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Nonprofit crowdfunding course

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: October 2013

Sound Off For Autism Speaks On Sale Now – With An All-Star Lineup

Cher, Jack Black, Peter Dinklage, Bryan Cranston, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Mark Hamill, Vin Scully, Michael Dorn And Adam West Lend Their Voices To Fundraising Campaign

Fans Get a Customized Recorded Message from Their Favorite Celebrity by Making a $299 Donation to Support Autism Research and Advocacy

NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 11, 2013) – Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, launched today its second annual “Sound Off For Autism Speaks.” This exciting fundraising effort gives fans the opportunity to order a limited number of custom-recorded messages from Adam West, Bryan Cranston, Cher, Jack Black, Jim Parsons, Mark Hamill, Michael Dorn, Peter Dinklage, Vin Scully and Zachary Quinto in return for a $299 donation. All proceeds will support Autism Speaks’ research and advocacy efforts. 

Celebrity messages are available for purchase for this week only, October 7 – 13, 2013. A limited number of messages are now available from each celebrity on a first come, first served basis. Fans have the unique opportunity to specify what they want their chosen celebrity to say in the message. Autism Speaks will send fans a digital file of their message once it has been recorded by their celebrity.

The inaugural Sound Off For Autism Speaks took place in December 2012, raising more than $100,000. The campaign was spearheaded by Ed Asner, whose son, Matt, serves as executive director of Southern California for Autism Speaks. In addition to Asner, participating celebrities included Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Carrie Fisher, Tom Hanks, Derek Jeter, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart and Betty White. 

“Last year, I got together with Matt and we discussed what my friends and I could do to support the important work of Autism Speaks,” said Ed Asner. “We decided that bringing together a group of celebrities with great voices to do a kind of ‘voiceathon’ would be a fun way to raise awareness and funds for the autism community. The campaign was such an overwhelming success and received so much positive feedback we had to do it again.” 

About Autism
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated one in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 78 percent increase in six years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis. 

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed nearly $200 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.

On International Day of the Girl Child, Women Gather Together, Share Strength and Change Lives through Fashion Advocacy, Engagement, Education

SEATTLE, Oct. 11, 2013 — In honor of the third annual U.N.-sanctioned International Day of the Girl Child, World Vision encourages individuals to talk with sisters, mothers, daughters and other influential women in their lives about how strong women make a strong world. 

The Numbers 

  • An estimated 5.5 million children are trafficked annually for forced child labor and sexual exploitation. While trafficked children are often teenagers, many are even younger.
  • 67 percent of the illiterate people in the world are women and girls; many are denied access to education because of early marriage and other cultural practices. Even gathering water is often a burden that prevents girls from going to school.
  • Every 90 seconds a woman dies from complications of pregnancy or childbirth – most could be prevented with access to proper nutrition and medical care.

The Fight 

  • World Vision programs for child protection, gender-based violence survivors and peace building & gender equality work to educate communities about women and girls’ rights. In 2012, awareness and outreach initiatives reached 75,000 people vulnerable to sexual exploitation in Bangladesh, and helped 385 survivors of sexual exploitation in Cambodia.
  • Increasing the number of educated girls by 10 percent in a developing nation can increase GNP by 3 percent. Through the World Vision Gift Catalog, donating as little as $35 – the cost of your average blouse – can help provide a young woman with job training or school supplies for a year.
  • The Gates Foundation-funded World Vision Alive & Thrive project in Ethiopia is just one avenue of women’s health education. After just one year, the program has seen success rates as high as 80 percent.

The Tools 

  • Explore donation options for girls & women through the World Vision Gift Catalog.
  • Engage in fashion advocacy by gifting jewelry, scarves, T-shirts and other handcrafted accessories that fund women’s programs for birthdays or holidays.
  • Visit StrongWomenStrongWorld.org to sign up to receive e-mailed news and updates and explore the projects strengthening women right now, all over the world.
  • Get involved with a Women of Vision group in your area for upcoming events, film screenings, service projects and book studies.
  • Listen to girls around the world share their stories of hardship, bravery and strength on the Women of Vision YouTube channel.
  • Attend a screening of documentary, “Girl Rising” in your local area.

By engaging in International Day of the Girl Child, the world’s millions of vulnerable girls are empowered and equipped to become the strong women we know in our lives. 

