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Devin D. Thorpe

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Monthly Archives: January 2014

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IC Patient Capital Collaborative Portfolio Company, Solmetric, Merges With Vivint Solar

DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 30, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Solmetric Corporation, a leading developer of solar installation tools and an Investors’ Circle / Patient Capital Collaborative portfolio company, announced its merger with Vivint Solar, Inc. last week, bringing together two industry leaders and generating a positive return for investors. Solmetric is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vivint Solar, in an all-cash transaction.

“We are excited to have a successful exit which provides a positive financial return while positioning the Solmetric team to stay together and scale their environmental impact as part of Vivint,” said Tom Balderston, Managing Principal of the Patient Capital Collaborative. “The PCC ’09 fund invested in Solmetric in 2010 because we were impressed with the management team and their suite of products to enable installers and solar project developers to more effectively quote, sell and build solar projects. They have maintained a key role in the growing solar industry and the sale of the company confirms their approach.”

Launched in 2006, Solmetric helps solar companies optimize the installation process. Their industry-dominant product line includes the award-winning Solmetric SunEye analysis tool, which provides expedited solar site evaluation; Solmetric PV designer software used for energy production estimates; and the leading Solmetric PV analyser, which verifies performance during system commissioning.

Solmetric’s key technology for solar installers will complement Vivint Solar’s offerings. “Further in-house, advanced development of Solmetric products will help strengthen our pre-installation site assessment and CAD design process even further at this crucial market expansion time for Vivint Solar,” said Greg Butterfield, CEO of Vivint Solar. Vivint Solar is a leading provider of cost-effective solar energy systems and has received acclaim for its award-winning service.

Solmetric CEO Willard MacDonald will join the Vivint Solar management team as vice president of Technology Development, and all Solmetric employees will remain based in Sebastopol, CA. Vivint Solar, Inc. is based in Provo, Utah.

About Solmetric Corporation

Solmetric is a supplier of tools for solar installers. Its product offerings include the award winning Solmetric SunEye shade analysis tool for fast, professional solar site evaluation; the Solmetric PV Designer software for easy design and simulation of residential PV systems; and the Solmetric PV Analyzer for measuring I-V and power curves to verify performance at the time of system commissioning or for troubleshooting a failing system. Read more at www.solmetric.com

About Vivint Solar

Vivint Solar is a leading provider of simple, affordable solar solutions. As an early adopter of the power purchase agreement (PPA) model, Vivint Solar designs, installs, and maintains cost-effective solar energy systems. The company provides award-winning service and support while saving customers money and protecting the environment. For more information, visit www.vivintsolar.com

About Investors’ Circle

Investors’ Circle is the oldest, largest and most successful early-stage impact investing network. Together with hundreds of angels, venture capitalists, foundations and family offices, IC has propelled $175 million plus $4 billion in follow on investment into 275 enterprises dedicated to improving the environment, education, health and community. Learn more at www.investorscircle.net

About The Patient Capital Collaborative

The Patient Capital Collaborative (PCC) series of impact investing funds invest equity in early-stage, high-impact companies that are looking to provide meaningful social and/or environmental benefit to the world. The PCC generates its deal flow from the hundreds of companies that apply to Investors’ Circle each year. For more information, visit www.sustainvc.com

Contact:

Rena Avramidis
IC Marketing Coordinator
919-530-1177 X 405
ravramidis@investorscircle.net

MFX Solutions Supports $500 Million in Local Currency Loans to Micro-entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON, DC, January 29, 2014 – Today MFX Solutions announced that it has hedged the risk on over $500 million in microfinance loans to poor entrepreneurs in developing countries since 2010. These loans have been made in more than 30 currencies and have benefited over 800,000 entrepreneurs world-wide.

MFX was established in 2009 by a group of microfinance funds and foundations to fill a clear need for more local currency lending and better currency risk management in microfinance. A 2010 study sponsored by MFX revealed that microfinance institutions carried more than $6 billion of currency exposure, the result of borrowing in foreign currency to fund their local operations.

Brian Cox, MFX’s CEO said, “This milestone demonstrates that international microfinance lenders are indeed moving toward a safer, more equitable model of lending in local currency. We are proud to be part of this transformation, and we are convinced that better risk management is key to microfinance reaching its potential.”

Eliza Erikson, chair of the board at MFX and a director of investments at Omidyar Network, stated, “We could not be more pleased with the success of MFX. When Omidyar Network first invested in 2009, we predicted that MFX would transform the industry by solving the fundamental problem of currency mismatch, which puts microentrepreneurs at serious risk. MFX has since surpassed even our most optimistic expectations, and we see the microfinance sector as just the beginning. As impact investing begins to expand, it will need partners like MFX to reach its true potential.”

