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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Amazon Launches AmazonSmile – A Simple, Automatic Way For Customers To Support Their Favorite Charitable Organizations

Amazon will donate a percentage of the purchase price for millions of products each time 
customers shop at 
smile.amazon.com

Customers can choose from nearly a million charitable organizations

SEATTLE – Oct. 30, 2013 – Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today launched AmazonSmile, a new program that makes it easy for customers to support their favorite charitable organizations every time they shop. Customers who visit AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) will find the exact same Amazon they know and love. They’ll enjoy the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience – with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to their favorite charitable organization. There is no cap on the total donation amount and customers can choose from nearly one million organizations around the country.

“We’re offering customers a way to support charitable organizations around the country that’s simple and automatic,” said Ian McAllister, General Manager, AmazonSmile. “We think customers will love the opportunity to support their favorite organizations without changing how they shop, and there’s no cap on how much Amazon will donate.”

“AmazonSmile allows us to reach millions of existing and new supporters who can help us find cures for cancer and save children,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “At St. Jude, we’re leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer while ensuring no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food. Working with AmazonSmile gives us a new way to support our mission that’s simple for both us and our supporters.”

“Amazon and charity: water are both known for disrupting the status quo and this program is the kind of innovation that could change the way our supporters help us bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations,” said charity: water founder and CEO, Scott Harrison. “AmazonSmile will make charitable giving easier, which is a big win for our supporters, and, most importantly, the 800 million people on the planet who don’t have clean and safe drinking water.”

When customers first go to AmazonSmile they’ll be asked to select their favorite charitable organization from almost a million eligible organizations – and that’s it. Once a customer has selected an organization on their first visit, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from any eligible purchases through AmazonSmile from that point forward, whether a customer shops just once or once a day. Customers can select a new charitable organization at any time, but don’t need to add any additional information or change the way they shop. All they need to do is remember to type smile.amazon.com into the browser on their PC, tablet or phone.

Donations to charitable organizations will be made by the AmazonSmile Foundation. Customers can learn more and begin supporting their favorite organization at smile.amazon.com, and charitable organizations can learn more and register to accept donations at org.amazon.com.

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle Paperwhite is the world’s best-selling and most advanced e-reader. It features new display technology with higher contrast, the next generation built-in light, a faster processor, the latest touch technology, and exclusive new features designed from the ground up for readers. Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, features improved fonts and faster page turns. The new Kindle Fire HDX features a stunning exclusive 7” or 8.9” HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, 2x more memory, and 11 hours of battery life, as well as exclusive new features of Fire OS 3.0 including X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the revolutionary new Mayday button. The all-new Kindle Fire HD includes an HD display, high-performance processor and dual speakers at a breakthrough price 

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.comwww.amazon.co.ukwww.amazon.dewww.amazon.co.jp,www.amazon.frwww.amazon.cawww.amazon.cnwww.amazon.itwww.amazon.eswww.amazon.com.brwww.amazon.in, andwww.amazon.com.mx. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment and data center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

City Of Philadelphia Launches Fastfwd; Challenges Entrepreneurs To Address Public Safety Issues

Philadelphia, October 30, 2013–  Mayor Michael A. Nutter officially launched FastFWD, an Urban Innovation Refinery, a partnership between the City of Philadelphia, GoodCompany Group, a social enterprise accelerator, and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  FastFWD, formerly known as the Philadelphia Social Enterprise Partnership, is an initiative that seeks to recruit and support entrepreneurs in developing solutions to urban challenges.  In its inaugural year, FastFWD will focus on public safety.

“Our Administration is committed to public safety, spending $1.8 billion last year on behalf of our citizens,” said Mayor Nutter.  “FastFWD is a unique approach to engage and utilize public-private partnerships and to encourage private sector to work with government in the public interest.  In FastFWD’s first cycle, our goal is to harness entrepreneurial talents, resources and innovative ideas to create solutions to the most pressing public safety challenges that our city, and other cities, face every day.”

FastFWD invites entrepreneurs to offer their most innovative public safety solutions, services and products for consideration.   Entrepreneurs that submit the most promising ideas will be given capital, development support and access to experts to help refine and implement their ideas.