About World Vision 

World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at@WorldVisionNews.

Uruut Named a Top 10 Atlanta Startup as the Crowdfunding Platform’s First Project Surpasses $100K Goal

Nonprofit fundraising startup gets national media attention, announces new board member and wraps up successful opening raise

October 8, 2013 (ATLANTA) – Today, UruutTM, a collaborative nonprofit online fundraising platform, announces that by all indications it has completed the largest opening raise of any donation-based crowdfunding site. This achievement comes with the announcement of new high-profile board member, Doug Shipman, and shortly after being named one of Atlanta’s top 10 startups by tech media outlet, The Next Web.

Uruut’s first project, the Ashford Park Education Foundation’s (APSEF) campaign to build a new outdoor classroom, launched on July 10 with 90 days to reach its goal of $100,000. With a platinum sponsorship of $35,000 from Ed Voyles Automotive Group, an additional 40 business and foundation sponsors and hundreds of individual donations, the school reached its goal on October 3 with five days left in the campaign.

Uruut is the only online fundraising platform built specifically for nonprofits that supports contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations.  As a result, close to 60 percent of APSEF’s donations came from businesses and foundations – making this crowdfunding project an industry first, and setting Uruut apart.

“We are thrilled with the success we’ve seen as Uruut’s first project owner and excited to turn our dream for an outdoor classroom into a reality,” said Shawn Keefe, president of APSEF and parent of first and fourth graders.  “Uruut enabled us to execute a campaign of this size by providing the platform and tools necessary to run an effective campaign.  As a result, we are on our way to delivering a major project that will be core to Ashford Park School’s curriculum, our students and the vitality of our community.”

With the initial success of its beta launch, Uruut got the attention of new board member, Doug Shipman, a leader in the effort to build the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, serving as its CEO since 2007.

“We are thrilled to have Doug join our list of very talented board members,” said Mark Feinberg, Uruut’s co-founder and CEO.  “His experience in a range of industries, as well as knowledge of both the nonprofit and private sectors bring rich connections and expertise in corporate social responsibility.”

“I am excited to be a part of Uruut’s mission to strengthen communities,” said Shipman. “There are countless local projects that simply do not receive the funding necessary to reach their goals.  The recent rise of crowdfunding has proven very successful in helping with underfunded projects, but until now we haven’t seen a platform built specifically for nonprofits with the capability to accept donations from all three funding

sources.  For this reason, I truly believe Uruut will transform the traditional fundraising model and empower communities across America.”

Shipman’s role on the Uruut board of directors will focus on providing the team added expertise in the area of nonprofit management, fundraising and strategy.

Since launching its public beta period on July 10, Uruut has continued to gain momentum – successfully funding two projects and attracting dozens more to its platform.  Nonprofits and civic organizations interested in receiving funding through Uruut’s platform can click here to apply for public beta consideration. 

Brazil to Host III Global Conference on Child Labour

Representatives from 153 countries will gather to discuss best practices to eradicate child labor and how to accelerate the elimination of its worst forms

Brasília, October 8, 2013 – Chaired and organized by the Brazilian federal government, the III Global Conference on Child Labour will be held in Brasilia, from October 8 – 10, with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Since 2000, worldwide incidents of labor among children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old decreased by 36 percent. Notably, in Brazil the decline was 67 percent.

“All data indicate that countries are increasingly concerned about tackling the problem,” said Tereza Campello, Brazil’s Minister of Social Development and Fight against Hunger, and the President of the Conference.

Delegations from 153 United Nations member countries and observers are taking part in the event. At the last conference, held in the Netherlands in 2010, delegations from 80 countries attended.

The opening of the meeting will be attended by Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and about 40 state ministers from various countries. It is estimated that around 1,200 representatives of governments, civil society, employers and workers from around the world will take part in the event.

Evaluation

The latest ILO report indicates that 168 million children and adolescents between 5 and 17 years old are working. The conference will be useful for an overall assessment of progress achieved under the ILO Convention 182, which deals with the worst forms of child labor, as well as progress under the “Roadmap for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour by 2016,” set up at The Hague Conference in 2010.

Brazilian statistics follow the global trend. Through public policy initiatives, particularly Bolsa Família (Family Grant Program), and with the support of civil society, the number of children in Brazil between the ages of 5 and 9 years old in child labor situations fell 88 percent in the last 20 years. As a result, Brazil is considered to be a model by the ILO in tackling the issue of child labor.

