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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: May 2015

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Baby Launches Smile Strike

Local Toddler Gets Serious in Solidarity With Cleft-Affected Kids Around the World

NEW YORK, May 29, 2015 — A nine-month-old baby, Walter, has launched a “smile strike,” refusing to smile under even the most amusing circumstances in an effort to raise awareness for children living with unrepaired clefts. Walter is asking the public to support his strike with a donation to Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity, which helps empower and train doctors in the developing world to perform free cleft repair surgeries for children in their own communities. “Why should I go on smiling like it’s going out of style while other babies out there are having a hard time smiling and laughing because of their unrepaired clefts?” Walter asked in his video announcement of the strike, available here.

Cleft lip and palate are serious health conditions that affect millions of children worldwide. Without surgical repair, those living with clefts can have trouble breathing, eating and speaking. Children with unrepaired clefts in the developing world are often isolated, shunned and prohibited from attending school and participating in their communities. Only hours into the strike, exhaustive efforts to make Walter smile have proven futile. “We’ve jiggled keys in his face, played peekaboo, made funny faces, but he’s not breaking,” said Walter’s mother. “He’s serious about smiles.”

To support Walter’s strike, visit SeriousBaby.org to make a donation today, and share this story using the hashtag #SeriousBaby.

Fedcap Initiates Reporting of First Half Fiscal 2015 Operating and Financial Results

— A benchmark for the not-for-profit industry —

First Half Highlights

  • 2,722 clients placed in jobs
  • 2,100 students advanced in grade level, matriculated to college or obtained vocational certification up from 2,000 in the same period of 2014
  • 2,250 professionals received technical assistance/training through Fedcap’s National Center for Innovation and System Improvement
  • Revenue for the first half was $77 million, 12.4% above the prior year
  • Continued to improve operating margin in line with long term plan
  • Program expenses accounted for 92% of operating expenses
  • Further strengthened long term sustainability through the sale of real estate assets in New York City
  • Approved acquisition of Easter Seals New York on March 25, 2015

NEW YORK — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Fedcap, a not-for-profit organization that develops relevant, sustainable solutions for people to overcome barriers through four practice areas: Educational Services, Workforce Development, Occupational Health and Economic Development reported operating and financial results for the first half of 2015 ended March 31, 2015.

“By adopting a set of financial metrics and disclosing them on an interim basis, similar to that of a publicly-listed company, we believe we are engaging in an important dialogue with our key audiences and establishing a benchmark for the not-for-profit industry.”

Management Comment

“We are pleased to present our impact and financial results to our funders, donors, and stakeholders on a timely basis, enabling Fedcap’s constituents to fully assess the progress we are making in producing relevant, sustainable outcomes for the populations that we serve,” said Christine McMahon, Fedcap’s Chief Executive Officer. “By adopting a set of financial metrics and disclosing them on an interim basis, similar to that of a publicly-listed company, we believe we are engaging in an important dialogue with our key audiences and establishing a benchmark for the not-for-profit industry.”

“Our first half results demonstrated growth and stability, aligned with our strategy of increasing scale through organic and acquisition efforts. Despite headwinds in funding for the not-for-profit industry, we experienced growth in each of our practice areas: Economic Development, Workforce Development, Education and Occupational Health, expanding our footprint and importantly, we succeeded in significantly advancing the economic well-being of those served.”

“We continue to apply disciplined financial and risk management policies throughout the organization to ensure that our programs and services are meeting the requisite milestones and that we maintain the resilience and flexibility needed to address changing economic realities, while building for the future of the organization. In support of this strategy, we took advantage of strong market conditions to sell our 24,000 square foot building on West 14th Street in Manhattan in April 2014. We re-invested a portion of the net proceeds in a midtown condominium office space, using the remainder to further strengthen our balance sheet.”

First Half Financial and Operating Metrics

First half fiscal 2015 revenues were $77.0 million, an increase of 12.4% from the $68.5 million reported in the comparable period last year.

Revenues from Economic Development, which represents Fedcap’s business services operations that directly employ the populations we serve, accounted for 65% of total revenues in this year’s first half compared to 61% in last year’s first half. Total Facilities Management, which includes work at such iconic sites as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, New York’s Penn Station, New York City Court Houses, Federal Aviation Administration installations in New Jersey, as well as government and commercial office buildings in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Boston, Mass. accounted for the largest percentage of Economic Development revenues. Other components of Economic Development include: Manufacturing, which provides outsourced assembly and production of electronic products delivered by a workforce comprised of people with disabilities; Business Solutions which provides all aspects of back office support to government and commercial clients; and Home Health Care, where over 352 Fedcap-trained and licensed professionals provide at-home care to those in need. In the first half of 2015, Fedcap employed 607 people with disabilities and other barriers to employment in these operations, up from 579 individuals in the similar 2014 period.

Revenues from Workforce Development, which represents our job placement and counseling services, accounted for 25% of total revenues down from 28% in last year’s first half. We placed over 2722 clients in jobs in this year’s first half, including more than 213 “ReServists”, professionals age 55+ whom we place with organizations that need their expertise.

