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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: March 2014

Xavier University Announces Commencement Speaker, Honorees

Blair Underwood to Address 2014 Xavier Graduates

New Orleans LA (March 14, 2014) – Award-winning actor/director/producer Blair Underwood will deliver the commencement address at Xavier University of Louisiana’s 87th annual graduation ceremony Saturday, May 10, at 10:00 a.m. in the Convocation Center.

Underwood, who will address more than 550 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional students and their families, will also be awarded an honorary degree at the commencement, along with retiring Tulane University President Dr. Scott Cowen and New Orleans educator, activist and community leader,Sybil Haydel Morial ‘52.

The annual Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation will be held the preceding evening, Friday (May 09), at 6:00 p.m. in the Convocation Center.

Blair Underwood

Blair Underwood has distinguished himself as an award-winning actor/director/producer who continues to showcase his multitude of talents in the world of film, television, theatre and literature.

Underwood, whose most recent film (co-starring Cicely Tyson) is the Lifetime telefilm based on the Tony-award winning play, “A Trip To Bountiful”, first burst into the national spotlight in the 1980’s with his confident and passionate portrayal of lawyer Jonathan Rollins in the NBC hit series “L.A. Law”, a role that earned him the first of his two Golden Globe nominations.

The next decade saw him singled out by TV Guide as one of “The Top Stars of the 90s”, and land a major role in CBS’ top-rated 1998 dramatic miniseries, “Mama Flora’s Family,” a performance which earned him the first of 13 NAACP Image Awards nominations, as well as the first of his six wins.

In 2000, People magazine named him one of its “50 Most Beautiful People” and in 2004 named him one of the “Sexiest Men Alive.”

Some of his more memorable cable and television movies include: HBO’s groundbreaking drama “In Treatment”; as well as NBC’s “Murder in Mississippi”; HBO’s “Soul of the Game” and Sex & the City”; Steven Bochco’s “City of Angels”; and TNT’s award-winning “Heat Wave”.

His theater credits include his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of Stanley in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” – which earned him a 2012 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination. Prior to that he starred in an off-Broadway, one-man show “IM4: From the Mountaintop to Hip Hop” – written by his brother Frank Underwood – in which he played eight characters in all.

Underwood made his feature directorial debut with the independent drama “Bridge to Nowhere.” Additionally, he produced the TLC series “Million Dollar Christmas”. As director, executive producer, writer and star of the dramatic short “The Second Coming,” Underwood played Jesus Christ returning to earth.

Underwood published his first book, a non-fiction bestseller called “Before I Got Here”, a collection of stories and anecdotes from parents that speak to the existence of a child’s soul prior to birth. He also portrayed Jesus in the audio book “The Bible Experience.” Since its release in October 2006, it has become the No. 1 selling audio Bible in history.

He has also co-authored several critically and reader acclaimed detective novels, the fourth installment of which, “South by Southeast”, will be released later this year.

In 2009, Underwood won a Grammy award for Best Spoken Word for former Vice President Al Gore’s album “An Inconvenient Truth” (with co-readers Beau Bridges & Cynthia Nixon).

Underwood is involved in numerous charitable organizations. His dedicated support of The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) won him the 1993 Humanitarian Award, presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of MDA. In 2003, Underwood, along with Ashley Judd, served as the spokesperson for YouthAIDS.

Underwood is also co-founder of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA). Founded in 1989, by members of the arts and entertainment community, ANSA is a nonprofit organization working in the U.S. and South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS, assist children orphaned by the disease, advance human and civil rights, educate and empower youth, and build bonds between our nations through arts, culture, and our shared pursuit of social justice.

In 2009, AIDS Healthcare Foundation,the United States’ largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider, announced the grand opening of their first AIDS treatment center in Washington DC – and the facility was named after Underwood in recognition of his longtime advocacy.

Dr. Scott Cowen

Dr. Scott Cowen, Tulane University’s 14th President, is set to retire in July 2014 after 16 years at the helm. He will leave behind a thriving university community and a remarkable legacy.

During his tenure, Tulane more than quadrupled its undergraduate applications while experiencing all-time highs in student quality. In addition, the university more than doubled its level of total private giving and received a record level of research awards, leading to the implementation of a number of innovative academic, research, and community outreach initiatives. Tulane’s growth has been the impetus for $700 million in new and renovated facilities in the last eight years.

The consummate fundraiser, Cowen successfully led the “Promise and Distinction: The Campaign for Tulane” campaign which exceeded its $700 million goal, making it the largest university fundraising effort in the history of Louisiana. Upon the completion of a comprehensive university-wide planning process in 2012, he launched a $1 billion plus campaign to support the university’s long-term future.

Cowen also led Tulane through the most trying period of its history when, in August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of the University’s uptown and downtown health sciences campuses, and dispersed faculty, staff and students for an entire semester. Under his leadership, a sweeping Renewal Plan strengthened and focused the university’s academic mission and strategically addressed its operations in the post-Katrina era. As a result, a remarkable 87 percent of Tulane undergraduate students returned for classes in January of 2006, just months after the storm.