“The conference aims to find ways to accelerate the process of combating child labor in the world,” stated Minister Tereza Campello. “We will discuss and exchange our experiences, keeping in mind the different levels of economic development within each country and the varying organization of national societies.”

Issues

The event will address issues such as child labor in urban environments, in agriculture, and in supply chains, and highlight cases in violation of children’s and adolescents’ rights. The impact of migration on child labor and conditions in domestic settings will also be discussed.

During the conference, models of education and schools, national statistics on child labor and the role of the judiciary in combating child labor will also be debated. The meeting is designed to be consultative, which increases the possibility for an open debate.

The commitment to sustainable eradication of child labor, especially its worst forms, within the shortest possible timeframe, will be articulated in the Declaration of Brasilia. “We will focus on our progress in updating and expanding the agreements to prevent and sustainably eliminate child labor,” stated the Executive Secretary of the Conference Paula Montagner.

Platform

To promote the exchange of best practices and ideas, the Conference was preceded by a public consultation held via a virtual platform on the Internet, “Dialogues on Child Labor,” which is accessible at: www.childlabourdialogues.org.

This forum gave voice to many different people working in the area, including children and adolescents, and allowed for debate on the main challenges to eradicate the worst forms of child labor. The plenaries will be broadcast live on the Conference website, so that everyone can follow the debate, which is exclusive to invited delegations from UN state members and the press.

According to the report “Measuring Progress in the Fight against Child Labour,” published by the ILO in September 2013, the number of working children from ages 5 to 17 years old worldwide dropped by one third, or a decrease from 246 million to 168 million working children, between 2000 and 2012. Over this 12-year period, the greatest advances occurred between 2008 and 2012, when the total number of working children and adolescents decreased from 215 million to 168 million.

Conference History

In 1997, Amsterdam hosted the international conference to discuss child labor, which marked the beginning of a worldwide movement for the eradication of child labor.

In 2010, more than 450 delegates from 80 countries took part in the Global Conference on Child Labour held in The Hague. The event, organized by the Netherlands government, aimed to accelerate the universal ratification of ILO Conventions 138 (Minimum Age for Child Labour) and 182 (Worst Forms of Child Labour), and to commit to take immediate actions to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, without losing sight of the ultimate goal of eradicating all forms of exploitation of labor of children and adolescents. The main outcome of the 2010 Conference was the adoption of the Roadmap for Eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labour by 2016 (Roadmap), with its goal foreseen in the ILO Global Action Plan. The Action Plan was launched in 2006 and had proposed urgent action to combat the problem worldwide by 2008.

The Conference recommended Brazil as the host of the III Global Conference on Child Labour, and on June 12, 2012, the World Day Against Child Labour, President Dilma Rousseff issued the invitation for the event.

The National Organizing Committee, responsible for organizing and hosting the Conference, includes Brazil’s Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Labor (MDS), the chair, Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE).

Outward Bound Hosts National Benefit Dinner with Keynote Speaker Ann Curry

New York, NY – Outward Bound announced that the organization will host their 2013 National Benefit Dinner on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 from 6:30-10:00pmat Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.

The 2013 Dinner will feature a keynote address by Ann Curry, journalist and anchor-at-large for NBC, who brings great insights from reporting from across the world, an understanding of the educational climate and a demonstrated commitment to service. “I’m looking forward to speaking at the Outward Bound Benefit Dinner, as I enjoy meeting young people interested in rising to a challenge, with ideas and hopes for a better future,” said Ann Curry. 

Event guests will also hear directly from alumni, both students and veterans, as they share stories of how Outward Bound provides Education for Life.

Outward Bound’s mission is to change lives through challenge and discovery.  Its national network of charters offers programs ranging from multi-week youth expeditions to free wilderness courses for returning veterans and intensive partnerships with schools.  

As the largest fundraiser of the year for Outward Bound, the Benefit Dinner raises much-needed funding to support scholarships and Outward Bound USA’s work. Ticket prices range from $250-2,500 and table sponsorships are offered from $6,000-50,000. The event has already signed on several “Summit” level sponsors, including The Wall Street Journal, David Polk and Wardwell, and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

As per tradition, the event features a unique dress code – black tie and sneakers – reflecting the organization’s culture and heritage.