Education and Occupational Health together accounted for 6% of first half revenues, on par with the level last year, and include a wide array of programs in the areas of behavioral health, evaluation and specialized training, help for youth in foster care or transitioning out of other child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and vocational training for youths with disabilities. Over 2100 individuals advanced grade level, graduated from high school, matriculated to college and obtained vocational certification through our Career Design School.

First half 2015 operating expenses were $76.8 million, of which 92% represented direct, program expenses. Fedcap reported an operating profit for the period of $208,450 compared to an operating loss in last year’s first half of $163,276.

At March 31, 2015, cash and marketable securities were $21.8 million, up from $8.7 million, at the same time last year, reflective of the real estate sale that was completed in April 2014.

Contract Wins and Strategic Projects

The total value of contracts awarded in the first half of fiscal 2015 was $87.1 million, which included a one-time contract assignment of NYC Human Resource Administration’s WeCARE Region 1 program for Manhattan and Bronx with a total value of $82.5 million.

Key contracts/grants awarded during the first half of FY 2015 included:

  • The NYC WeCARE Region 1 contract for $82.5 million over 2.5 years that was transitioned to Fedcap from FEGS; (Fedcap was awarded the WeCARE Region 2 contract in July 2012).
  • A Pinkerton Foundation grant for $125,000 to support expansion of efforts in NYC to help children in foster care get accepted into college and graduate.
  • A Sloan Foundation grant for $125,000 to demonstrate the efficacy of using the staffing agency model to advance the employment of older workers.
  • An Altman Foundation grant for $50,000 to establish a Dementia Care Coaching program using ReServists.
  • A contract with New York State Industries for the Disabled for $863,460 for facilities management.
  • A workforce development contract with the Department of Transitional Assistance Boston/Chelsea $150,000.

Fedcap awarded its prestigious WorkStar™ certification to FreshDirect and Plated—honoring their leadership in employing people with barriers.

Recent Development

On March 25, 2015 Fedcap reached an agreement to acquire Easter Seals New York, which has annualized revenues of $30 million, and operates programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities in New York State. The combination is scheduled to be completed by September 2015, and will add significant scale to Fedcap’s Occupational Health and Education operations.

Summary and Outlook

“First half results represent a strong start to fiscal 2015, and we are pleased with the organization’s commitment to excellent execution in delivering services that help clients overcome barriers and achieve economic well-being. Our investments in financial, technical and human resources have given Fedcap a strong infrastructure that is able to support our growth and expansion. We look forward to continuing to report progress in assisting our clients to achieve economic well-being,” Ms. McMahon concluded.

About Fedcap

A not-for-profit founded in 1935, Fedcap develops innovative, creative and sustainable solutions that help people overcome barriers to economic well-being. Each year Fedcap’s educational, evaluation, vocational training, job placement, post placement support and advocacy programs, help more than 80,000 individuals rebuild their lives, and find and maintain meaningful employment.

Financials

Chevron Shareholders with $7.75 Billion in Stock Vote To Increase Dividends to Protect Investor Capital In The Face Of Risky Investments in Costly Carbon Reserves

Avoiding “An Economically Unsustainable Path”: Message to Chevron Board About Shareholder Concerns.

SAN RAMON, CA///May 27 2015/// An As You Sow and Arjuna Capital shareholder resolution calling on Chevron to increase dividends to shareholders in light of continued outsized spending on high-cost, high-carbon projects — including Arctic drilling, tar sands, and other “unconventional” fossil fuels that are increasingly uneconomical and likely to be stranded — drew the support of shareholders with $7.75 billion of the company’s stock (4 percent). The resolution was co-filed by Zevin Asset Management.

The vote underscores shareholders growing concerns about Chevron’s snowballing outlay of capital despite weakening company fundamentals, changing energy markets, and growing climate change impacts. The resolution also goes a step further than recent greenhouse gas transparency and reporting resolutions at BP and Shell, which garnered record-high shareholder support, asking the company to take the steps necessary to protect shareholder value. The filers view today’s Chevron annual meeting vote as an extremely encouraging outcome for a first-time resolution addressing a new and timely issue and shareowners intend to increase the pressure on Chevron and other oil majors in 2016 to respond to shareowners’ concerns.

Speaking to shareholders, Danielle Fugere, president and chief counsel at As You Sow, said: “The era of finding cheap oil has come and gone. Chevron’s focus on finding new reserves at almost any cost creates tremendous risk to the company and to shareowners. These high-priced reserves must compete not only with cheaper national producers, but against increasingly effective efficiency measures, and plummeting costs of renewable energy. Last year, more capacity for renewable power was added across the world than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And much of the oil that Chevron is producing is also higher in carbon, despite the fact that two-thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground if we are to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. Oil that stays in the ground is valueless; and the massive investments made to find and develop that fuel is wasted capital.”

