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

Nonprofit crowdfunding course

Devin D. Thorpe

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Monthly Archives: April 2015

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May 1st Fundraiser to Benefit Nepal Cleft & Burn Center

The Nepal Cleft & Burn Center (NC&BC) will hold its annual fundraiser Friday, May 1st, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Foothill Oriental Rugs, 1460 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah. The event benefits families of Nepal by raising funds for the NC&BC, Nepal’s first teaching hospital specializing in deformity-correcting reconstructive surgery located in Kathmandu, Nepal. The event will feature music, dinner, and a live and silent auction. The cost of the event is $95 per person. Information is available at http://www.nepalcleftandburncenter.org/annual-fundraisers.

The event raises funds for surgeries and medical supplies for the NC&BC, which is also part of a modern new health services complex in the Kathmandu Valley. The NC&BC survived damage from the recent earthquake and is providing much-needed emergency care for victims of the earthquake, and it will be critical in providing ongoing care. Funds from the fundraiser will ensure that the hospital has the resources to continue providing quality healthcare as Kathmandu recovers from the earthquake.

Over the years, this annual fundraising event and the grassroots efforts of a group of US-based Tibetan rug importers raised the funds to open the NC&BC. Through the NC&BC each year, hundreds of Nepal’s poorest citizens receive free, life-changing reconstructive burn and cleft palate surgeries. The director and administrator of the Nepal Cleft & Burn Center is Dr. Shankar Rai. A native of the ‘hill country’ of Eastern Nepal, Dr. Rai is an internationally recognized reconstructive surgeon and has completed thousands of reconstructive surgeries as well as taught local Nepali healthcare providers to provide much-need surgical and medical care.

For those who can’t attend the event but would like to help support the NC&BC, donations can be made at http://tinyurl.com/NCBCdonations.

Powerful Documentary “The True Cost” About the Human and Environmental Costs of Fashion to Hit Select U.S. Theaters, VOD Platforms and to be released on DVD/Blu-ray on May 29

The film’s trailer is being released today, coinciding with Fashion Revolution Day – commemorating the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh – taking place in 60+ countries worldwide.

The True Cost will also be featured at the Cannes market this month.

NEW TRAILER JUST RELEASED:
http://bit.ly/thetruecost

LOS ANGELES & NEW YORK – This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?

Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.

On May 29, The True Cost from director Andrew Morgan will be released in theaters in New York (IFC Center), Los Angeles (Laemmle Music Hall) and other markets and simultaneously will be released on VOD platforms and DVD/Blu-ray (at www.truecostmovie.com).

Additional Info On The True Cost

The documentary is focused on the fashion industry around the world, examining where we are (including the mind-blowing fact that we have seen a 500% increase in clothing consumption in the past two decades), how we got here (including how the U.S. went from producing over 90% of its clothing in the 1960s to just 3% today), and how we can create a better future moving forward.

Filmmaker Andrew Morgan introduces audiences to the surprising human and environmental impacts of the global fashion industry – including the trend of “fast fashion” from leading companies like H&M, Zara, Gap and other global clothing retailers – and simultaneously shows us what some remarkable individuals are doing across the globe to offer an alternative in the form of designers like Stella McCartney, fashion executives, activists and journalists who are pushing for an ethical and sustainable future for global fashion.

At Cannes This Month

For journalists who will be attending Cannes, The True Cost:

Cannes Market Screening:

Friday, May 15, 2015
11:30 AM

Location:

Palais de Festivals
Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes, France

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About the Filmmakers:

Andrew Morgan (Director) is an internationally recognized director focused on telling stories for a better tomorrow. His experience includes a broad range of work that spans narrative and documentary storytelling for both commercial and film projects. After studying cinematography at the Los Angeles Film School he went on to co-found Untold Creative, a hybrid filmmaking studio where he currently serves as the creative director. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and speaks regularly on the power of storytelling as a tool in the ongoing fight for human rights around the world. Andrew lives in LA with his wife Emily and their four children.