“As cities face greater challenges with increasingly fewer resources, the need for entrepreneurial innovation has never been greater,” said Story Bellows, Co-Director, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. “With the launch of FastFWD, we are calling on entrepreneurs to submit their brightest and boldest ideas for consideration.  We look forward to seeing the depth of talent and creativity they have to offer.”

Applications are due by December 20, 2013.

Ten finalists will be selected in spring 2014 to participate in an intensive, twelve-week accelerator program.  During the program, finalists will refine their proposal under the guidance of legal counsel, investors, industry experts and fellow entrepreneurs.  Finalists who enter the accelerator program will receive $10,000 stipends provided by FastFWD.

Upon completion of the accelerator program, the finalists’ proposals will be eligible for implementation as a fast-track funded pilot.

Professor Katherine Klein, Vice Dean for the Wharton Social Impact Initiative added, “Wharton Social Impact Initiative is thrilled to be helping the city in spurring entrepreneurial solutions to urban challenges. The FastFWD process represents a cutting-edge approach, linking business, city government and the University to create sustainable solutions.  There’s a palpable sense of excitement and optimism among all who are participating in this process, including the Mayor – a Wharton alum – and his team.” 

“Above all, FastFWD will offer entrepreneurs access. The program will provide access to the core problems, prioritizing and presenting them as target of entrepreneurial opportunity, said Garrett Melby, Founder and Managing Director, GoodCompany Group. “FastFWD will also provide access to expertise for entrepreneurs to refine their ideas with subject-matter experts, and hone their business model with finance experts from The Wharton School.”

In addition, the City announced that FastFWD will partner with Impact Hub on entrepreneur engagement and Code for America on procurement reform.

For more information on FastFWD, including applications, log onto http://fast-fwd.org

Brazil Celebrates 10 Years Of Bolsa Família

Unique “social technology” has lifted 36 million people out of extreme poverty in Brazil says President Dilma Rousseff

BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL (30 October 2013) –  Bolsa Família, the landmark social development program of the Brazilian federal government that has helped 36 million people overcome extreme poverty, reached the 10-year milestone this week.  Speaking today at a ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said: “Bolsa Família will exist as long as there is one poor family in the country.”

At the event, which was attended by Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as well as Brazil’s Minister of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger, Tereza Campello, President Rousseff added that “Bolsa Família is not charity but a social technology for income distribution and tackling inequality. That is the issue. Income is purchasing power, and those who benefit from the Bolsa Família have autonomy to decide what to purchase… The Bolsa Família transfers generate free choice of citizenship and consideration of the person who receives it as a Brazilian citizen.”

According to President Rousseff, the money used in the Bolsa Família is an income transfer from those who pay taxes to a portion of the population to which Brazil is indebted.  She stressed that any criticism of the program is based on “old welfare prejudice.”

50 million beneficiaries

The 13.8 million households – or 50 million people – who receive the Bolsa Família benefit each month are not the only ones benefiting from it. Today, it is difficult to find a Brazilian who is not affected directly or indirectly by the program.

“There are 50 million reasons to celebrate 10 years of the Bolsa Família,” said Minister of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger, Tereza Campello.

During the ceremony, Minister Campello rejected the myths attributed to the program in the last 10 years and said that today is an opportunity to take stock of the results, publicize successes and further enhance the Bolsa Família.

“Currently it is easy to defend the Bolsa Família, but it was not always like this,” she said. “Enough of speculations and assumptions. We have data, statistics, robust scientific evidence, national and international, to bury the myths and show the effects of the Bolsa FamíliaProgram on the lives of the poorest.”

Minister Campello presented the program’s impact on children’s health and education, such as more than 5 million children under the age of 7 are vaccinated.  She also cited a study published in The Lancet in May 2013 which stated that the Bolsa Família has contributed to reducing mortality in children under 5 years by 19.4 percent between 2004 and 2009. The same study found that in diseases directly linked to poverty, the decline of infant mortality was more pronounced: 46.3 percent in reduction in mortality from diarrhea and 58.2 percent from malnutrition in municipalities with high coverage of the program. 

About SECOM:

The Secretariat for Social Communication (SECOM) of the Federative Republic of Brazil is responsible for coordinating the public relations activities for the government of Brazil.  The official social media accounts for SECOM International are on Facebook and Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/BrazilGovNews/ and twitter.com/BrazilGovNews.