Commenting on the vote today, As You Sow CEO Andrew Behar said: “It is critically important to ask the tough questions of the board and shareholders about whether Chevron is on an economically unsustainable path. Chevron has lost money in 9 of the last 10 quarters due to poor capital investment decisions. The bottom line is that, based on Chevron’s current course, we don’t think we have a climate competent board capable of innovative thinking, therefore the capital is better spent as dividends than wasted by stranding more assets.”

The As You Sow/Arjuna Capital resolution focuses on the urgent need for action. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has cautioned: “No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2 degrees Celsius goal needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.”

“Profitability is suffering now as Chevron spends unprecedented amounts of investor capital looking for expensive, high carbon oil in remote corners of the earth,” said Natasha Lamb, director of Equity Research & Shareholder Engagement at Arjuna Capital. “Big Oil will not make money the same way it did last century. Chevron faces two inescapable truths — there is only so much easy-to-get oil in the ground and only so much carbon we can pump into the air. The next hundred years will be defined by these limits. Winning companies will focus on shareholder value, returning a greater percentage of profits to shareholders rather than risk investor capital chasing every last drop.”

Despite increasing concern about the risk of stranded assets, Chevron and other oil majors collectively spend over $700 billion annually to find and develop new fossil fuel reserves — and they are finding fewer barrels of oil at higher cost. Goldman Sachs notes: “In the past two years no major new oil project has come on-stream with production costs below $70 per barrel, with most in the $80-100 dollar range, raising the risk of stranded, or unprofitable, assets.”

According to a 2014 Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI) report, 26 percent of Chevron’s future project portfolio (2014-2050), representing $87 billion, requires at least $95 per barrel for a break-even price, and 14 percent requires a price of $115 per barrel. By the end of 2025, CTI’s report projected that high-cost, unconventional projects at Chevron would represent 36 percent of its potential future production.

Shareholders are concerned that, as Chevron digs deep to replace its oil and gas reserves, it is increasingly putting its profits in jeopardy. Profitability has been decreasing in recent years. From 2011 to 2013, while capital and exploratory expenditure increased 44 percent, Chevron’s net income dropped 20 percent. During that same time, Chevron’s debt more than doubled from $10.15 billion to $20.43 billion. Chevron’s spending surge has even drawn the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which demanded disclosure from Chevron about whether its recent capital expenditure jump will increase and affect the company’s liquidity.

For the full text of the As You Sow/Arjuna Capital shareholder resolution, go to http://www.asyousow.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/CHEVRON-carbonbubble-2015.pdf.

A detailed background memo on the resolution is available online at
http://www.asyousow.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/chevron-2015-carbon-asset-risk-proxy-memo.pdf.

ABOUT THE FILERS

As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. For more information visit www.asyousow.org.

Arjuna Capital is the sustainable wealth management platform of Baldwin Brothers Inc., an SEC-registered independent financial advisory firm established in 1974. For more information visit www.arjunacapital.com.

Millennials More Likely To Travel Abroad To Volunteer Than Other Generations, Marriott Rewards Credit Card from Chase Survey Reveals

Millennial Travelers Seek Thrilling Trips and View International Vacation Hot Spots through a Pop Culture Lens

WILMINGTON, Del. – May 27, 2015 – Millennials are more likely than their older counterparts to travel with a purpose as 84 percent of millennials say they would travel abroad to participate in volunteer activities, according to a new survey released today by Marriott Rewards Credit Card. Furthermore, 32 percent of millennials are interested in taking a charitable trip, while only two in ten Generation X travelers (18 percent) and baby boomers (17 percent) are interested in doing the same. Conversely, female travelers (28 percent), regardless of age, tend be more interested in taking a charitable vacation compared to their male counterparts (17 percent).

“Other generations may not assume Millennials would use their most precious assets, their time and money, to give back to international communities they visit, but today’s young travelers are reframing that mindset,” said Vibhat Nair, general manager, Chase Card Services. “We’ve seen in the past that this generation of travelers value rewards and perks from travel services, and now we’re seeing how they could be using those rewards for a larger purpose.”

The nationwide phone survey commissioned by Marriott Rewards Credit Card reached 1,000 travelers (18-67 years old) who stay in a hotel at least five nights per year for business, pleasure or both. Additional key findings from the survey include:

Millennial travelers are more likely than other generations to define international vacation “hot spots” by celebrity and pop culture influence

  • Millennial travelers ages 18-34 (44 percent) are more likely than travelers ages 35-49 (33 percent) and 50-67 (27 percent) to view destinations as hot spots if they have a booming industry and culture. Older travelers ages 50-67 (34 percent) are most likely to define a destination as a hot spot if it was highlighted in a notable travel or lifestyle publication.
  • One in five millennials (20 percent) would say a destination is a hot spot if it has recently been featured in a movie, compared to only 11 percent of Gen Xers and seven percent of boomers.
  • Around the same amount of millennials (21 percent) and travelers ages 35-49 (20 percent) say a destination is a hot spot if pop culture events, such as award shows or concerts, have taken place or will take place there, compared to one in ten travelers ages 50-67 (10 percent).

