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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: August 2013

One Prosper International Launches Impact Challenge

News from OneProsper International – To raise awareness of World Food Day on October 16, 2013, OneProsper International is challenging people to act to end world hunger. Starting October 16th, visit OneProsper.org to sign up for OneProsper’s Social Challenge and donate to support small farmers in India.

Water scarcity is the key challenge for cultivating food crops in the Thar Desert region of Rajastha, India. Innovative drip irrigation systems address water scarcity problems and significantly increase crop yields and incomes within a single harvest. Increased crops yields help farmers feed their children more nutritious food and provides more time for education. The Founder and Executive Director of OneProsper, Raju Agarwal, points out that “a child with an empty stomach will not be receptive to learning.” Unfortunately, drip irrigation kits ($500 per acre) are too expensive for small farmers earning only $3 per day.

OneProsper’s social challenge enables people to combat hunger and create opportunities for education by subsidizing the cost of a drip irrigation system for small farmers. When you sign up for the social challenge at OneProsper.org, you’ll be able to select a farmer, make a contribution for that farmer to buy a drip irrigation kit and view updates about the real impact your donations are having on the ground.

About OneProsper

OneProsper International is a new, Canada-based not-for-profit organization that provides agricultural innovations to smallholder farmers in Southern India. Founded in 2010, OneProsper supplies drip irrigation systems to help create a continuous and reliable food supply that also fuels the local economy. President of Coca-Cola Canada, Mr. John Guarino has called OneProsper “a shining example of how people can make a positive difference in the lives of so many if they are just willing to take action and commit to change.”

Del Monte Foods Plants the SEED for Sustainability Excellence

San Francisco – August 1, 2013 – Del Monte Foods announced today the winners of its inaugural Sustainability Excellence and Education (SEED) Awards, a program that recognizes its manufacturing and distribution facilities for displaying excellence in environmental sustainability and employee education. Del Monte is proud to recognize its distribution center in Lathrop, California, pet food plant in Buffalo, New York and vegetable manufacturing plant in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota as the program’s first winners.
 
“Del Monte understands the importance of environmental stewardship and while we’re proud of our accomplishments to-date, we understand how important it is to continue innovating,” said Jarod Cook, director of environmental services.  “The SEED Awards not only celebrate employees’ efforts, they also inspire our facilities to continue working toward further advancements in environmental sustainability.”
 
To select the winners of the inaugural awards, Del Monte’s Corporate Responsibility Leadership Team evaluated Del Monte’s plants and distribution centers in the categories of water, waste and energy. Each facility was rated based on environmental impact reduction progress from both 2007 to 2012 and 2011 to 2012, as well as the facility’s efforts to educate staff about its environmental sustainability programs and progress. 
 
Del Monte’s distribution center in Lathrop, California received the SEED Award for water usage reduction. Between 2007 and 2012, the facility achieved a 32 percent decrease in water usage as a result of its drip irrigation system installations and xeriscaping work, a process that replaces non-native plant species with native plants better suited for the environment. The Sleepy Eye, Minnesota plant, where Del Monte processes peas and carrots, received the SEED Award for energy reduction. Sleepy Eye achieved a nearly 25 percent decrease in electricity usage and seven percent decrease in natural gas usage from 2007 to 2012. These results were driven by numerous initiatives, including the installation of insulated warehouse windows and roofs, an upgraded boiler burner and more efficient heaters, as well as improved heat recapture methods. Del Monte’s Buffalo, New York plant, which manufactures the famous Milk-Bone® dog biscuits, won the SEED Award for waste reduction by demonstrating impressive waste diversion results. Between 2007 and 2012, the plant became the first Del Monte manufacturing facility to reach zero landfill status through programs that include waste-to-energy conversion and waste repurposing. 
 
Each of the SEED Award winners received a commemorative plaque to display at their facility, as well as $1,000 to donate to the local charity of their choice.
 
As a company, Del Monte Foods has set broad sustainability goals in the areas of water, waste and energy that it is driving to achieve by 2016. As of 2012, Del Monte has surpassed its goals in waste to landfill reduction and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by transportation, and is well on its way to achieving a 20 percent reduction in fresh water usage and 15 percent reduction in packaging materials.  For more information on Del Monte Foods’ progress against its sustainability goals and other programs, please visit www.delmontefoods.com/CR.
 