View a conversation with director Andrew Morgan: https://youtu.be/TrvxwjSqRrM

Read Andrew’s filmmaker statement: http://truecostmovie.com/directors-statement/

Michael Ross (Producer) has worked as a creative producer and project coordinator in film and advertising. Beginning his career in journalism at local stations in Florida, before going on to Mirada Studios where he worked on award winning advertising for clients including Disney, Expedia, IBM, and AT&T. He has a passion for leading others in producing films that will make a difference in the world. Michael is a graduate of Florida State University where he majored in media production and business.

Official website:

http://truecostmovie.com/about/

Social media:

https://www.facebook.com/truecostmovie
https://twitter.com/truecostmovie

Credits:

Director: Andrew Morgan
Producer: Michael Ross
Executive Producers: Lucy Siegle, Livia Firth, Vincent Vittorio, Christopher L. Harvey
Associate Producer: Laura Piety

Opportunity Hub & The Iron Yard Launch Initiative To Provide $60K in Code School Scholarships For Minorities, Women & Underrepresented Communities

ATLANTA, GA – April 24th, 2015Opportunity Hub, the nation’s largest diverse and inclusive entrepreneurship school and coworking space, and The Iron Yard, the nation’s largest code school, are partnering to create Opportunity Code & Cofounders College (O.C3). Their first act is to provide $60,000 in scholarships to increase diversity in tech and tech enabled industries, particularly for men and women of color from underrepresented communities. The allocation includes two full scholarships ($24,000), two partial scholarships ($12,000) and eight quarter scholarships ($24,000).

Access to opportunity, particularly within the technology ecosystem, isn’t always created equal. According to a 2014 USA Today article by Jessica Guynn and Elizabeth Weise, the technology industry’s predominantly white and Asian male workforce is in danger of losing touch with the diverse nation – and world – that forms its customer base. Recently released numbers from some of the largest and most powerful companies confirm what many had suspected: Blacks and Hispanics are largely absent, and women are underrepresented in Silicon Valley – from giant companies to startup-ups to venture capital firms.

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Code.org predicts that there will be one million (1,000,000) more computing jobs than computing science students by 2020. O.C3 was created to address this talent deficiency head on.

“Realizing that the widening racial wealth and income gap may exclude some of our nation’s brightest talent from participating in the thriving tech economy, we reached out to the Iron Yard to create the partnership and combined curriculum,” says Rodney Sampson, Founder & CEO, Opportunity Hub, “The Iron Yard immediately stepped up to partner and provide the initial partial scholarships which will help to close the gap of students who might not be able to afford the cost of a reputable code school education.”

The Iron Yard teaches intensive, immersive 12-week courses that mentor students into professional junior-level programmers. The program goes far beyond tactical skills and teaches students how to think like software engineers. The Iron Yard has a phenomenal success rate in its career support program, helping students find all types of work in the tech industry.

Upon or during initial job placement, Opportunity Hub will teach students the ins and outs of the innovation, entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem via a 6-month weekly pre-accelerator curriculum that takes students on a navigated journey from ideation to market. The curriculum teaches entrepreneurial mindsets, ideation, customer discovery, business model generation, business planning, entrepreneurial fundamentals, access to capital and pitching.

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“Programming is a lifelong study, and our process shows students how to learn so they’ll remain highly valuable for the rest of their career – whether they are working for a company or starting their own. To this end, the Iron Yard is excited to partner with Opportunity to make learning to code accessible for all, particularly underrepresented communities,” says Peter Barth, CEO, The Iron Yard.

During this year’s SXSW, Sampson and Barth announced the scholarship initiative at OHUB’s Innovator’s Dinner sponsored by The District of Columbia’s Washington DC Economic Partnership. An expansion to DC is in the works.

“This initiative creates high tech software engineering jobs immediately; and develops the technical co-founding talent required to have a diverse and inclusive technology and/or technology-enabled startup ecosystem. It goes well beyond the premise of exposing minorities to STEM. This is modern day economic and community development in action,” concludes Sampson.