His response to Katrina was not limited to Tulane. Cowen was an integral figure on the Bring New Orleans Back Commission, leading a committee which reformed and rebuilt the city’s failing public school system. He also served as a commissioner of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, and was co-founder of the Fleur-de-lis Ambassadors program, a group of New Orleans civic leaders who, in the aftermath of the storm, spread the message nationwide that post-Katrina New Orleans was an economically viable, livable city with a recovery plan in progress.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed. The recipient of several national awards and honorary degrees, Cowen was named one of the nation’s Top 10 Best College Presidents by TIME magazine in 2009, and was one of only four university leaders nationwide to receive the 2009 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award. In 2010 he was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies.

Locally, he has received The Times-Picayune’s Loving Cup, which honors New Orleanians who have worked unselfishly for the community without expectation of recognition or material reward, and was also honored by New Orleans CityBusiness as one of the 30 “Driving Forces” in New Orleans in the last 30 year. Additionally, Gambit recognized Cowen as the New Orleanian of the Year.

Cowen, who as President also held the joint appointments as the Seymour S. Goodman Memorial Professor of Business in Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business and Professor of Economics in the School of Liberal Arts, has held leadership positions in national academic and professional associations, including the American Council on Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the NCAA, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). He currently serves as a board member of the University of Notre Dame and as an overseer of TIAA-CREF.

Cowen’s areas of scholarship and teaching focus on strategic financial management systems, corporate governance and leadership. He has consulted with dozens of companies, from startups to Fortune 100 companies and is currently a board member of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. and Forest City Enterprises. He is the author of five books and more than 100 academic and professional articles, essays and reviews. His most recent book, The Inevitable City: The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America, will be published in June 2014.

Cowen holds both a master’s and doctoral degree from The George Washington University in the fields of finance and management. He and his wife, Marjorie, have four adult children and four grandchildren.


Sybil Haydel Morial

Sybil Haydel Morial, a beloved educator, activist and community leader, is a New Orleans treasure.

The former First Lady of New Orleans and Xavier University of Louisiana administrator began a lifetime of involvement in human and civil rights dating back to the 1950s, when she became an active member of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans and the League of Women Voters.

She was a founder of the Louisiana League of Good Government, a non-partisan, interracial women’s organization devoted to civil liberties and full participation in government for all Louisiana citizens.
Both her late husband and her son served as mayor of New Orleans. During their terms, Mrs. Morial worked to improve the quality of education and healthcare for minorities. She also served as executive producer of A House Divided, a highly acclaimed documentary about the desegregation of New Orleans.

At Xavier, she served in a variety of administrative roles over a 15-year period, including Vice President for Public Affairs, before she retired in 1992.

Morial’s other civic affiliations include the Metropolitan Area Committee, the United Fund, the New Orleans Council of Arts for Children and the Amistad Research Center. Her community involvement has merited many awards, including the Torch of Liberty Award of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, the Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award, the Whitney M. Young Brotherhood Award and the National Council of Jewish Women’s Hannah Solomon Award.

In 2011 she was presented the first ever Outstanding Mom of New Orleans award by Feeding Dreams, the General Mills company’s platform for celebrating the hero in African American women and the catalyst for its Feeding Dreams Get Together initiative, a grassroots program that provides intimate forums in communities across the country to discuss efforts to positively impact health and education in African American communities.

She served on the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana Board for 14 years. She is also a past Board Chairwoman of HMO Louisiana, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Cross.

A 1952 Xavier graduate, Morial also holds a master’s degree from Boston University. She has five children.

About Xavier University of Louisiana

Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically Black, Catholic university in the United States, is a private, co-educational, comprehensive liberal arts college offering undergraduate, master’s and professional degrees. More than one-half of its more than 3,100 students are from Louisiana, but it draws students from nearly all fifty states and several countries. From its founding, Xavier has embraced a special mission to serve the African American Catholic community; however, its doors have always been open to qualified students of every race and creed. Today 72.8 percent of its enrollment is African American and 27.1 percent is Catholic. Nationally recognized for its success in the sciences, Xavier was selected in 2014 as both a “Best Buy” for academics and affordability by the Fiske Guide to Colleges and as one of the nation’s “Best 376 Colleges” by The Princeton Review.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, Xavier ranks first nationally in the number of African American students earning undergraduate degrees in both the biological/life sciences and the physical sciences. In pre-medical education, according to data compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Xavier ranks first in the nation in the number of African American graduates who go on to complete medical school. In addition, the College of Pharmacy, one of only two pharmacy schools in Louisiana, is among the nation’s top producers of African American Doctor of Pharmacy degree recipients.

For more information contact Xavier University of Louisiana, 1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans LA 70125, Phone: 504-520-7568, Fax 504-520-7933.

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Additional Information:
Richard Tucker
Director of Communications, Xavier University of Louisiana
P: (504) 520-5425
rtucker@xula.edu

Ron Flavin brings his Grants Expertise to the Little Dreams Foundation-aiding its Growth in the U.S.

Founded by Orianne and Phil Collins, the Little Dreams Foundation gives opportunities to talented children

Miami, FL, March 19, 2014 – Grants expert Ron Flavin is working with the Little Dreams Foundation to facilitate its growth in the United States. The Little Dreams Foundation was founded in Geneva Switzerland by Orianne and Phil Collins in February 2000. Its mission is to fulfill the dreams of talented young people by helping them to succeed in three worlds: music, sports or the arts.

