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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: March 2016

Inspiring Capital’s Pitch for People: Investing Human Capital in Early Stage Social Ventures

From Shark Tank to innovation accelerators, we’ve all seen a lot of pitch competitions rise in popularity over the past few years. Start-ups and nonprofits alike have jumped on the competition bandwagon in the hopes of attracting crowdfunding or venture capital.

On April 7, social enterprise consulting firm Inspiring Capital is re-imagining the Pitch competition by offering an infusion of professional talent as an alternative to financial investment, at the first-ever Pitch for People event. Based on their belief in the catalytic power of human capital, Inspiring Capital will grant a year’s worth of free consulting services to the winning social venture, alongside auxiliary legal and communications consulting from Thomson Reuters Foundation and Brunswick Group.

30 ventures applied, 17 were shortlisted, and these 6 were chosen as finalists. The diverse group of finalist ventures all are under 2 years old and have less than $250,000 in revenue, with broadly ranging missions: providing breakfast and jobs for the homeless, bill-paying for seniors, international language learning via Syrian refugees, urban farming solutions, an investment platform for the mission-driven investor, and modernized healthcare in Bangladesh.

Without gadgets, gizmos, or consumer products, these ventures are unlikely to ever make the cut for Shark Tank. What unites these varied ventures is their commitment to pursuing models that integrate profit and purpose, which is also Inspiring Capital’s criteria for clients. To win, each venture will attempt to prove that their model not only is the most integrated in this double-bottom-line approach, but also that they are well-prepared to adopt and capitalize the talented professionals and consulting advice.

Inspiring Capital’s Founder and CEO, Nell Derick Debevoise, comments: “For any early-stage venture, having the right people is so important. For ventures that are taking on the challenge of doing well by doing good, having ‘multi-lingual’ talent that understands business and your mission is essential. We believe that this is the new economy, and we’re so happy to support ventures that can utilize our talent to achieve transformative growth that will change the world.”

Inspiring Capital has taken on consulting projects for more than 30 social enterprises, nonprofits, and Corporate Social Responsibility departments since its founding in 2012, from The Doe Fund to YouthInc to F.B.Heron Foundation. In turn, their professional development programs–for business professionals seeking to leverage their skills for good– have trained and launched more than 70 MBAs, women, and undergrads into work with purpose.

Alex Hanken, who heads up Inspiring Capital’s recruiting and training efforts, explains what sets their consultants and professional development programs apart. “We select for people who are themselves trying to make the same effort to integrate profit and purpose, and who don’t believe that making money and making a difference have to be at odds. Our programs deliberately seek the highest-caliber business professionals — whose educational and functional backgrounds qualify them for top jobs on Wall Street– and provide them the alternative to exercise those same strategic, financial, and operational skillsets for organizations that align with their personal purpose and ethos.”

For the lucky social venture that wins the Pitch for People, these consultants will become essential team members– they’ll get a functional CFO, CMO, or research team in the form of short-term engagements with IC’s MBA and Women’s Program alumni, as well as consulting sessions throughout the year for legal help from TrustLaw (via Thomson Reuters Foundation) and communications advising from Brunswick Group staff. For orgs. with already limited budgets and massive social missions, this is catalytic human capital, indeed.

To attend the Pitch for People on April 7 and hear the 6 finalists pitch for the winning spot, tickets are still available, but space is limited.

For more information on Inspiring Capital’s consulting services or professional development programs, visit inspiringcapital.ly

Leonardo Dicaprio Visits Endangered Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia, Throws His Support Behind International Efforts to Protect Rainforest

The globally important Leuser Ecosystem, threatened by palm oil and other encroaching development, is a growing focus of Indonesian and international conservation efforts

Medan, Indonesia – Actor and activist Leonardo Dicaprio has returned from a two day trip to the Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia, where he met with and gave his support to local groups working to save this critical landscape from destruction by palm oil plantations, mining, logging, new roads and other development threats.

