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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: July 2013

Uruut’s Community Focused Crowdfunding Platform Enters Public Beta

July 10, 2013 (ATLANTA)  Today, UruutTM, a collaborative community-level funding platform, announces its public beta period and invites individuals, businesses and foundations to contribute through its unique crowdfunding technology.  The Atlanta-based social enterprise startup is backed by $200,000 in seed funding and a high profile advisory board comprised of corporate and philanthropic leaders.

Uruut helps transform local communities by bringing together three funding sources with municipalities, nonprofits and civic groups seeking project and program backing. This collaborative approach revolutionizes the traditional fundraising model and empowers fundraisers to do more good.

“Ten years ago I began contemplating how our country could revitalize underfunded communities by giving critical projects a chance at success,” said Mark Feinberg, Uruut’s co-founder and chief executive officer.  “Along the way, Uruut was born and our talented team developed an extraordinary tool that achieves this vital need.  Today, I’m proud to give the public a chance to experience Uruut and contribute to our first project owner, Ashford Park School Education Foundation (APSEF).”

Located in the Atlanta suburb of Brookhaven, APSEF aims to raise $100,000 through Uruut to construct an outdoor classroom where students can get dirty with hands-on science experiments, gardening lessons and nature explorations.  This classroom will also double as an amphitheater that will showcase student theatrical productions, school lectures, and a range of community-wide events. Click here to view APSEFs project page on Uruut.

“We’re proud to be Uruut’s first project owner and excited to share our vision for an outdoor classroom and amphitheater with the community,” said Shawn Keefe, co-president of APSEF and parent of first and fourth graders.  “We currently have a deteriorating and hazardous outdoor structure, but we believe the outside of our school should match the vibrancy of the inside.  This project is core to APS’ curriculum, our students and the vitality of our community, and Uruut is perfect for helping make our dream a reality.”

“Uruut not only provides individuals with a chance to change lives, but it offers businesses, corporate social responsibility (CSR) groups and foundations a transparent marketplace where they can search for and self-select vetted ideas,” said Donovan Lee-Sin, program officer at the Arthur M. Blank Foundation and Uruut advisory board member. “As a foundation professional, I’m confident these private entities will quickly

realize that Uruut gives them a direct, meaningful connection to their local communities while increasing their brand exposure and social responsibility reach.”

Lee-Sin serves on Uruuts advisory board along with Ross Goldstein, managing director at a global insurance firm; Matt Gove, senior vice president of external affairs and chief marketing officer of Piedmont Healthcare as well as board president of Park Pride; and Sarah Loya, partner at Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough. 

Community and civic organizations interested in receiving funding through Uruuts platform canclick here to apply for public beta consideration. 

About Uruut

Launched in 2013, Uruut helps transform local communities by bringing individuals, businesses and foundations together with groups seeking community-level funding. Its unique crowdfunding platform is sought after by both public and private organizations due to its transparency, rich features and ability to support multiple funding sources. To get ruuted, visituruut.com and follow @uruut on Twitter.

CROWDIT TO PROVIDE CROWDFUNDING SUPPORT TO INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR DREAMERS

SPRINGFIELD, MO, July 10, 2013 – CrowdIt (www.crowdit.com), the first company to bring business networking and support services into the crowdfunding experience, has announced a new partnership with International Day for Dreamers (http://www.dayfordreamers.com/). The goal is to activate “DreamFunding” and support the 2nd Annual lnternational Day for Dreamers, invented in 2012 by Ozioma Egwuonwu, an instructor of “Developing and Implementing Ideas” at Columbia University and CEO and Founder of BurnBright Lifeworks, Inc. For every dream project started through CrowdIt on August 24, the company will donate half of its fees to support the creation of “Dream Academy Workshops” for communities in need.

“Never underestimate the power of human passion or the belief in an idea to transform our lives, our communities and the world,” explained Egwuonwu. “We must evolve as a global society and realize that it’s not about chasing after our dreams; it’s about seeing dreams as innovation and running with them. We must learn the craft of taking our ideas and bringing them into reality through inspired action. As we move forward with our dreams, it’s become increasingly important that we implement them in ways that benefit the world.  We are excited that CrowdIt is our DreamFunding partner, providing opportunities for people to obtain financial support and overcome challenges that hinder their ability to achieve.”

CrowdIt itself is a strong believer in the International Day for Dreamers and in Egwuonwu’s goal of bringing people from all over the world together to participate in a transformational experience that will support them in changing their lives, businesses and communities for the benefit of the world. The company is pledging to help raise money for the creation of one of Egwuonwu’s own projects – a series of Dream Academy Workshops that helps communities in need learn innovative strategies for turning their dreams into reality. DreamDay 2013 also lands a few days prior to the 50th anniversary of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963. For more information, please visit (http://www.dayfordreamers.com/dreamfunding/) and take the dream challenge (http://www.dayfordreamers.com/why-dreams/).