The Little Dreams Foundation works with children all over the world who have demonstrated talent in music, sports or the arts, but who are in need of financial support in order to pursue their dreams. Children from ages 3 and 16 are eligible to apply for a scholarship. Little Dreams Foundation scholarships are unique because they provide children with the extracurricular classes & training, equipment & wardrobe to pursue the intensive training in music, sports and the arts. The scholarships provide the children with whatever is necessary for them to succeed in these fields. Another distinguishing characteristic of the scholarships is how the children are given the support of sponsors, mentors and technical advisors so they are empowered to become successful.

The Miami branch of the Foundation was launched in November 2013. The Foundation’s founders, Orianne and Phil Collins, would like to see their mission of helping talented young people spread across the United States. Now that grants funding expert Ron Flavin is on board, the foundation is clearly positioned for growth in the U.S. Ron Flavin is an internationally acclaimed Business Organizational Strategist who has specific expertise in developing and writing grant proposals for businesses of all sizes as well as for non-profit organizations, government agencies and educational institutions. For more information, please see http://www.rflavin.com/ or follow @rflavin on Twitter.

Ron Flavin

According to Cal Miller, who is a consultant to the Little Dreams Foundation and Principal of the Florida-based Public Relations firm Cal Miller and Associates, “Ron Flavin brings value to the Little Dreams Foundation because he has an outstanding track record, a proven expertise and he’s an excellent researcher. Ron Flavin has a talent for writing grant proposals with the precise language and compelling details that get funding.” Aside from offering opportunities to talented youth who come from a low-income background, the foundation also offers annual scholarships in music, sports or the arts to children who are disabled as part of its “NO DIFFERENCE” program. The Little Dreams Foundation awards young talent a one-year contract that is renewable each year thereafter based on the child’s progress and commitment to pursue excellence. The foundation has established many strategic alliances and collaborations with other like-minded non-profit organizations, educational centers, and training programs, and with both public and private schools.

Little Dreams do come true

To date, the Little Dreams Foundation has helped over 200 young people from many nations around the world. Olympic athletes, world champions, and notable musicians are found among the hundreds of children who have been helped: Nicolas Peifer (FRA – Wheelchair Tennis), Silver Medalist (Men’s Doubles) at the 2012 London Olympics; Nathalie Brugger (SUI – Sailing) 6th place at the Beijing Olympics and 14th at the 2012 London Olympics; Joe Frank (SUI – Guitarist) performs with Earth, Wind and Fire; and Joni Fuller (UK – Singer) won the Junior Eurovision contest. These are only a few examples. For a more complete list of children who have achieved their dreams, please see the Little Dreams Foundation website.

The Little Dreams Foundation is a charitable agency established under Swiss law, whose headquarters are located at Chemin du Centenaire, 5 in 1008 Prilly (Switzerland) and which was created in February 2000 by Orianne Collins and Phil Collins. The Foundation has expanded to include branches in other countries that are legally independent, but who must still adhere to the foundation’s operating guidelines and requirements.

Little Dreams Branches include:

Little Dreams Europe:
C/o Ixos Groupe Rue Egide Van Ophem 40C
1180 Brussels – Belgium

Little Dreams Americas:
90 Northeast 39th Street
Miami FL 33137 – USA

Little Dreams Africa:
C/o Fès Country Club
Complexe Sportif El Merja
30020 Fez – Morocco

Contacts:

Patricia Vaccarino
Managing Partner
Xanthus Communications &
PR for People®
+1-206-979-3380
patricia@xanthuscom.com

Josue Mora
Brand Manager
Xanthus Communications &
PR for People®
+509-380-1201
josue@prforpeople.com

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Ronald Flavin is an internationally acclaimed Business Organizational Strategist who has specific expertise in developing and writing grant proposals for businesses of all sizes as well as for non-profit organizations, government agencies and educational institutions.

Please see http://www.rflavin.com/ or contact him ron@flavin.com

Stay tuned for future presentations by Ron Flavin

Citrix Extends Free Tech Tools to Nonprofits

New Citrix Podio sponsorship program puts best-in-class tools in the hands of those who need them most

Monday, March 24, 2014 – Citrix today announced the availability of Podio for Nonprofits, a free program designed to help nonprofits organize the work they do everyday, improve work processes and ultimately be more effective. The global program includes free premium access to Citrix Podio and hundreds of Podio apps through the Podio App Market, along with onboarding support and resources. Podio sponsorship is open to all nonprofits with US 501(c)(3) or equivalent status. Citrix invites all registered nonprofits to sign up for Podio sponsorship.

“Research shows there is huge untapped potential for more social impact groups to utilize tech tools to reduce the time and cost it takes to deliver services, fundraise and engage stakeholders,” said Tommy Ahlers, vice president and entrepreneur in residence, Citrix SaaS Division. “We want to remove the technology adoption and implementation hurdles these organizations face so they can spend more time making life-changing contributions to their communities, and less time managing how they get their work done.”

According to Columbia Social Work Review’s 2013 report, the uptake of cloud, social and mobile technologies will allow the nonprofit sector to provide more effective services through improved productivity and efficiencies; yet the most common barriers to technology adoption remain lack of resources: funds, time and IT expertise. The report shows that while most NPOs use information technologies such as websites, email and databases to deliver services to clients, few of them employ software systems and mobile technologies that would enable their workers to improve client communications and access to information off-site. An estimated 35 percent of nonprofits use mobile devices and applications to manage work, while only 20 percent use software systems to record data for things like client and volunteer management. A recent McKinsey study found that companies see a 20-25 percent increase in productivity by using social technologies like Podio, because they simply get work done faster.