More than 3,700 Insurance Professionals Volunteer 10,800 Hours During Insurance Industry’s Annual Week of Giving

Walnut Creek, CA  – October 29, 2013 – Morethan  3,700 insurance professionals, representing more than 125 agencies across 21 states, volunteered their time to help local communities across the country during the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s (IICF) annual Week of Giving, held from October 12-19. Durring this year’s Week of Giving, volunteers from insurance companies across America contributed over 10,800 hours with community and non-profit organizations across the country. Below are a few highlights of the work conducted by IICF volunteers.

  • Swiss Re volunteers prepared home-cooked meals for families with children undergoing medical treatment as part of the Meals from the Heart  program at four Ronald McDonald Houses across Chicagoland and Northern Indiana.
  • In Texas, 230 volunteers 13 companies came together to clean up the Trinity River Forest in efforts to reduce flooding and provide ecosystem restoration.
  • Volunteers in California from The Sullivan Group and AIG worked together to plant a vegetable garden at Canyon Acres Ranch, serving abused, neglected and emotionally troubled children and their families.
  • Volunteers from ACE Group,  Beneficial Insurance Services , RIMS, and Willis teamed up with the American Red Cross to assemble and deliver fire safety kits throughout the city of Philadelphia.

In addition to organizing community service projects, the IICF launched a personal giving campaign benefitting Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street.  The IICF and Sesame Workshop’s new early literacy program, Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day, was launched on October 11 as a part of the IICF Early Literacy Initiative.

The campaign will continue through the end of October. Individuals can donate $5 by texting INSURANCE to 50555 or visiting www.weekofgiving.iicf.org. 100 percent of donations designated to Week of Giving will go to support Sesame Workshop and  the IICF early literacy program.

For more information about the IICF Week of Giving and personal giving campaign, please visit www.weekofgiving.iicf.org. If you’re interested in learning more about Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day, please visit www.sesamestreet.org/literacyYou can also contact the Foundation office at (925) 280-8009.

About the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation was established in 1994 and is directed and funded by the insurance industry. The Industry Foundation helps communities and enriches lives by uniting the collective strengths of the industry to provide grants, volunteer service and leadership. The Industry Foundation has contributed over $20 million and 176,800 volunteer hours to community nonprofits. IICF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

US SEC Proposes Policy Highlighting the Importance of Proper Company Recordkeeping and Disclosure to Equity Crowdfunding

BoardSuite, a leader in cloud-based solutions to manage, organize and share corporate information securely applauds announcement

October 30, 2013 –NEW YORK, NY – BoardSuite (www.boardsuite.co)

BoardSuite a secure cloud-based board portal and shareholder recordkeeping solution for private companies is delighted to see the leadership taken by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission headed by Commissioner Kara M. Stein in its recent proposals on equity crowdfunding. The proposal if implemented would significantly help small U.S. companies to raise money in the private securities market. BoardSuite sees as critically important specific provisions in the proposed SEC  regulations regarding company recordkeeping and disclosure of company information about owners, officers and directors, how proceeds from the offering will be used, and financial statements.

“There is substantial discussion in the release with respect to an issuer’s responsibility to keep complete and accurate records of its security holders. I believe this is a critically important issue that could have far-reaching implications for the (equity crowdfunding) marketplace. A business simply must be able to track who its owners are. While I understand that requiring a registered transfer agent would increase the costs to an issuer, I would like to hear from commenters about possible third-party, cost-effective solutions to help crowd funding issuers manage their recordkeeping responsibilities.” —Statement Regarding the Proposing Release on Crowd funding, Commissioner Kara M. Stein, Washington, D.C., Oct. 23, 2013

BoardSuite secure portal has been used by private companies in 40 countries to help them manage their capital structure and their shareholder communications.  BoardSuite combines simplicity for the issuer and good governance, compliance.

“Proper recordkeeping is critical for the success of equity crowdfunding and managing the owner/shareholders is a great step forward,” commented Oscar A Jofre, President / CEO, BoardSuite Corp. BoardSuite provides a cost effective solution to the issue identified by Ms. Stein, by helping companies manage their shareholder share structure, corporate information and records.”