Dicaprio posted this on his personal Instagram Monday evening: “The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is supporting local partners to establish a mega-fauna sanctuary in the Leuser Ecosystem, the last place on Earth where Sumatran orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants coexist in the wild.”

During a speech in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dicaprio announced his foundation’s support to organizations working to protect the Leuser Ecosystem, including San Francisco based Rainforest Action Network (RAN).

“We are in a race against time to stop the extinction of the Sumatran orangutan, tiger, rhino and elephant,” said Ginger Cassady, Forest Program Director at Rainforest Action Network. “Companies like PepsiCo that profit from conflict palm oil connected to the destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem must act immediately to break the link between the products they sell and rainforest destruction, labor abuses and climate pollution.”

The 6.5 million acre Leuser Ecosystem, located on the island of Sumatra, is a global biodiversity hotspot and a high priority landscape for conservation. Scientists warn that the iconic wildlife species that call it home are likely to be pushed to extinction forever if this last habitat stronghold is lost.

The Leuser Ecosystem plays a critical role in helping regulate the Earth’s climate by absorbing carbon pollution and storing massive amounts of carbon in its lowland rainforests and peatlands. Millions of local people depend directly on the Leuser Ecosystem for their livelihoods and as the central source of their clean water supply. Its forested watersheds also minimise the number and severity of environmental disasters in the region, which already kill many and cost millions of dollars each year.

PepsiCo is the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world and is falling behind its peers in taking meaningful action to reform its palm oil supply chain. PepsiCo consumes over 427,500 tonnes of palm oil per year and its consumption of this controversial commodity is on the rise.

For more information on the Leuser Ecosystem and the threats it faces, see RAN’s report The Last Place on Earth, Tracking Progress and New Opportunities to Protect the Leuser Ecosystem. For more on the status of the campaign to protect the region from palm oil plantation expansion and which companies are leaders vs laggards, see RAN’s Snack Food 20 Scorecard.

Shelton Green Alpha Fund Earns Five-Globe Rating – Morningstar’s Highest Sustainability Rating for Mutual Funds

Denver, March 28, 2016 – Shelton Capital Management, a mutual fund company founded in 1985, today announced that Morningstar® has awarded an Overall Sustainability RatingTM of Five Globes to its Shelton Green Alpha Fund (NEXTX). The Fund is ranked in the top 1 percent among 646 Mid-Cap Growth funds, based on the Morningstar Sustainability Score.

The Fund, sub-advised by Green Alpha Advisors of Boulder, Colorado, seeks to identify and invest in publicly traded companies that are leading the way to the sustainable Next Economy™. The Green Alpha Next Economy investment model focuses on companies that offer innovative sustainability solutions and avoids companies that contribute to resource scarcity and global warming.

“Since its inception, the Shelton Green Alpha Fund has consistently balanced its solutions-based investing with an emphasis on seeking long-term capital appreciation,” said Shelton Capital Management CEO Steve Rogers. “We are thrilled to be recognized for our rigorous commitment to sustainable and impact investing.”

The new Morningstar Sustainability Rating helps investors evaluate funds based on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and provides Sustainability Ratings for approximately 21,000 mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. Using data from Sustainalytics, a leading independent provider of ESG and corporate governance ratings and research, Morningstar calculates the rating based on the underlying fund holdings. The sustainability rating ranks funds relative to their Morningstar Category by assigning a scale of 1 to 5 globes.

In addition to the Morningstar Sustainability Rating, the Shelton Green Alpha Fund has also earned the maximum of Five Badges, indicating the fund is “clean” in each of their five distinct fossil fuels categories, from FossilFreeFunds.org, a free-to-the-public web tool provided by shareholder advocacy nonprofit As You Sow that screens for fossil fuel holdings in mutual funds. The Green Alpha Fund has been fossil free since its launch on March 12, 2013.

“NEXTX meets all five of our criteria for being fossil fuel free – from excluding fossil fuel reserves, not investing in our Filthy 15, or owning coal, oil/gas or fossil-fired utilities,” said Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow. “We are happy to see that Green Alpha is among the leaders in providing quality access to investments that are free of the financial and environmental risks associated with fossil fuels.”

