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When Felecia Gaston founded Performing Stars of Marin in 1990, a nonprofit art academy serving the underprivileged, she began with no budget whatsoever. “I had no idea about fundraising, writing grants, doing all the networking, filling out the 501(c)(3)s,” Gaston says.

Fast-forward 30 years, and today more than 3,000 young people have attended the program--and many have gone on to achieve at a level they never thought possible. By making classes, scholarships and other assistance accessible to families unable to afford performing arts programs, Gaston opened up a new world to kids who otherwise may have never had the chance to participate in the arts.

One excellent example is John...

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After returning to work following the birth of her second child, Michele Liddle felt unfulfilled, and her work schedule was punishing. Liddle traveled sometimes three weeks a month, and still nursing, she was pumping breast milk to ship it home. Somehow, working while her kids slept, she managed to put together her dream company: The Perfect Granola. But Liddle's product wasn't the point: hunger was.

“We’ve never been about the granola," says Liddle. "We’re mission-first. The granola was something to sell to fuel my other ideas on how to fix hunger.”

And Liddle will evidently stop at nothing to fulfill that mission. She is part of the New York Farm-to-School Program, an...

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When Devin Nakano of Boise was only three years old, he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. At the time, his mother was told that the chances of her son living a successful life were "slim to none."

Miraculously, today Nakano is the founder of Y Stem and Chess, a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by teaching at-risk kids chess, math and computer coding. Nakano has been at it since 2017, and is just getting started. “It builds critical thinking, it raises your IQ, it builds math scores," Nakano says. "It helps you communicate, it builds self-esteem, the list really goes on and on and on.”

To read more about this remarkably gifted educator, check out the recent...

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When it comes to public policy, there are some issues that tend to be portrayed as permanent, systemic, just "part of the landscape". Poverty often seems to be one of these, sadly. But this of course is an illusion: like all social conditions, poverty is the result of specific choices made by governments, businesses and other powerful institutions.

There may be no better illustration of this point than the story being told in Canada right now. In 2016, the Canadian government began giving parents a small amount of money — a few hundred dollars a month — to help subsidize the costs of child raising. The amounts are very modest, but the results have been enormous: in just one year, ...

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When he founded nonprofit TechnoServe just over a half-century ago, Ed Bullard espoused a point of view that was downright radical for the time. Namely, that profits and poverty abatement aren't antithetical, and that the two can actually support one another.

Of course, this perspective has become almost mainstream in today's business world. TechnoServe has expanded to 29 countries, connecting big corporations with small farmers to help them prosper and grow their businesses. And they're at the top of their game: Impact Matters, which rates nonprofits based on their impact, has rated TechnoServe as the number one nonprofit in cost effectiveness for reducing poverty.

And as TechnoServe CEO Will...

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Of all the trends that have transformed business in the last couple of decades, the importance of data certainly tops the list. Major companies live or die by their data these days, so much so that it's now hard to imagine them doing business any other way.

Now the power of data aggregation is being used to address the exigencies and decision-making of the poorest members of society, rather than the most powerful. Poverty Stoplight is a self-evaluation tool that allows families to rank their economic state based on objective indicators, assigning each a value of red, yellow or green. This simple tool gives families the insight to help themselves--and perhaps just as importantly, it also give...

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As a volunteer working with the Peace Corps in Rwanda, Markey Culver typically ate just one meal per day, common practice among Rwandan families. One day, Culver did something that seemed simple at the time--but it would change her life, and the lives of scores of East Africans.

To increase the calories she was taking in, Culver baked a loaf of yeast bread.

When her baking caught the interest of local women, Culver began to teach those in her community to bake bread for themselves. And when the women began giving the bread to their children, she began to realize the potential of her work to impact malnutrition. Culver was inspired, and when the women began to sell the bread at local markets, s...

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An eighth grader from Minneapolis, MN, Sanya Pirani has a slightly different take on Christmas than most kids her age. Pirani created the non-profit Sanya’s Hope For Children several years ago, when she was just eight years old.

With the help of volunteers--Sanya's helpers--Pirani packages and sews hundreds of gift bags for homeless children at Christmastime. The gift bags, full of toys, clothing, books and school supplies, are given to homeless kids in the Minneapolis Metro area just before Christmas.

“We get to....hand donate these bags to the children and it’s really an amazing sight to see,” says Pirani. To hear more about this remarkable youngster and the progress ...

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Opportunities for education in many areas of sub-Saharan Africa are scarce, and more than one-fifth of primary-school-age kids do not attend school throughout the region. Not content to sit on the sidelines, an organization called Street Child is acting to provide solutions for sub-Saharan children.

And they haven't been slow to the task. In the last decade, the org has helped to educate more than 250,000 children, and helped over 25,000 families start their own businesses. Now they've even enlisted the help of the royal family: Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, became a Patron Ambassador of Street Child when the organization joined forces with Children in Crisis.

For more about this impres...

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Born in a small fishing village in Senegal, Magatte Wade left her home country as a girl to live with her parents in France. Just old enough to see the differences between Senegal and France, Wade found herself puzzled.

As Wade got older, she began to notice a pattern: in wealthier nations, it was much easier for people to start a business than it was in poorer nations like Senegal. Since more business means more opportunities for everyone, she asked herself: could the key be encouragement of entrepreneurship?

Wade knew that in her hometown, there were few opportunities to break out of poverty. She came to see that the best way for her to change the situation at home would be to do it herself&...

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