Individuals and corporations who want to register or purchase a table can visit www.outwardbound.org/nationaldinner or contact nationaldinner@outwardbound.org for more information.

Americans Would Rather Remain Unemployed Than Work for Companies with Bad Corporate Reputations

Annual CR Magazine & Allegis Group Services survey reveals that sixty nine percent of Americans would choose to remain unemployed 

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Corporate Responsibility (CR) Magazine, in conjunction with Allegis Group Services, today announced the findings of the publication’s annual corporate reputation survey, which found that 69 percent of Americans would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed. This is a six percent decrease from 2012.

In advance of its annual COMMIT!Forum, on October 8-9, 2013 at New York Marriott Downtown in New York City, CR Magazine commissioned a poll of over 1,000 employed and unemployed Americans to gain insights into how both corporate reputation and transparency can impact job decisions.

“The results of this year’s survey demonstrate the importance of a positive corporate reputation in recruiting and retaining talent. Our year-over-year analysis shows that this sentiment remains strong among employees and potential new hires in 2013,” said Elliot Clark, CEO of Corporate Responsibility Magazine, which hosts the Forum. “At the COMMIT!Forum, our focus is to highlight the negative costs of bad business practices and the great benefits attributed to companies that employ ethical business practices. As evidenced by this year’s theme ‘Good Business Makes the Difference,’ we aim to drive conversations about the business practices that companies employ across the country, in order to improve the role of business in society.”

Working for Companies With Bad Corporate Reputations 

Of the people surveyed who were currently employed, more than half (62%) would take a job with a company that had a bad reputation if they were offered more money. This number has increased by four percent year-over-year.  Subsequently the average percentage increase in salary that it would take to entice Americans’ decision to work for a company with a bad corporate reputation has decreased. While the majority in 2012 said they would require more than double their salary to consider the move, the majority in 2013 said they would require between a 50-100% increase.

Year-over-year findings also showed that salary and location factor into Americans’ decision to move to a company with a bad corporate reputation. In 2013 those surveyed making $100K or more required the most money to consider a move to a company with a bad reputation. Whereas in 2012, those making $35K or less required the most money to consider a move to a company with a bad reputation. Individuals that would consider taking these jobs in 2013 lived most frequently in the Northeast (64%) and West (64%).

Working for Companies With Good Corporate Reputations

In contrast, the vast majority, 84 percent, compared with 87 percent in 2012, would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that had an excellent corporate reputation.  In both 2012 and 2013 most people would only require a 1-10 percent salary increase to consider such a move, and fell between the $75-100K salary range.

“As Americans continue to cope with the employment-related repercussions of the financial crisis, the majority of people would still prefer to work for a company with business ethics that align with their own values,” said Bruce Morton, Head of Innovation at Allegis Group Services. ”Today’s global leaders face unique responsibility to not only be aware of this sentiment, but also to act in the best interest of their employees and customers. Fundamentally, corporate responsibility and sustainability programs positively affect the company brand and reputation which drives sales, saves money improves overall asset values and can improve an organizations ability to attract talent.”

For more information on The COMMIT!Forum, please visit www.commitforum.com.

For more information on Allegis Group Services, please visit www.allegisgroupservices.com.

Methodology

This report presents the findings of a  telephone survey conducted among two national probability samples, which, when combined, consists of 1,010 adults, 508 men and 502 women, 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States.  Interviewing for this CARAVAN® Survey was completed on August 22-25, 2013.  660 interviews were conducted from the landline sample and 350 interviews from the cell phone sample. 

About CR Magazine

CR Magazine is the voice of the corporate responsibility profession covering case studies, best practices, and trends in the five primary segments of the CR profession: a) governance, risk, compliance, b) environmental sustainability c) corporate social responsibility, d) philanthropy, and e) workforce/diversity.www.thecro.com

About the COMMIT!Forum

The COMMIT!Forum, calls on people to make commitments that will change the world. How? By inspiring, educating, and engaging them in ways that prepare them to make the commitments necessary to change themselves and their organizations. www.commitforum.com

About Allegis Group Services

Allegis Group Services is a member of Allegis Group, Inc., a privately held network of human capital services companies. This affiliation gives us global access to an exceptionally diverse group of Human Capital experts across a broad range of functional disciplines and industries.www.allegisgroupservices.com.

