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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: April 2014

Preparing for the next Sandy – Space-Time Insight Situational Intelligence Helps Utilities Rapidly Repair Outages Caused By Severe Weather

Severe weather – you can find it every day on the Weather channel, moving across America as large storms (often with tornadoes) that pose a direct threat to the lives and power supply for thousands of utility customers.

A 10-day outage for 288,000 customers:
The $138 million bottom line

A serious storm with major outages is expensive. Major events such as Hurricane Sandy can cost in the billions of dollars. By example, a utility with 1,200,000 customers with 288,000 affected customers is spending on average $48 per day per affected customer. A 10-day outage event can cost the utility as much as $138,240,000.

How does a utility in the Great Plains or on the East Coast prepare for impending severe weather?

Space-Time Insight software provides utilities with the ability to visually assess on large screens the performance of their electric grid, analyzing and correlating literally millions of data points from multiple sources – a critical requirement in the deployment of Wide Area Situational Awareness (WASA) systems. Designed to accommodate the microsecond measurements recorded by synchrophasors – devices used to measure the state and quality of the power system sixty times a second – the software arms control room operators with timely information needed to make instant decisions that impact grid stability and availability.

Obviously, there’s nothing a utility can do to stop a major storm. But, they can monitor the immediate impact of storms on their customers and precisely find where the outages are located. If a tree has fallen on power lines, if a transformer has blown, if a facility has flooded – they can find out instantly where the problem is located and send out a crew to fix it and get the grid back up.

What’s the problem? Where’s the problem?

That’s been one of the most significant problems when utilities have been faced with massive outages, similar to hurricane Sandy last year on the East Coast. Finding and fixing the problem as soon as possible. It’s a fact that many utilities are still reliant on “old school” databases, spreadsheets and operational charts to run their operations. We’ve all seen the TV footage of utility trucks negotiating and searching their way through streets blocked by downed trees or two feet of snow. Ask any frustrated utility customer whose power has been out for four days – while they wait and wait the utility’s repair crews are out there simply trying to FIND THE PROBLEM.

Knowing the status of their grid not only makes practical sense for the utility – they can provide updates to their customers sitting in the dark with flashlights about when, approximately, their service will be restored.

“This is especially true with the rollout of smart meter and wide area situational awareness systems that not only generate huge volumes of data, but the success of their operation depends on real-time or near real-time interpretation of that data,” said Steve Ehrlich, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Space-Time Insight, “The situation is exacerbated by the need to correlate multiple internal and external sources of data, all arriving in different formats, at different speeds and at different times.”

There’s a better way to see the current grid status

The storm is over, the grid data pours in. How do you make sense of it? The situational intelligence provided by Space-Time Insight helps utilities to manage the data onslaught and make more rapid, intelligent decisions as a result. Operators can visualize (“see”) operational problems or situations on large screens. Point to it with their finger and then electronically direct their crews to quickly fix the problem.

“Geospatial displays used in conjunction with more traditional analytics are at the center of this revolution since they provide the framework for the visualization as well as a jumping-off point for further analysis and action,” said Steve Ehrlich.

Severe weather approaching – again

Turn on the Weather Channel. Somewhere the sky is darkening as clouds gather and a storm builds. Hurricane Sandy and innumerable storms and tornadoes point out the need for situational intelligence where utilities need to know what’s happening, real-time, to their grid to save lives and money.

Situational intelligence correlates data from synchrophasors with other data and events, such as weather, fires, smart meter data, outage data and customer service calls – so that utilities gain a complete understanding of a problem and can fix it more rapidly. That information is provided on large screens in their control centers, color coded for system status. Operators can identify the exact failure shown on the screen to determine the cause – and send out a crew with the appropriate skills and equipment for repairs.

Time is lives and money

“By understanding a situation in real-time and reacting to it even a few minutes faster utilities can save lives and property,” Ehrlich said.

Situational intelligence helps preserve revenue. When outages occur, a map showing the areas with the most customers affected provides focus to service crews to prioritize their triage. Situational intelligence also reduces costs by visualizing the failure rate of assets over time, triggering guidance to replace them or modify their maintenance plan.