Click to learn more or apply

About Opportunity Hub (OHUB)

Opportunity Hub (OHUB) is a multi-campus coworking space, entrepreneurship school, pre-accelerator, incubator and vetted seal of authentic diversity and inclusion in the startup ecosystem and capital markets and beyond.

Currently headquartered in Atlanta, GA, OHUB’s definitive mission is to create and develop a diverse and inclusive highly skilled, competitive and innovative talent pool that will ideate, launch, start and scale high growth companies. Our mission is accomplished via intense selection, ongoing education, access to authentic mentorship, innovative practices, essential resources, meaningful connections and smart capital – in sectors such as technology, consumer products, supply chain innovation and social impact.

Created with the early stage and startup company in mind, OHUB is for anyone that is serious about working in an environment of like-minded entrepreneurs and committed to learning, implementing and sharing the knowledge, best practices and relationships formed while in our ecosystem.

About Iron Yard

The Iron Yard exists to create exceptional value for people and their ideas through code education, startup accelerators and coworking spaces. Their mission is to find people who want to pursue their craft and life-long adventure of technology, teach them the tools of the trade, and then release them into the world with the drive and capability to make a difference. They believe that passionate, talented people who love what they do will create great families, jobs, companies and solutions to the world’s problems.

Urban Land Institute Receives $170,000 Grant From The Colorado Health Foundation To Continue Support For Institute’s Building Healthy Places Initiative

Grant Will Support Healthy Corridors project, America in 2015 survey, and Forums Focused on the Intersection of Food, Health, and Real Estate

WASHINGTON (April 23, 2015) – The Urban Land Institute (ULI), a global research and education institute dedicated to responsible land use and building resilient communities, has been awarded a $170,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation to continue its support for the Institute’s Building Healthy Places Initiative, which seeks to engage ULI’s global networks to shape projects and places that improve the health of people and communities worldwide.

The Colorado Health Foundation grant to ULI will support three critical efforts within the Building Healthy Places Initiative. They include:

  • The Healthy Corridors project, which seeks to leverage the land use and urban development expertise of ULI’s 34,000-plus members to provide guidance on transforming isolated, auto-dependent commercial arterial roads and soulless commercial strips centers into vibrant, safe, and healthy corridors. The project will focus on several U.S. communities including Denver and will develop a typology of a holistically healthy corridor which can serve as a nationwide model.
  • The America in 2015 survey, a national survey of U.S. adults to gauge views and expectations about community, housing, and transportation, with an enhanced focus on health and safety, social equity and affordability, and other core issues to ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative. ULI will develop an oversample survey in Colorado to compare preferences and actions of Coloradoans to the national sample.
  • A series of forums focused on the intersection of food, health, and real estate; these forums will convene ULI members, the public health community, and other stakeholders to explore how healthy food providers, including grocery stores and farmers markets, can serve as drivers of economic development, revitalization, and place-making. The forums will also examine issues related to ensuring access to healthy foods for low-income communities. The Colorado Health Foundation will be an equal partner in co-chairing and developing content for these forums.

“Our renewed partnership with the Colorado Health Foundation will allow ULI to significantly expand the reach of the Building Healthy Places Initiative, which seeks to promote physical activity, access to fresh food, and other healthy lifestyle choices through innovative urban design and development,” said ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “This generous support from the Foundation will enhance our ability to raise awareness of the many economic, environmental and social benefits that result from building for wellness.”

“Everyone wants to live a long and healthy life. Yet one-fifth of all Americans live in environments that compromise their health. This partnership had been instrumental in laying the foundation to design and build neighborhoods, communities and cities that foster and promote healthy lifestyles,” notes Khanh Nguyen, portfolio director – Healthy Living, Colorado Health Foundation. “Though personal choices contribute to overall health, it’s difficult to make healthy choice when people live in communities that lack the infrastructure to support healthy lifestyles. We hope that our work with ULI will serve as a catalyst to design for health and wellness.”