More than 2500 nonprofits have already applied and received sponsorship status through Podio, including The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), sustainable travel group Project Cordillera, pet-health services group PetChance and Music Nova Scotia.

Nonprofits streamline teamwork and boost productivity

GirlsOnTheRun.org is a physical-activity-based youth development program for girls in grades 3 to 8, teaching life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. In 2013 Girls on the Run served 150,000 girls across North America through 215 councils.

“Each council is as unique as the girls they serve, with its own strengths and its own challenges,” said Elizabeth Kunz, president of Girls on the Run. “Podio has been a way for our councils to collaborate, share, ideas, best practices and documents, and support one another with many miles in between them. With a way to network on a daily basis, our councils are able to more effectively serve their territories and continue to help girls grow in strength, courage and confidence.”

DANSIC, a Danish student-led organization whose mission is to inspire social innovation by supporting companies targeting both social impact and economic sustainability, has been using Podio for more than two years to help coordinate its flagship annual event, the Social Innovation Conference in Copenhagen. DANSIC relies on Podio for project management, communication and coordination of all aspects of the conference, as well as keeping all 60 student-members of the organization connected and in sync. Watch DANSIC’s Podio story.

Nonprofits that sign up for Podio sponsorship have access to world-class support services and onboarding assistance through the Podio Help Center, in addition to access to a community of Podio users who share best practices and learnings with each other every day through the Podio Help forum. The Podio Help Forum provides a knowledge base of expert advice, instruction on the use of Podio and other tools, as well as tips intended to help nonprofits take full advantage of Podio.

Until now, Podio sponsorship status was granted on a case-by-case basis, but in response to the growing need for cloud-based tools that make nonprofit teams more efficient and productive, the program will today be rolled out as a formal Citrix Podio offering.

About Citrix

Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leader in virtualization, networking and cloud infrastructure to enable new ways for people to work better. Citrix solutions help IT and service providers to build, manage and secure virtual and mobile workspaces that seamlessly deliver apps, desktops, data and services to anyone, on any device, over any network or cloud. This year Citrix is celebrating 25 years of innovation, making IT simpler and people more productive with mobile workstyles. With annual revenue in 2013 of $2.9 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by over 100 million people globally. Learn more at www.citrix.com.

For Citrix Investors

This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the impact of the global economy and uncertainty in the IT spending environment, including in revenue growth and recognition of revenue, products and services, their development and distribution, product demand and pipeline, economic and competitive factors, including risks associated with international growth and IT consolidation, as well as other risks detailed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Citrix assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.

The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion and is subject to change without notice or consultation. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions or incorporated into any contract.

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New GPS Band Helps Parents Locate Kids and Create Peace of Mind

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Parents love the safety and kids love style of kidsport GPS

LEAWOOD, KANS.— A parents’ greatest fear is losing their children. Over 800,000 children are reported missing each year. That’s over 2,000 a day.Countless more incidents are never reported. Losing track of your kid even for a millisecond can prompt instant fear and anxiety.

kidsport GPS is a cool, stylish sports band that allows parents to locate their kids on their cell phone, iPad or computer. It is the brainchild of three dads from the Midwest – Brian Sullivan, Eric Long and Jason Hicks.

“It always seemed that when we were on vacation, whether it was a theme park or a ski slope, one of our kids wandered off and sent us into a panic,” Sullivan, said. “During a group family vacation, one of our daughters wandered off on the beach and was ‘missing’ for an excruciating two and a half hours. We all looked at our phones and thought if only we could track our child like you can track a missing phone. And the idea for kidsport GPS took root.”

Safety features of kidsport GPS:

  • Alert Button: If your kid needs you, they simply press an Alert Button on the band to send you an immediate text.
  • Secure Latch: Taking the band off is easy for parents; it’s NOT easy for somebody who shouldn’t be removing the band. 
  • Removal Alert: When the band is taken off, or even cut in two, you’ll receive an alert letting you know. 
  • Geo-Fence Boundary Alert: You set the boundary, and the band sends you an alert if the boundary is crossed.

Parents love the safety; kids love the style. The bandnot only looks cool—it comes in a variety of bright, fun colors and comes in three sizes—but there’s a ton of technology wrapped up inside. It is made of soft and comfortable silicone (latex-free). And best of all, it’s durable and waterproof.

“We spent the last two years developing the technology and design of kidsport GPS, and now we are ready for production,” Long said. “Now we need families to pre-order theirs today so that we can begin production at a price that families can afford.”

Pre-orders are currently being accepted via a funding campaign at Indiegogo.com with discounted pricing starting at $129 until March 31. To learn more and pre-order your kidsport GPS, visit www.kidsportgps.com.

About Precise Innovation – Precise Innovation is a creative “idea” company founded by three entrepreneurial dads from Kansas City. Our company is based on one word…FUN. We believe the best ideas come from simple, everyday need and that we are most creative and innovative when we are having fun. Our goal is to create products that make sense; make consumers’ lives better; and make a positive impact.