In short, Situational intelligence provides:

  • Improved ability to anticipate and prioritize service restoration
  • Faster assessment of situation
  • More collaborative response
  • Reduce risk, duration, and cost of outages
  • Leverage existing IT investment
  • Lower operating and planning costs
  • Develop a more resilient system.

“Consumers are demanding more customer-friendly service, regulators are pushing for higher standards such as use of renewable energy, their infrastructure is aging as is their workforce, and new developments like smart meters are stressing their operations,” said Ehrlich.

Fixing an aging power grid

With situational intelligence, consumers get more timely information about how to make best use of their services using smart meters and demand response, threshold alarms and alerts help avoid costly fines. As more smart devices and property are added to the smart grid, the need for situational intelligence becomes even more critical.

“It is one thing to know that when you roll out two million smart meters, you will receive a certain amount of data per meter, and there is a defined set of value you can derive from that data,” said Ehrlich. “But when electric vehicles, smart buildings, smart homes and smart cities come along, the issues are many times more complex.”

SurePayroll Offers Quick Tips for Women Entrepreneurs to Work Smarter, Not Harder

GLENVIEW, IL — April 18, 2014 – Spurred by innovative ideas, the need for flexible schedules to juggle family life, passion to make the world a better place, and other fuels firing the flame, the number of women taking the leap into entrepreneurship is growing. In fact, U.S. women-owned businesses reached nearly 30 percent of all businesses nationwide.

Today, women entrepreneurs find better access to resources, mentors, technology, and in some cases, capital. Even so, research suggests that the glass ceiling still exists. According to a recent SBA study, businesses with women on the management team are the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurial companies, however, few receive venture capital money.

“While resources are often scarce, time is a precious commodity entrepreneurs need to build businesses, understand customers and sell products and/or services,” said Lori Bolas, Director, Communications, SurePayroll Inc. “I talk to women entrepreneurs almost daily and what I hear repeatedly is that while women are great at multi-tasking they get sucked into all the operational tasks that eat away at the critical hours needed to develop strategy, build relationships and move the needle on growth. What we’ve learned from our small business customers is that there are key steps and resources that can make a tremendous difference in scaling your dream.”

How can women entrepreneurs become educated on taking a dream and launching it into a business?

Here are SurePayroll’s key steps to build your business:

1. Seek mentors to develop strategy and a balanced approach to building small businesses.
While new ideas drive entrepreneurs to launch businesses, there are many people who have already learned from experience. Find experts across different business functions and seek support. Network with friends and family. Find organizations to help. Resources are available at the U.S. Small Business Administration, Micromentor.org or SCORE. Women-specific entrepreneur organizations, like Ladies Who Launch (http://www.ladieswholaunch.com/) or Women 2.0 (http://women2.com/), connect women entrepreneurs and hold events, provide training opportunities and access to potential mentors. Remember that it’s important to seek both male and female mentors to navigate the business environment.

2. Develop a plan to keep track of all financial records and identify an accountant.
Financial records are critical – for annual or quarterly taxes, payroll, potential investors and, in the event of an audit, proper documentation is key. Find a reputable accountant to help manage the business. Automate back office, redundant tasks like payroll. There are affordable, easy online payroll options that will give you peace of mind and save you hours each month.

3. Determine how to staff your business.
Strategy development includes plans to staff the business. Develop a staffing plan and begin to research and interview potential candidates. Develop an interview process with open-ended questions for candidates to think through solutions to real problems businesses face. Use referrals, conduct due diligence and find true partners to delegate projects.

4. Harness digital tools to run your business.
Do you need an office or can staff work remotely? Do you need full-time and part-time staff? Online tools, allow entrepreneurs to leverage efficiency and keep down costs. Use social networking tools to market the business like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. Identify tools and leverage messages across multiple platforms to save precious time with efficiency.

5. Understand Alpha women that everything won’t be perfect.
And that’s ok. Constantly seeking perfection can slow down business development and someone else may hit the market first. In truth, nothing is perfect and continuous improvement should be part of business processes.