Millennial travelers seek thrilling adventures and nightlife over leisurely vacations abroad

  • Millennial travelers are far more interested in thrilling vacations (78 percent) than lazy trips (32 percent).
  • Those millennials seeking a thrilling vacation are most interested in filling their adrenaline needs through water sports (67 percent), compared to travelers ages 35-49 (55 percent) of ages 50-67 (46 percent).
  • Interacting with wild animals through activities like safaris or swimming with sharks (63 percent) is also of significant interest to millennial travelers who seek thrilling vacations.
  • Millennials (28 percent) are much more likely than Gen Xers (15 percent) and Boomers (six percent) to consider the local nightlife when choosing a particular destination abroad to visit.

To meet the unique needs of the rapidly growing segment of millennial travelers, Chase offers its Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, which lets travelers earn accelerated Marriott Reward points on all purchases, accumulate free night stays, and receive automatic Silver Elite Status once they become a cardholder. The card’s annual fee is waived the first year and also offers EMV chip-and-signature technology, charges no foreign transaction fees and comes with a variety of travel benefits. Nair adds, “today’s traveler is looking for ways to get the most out of their valuable time and money while on vacation, and the Marriott Rewards Credit Card from Chase helps to bring those desired travel experiences to life.”

Additionally, the Marriott Rewards Credit Card is offering a chance to win a free night stay at over 3,800 Marriott locations worldwide through its 1,000 Nights of Summer sweepstakes, which ends June 30, 2015.

About the Survey

This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,002 Americans, ages 18-67, who stay in a hotel at least five nights per year for business, pleasure or both. The survey was conducted from April 2, 2015 through April 10, 2015, and the margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent with a 95 percent confidence level.

About Marriott

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA with nearly 3,800 properties in 72 countries and territories and reported revenues of over $12 billion in fiscal year 2012. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.

About Chase

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. Chase serves nearly half of America’s households with a broad range of financial services, including personal banking, small business lending, mortgages, credit cards, auto financing and investment advice. Customers can choose how and where they want to bank: More than 5,500 branches, 18,000 ATMs, mobile, online and by phone. For more information, go to Chase.com.

The Least Religious Generation

Looking at 11.2 million U.S. adolescents over the last 50 years, researchers find millennials are by far the least religious generation. 

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (May 27, 2015) — In what may be the largest study ever conducted on changes in Americans’ religious involvement, researchers led by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge found that millennials are the least religious generation of the last six decades, and possibly in the nation’s history.

The researchers — including Ramya Sastry from SDSU, Julie J. Exline and Joshua B. Grubbs from Case Western Reserve University and W. Keith Campbell from the University of Georgia — analyzed data from 11.2 million respondents from four nationally representative surveys of U.S. adolescents ages 13 to 18 taken between 1966 and 2014.

Recent adolescents are less likely to say that religion is important in their lives, report less approval of religious organizations, and report being less spiritual and spending less time praying or meditating. The results were published this month in the journal PLOSOne.

“Unlike previous studies, ours is able to show that millennials’ lower religious involvement is due to cultural change, not to millennials being young and unsettled,” said Twenge, who is also the author of “Generation Me.”

“Millennial adolescents are less religious than Boomers and GenX’ers were at the same age,” Twenge continued. “We also looked at younger ages than the previous studies. More of today’s adolescents are abandoning religion before they reach adulthood, with an increasing number not raised with religion at all.”

Compared to the late 1970s, twice as many 12th graders and college students never attend religious services, and 75 percent more 12th graders say religion is “not important at all” in their lives. Compared to the early 1980s, twice as many high school seniors and three times as many college students in the 2010s answered “none” when asked their religion.

Compared to the 1990s, 20 percent fewer college students described themselves as above average in spirituality, suggesting that religion has not been replaced with spirituality.

“These trends are part of a larger cultural context, a context that is often missing in polls about religion,” Twenge said. “One context is rising individualism in U.S. culture. Individualism puts the self first, which doesn’t always fit well with the commitment to the institution and other people that religion often requires. As Americans become more individualistic, it makes sense that fewer would commit to religion.”

View the full article online at: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0121454.

Wells Fargo Awards Grants in Salt Lake City to Help Homeless

Two local non-profit organizations to share $500,000 in funding through Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT® program to help revitalize neighborhoods, prevent veteran and family homelessness

SALT LAKE CITY – May 28, 2015 – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), today announced grants totaling $500,000 for two nonprofits committed to assisting veterans and families in Salt Lake City overcome homelessness through the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program.

The Road Home ($300,000) and The Community Foundation of Utah ($200,000) are receiving the grants to help prevent homelessness in Salt Lake City. The grant recipients were selected in close collaboration with Mayor Ralph Beckerand the city’s division of Housing and Neighborhood Development to help address key local initiatives in the Salt Lake City community including homelessness prevention programs.

“I know support from the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program will make a difference for Salt Lake,” Mayor Becker said. “My hope is that projects and programs funded by these grants will help Salt Lake be known as the community that makes sure that all of the homeless get the shelter and services they need and deserve.”