About Del Monte Foods
Del Monte Foods is one of the country’s largest producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded pet products and food products for the U.S. retail market, generating over $3.8 billion in net sales in fiscal 2013. With a powerful portfolio of brands, Del Monte products are found in eight out of ten U.S. households. Pet food and pet snacks brands include Meow Mix®, Kibbles ‘n Bits®, Milk-Bone®, 9Lives®, Pup-Peroni®, Gravy Train®, Nature’s Recipe®, Canine Carry Outs®, Milo’s Kitchen® and other brand names. Food product brands include Del Monte®, Contadina®, S&W®, College Inn® and other brand names. The Company also produces and distributes private label pet products and food products.
 
For more information on Del Monte Foods, visit the Company’s website at www.delmontefoods.com.

Del Monte. Nourishing Families. Enriching Lives. Every Day.®

Falling Whistles Coalition Member Ignites Driving For Peace

LOS ANGELES (August 1, 2013) – Falling Whistles, a campaign for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, announces story of Swedish coalition member Daniel Laurén and his converted Audi R8, now a symbol of peace. Laurén foiled his entire luxury sports car in Falling Whistles designed graphics, creating a tool for conversation and calling attention to the current state of Congo, home to the deadliest war of our time.

 

Falling Whistles #drivingforpeace from Tillsammans Med. on Vimeo

After coming in contact with Falling Whistles one year ago, Daniel Laurén became fascinated by the company’s entrepreneurship and work toward peace. As a philanthropist, humanitarian and auto enthusiast, Laurén realized the opportunity to marry his passion for cars with social good, and elevate the discussion of Congo by turning his car into a symbol.

“As an entrepreneur myself, my philosophy in life is to make money so I can help make this world a bit better to live in. This is why I wanted to engage as a whistleblower for peace,” explains Laurén, “I hope that Driving for Peace will inspire other people to ask questions, develop solutions and channel their talents and passions into activism.”

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:ASHTON:Desktop:The Car:Before:_ODE6651.jpg          Description: Macintosh HD:Users:ASHTON:Desktop:The Car:After:_UDR2862.jpg

Graphics depict a growing/shrinking outline of Congo, representing the five generations of colonial rule endured by the country. On the side of the car, a black circle reads “6.9 Million Dead,” the estimated amount of deaths in Congo since 1994 due to natural resource war. The print was designed by Falling Whistles Art Director, Mario Salangsang.

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:ASHTON:Desktop:The Car:After:_UDR2873.jpg“Congo’s outline becomes smaller or larger depending on how it is viewed. The illusion is symbolic of the potential to move forwardwith democracy, or fall back into a cycle of dictatorship and rebellion,” says Salangsang.

The Audi R8 will be driven around Stockholm and neighboring cities by Daniel Laurén to ignite conversation and inspire discussion on the situation in Congo from Sweden’s public.

Falling Whistles began when Founder Sean Carasso met five boys in a military encampment in Congo. Within our world’s deadliest war, the boys had been taken from their homes and thrown into combat as child soldiers, forced to fight for two opposing rebel armies. One boy told Carasso that kids too small to carry guns were sent to the front lines of war armed with only a whistle. Falling Whistles has not been silent since. Four years later, Falling Whistles is investing in eight Congolese visionaries rebuilding their communities, and their growingcoalition includes over 75,000 whistleblowers, 35 Congressman, 16 Senators, and 200 retailers worldwide.

Nonprofit provides first-ever, large-scale family photo event to U.S. military servicemen and women

WILMINGTON, NC, August 1, 2013 – HeartsApart.org, the organization that keeps families connected while military men and women are serving abroad, is providing the first of its kind, large-scale photo session event for an entire squadron of soldiers and their families. The HeartsApart.org “PhotoFest” allows for up to 100 families to enjoy professional photography sessions over two days at no cost. PhotoFest will be held at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, NC on August 17 – 18, 2013.

HeartsApart.org provides soon-to-be deployed servicemen and women with pictures of their spouses and children by local professional photographers. The photographs are printed on waterproof, bi-folded cards which fit securely in a soldier’s uniform pocket. The one-hour photo sessions include a digital copy of the photographs and the folded prints all at no cost to the families.

United States Air Force servicemen and women stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (SJAFB) are eligible to participate in the photography sessions. SJAFB is home to the 4th Fighter Wing, one of the Air Force’s most distinguished fighter wings. Many service members stationed here have faced multiple deployments sacrificing time away from their families.

“We are thrilled to facilitate this event for a deploying group of Air Force servicemen and women. It is the first time we’ve been able to have the volunteers and funding required to provide services to so many deserving families in such a large-scale and exciting way,” says Executive Director Brett Martin. “Our goal is simple. As long as servicemen and women are in harms way and separated from their families, we will be taking pictures to help them stay connected.”

