will feature up to 64 pages of pony comic stories and individual art pieces that will inspire and delight. Based around the themes of teamwork and togetherness and in the spirit of our favorite pony show, it will be thoroughly enjoyable to readers of all ages. All profits will go towards the Against Malaria Foundation’s outstanding prevention program.

The artists who are making this binding spell possible are: Kefkafloyd (project director), Adlynh, Bakertoons, Jowybean, Leekfish, Muffinshire, Pixelkitties, Ponywise, Sofas And Quills, Spectralunicorn, Starry Night, and Steve Holt!

How Can I Get It?

The book is primarily intended for the convention scene and will be available at most major American and European MLP conventions, debuting at BABSCon on April 3, 2015.

However, for people who cannot attend conventions and in order to help us cover the costs of printing the books, we will also ship a limited amount of books to people who preorder. The special preorder price is $25 plus $4 for shipping, and we’re aiming for ninety preorders. If you are interested in getting the book shipped to you as soon as it is printed, please preorder below. Thank you!

Click Here to Preorder Bound Together

As a bonus for those that preorder the book, you’ll receive an official Bronies for Good pin along with your book!

Bronies for Good pins

In addition to preordering the book, you can also donate additional funds directly to the project. All funds donated after printing and shipping costs are covered will be donated to the Against Malaria Foundation.

Click Here to Donate to the Bound Together Project

Who Does It Benefit?

Just like all proceeds from our Seeds of Kindness fundraiser, the revenue from Bound Together (minus printing costs) will be donated to the Against Malaria Foundation. Malaria afflicts 200 million people and causes about 600,000 deaths a year. That’s over 1,600 deaths per day or one per minute. But it can be easily prevented.

The Against Malaria Foundation funds long-lasting insecticide-coated bed nets to help prevent the spread of malaria by mosquitoes. These nets are the most cost-effectiveness means of malaria prevention. AMF stands out in particular because of its strong track record and its commitment to efficiency, program monitoring, and transparency. It is one of the most provably effective charities in the world.

For further motivation why you should donate to AMF as well, here an introduction to effective altruism.

2015: Seeds of Kindness Year Against Malaria

Shine Together

Welcome to 2015, the year of our charity album Shine Together and our Seeds of Kindness program for the Against Malaria Foundation!

Donate to Seeds of Kindness

shine-together.banner.png

No teleportation needed. Since the launch of our fund-raiser in late December, we’ve received donations from smart and empathetic folks in Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Russia, Brazil, Poland, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Sweden, Australia, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, and more—donations from all over the globe! Many thanks to all of you!

Distances are no hurdle anymore for us band together to do good in the world. Thus it’s all the more important today to make sure that we care about the struggles of people in far-off countries as much as we care about the people in our street.

In fact, there are great opportunities for us to help people in some of these countries, opportunities that, luckily, do not exist in Europe or in the US. Malaria is extremely easy to prevent. A mosquito net for just $3 greatly diminishes the risk for a person to contract malaria. Distributing just a few hundred of these nets will save the life of a person like us who would’ve otherwise succumbed to the disease!

Taking proper aim. The Disease Control Priorities Project found that there are differences of up to a factor of 1,000 between interventions in how much suffering they avert with the same donation. This means it’s usually much more important where you give rather than what you give!

The average donation to Seeds of Kindness so far is $40, which funds 13 potentially life-saving mosquito nets. Since we support the Against Malaria Foundation, one of the top cost-effective charities in the world, the suffering this donation can avert is equivalent to that of a donation of $4,000–$40,000 to a less effective charity.

We all have limited resources in time and money. Hence, such highly effective giving opportunities are the best way for us to invest these resources. Don’t save 1 life when you could save 1,000!

Sniping them mosquitoes. 2015 is going to be a big year for the fight against malaria. GiveWell—an organization that constantly looks for the best charities in the world—again recommends the Against Malaria Foundation as one of the four best giving opportunities in the world, and AMF is about to conduct a distribution of 730,000 mosquito nets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with four more distributions hopefully launching later this year.

All donations to Seeds of Kindness go directly to AMF, who use them exclusively to buy nets. Donations are tax-deductible in the US, Canada, and most of Western Europe. Each donation will be publicly allocated to a specific distribution, and extensive distribution and follow-up reports will be published online.

For further motivation why you should donate to AMF, here a TED talk by Peter Singer and a TEDx talk by Toby Ord, explaining effective altruism.

All with musical accompaniment. The musicians who have opted to support his life-saving intervention have pooled their artistic talent in Shine Together, our Seeds of Kindness album for 2015. It features twenty-two tracks of folk, rock, alternative postrock, orchestral, and electronic jams recorded by our charity album veterans and new blood alike—over an hour of uplifting tunes in total.

To download the album, either donate directly to Seeds of Kindness or, if you can’t for whatever reason, pledge that you will. We trust that you know the necessity for alleviating the terrible suffering in the world, and we expect that Shine Together will make a significant positive impact—because every life saved is significant!

Never out of the loop. Are you subscribed to our Seeds of Kindness newsletter yet? If not, then you know what to do.

Seeds of Kindness: A Princess Carol Charity Album

Hearth’s Warming Eve

Buck tradition! Well, apart from the tradition that every year at Christmas it is time to release another piece of the A Princess Carol project—all for one of only four top effective charities of the world: the Against Malaria Foundation.