Gil Michel Garcia, a Partner at Blue HF a boutique law firm advising Canadian companies on venture and private equity transactions, including US based Equity Crowd Funding by Canadian companies, shares the enthusiasm of Mr. Jofre stating: “Proper documentation and disclosure is a critical component to a company being able to properly take advantage of the enormous funding opportunities now available through equity crowdfunding. By engaging an experienced registrar and recordkeeping agent like Boardsuite, companies can show to potential investors that they are serious about record keeping and compliance, and therefore that they are worthy of their investment.”


We are pleased to see the advancement of equity crowd funding in the US and around the world. BoardSuite offers private companies an opportunity to also manage their complete minute and additional governance and compliance requirements. BoardSuite’s roots are in governance and compliance.

We support the views of the SEC and are here to help companies to take advantage of the growing crowdfunding market.

About BoardSuite

Provided as a FREE SaaS-based service, BoardSuite enables management to manage, organize and share their corporate information securely.  BoardSuite enables management to manage their documents, calendaring, people committees, contracts, and capitalization table.

BoardSuite was created to mitigate risk by providing directors, officers and shareholders a simple yet powerful solution to address their responsibilities surrounding good governance and compliance, thus allowing them to devote more time towards helping their organizations improve overall business performance.

DonorPro and CardConnect Team Up to Offer Integrated Payment Processing for Nonprofits

Credit card acceptance allows nonprofits to collect more donations, keep higher percentage of each dollar raised 

PITTSBURGH (October 28, 2013)DonorPro, a premier provider of fundraising solutions for nonprofit organizations, andCardConnect, one of the nation’s fastest-growing providers of payment processing services, today announced the launch ofDonorPro Merchant Services. DonorPro Merchant Services helps nonprofits of all sizes accept credit cards, collect more donations and keep a higher percentage of those dollars earned.

DonorPro Merchant Services gives nonprofit organizations simple, secure and highly affordable donation processing. By accepting all card types – including transactions made with American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa – at one fixed rate, nonprofits are guaranteed the removal of all hidden fees on their monthly statements.

“One aspect of fundraising that is often overlooked is the actual processing of the funds that are raised. Nonprofits can be taken advantage of with hidden fees and restrictions on accepting certain forms of donations,” said Donna Myers, President at DonorPro. “By teaming up with CardConnect, a company known for its transparency and secure payment technology, we’re able to offer nonprofits the card processing services they deserve at a rate they will appreciate.”

DonorPro Merchant Services also offers nonprofits free mobile credit card readers to use at their fundraising events, ACH (also known as eChecks) payment acceptance, automatic processing and settlement for recurring gifts and pledges, pre-authorization for event attendees prior to a fundraiser, free online donation forms, an online shopping cart and next-day bank deposits.  “Our Merchant Services customers will also realize that the platform is fully integrated into our DonorPro family of fundraising tools, meaning no double entry of contributions is required and the speed and accuracy related to capture and reporting increases substantially,” adds Myers.

“While CardConnect has made monetary donations in the past to charities we hold dear, partnering with DonorPro allows us to support nonprofits the best way we know how – by providing them with the integrated, secure, economical and transparent payment products and services on which we’ve built our company,” said Brian Shanahan, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman at CardConnect. “DonorPro has created solutions that are synonymous in the nonprofit community with excellence in fundraising. We’re proud to provide technology that helps these organizations accept more donations anywhere at anytime, and put more of those dollars toward their causes.”

DonorPro Merchant Services is now available to nonprofits of all sizes. For more information, visit client.towercare.com/donorpro-merchant-services

About DonorPro

DonorPro built its reputation in the nonprofits sector with an affordable and easy to use CRM donor management system along with online fundraising tools for all types of nonprofits. Founded in 2003, DonorPro is a privately-held company headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. DonorPro increases donations, streamlines workflow, increases staff productivity, and enhances personal communications with prospects and donors. Learn more at www.donorpro.com.

About CardConnect

CardConnect is a rapidly growing payment technology company that provides everything from comprehensive ERP integrations for large corporations to card acceptance platforms and terminals for small and mid-sized businesses.  The company helps more than 50,000 businesses across the U.S. accept billions of dollars in card transactions each year.  CardConnect’s solutions include credit, debit and pre-paid card processing, ERP integration and PCI compliance. Founded in 2006, CardConnect is one of the 10 largest independent sales organizations (ISOs) of First Data Merchant Services, the world’s largest electronic payment processor.  For more information, visit www.cardconnect.com.

