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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Devin D. Thorpe

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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Transform Finance Investor Network Launches With Pledge of $556m in “Transformative” Investments at White House Event

A group of leading private sector investors, at a high-level roundtable on impact investing convened by the White House, has pledged $556 million to a range of social investments using a novel investment approach centered on social justice and community value creation.

On June 25, 2014, the White House hosted a roundtable on impact investing, during which some 20 new private sector commitments were made to drive more than $1.5 billion into investments that intentionally generate measurable social or environmental impact as well as financial return.

The group of investors convened by the Transform Finance Investor Network, concerned about a trend in impact investing that stops short of truly transformative impact, pledged to invest in alignment with the transformative finance principles of:

  1. engaging communities in the design, governance, and ownership of projects
  2. creating more value for communities than is extracted by investors
  3. fairly allocating risks and rewards between investors, entrepreneurs, and communities

The group of Transform Finance Investor Network investors includes Pi Investments, Blue Haven Initiative, New Belgium Family Foundation, ReInventure Capital, and The Working World. These members will invest across asset classes, geographies, and verticals.

“This is a novel approach that puts capital at the service of community needs. We hope that through our participation in the Transform Finance Investor Network, we can help build a vibrant community of sophisticated investors who deeply believe in empowerment and intend to consider and prioritize community benefit in every investment we make,” said Brendan Martin, President of The Working World.

Investments may span from debt funds that finance conversion of corporations into worker-owned cooperatives, to renewable energy projects that are locally owned by and benefit indigenous communities.

Andrea Armeni, Executive Director of Transform Finance, convened the group, which has grown to include impact investment leaders such as Calvert Foundation and RSF Social Finance.

“Impact investment is at the tipping point to scale, and hence it’s a cruicial time to ensure community accountability and engagement becomes common practice. We appreciate the White House’s commitment to real impact, and look forward to engaging with our investor peers, both public and private, to put the transform finance principles into action,” said Morgan Simon, managing director of Pi Investments and founder of Transform Finance.

For more information contact Andrea Armeni, Executive Director of Transform Finance, at (415) 265-0035 or andrea@transformfinance.org

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The US National Advisory Board Issues Policy Recommendations To Encourage Impact Investing

Several NAB members pledge $184 million for projects that yield social and financial ROI

WASHINGTON, DC (June 25, 2014) — The US National Advisory Board (NAB) on Impact Investing released its report of policy recommendations to mainstream impact investing within the United States at a White House event this morning. The initiative, focused on promoting public and private innovation and entrepreneurship in solving the United States’ greatest social challenges, addresses the most catalytic changes needed from a policy standpoint. The report, Private Capital, Public Good: How Smart Federal Policy Can Galvanize Impact Investing — and Why It’s Urgent, has been made public online at www.NABimpactinvesting.org.

“Impact investing uses the power of markets to unleash private capital for public good. Done well, it can scale sustainable solutions to some of our toughest social challenges, such as affordable housing, clean energy, quality education, and workforce development,” said Matt Bannick, Co-Chair of the US National Advisory Board and Managing Partner at Omidyar Network. “Impact investing has been a part of the fabric of social and community development finance in the US for decades. But we have only begun to see a glimpse of its promise, and smart public policy will help us get where we need to be. The National Advisory Board on Impact Investing has come together to offer a policy framework that can help catalyze the market and transform millions of lives in a positive way.”

Private Capital, Public Good Recommendations:

The report offers policy recommendations on opportunities in the short-term, as well as supporting policy ideas that would encourage the impact investing market over the long-term. The recommendations are mostly budget neutral and sometimes even result in cost-savings. They include:

  • Remove regulatory barriers to unlock private impact investment. Innovative impact-oriented businesses are in need of investment, and unnecessary regulatory barriers stand in the way—leaving much private capital on the sidelines. For example, the IRS could further clarify and refine its rules about foundation investments in for-profit enterprises to help fill the funding gap between grants and commercial capital. This would be cost neutral.
  • Increase the effectiveness of government programs. Government agencies frequently lack the flexibility and range of tools needed to achieve social and environmental goals. For example, Congress could revise the longstanding investment restrictions under which the Overseas Private Investment Corporation operates, so that it could participate in a wider range of impact investments, reinvest its proceeds for portfolio growth, and develop next-generation financial instruments and models. These policies would increase the environmental and social impact of programs while lowering costs or potentially increasing revenue.
  • Provide incentives for new private impact investment. Some markets need a push to get off the ground. By putting the first dollar on the table, government can attract private investment to support important social and environmental goals. More federal agencies should have the authority to replicate successful impact investing programs such as the Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Fund, which marshals $20 of private capital for every $1 of federal funds invested. These policies may increase agency expenditures, but they often repay their costs over time or attract considerable private funding.
  • Support innovative impact enterprises. Every entrepreneur needs support to get off the ground. Congress, the White House, and government agencies command powerful public platforms for spreading the word about the benefits of impact investing. They can support the development of field-building organizations.
  • Standardize metrics and improve data access. Measuring the impact is critical to the development of the impact investing field. The government can support and accelerate private sector standards while promoting open access to data. For example, development finance institutions could coordinate to create a platform that enables data sharing and due diligence, modeling their efforts after the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) fund.

“Innovative strategies by government can unlock new sources of capital and significantly advance the impact investing sector,” noted Tracy Palandjian, Co-Chair of the US National Advisory Board and CEO of Social Finance US. “This report, which we present to the White House and members of Congress today, articulates these strategies, many of which are budget-neutral, and provides a roadmap to a more enabling policy environment at the federal, state and local levels.”

NAB Members Commit $184 Million in Impact Investments

Several impact investment pledges were also announced this morning at the White House including a number of commitments from members of the US National Advisory Board. Those pledges include: 

  • Omidyar Network $100 million: Omidyar Network is committing $100 million in early-stage risk capital over the next three years to new impact investments that will create opportunity in their key initiatives including financial inclusion, education, and consumer Internet and mobile technologies in order to create a world of positive returns. Guided by the principles of individual access, connection, and ownership, Omidyar Network is excited to build upon ten years of investing in entrepreneurs developing critical innovations that can improve the lives of millions worldwide.
  • Case Foundation $50 million: As a reflection of their belief that complex social challenges can best be addressed through multi-sector approaches, Jean and Steve Case commit to increasing the Case Foundation’s focus on accelerating the growth of the impact investing sector, including by investing $50 million in impact-focused funds.
  • MacArthur Foundation $25 million: Investment to support the launch and scaling of several innovative energy efficiency financing programs specifically designed to meet the challenges and needs of multifamily housing in the US. Projected impacts will include significant carbon footprint reductions for some of the country’s least energy efficient buildings, as well as improved long-term rental affordability for low-income families, seniors and individuals with special needs, such as veterans and the formerly homeless. The MacArthur Foundation has made $400 million in program-related investments to 200 organizations worldwide since 1986.
  • Ford Foundation $9 million: Funding to increase economic mobility and opportunity of low-income families in the United States. This investment would expand and create equitable and affordable housing with access to transit in the Denver metropolitan region; address financial gaps in the Appalachian region to spur development and create jobs; and finance innovative health care models throughout low-income communities with a focus on creating high-caliber health-sector jobs. Spurring development has been at the core of the foundation’s program-related investments totaling $625 million in anchor funding since it began in 1968.

Formation of the US National Advisory Board on Impact Investing

The US National Advisory Board’s work is part of a global effort that was initiated at the June 2013 G8 meetings in London to explore how impact investing can accelerate economic growth and solve the world’s most pressing social challenges. At that time the Social Impact Task Force (Task Force) was created and charged with recommending policies to accelerate impact investing, establish a common global approach for measuring social outcomes, and encourage greater engagement across foundations, institutions and private investors with input from the G8 countries. The US National Advisory Board on Impact Investing was formed to coordinate with and advise the global effort while actively reaching out to key stakeholders and communities to get feedback, ideas and input about what policy changes are necessary to drive social impact investing in the United States.