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Phoenix Impact Exchange Prototype Unveiled

PCG launches game – changing data platform to lead new solution economy.

ERIE, Pa. (@ SXSW 2014) – Promising a solution to the Achilles heel of nonprofits and the age-old conundrum for philanthropists and funders, Phoenix Impact Exchange, a division of Phoenix Cosmopolitan Group (PCG), unveiled a prototype of its proprietary data platformat SXSW 2014.Designed to provide access, transparency and aggregated intelligence for the players who are trying to solve some of society’s biggest problems, the platform is scheduled to go into beta by Spring 2014 and fully functional by end of year.

“Phoenix Cosmopolitan Group is a leader in the growing new solution economy,” said CEO Tamarah Black. “Impact Exchange is a game-changer for every stakeholder in the philanthropic industry – giving nonprofits the ability to satisfy the ever-increasing data demands of funders and providing the performance reports funders are looking for but rarely get.”

When Impact Exchange goes fully live later this year, it will serve as an online community that reimagines the logistics of philanthropy by uniting data, analytics, performance measurement, grant management and storytelling on a cloud-based social network platform to connect every stakeholder in the nonprofit sector. Nonprofits will provide Impact Exchange with data about their organization, using gamified technology, so they can finally reap rewards parallel to the data and effort they provide. Funders – foundations, philanthropists, institutions – receive access to the cloud data platform and nonprofit intelligence dashboard to access the information, create reports, get matched up with nonprofits that align with their funding initiatives, and make grants to the organizations in a few quick clicks.

As a result, nonprofits get to tell their story to an interested audience, build new relation-ships with funders, raise more money, confirm their impact, cultivate volunteers, reduce administration fatigue and become “investment ready.”Funders are able to receive secure direct, immediate exposure to the results of grants and investments, monitor and evaluate grants, manage a strategic portfolio, measure portfolio performance against third-party sector benchmarks, obtain sector insights, trends and reports and obtain criteria based “opportunity “alerts for joint ventures and projects.In addition, constituents and volunteers get to provide feedback, suggest ideas, share their experiences, connect with others, see what’s needed and get matched with nonprofits based on their interests and skills.

“Impact Exchange uses existing technology and reimagines it’s application to address the barriers to accelerating progress particular to the philanthropic sector,” said Black. “We aren’t re-creating the wheel, it’s more like swapping a horse and buggy for a Porsche.They’ll both get you there but why wouldn’t you want to go faster?”

ABOUT PHOENIX COSMOPOLITAN GROUP:

Founded in 2011, Phoenix Cosmopolitan Group (PCG) is a triple bottom line shared value social enterprise with the mission of increasing and accelerating impact of every stakeholder in the philanthropic sector. PCG is comprised of four divisions: Phoenix Impact Exchange reimagines the logistics of philanthropy by uniting data, analytics, performance measurement, grant management and storytelling on a social network cloud based platform to connect every stakeholder in the nonprofit sector; Phoenix Impact Advisors provides a spectrum of services that capture, manage, and transform big data into actionable insights for decision-makers; Phoenix Impact Media, which provides video capture, distribution and engagement services that help organizations communicate and educate more effectively; and Phoenix Impact Analytics (2015) will monitor progress and identify opportunities for policymakers, funders, nonprofits and social entrepreneurs to create more effective solutions. PCG is located at 1001 State Street, Suite 907, Erie, PA 16501. Further information may be gleaned from the company website: www.PCGImpact.com.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Marjory Hawkins | 512.219.1972
HAWKINS PUBLIC RELATIONS mhawkins@hawkinspr.com

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Caren A. Heller, MD, MBA Joins the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America as their Chief Scientific Officer

New York, NY— March 21, 2014 –The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Caren A. Heller, M.D., M.B.A. as their new Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Heller will be responsible for the overall management of the organization’s mission department which includes research, patient & professional services and advocacy.

“Dr. Heller brings a wealth of medical, academic and scientific experience that we need in order to take our mission activities to the next level,” said Richard J. Geswell, President and CEO of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. ”We are expanding at a rapid pace into a number of new areas and are looking to Dr. Heller to help lead our way.”

Dr. Heller received her medical degree from Columbia University and a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Chicago. She has more than thirty years of professional experience within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries and academic medical centers. She previously worked for Weil Cornell Medical College, where she most recently held the positions of Associate Dean of Intercampus and Industry Initiatives and Assistant Research Professor. In these roles, she implemented plans to promote interdisciplinary collaborations between the medical school and Cornell University faculties, facilitated the development of NIH-funded intercampus centers, promoted collaborative research projects with industry partners, and managed the intercampus pilot grant program.

Prior to Weil Cornell, she was at Athena Healthcare Consulting, working with industry and academic centers regarding new product opportunities, new drug development, and clinical and translational research. While there, she developed Models of Care, a health care information series that identified and described best practices in disease management.

She has worked with the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee and implemented clinical development plans resulting in drug approval. She has been published in more than 20 publications and is the recipient of the “Best Journal Article on Disease Management” honor.

“I am so impressed with the work that CCFA does and am delighted to be joining the foundation at such an exciting time,” Dr. Heller said. “Everything we do is focused on improving the lives of our patients.”