The Blue Card Hosts Its Annual Benefit On Monday, October 21, 2013 In New York City

Mia Farrow and Ronan Farrow to be Honored

New York, NY, September 17, 2013 -The Blue Card, a national non-profit organization dedicated to aiding some of the 75,000 Holocaust survivors throughout the United States, will hold its 79th Anniversary Benefit and auction at the Powerhouse at The American Museum of Natural History (Columbus Avenue at 79thStreet, New York, New York, 10016) on Monday, October 21, 2013.  The benefit willcommemorate the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, by paying tribute to several survivors and The Blue Card’s humanitarians for their dedication to this cause. Aimed at raising funds to provide direct financial assistance for Holocaust survivors, one-third of whom live at or below the federal poverty level. 

“It is with great pleasure that we honor Mia Farrow, Ronan Farrow, Curt C. and Elise Silberman Foundation and the first ever recipient of the Young Leadership Award, Sara Greenberg, at this year’s Benefit,” said Masha Girshin, Executive Director of The Blue Card.  “These individuals work tirelessly to raise awareness and funds for needy Holocaust survivors who struggle to make ends meet.”

Founded in Germany in 1934, and in the United States in 1939, The Blue Card’s sole mission is to provide direct financial assistance to needy Holocaust survivors who live at or near the federal poverty level. All proceeds from the Annual Benefit will support close to 3,000 individuals; The Blue Card has distributed over $22 million to date, with 100 percent of donations going directly to survivors.

The evening will feature cocktails, a seated dinner, a silent auction and a special performance by singer, songwriter and pianist, Regina Spektor. The cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm and the dinner will begin at 7:00pm. Dietary laws will be observed. At the Benefit, guests will have the opportunity to support The Blue Card by bidding on an extensive collection of silent auction lots.

Individual tickets start at $400, and tables at $4,000. Tickets can be purchased by calling The Blue Card at (212) 239-2251.

About The Blue Card

The Blue Card was established by the Jewish Community in Germany in the early 1930s. When first established, the purpose of The Blue Card was to help Jews who were being affected by Nazi persecution through loss of jobs and other forms of oppression. In 1939, The Blue Card was reestablished in the United States to continue bringing aid to refugees of Nazi persecution who were resettling in America. After the Holocaust, the mission of the organization was expanded to help survivors of the Shoah from all European countries. The Blue Card continues its work, and reaches needy Holocaust survivors every day.

IEEE Introduces App-E-Feat to Help Change the World, One Mobile App at a Time

Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Help Engineer Solutions to World Problems

New York, NY – September 24, 2013 – IEEE, the world’s largest professional technical organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today announced the development of  a website that will help non-profit and non-governmental organizations develop mobile applications that will further their causes and potentially impact millions of lives. As part of its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action introduced at the CGI Annual Meeting, App-E-Feat will connect non-profits, non-governmental organizations and corporate initiatives with engineers around the world to help advance their goals through a digital platform.

“CGI’s focus on providing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems is directly in line with the mission of IEEE – to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity,” said E. James Prendergast, Executive Director and COO of IEEE. “Leveraging the mindshare of the IEEE community to provide technological support and education to CGI member organizations can have a great impact on their humanitarian efforts around the globe.”

The App-E-Feat website will serve as a resource gateway that connects engineers with nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations to help support their need for mobile technology resources.  Organizations will be able to match their technology and educational requests with engineers who can provide expertise and open-sourced code needed to create low-cost, scalable solutions to humanitarian issues.  The code available to the organizations will be designed to provide real-time information and pertinent data that can be leveraged to create new health, economic and social opportunities for populations around the globe.

“President Clinton’s plenary address at the CGI 2013 Mid-Year Meeting addressed the impact of mobile applications on those less fortunate and it inspired IEEE to create App-E-Feat,” said Karen Panetta, IEEE Fellow and Vice President of IEEE-USA, and Associate Dean at Tufts Graduate School of Engineering. “Access to mobile technology resources can help these organizations further their individual missions that do not have significant resources. IEEE is offering the engineering community the opportunity to collaborate with these organizations to create mobile applications that will help these organizations do just that.”