The policy recommendations contained within the report are focused on executive and legislative strategies for updating existing regulations and laws to make it easier for social impact investors to work with government agencies. Although the policies are focused on opportunities at the federal level, the report does intentionally include both examples and opportunities at the state and local level.

The NAB is comprised of 27 thought leaders including private investors, entrepreneurs, foundations, academics, think tanks, impact enterprises, nonprofits, coalitions and intermediaries, including:

Matt Bannick, Omidyar Network (co-chair); Tracy Palandjian, Social Finance US (co-chair); Antony Bugg-Levine, Nonprofit Finance Fund; Jean Case, Case Foundation; David Chen, Equilibrium Capital; Audrey Choi, Morgan Stanley; Maya Chorengel, Elevar Equity; Cathy Clark, Duke University; Kimberlee Cornett, Kresge Foundation; William Foster, Bridgespan Group; Seth Goldman, Honest Tea; John Goldstein, Imprint Capital; Josh Gotbaum, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp; Michelle Greene, NYSE Euronext; Sean Greene, Revolution; Ben Hecht, Living Cities; Andrew Kassoy, B Lab; Zia Khan, The Rockefeller Foundation; Clara Miller, Heron Foundation; Elizabeth Littlefield, Overseas Private Investment Corporation; Stewart Paparin, Soros Economic Development Fund; Andrea Phillips, Goldman Sachs; Luther Ragin, Global Impact Investing Network; Curtis Ravenel, Bloomberg LP; Harold Rosen, Grassroots Business Fund; Debra Schwartz, MacArthur Foundation; and Darren Walker, Ford Foundation.

After presenting the report at the White House and to members of Congress on June 25, the US National Advisory Board will focus on sharing its recommendations with the impact investing community in the US and feeding its recommendations into the broader Task Force’s efforts. The Social Impact Investment Task Force is expected to meet again in September to review a global proposal with input from each member country.

The report can be viewed at www.NABimpactinvesting.org.

About the NAB

The US National Advisory Board (NAB) to the Global Social Impact Investment Taskforce aims to catalyze the development of the global social impact investment market. It was established following the June 2013 G8 Social Impact Investment Forum in London. The NAB was formed to focus on the US domestic policy agenda. The NAB is comprised of 27 thought leaders, including private investors, entrepreneurs, foundations, academics, impact-oriented organizations, nonprofits, and intermediaries.

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Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Award Will Give $60,000 to Non-Profits in Four States

Submissions Now Open for Awards Honoring Outstanding Revenue Generation Efforts

Regional CPA and business advisory firm Eide Bailly LLP announced it is now accepting submissions for its 2014 Non-Profit Resourcefullness Awards, which will recognize outstanding non-profit revenue generation efforts in Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, and Utah. The firm will give the following in each of the four states: a $10,000 grand prize, a $3,000 runner-up prize, and a $2,000 honorable mention prize.

The Eide Bailly Resourcefullness awards reward invention, creativity and sustainability while also collecting data about both the traditional and novel revenue generation practices that non-profits are using successfully. Submissions are due by Aug. 29, 2014, and winners will be announced Oct. 8, 2014.

“When you’re surrounded by non-profit organizations every day, you witness the extraordinary amount of energy devoted to thinking about and securing funding,” said Beth Bird, director of Eide Bailly’s non-profit practice. “These awards not only help us recognize those who are creatively overcoming barriers, but also foster the furthering of ideas and discussions to help inspire the industry.”