Rita van den Abbeel, Chief Risk Officer at Incofin IM, a Belgium-based microfinance fund, noted, “Our partnership with MFX is critical to how we do business. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) need funding in their own currencies in order to grow safely. On the other hand we also have to respect our investors risk appetite which limits the amount of currency exposure we can take. Thanks to MFX, we are able to meet the needs of the MFIs and their micro-entrepreneur clients while effectively managing our risk as required by our investors.”

About MFX:

MFX offers currency swaps and forward contracts to international MSME lenders to offset the risk they take when lending in the local currency of their borrowers. MFX receives support from US and Dutch government agencies OPIC and FMO and has a partnership with the Dutch exotic currency fund The Currency Exchange (TCX).

MFX’s clients are over 50 leading microfinance and SME loan funds. In addition to providing hedging services, MFX works with emerging microfinance institutions across Africa to help them understand, quantify and manage financial risk. With better risk management in place, these institutions are better able to access international funding and accelerate growth.

MFX’s investors are major microfinance lenders, investors, raters, networks, and foundations. MFX operates globally, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. and offices in Harare, Dakar and Kampala.

Additional information is available on MFX’s website at www.mfxsolutions.com.

Cherokee-McDonough Challenge Seeks Environmental Entrepreneurs

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Accelerator Accepts Applications for Start-Ups to Receive Advisory Services and Funding

(Raleigh, NC) – January 30, 2014 – The Cherokee-McDonough Challenge, an accelerator designed to identify, fund and develop high impact environmental startups, has kicked off its fourth year of the program. The Challenge is seeking to support entrepreneurs who are addressing significant environmental challenges using viable, scalable business models. The application period is open now through April 15th. Information on the Challenge and how to apply can be found at www.cherokeechallenge.com

The group will select up to five ventures for the 2014 class. Entrepreneurs will participate in the three month accelerator program, which includes one-on-one and group advisory services, co-working space, start-up business services, and $20,000 in seed funding.

Participants that complete the program are typically well positioned for additional funding, have a working proto-type, are adept at communicating with potential investors, and have access to a strong network of investors, entrepreneurs, and advisors. Past participants have gone on to raise over $2 million in venture funding, including grants, debt and equity funding.

“We believe the environmental challenges that confront our society today will be solved by creative, determined entrepreneurs. Time has proven that a private sector, market-based approach is the best way to address such challenges,” said JT Vaughn, Director, Cherokee-McDonough Challenge. “Our role is to help develop and connect high quality start-ups so they can attract capital and get their ideas to market.”

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In addition to facilitating the accelerator program, the Cherokee-McDonough Challenge will serve as a commercialization advisor for the recently announced Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute that is being led by NC State University.

About Cherokee

The Challenge is sponsored by Cherokee, an environmentally focused investment company. Cherokee has raised over $2 billion in private equity funds focused on brownfield remediation and, separately, founded a number of environmental businesses and invested in over 80 startups and venture funds in the past 30 years. Through the Challenge, Cherokee hopes to lend experience and expertise to other environmental entrepreneurs. For more information or to submit an application, visit www.cherokeechallenge.com.

About William McDonough

William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable development. A pioneer architect of the green building movement, McDonough’s interests and influence range widely, and he works at scales from the global to the molecular. Time magazine recognized him in 1999 as a “Hero for the Planet,” stating that “his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that-in demonstrable and practical ways-is changing the design of the world.” In 1996, McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation’s highest environmental honor, and in 2003 he earned the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work with Shaw Industries, the carpet division of Berkshire Hathaway. In 2004, he received the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design. McDonough advises major enterprises including commercial and governmental leaders worldwide through McDonough Advisors. McDonough also co-founded Make It Right (2006) with Brad Pitt to bring affordable, Cradle to Cradle-inspired homes to the New Orleans Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina. He is co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002) and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability — Designing for Abundance (2013).

PenFed Foundation Helped More Than 200 Military Families in 2013 Attain the Dream of Homeownership

Nonprofit gave away record $1 million in grants this year through its Dream Makers program

January 29, 2014, WASHINGTONThe 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 helped more than 200 military families across 39 states last year alone attain the dream of owning their first home through its Dream Makers program by providing a record-breaking $1 million in grants to cover down payments and closing costs.

“Many families struggle to buy their first home, but for military families it can be even harder,” said Christopher Flynn, president and CEO of the PenFed Foundation. “From frequent moves around the country and overseas to trouble saving money for a down payment, members of our armed services often have to postpone this important milestone. Our Dream Makers program helps bridge that gap.”

The program helps military families who are first-time homebuyers purchase their first home by offering grants for down payments and closing costs. Service members and veterans of all branches of the military are eligible to apply including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. Widows of service members are also eligible.

Other requirements include having a gross annual income of $55,000 or less, or 80 percent of area median income, adjusted for family size. In order to receive a grant, the borrower must also attend an approved first-time homebuyer’s course by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The Dream Makers program provides an incredible opportunity for many military families who have sacrificed so much to protect our nation to buy their very own home,” added Flynn. “There are so many ways we can thank the military community for their service and sacrifice and this program is one of the best.”