The combined $500,000 in grants is part of the Wells Fargo Salt Lake City NeighborhoodLIFT program that invested a total of $5 million to help boost home ownership in the community. The program is also helping create more than 200 Salt Lake homeowners with the help of a NeighborhoodLIFT program $15,000 down payment assistance grant after completing home buyer education. Grants may be available for reservation by contacting NeighborWorks Salt Lake or a Salt Lake City-based Wells Fargo Home Mortgage consultant.

“We’re proud to do our part to help Salt Lake City neighborhoods,” said Dee O’Donnell, Wells Fargo regional president. “We believe these nonprofits are doing exceptional work in the community and these funds will add up to make a big impact for the Salt Lake City community.”

In Salt Lake City, the $15,000 down payment assistance grants were administered by NeighborWorks Salt Lake and awarded to eligible homebuyers with annual incomes that do not exceed 120 percent of the Salt Lake City area median income – which is about $82,450 for a family of four. Approximately 70 grants are still available for eligible homebuyers in the Salt Lake City area.

Since 2012, with a combined $242 million investment by Wells Fargo, LIFT programs have been introduced to 34 communities deeply affected by the housing crisis. The program has created nearly 9,500 homeowners, with the help of down payment assistance and homebuyer education. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted on the Wells Fargo YouTube Channel.

Wells Fargo collaborated with the Wells Fargo Foundation, Salt Lake City, NeighborWorks America and its local affiliate, NeighborWorks Salt Lake, to implement the program.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.7 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.

West Marine Kicks off the BlueFuture® Fund

Non-profit fund to benefit youth boating, marine conservation and sustainable fisheries

WATSONVILLE, CA (May 21, 2015) – West Marine (Nasdaq:WMAR), one of the world’s largest waterlife outfitters, today announced the launch of the West Marine BlueFuture® Fund to benefit youth boating, marine conservation and healthy fish stocks.

The intent for the BlueFuture Fund is to provide ongoing support to causes central to West Marine’s mission. This Donor Advised Fund is set up through Community Foundation Santa Cruz County and all donations are tax deductible. Associates, vendors and customers are encouraged to recommend great non-profits who are deserving of grants.

To kick off the formation of the BlueFuture Fund, West Marine founder Randy Repass and CEO Matt Hyde are each making a lead donation. In addition, board members and the senior team are making contributions. On June 8, World Oceans Day, West Marine will donate 5% of sales (up to $70,000) to the BlueFuture Fund. Any interested parties can also contribute to the fund by going to www.cfscc.org/WestMarine.

“We’re excited about setting up a sustainable way to share our commitment to youth boating, marine conservation and sustainable fisheries,” says West Marine CEO Matt Hyde. “Part of West Marine’s mission is that we ‘work to conserve marine resources, reduce our impact on the environment and promote boating.’ The creation of the BlueFuture Fund aligns with that mission.”

The BlueFuture Fund is just part of West Marine’s ongoing support of sustainability and community boating. Other initiatives include:

  • Reducing the company’s carbon footprint by 15% compared to a 2007 baseline
  • Creating and launching Pure Oceans, a green line of boat maintenance products
  • Hosting “Cruising for a Cause” charity nights to support local marine based non-profits
  • Donating nearly $5.2 million to hundreds of non-profit organizations

About West Marine

Founded in 1968 by a sailor, West Marine, Inc. has grown to become the largest omni-channel specialty retailer exclusively offering boating gear, apparel and footwear, and other waterlife-related products to everyone who enjoys recreational time on or around the water. With over 270 stores located in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, and an eCommerce website reaching domestic and international customers, West Marine is recognized as the dominant waterlife outfitter for cruisers, sailors, anglers and paddlesports enthusiasts. West Marine has everything you need for your life on the water. For more information on West Marine, Inc., its products and store locations, visit westmarine.com

U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Investors Defines and Uncovers Planning Shortfalls in Reaching a “Life Well-Lived”

New Insights on Wealth and Worth Finds Investing in Health is as Important as Building Wealth

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NEW YORK – The 2015 “U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth®” survey released today identifies what the wealthy consider to be important elements of a life well-lived, ranking health, family and financial security as essential. While the vast majority of respondents feel they are on the right path, eight in 10 identified at least one area of their lives, such as giving back and pursuing passions, that needs greater attention to make their life more fulfilling.

“A life well-lived shouldn’t be viewed through a rearview mirror with the final assessment of accomplishment or regret at the end of the journey. It can and should be carefully plotted and planned for,” said Keith Banks, president of U.S. Trust. “The wealthy are driven by a sense of purpose and desire to succeed, but what makes life fulfilling is not money; it’s what they do with it. As wealth managers, we have the opportunity to not only help our clients grow their wealth, but also to help them plan accordingly.”