6. Develop a plan to scale your business.
Budding entrepreneurs often think of the big buy out from a large business, but that is not the norm. Often businesses grow, then plateau. To scale a business, selling solutions to customers are only pieces of a larger puzzle. Delivering the solutions – and meeting growing demand takes strategic planning. Think about growth strategies like influxes of capital, processes, measurements as well as resources to help plan how to invest money – when, where, with whom – to help reach long-term growth. And constantly seek ways to influx capital into the business to prepare for growth.

7. Continuously listen and learn from your customers.
Put mechanisms in place to gain feedback from customers. Talk to customers all the time. Don’t lose touch with customers while running the business. Otherwise, someone else will listen to the customer’s changing needs and provide a new solution. Evolve or perish.

8. Manage entrepreneurial expectations.
The idea of running a business is often far different than the reality. With small operating budgets, start-ups often begin on a dime with one or a few people running the business – and that may include many unforeseen duties. Keep long-term goals in mind and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

9. Mentally prepare for unforeseen challenges.
Similar to life, few things go according to plan. Sometimes it’s frustrating. Sometimes it’s enlightening. Being an entrepreneur is exciting, exhausting, difficult and rewarding – sometime even in the same day. In the end, be prepared for constant change and learn to roll with the punches.

10. Go for it…and enjoy the journey.

About SurePayroll

SurePayroll is the trusted provider of easy online payroll services to small businesses nationwide. Whether a business has 1, 10, or 100 employees, SurePayroll delivers peace of mind by combining innovative, industry-leading technology and personalized support from an award-winning, U.S.-based customer care team. SurePayroll also provides private-label and co-branded services for accountants and banking partners as well as offering efficient online solutions for managing 401(k) plans, health insurance, workers’ compensation, employee screening and more. SurePayroll is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex. For more information, please visit www.SurePayroll.com. Follow us on Twitter — Circle us on Google+ — Connect with us on LinkedIn — Like us on Facebook.

About Paychex

Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) is a leading provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses. The company offers comprehensive payroll services, including payroll processing, payroll tax administration, and employee pay services, including direct deposit, check signing, and Readychex®. Human resource services include 401(k) plan recordkeeping, section 125 plans, a professional employer organization, time and attendance solutions, and other administrative services for business. A variety of business insurance products, including group health and workers’ compensation, are made available through Paychex Insurance Agency, Inc. Paychex was founded in 1971. With headquarters in Rochester, New York, the company has more than 100 offices serving approximately 570,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2013. For more information about Paychex and our products, visit www.paychex.com.

Capalino+Company Announces That Jeanne Mullgrav, Former Commissioner Of Youth And Community Development In The Bloomberg Administration, Has Joined Its Team

Mullgrav To Launch Capalino+Company’s Practice Focusing On Corporate Social Responsibility

April 23, 2014 (New York, NY) – Jeanne B. Mullgrav has joined Capalino+Company, bringing her decades of experience in public service to New York City’s leading government and community relations firm. Jeanne’s arrival at Capalino+Company coincides with the announcement of a new practice area focusing on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that she will lead. In her capacity as Executive Vice President, Jeanne will build partnerships between corporations and institutions, their employees, and the communities where they live and work.

Utilizing its knowledge of government processes and its broad network in the New York City business and civic communities, Capalino+Company’s CSR consultancy will provide valuable strategic advice to corporate clients seeking to leverage their firm’s resources for public benefit through grant-making, donations, expertise, volunteer service and private-public partnerships.

“We are so pleased that Jeanne has joined our team,” said James Capalino, Capalino+Company’s Founder and CEO. “Increasingly, our corporate clients, in both traditional and new economy businesses, are looking to proactively integrate CSR programming into their brand identities. Businesses understand that civic leadership adds value to their products and boosts employee morale. Especially in the tech sector, where companies compete for highly qualified employees, CSR offers a critical means by which to express their values and ethics”.