After the release of “What Land is This” by MEMJ0123, Scraticus, and Luxumbra in 2012, and the release of the full A Princess Carol audio play in 2013, we are now honored to be allowed to announce to the fandom that the album of all carols from the audio play (including alternative versions) is about to be released!

Release of A Princess Carol Charity Album
Thursday, December 25, 2014, at 2 p.m. EST (7 p.m. UTC)
on sok.yoursiblings.org

If you read this before the release, then feel free to donate now and download the album right away as it becomes available!

This album will be released as an extra thank you to our donors on top of the Seeds of Kindness charity album Shine Together, which we released just a few days ago. Your donation will make you eligible for both of these terpsichorean marvels as well as all our past charity albums!

A Princess Carol. A pony take on an old Christmas classic with multiple carols, penned by the talented John Perry, inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and featuring the voices of Hannah as Luna, MEMJ0123 as Celestia and Spike, Meredith Sims as Twilight, ProjectSNT as Pinkie Pie, Michi Baka as Rainbow Dash and Applejack, Adrienne as Fluttershy, Rev as Coltroy, Poni1Kenobi as Key Ton, Deftfunk as the town crier, Mochi as Mayor Mayor and Zecora, Sleepypony as narrator, and Music by Luxumbra. Join us as we travel on a journey with Princess Luna: Will she see the true meaning of Hearth’s Warming before it’s too late?

Shine Together. Shine Together is the culmination of months of effort on the part of many dedicated fandom musicians. Featuring twenty-two tracks of folk, rock, orchestral, and electronic jams recorded by charity album veterans and new blood alike, Shine Together offers over an hour of uplifting tunes.

Against Malaria Foundation. In 2013, about 600,000 people died of malaria, the equivalent of four Boeing 747 crashing every day with no survivors. On average, one person dies every minute. This has to stop.

Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are the most cost-effective means of malaria prevention and also protect against dengue fever, yellow fever, and forms of encephalitis. The Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) funds the millions of nets needed in LLIN distributions. It stands out for its commitment to transparency and self-evaluation. AMF is one of the most provably effective charities in the world.

All donations to Seeds of Kindness go directly to AMF, who use them exclusively to buy LLINs. Donations are tax-deductible in the US, Canada, and most of Western Europe. Each donation will be publicly allocated to a specific distribution, and extensive distribution and follow-up reports will be published online.

For further motivation why you should donate and donate to AMF, here a TED talk by Peter Singer and a TEDx talk by Toby Ord, explaining effective altruism.

Last Reminder: Shine Together Album Premiere with Donation Matching

A new fund-raising initiative is about to launch: Seeds of Kindness: Shine Together! Like our previous iterations of Seeds of Kindness, this fourth one is going to reach out through multiple conventions, pony fandom livestreams, giveaways, and other spectacular events all throughout 2015. This year, we are pleased to kick off this fund-raiser for the Against Malaria Foundation with our fifth charity album: Shine Together.

Shine Together Release Party
Saturday, December 20, 2014, at 6 p.m. EST (11 p.m. UTC)
on events.yoursiblings.org

The album drops on December 20, and we are having a livestream party hosted by Ponyville FM to celebrate! For the limited time of the stream, an anonymous donor has agreed to match all donations up to $1,000, so tune in and donate, and it’ll count double!

The album. Shine Together is the culmination of months of effort on the part of many dedicated fandom musicians. Featuring twenty-two tracks of folk, rock, orchestral, and electronic jams recorded by charity album veterans and new blood alike, Shine Together offers over an hour of uplifting tunes.

We’re offering up this and our previous four albums for any donation at all that you feel appropriate. Because we understand that not everyone is able to donate, the album download will be freely available—a thank you to the fandom for its years of support, and a goodwill gesture to facilitate donations toward the Against Malaria Foundation.

Here, a preview of the album.

The charity. Half the world’s population is at risk of malaria. In 2012, about 627,000 people died of the disease, the equivalent of four Boeing 747 crashing every day with no survivors. On average, one person dies of malaria every minute. (WHO 2013) This has to stop.

Long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) are the most cost-effective means of malaria prevention. They protect physically against mosquitoes and also kill any that try to find gaps or rents in the nets. They also protect against dengue fever, yellow fever, and forms of encephalitis.

The Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) supports local distributors by funding the hundreds of thousands of nets that are needed in LLIN distributions. It stands out because of its strong commitment to transparency and self-evaluation. AMF is one of the most provably effective charities in the world.

All the money donated to Seeds of Kindness goes directly to AMF, who will use it exclusively to buy LLINs. Donations are tax-deductible in the US, Canada, and most of Western Europe. Each donation will be publicly allocated to a specific distribution, and extensive tracking, predistribution, and postdistribution reports will be published online.

For further motivation why you should donate and why you should donate specifically to AMF, here a TED talk by Peter Singer and a TEDx talk by Toby Ord, explaining effective altruism.

The newsletter. To always keep you posted of our latest charity campaigns, please visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter in the sidebar. If you’re already subscribed but didn’t get our last announcement of this event, please check your spam folder, mark the newsletter “not spam,” and add us to your contacts to be sure that it won’t get filtered again. Thank you!