To ensure fairness, outside judges who are well-respected in the non-profit community will review and score finalists. The judges in each state are:

Arizona
Katherine Cecala, Chief Operating Officer – Valley of the Sun United Way
Steve Zabilski, Executive Director – Society of St. Vincent de Paul Phoenix Diocesan Council
Lonnie Ostrom, Professor of Marketing – Arizona State University

Colorado
Christine Benero, President and CEO – Mile High United Way
Kelly Brough, President and CEO – Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
Su Hawk, President and CEO – Denver/Boulder BBB Foundation
Sheila Bugdanowitz, President and CEO – Rose Community Foundation

Minnesota
Jean Lane, Director of Finance – Blandin Foundation
Jon Schwingler, Senior Vice President, Private Client Advisor – U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
Kari Groth Swan, Director of Major Gifts and Strategic Investments – Greater Twin Cities United Way

Utah
Chris Bray, CEO – Utah Nonprofits Association
Robert Hunter, President and CEO – United Way of Northern Utah
Gloria Talley Wilkinson, Senior Vice President of Community Relations – Zions Bank

Additional details about the awards and submission form can be found at www.eidebailly.com/resourcefullness.

About Eide Bailly LLP

Eide Bailly provides 44,000 clients across the nation with our core services of audit & assurance and tax, as well as expanded services, including accounting services, employee benefits, enterprise risk management, financial services, forensic & valuation, technology consulting, transaction services and wealth management. Eide Bailly has offices located in Phoenix, Ariz.; Boulder, Denver, Frisco, Golden, Grand Junction and Vail, Colo.; Boise, Idaho; Dubuque, Iowa; Mankato and Minneapolis, Minn.; Billings, Mont.; Bismarck, Fargo and Williston, N.D.; Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; Sioux Falls and Aberdeen, S.D; Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah; and Spokane, Wash.

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Drinking Clouds to fight Global Water Scarcity

(Brooklyn, New York June 24, 2012) — Bottled water isn’t often associated with environmental sustainability. However, a Brooklyn­ based venture, PH2OG Water, is challenging those conventions. The company uses cloud ­harvesting technology, an innovative and ecologically sustainable technique, to sustainably source pure water directly from clouds.

PH2OG builds equipment that captures airborne water droplets from clouds and fog. The process requires no additional energy input and avoids both groundwater depletion and pollution, issues affecting both the developed and developing world but directly contributed to by major bottled water companies. Their social mission is to expand the global availability of technology that provides clean water to those in need by working with humanitarian water organizations to provide funding for community water systems.

PH2OG is a not just for ­profit company that hopes to avoid both the funding insecurity of humanitarian organizations and the environmental costs of traditional bottled water companies. One of the company’s co­founders Michael Thomas has said: “We’re using clouds, an untapped resource, to responsibly source water and provide value to the planet. We’re resource efficient, we don’t deplete groundwater, and our social mission is central to what we do.”

Drawing on contemporary research, PH2OG has been able to adapt ancient Incan methods with modern resources. To collect potable water, the Incans would set up systems to mimic plants that thrived in mountainous regions that experienced little rainfall. Their modest pilot site on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will yield over 1 million liters of water per year.

In a rapidly urbanizing and climate insecure world, access to fresh water continually emerges as a problem facing the world’s civilizations. According to the World Health Organization, as much as 80% of illnesses in the developing world are linked to poor water conditions. While these issues have traditionally been associated with poorer nations around the world, water insecurity has also emerged as a problem facing the United States, with chronic droughts affecting crop yields and water supply throughout the American west and Midwest.

The group will expand their reach by providing funding to organizations that address the issue of water insecurity. “We know the technology works. We know that we have a viable site, and that we have an environmentally sustainable product that is differentiated from any of the current options. Further than that, we want to work to change expectations of what we know the big companies should be doing. This is both about providing water to those in need and innovating in a space that desperately needs it.” The group is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo during the summer of 2014.

For media inquiries, please contact: Michael Thomas, 917­589­6590 (phogwater@gmail.com) For more information, please visit: http://www.phogwater.com

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Philanthropy Watchdog Examines The California Endowment and Daniels Fund on New Crowdsourcing Website

Philamplify’s rigorous grantmaker assessments and interactive website encourage feedback, transparency

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) unveiled the latest pair of foundation assessments for Philamplify, a new project aimed at bursting the isolation bubble in philanthropy by delivering honest feedback to grantmakers. The new reports, assessing Los Angeles’ The California Endowment and Denver’s Daniels Fund, are the second set of Philamplify assessments since the project launched in May.