This grant represents another stage in an ongoing partnership between ULI and the Colorado Health Foundation. In 2013, the Foundation engaged ULI’s Advisory Services Program to provide land use thought leadership to three Colorado communities—Arvada, Lamar, and Westwood–on how to improve health outcomes and promote active, healthy lifestyle choices through programming and upgrades to the built environment. The Foundation has been a premier sponsor of the Building Healthy Places Initiative, providing support for the Building Healthy Places Toolkit and other projects. The Foundation has also awarded ULI Colorado, a member of ULI’s District Council network, a $32,500 grant to host Building Healthy Places workshops in Loveland and Pueblo.

About the Urban Land Institute

The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 34,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

About the Colorado Health Foundation

The Colorado Health Foundation works to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation by ensuring that all Colorado kids are fit and healthy and that all Coloradans achieve stable, affordable and adequate health coverage to improve their health with support from a network of primary health care and community services. To advance our mission, the Foundation engages the community through grantmaking, public policy, investing in evaluation, private sector partnerships and strategic communications. For more information, please visit www.ColoradoHealth.org.

The 2nd Annual Purple & White Fight Night Returns On May 16 At New York’s Hippest Nightclub, Up & Down

The Fundraising Event Benefiting the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research and the Lung Cancer Foundation of America will feature an Evening of Delicious Food, Great Cocktails, Fabulous Music and an Extravagant Silent Auction

NEW YORK, NY (April 23, 2015) – It is time to put on the gloves and knockout cancer at the 2nd Annual Purple and White Fight Night fundraising event held on Saturday, May 16 from 8:00 pm – 11:00 p.m. at one of Gotham’s hottest nightclubs, Up & Down. The charity event benefits the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research and the Lung Cancer Foundation of America. Highlights of the evening will include an elaborate silent auction and raffle with luxury items, a DJ spinning the hottest tunes, tasty hors d’oeuvres and specialty cocktails, a variety of pop-up shops and more.

Packing a 1-2 punch, the term fight in Purple & White Fight Night represents a tenacious drive to fight back against cancer, a disease that has forever changed the lives of co-hosts, 27-year-old, Ashley Janover and 26-year-old, Danyelle Shapiro. The event is held in memory of Janover’s mother who lost her battle to pancreatic cancer at age 54 and Shapiro’s father who lost his life to lung cancer at age 41. The impact that cancer made in their lives and the grim survival statistics for both types of cancers motivated the young, professional co-hosts to bring awareness and the fight to find a cure.

Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. It has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. 94% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis and only 6% will survive more than five years. 74% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis.

Lung cancer takes the lives of 160,000 people in the United States yearly. 1 in 14 people (smokers and non-smokers) will develop lung cancer in their lifetime and it kills more than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined.

In its inaugural year – in 2014 – Purple & White Fight Night raised an amazing $20,000 and attracted more than 200 people to the fundraising event. In total, the fundraising duo has raised more than $75,000 for pancreatic cancer research since 2011 and nearly $9,000 for Lung Cancer. The fundraiser expects an even larger turnout than last year. Vendors hosting pop-up shops will also be donating a portion of their proceeds to each charity.

Some of the featured premium silent auction packages include: a Private Italian Villa Getaway in Naples for 12 people provided by Grandstand Auction; a 2016 Grammy’s VIP Package; Wine Country 4-day Getaway to the 4-diamond Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa including airfare; entertainment memorabilia including Derek Jeter signed official NY Yankees Game Modell Jersey and The Beatles “Fab Four” Vintage Photo. Raffle prizes include: 2 Night Stay in Turks & Caicos courtesy of the Gansevoort Hotel; New York Knicks tickets during the 2015 – 2016 basketball season; wine tasting flight & winery tour for four from City Winery; a 5-pack of SoulCycle classes and much more.

Admission is $50. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Eventbrite.com (keyword search: 2nd Annual Purple & White Fight Night). Guests must be at least 21-years-old to attend. Online ticket sales close on May 16 or while tickets supply last. Guests will receive a complimentary raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets can be purchased at the event for $5 or $10 for premium items. Donations are also accepted for those who are unable to attend.