About Shelton Capital Management

Shelton Capital Management, with offices in San Francisco and Denver, has been managing mutual funds since 1985. As of December 31, 2015, the firm manages $1.38 billion in assets. Shelton offers its investment management to individual investors, retirement plans and wealth managers through a series of 12 mutual funds and in Separately Managed Accounts (SMA’s). Please visit www.sheltoncap.com for more information.

About Green Alpha Advisors, LLC

Green Alpha Advisors is an asset management firm, founded in 2007 on the belief that in order to live and thrive on our planet, we must make an inevitable economic and technological transition to sustainability. Our investment strategies address core economic concerns emerging from the risks associated with resource scarcity and the worst effects of climate change – both exacerbated by population growth. We see innovations that simultaneously address these core systemic risks and improve economic productivity as the greatest growth drivers of the 21st century. Green Alpha is proudly a Certified B Corporation.

Original Article Link: http://greenalphaadvisors.com/shelton-green-alpha-fund-earns-five-globe-rating-morningstars-highest-sustainability-rating-for-mutual-funds/

Disclosures:

Green Alpha Advisors environmental focus may limit investment options available to the Fund and may result in lower returns than returns of funds not subject to such investment considerations. There are no assurances that the fund will achieve its objective and or strategy. Investing in securities of small and medium sized companies, even indirectly, may involve greater volatility than investing in larger and more established companies.

Investors should consider a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information about the fund. To obtain a prospectus, visit www.sheltoncap.com or call (800) 955-9988. A prospectus should be read carefully before investing.

Green Alpha Advisors LLC is the sub-advisor to the Shelton Green Alpha Fund. Shelton Funds are distributed by RFS Partners, a member of FINRA and affiliate of Shelton Capital Management. Green Alpha Advisors is not affiliated with either RFS Partners or Shelton Capital Management. (3/2016)

Investments are not FDIC insured or bank guaranteed and may lose value.

Enable Impact Launches Funding Platform For Impact Investing

AUSTIN, TX (March 29, 2016) – Impact Investors ­– investors who are seeking opportunities that offer both a fair financial return and a positive social impact – are a growing part of the evolving investment community. Also increasing is the number of social ventures, especially startups, that are seeking to do well and do good.

The ongoing challenge for impact investors has been finding the right deals. Social ventures seeking impact investors are facing the same problem: finding qualified investors.

Enable Impact, founded by technology entrepreneur and philanthropist Philip Berber, has just launched a new online platform for impact investing, where accredited investors can discover, analyze, and fund, social ventures.

The innovative investment technology is designed to make it potentially easier, quicker and less expensive for impact investors to find and fund deals. Equally, social entrepreneurs can raise capital in a more efficient and effective way.

Over the past two years, Enable Impact has built a network of thousands of social ventures and entrepreneurs and impact investors, who can match and connect within Enable Impact’s global searchable database, free of charge.

The launch of the new platform shifts Enable Impact from a free search service to a success fee-based model, working closely with a select number of curated ventures and some of the leading active impact investors to help get deals funded.

“We are now focusing on a select number of deals, bringing curated deal flow to our investor network. We bring co-investors together to close the round, bringing capital and enterprise together, to create sustainable solutions to global issues” explained Berber.

Enable Impact has partnered with North Capital for broker dealer and technology services. Accredited investors can now find and fund deals, and growth-stage social ventures can raise capital within one integrated, FINRA-regulated, impact investing platform.

The partnership allows Enable Impact to piggyback North Capital’s brokerage experience and infrastructure to accelerate the availability of these investment services in the impact sector. Now the same technology that has driven the success of funding platforms in other sectors, such as technology, real estate and consumer products, can help create double-bottom line ventures that potentially do well, and do good.