“The assessments of The California Endowment and Daniels Fund demonstrate very different approaches to grantmaking by two foundations that serve specific regions or states,” said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP. “Everyone in the sector has much to learn by discussing the merits of these contrasting strategies.”

Conducted by top-notch researchers, Philamplify’s foundation assessments provide a comprehensive examination of a foundation’s grantmaking and operations. The reports incorporate feedback received from the foundation’s key stakeholders and offer recommendations designed to maximize foundation effectiveness.Philamplify.org users can comment on and agree or disagree with these recommendations and share stories about how philanthropy has impacted their lives.

“Sadly, sharing of insight and knowledge doesn’t come naturally to foundations,” said Dorfman. “Philamplify facilitates the critical feedback grantmakers need so that they can maximize their impact on the issues and communities they care about.”

Since its launch, Philamplify has been met with approval from stakeholders in the sector, who see it as a potential turning point in the ongoing conversation about transparency and accountability in philanthropy. Buzz Schmidt, founder of GuideStar, a site that aggregates information about all registered nonprofits, is one such supporter.

“The absence of market tensions at both [the internal and external] levels keeps private foundations from performing at the highest level and being the effective resource allocators we need them to be,” said Schmidt. “NCRP’s new philamplify.org site seeks to help remedy this situation and impose an external market tension.”

“In the coming months we intend to review the report and its recommendations with our board and with our staff,” said Dr. Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment. “We see ourselves as part of a larger community working for health and justice and we know that our work is enhanced when we engage in learning and conversation with others. As members of this community we all benefit from transparency and constructive critique.”

In addition to The California Endowment and Daniels Fund assessments, NCRP has released reports on the Lumina Foundation for Education in Indianapolis, Robert W. Woodruff Foundation in Atlanta and William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia. Additional assessments covering other top-100 U.S. foundations will roll out in the coming months.

To foster transparency, mutual accountability and knowledge sharing, the full reports on The California Endowment and Daniels Fund, along with all other Philamplify assessments, are available on Philamplify.org.

To learn more, view these Philamplify videos on The California Endowment and Daniels Fund or visit philamplify.org.

About NCRP

Since 1976, NCRP has served as the voice of nonprofits and the communities they serve in philanthropy. Through research and advocacy, NCRP works to ensure that philanthropy contributes in meaningful ways to the creation of a fair, just and equitable world. Visit www.ncrp.org for more information.

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Model Nina Agdal Becomes Celebrity Brand Ambassador for Miami Children’s Health Foundation

Nina Agdal will support the foundation’s Together For The Children Campaign as she rocks her MCH + Cruciani 2gether Bracelets, the hottest fashion accessory that pays it forward

MIAMI, June 26, 2014 – Miami Children’s Health Foundation (MCH Foundation) is excited to announce that model Nina Agdal will serve as celebrity ambassador for the MCH + Cruciani 2gether Bracelets initiative to support Together For The Children, The Campaign for Miami Children’s Hospital.

By the time she turned 22, Nina – who is currently the face of Bebe – had been featured three times in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, including on the cover of this year’s 50th Anniversary Edition. She has also modeled for Aerie by American Eagle and Op Swimwear, among others, and was featured in the 2013 Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s Super Bowl commercial.

“I am delighted and honored to be able to help raise awareness through fashion for such an amazing institution like Miami Children’s Health Foundation,” Agdal said. “The MCH + Cruciani 2gether Bracelets are absolutely beautiful, but most importantly, they have a purpose.”

“Nina first became involved with MCH Foundation a few years ago when she was invited to our signature gala, the Diamond Ball,” said Lucy Morillo, Esq., president and CEO of MCH Foundation. “Nina fell in love with our cause and wanted to know how she could help. So, when this opportunity arose, we immediately thought of her, and she very graciously accepted to be the face of this amazing initiative. For this reason, we will always be grateful to her.”

This initiative was introduced by the world-renowned design house Cruciani, when they generously donated thousands of specially designed, macramé lace bracelets to MCH Foundation during the 2013 Diamond Ball. These bracelets, which serve as a symbol of hope for children worldwide, will help raise significant funds to continue providing the world-class care that Miami Children’s Hospital is known for.