The event gathers eight, volunteer professional photographers and several assistants from across the east coast. The photography team has been selected and will be led by the renowned Brownie Harris, director of photography for HeartsApart.org. Harris is famous for photographing celebrities such as John F. Kennedy Jr., Miles Davis, Andy Warhol and Paul Newman, to name a few. He has also served as principle photographer on acclaimed television shows, including Revolution (NBC) and Under the Dome (CBS).

PhotoFest is entirely funded by sponsors and donors and staffed completely by volunteers. Currently, the organization has funding for up to 72 families to participate and hopes to achieve additional sponsorships to reach their 100-family capacity for the weekend event.

Families based at Seymour Johnson Air Force base who may be facing deployment are invited to register for a photo session prior to the event at http://www.heartsapart.org/events/SeymourJohnson/. The event is first-come, first-serve.

Sponsors for the event include Castle Branch, Once Upon a Child, Belk of Goldsboro, Zaxby’s of Goldsboro, Seegars Fence Company, Wilber’s Barbecue, Hinnant Family Dentistry, Dream Makers, Karen’s Custom Frames, Southeastern Camera, Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn. Any businesses or individuals that wish to assist in sponsoring this event or the ongoing efforts of HeartsApart.org should visit HeartsApart.org or call 910-256-2413.

HeartsApart.org was founded in North Carolina in 2010 to connect military families during deployment by providing professional family photographs at no cost. Today, the organization has volunteer photographers in 41 states. The White House selected HeartsApart.org as one of 20 finalists for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces Community Challenge in March 2012. The challenge was developed to recognize organizations that provide services to local military families. HeartsApart.org was recognized at a reception hosted by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden in Washington, D.C.  Families of soon-to-be deployed Armed Forces nationwide are invited to visit www.HeartsApart.org to schedule their family portraits.

City Of Springfield, Missouri To Tap Crowdfunding, Selects Crowdit For Route 66 Sgf Renovation Project

SPRINGFIELD, MO, Aug. 1, 2013 – CrowdIt (www.crowdit.com), the first company to bring business networking and support services into the crowdfunding experience, today announced that the City of Springfield, Missouri has selected it to crowdfund major elements of its Route 66 SGF Roadside Park, a key new landmark of historic Route 66 through the city (http://www.springfieldmo.gov/collegestreet/index.html). As the birthplace of Route 66, Springfield is the first municipality to use crowdfunding to help renovate the renowned national highway. CrowdIt was selected because of its local Springfield roots and early growing success in the crowdfunding market.

“Citizens have asked how they can help renovate the birthplace of the historic Route 66 highway,” said Springfield Mayor Bob Stephens. “By enlisting the support of the community with citizen donations through Crowdit (a local supporter, employer and business), we feel we are helping play an important role in restoring the very essence of what Route 66 symbolizes – a piece of America that runs through the heart of our country.  Route 66 has touched so many people and they want to be a part of the legacy of what this highway means to America.”

City officials will be on hand at Springfield’s Route 66 Festival, which takes place 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 10 at Springfield’s Park Central Square to provide additional information about the initiative. CrowdIt will be donating all the proceeds received to the renovation project. For more information on how to get involved or if you are a local business looking to support the community renovation project, please visit: (https://www.crowdit.com/home/contact). For example, Mother’s Brewing Company (http://mothersbrewing.com/) is the first local company to partner with CrowdIt and the city to help make this project a success.

“As a long-time resident, supporter and entrepreneur of Springfield, CrowdIt is proud to help play such an important role in demonstrating the energy, enthusiasm and devotion of our local community toward helping renovate historic Route 66,” said Jason Graf, co-founder and CEO of CrowdIt. “The crowd and community of Springfield have a great opportunity to band together and show its support as the birthplace of this nationwide highway. Together, we know we can make Springfield the example of what American pride means. We are grateful to the city for this opportunity and look forward to showcasing how strong and passionate Springfield citizens’ are when it comes to preserving and restoring such an American icon.”

For more information about the Route 66 Festival, please visit the Facebook Event Page: (https://www.facebook.com/birthplaceofroute66festival).

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).

South African Hotel Hosts Benefit For Education

New York, NY – August 1, 2013 – Ellerman House in Cape Town has announced they will be offering a weekend of unique cultural experiences with a focus on giving back. From October 3-6, 2013 the hotel will host an auction of outstanding South African art, with all proceeds benefitting the ArtAngels fund to support South African educational programs. During this time, 50% of guest room rates will also go to the ArtAngels fund. This exclusive opportunity gives guests of Ellerman House a chance to directly assist in supporting education initiatives while experiencing the best of what the country has to offer.