The IEEE’s Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action spans two years and estimates that hundreds of apps will be developed through App-E-Feat during that time. App-E-Feat will be open for participation to CGI member organizations in its first year and expanded in year two to include more organizations in need of help and more companies looking to share their technological mindshare. As part of its Commitment, IEEE has also made its extensive technical expertise, assistance, and members available to the Clinton Global Initiative to help further causes related to engineering and technological advancement.

About IEEE

IEEE is a large, global professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at http://www.ieee.org.

PenFed Foundation Puts Final Touches on Nation’s Largest Free Hotel for Veterans Undergoing Medical Care

New Defenders Lodge to offer 52 first-class private rooms, 104 beds for VA patients

October 4, 2013, WASHINGTON – The Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation (PenFed Foundation), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization working to meet the unmet needs of military personnel and their families, is putting the finishing touches on the nation’s largest free hotel for short-term stay for veterans undergoing medical care. The Defenders Lodge, made possible through a generous donation by Lee and Penny Anderson, will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony next week with doors to officially open for guests in January 2014.

“For years, veterans and service members getting treatment at a major VA hospital struggled to find an affordable and comfortable place to stay,” said Col. (Ret.) Robert Siegert, chair of the PenFed Foundation board. “Now they’ll have a brand new, handicapped-accessible hotel with state-of-the-art amenities. And the best part is it’s free for them and their caregivers.”

The new Defenders Lodge is expected to serve up to 20,000 veterans annually who travel each year to Palo Alto for treatment. Last year, thousands had to find temporary housing while getting care at the VA hospital, many coming from miles away.

To address this crisis, the PenFed Foundation volunteered as the primary sponsor of constructing the hotel, a $17 million initiative in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The foundation is working to raise $11 million in private donations to cover the cost of building the lodge. In 2010, PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union) assisted with a $10 million low-interest loan to help get construction underway.

“For many of our nation’s veterans, a good night’s rest sometimes meant just getting a few hours of uninterrupted sleep on an uncomfortable cot,” added Siegert. “Now that they’re back home, they deserve the best accommodations we can give them.”

                                                                                                                                        

City Of Springfield, Missouri Raises More Than $10k For First Round Of Route 66 Highway Crowdfunding Projects

With a total of $10,310 raised so far, CrowdIt sees a budding opportunity for civic crowdfunding projects across the United States

SPRINGFIELD, MO, Oct. 3, 2013 — CrowdIt (www.crowdit.com), the first company to bring business networking and support services into the crowd funding experience, today announced the City of Springfield, Missouri has raised $10,310 for its Route 66 Roadside Park project after being live for less than one day at crowdit.com. The City raised more than $8000 in only two hours, during a live, kick-off event where about 100 people celebrated the launch and enjoyed craft beer at Mother’s Brewing Company, located along the historic route.

The first crowdfunding initiative (www.crowdit.com/route66sgf) kicked off last night during a Route 66-themed party at Mother’s Brewing Company in downtown Springfield. Funds raised will cover construction costs for a re-creation of the iconic Red’s Giant Hamburg sign, a major landmark along the historic Route 66 Highway.

Two large donations last night helped the fund grow quickly.

Business owner and classic car collector Guy Mace and his wife Gloria presented City of Springfield Director of Planning & Development Ralph Rognstad with a check for $2,500. Urban Districts Alliance Director Rusty Worley presented Rognstad with a $3,000 check on behalf of the West Central Neighborhood Association.

Grocery store chain HyVee donated $1,000 to the project during a week of fundraising for the project in June. Attendees at the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in August donated around $500 to the effort.

“We are thrilled to receive such a positive response, both locally and nationally, to renovate a key portion of the world-famous Route 66 highway,” explained Cora Scott, director of Public Information and Civic Engagement for the City of Springfield. “We look forward to continuing our fundraising efforts with CrowdIt and are excited about the possibilities.”

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 success in the crowdfunding market.

Upcoming projects include a filling station replica, vending machines and visitor information; a relocated motor court cottage, with restrooms, and sign replica; a Birthplace of Route 66 sculpture; and, a Lily-Tulip/Solo Cup sculpture.

“Civic crowdfunding is an opportunistic way for municipalities to leverage financial support for a myriad of infrastructure projects,” explained Jason Graf, CEO of CrowdIt. “Our great city of Springfield and its Route 66 project is just the tip of the iceberg and is a testament to crowdfunding possibly being the greatest economic opportunity in our lifetime.”

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