“Our foundation’s mission is to ensure the health and happiness of children everywhere,” Morillo said. “Nina Agdal is the perfect match for this initiative, and we are honored to work with her and Cruciani to promote our mission while raising awareness and funds for Miami Children’s Hospital.”

The bracelets, which feature the Miami Children’s Hospital logo, come in various colors and some even support specific causes such as Bella’s Promise, a partnership between MCH Foundation and the Live Like Bella Foundation, created to raise funds to expand pediatric cancer research at Miami Children’s Hospital. They are available with a minimum donation of $15 per bracelet, and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit Miami Children’s Health Foundation.

The MCH + Cruciani 2gether Bracelets are available by visiting mchf.org/cruciani or at the gift shop located inside the main campus of the hospital.

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America’s Top Recruiters Join with the Corporation for National and Community Service to Advise Jobseekers to Get Volunteer Experience

Study Shows Volunteers More Likely to Land Jobs

Washington, DC – Recruiting professionals on jobipedia.org offer advice to college students without internships and recent graduates who have not yet secured a job: Volunteer. Jobipedia.org is a free career advice website where hiring officials from America’s leading employers, representing the largest companies in the U.S., answer questions for early career job seekers.

Based on the results of a recent study “Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment” by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, jobipedia.org experts are giving good advice. The CNCS study shows that unemployed individuals who volunteer have 27 percent higher odds of being employed than non-volunteers. The relationship between volunteering and employment holds stable regardless of a person’s gender, age, ethnicity, geographical area, or job market conditions. The study also shows that volunteers without a high school diploma have a 51 percent higher likelihood of finding employment than non-volunteers without a diploma. Among rural volunteers, the likelihood increases to 55 percent.

Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service said, “Many of us in the volunteer sector have long felt volunteering gives a boost to those looking for work, but we’ve never had solid research to back it up. This report shows a definitive relationship – volunteers are more likely to be employed a year later than non-volunteers. We know that volunteering can help job seekers develop skills and expand professional contacts, creating a positive impression that can make a big difference in a competitive job market.”

Recruiters on jobipedia.org suggested that jobseekers and students look for volunteer opportunities that are not only personally meaningful but that can offer some active leadership experience. Recruiters agree that in any position – volunteer or paid – demonstrating leadership experience will be helpful when interviewing for future internships or employment opportunities.

Kimberly S. Hauer, Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer of Caterpillar, Inc. and jobipedia.org supporter said, “At Caterpillar, we encourage all employees to participate in community activities that promote the common good. We believe that our success should also contribute to the quality of life in, and the prosperity and sustainability of, communities where we work and live. As a volunteer, you have the opportunity to make a difference in both your own life and the lives of those you are serving. And, while giving back to your community or an organization that is important to you, you have the chance to increase your own skills or develop new areas of expertise.”

Jobipedia.org experts agreed that volunteering is valuable to many employers. They suggest that job candidates should treat the experience much like a paid position on a resume and be prepared to explain what they learned and accomplished as a volunteer, and how this experience could be relevant or benefit a prospective employer.

“Balancing work and home responsibilities can be difficult, especially for those employees who have a strong desire to give back to their community,” said Kim Armstrong, Foundation program manager at Mutual of Omaha, a jobipedia.org contributing company. “Through our corporate volunteer program, Mutual employees are provided time off during the workday to volunteer. While this is definitely a benefit for employees, it also benefits the community by strengthening the neighborhoods where we live and work.”

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Volunteers Focus on Improving Lives through Public Health Projects

International Volunteers Support Medical Outreaches for Disadvantaged Communities in Ghana, Tanzania, Mexico, and the Philippines

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A Public Health intern treats a child at an outreach in Ghana

NEW YORK – June 25, 2014 – Medical outreaches in disadvantaged communities have always been a vital and popular aspect of the Medicine & Healthcare internships offered by international volunteer organization, Projects Abroad. Assisted by qualified local doctors and nurses, medical interns travel to areas where they are desperately needed and help treat patients who usually wouldn’t be able to afford or have access to this kind of treatment.