To learn more about the PenFed Foundation’s Dream Makers program and apply online visit: http://www.penfedfoundation.org/dream_index.

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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 the military community with financial management assistance and home ownership aid. Through a unique public-private partnership, the PenFed Foundation joined with the Department of Veterans Affairs to fund the new Lee and Penny Anderson Defenders Lodge, a $17 million project. PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union) covers all labor expenses for the foundation so nearly every dollar donated goes directly to supporting its programs.

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

Massachusetts Launches Landmark Initiative to Reduce Recidivism Among At-Risk Youth

$27 million Initiative is Largest Financial Investment in a Pay for Success Contract in the Country

Chelsea – Wednesday – January 29, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced the launch of the nation’s largest financial investment in a Pay for Success (PFS) initiative, which is designed to improve outcomes for hundreds of at-risk young men in the probation system or leaving the juvenile justice system. The Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Pay for Success Initiative will not only improve the lives of young people, but also reduce crime, promote safer and stronger communities and save taxpayer dollars.

This initiative, in partnership with Roca, Inc., Third Sector Capital Partners and commercial and philanthropic funders, is the largest PFS financial investment in the country and is designed to encourage innovative solutions to chronic social problems and improve outcomes for individuals in Massachusetts. PFS contracts allow governments with limited resources to expand innovative social programs and only pay for those that actually make a difference.

“By working with our partners at Roca, the Pay for Success initiative will allow us to marry smart financial solutions with programs proven successful in helping high-risk youth become employed, stay employed, and break the cycle of violence,” said Governor Deval Patrick.

The Commonwealth’s PFS initiative is part of an ongoing commitment by the Patrick Administration to reform the juvenile justice system and provide tools to keep youth on the right track to achieve future success. The program will allow Roca, a nonprofit service provider, to serve 929 young men in Boston, Cambridge, Chicopee, Everett, Holyoke, Ludlow, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Revere, Somerville, Springfield, West Springfield, Westfield and Winthrop by providing intensive outreach, life skills and employment training that will reduce recidivism and help these young men become assets and resources in their community.

PFS contracts, also called Social Impact Bonds, combine nonprofit expertise, private sector funding and rigorous evaluation to transform the way government and society respond to chronic social problems. In a PFS initiative, funders assume up-front financial risk, and taxpayers pay for a program only if a third party evaluator and validator determine that the initiative has achieved specific outcomes that both create benefits to society and generate savings for government.

“The Massachusetts Pay for Success Initiative is about changing the odds,” said Molly Baldwin, founder and executive director of Roca, In. “It’s about confronting the stubborn trends of incarceration and poverty among justice-system-involved young men, and standing in solidarity to say to these young men, ‘We will not leave you behind, you deserve more than jail or prison, and we will give you our time and support to help you make a better future for yourself and your community.”

The program’s success will be determined based on reductions in the number of days young men served by Roca spend in jail, and improvements in their employment and job readiness. The Commonwealth will repay funders if Roca’s services are proven to produce positive societal outcomes and savings for the Commonwealth. Roca was chosen because of their historical and ongoing commitment to intensive data and outcomes tracking that have proven the organization is well-equipped for a rigorous and long-term evaluation of its programming through the PFS initiative. To reduce incarceration rates among high-risk young men, Roca’s intervention model combines relentless outreach; intensive case management; life skills, educational, pre-vocational and employment training; and work opportunities with community partners.

Success payments will come from the Commonwealth, which has committed up to $27 million for this seven-year project, and from the U.S. Department of Labor, which awarded the Commonwealth a first-of-its-kind PFS grant of $11.7 million in September 2013. The additional funding for success payments from the Department of Labor will enable the Commonwealth to extend the project, should it prove successful, to an additional 391 young men, thereby serving a total of up to 1,320 young men over nine years.

Third Sector Capital Partners, a nonprofit advisory firm serving as project intermediary for this initiative, secured the $18 million in private financing for the project: $9 million in loan financing from the Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund; $1.5 million in loan financing from The Kresge Foundation; $1.5 million in loan financing from Living Cities; and $6 million total in grants from Laura and John Arnold Foundation, New Profit, and The Boston Foundation. Remaining grant funds will be re-cycled into future projects at the conclusion of this initiative.

The social and financial costs related to recidivism for the Commonwealth are enormous. Currently in Massachusetts, 64 percent of young male ex-offenders reoffend within five years, and only 35 percent of these young men gain employment within a year of release. Roca’s groundbreaking approach to positive youth development aims to interrupt the cycle of recidivism by filling a gap in services for high-risk populations. Through this project, Roca will aim to reduce the number of days that young men in the program are incarcerated by 40 percent. If this goal is met, the project would generate millions of dollars in savings to the Commonwealth that fully offset the cost of delivering services.