From 2002 to 2014, Jeanne served as the Commissioner of The Department of Youth and Community Development Services (DYCD). Among her many responsibilities, Jeanne was tasked with the overall management of DYCD’s critical objectives of helping runaway and homeless youth reunite with their families or live independently, providing work-related education, strengthening and revitalizing low income communities, fostering increased literacy skills among adults, adolescents and families, and supporting the attainment of citizenship and facilitating access to public services. Her accomplishments include conceiving and implementing the largest municipally-funded after-school initiative in the nation, and modernizing the nation’s largest Summer Youth Employment Program with debit cards, a lottery, online applications and quality job placements.

Over the course of Jeanne’s tenure at DYCD, the agency became known for its innovative programming, transparent grant-making and commitment to community engagement and effectiveness. During that time, the Department’s operating budget increased from $165 million to more than $400 million.

Jeanne brings to Capalino+Company more than three decades of experience in both City and State Government and not-for-profit management – always in the pursuit of lifting up and providing support for her fellow New Yorkers.

“Since 1985, Capalino+Company has enjoyed a strong reputation for effective problem solving and community building,” said Jeanne. “I am excited by the opportunity to join the firm and expand its practice by working strategically with business leaders, policy makers and communities to promote positive social and environmental change and achieve lasting results. Corporations strive to be good citizens and know that strengthening their connection to communities means a stronger connection with consumers and employees. In short, doing good is good for business and for all New Yorkers.”

Travis Terry, Capalino+Company’s COO, added, “The new Mayoral administration has made a profound and honorable commitment to eliminating the root causes of inequality in our City. Corporations understand this and want to work with the new Administration to do their part in moving our City forward. Capalino+Company, under Jeanne’s exceptional leadership, has the unique ability to help institutions successfully deliver on these important objectives.”

Jeanne holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. She currently resides in Yonkers.

ABOUT CAPALINO+COMPANY

Capalino+Company – founded in 1985 by James Capalino – is a strategic consulting firm specializing in government and community relations company in New York City. Combining unparalleled experience, a broad range of relationships and a deep knowledge of government processes, Capalino+Company collaborates with its clients to successfully navigate the complex rules, regulations and politics of local and state governments.

Threadless Gives Rights and Twenty Percent of Profits to Artists

Adds Tipping Feature to Checkout to Further Support Global Artist Community

CHICAGO—(April 23, 2014) — Threadless, the global design community, today introduced new artist-friendly terms that grant artists all rights to their work through a non-exclusive contract, and a royalty compensation model that gives 20 percent of profits to the artists who created each purchased design.

Meant to enhance the support, exposure and growth of artists worldwide, these advancements create opportunity and further success by allowing artists to share their work across all available platforms and increasing financial potential. A long-time champion of the arts, Threadless sees the changes as increasingly beneficial to independent artists, ensuring the company stays true to their core values and mission.

“It is very important to us that our artists, who are the very reason that we exist, have both control over and fair compensation for their original work,” said Jake Nickell, CEO of Threadless. “With the new terms and royalty-based compensation model, we are making an active effort to ensure that our artists not only retain the rights to their intellectual property, but also receive a share of the profits that the sale of their designs generate. Threadless strives to be the best place in the world for artists to get exposure and monetize their work, and we believe that these new structures make Threadless a more supportive place for artists to submit and sell their work.”

In addition to the new royalty compensation model, customers will also now be able to digitally tip the artists whose work they are purchasing on Threadless.com during checkout. This new tipping functionality further underscores Threadless’ commitment to their artist community in ensuring that artists are fairly compensated for their work while also enabling consumers to play an active role in showing their appreciation for their favorite artists.

“Threadless is an interactive community that thrives on support as much from their peers as they do from us,” said Nickell. “The new tipping feature gives everyone a chance to lend a hand, further connecting our community and values by helping artists we all admire, respect and believe in.”

For more information, please visit the Threadless blog here!

About Threadless

Threadless is a creative community that makes, supports, and buys great art. Thousands of people worldwide submit their designs online. Our community picks the ones that get made into t-shirts, phone cases, art prints, and more. When you buy from us, you support the artist who created the design.