PenFed Foundation Receives Prestigious 2013 AUSA National Service Award

Nonprofit honored for its work supporting both active-duty and retired soldiers of U.S. Army

October 24, 2013, Washington, D.C. — The Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation (PenFed Foundation), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization working to meet the unmet financial needs of military members and their families, announced today it received the prestigious Association of the Unites States Army (AUSA) National Service Award earlier this week at the 2013 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C. This is the first year this award has been presented.

“We are honored to be recognized for our continued support helping military families including both active-duty and retired soldiers from the U.S. Army,” said Christopher Flynn, president and CEO of the PenFed Foundation.“This award is a testament to the mission of the foundation.”

Each year, the AUSA presents different awards to groups and individuals who have served the Army and the Association with distinction. The PenFed Foundation was selected to receive the National Service Award because of its long commitment to the Army through its programs. The AUSA presented the PenFed Foundation with the award during the opening ceremony of the annual meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Monday, October 21. http://ausameetings.org/annual.

From its inception in 2001, the PenFed Foundation has served more than 6,500 service members and has granted over $6 million in financial support through its three main programs: The Dream Makers, the Military Heroes Fund, and Asset Recovery Kit (ARK) program. As part of a public-private partnership, the foundation also recently gifted to the Department of Veterans Affairs a new $11 million free hotel for veterans undergoing medical care called the Lee & Penny Anderson Defenders Lodge. The lodge is near completion and is scheduled to open doors in January 2014.

“Receiving this award speaks to our commitment to both service members and veterans along with their families,” added Flynn. “And it shows the work we do on a daily basis is valued by community leadership organizations like AUSA.”

About the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation (the PenFed Foundation) 

The PenFed Foundation is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization working to meet the unmet financial needs of military members and their families through supporting wounded warriors and providing financial management assistance and home ownership aid. As part of a public-private partnership, the foundation also recently gifted to the Department of Veterans Affairs a new $11 million free hotel for veterans undergoing medical care called the Lee & Penny Anderson Defenders Lodge. PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union) covers all labor expenses for the foundation so every dollar donated goes directly to supporting its programs. 

To make a donation or learn more about the PenFed Foundation visit: http://www.penfedfoundation.org.

World’s First Equity Crowdfunding Portal utilizes BoardSuite

October 23, 2013 -TORONTO, ON – BoardSuite (www.boardsuite.co) announced today a partnership with Australian Small Scale Offer Board (ASSOB) utilizing BoardSuite Crowdfunding Infrastructure Platform (CFIP) to help extend ASSOB’s existing commitment to cooperate transparency and compliance.

ASSOB is the world’s first equity crowdfunding portal operating for more than eight years. The portal has raised more than $136 Million for companies with 85% of those funded companies still operational and zero fraudulent fund raising activities.

“BoardSuite’s secure portal solution is a game changer for equity crowdfunding,” said Paul Niederer, president and CEO of ASSOB. “This partnership will allow our portal to screen companies faster, and provide tools to improve shareholder communications and transparency.”

Oscar A. Jofre, president and CEO of BoardSuite, believes the partnership will create an industry standard for compliance in companies seeking crowdfunded equities on online portals.

“We are thrilled to be working with ASSOB for their experience in equity crowdfunding, and because they understand the importance of governance and compliance in this new era of raising capital,” said Jofre. “ASSOB has demonstrated that capital raises managed properly can effectively attract capital through social media and relationship marketing.”

BoardSuite partners with equity crowdfunding portals to provide seamless end-to-end solutions through proprietary technology, CFIP Whether pre or post-capital raise, BoardSuite helps companies organize corporate and financial information for due diligence.

Companies listing on ASSOB can leverage BoardSuite to pre-screen themselves with background checks and corporate searches. Companies who have successfully completed a raise will also benefit by an improved and unique closing process that pre-populates all new shareholders in to a secure database for active document and information exchange. 