“Everyone has a dream, but what marks a person’s impact on the world is the positive change he or she creates within a community, not the financial measure of their accomplishment,” said Jason Graf, CEO of CrowdIt. “Along with Ozioma and the International Day for Dreamers community, we believe in the influence that one person and an idea can have – it’s our shared passion to nurture the possibilities and help dreams grow into reality.”

To learn more about CrowdIt or to embark upon your own dream journey, visit (http://www.crowdit.com).

Share this: International Day for Dreamers @dayfordreamers & CrowdIt @DontJustDreamIt Partner 2 Support #DreamDay2013 #crowdfunding  #innovation

About CrowdIt
Based in Springfield, MO, CrowdIt (www.crowdit.com) is the first company to bring business networking and support services into the crowdfunding experience. Unlike first-generation crowdfunding sites, CrowdIt offers more than a place to raise capital. It is a community of Dreamers, Believers and Suits who believe in the power of an idea, passion or project. CrowdIt presents an end-to-end crowdfunding community that promotes success after funding, through networking, peer review and expert advice. A start-up, CrowdIt is privately held and backed by venture capital firm Baron VC. For more information, please visit (www.crowdit.com).

Paul McCartney, Richard Branson, and Linkin Park offer ultimate fan experiences to launch new fundraising and awareness platform THE URGENCY NETWORK

The Urgency Network connects nonprofits, musicians, celebrities, fans, and brands in a single online community to create positive impact on a global scale.

 

Urgency participants can win larger than life experiences by completing social actions like watching awareness videos, donating, or opting-in to mass tweets. With each campaign, the more actions you complete, the more entries you’ll earn towards the Grand Prize drawing.

 

The Urgency Network is working with several partners to assure that each Grand Prize will be an incredible experience from beginning to end.  

 

“We’re proud to be collaborating with like-minded startups such as Airbnb and Lyft to deliver truly unique experiences for our users and increase the impact we can make for nonprofits,” commented co-founder Donald Eley.

 

While it’s free to participate, fans who donate can choose from a variety of rewards like concert tickets, merchandise, memorabilia and vouchers as a thank you.  

Additionally, The Urgency Network provides top-performing campaigns an opportunity to win a portion of The Jackpot, which is fueled by foundations and corporate sponsors. 

The first Jackpot up for grabs will be a $1 million dollar media grant provided by PVBLIC Foundation who harnesses the power of unused media space to help nonprofits amplify their message.

 

The Urgency Network’s launch campaigns include: 

·      Meet and greet with Richard Branson in New York City (Carbon War Room)

·      Backstage experience with Paul McCartney at Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco (Greenpeace)

·      Trip to Japan to hang out with Linkin Park at Summer Sonic Festival (Music For Relief)


Whether you donate five dollars or a fortune, five minutes or a weekend: no good deed goes unrewarded.

www.urgencynetwork.com

www.facebook.com/urgencynetwork

www.twitter.com/urgencynetwork  /  #UrgencyNetwork

Vimeo – About Urgency Network

ACTRESS CANDICE ACCOLA LAUNCHES BITE BACK FOR A CURE, TICK-BORNE DISEASE ALLIANCE’S NATIONAL GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT DEVASTATING TICK-BORNE DISEASES

New York, NY (July 9, 2013): Candice Accola, star of the hit television show The Vampire Diaries, is helping the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness, supporting initiatives and promoting advocacy to find a cure for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, launch Bite Back for a Curea national grassroots campaign to build support for the fight against the devastating impact of tick-borne diseases.

 

Bite Back for a Cure has two elements – an online campaign and a national bike ride.  The online campaign, led by Accola, will accumulate over time “a national video quilt” of individual statements by those affected by tick-borne diseases and their friends and families. This “video quilt” will be sent to state and federal legislators, encouraging them to support Lyme-disease legislation.

 

In addition, 24-year-old Lyme-sufferer John Donnally will bike across America this summer and fall to meet others affected by Lyme disease and galvanize local support for TBDA’s mission to fund research and educate the public about the silent epidemic of tick-borne diseases.

 

“TBDA is thrilled to launch Bite Back For A Cure, which will help us build momentum on a national scale and reach local communities throughout the country to fight what has become a truly national health epidemic,” said Staci Grodin, TBDA President.