Threadless.com. Make Great Together.

Follow Threadless on Twitter: @Threadless
Friend us on Facebook

Model HD Center at Georgetown Expands Services to Maryland, Virginia

Washington, D.C. – The only comprehensive, multidisciplinary center in Washington, D.C., that focuses on care, education and research for Huntington’s Disease, a hereditary, progressively degenerative brain disorder that has no cure, has added a clinic in Maryland and is opening another in Virginia.

Dr. Karen Anderson, Director, HDC Georgetown

A joint effort that Georgetown University Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital launched two years ago, the Huntington Disease Center at Georgetown last fall began offering services for HD patients and families at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney, Md.

And this spring, the Huntington Disease Center (HDC Georgetown) will open a clinic in McLean, Va.

Both new clinics aim to provide easier access to HD patients and families in the D.C. area and two states, which are home to an estimated 1,400 people with HD, and over 9,000 at risk of the disease.

“We have a large population of HD families in Virginia and Maryland,” says Dr. Karen Anderson, director of HDC Georgetown and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at Georgetown University. “We think we can serve them better.”

HDC Georgetown offers one-stop services for patients and families, who in a single visit of four to five hours can see up to eight clinicians, including a social worker, neuropsychiatrist, neurologist, neuropsychologist and genetic counselor, as well as a physical therapist, speech and swallowing therapist, and occupational therapist.

HDC Georgetown also now uses the services a social worker from the Huntington Disease Youth Organization (HDYO) to focus on children and teens with a family member with HD, and it also plans to offer telemedicine visits by specialists from its Georgetown campus for patients and families at its Maryland clinic.

Easy access to comprehensive, interdisciplinary services is critical because HD can take a heavy physical, mental and emotional toll on patients and families, says Anderson, who decided as a child to pursue a career in medicine after seeing the devastating affects of other neurological diseases on her grandfather and great-grandmother.

HD causes involuntary movements, cognitive decline and a range of emotional disturbances. It slowly diminishes a person’s ability to walk, talk and reason. Every child of a parent with HD has a 50 percent risk of developing the condition.

In the U.S., at least 30,000 people have HD, and another 150,000 are at risk of having inherited it. Yet only one treatment for movement symptoms has been approved, and no therapy has been shown to halt or slow progression of the disease.

While the affects of HD are so debilitating, few physicians know much about the disease because it is so rare, and few medical students get a chance to study it or see HD patients.

But that is changing. HDC Georgetown, for example, is a site for clinical trials for the Huntington Study Group, an international network of sites that conduct HD research.

In 1996, when she first began working on HD, only one clinical trial was conducted every two or three years anywhere in the world, leaving patients heartbroken if they could not enroll, says Anderson, who is North America co-principal investigator on a current study on the possible implications for HD of laquinimod, an experimental compound developed for multiple sclerosis.

Today, she says, so many HD clinical trials are underway that it can be a challenge to find enough patients to participate.

In addition to research, HDC Georgetown provides HD training for undergraduates, medical students, post-graduates and post-doctoral fellows, offering what may be the “only point of contact for students to see what it’s like to take care of somebody with HD,” Anderson says.

Building on the founding principle at Georgetown University Medical Center of “cura personalis,” or care of the whole person, HDC Georgetown has adopted the principle of “cura familia,” or care of the whole family.

HD affects not only the patient, but the entire family, Anderson says, so HDC Georgetown works to help every family member cope with the disease and its impact. It is the only HD center in North America, for example, that works with a social worker dedicated to serving the needs of children and teens in a family with an HD patient.

“The behavioral symptoms pose such a large burden,” Anderson says, and can include depression and impulsiveness – both leading to thoughts of self-harm – as well as suicide, irritability and aggression.

“A lot of kids from HD families become depressed or withdrawn,” not only from seeing the effects of HD on their parent but also from knowing they might get the disease, she says. “It’s hard enough being a teenager.”

And many spouses of HD patients become depressed as they increasingly play the role of caregiver, while they and other family members often become sleep-deprived.