“The BoardSuite and ASSOB partnership will allow private companies to create an ongoing relationship with their new shareholders unlike ever before,” Jofre said. “We’re eliminating e-mails and the risk of forwarding confidential information. And all shareholders receive the same information a the same time.”  

For more information on how to reach us visit BoardSuite at http://www.portal4crowding.com/

ASSOB

The Australian Small Scale Offerings Board (ASSOB) is Australia’s largest and most successful business introduction and matching platform for showcasing investment opportunities in high growth, unlisted Australian companies.

A wide range of businesses, from seed and start-up stage, to award-winning and government granted companies, as well as more established growth and expanding companies, have joined ASSOB seeking access to growth capital and a convenient forum to connect with stakeholders.

BoardSuite

Provided as a FREE SaaS-based service, BoardSuite enables management to manage, organize and share their corporate information securely.  BoardSuite enables management to manage their documents, calendaring, people committees, contracts, and capitalization table.

BoardSuite was created to mitigate risk by providing directors, officers and shareholders a simple yet powerful solution to address their responsibilities surrounding good governance and compliance, thus allowing them to devote more time towards helping their organizations improve overall business performance.

Prepaid Visa® RushCard Announces Winners of #RiseToThrive Charity Challenge

  • Six-week campaign generated more than $360,000 for charities across America
  • NYC-based Workshop In Business Opportunities, Inc., is awarded first place

CINCINNATI (October 23, 2013) – RushCard— the prepaid Visa debit card founded by Russell Simmons in order to provide financial freedom and access to those long-ignored by traditional banks – and CrowdRise, the crowdfunding site founded by Edward Norton — today announced the winners of the #RiseToThrive Charity Challenge.  Over the past six weeks, charities dedicated to building prosperous futures for people in neighborhoods all over America served by RushCard, participated in the crowdfunding challenge. Participating charities raised more than $308,000 in vying for $50,000 in awards from RushCard.

“We’re thrilled that thousands of people across the country have risen to the occasion and raised tons of money to support these important charities,” said Russell Simmons, co-founder of RushCard. “RushCard is proud to support the people and organizations that are inspiring change in their communities and making a difference in our world.”

The top three charities that raised the most money received grants from RushCard.  Winning charities received the following grants:

·         $25k grant, First Place (raised $86,150) — Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO), a 47-year old non-profit organization dedicated to helping people in underserved communities realize the  American Dream through entrepreneurship

·         $10k grant, Second Place (raised $69,402) – Students for Servicean inspiring organization that partners with non-profits in New York City to address hunger, poverty, and the environment.

·         $5k grant, Third Place (raised $41,228) – Move for Hunger, an organization the works with relocation companies across America to support local food banks. 

Since 1996, WIBO has trained over 17,000 entrepreneurs who collectively have created close to 32,000 jobs. Of the people that start businesses upon graduation from the WIBO 16-Week Workshop, 54% are still in business five years later compared to the average business survival rate of 20%.

“Economic opportunity and self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship is what we are all about. We realize however for some in our society, there are barriers to success – access to knowledge, networks and capital,” said WIBO CEO Jill Johnson. “WIBO programming helps increase the likelihood of business success by helping our participants gain access to all three.”

“The #RiseToThrive Challenge was an amazing opportunity to galvanize our supporters in a short period of time in a way that would have been tough for us to do on our own,” added WIBO Board Chair Dan Hoffman. “The RiseToThrive Challenge worked.”

Visit www.crowdrise.com/risetothrive to view the winners and participants.

Founded in 2003, RushCard has been providing access to the financial mainstream for 10 years.  Today, RushCard is a comprehensive payment platform that serves as a feature-rich and mobile alternative to a traditional checking account.  RushCard offers a full range of financial management tools including electronic bill pay, payroll direct deposit, card-to-card money transfer, mobile text alerts and electronic servicing – all available to the millions of Americans who want an alternative to traditional banking.

About UniRush, LLC

Co-founded in 2003 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Russell Simmons, UniRush, LLC, revolutionized the payments industry when it launched one of the first prepaid Visa cards. RushCard provides instant access to a set of basic financial services for millions of Americans who cannot or choose not to establish a traditional banking relationship.  For more information on RushCard, please visit www.rushcard.com. 

The Prepaid Visa RushCard is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.