About the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). CCFA’s mission is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit www.ccfa.org, call 888-694-8872, like us on Facebook, find us on LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

Media Contact:
Erin Mulvey Stoeber
646-943-7458
estoeber@ccfa.org

Capgemini Named as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere Institute for the 2nd Year Running

Paris – March 21, 2014Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, today announced that it has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, an independent center of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance, as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company®.

This is the second time that Capgemini has been honored with this award, which recognizes organizations that continue to raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behavior. World’s Most Ethical Company honorees understand the correlation between ethics, reputation and daily interactions with their brand and that the award belongs as much to their associates, as it does to them. Capgemini is one of only six companies in the ‘business services’ industry honored this year.

Hervé Canneva, Ethics and Compliance Officer at Capgemini said “We are delighted to receive this award and to have our global ethical business practices recognized for a second year running. At Capgemini ethics, compliance and corporate social responsibility are a central part of both our Group policy and our client engagements. We recognize that ethics aren’t just a legal or reputational issue but instead are a key part of doing business in the 21st century.”

“The entire community of World’s Most Ethical Companies believe that customers, employees, investors and regulators place a high premium on trust and that ethics and good governance are key in earning it,” said Ethisphere’s Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Erblich. “Capgemini joins an exclusive community committed to driving performance through leading business practices. We congratulate everyone at Capgemini for this extraordinary achievement.”

The World’s Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient™ framework. The Ethics Quotient framework has been developed over years of effort to provide a means to assess an organization’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. The information collected provides a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies, rather than all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics. The Ethics Quotient framework and methodology was determined, vetted and refined by the expert advice and insights gleaned from Ethisphere’s network of thought leaders and from the World’s Most Ethical Company Methodology Advisory Panel.

Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (25%), reputation, leadership and innovation (20%), governance (10%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (25%) and culture of ethics (20%).

The full list of the 2014 World’s Most Ethical Companies can be found at http://ethisphere.com/worlds-most-ethical/wme-honorees/.

Capgemini’s Ethics & Compliance Program was launched in 2009 by the Group Board of Directors. This program is based on the culture of ethics which has been a core part of the Group since its inception in 1967 by Serge Kampf. As part of this program, Capgemini set up a network of Ethics and Compliance Officers and launched a Code of Business Ethics, an Anti-corruption Policy and a Competition Laws Policy to reassert its values in every country in which it operates. The program is supported by a significant global training program with dedicated online training sessions for each of the three policies and several face-to-face training options.

About Capgemini

With more than 130,000 people in over 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2013 global revenues of EUR 10.1 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.
Learn more about us at www.capgemini.com.

Rightshore® is a trademark belonging to Capgemini

About the Ethisphere Institute

The Ethisphere® Institute is an independent center of research, best practices and thought leadership that promotes best practices in corporate ethics and governance and enables organizations to improve compliance, mitigate risk, and enhance relationships with employees, business partners, investors and the broad regulatory community. Ethisphere evaluates and benchmarks compliance and governance programs, honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program and publishes Ethisphere Magazine. Ethisphere is also the leading provider of independent verification of corporate ethics and compliance programs that include: Ethics Inside® Certification, Compliance Leader Verification™ and Anti-Corruption Program Verification™. More information about Ethisphere can be found at: www.ethisphere.com.

Projects Abroad Introduces New Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers Can Choose From New Human Rights, Medicine & Healthcare, Microfinance, and Building Projects and Internships Around the World

NEW YORK – March 20, 2014 – International volunteer organization Projects Abroad is once again expanding in a number of countries across the globe to give volunteers the opportunity to make a difference. With an already vast collection of projects and internships available throughout the world, Projects Abroad is offering new programs in Jamaica, Tanzania, Fiji, India, and the Philippines.

Whether they are tackling the issue of human rights abuse in Jamaica, building a new school for Maasai children in Tanzania, or helping disadvantaged communities overcome poverty and start businesses in India, volunteers of all ages can get involved in these impactful opportunities.

“Projects Abroad’s close ties with the communities we work in allow us to regularly expand the ways our volunteers can make a positive contribution in those communities,” said Thomas Pastorius, Jr., Vice President of Projects Abroad. “Our new projects around the globe will allow more volunteers to make a lasting impact on communities in need, travel the globe, and gain significant life experience.”

New projects and internships include:

Human Rights in Jamaica

Projects Abroad volunteers on the Human Rights internship in Jamaica work with an organization called Women Incorporated. Women Incorporated, based in Montego Bay, is one of the few organizations in Jamaica that actively supports women’s rights. Volunteers focus on work that supports abuse victims and empowers women through workshops that focus on civil, cultural, economic, and sexual rights.

New School in Tanzania – Building and Teaching

Projects Abroad is pleased to announce that they recently purchased land which will become a new school for children from Meserani, a Maasai community. Classrooms, toilets, offices, a kitchen, and a playground will be built by volunteers to support over 60 young children. “It is an incredible opportunity to make a substantial and long-term contribution to the Maasai community,” explains Glory Matoi, Country Director for Projects Abroad Tanzania. “Children here have to travel vast distances to go to school, so our main objective is to give them a quality education closer to home.”

Microfinance in India

In India, Projects Abroad works in partnership with a local NGO to give people the opportunity to build a sustainable future through entrepreneurship and small businesses, with our guidance and financial support. Our interns gain a great deal of practical experience designing and conducting training programs, deciding how disbursing loans will be made, and compiling data for the financial year.