Launched through a joint endeavor with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University Medical Center, and with funding from the Griffin Foundation, Anderson says, HDC Georgetown can serve as a national model for other regions.

“It is very hard, especially in the modern world of medicine, to sit and take care of a family that has so many challenges from HD,” she says. “We are extremely fortunate to have the resources to be able to provide world-class care for people with HD and their families.”

For more information about the Huntington Disease Center at Georgetown, contact:

Karen Anderson, M.D., Director
Hope Heller, LICSW, Program Coordinator
Huntington Disease Center | Georgetown
MedStar | Georgetown University Hospital
www.HDCGeorgetown.org
Phone: 202.687.1366 | 202.444.0816
Email: hope.heller@medstar.net

1,000 Attend United Hatzalah Benefit Concert Featuring 3 Noted Cantors & Honoring Chilean Philantropist Farkas

JERUSALEM – More than 1,000 patrons from around the world joined United Hatzalah, Israel’s largest emergency response volunteer organization, to honor Chilean philanthropist Leonardo Farkas recently at the Jerusalem Theater. Three internationally renowned Jewish liturgists, Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot (Park East Synagogue, NY), Cantor Netanel Hershtik (Hampton Synagogue, NY), and Cantor Shlomo Glick (Jerusalem) performed for the crowd.

Farkas was honored for his long-time support of the organization, particularly in Tzfat and Haifa where he has underwritten equipment and operating costs of the Hatzalah units in those regions. He is known internationally for his philanthropy, including contributing $10,000 to each of the 33 trapped Chilean miners in 2010.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Leonardo Farkas for many years. His unwavering support to our volunteers and to the people of Israel who are helped everyday because of that support, is an example to us all,” said United Hatzalah Founder and CEO Eli Beer.

Cantor Glick was recognized at the event for his work as a United Hatzalah volunteer, where he serves as a medic in the ambucycle unit, and goes on life-saving missions on an ongoing basis. A short video showed Glick leaving in the middle of a recording studio session to run to help a person in need, and then returning to finish his session. The honor was awarded to Glick by Prof. Avi Rivkind, head of the Hadassah Medical Center’s Trauma Unit and Emergency Medicine.

United Hatzalah is Israel’s first and largest fully-volunteer emergency rapid response service. With a fleet of over 250 ambucycles, United Hatzalah’s 2,300 volunteers respond to nearby emergencies from mobile-alerts and are able to arrive first on site to administer urgent care within minutes from the initial call of distress. United Hatzalah is a fully non-profit organization that relies solely on the generous gifts of supporters worldwide as all emergency medical treatment and transportation is administered by fully trained volunteers. For more information please visit www.IsraelRescue.org or watch United Hatzalah Founder and President Eli Beer’s TED talk.

Caritas Partners Announces HEART 9/11 as First “Buyback to Give Back” Charity Partner

Disaster Relief Non-Profit Joins Wall Street Company on Social Mission

NEW YORK, April 23, 2014 – In its efforts to pair fiscal responsibility with social responsibility, Caritas Partners has formed a partnership with HEART 9/11, an organization committed to responding to disaster-stricken communities in crisis and to building accessible housing for wounded U.S. veterans.

Through the joint venture, companies working with Caritas Partners have the option of making a financial contribution to support the work HEART 9/11 is doing assisting communities facing crisis. By selecting Caritas Partners to execute a buyback (through Caritas parent broker/dealer du Pasquier & Company, Inc.), companies can choose to donate a minimum of 15 percent – up to 50 percent – of commissions to either HEART 9/11 or another charity or foundation of their choice. Caritas will also contribute 100 percent of commissions generated during the first day of trading to the client’s preferred charity.

“Both Caritas and HEART 9/11 were derived from the same core: a long history of expertise in a given field and a commitment to giving back and making our communities better,” said Bill Keegan, president and founder of HEART 9/11. “For us, it’s using our emergency response skills and training to assist those in need, and for Caritas, it’s leveraging decades of financial expertise trading billions of dollars and knowing how the market works. We are thrilled to align ourselves with Caritas Partners in offering companies a new way to think about giving.”