“Impact investing is a rapidly evolving area of finance that is well-suited to early and growth-stage deals, and the Enable Impact team brings a level of expertise, focus, and purpose that we have not seen before,” said James Dowd, Founder and Managing Director, North Capital.

Enable Impact’s deals are growth-stage, vetted ventures that have a lead investor, looking for co-investors to close the round. Due diligence and documentation, including legal documents, are reviewed and executed within the Deal Room on the platform, and Deal flow is delivered to the investor’s Inbox.

Enable Impact has already helped three social ventures raise equity: Agora for Good, NurtureMe and PenPals and the need continues to grow.

“We’re currently seeing a marketplace breakdown in impact investing. While thousands of great companies are starting each year, and billions of dollars are targeted at impact investing, very few companies are actually getting funded. Enable Impact can bridge this gap,” said Ross Baird, Executive Director of Village Capital, an organization that finds and funds ventures solving major global problems.

Please visit the new website to learn more and have a look at the Investor led deals that we are currently gauging investment in.

Poise Your Corporation to Make a Difference in the Face of Disaster

By Lisa Tomasi

By now we are all familiar with the disturbing and sad reality of the water crisis that is still unfolding in Flint, Michigan. Flint, located 70 miles north of Detroit, is a city of approximately 100,000 people where, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 41.6% of the residents live below the poverty line (Flint Water Crisis Fast Facts, CNN.com). Due to cost cutting measures, Flint changed its water source in April 2014 which ultimately caused the drinking water to become contaminated with lead and other toxins. The contaminated water has been linked to a spike in Legionnaire’s disease in the area which has killed 10 and sickened dozens more. The other major concern is for the long-term health crisis caused by the prolonged lead exposure, especially in children, which can affect children’s growth, behavior and intelligence.

It’s hard to believe that there are American citizens without access to clean drinking water. While filters have been installed in many homes, most are justifiably wary of using the tap water at all. Today the residents of Flint rely mainly on bottled water that is shipped in from a variety of sources, some from the government, some from corporations and some from private citizens. And, unfortunately, there is not a clear end in sight.

What can your company do when a disaster like this happens?

Employee giving and corporate involvement can offer immediate and lasting support in crisis situations. People want to help in response to a crisis and companies that make it easy for employees to be part of that response add value in many ways. According to Americas Charities snapshot 2015 (charities.org/snapshot2015) 70 percent strongly agree that employees expect employers to run a socially responsible company, which includes providing opportunities for employees to connect with cause they care about. Often people who are not involved in other causes are moved to action when it comes to disaster relief. And, under a corporate program employees can make a bigger impact than they can on their own.

A great example of employee giving and corporate involvement in the face of disaster is the Meritain Health/Aetna water drive campaign for the people of Flint that recently ended. In this case one person, Debbie B., an employee at the Okemos, Michigan Meritain office, wanted to start a water drive to help fellow Michiganders in Flint. She quickly realized that the other four Michigan offices wanted to contribute as well. As the idea for the drive grew, the thought of the logistics became cumbersome. Debbie reached out to YouGiveGoods, an online platform to raise goods for charity, and was quickly able to set-up an online water drive for all five Michigan offices. Once word of the drive spread, Meritain and Aetna offices outside of Michigan wanted to help as well and were easily added as part of the online drive and were able to contribute. In just over t! hree weeks, Meritain/Aetna was able to raise over 10,000 gallons of water for distribution through Catholic Charities Center for Hope in Flint. Meritain/Aetna sent volunteers to help with the distribution of the water to residents on March 12, 2016. Aetna also set up an informed health line for the people of Flint (all people, not just Aetna members) with registered nurses available to discuss health related questions. In addition, they are sponsoring the Genesee Public Health Department Forum in May, and the Aetna Foundation is making a $10,000 donation to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint/Flint Child Health Development Fund.

Companies that can spring to action in the face of a disaster are not only a source of valuable aid but create good will among consumers and loyalty among employees.