About CrowdRise

CrowdRise is a crowdfunding platform for people and organizations to raise support for charitable causes. CrowdRise’s core principles are that people have unprecedented power to use the power of networks to leverage their personal capacity and that raising money for charity and giving back should be fun. CrowdRise’s custom-built platform and game theory, as well as the company’s proven record of designing innovative crowdfunding strategies, provide individual fundraisers, charities, and events with powerful tools to raise the most money for their causes and share compelling philanthropic stories with their personal networks. The site lets anyone turn their friends into an active base of donors for any cause and lets any organization, company, or event unlock untapped leverage out of their existing platform.

CrowdRise topped Mashable’s list of “Most Innovative Crowdfunding Platforms” and was named a “Top 25 Best Global Philanthropist” by Barron’s. CrowdRise was founded by actor and activist Edward Norton, producer Shauna Robertson, and the founders of Moosejaw, Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe. Thousands of charitable organizations, events, celebrities, and everyday donors have made CrowdRise their philanthropic base for giving back.

MARIA CUOMO COLE ACCEPTED DONATION OF 100 IPADS FOR HELP USA

Chairman, joined by HELP USA advocate and actor Anson Mount, welcomed donation of iPads for non-profit’s youth and adult educational programs

NEW YORK, NY (October 23, 2013) – Today, travel restaurateur OTG donated 100 iPads to HELP USA, a leading provider of homes, jobs, and services to homeless families, veterans, and victims of domestic violence. Maria Cuomo Cole, Chairman of the Board for HELP USA, was joined by Anson Mount, star of the critically acclaimed AMC series, “Hell on Wheels”, as she accepted the donation on behalf of HELP USA, along with children from a day care program at the non-profit’s Union Square location. The 100 iPads will be distributed to various HELP USA locations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Photo credit: Hechler Photographers

“I am so thankful for this generous donation of iPads,” said Maria Cuomo Cole, Chairman of the Board of HELP USA. “They will provide extraordinary possibilities for enhancing our programs and empowering our residences, which include families, veterans and victims of domestic violence.  Our residences can now take advantage of the iPads to help them build confidence and gain crucial skills, such as employment training and placement, childcare, domestic violence counseling among many others.”

“I’m enormously proud to support Help USA’s mission of empowerment and to be part of an event that showcases the doors that technology can open for these children,” said Anson Mount of AMC’s “Hell on Wheels.”

The high-tech, versatile tablets will be used for a variety of purposes across HELP USA’s youth and adult offerings including: early childhood education; daycare, afternoon school; mentoring; job training and employment programs. 

“Our world is filled with incredible possibilities, and the iPad is one of the most dynamic and engaging platforms to discover them,” said Rick Blatstein, CEO of OTG. “It is truly an honor to have the chance to partner with HELP USA on this effort. For nearly 30 years they have been a model for providing vital services for those in need in New York, as well as communities across the nation.”

Earlier this year, OTG donated 50 iPads to the South Queens Boys and Girls Club to help advance their focus on science, technology, engineering and math.

OTG has demonstrated a leadership commitment to tablets in its daily operations.  The company has driven the recent wave of iPads appearing at airports across North America, including the Delta terminal at LaGuardia. OTG mobilizes iPad technology to enable travelers to track their flights in real-time, order food, and browse the web; all in a language they are most comfortable with, through simultaneous translation into 20 different languages. OTG is on schedule to deploy 7,000 iPads across three major airports by year-end 2013.

About HELP USA

HELP USA is the leading national developer of housing and provider of jobs and services for homeless and at risk populations in the country, including families, veterans and victims of domestic violence. HELP has served more than 270,000 people since it was founded in 1986 and today serves more than 12,000 each year at 30 residences across the country. To date, HELP has developed more than 2,500 units of housing including transitional and permanent supportive service programs.


About OTG

OTG (www.otgmanagement.com) is an award-winning airport food & beverage operator with more than 175 restaurants and retail boutiques in 10 airports, including Minneapolis-St. Paul, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, Toronto Pearson, Boston Logan, Tucson, Washington National, Orlando, Chicago O’Hare and Philadelphia. Since its entry into airports in 1996, OTG has been recognized throughout the industry for its exceptional customer focus and groundbreaking innovation; growing to become the second largest privately held airport food operator in the United States in just over a decade.

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