Online Advocacy Campaign

Earlier this year, Accola filmed a PSA for TBDA, urging the public to take action in the fight against tick-borne diseases. Now, TBDA is inviting the public to participate in an interactive advocacy video.

 

The public is encouraged to visit BiteBackForACure.org, where they can download and print advocacy signs emblazoned with key phrases that embody TBDA’s fight against tick-borne diseases, such as “Be the Change,” “Take a Stand,” “Change the System” and “Support Research.” To view the Bite Back for a Cure campaign video, click here.

 

Each Bite Back participant will be able take their own photo with the sign of their choice and upload it to the TBDA website or share it via social media. TBDA will compile all the photos from across the country and create “a video quilt” that will be sent to state and federal government officials, asking them to support legislation that funds tick-borne disease research and helps those affected by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. 

 

Cross-Country Bike Tour

John Donnally, a 24-year-old Lyme sufferer and cyclist, will kick off Bite Back for a Cure’s cross-country bike tour with a series of training rides throughout the Northeast this summer to meet others affected by tick-borne diseases and mobilize support. A former Colgate lacrosse player, Donnally was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2003 and again in 2011. His personal passion is fueled by the fact that others in his family also suffer with Lyme disease.

In August and September, Donnally will lead rides in Southampton, N.Y.; Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; Albany, N.Y.; and North Wales, Pa. In addition to Donnally’s cross-country bike ride, Bite Back for a Cure will include TBDA walks, partnerships with retailers, and initiatives to build advocacy in local communities. The entire campaign will be documented on TBDA’s social media channels and promoted in the media.

 

To learn more about Bite Back for a Cure and how you can get involved, visit BiteBackForACure.org.

 

For more information about the threat of tick-borne diseases and what you can do to help build awareness about the health crisis posed by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, visit TBDAlliance.org.

Haitian entrepreneur launches crowdfunding campaign to rebuild fuel-efficient stoves factory destroyed in earthquake

8 July 2013 (New York, NY) – Haitian social enterprise  D&E Green Enterprises is launching a campaign through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to rebuild a factory destroyed during the 2010 earthquake. The project will help improve the lives of people in Haiti by bringing a fuel-efficient charcoal cooking stove to the market.

 

In 2009, entrepreneur Duquesne Fednard set up D&E Green Enterprises to produce an efficient charcoal-burning stove that would reduce the amount of charcoal needed to cook food, and ease the strain on Haiti’s overexploited forests. The specially designed cooking stove – called the EcoRecho – uses 50% less charcoal than traditional Haitian cooking stoves.

 

But in January 2010, Duquesne’s newly built cookstoves factory was destroyed by the earthquake in Haiti. Production continued in donated tents, which were later damaged by hurricanes Isaac and Sandy. Although Duquesne thought of giving up, his dedicated staff persuaded him to keep going.

 

In the face of adversity, D&E Green Enterprises has made and sold 33,000 of its EcoRecho stoves in the past three years. It has now turned to crowdfunding in a bid to rebuild its factory and enter full production.

 

Duquesne Fednard, CEO of D&E Green Enterprises said:

“A simple device such as a cookstove has the power to truly transform Haiti by empowering households, end users and small businesses. The fact that D&E can achieve this cheaply and safely for the environment is really a win-win situation. Our vision is to break the cycle of energy poverty by specializing in the manufacture and distribution of low-cost, high-efficiency energy technologies for people living in the developing world. By backing this project, people will help  better the living conditions of both present and future generations in Haiti.”

 

A range of perks is being offered by the campaign. At the lowest level, backers will have their names inscribed on the factory wall. A range of higher level perks are also available – including a chance to visit the factory once it is built.

 

To support the campaign, go to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fight-energy-poverty-rebuilding-an-efficient-stove-factory

 

To find out more about D&E Green Enterprises, visit http://www.dandegreen.org/ and follow @DEGreenEnt on Twitter

Military Veteran Earns Own Company: Gregory Murphy Wins Operation American Dream

After a six-month search, representatives from Signal 88 Security and a panel of military veterans have chosen Gregory Murphy of Salt Lake City, Utah, as the winner of Operation American Dream: From Battlefield to Boss. Murphy, a United States Army veteran, will be awarded either $5,000 to start his own business or $10,000 to open his own Signal 88 Security franchise.

Since January, military veterans with entrepreneurial dreams competed for start-up money to open a business through Signal 88 Security’s nationwide contest.  Each entrant submitted a 500-word essay describing a desire to open his or her own business. Following monthly online voting periods, the public narrowed the field to five finalists. Each finalist received a $500 cash prize and advanced to a final selection process. Selection criteria included an evaluation of each finalist’s essay and video entry, plus a Q&A from a panel of judges that included military veterans and representatives from Signal 88 Security.