“Pay for Success has the potential to transform how government procures some of its most important social services, and to redirect vast resources towards the social interventions that are best able to deliver the results our communities need,” said George Overholser, Third Sector Capital Partner’s CEO and Co-Founder.

“This partnership is a creative way to test new approaches to solving deeply rooted social problems,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor. “We are focused on government paying for demonstrated results, rather than simply the hope for success.”

“We are pleased to work with Governor Patrick, Roca and all of our partners to help high-risk youth in Massachusetts secure access to life skills training and employment opportunities,” said E. Gerald Corrigan, Managing Director and Chairman of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. “We are proud to be an investor in projects such as this that rely on public sector-private sector cooperation to better achieve social and economic public policy goals.”

“This is a promising program with the potential to improve public safety, save taxpayers money, and directly impact the lives of hundreds of young people who are at high-risk of incarceration,” Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) Vice President of Public Accountability Josh McGee explained. “Yet, the people of Massachusetts don’t have to invest millions of dollars into the program and just hope that it will work. The unique Pay for Success funding model means the Commonwealth will only pay for the program if it is proven to be successful. LJAF supports social innovation financing as part of our overall effort to promote evidence-based decision making. By rigorously evaluating programs, we are better able to determine what works and then scale those programs that actually make a difference.”

“We applaud the Commonwealth’s leadership on this program and we have high confidence that Roca will improve many lives and help transform communities through it,” said Tripp Jones, Managing Director of New Profit. “The Pay for Success approach is a promising way to mobilize critical private sector resources and ingenuity to drive greater impact in local programs, while also saving taxpayer money. It’s rare to be able to achieve both, and we are looking forward to working on this and other similar initiatives in the future.”

“While much of the attention for this project will be based on its game-changing model for addressing major social issues in a cost-effective and socially responsive way, that is but one part of the reason the Boston Foundation is supporting it. This effort also takes on a major challenge for the Commonwealth by attacking the problem of juvenile re-incarceration, using a proven model, on a scale that would have been unimaginable in traditional scenarios. The potential social benefit for the Commonwealth is immense,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation.

“The Kresge Foundation has a long history with Roca. We’re pleased that, as we’ve expanded our social investing footprint, we’re able to support Roca’s outstanding work in a new way and to partner with these other funders,” said Kimberlee Cornett, director of Kresge’s Social Investment Practice. “CEO Molly Baldwin has been recognized as one of the most innovative service providers in the country for rigorous data intensive approach. We think the impact here is going to be tremendous.”

“The payoff for this transaction goes above and beyond the almost 1,000 lives we hope to positively impact. The ultimate success will be inspiring a new way for government, philanthropy and the private sector to collaborate that funds outcomes, not outputs. That’s how we’ll expand opportunities and make a dent in inequality,” said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities.

PARTICIPANTS IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE PAY FOR SUCCESS INITIATIVE

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts: PFS stemmed from Governor Patrick’s dedication to reducing recidivism rates and a vision of a government that improves lives, is driven by results and in which principles of performance management and accountability thrive. The Commonwealth’s work in the PFS project spans multiple governmental branches and agencies. The Office of the Commissioner of Probation, and the Department of Youth Services, a juvenile justice agency within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, are responsible for referring the high-risk young men they serve to Roca. The Department of Criminal Justice Information Services in the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security is providing data required to execute the project. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development is helping measure employment outcomes and performing fiscal management for the U.S. Department of Labor grant. The Executive Office for Administration and Finance is managing the disbursement of success payments.

Roca, Inc.: Roca’s mission is to help disengaged, disenfranchised young people move out of violence and poverty. Founded in 1988, Roca is an outcomes-driven organization committed to serving the highest risk 17-24 year olds in the Massachusetts communities of Chelsea, Boston, Malden, Everett and Springfield. Roca’s cognitive-behavioral Intervention Model re-engages young people in society—moving them out of violence, poverty, and incarceration into educational, employment, and life skills programming. Since its inception, Roca has helped more than 20,000 young people make positive, profound changes in their lives, creating a nationally-acclaimed model for violence intervention and youth development (transformational relationships), pioneering effective local, regional and national relationships with government, state, religious, health and community partners.

Third Sector Capital Partners: Third Sector Capital Partners (Third Sector) is a nonprofit advisory services firm whose mission is to accelerate America’s transition to a performance-driven social sector. Third Sector works with government, service providers and funders to develop and launch PFS projects. Third Sector is currently developing multiple projects with federal, state and local partners. Third Sector received pro bono legal assistance from Ropes & Gray, LLP throughout the establishment, structuring and negotiation of the Pay for Success initiative.

Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund: In 2013, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (UIG) launched the Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund, a first of its kind direct impact-investing vehicle, and manages the strategy on behalf of Goldman Sachs clients. Established in 2001, the Urban Investment Group deploys capital to help transform distressed communities into sustainable and vibrant neighborhoods of choice and opportunity. UIG seeks double bottom line returns by providing flexible financing for community projects that respond to the needs of low- and moderate-income communities and support public sector priorities. Through its comprehensive platform, UIG has committed more than $3 billion of Goldman Sachs capital, catalyzing development across dozens of residential, mixed-use and commercial projects, and financing job creation and neighborhood revitalization strategies as well as social services, through the nation’s first social impact bonds.

Living Cities: Founded in 1991, Living Cities is an innovative philanthropic collaborative that harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Living Cities’ grants, investments, research, networks and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of our learning to accelerate adoption in more places.

Kresge Foundation: The Kresge Foundation works to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities through grant making and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit. Kresge’s Human Services Program seeks to strengthen multiservice human services organizations that improve the quality of life and economic security of low-income people. Its Social Investment Practice uses loans, loan guarantees and deposits in support of Kresge program goals.

Laura and John Arnold Foundation: Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) is a private foundation that currently focuses its strategic investments on criminal justice, education, public accountability, and research integrity. LJAF has offices in Houston and New York City.

The Boston Foundation: The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of close to $900 million. The Foundation is a partner in philanthropy, with some 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives that address the region’s most pressing challenges.

New Profit Inc.: Founded in 1998, New Profit is a nonprofit social innovation organization and venture philanthropy fund seeking to increase social mobility by strengthening, connecting and amplifying the best ideas across the nation. With its signature partners and a network of philanthropists, New Profit invests in a portfolio of social entrepreneurs, grows their impact, and drives systemic change in education, workforce development, public health, community development/poverty alleviation, and other levers of opportunity. Through its annual Gathering of Leaders and cross-portfolio forums, New Profit connects social entrepreneurs with cross-sector leaders and builds communities that amplify bold visions and systems-changing agendas that fuel social innovation. Through America Forward, its public policy platform, these communities drive policy agendas that forge public/private partnerships to accelerate their impact.

Sibalytics LLC: Led by Dr. Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Sibalytics is an independent evaluation firm that has been selected to run the Randomized Control Trial (RCT) for the project. Sibalytics will take the young men referred to the project and divide them into a group to be referred to Roca for programming and a control group that is not referred to Roca. Sibalytics will track the outcomes of the young men in both groups and report on whether those participating in Roca services are incarcerated for less time and are more likely to be employed than the group of young men not participating in Roca.

Public Consulting Group: The Public Consulting Group (PCG) is the independent validator and will be responsible for assessing the proposed evaluation methodology and verifying whether outcome targets are met. PCG was selected by Massachusetts through a formal procurement.

Harvard Kennedy School Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab (SIB Lab): The SIB Lab provides pro bono technical assistance to state and local governments implementing PFS contracts using Social Impact Bonds. The SIB Lab assisted Massachusetts in developing the procurement and designing the data analysis strategy for this project.

The American Cancer Society and Stand Up To Cancer Announce Collaborative Research Effort

First Joint Project Involves a $20 Million Dream Team Grant for Lung Cancer Research To Be Awarded in 2015

Bristol-Myers Squibb Becomes SU2C Donor in Support of SU2C-ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team

LOS ANGELES – January 29, 2014 — The American Cancer Society, the largest voluntary health organization in the world dedicated to eliminating cancer, and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), the charitable initiative supporting groundbreaking research aimed at getting new treatments to patients in an accelerated timeframe, announced today an historic collaboration in the fight against cancer, which takes more than 585,000 lives in the U.S. each year and nearly 8 million worldwide.

“SU2C was started by the entertainment community and has had tremendous success in heightening the public’s awareness of the great promise of today’s cancer research,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “This alliance marries the Society’s comprehensive cancer-fighting mission with SU2C’s high-impact funding model. Collectively, the Society and SU2C can push ahead more quickly with cutting-edge research on some of the most deadly cancers, all for the benefit of patients.”

“The American Cancer Society has been on the forefront of the battle against this insidious disease for more than 100 years; its millions of volunteers are literally the boots on the ground in this fight. We’re honored to collaborate with an organization with such a rich history in the research, education and advocacy arenas,” said Lisa Paulsen, an SU2C co-founder and president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), the 501(c)(3) that serves as the fiduciary behind Stand Up To Cancer.

Stand Up To Cancer was launched in 2008. The initiative draws on the resources of the entire entertainment industry to encourage the public to support research conducted by teams of scientists, as well as by young, individual investigators. To date, more than 700 researchers from over 100 institutions have collaborated through SU2C.

The first project of the collaboration will be a $20 million research “Dream Team” focused on lung cancer, the leading cancer killer of men and women in the United States. The Society and SU2C together will fund the Dream Team over a three-year period to develop new therapies for lung cancer, with each group providing half the funding. Bristol-Myers Squibb will provide funding in the amount of $5 million to Stand Up To Cancer that will support the SU2C-ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team.