Nutrition in Fiji

Poor diets and unhealthy lifestyles in Fiji have led to a prevalence of diabetes and heart disease in many adults. Projects Abroad has introduced a health and wellness program based on a 21-day challenge, which promotes healthy living, exercise, diet, and nutrition. Volunteers can get involved in general health assessments, workshops and presentations, and cooking healthy meals together with the participants. It is a fantastic opportunity to gain some practical experience abroad as well as work alongside qualified professionals.

Public Health in the Philippines

For volunteers who want to get more involved in the community outreach aspect of our Medicine & Healthcare projects, you can join a full-time Public Health project. It’s a great opportunity to give back, as it provides healthcare for people who can’t normally access or afford these treatments. Volunteers can perform or assist with health checks, vaccinations, and medical campaigns.

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.

Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 29 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.

For details on volunteering overseas, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.org

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Contact:
Christian Clark
212-244-7234 
press@projects-abroad.org

Woodbury University Announces Groundbreaking Master’s Program in Media for Social Justice

With Accent on Apprenticeship, Grad Students Will Work Closely with Ashoka Fellows Harry Wiland and Dale Bell at Santa Monica’s Media Policy Center

LOS ANGELES (March 20, 2014) – Woodbury University (www.woodbury.edu) today announced the formation of a groundbreaking advanced degree program in Media for Social Justice. Students in the two-year M.A. program – which will reside in the university’s School of Media, Culture and Design — will learn how to cre­ate and lever­age media for social change. The program, accredited by WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), will welcome its first cohort in September 2014.

Through­out the two-year pro­gram, stu­dents will explore their com­mit­ment to social jus­tice, develop skills in trans­me­dia pro­duc­tion and entre­pre­neur­ship, and work closely with award-winning pro­duc­ers Harry Wiland and Dale Bell of the Media Policy Cen­ter in Santa Mon­ica (http://mediapolicycenter.org/).

The M.A. cur­ricu­lum will com­bine tra­di­tional course­work with an inno­v­a­tive, hands-on appren­tice­ship pro­gram that runs the entire course of the grad­u­ate degree. The program’s trans­me­dia approach will pro­vide an immer­sive media expe­ri­ence as students work together to advance the cause of social jus­tice across mul­ti­ple media formats and plat­forms. Students will emerge from the pro­gram as media entrepreneurs, with the knowl­edge, tools, and net­work­ing skills nec­es­sary for pro­duc­ing and dis­trib­ut­ing media that pro­motes greater social justice.

“The Media for Social Justice program is a very special collaboration between Woodbury University and the Media Policy Center,” said Nicole Keating, Ph.D., Chair, Media for Social Justice, Woodbury University. “Whether students want to produce documentaries, develop websites, design games, engage in research and writing, or design their own approach to transmedia production, our program teaches social entrepreneurship with an emphasis on civic engagement. Students will have the privilege of working with Harry and Dale, two media luminaries whose experience and expertise will shape apprenticeships that promise to be transformational.”

The Media for Social Justice curriculum consists of three core elements:

  • Transmedia Production – Transmedia production relies on varied yet related parts that work together to advance the cause of social justice and create a more immersive experience for audiences. Components may include documentary, graphic design, game design, print media, web design, animation, emerging platforms and more.
  • Creative Entrepreneurship – Students learn how to become social justice entrepreneurs in the creative economy through case studies and through the design, implementation, and evaluation of their own business plans.
  • Social Justice Media Studies – Students develop an in-depth understanding of the connection between media and social change by exploring historical and theoretical foundations as well as its political implications.

“We’re embracing new models in education and new models in media,” Keating said. “In serving as both school and studio, the new program strives to create a bridge between the classroom and the working world. We view them as complementary and as central to the notion of ‘practical idealism.’”

According to Bell, the program “fits in a new space between documentary filmmaking and journalism, a space created by the rise of digital media. The various forms of digital media are linked, whether game design, graphic design for print, or film and video production, and so on. We’re focused not just on students learning the skills of the medium but on how to get the word out regarding social justice, which in turn will foster entrepreneurship.”

“As the media production landscape shifts, hands-on experience becomes more vital than ever,” Wiland said. “Apprenticeship will be at the center of the program, in part because apprenticeships, unlike internships, provide real-world on-the-job training and will be fully integrated into the curriculum.”

Wiland and Bell — whose individual projects have won an Oscar®, five Emmys, a Peabody, and two Christophers — founded the not-for-profit Media Policy Center in 2003. The Ashoka Foundation, which showcases emerging ideas from highly effective social entrepreneurs, has recognized Wiland and Bell as Ashoka Fellows. Students enrolling in the inaugural class starting in Fall 2014 will be eligible to apply for Ashoka Graduate Fellow Scholarships as well as Dean’s Scholarships that will pay 50 percent of the program’s tuition.

About Woodbury University

Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California. Woodbury offers bachelor’s degrees from the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media, Culture & Design, and Institute of Transdisciplinary Studies, along with an MBA program, Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of Science in Architecture (MSArch), and Master of Organizational Leadership. A San Diego campus offers bachelor of architecture, Master of Real Estate Development for Architects (MRED), and Master of Science in Architecture, Landscape, and Urbanism degrees.