The findings are based on a nationwide survey of 640 high net worth (HNW) individuals with at least $3 million in investable assets. “U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth” is among the largest annual studies to cover the attitudes and preferences of HNW individuals on growing, preserving and passing on wealth. The 2015 study builds on earlier explorations of financial security, giving back to the community, and family dynamics by taking an in-depth look at how priorities across all of these areas align with planning for a life well-lived.

Key findings include:

  • Health is the number one element to “a life well-lived.” The wealthy almost unanimously agree (98 percent) that the most valuable asset they have is their health, and investing in health is as important as investing to build wealth.
  • While the wealthy view money as empowering, 75 percent say their purpose in life would not change even if they lost their wealth.
  • Eighty-six percent say that giving back to society is an essential or important part of their lives, with women and millennials driving interest in giving and investing for social impact.
  • Priorities differ depending on gender, circumstance and life stage. Younger respondents are focused primarily on work and financial security. Health and family become more valuable later in life. Nearly six in 10 overall, and 83 percent of millennials, say they struggle to balance competing priorities across their work, family, social and financial lives.
  • Women and men are increasingly sharing decision-making and contributions to family wealth and financial security with each successive generation. In HNW millennial households, half of women contribute an equal share of household income or more income than their partners, and one-quarter of men have assumed primary responsibility for child care.
  • Priorities by age and gender in market outlook, investing and wealth building strategies have significant implications for family wealth, financial security and planning. Conflicts and lack of sufficient planning point to gaps in all of the essential elements of a life well lived.

Health

The wealthy are proactively investing in a multitude of activities to maintain their health and wellness, but many are not planning for the possibility of illness and how it might affect their income, assets or life expectations. The survey found:

  • Nine in 10 respondents are willing to spend more money on their health, and, not surprisingly given the high value placed on it, 31 percent of those over age 70 say they would spend any amount if they could have good health. Despite this willingness to spend substantially on maintaining or restoring health, half have not planned financially for an unexpected or degenerative health issue.
  • More than half (55 percent) say they would take a genetic test to identify their risk of a debilitating or life-threatening disease, and 46 percent say that, if faced with a high-risk condition, they would seek radical or preemptive medical treatment. However, in such an event, they are less proactive about securing their financial or family security, with only 28 percent saying they would review their financial plans or create a comprehensive estate plan.
  • If long-term care were ever needed, more than half of the wealthy expect to stay in their own homes, with care provided by family or private home health care. Another 23 percent would move to a luxury long-term care facility. Yet, 44 percent with long-term care plans have not yet planned for the cost of that care, including out-of-pocket health care expenses.
  • Nearly one in three (28 percent) overall and 53 percent of millennials say that their wealth comes at the expense of their health.

Family and legacy

The study found that family clearly represents the greatest source of enjoyment in life and is the motivator for financial success and security. Leaving a financial legacy to the next generation ranks fifth in relative importance as a contributor to a life well-lived. The survey, however, found:

  • While three in four wealthy parents say it is important to leave an inheritance to the next generation, only one in five agrees strongly that their children will be prepared to handle the wealth they receive.
  • Nearly two-thirds of wealthy parents have disclosed little or nothing about family wealth to their children, largely because of concern that it will affect their work ethic and family privacy.
  • Though 54 percent of the wealthy believe their family would benefit from developing a formal set of principles to guide the purpose and meaning of their wealth, only one in 10 has done so.

Financial security and building wealth

Survey respondents describe financial security as essential to a life well-lived because it provides options and the freedom to live life as they choose, without financial worries or restrictions. Their approach to investing and building wealth is shaped by their priorities and outlook, which in some cases is preventing progressing toward their wealth and investing goals.

HNW investors are slightly more optimistic in their outlook on the markets this year than last, but their views remain mixed, with millennials and women most uncertain and concerned about losses. While more than half (55 percent) of HNW investors say their greater priority is growth over protection of assets, 64 percent aren’t willing to seek higher returns if it means higher risk, and they are far more aware this year of the tax implications of their investment decisions. The survey found:

  • Six in 10 HNW investors have more than 10 percent of their portfolios in cash positions, including 22 percent with more than 25 percent. Four in 10 either have moved or plan to move even more of their investments into cash in anticipation of rising interest rates.
  • About 20 percent say they are looking for advice on the best way to invest in a low-interest rate environment. One-third (34 percent) are having these discussions with trusted professionals now.
  • Though men and women are focused equally on growing wealth, women are more conservative, with 25 percent of their portfolios in cash positions. Women also are less likely than men to describe themselves as opportunistic investors and strategic users of credit as a way to grow wealth.

Most of the wealthy, and particularly younger HNW investors, either currently use or are interested in adding non-traditional assets to their investment portfolios, including private equity and venture funds (48 percent). Seven in 10 own or are interested in owning tangible investments such as land, real estate, oil and gas properties and timber, primarily to diversify the portfolios and source of risk and income. Yet, lack of understanding and perceived risk is holding back one in three HNW investors from these types of investments.