According to the 2013 Cone Communications Disaster Relief Trend Tracker, consumers stand ready to work alongside companies toward relief efforts and will reward those caring companies with a strong brand halo. More than half (54%) of global citizens say they have already joined corporate disaster relief efforts, while 9 in 10 global citizens have a more favorable impression of a company after learning that it supports disaster recovery.

A small to mid-size company may feel that this is a job for large companies only, but that is not the case. Thankfully, emerging technologies and innovations in volunteering, giving programs, and online drives are making it easier for companies of any size to react quickly to respond to disaster situations. As in the Meritain/Aetna example, a large, multi-layered corporate response was brought about by the actions of one employee.

Flint, Michigan continues to need support. And, we don’t know what disaster could be lurking around the corner. Why not put your company in a position to help? You could be the one employee that brings about a meaningful response to the next crisis. Whether in your local community or around the globe, your company can make a difference and bring aid when disaster hits.

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Lisa Tomasi

Lisa Tomasi is the President and founder of YouGiveGoods, LLC, an innovative e-commerce company that connects tangible giving to community needs through the YouGiveGoods free, easy-to-use online service. Lisa has been involved with charitable causes throughout her adult life. She first came to understand their important role in society while living in San Francisco during the 1989 devastating earthquake. Aided by the Red Cross, she spent three days living in a park. That ordeal motivated Lisa into dedicating her life to service – from volunteering at battered women shelters, to helping villages in Indonesia after the Tsunami, to building houses in Haiti, to establishing several educational funds for children, to ultimately founding YouGiveGoods.

CITGO Fueling Education Program Drives Importance of STEM

Educators have opportunity to learn from ‘America’s Science Teacher’ Steve Spangler and receive new school supplies

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HOUSTON – March 30, 2016 – CITGO Petroleum Corporation invites elementary and middle school teachers to enter its fourth annual Fueling Education Program, focusing on the importance of engaging young students in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Through April 30, teachers in grades K – 8 are encouraged to visit www.fuelingeducation.com for the chance to win STEM-related prizes to benefit their classrooms and schools, including the Grand Prize of an in-school teacher training session with ‘America’s Science Teacher,’ best-selling author, and Emmy-award winning television personality, Steve Spangler.

To enter, teachers simply visit www.fuelingeducation.com to share their favorite STEM teaching ideas or lesson plans through a brief description, photo, and/or video, for the chance to receive one of the following:

  • Three Grand Prize winners will receive an in-school teacher training session led by Spangler, with the opportunity to invite up to 99 other fellow teachers to attend and learn STEM-related topics, lessons and activities to engage their students. Each Grand Prize winner will also receive a voucher to purchase classroom supplies from National School Supply.
  • Nine First Prize winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Spangler’s “Science in the Rockies” seminar, held mid-summer in Denver, to participate in hands-on workshops to further develop the way they teach STEM subjects. In addition, each First Prize winner will receive a voucher to purchase classroom supplies from National School Supply.
  • 90 Second Prize winners will receive a voucher to purchase classroom supplies from National School Supply.

“At its very core, STEM is really about our ability as educators to build connections and create experiences that inspire our students to think differently as they imagine their unlimited potential as future scientists and engineers,” said Steve Spangler. “I’m excited to partner with CITGO and work with teachers through the Fueling Education program to create unforgettable learning experiences that engage elementary students in STEM subjects to benefit them in the classroom and in their future careers.”

Upon entering the contest, teachers will receive a STEM education packet with lesson plans and posters while supplies last. Those K – 8 teachers in the 29 states in which CITGO operates, as well as the District of Columbia, are eligible to enter.

Throughout the past three years, the CITGO Fueling Education program has contributed new school supplies to hundreds of teachers. To enter and learn more about the program rules and regulations, visit www.fuelingeducation.com.