Later this year, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Stand Up To Cancer’s scientific partner, will issue a call for research proposals. The selection process will be conducted by a Joint Scientific Advisory Committee, composed of an equal number of experts nominated by SU2C and the Society. The team itself will be announced in 2015.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States,” said Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate and Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, who is chairman of SU2C’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). “More work is urgently needed to address the many unanswered questions about lung cancer and guide new directions in treatment.”

“By combining forces with SU2C, the Society looks forward to leveraging our combined resources with the extraordinary collaboration made possible by the Dream Team research model to transform the field of lung cancer research,” said Otis W. Brawley, M.D., F.A.C.P., chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. “We believe this translational research will enhance and further diversify our research portfolio.”

Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, claiming the lives of approximately 160,000 people annually in the U.S. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 224,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed annually in the U.S. Overall, among both smokers and non-smokers, the chance that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about 1 in 13; for a woman, the risk is about 1 in 16, although for smokers, the risk is much higher.

“There continues to be a high unmet medical need in patients with lung cancer, which is a difficult disease to treat,” said Joseph Leveque, M.D., vice president, U.S. medical, oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to improving patient outcomes in lung cancer and we are proud to support this collaborative approach to research with Stand Up to Cancer to find innovative ways to treat this disease.”

The overarching collaboration also includes an advocacy component led by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, and SU2C (a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation). “ACS CAN is thrilled to bring its public policy expertise and nationwide network of advocacy volunteers to this collaboration to support increasing critical federal funding for lifesaving cancer research and prevention programs,” said Christopher W. Hansen, president of ACS CAN.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we mark our 100th birthday in 2013, we’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. We’re finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org/fight

About Stand Up To Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.

Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric; Sherry Lansing, Chairperson of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Board of Directors and Founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation; EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen; EIF Senior Vice President Kathleen Lobb; Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz of the Robertson Schwartz Agency; Pamela Oas Williams, President of Laura Ziskin Productions and Executive Producer of Stand Up To Cancer’s In-house Production Team, and Nonprofit Executive Ellen Ziffren. All current members of the CFA were co-producers of the 2012 televised special. The late co-founder Laura Ziskin executive produced both the Sept. 5, 2008, and Sept. 10, 2010, broadcasts. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., has served as SU2C’s president and CEO since 2011.

Major SU2C donors include founding donor Major League Baseball; Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Sidney Kimmel, the country’s largest individual contributor to cancer research; MasterCard; Genentech; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Cancer Research Institute; Melanoma Research Alliance; Prostate Cancer Foundation; The Safeway Foundation; Sean Parker Foundation; St. Baldrick’s Foundation; The Lustgarten Foundation: KWF; Wallis Annenberg & The Annenberg Foundation; Amgen; GlaxoSmithKline; Pfizer; Oakland A’s Owner/Managing Partner Lew Wolff; Comcast; The Island Def Jam Music Group and others.

Prior to the January 29, 2014 announcement, more than $260 million had been pledged to Stand Up To Cancer.

For more information on Stand Up To Cancer visit www.standup2cancer.org.

Gotham Chamber Opera Announces The 4th Round Of The Composer In Residence Program

Gotham Chamber Opera, in collaboration with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group in New York, is proud to offer a fourth track in the nation’s first comprehensive, operatic Composer in Residence program. Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the program provides professional development opportunities for today’s most promising opera composers, selected on a competitive basis. Applications are being accepted through January 31, 2014.

The program, now in its third year, provides a highly individualized professional development path for today’s most promising opera composers, fostering tomorrow’s American operatic masterpieces through personalized creative development and intensive, hands-on composition opportunities. The first three composers selected were Lembit Beecher (2011-2013), Missy Mazzoli (2012-2014), and Andrew Norman (2013-2015).

This residency includes a yearly salary of $60,000 and benefits as well as substantial work and career development resources. Two years of the residency are funded, contingent upon appropriate progress, with the potential for a third year. This composer’s term will begin on June 1, 2014.

A more detailed description of the residency program may be found at http://www.operaphila.org/composers.

Gotham Chamber Opera’s 2013/2014 season continues in February with a double bill co-produced with and staged at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, consisting of Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by Monteverdi, and a newly commissioned work, I Have No Stories to Tell You, by Gotham Chamber Opera Composer-In-Residence Lembit Beecher. The United States premiere of The Raven by Toshio Hosakawa at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater concludes the season in May 2014 as part of the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL.

Gotham Chamber Opera, now in its twelfth season, is the nation’s leading opera company dedicated to vibrant, fully staged productions of works intended for intimate venues. Its high quality presentations of small-scale rarities from the Baroque era to the present have earned Gotham an international reputation and unanimous critical praise.

Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Neal Goren, Gotham debuted in 2001 (as Henry Street Chamber Opera) with the American premiere of Mozart’s Il sogno di Scipione. In subsequent seasons, Gotham has produced many more local and world premieres, including such works as Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Milhaud’s Les Malheurs d’Orphee, Bohuslav Martinu’s Les Larmes du Couteau and Hlas Lesa, Sutermeister’s Die schwarze Spinne, Handel’s Arianna in Creta, Britten’s Albert Herring, and Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino. The company renamed itself Gotham Chamber opera and became an independent 501(c)3 organization in 2003.

Gotham has partnered with notable New York and national institutions, including Lincoln Center Festival and Spoleto USA for the 2005 production of Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco; the Morgan Library and Museum for Scenes of Gypsy Life (an evening of song cycles by Janáček and Dvořák) in 2008; and the American Museum of Natural History and the American Repertory Theater for 2010’s production of Hadyn’s Il mondo della luna. That production featured lunar exploration video developed by the Museum and NASA and broadcast on the Hayden Planetarium’s 180-degree dome.

Gotham has earned a reputation for showcasing outstanding young singers alongside established directors and choreographers such as Mark Morris (the 2009 production of Hadyn’s L’isola disabitata), David Parsons (the New York stage premiere of Astor Piazzola’s tango opera, María di Buenos Aires), Karole Armitage (the world premiere of Ariadne Unhinged), Basil Twist (La bella), Christopher Alden (Scipione and Arianna in Creta), and Diane Paulus (Il mondo). In October 2010, Gotham partnered with director Moisés Kaufmann and his company, Tectonic Theater Project, to co-produce the first United States stage performances of Xavier Montsalvatge’s El Gato con Botas, at the New Victory Theater.

For the 2011-2012 season, Gotham celebrated its tenth anniversary with the world premiere of Dark Sisters, by Nico Muhly, and a revival of its first production, Mozart’s Il sogno di Scipione. Moving into its second decade in 2013, Gotham presented a sold-out run of Cavalli’s Eliogabalo at The Box and two performances of Daniel Catán’s La Hija di Rappaccini (Rappaccini’s Daughter) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Cherry Esplanade. That production then toured to Los Angeles, where it was presented by the Broad Stage at the Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills. In October 2013, the company presented Baden-Baden 1927, a fully-staged production of the quadruple bill of short chamber operas by Hindemith, Toch, Milhaud, and Weill, premiered at the legendary Baden-Baden Festival of Contemporary Music performance of July 17, 1927.

For more information, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Applauds President’s Call For Investments In Job Preparedness And Access To Quality Education For America’s Working Families

Carla D. Thompson, vice president – program strategy, issued the following statement around President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address:

In tonight’s State of the Union, President Barack Obama demonstrated his administration’s commitment to helping families achieve economic security, while increasing investments and opportunities for high quality education for all Americans, efforts that will help children and families reach their full potential now and in our nation’s future.

President Obama said he’s seeking across-the-board reform of America’s job training programs to, “train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life.”

The president’s vision for connecting the dots between education and employment, transforming high schools to be STEM-ready and expanding partnerships between business, industry and community colleges to prepare youth to enter the workforce with much needed skills is right on target.

These proposed investments at all levels of the education continuum are made even stronger when connected with efforts that build the economic stability of families. The foundation is pleased with the president’s call for increasing the minimum wage, expanding apprenticeships and workforce skills development, and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), because if families achieve greater access onto and up the ladder of economic and social mobility, they can gain opportunities that will help both themselves and their children succeed in school, work and life. By helping two generations simultaneously (children and their parents), we can break the cycle of poverty and create a brighter future for children.

American families need every available resource to help them achieve economic stability by building skills for better-paying and more secure jobs. President Obama’s discussions on college affordability, job-driven training efforts at community colleges and launching retirement investments for all workers are welcome news. Too many families are out of work or only able to take jobs that barely get them by month to month. Building the assets of families now can create economic security for generations to come.

The president also reaffirmed his commitment to high-quality early childhood education for all students, saying, “Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education.”

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) unequivocally supports stronger investments in early childhood education at the local, state and national levels. We know that these investments work – especially for children from birth to age 8 who face barriers based on race or income. Smart, targeted investments in early childhood education are proven to fight poverty by delivering strong educational, social and economic outcomes not just for children, but for their families and communities where they live. We are thrilled that the president recognizes the value in such investments that will give every child a fair chance at success in school and life and save communities money in the long run by increasing independence and self-sufficiency.

The president also touched on the specific need to support young males of color and set them on the path to success. WKKF has pledged to work nationally with a number of other leading foundations on a new initiative that the president said will “help more young men of color facing tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential.” The foundation is already working with 25 community organizations in its priority place Mississippi to change the conditions that young males of color in that state face, by creating an environment and a comprehensive network of support from birth into adulthood that enables racial healing and eliminates barriers to opportunity.