Medical outreaches are only a part of many of the various Medicine & Healthcare internships we have for interns. For those wanting to specialize in community outreach programs, Projects Abroad introduced Public Health projects where interns can commit full-time to medical outreach work. During their time abroad, they travel to orphanages, schools, slums, churches, villages, and community centers to conduct basic health checks, eye tests, vaccinations, and educational talks, as well as treat minor wounds and skin ailments.

“It’s great to see that so many of our medical interns want to contribute to outreach work full-time and help communities impacted by poverty as much as they can,” says Thomas Pastorius, Jr., Vice President of Projects Abroad. “The treatment that adults and children get at these outreaches is often the only medical attention they can get, so our interns have a crucial role to play.”

Our Public Health projects are available for a range of skill levels, from teenage volunteers with an interest in medicine, to students pursuing a medical degree, or professionals looking to use their experience to make a difference abroad.

Public Health in Ghana

In Kumasi, Ghana, interns and local staff work toward providing medical treatment for children and adults every day. You will take part in general health testing (blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and body mass index), screening for worms, malaria testing and treatment, teaching communities about hygiene and first-aid, and more.

Public Health in the Philippines

For many people in the Philippines, getting the medical treatment they need is a struggle. Public Health interns work in the city of Bogo, which was greatly affected by Typhoon Haiyan last year, and also in other northern parts of Cebu Island. We work mostly in barangays (villages), where we provide vaccinations and run medical campaigns for HIV/AIDS and tropical diseases. Interns also have the opportunity to volunteer at the City Health Office, where you can help with consultations and check-ups, blood testing, and even delivering babies.

Alternative Spring Break Trips: Public Health in Ghana or Mexico

Students looking for a meaningful way to travel on their spring break can volunteer in Kumasi, Ghana, or Guadalajara, Mexico. You will work in schools, orphanages, community groups, and slums, getting involved in immunization drives, conducting basic health checks, and leading educational campaigns.

High School Special: Public Health in Tanzania

Based in the town of Arusha and surrounding communities, volunteers work in outreach clinics under the guidance of medical professionals to help as many people as possible. You could even find yourself working with rural Maasai tribes! Our High School Special programs are safe, structured, and worthwhile projects designed specifically for teenagers and first-time travelers.

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 abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.org.

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Prudential Financial Commits to Build $1 Billion Impact Investment Portfolio by 2020

Pledges to expand its investments in organizations, projects and funds that address barriers to financial and social mobility announced at White House meeting of the U.S. Advisory Board of the G7’s Social Impact Investing Taskforce

NEWARK, NJ — Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU) announced today its commitment to build a $1 billion impact investment portfolio by 2020 in its continuing effort to direct investments to companies, projects and funds that create positive social change and help individuals and communities achieve economic success. Prudential made the announcement at the White House during a meeting of the U.S. Advisory Board of the G7’s Social Impact Investing Taskforce, which presented its recommendations on how policymakers can spur more impact investments.

“Impact investing enables us, as a company, to make a deeper and more sustainable commitment in a way that has enduring impact,” said Lata Reddy, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential. “These investments are part of our broader strategy to eliminate the barriers that prevent individuals and communities from achieving financial and social mobility.”

Impact investing is the deployment of capital with the intention to generate a positive, measurable social or environmental impact in addition to a financial return.

“With this commitment, we are building on Prudential’s long history of using our resources to generate more than just a financial return,” said Ommeed Sathe, vice president of Impact Investments at Prudential. “For decades, we have strived to find innovative approaches that reach communities and individuals whose needs are underserved by traditional capital markets.”

Prudential formalized its impact investing program in 1976. Since then, the group has invested nearly $2 billion, including $300 million deployed in the company’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey. The group invests in three core areas: social purpose enterprises, financial intermediaries that redeploy capital to individuals and organizations, and real assets, like affordable housing, that improve lives and communities.