Follow the social media event coverage using the hashtag #battlingback on Instagram or on Facebook’s event page (keyword search: 2nd Annual Purple & White Fight Night).

Up & Down is located at 244 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011 (between Chelsea and the Meatpacking District). All guests are asked to dress in cocktail attire.

ABOUT THE CHARITIES:

Founded in 1997, the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing pancreatic cancer research, and providing information, resources and support to pancreatic cancer patients and their families. Established by Agi Hirshberg, whose husband Ronald died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 54, the foundation includes the Ronald S. Hirshberg Translational Pancreatic Cancer Research Laboratory; the Ronald S. Hirshberg Chair in Translational Pancreatic Cancer Research; and the Hirshberg Pancreatic Cancer Information Center. In February 2015, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA introduced the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Cancer Diseases made possible by the generous $10 million in gifts to UCLA from Hirshberg. For more information about the Hirshberg Foundation and ongoing events, please visit www.pancreatic.org

The Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA) mission is to dramatically improve survivorship of lung cancer patients through the funding of transformative science, with the ultimate goal of curing the disease. To accomplish this, LCFA will work to raise both the funds and the national profile of lung cancer in order to substantially increase support of innovative and groundbreaking research efforts. For more information, please visit www.lcfamerica.org.

Cooke Foundation Awards Over $230,000 to Nine Local Nonprofits

LANSDOWNE, VA – More than 62,000 students with financial need in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia will benefit from new and expanding summer and academic year programs thanks to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s 2015 Good Neighbor Grants. The Cooke Foundation has awarded a total of $238,770 to nine local nonprofit organizations focused on providing the highest quality of academic programs, college access initiatives, and arts education.

Each Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, D.C.-based organization will receive one-time grants worth between $10,000 and $35,000.

“Our 2015 Good Neighbor Grants are fostering the creation of innovative new programs and amplifying cutting-edge programs that have proven effective to benefit hugely low-income students who would not otherwise have access to such opportunities,” said Executive Director Harold O. Levy.

This year’s recipients are as follows:

Loudoun Symphony Youth Orchestra (Loudoun, VA) – $35,000 to launch the Preparatory Retreat for Excellence in Performance—an exciting new program, which will offer 80 students advanced music instruction, performance opportunities, and the creation of an audition recording to enable the LSYO to perform at a nationally recognized performing arts venue in 2016.

Center for Inspired Teaching (Washington, D.C.) – $35,000 will support the participation of 100 K-3 students in nationally and globally recognized inquiry-based program—Dive into Inquiry—a four-week summer exploration building creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking.

College Summit (Washington, DC) – $20,000 to lead two “App-a-thons” connecting over 33,000 low-income students and their educators in the DC region to college and career guidance through innovative online and mobile applications.

School for Ethics and Global Leadership (Washington, DC) – $35,000 to create 12 new scholarships to eleventh-grade students to enroll in the intensive summer or semester-long program emphasizing leadership, ethical decision making, and international affairs.

Emerging Scholars (Alexandria, VA) – $27,000 to fully implement the newly developed curriculum for its seven-week summer program focusing on science, engineering, math, and arts (STEAM) for 45 5th and 6th grade students.

Castleton Festival (Northern Piedmont, VA) – $20,000 to bring world-class performing arts to 1,000 students, many from rural communities, in Castleton Alive, an educationally enriched arts program founded by the late Lorin Maazel, esteemed conductor of the New York Philharmonic.

Center for Student Opportunity (Washington Metropolitan Area) – $20,900 to hold six college workshops for first-generation college bound students and their families, and distribute its annual college guide to 52 high schools that serve the majority of low-income students.

College Access Fairfax (Fairfax, VA) – $10,870 to support the Financial Aid Champion Program, which provides FAFSA completion guidance to low-income students and parents at four high schools.