“I can’t think of a better collaborator for Caritas Partners than HEART 9/11, a group formed after September 11, 2011 whose volunteers – drawn from the FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority Police Department and NYC Building Trade Members – have come to define the safety, security and spirit of New York City,” said Richard C. Naso, founder and chief executive officer of Caritas Partners. “Companies now have a streamlined way to contribute to charities like HEART 9/11 as part of the regular business transactions that happen every day.”

Donating a portion of financial commissions – at no additional cost to the corporate client – is an option no other company currently offers as a platform, day in and day out. With buyback authorizations topping $755 billion last year and the interest in repurchases continuing in 2014, buybacks have been healthy for companies and shareholders – and through Caritas Partners, they can now be beneficial to social causes.

Deborah D. Hoover Joins Foundation Center Board of Trustees

New York, NY — April 23, 2014. The Foundation Center, the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide, elected Deborah D. Hoover to its board at a meeting of the trustees on April 10, 2014. Ms. Hoover is president and CEO of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation in Hudson, Ohio. She also serves as advisory board chair of the Foundation Center’s library/learning center in Cleveland and chair of the Fund for Our Economic Future, a philanthropic collaboration that promotes the well-being of the people of Northeast Ohio by shaping and sustaining a long-term economic competitiveness strategy.

Following a career in law, Ms. Hoover joined The Burton D. Morgan Foundation as a program officer in 1999 and became its president and CEO in 2007. The foundation’s grantmaking supports entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education initiatives at the youth, collegiate, and adult levels. A legacy of founder Burton D. Morgan (1916-2003), it connects people, ideas, organizations, and opportunities in Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“With expertise in entrepreneurship, a background in law, and an interest in using data and technology to drive community solutions, Deborah is poised to expand her leadership role at the Foundation Center,” said Bradford K. Smith, president of the Foundation Center. “Her skill set will be a key resource as the Center employs innovation in products and services to serve a national and global community of change makers.”

As part of its Foundation Center 2020 strategic plan, the Foundation Center is developing resources and tools to meet the changing data and knowledge needs of an increasingly complex social sector. “I’m excited to apply my knowledge of grantmaking and entrepreneurship in Ohio on a larger scale,” said Deborah Hoover. “Communities thrive when philanthropy and private investment create more opportunities for more people. I look forward to contributing to the Center’s ongoing efforts to increase access to these opportunities.”

Ms. Hoover currently serves on the board of trustees of Western Reserve Academy and is a member of the National Council for the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Ms. Hoover received her B.A. from Williams College, her M.A. from the University of Chicago, and her J.D. from George Washington University. She is a member of the bar in the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, and Ohio.

About the Foundation Center

Established in 1956, the Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center’s web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 470 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit foundationcenter.org or call (212) 620-4230.

CONTACT:
Cheryl Loe
Communications Project Manager
The Foundation Center
(888) 356-0354 ext. 701
communications@foundationcenter.org

Maximpact Deals Invites New Impact and Sustainability Projects to Its Portal

One of a kind deals platform facilitator enables free, direct connections among impact projects, entrepreneurs, and funders in effort to increase volume of social investment.

April 23, 2014Maximpact, a philanthropic, impact-investing network, invites new registrants in the impact and sustainability sectors to list projects using its global reaching, deal-listing portal. Each free (and commission free) listing directly connects users with partners and potential funders worldwide. Its definition of “impact” has broad appeal embracing CSR as well enabling philanthropists, investment funders, impact pioneers, and ecological and green technology businesses to meet and collaborate. To date, the latest registration numbers show well over 1500 business opportunities, more than 350 financial institutions and 500 live projects. In addition, exciting new services designed to ease project management will be released in the fall of 2014, making Maximpact Deals even easier to utilize.

“Our platform is designed to encourage collaboration among users and we welcome opportunities to work with other parts of the sector ourselves,” said Tom Holland, Founder and CEO of Maximpact. “We are looking forward to playing an active role in finding the solution we’re all looking for in this developing sector.”