Gregory Murphy joined the United States Army in 1985. After completing 22 years of active duty and 14 years of service with the Army Active Guard & Reserves, he is currently in the process of retiring.  Murphy is married and has seven children. His oldest daughter recently returned from serving in Afghanistan.

“I’ve thought about this for some time now,” says Murphy. “Being named a finalist early in the contest gave me a chance to plan my next step, should I be the winner. I’m currently putting a team together to help me open a Signal 88 franchise, and I’m feeling both happy and surprised.”

According to statistics from the Small Business Association Office of Advocacy, veterans are at least 45 percent more likely to take the plunge into entrepreneurship than people with no active-duty military experience.

“Signal 88 Security is a top employer of military veterans,” said Reed Nyffeler, CEO and co-founder of Signal 88 Security. “We were named on the G.I. Jobs list in 2012 among the top 10 percent of the nation’s franchises that are doing the most to recruit military veterans. Providing another deserving veteran with a chance to own his own business was a great opportunity for us to give back.”

In 2007 data from the U.S. Census Bureau – the most recent statistics available on the subject – veterans owned 2.4 million businesses, or 9 percent of all businesses nationwide, generating $1.2 trillion in receipts and employing nearly 5.8 million people.

“Veterans possess many of the traits needed in entrepreneurism,” said Nyffeler. “Their leadership, teamwork and problem-solving skills are second-to-none in my experience and Greg Murphy is no exception. Signal 88 Security is looking forward to his future success.”

To learn more about Murphy, visit http://www.signal88.com/operation-american-dream-winner.aspx

Hitachi Awarded International Citizens Award

by Japan America Society of Southern California 

 

California, July 2, 2013 —- Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501 / “Hitachi”) today announced that it has been awarded the International Citizens Award by the Japan America Society of Southern California (JASSC). The award ceremony was held today at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California. 

JASSC is a not-for-profit organization established to build economic, cultural, governmental and other relationships between the people of Japan and the U.S. JASSC bestows this award on groups or individuals that contribute to the building of these relationships. Today’s award recognizes the work Hitachi has done with the Society in the southern California area. This includes several kite workshops in which a kite expert from Japan teaches elementary school children how to make Japanese kites; sponsorship of the Kite Festival each Fall, as well as support for a Japanese language contest for senior high school students. 

“The Hitachi Group has worked in various ways to contribute to regional communities in California and other parts of the U.S. We are extremely delighted and appreciative that these efforts have been recognized by the Japan America Society of Southern California. We will continue to devote our energies to activities that build even stronger bridges of friendship between the U.S. and Japan,” said Toshiaki Kuzuoka, Senior Vice President and Executive Officer, Hitachi, Ltd. 

Hitachi conducts various social contribution activities in three specific areas: education, the environment, and social welfare. In Southern California, Hitachi has supported a variety of programs designed to build stronger relations between Japan and the U.S. The kite workshop is one of the educational programs that Hitachi is being recognized for today. Launched in 2001 by JASSC, Hitachi has been a supporter of this program since its inception. Mikio Toki, a kite master and member of the Edo-Kite Preservation Society, is invited from Japan to instruct children in the art of making Japanese kites. As part of this program, he visits several elementary schools in Los Angeles every year, teaching the joys of Japanese kite making to hundreds of excited children. Hitachi has similarly been recognized for support of the Japan Bowl, a Japanese language contest for high school students, contestants in the Japan Bowl pit their knowledge of Japan against one another speaking only in Japanese. The first Japan Bowl was held in Southern California in March 2013, and plans call for it to be held on a continuous basis. 

Going forward, Hitachi aims to fulfill its social responsibility as a company and, at the same time, sees social contribution activities as a vital corporate activity for raising corporate value. Working as one, the Hitachi Group will continue to engage in social contribution activities to help create an even better society. 

About Hitachi, Ltd. 

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 326,000 employees worldwide. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2012 (ended March 31, 2013) totaled 9,041 billion yen ($96.1 billion). Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes infrastructure systems, information & telecommunication systems, power systems, construction machinery, high functional material & components, automotive systems and others. 

For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi.com

FINANCIAL DISCONNECT AMONG SENIORS IS HARSH REALITY

DENVER—Nearly every family in America has dealt with mental aging issues, from someone forgetting to pay a bill to experiencing the devastating fallout from Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, despite the vivid reminders of what happens as we age, many avoid talking to their children and families about planning for what they hope will never happen.

 

A survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) and conducted online by Harris Interactive among 2,059 U.S. adults, finds that seven in 10 say major barriers are preventing their families from openly communicating about who will make financial decisions on behalf of an aging family member if they become unable to.