Journey Through Hallowed Ground (Loudoun, VA) – $35,000 to expand access to Extreme Journey, a two-week, experiential history-based summer camp to 100 additional middle school students in Loudoun and Fauquier Counties.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, comprehensive counseling and other support services to students from 7th grade to graduate school, the Foundation is dedicated to ensuring high-performing, low-income students have the support necessary to develop their talents and excel educationally. In addition to its scholarship programs, the Foundation provides grants for innovative, high-impact initiatives that benefit such students. By doing so, the Cooke Foundation seeks to use its resources to end the Excellence Gap, the disparity between the number of low and high income students who reach the top levels of academic performance. Founded in 2000, the Foundation has awarded $130 million in scholarships to 1,900 students and over $80 million in grants. www.jkcf.org

50 Ways to Make Social Investment More Successful and More Social

New report to coincide with launch of Oxford Impact Investing Programme

Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

A new report on the UK’s social investment market After the Gold Rush, which was co-authored by Alex Nicholls, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, calls for less social investment hype from politicians and advocates, greater transparency from investors, changes to Big Society Capital, and a more principled approach to social investment which puts charities and social enterprises at its heart.

After the Gold Rush, authored by the Alternative Commission on Social Investment, a 14-person team of commissioners, including Professor Nicholls, who each have deep interests and expertise in the social investment field, propose 50 ways to make social investment more successful and more social, including:

  • Transparency – Social investors, including Big Society Capital should go much further in publishing information about the investments they make.
  • Social investors should be clear about how social aspects are weighed up in their investment approach.
  • Politicians and advocates of social investment should minimise social investment hype.
  • A set of defining principles for truly social investments should be developed.
  • Social investors to work together in equal partnership with the social sector, to develop a set of principles for what makes an investment ‘social’.
  • Large charities and social enterprises should invest in other social sector organisations through peer-to peer models.

Professor Nicholls said ‘Since the financial crisis, we have seen increasing interest in how capital might be harnessed for social good. But the danger here is that we simply recreate models from mainstream financial markets and expect them to work in the social sector, while at the same time letting social values succumb to the power of capital. Instead, we need fairer, more open and inclusive investment models that can help tackle inequality.’

The report coincides with The Oxford Impact Investing Programme at Oxford Saïd which runs from 19-23 April 2015. It provides leaders from finance, social enterprises, NGOs and philanthropic foundations with the leadership capabilities and skills to develop investments to help address long term complex social and environmental problems.

Gayle Peterson, Associate Fellow and Director of the programme said: ‘We very much welcome the findings of Professor Alex Nicholls’ After the Gold Rush report, which comes at a time when we are seeing a huge rise in impact investment. The programme has given many people the inspiration to bring huge social change. Participants have said that the experience has been ‘energising, affirming and challenging’ and has inspired them to deliver strategies and projects with positive financial and social returns.’

The impact investment community has experienced explosive growth in recent years and it is estimated that this emerging asset class could represent a global market of more than US$500 billion in the next five to ten years. Strategic investments are yielding significant environmental, financial, and social returns. The results are game-changing global innovations in education, affordable housing, healthcare, clean water, and alternative energy.

National School Foundation Association Launches Certification Program to Promote Quality Standards for Education Foundation Leadership

Program developed in conjunction with National University and its Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, a provider of innovative fundraising strategies for nonprofits

Chicago, Ill. – April 23, 2015 – The National School Foundation Association (NSFA), the recognized leader of the Pre K-12 education foundation movement in the United States, announced today the launch of a specialized certification program that sets the gold standard for quality education foundation leadership. Believed to be the only one of its kind in the nation, the program is offered completely online based on curriculum developed through a unique educational alignment with National University’s Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, a provider of innovative fundraising strategies for nonprofits.

The NSFA’s Education Foundation Leadership certification program recognizes a growing need to address funding gaps for the nation’s Pre K-12 schools through a formalized professional development process. The coursework foundation for the certification process comes from San Diego-based National University, the second-largest private nonprofit university in California, and its Sanford Institute of Philanthropy. Created through the support of philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, the Institute offers seminars, certificate programs and a master’s program with an emphasis on cause sales, cause leadership and fundraising – developed by the University’s School of Business and Management and Division of Extended Learning. The Institute also collaborates with organizations to help create customized programs.