Impact investment, while hugely beneficial to the planet and its inhabitants, is still in the developing stages. Maximpact Deals is designed to address the sector’s shortfalls and propel its growth by improving the transparency, effectiveness, and quality of the impact deals from start to finish. It helps bring entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and investors all together in a way that gives everyone an opportunity to promote projects and network with others in order to share resources

Registration is simple. Once vetted and approved to one of the three access groups (entrepreneurs, intermediaries and funds), registrants will receive notification and be allowed to log onto the secure platform. Users can start listing projects and begin searching for deals immediately. Entrepreneurs and nonprofits can present their projects and connect with intermediaries and funders looking to invest in the impact and sustainability sector. They can also, for example, connect with and take advantage of networking opportunities to improve projects in the areas of public relations, team development, and expert consulting. Funders can research and find projects in a specific sector focus and never miss out on an attractive deal by setting deal parameters that, when met, immediately get sent to them via email.

In the fall of 2014, new services will make project management even easier. A complete set of tools for starting, managing, organizing and developing new impact and sustainability projects will be released. The services will include: Media, Finance and Consulting, and Marketing and PR. They will be designed to complement the existing platform, providing users with advanced media and financial tools that will help clients launch projects, organize virtual teams, attract financial backing, and connect with others who share the same vision. Holland adds, “Only by making deal flow more efficient–and ensuring diversity as well as quality across the impact sector–will we be able to attract the volume and variety of capital that will really make a difference.”

Maximpact

Launched in 2012 and headed by founder Tom Holland, Maximpact is becoming a leading facilitator in the impact and sustainability sector by fostering productive partnerships and collaboration within the impact investing arena. It continues to improve its platform as it gains new loyal members and supporters. For more information and/or to register please visit www.maximpact.com, email media@maximpact.com, or call 415-859-8979.

Benihana Supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® with Children’s Day Initiative Includes ‘Children Helping Children’ Coloring Contest and Donation to St. Jude

MIAMI, April 3, 2014 – Benihana Inc., the nation’s leading operator of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, has officially kicked off the sixth annual “Children Helping Children” coloring contest as part of its Children’s Day activities.

From now until May 5, children ages 12 and younger visiting any Benihana location nationwide are encouraged to participate by drawing a picture to depict what the theme of “Children Helping Children” means to them. For each entry form received, Benihana will donate $1 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. On May 6, one winning entry will be selected from each restaurant and the child will be awarded a dinner for eight.

Benihana will also name one winning entry through Instagram. An adult parent/guardian simply needs to take a photo of the child’s submission and upload it to Instagram now through May 5 with the hashtag #BENIKIDS and/or #CHILDRENSDAY to be eligible.

“We are so pleased to partner with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for this amazing annual children’s event,” said Jeannie Means, Vice President of Marketing for Benihana. “Each year on May 5, Japan honors the nation’s children with a national holiday set aside to celebrate their growth and happiness. This promotion truly honors the theme of the holiday for both the young guests who visit our restaurants and participate in the festivities and for those who are directly impacted by the donation to St. Jude which allows them to continue their lifesaving mission of finding cures and saving children.”

Additionally, 100 percent of the purchase price of all Benihana Kabuki Kids meals served on Children’s Day, May 5, will be donated to St. Jude.

Since the program began, Benihana has donated more than $160,000 to St. Jude. The total collected funds from 2014 Children’s Day initiatives will be presented during a private event for St. Jude patients and their families held on the hospital campus in Memphis, Tenn., on May 21.

For more information about Benihana’s “Children Helping Children” promotion and contests, please visit
www.benihana.com.

About Benihana

Headquartered in Miami, Benihana Inc. is the nation’s leading operator of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants with 95 restaurants nationwide, including 63 Benihana restaurants, seven Haru sushi restaurants and 25 RA Sushi restaurants. In addition, 15 franchised Benihana restaurants are operating in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. To learn more about Benihana Inc. and its three restaurant concepts, please view the corporate video at www.benihana.com/about/video.

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