 

ArtAngels is an annual charity event benefitting the Click Foundation, an educational program created in response to the education crisis in South Africa. The proceeds of the charity event are used to buy computers and expand the reach of Reading Eggs, a program implemented by the Click Foundation in 2012. Reading Eggs is an online English Literacy program that uses reading games, activities, songs, animations and rewards to create a fun and motivational learning experience. To date, the Click Foundation has partnered with 23 organizations in four provinces, reaching approximately 2,000 children through Reading Eggs.

 

The weekend will kick off on the Thursday evening with the ArtAngels auction of South African art and party and will be followed by a selection of guided art tours, talks with leading South African artists, wine experiences and more. The package also includes a choice of two tailor-made tours designed specifically by the concierge and management team at Ellerman House. Each tour will provide once in a lifetime moments exclusively available for Ellerman House guests and include a Cape Town Art Tour or a Signature Wine Tour in the famousCape Winelands.

 

For more information on ArtAngels and the beneficiaries please contact Lindsy Marais at lindsy@ellerman.co.za.

 

More information, rates, or reservations for Ellerman House are available by calling +27 21 430 3200, Email: info@ellerman.co.za, or by visiting  www.ellerman.co.za

 

About Ellerman House

Ellerman House is an iconic hotel located in Cape Town, South Africa. Ellerman House features one of South Africa’s most impressive private art collections and an award-winning wine list. The hotel consists of 13 bedrooms and a three-bedroom contemporary villa uniquely designed to showcase panoramic ocean views and manicured gardens. Ellerman House is a pristine example of Cape Edwardian architecture blended with understated elegance and modern luxury.www.ellerman.co.za

 

About Ellerman House Art Angels

Ellerman House ArtAngels was established in 2011 and is an annual charity auction and party for the benefit of the Click Foundation and their implementation partners. The Click Foundation is an educational program in South Africa with the aim to test non-conventional technology & education programs. Founded by the Harris Family, the owners of Ellerman House, the Click Foundation has been established to look at how technology can impact education and to test different educational solutions. Their objective is Innovative Education through Technology, focusing on online educational support.www.clickfoundation.co.zawww.artangelsinitiative.com

New Report Highlights Use of Entrepreneurship to Solve Social, Environmental and Economic Problems

NEW YORK, July 31, 2013 – There is a revolution going on in the world of social change. Across the nonprofit, private, and public sectors, innovators are expanding how they approach problems through new business models and driving change effectively.  Today, the McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute issued a new white paper delving into these and a variety of other questions surrounding social entrepreneurship in the United States.

The report by Georgia Levenson Keohane “Social Entrepreneurship: How Innovative Change-Makers Are Testing New Solutions to Entrenched Social, Economic and Environmental Problems,” uses case studies on topics as varied as Teach for America and the government of New York City to illustrate how the social entrepreneurship phenomenon has reshaped the way that human services are delivered.

America has a rich history of entrepreneurship, not just in the capital realm but in the social as well, including the American Red Cross founder Clara Barton and Martin Luther King, Jr. With this foundation, American society is ripe for an increasing reliance on social entrepreneurship, the author writes. For instance, some advocates say that foundations should learn from venture capital models and entities that fund social change should focus on providing more money over longer time frames to fewer organizations and to work closely with grantees to ensure future success.

Commercialization has benefitted philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, reshaping them to better assist their targets. For example, Keohane cites the microcredit industry which harnesses private capital for social purpose by providing small loans made to people who would not otherwise qualify at traditional lending institutions. The notion of microcredit began in the mid-1970s in Bangladesh, and by the early 2000s, commercial investors entered the industry. Today, $65 billion of microcredit loans are made to some 100 million borrowers worldwide, and much of this growth, Keohane says, is due to an infusion of private capital.

Keohane says social entrepreneurship has been around for years but this new activism is growing given its momentum, sweep and fundamental approach to problem-solving. She eyes an even bigger future for social entrepreneurship in the decades ahead, citing innovations in philanthropy, such as an increased emphasis on measurement and evaluation, the role of technology and the growth of nonprofit investment funds.

“The coming years will mark new inroads for social entrepreneurship, with better defined solutions for government and private leaders to collectively work together towards broader social change and shared prosperity,” said Keohane, who writes regularly on social and economic policy and the intersection of business and society for the Harvard Business Review, The Nation, The American Prospect, The Washington Monthly, Slate, and other publications. She is also the author of Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century: Innovation Across the Nonprofit, Private and Public Sectors, which informed many of the concepts outlined in the report.

 To download the full report, visit  http://www.mhfi.com/about/global-institute/white-papers/social-entrepreneurship.

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