 

“Americans are living longer and they have concerns about becoming a burden to their loved ones. But with aging comes a high probability that mental decline can occur and without a financial plan, the burden looms,” says Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE. “The negative consequences of families delaying or avoiding a conversation about the financial impacts of cognitive decline are too high to ignore.”

 

The warning signs of diminished capacity in financial decision making can take on many forms. The NEFE survey finds that among those who have themselves or those who have family members that have experienced cognitive decline 47 percent have had trouble with bills, paying them late or not at all; 36 percent have had difficulty calculating simple math problems; 35 percent have made irrational purchases; and 21 percent have depleted their savings accounts.

 

While 86 percent of those surveyed indicate they would trust a family member to make financial decisions if they are unable to, the majority of people say there are family dynamics that are getting in the way of making this happen.

 

“Frequently there is defensiveness, denial, embarrassment and sibling rivalry when entering into a dialogue between adult children and a parent concerning their finances,” says Beck. “Families need to come together, clear the hurdles that limit communication, and do what needs to be done with advanced planning before aging family members start to experience these types of events,” says Beck.

 

Families can begin the process of creating a financial plan by having an aging parent select who they prefer to take leadership of their finances should their capacity to make financial decisions diminish.

 

Tips for Family Members Facing Cognitive Decline Issues

 

Gather information. Take the time to learn as much as you can about the illness or medical condition that is impacting an aging family member’s financial capacity. Attend support groups and reach out to experts who handle matters related to Alzheimer’s, dementia or other diseases. If a parent’s cognitive decline is due to grief, reach out to a grief counselor. Share what you learn with siblings and/or other family members. This also is a good time to do a financial inventory. Consolidate accounts into as few as possible so it is easier to track and manage transactions. Also make sure that a will and financial power of attorney are current.

 

Be compassionate. Approach the family member experiencing cognitive decline in a positive and supportive way to let them know that you are there to offer your help and support. Be sensitive to their point of view. They have worked hard over a lifetime to accumulate their resources. The aging family member may be apprehensive about relinquishing control of their finances.

 

“Family members should be sure to involve the aging parent in the process of developing a plan where you are assisting them with their finances. Remember, this is ‘their’ plan so be sure to follow their wishes,” cautions Beck.

 

Implement the plan. Once the time has come for a plan to be implemented, the family member in charge of overseeing the aging parent’s finances should create a calendar of bills to be paid each month, checking in to ensure that bills are being paid on time and for the correct amounts. Accounts of aging parents also should be monitored to check for any unusual activity and annual credit checks should be done to safeguard against identity theft.

 

Divide caregiving duties. Have an honest and open discussion with siblings about a parent’s cognitive decline, what needs to be done, and what caregiving roles each family member wishes to play. Set up a schedule for each sibling. Keep family members who do not live nearby updated with weekly emails or phone calls. Invite all siblings who wish to take on some responsibility to do so.

 

For more information on how to plan for you or a parent’s diminished capacity in financial decision making, visit www.smartaboutmoney.org.

 

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of NEFE, among 2,059 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, visit www.nefe.org/what-we-provide/research

 

About the National Endowment for Financial Education
NEFE is an independent nonprofit organization committed to educating Americans about personal finance and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach financial goals. For more information, visit www.nefe.org.

New non-profit website has been launched to support parents of children with reading difficulties

HelpingEveryChildtoRead.com reaches out to parents around the world, providing information about how to help children displaying dyslexia, auditory processing weakness, short-term memory deficit, reading-related stress, and more. The site has a large resource directory of parent-rated programs, interventions, specialists, and research articles.

www.HelpingEveryChildtoRead.com was started by parents, for parents, and is sponsored by Morgan Learning Solutions. It is a free resource filled with a wealth of information to help children overcome their learning difficulties.

In a community forum, parents can interact with one another and share their experiences. Live Q+A sessions with experts are regularly offered where parents can receive specialist advice free of charge.

The site offers a library of articles related to reading, learning and education, and users can submit their own articles to share with others.

The site has a large resource library of programs, professionals and interventions. All the listings in the resource library are parent-reviewed by parents who have actually used them.

Founder David Morgan launched the site after discovering that there was no centralized resource location online that helped parents in this way, on this scale.

“Our goal is to provide a neutral zone where parents of struggling learners can come together, learn about what’s out there, get help and support…and all in a very solution-focused way. Because the fact is that there’s hope for every child to become a reader. Once you finally find the right path for your child’s specific set of challenges, walking down it becomes so much easier.”

Join the conversation at www.HelpingEveryChildtoRead.com.

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