“The role of education foundations in our society is becoming even more urgent as we have seen significant education cuts over the past decade and a realignment of resources that have forced schools to make difficult choices that impact student success,” said NSFA Executive Director Nina Menis. “We are very pleased to be offering this unique program through our partnership with the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at National University since it reinforces our goal of providing high quality professional development opportunities that benefit our schools.”

The Education Foundation Leadership certification program, announced today at the NSFA’s 10th Annual National Conference April 22-24 in Chicago, is meant to augment the NSFA’s current training and support efforts to its more than 1,000 member foundations through a curriculum that emphasizes leadership, financial management and relationship building. Education foundations are privately operated, nonprofit organizations established to assist public and private schools, and many are facing increased education needs. According to a 2014 study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, states are providing less per-pupil funding for K-12th grade than they did six years ago, which has led in many cases to larger class sizes or the reduction of programs.

“We are so pleased to be collaborating with the NSFA to help train a new generation of education foundation leaders, whose work is critical to the future successes of our K-12 schools,” said Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, President of National University. “This is a wonderful example of the nonprofit and education communities working together to create a better tomorrow.”

Registration for the Education Foundation Leadership Program begins this month, and courses will start by Summer 2015. Program completers receive a certificate of completion from National University, and the formal certification through the NSFA.

The curriculum for the NSFA certification program is designed to be completed in 6 months. Developed through a collaborative process with the NSFA, it emphasizes skills and knowledge required to effectively lead education foundations, with fundraising elements integrated throughout the program. Areas of focus include: Building and sustaining a well-connected and engaged board of directors; Efficient organizational planning and development; Key financial management techniques; Establishing effective and cooperative relationships with school districts and other community stakeholders; Key legal requirements and comprehensive resource and marketing strategies.

About The National School Foundation Association

The National School Foundation Association (NSFA) is a recognized leader of the Pre K-12 education foundation movement in the United States, providing training and support for their development and quest to increase student achievement through strategic philanthropic investment and involvement. Supported in the early stages with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the mission of the NSFA is to provide support, training, and resources to education foundations and their leaders to maximize their success. This mission is accomplished through State Affiliate Organizations (Florida, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Utah), individual memberships throughout the United States and with the support of partners, business leaders, education leaders and government officials who share our passion for quality educational programs for our nation’s schools. www.SchoolFoundations.org.

About National University

Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With 30,000 students and more than 140,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Five schools and one college – the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Education; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California. To learn more, visit www.nu.edu.

About the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy

Established through a generous gift from philanthropist and businessman T. Denny Sanford, the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy is housed at National University and trains existing and future nonprofit leaders. The Institute’s unique approach to philanthropy applies proven business principles and a fundraising focus to cause organizations with the aim of maximizing their positive impact in our communities. http://sanfordeducationcenter.org/instituteofphilanthropy.cfm

Cranbrook Gardens Announces FREE Admission for its 2015 Tour Season

Funding from three sponsors allows guests to visit Cranbrook Gardens at no charge

Bloomfield Hills, MI – Breaking news from Cranbrook House and Gardens! Admission to Cranbrook Gardens will be free for the entire 2015 tour season, courtesy of presenting sponsor PNC Bank, and sponsors Roberts Restaurant Group and Meijer. The gardens will be open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, May through October.

Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary plans to use the sponsorship revenue to enhance the visitor experience by continuing its regular maintenance of the grounds and launching a new digital tour of the gardens. More details on the digital tour will be released soon.

The motto of Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary, the volunteer group that preserves and restores Cranbrook House and Gardens, is one Cranbrook founder George Booth often cited, “The only way to have is to give. The only way to keep is to share. The only thing worth finding is opportunity.” Thanks to the generosity of Cranbrook Gardens admission sponsors, visitors now have the wonderful opportunity of seeing 40 acres of beautiful gardens, fountains, and sculptures, all at no cost!