The role of planning and advice

“Insights on Wealth and Worth” found that a majority of the wealthy seek advice on one technical aspect of planning, such as portfolio performance, tax planning and estate planning. However, only about one-third of the wealthy are talking with an advisor about strategies around the goals they consider to be fundamentally more important, including identifying family needs and goals (36 percent) and planning for increased longevity (34 percent). Even fewer are having discussions about the strategic use of credit (21 percent), strategic philanthropy (18 percent) and investing for social impact (11 percent).

“Insights on Wealth and Worth” found that those people who are getting professional advice are farther along on measures they describe as essential to a fulfilling, meaningful life. Not only do they feel more financially security and are less conflicted by competing priorities, they are more likely to say their family has a healthy relationship with money and their actions are in greater alignment with their intentions when it comes to growing, preserving and passing on wealth and making a difference in the world.

The complete 2015 “U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth” survey findings can be found at http://www.ustrust.com/ust/pages/insights-on-wealth-and-worth-2015.aspx

Survey Methodology

The 2015 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey is based on a nationwide survey of 640 high net worth and ultra high net worth adults with at least $3 million in investable assets, not including the value of their primary residence. Respondents were equally divided among those who have between $3 million and $5 million, $5 million and $10 million, and $10 million or more in investable assets. The survey was conducted online by the independent research firm Phoenix Marketing International in January 2015. Asset information was self-reported by the respondent. Verification for respondent qualification occurred at the panel company, using algorithms in place to ensure consistency of information provided, and was confirmed with questions from the survey itself. All data have been tested for statistical significance at the 95 percent confidence level.

U.S. Trust

U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management is a leading private wealth management organization providing vast resources and customized solutions to help meet clients’ wealth structuring, investment management, banking and credit needs. Clients are served by teams of experienced advisors offering a range of financial services, including investment management, financial and succession planning, philanthropic and specialty asset management, family office services, custom credit solutions, financial administration and family trust stewardship.

U.S. Trust is part of the Global Wealth and Investment Management unit of Bank of America, N.A., which is a global leader in wealth management, private banking and retail brokerage. U.S. Trust employs more than 4,000 professionals and maintains 97 offices in 31 states.

As part of Bank of America, U.S. Trust can provide access to a broad range of banking solutions for individuals and businesses, and an extensive retail banking platform.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 48 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,800 retail financial centers and approximately 15,900 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 31 million active users and approximately 17 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.

www.bankofamerica.com

U.S. Trust operates through Bank of America, N.A., and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC.

EVERY GIFT MATTERS: How Your Passion Can Change The World

By Carrie Morgridge With John Perry

Foreword by John P. Morgridge

“An informative road-map to making every donation count…[Carrie Morgridge] persuasively argues that donating wisely at any level can bring about big change. Readers will find her astute guidance a valuable tool in choosing where to give.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Carrie Morgridge has written a very important book. So many people have told me they really want to help, but they give nothing because they feel a small gift cannot make a difference. But it can, as you will learn from the inspiring examples in Every Gift Matters. Philanthropy is for everyone, and giving not only benefits the recipient but the giver, too.”

—JANE GOODALL, Ph.D., DBE, UN Messenger of Peace, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute

We read the headlines where foundations make multi-million dollar donations to fix communities around the world. The reality is, for every dollar American foundations give each year, individual donors give five. The power to fix problems in our communities lies in the volunteer hours and checkbooks of everyday individuals. In 2013, 72% of charitable giving came from individuals making small gifts. While multi-million dollar gifts get all the attention and can make the average person think they can’t make a difference, the exciting truth is that small gifts can change lives – the lives of both the recipient and the giver.

In her book EVERY GIFT MATTERS: How Your Passion Can Change the World (Greenleaf Book Group Press; May 5, 2015), philanthropist Carrie Morgridge argues that high-impact philanthropy is not always high-dollar, and she teaches people how to make a difference in the world with small, targeted gifts of time or money. Drawing on her own experience of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to philanthropy, Morgridge illuminates how leverage, high expectations, hands-on personal involvement, and, above all else, passion, will ensure that one’s gift will have the biggest impact possible – and also bring the giver a profound sense of joy and fulfillment.

For the past 15 years, Morgridge has worked tirelessly to fuel transformation in the areas of education, the arts, health and wellness, and conservation. But she wasn’t always in this position. Morgridge had humble beginnings; a small town California girl with big dreams working two jobs to make ends meet. When her life changed and she had the opportunity to give back, she ran through every open door she could. Her personal investment and hands-on involvement in hundreds of non-profits across the country has taught her that when you follow your passion, build the right relationships, and make every dollar you give work harder, small gifts can transform organizations and most importantly, improve the lives of thousands of people.