Visit www.woodbury.edu for more information, and Reflections on Excellence (http://www.drluiscalingo.com/), the new twice-monthly blog written by Woodbury University President Luis Maria R. Calingo, Ph.D.

Media Contact
Ken Greenberg
Edge Communications, Inc.
(323) 469-3397
ken@edgecommunicationsinc.com

Launching Xeelion – the #1 Crowdfunding platform for students

Xeelion: efficient Crowdfunding

The crowdfunding industry is growing rapidly. It is no more people who invest in smaller companies that launch games and devices on Kickstarter but it’s becoming a real profitable industry. With volumes that reached $2.7 billion in 2012, and are expected to reach $5 billion in 2013, crowdfunding has emerged as a viable, scalable alternative to public and private finance across the globe, with a lot of new platforms announcing the launch every months.

Under these assumptions, a small team of international entrepreneurs is launching a platform with some new concepts, Xeelion – xeelion.com. But is there a real need of another platform in such a crowded industry? Fabio Bancalà, founder and Chief Executive at Xeelion, says: “Crowdfunding is currently booming, especially equity crowdfunding because small investors will be allowed to invest in high-growth and profitable startups after the approval of the Title III by the SEC. But equity-based platforms are mainly run by former Venture Capitalists who basically keep their attention to the investors’ needs. This means that young entrepreneurs, especially those who are at their first experience as founders, have to run their campaigns over investors-oriented platforms. Our mission is to provide an entrepreneurs-oriented platform to help young entrepreneurs during the vital phase of seeking capitals”. This is absolutely a great concept, and it is in line with the process of democratization introduced by crowdfunding, which has started as a  democratic movement and is currently turning into a real worthy industry. But the question is how will Xeelion allow only young entrepreneurs to start a campaign over its platform?

Xeelion’s business model is very easy: it is a crowdfunding platform for students who attend U.S. universities. This means that you will need a student@university.edu email to start a campaign. Everyone can join Xeelion’s community, fund reward and donation-based campaigns and after the platform will meet the SEC requirements even the equity ones, but only students are allowed to  start a campaign. Fabio, who is an Italian registered broker dealer with more than 15 years’ experience in startup and finance, explains how they are building an entrepreneurs-oriented platform: “The issue is that while students are close to startup space, they are often far from capitals. Students lack expertise and connection to capitals and professionals. At Xeelion we aim to offer specialized services to entrepreneurs with great ideas but few experience. For example we  will provide them with a tool to draft an effective business plan, or to report periodically their performances to investors”. This is one of the key elements of this new platform, because investors are often worried not to hear from the entrepreneurs they have invested in, and Xeelion’s strategy goes to the right direction while educating startups’ managers to communicate with their investors. The lack of flows of information is one of the most relevant problems of crowdfunding, especially equity crowdfunding, and startups which will ensure periodically reports to investors will gain their trust and raise capitals more easily. But Xeelion has also a high propension to social networking. In fact, it has developed an effective, easy-to-use social tool which will enable startuppers to easily spread the word within their own communities, not only by sharing their campaigns but also by inviting friends directly to see, like and follow their projects. This social tool will also be useful for investors. They will be able to share information about companies, talk about investment opportunities with other investors, follow Venture Capitalists and angels, and create club deals. Xeelion also differentiates itself from other platforms because allows only scientific projects which meet requirements of sustainability. The concept is that investors feel happy when they invest in profitable companies with sustainable business models, because they believe they are giving their contribution to build a better world. In addition, the fields in which Xeelion allows entrepreneurs to raise money are considered the most profitable ones by VCs and professional investors in general, how a recent research performed over more than one thousand VCs from the National Venture Capital Association has shown. The platform has achieved some milestone, even before the official launch. Some promising startups and entrepreneurs have already joined Xeelion and will run a fundraising campaign soon.

Not Alone, LLC for example, founded by Alex Watler, a Harvard student, is developing a GPS-enabled smart bracelet that will revolutionize the security industry as we know it; or Vision Industries, an e-commerce platform for independent brands founded by students at Johnson & Wales; or Thao, who is launching a project to help low income people in Vietnam, her beloved Country. “We feel a lot of interest around our venture” Says Mrs Jun Gong, graduated in Economics from University of Shanghai, MBA from Hult University of San Francisco, Chief Operating Officer at Xeelion and responsible for the Community Managers Program, a program of Universities Ambassadors launched by the company to increase the platform awareness within the campuses. “Many students are applying for a position of Community Manager. I receive many requests from our website every day, from all the main U.S. universities. And we also receive requests from entrepreneurs who are looking forward to running a campaign with Xeelion”. This shows that the managers are going to the right direction and Xeelion will soon become a lead player within the crowdfunding industry. “We will go live by April” ends Fabio “and allow investors and backers to invest from July 4th, a date that all the Americans can easily remember. Additionally, entrepreneurs and investors who will join our community before that date will not pay any fee on the campaigns”. So it seems that Xeelion has all the potentiality to become a niche platform, market leader for young entrepreneurs and #1 platform among students. A lead player and part of a great revolution, made by common people, for common people.

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Contact Fabio Bancalà
Cell +39 334 6867 807 
Email: fabio@xeelion.com
Website: www.xeelion.com

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