Tonight, we heard strategies for moving our country forward. We hope these efforts will build on what’s currently working in communities across the country and ensure that our youngest Americans and their families can learn and thrive economically together.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to help break the cycle of poverty by removing barriers based on race or income that hold back children, so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

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Contact:

Wade Nelson, 269-969-2166
Wade.Nelson@wkkf.org

National Small Business Association (NSBA) Appoints Dealstruck As Exclusive Lending Partner

San Diego, Calif. and Washington, DC – January 29, 2014 – Dealstruck, Inc, announced today that it has signed an exclusive agreement with the National Small Business Association (NSBA) to provide NSBA members with valuable benefits and resources, including small business lending products and services. The Dealstruck crowdlending platform is now the business advocate’s preferred lending solution, available to the small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that comprise the NSBA’s membership.

The NSBA already offers many valuable benefits and resources to its members, including federal advocacy for small business, healthcare plans for its members, and discounts on small-business products and services.

“NSBA is excited to have this exclusive partnership with Dealstruck, which addresses the critical need by smaller firms to have access to capital,” said Todd McCracken, President of the NSBA. “NSBA members will now have access to assistance in finding the right loans at loan terms that work for them, quickly and safely. We were approached by several alternative lenders, but found Dealstruck uniquely positioned to best serve our members, which are established and healthy companies looking to continue their growth efficiently and responsibly. Together, the NSBA and Dealstruck can now jointly provide support and resources to businesses to help them overcome these challenges.”

“Dealstruck is thrilled to be chosen as the crowdlending partner by one of the leading advocacy groups for small businesses, the majority of which are underserved and largely in need of healthy loan options,” said Ethan Senturia, co-founder and CEO of Dealstruck. “We look forward to providing NSBA members with fair, transparent and affordable capital to enable them to better compete in today’s marketplace. Our role as the exclusive provider means we will be able to develop financial education and loan programs tailored specifically to the needs of its membership base.”

Dealstruck is committed to educating the small business community on affordable business line of credit programs, flexible financing solutions and access to working capital options. The company is practiced in setting businesses on the path to becoming bankable.

About Dealstruck

The Dealstruck lending marketplace connects profitable, small- and medium-sized businesses with innovative credit solutions funded by individual and institutional accredited investors. Unlike the one-size-fits-all approach offered to them by banks and the high-cost, short-term credit offered to them by alternative lenders, Dealstruck provides growing small businesses with a suite of products that give them a credible and transparent path to bankable. Dealstruck is the first crowdlending platform to offer multiple products to small- and medium-sized businesses and to allow investors the freedom to choose specific investments. For more information, please visit https://www.dealstruck.com/.

About NSBA

Celebrating more than 75 years in operation, NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. NSBA’s 65,000 members represent every state and every industry in the U.S., and we are proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. Please visit www.nsba.biz.

Crisis Communication Expert to Crowdfund New Book

‘The Nonprofit Guide to Crisis Communications’ will be first book of its kind to specifically address the crisis communication needs of NPOs

AUSTIN, TX, January 28, 2014 — David Rudduck, former American Red Cross Communication & Government Relations Director and Press Secretary for the Governor of Illinois, is launching a crowdfunding campaign for his new book, The Nonprofit Guide to Crisis Communications. The how-to manual is  being  written  specifically  for  the  NPO  community  to  address  the  unique  challenges communicators and executives face when planning for, responding to, and recovering from real threats and existing crises.

“I was surprised that this book had not been written,” Rudduck says. “For the most part, nonprofits are more focused on helping their constituency than protecting their brand. If things go south, organizations can get blindsided very quickly if they don’t have crisis protocol in place. This book provides the tools NPOs need to avert that. ”

The Nonprofit Guide to Crisis Communications will be approximately 200+ pages and features contributions of some of the best crisis communication professionals in the industry: James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA; Dr. Peter M. Sandman; Bill Zucker with Ketchum; Hunter Frederick & Associates; and other crisis experts.

The book is divided into six logically flowing sections, and will be sold as both an eBook and print  edition  on  Amazon.com. Each  chapter  will  have  pull-out  quotes  from  communication professionals and senior executives, and brief case studies to delineate the major ‘take-aways’ for each important point. A bulleted ‘What you need to know’ section will end each chapter so that the reader has a convenient check list handy for reference purposes.

The main sections of the book are:

I. Assessing Your Current Crisis Communication Capabilities

II. Digital Crisis Management

III. Pre-Event Crisis Planning

IV. Responding to the Event

V. Post-Event Evaluation

VI. Resources

Rudduck will be running his campaign with Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform only for books. He has been working along side Pubslush’s Vice President, Amanda L. Barbara, to implement the necessary strategies for success, not only because they are a crowdfunding site for books, but also because they run a philanthropic foundation that gives children’s books to kids without access to literature.

The Pubslush campaign will last for 45 days with the goal of $29,675 to cover the myriad expenses associated with self publishing. Proceeds from the sale of the book will help prevent the spread of illiteracy in third world countries.

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CONTACT:

Hunter Frederick
hunter@frederickandassociates.com

David Rudduck
312-206-5599
d.rudduck@mylarmedia.com

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