Donations are always appreciated and encouraged by Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary. Proceeds help ensure the continued beautification of Cranbrook’s historic grounds. An admission charge is still required for tours of Cranbrook House as well as for special events.

Cranbrook House tours are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors or students. Tours are provided by volunteer docents on Sundays, Thursdays, Fridays, and new this year, Saturdays. Visit Cranbrook House and Gardens online for more details or to make a reservation: http://housegardens.cranbrook.edu

Lambda Legal Receives First-Ever Million Dollar Match Pledge to Support Future LGBT Equality Work

Advocacy Group Launches Campaign Urging Supporters to Say #IDO for Marriage Equality and Beyond

(Chicago, April 23, 2015) – Today, just five days before the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in the case for marriage equality, Lambda Legal’s Board Co-Chair Karen Dixon announced that she and her wife Nan Schaffer are donating a $1 million match to the organization that will support future work to achieve equality for LGBT people and people living with HIV. The largest match in organizational history, Dixon and Shaffer are challenging people across the country to meet the match and ensure that Lambda Legal will receive the full $1 million – directly turning the donation into important legal and advocacy work.

From now until the Supreme Court decision date (presumably late June), Dixon and Schaffer will be matching donations – dollar for dollar – as well as online actions that show support for equality. A full list of actions and ways to participate can be found at www.lambdalegal.org. People from across the country are saying “#IDO” in a new campaign video, created by the organization. Throughout the campaign, supporters and celebrities will be sharing their “#IDO” message – showing the united front of the LGBT equality movement.

“Even as we’re poised to win what we hope will be a big victory for marriage, we have well-funded opponents who are more determined than ever to turn back our advances,” said Dixon. “And the day after marriage equality is legal in all 50 states, employment discrimination against LGBT people will remain rampant, too often leaving exceptional workers suddenly holding a pink slip. We need to increase our team of experienced lawyers and advocates to make sure that if you post your wedding photos on Facebook, you won’t be fired the next day.”

Since Lambda Legal’s founding, they have had one singular mission: achieve the full civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV. In recent years, there has been a groundswell of support for marriage equality and many groups have devoted a lot of resources to that. On this issue, Lambda Legal has led the way, working in the courts and the courts of public opinion for decades. However, they have also consistently led the fight in protecting and advancing the rights of the LGBT community and those living with HIV in all aspects of their lives. Marriage is an important battle – and bigger fights are still to come.

“I am proud that Lambda Legal’s decades of victories have helped bring us so close to a victory on marriage equality, and immensely grateful that Karen and Nan have the vision and generosity to fuel the battles our attorneys fight every day in the courtroom,” said Kevin Cathcart, Lambda Legal’s Executive Director. “We are far from done – our Legal Help Desk gets thousands of calls every year from people facing discrimination across the country. Our opponents aren’t done either and we need to defend our freedoms against their attacks and so-called religious freedom laws. This kind of gift is transformational – it lifts up our work and our organization and invites others to join us.”

From now until the Supreme Court decision date (presumably late June), Dixon and Schaffer will be matching donations – dollar for dollar – as well as online actions that show support for equality. A full list of actions and ways to participate can be found at www.lambdalegal.org. People from across the country are saying “#IDO” in a new campaign video, created by the organization. Throughout the campaign, supporters and celebrities will be sharing their “#IDO” message – showing the united front of the LGBT equality movement.

“Karen and I believe that Lambda Legal is the best organization to safeguard our marriage victories, to stop anti-gay opponents like Indiana’s Governor Pence from turning back the clock for civil rights, and to carry on in the fight to see us all respected equally under law,” Nan Schaffer added about the gift. “As a couple, we were able to say “IDO” to one another because Lambda Legal fought for that right. Now we are saying “IDO” to the future of equality for everyone.”Dixon chimed in. “Every donation will be doubled by our challenge match, so please say “IDO” by giving generously to Lambda Legal now. Please make us pay to ensure equality for all!”

Visit www.lambdalegal.org to show your support by saying “#IDO.” Say “#IDO” for people across our country who need allies and supporters.

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