In EVERY GIFT MATTERS, Morgridge shares how giving has shaped her heart, but more importantly, she uses her experience to inspire and teach others how to make a difference. While Morgridge has made large gifts through her foundation, she has found that it’s the smaller gifts – some as little as $7 – that make the most immediate and visible impact on people’s lives and bring the greatest joy. In EVERY GIFT MATTERS, Morgridge takes the lessons she has learned making high-impact small gifts and identifies the key principles of effective giving that anyone can use – whether you donate your treasure or talent, whether you have a lot or a little to give. Through inspiring stories of her own gifts in action, Morgridge offers advice for others, including how to:

  • Choose the best cause for you
  • Vet organizations
  • Leverage your donations to inspire others to give
  • Ensure organizations can “clone” your money through matches
  • Make the most of your volunteer hours
  • Give a small gift that will change a person’s life by “filling the gap” – meeting an immediate need
  • Cultivate your network and connect people to share expertise, replicate success, and think outside the box

By sharing real-life stories of how a hands-on approach to philanthropy transforms lives, EVERY GIFT MATTERS inspires others to experience the profound joy that comes from giving to others and turning one’s passion into impact.

About the Author

Carrie Morgridge is Vice President of the Morgridge Family Foundation. For the past fifteen years, she and her husband, John, have worked tirelessly to leverage their foundation’s funds, spark innovation, and fuel transformation.

Carrie is recognized nationally for her work as a philanthropist, student advocate and the creator of innovative professional development for teachers. She is a recipient of the distinguished Frances Wisebart Jacobs Woman of the Year award from Mile High United Way, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the University of Denver, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Colorado Mountain College Board of Overseers, and New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning. She has been publicly recognized for her work at National Jewish Health and Denver Academy. She also serves in an advisory capacity and speaks nationally to education advocacy and technology-focused forums.

Carrie graduated summa cum laude from International Academy of Design and Technology, giving her an edge on design innovation, she is an aggressive athlete, finishing nine Ironman competitions. She lives in Colorado and Florida with her husband John.

About The Morgridge Family Foundation

The Morgridge Family Foundation invests in transformative gifts in education, conservation, health & wellness, and the arts. The Foundation has taken a leadership-funding role in projects with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, National Jewish Health, University of Central Florida, University of Denver, Mile High United Way, KIPP Schools nationwide, The Nature Conservancy, and Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, Florida. The Morgridge Family Foundation is a private family foundation. The Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals.

Inspired Luxe Launches Online Global Marketplace

CEO Denise Bradley-Tyson presents handcrafted luxury curated from a global array of master artists

San Francisco, CA [May 28, 2015] – Entrepreneur Denise Bradley-Tyson is pleased to announce the launch of Inspired Luxe, an online curated shopping experience dedicated to supporting the imagination of small-scale designers and artisans around the world. Helping online shoppers to “look good while doing good,” Inspired Luxe offers a mosaic of authentic global jewelry, home décor, and fashion accessories to inspire and define one’s own style, while helping to preserve traditions and innovations from around the world.

Inspired Luxe keeps it fresh with a new regional focus every few months. By exploring different regions of the world – from South Africa to Italy and beyond – Inspired Luxe discovers the most interesting and original lifestyle accessories. South Africa is the site’s current showcase, with original jewelry, accessories and fashion by Coast & Koi, Guidemore Chigama, Henriette Botha, FACT, luluK and more. Other featured artists who have been inspired by South Africa include Corinthia Peoples of Brooklyn and Oakland, Masha Archer of Kiev and San Francisco, and Tamara Hill Studio of San Francisco.

Inspired by her own world travels, Inspired Luxe was conceived by Bradley-Tyson, who serves as the company’s CEO and “Curator-in-Chief.” She has a passion for arts, a keen eye for quality and originality, and a successful track record of launching and establishing brands.

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“Through Inspired Luxe, we strive to promote and preserve cultural heritage,” said Bradley-Tyson. “By helping local artists and brand houses find new markets and grow their businesses, we and our customers empower them to continue creating and sustaining their traditions and, in some cases, preserving rare skills and methods that have been passed along through the generations. Each piece tells a unique story.”

Inspired Luxe CEO Bradley-Tyson holds degrees from Stanford and Harvard, and has traveled the world. She has achieved a long list of personal and professional accomplishments including launching and establishing San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) where she served as Executive Director. She is the President of the San Francisco Film Commission and earlier in her career she oversaw audience development and synergistic program activities at the South Bank Centre in London, Europe’s largest multi-disciplinary arts venue. Bradley-Tyson also served on the steering committee of the Arts Council England under Prime Minister Tony Blair. As a woman of color, Bradley-Tyson brings a lifetime of invaluable experience and unique insight to the e-commerce industry.

“We’ve launched Inspired Luxe to inspire and encourage people to explore the world and their own style with wearable art,” said Bradley-Tyson. “Our approach is ‘glocal’ – a mash-up of global and local considerations. We are enamored with local heritage and love discovering new artists all over the world so we can bring affordable luxury to consumers through our online marketplace.”

Unlike traditional stores or other online marketplaces, Inspired Luxe brings together a unique multi-layered, multi-cultural mix of patterns, prints and pieces that showcase hidden gems and up-and-coming trends from top local designers, craftspeople and brands – allowing customers to enjoy hand-picked designs that would otherwise never be discovered.

For more information, please visit InspiredLuxe.com.

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