“Prudential has been a leader in the impact investment arena for decades,” said Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation. “Today they reaffirmed that leadership by committing to build a $1 billion impact investment portfolio. We have witnessed how instrumental impact investing can be, and it is encouraging that such a large private sector corporation understands the importance of using its capital to address complex social challenges.”

Separately today, the U.S. National Advisory Board (NAB) on Impact Investing released its report of policy recommendations to mainstream impact investing within the United States. The initiative, focused on promoting public and private innovation and entrepreneurship in solving the United States’ greatest social challenges, addresses the most catalytic changes needed from a policy standpoint. NAB’s report, Private Capital, Public Good: How Smart Federal Policy Can Galvanize Impact Investing — and Why It’s Urgent, is available at: www.nabimpactinvesting.org/s/Private_Capital_Public_Good.pdf

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with more than $1.1 trillion of assets under management as of March 31, 2014, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential Financial Inc.’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential Financial, Inc.’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit www.news.prudential.com.

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Foundation Center Launches GrantCraft Makeover

Intuitive Design Is Hallmark of Global Community of Learning for Philanthropy

New York, NY — June 25, 2014. Foundation Center, the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide, has launched a completely redesigned website for its GrantCraft service, which harnesses the practical wisdom of funders worldwide to provide free resources that improve the practice of philanthropy. The new site is home to guides, blogs, videos, and other media that address questions faced by funders of all types around the world, helping to support a global movement of strategic philanthropy.

“We know that people often become funders through routes other than formal education programs, which is why GrantCraft fills such a critical need,” said Jen Bokoff, director of GrantCraft at the Foundation Center. “The knowledge grantmakers gain through exposure to real-world examples from their peers across the globe empowers them to be more strategic and effective when making funding decisions.”

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In addition to an improved interface, the redesigned GrantCraft website offers a full slate of time-tested and new features, including:

  • Guides: Reports have long been the heart of GrantCraft’s value; new titles are continually being developed, and many have been translated into other languages.
  • Takeaways: Searchable bite-sized pieces of information help busy users zero in on essential content from longer guides and case studies.
  • Discussions: Weekly discussions around a particular question — for instance, how to collaborate with other funders — foster conversation and learning, and are searchable for convenient archival access.

The GrantCraft community — currently more than 50,000 users — can learn from diverse foundations, geographies, issue areas, and topics through stories, questions, and ideas curated by the GrantCraft team. The website is divided into three main categories: strategies (such as advocacy and collaboration), issues (such as health and youth), and content types (such as infographics and events). To support a global community of funders, an increasing amount of content is translated into other languages. Users of GrantCraft are encouraged to take advantage of free registration, which affords them access to the monthly newsletter, a personal dashboard where specific resources of interest can be collected, and the ability to share new content and comment throughout the site.

“GrantCraft offers an invaluable opportunity for grantmakers to connect, engage, and learn from each other,” said Sandra Dunsmore, director of the Grant Making Support Group at the Open Society Foundations, a lead funder of the Foundation Center 2020 Investment Plan, which supported the GrantCraft redesign project.

Dunsmore added, “Peer learning is a powerful tool. The wealth of perspectives and experiences shared by fellow grantmakers on GrantCraft.org has an impact that goes far beyond the individual. It is a source of inspiration and a reminder that we, as funders, must remain open to new ideas that challenge our way of thinking and working. Such peer-to-peer collaboration and learning enables a community of funders to be more effective and innovative.”

In addition to funders, GrantCraft is intended for consultants that work with foundations, philanthropy networks, researchers, and journalists interested in exploring funders’ experiences, and grantseeking organizations that want to understand how funders think.

GrantCraft was started by the Ford Foundation in 2001, became a joint project of the Foundation Center and the European Foundation Centre in 2011, and has been managed solely by the Foundation Center since April of this year. The Foundation Center’s future plans aim to strengthen GrantCraft’s position as a primary source of learning and training for new funders, as well as a trusted resource for seasoned funders.

GrantCraft can be found at grantcraft.org and on Twitter at @grantcraft.

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