About Steve Spangler

Steve Spangler is a best-selling author, educator, entrepreneur and Emmy award-winning science communicator who finds the most creative ways to make science fun. His videos featured on YouTube have more than 190 million views, and his online experiments are widely used by parents and educators to increase student engagement and inspire young scientists to learn more about STEM-based careers. Steve is probably best known for using YouTube as his classroom to teach millions of people how to turn a bottle of soda and a roll of Mentos into an erupting soda geyser. Spangler is a frequent guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show where she dubbed him “America’s Science Teacher…because his creativity and sense of fun are inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders.” For more, visit www.stevespanglerscience.com or www.facebook.com/stevespangler.

About CITGO

CITGO is committed to giving back to the local communities it serves through its network of locally owned stations. CITGO Marketers and Retailers own and operate nearly 5,500 CITGO locations and are proud to support their communities. For more information on the positive impact of the locally owned CITGO stations, visit www.fuelinggood.com. CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.

James Patterson And Scholastic Renew Pledge To Help Save School Libraries!

March 29, 2016, New York, NYJames Patterson will personally donate another $1.75 million to school libraries this year, in the second installment of his School Library Campaign. In partnership with Scholastic Reading Club, the program was launched in 2015 as part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a priority for children in the United States. Scholastic Reading Club will administer funding applications to their network of 62,000 schools and 800,000 teachers and will match each dollar with “Bonus Points,” which teachers can use to acquire books and other materials for their classrooms, at every school that receives an award. Applications to nominate a school library for a donation must be submitted by May 31, 2016, and can be found here: www.scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership.

Last year Patterson pledged $1.75 million in grants to school libraries. Of the nearly 28,000 entries received, 467 schools were awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. School libraries across the country used this funding to purchase new books, add bookshelves, make improvements to their catalog systems, and expand their programing. With this second round of donations, Patterson and Scholastic hope to give even more children in America access to books and a functioning school library. Patterson believes that enhancements to school libraries will not only help to foster a love of reading, but will boost academic achievement overall.

James Patterson said, “It was really incredible to see such an overwhelming response to last year’s donations – and to see what school libraries across the country have done to improve and expand their programs with their grant dollars. Libraries are at the heart of every school, and I’m thrilled to be partnering with Scholastic once again to continue to underscore both the need to sustain them, and the vital role reading plays in children’s lives.”

“We love working with James Patterson whose personal commitment to school libraries is awe-inspiring. The powerful combination of Patterson and Scholastic shines a much-needed light on the vital role school libraries play in getting kids to read,” said Judy Newman, President of Scholastic Reading Club, a division of Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company. “It is a real honor to continue our partnership with Jim to bring attention and resources to the teachers, librarians, and communities working tirelessly every day for our children’s literacy.”

The 2016 program will launch with $1.75 million in grants that will be awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year. Anyone can nominate a school library; donations will range from $1,000 to $10,000 per school. James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club will accept nominations of all types: for repairs to a computer system, for example, or for a school project focused on books and reading. Patterson hopes that teachers and students will share their experiences in their communities using #pattersonpledge. All funds are being personally donated by James Patterson.

James Patterson

James Patterson received the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community at the 2015 National Book Awards. His other awards include two Emmys, the Edgar Award, and the Children’s Choice Award for Author of the Year. He is a tireless champion of the power of books and reading, exemplified by his new children’s book imprint, JIMMY Patterson, whose mission is simple: We want every kid who finishes a JIMMY Book to say: “PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER BOOK.” He has donated more than one million books to students and soldiers and has over four hundred Teacher Education Scholarships at 24 colleges and universities. He has also donated millions to independent bookstores and school libraries. Patterson will be investing proceeds from the sales of JIMMY Patterson Books in pro-reading initiatives. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family. www.jamespatterson.com

Scholastic

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, a leading provider of print and digital instructional materials for pre-K to grade 12, and a producer of educational and entertaining children’s media. The Company creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, classroom magazines and other products that, in combination, offer schools customized solutions to support children’s learning both at school and at home. The Company also makes quality, affordable books available to all children through school-based book clubs and book fairs. With a 95 year history of service to schools and families, Scholastic continues to carry out its commitment to “Open a World of Possible” for all children. Learn more at www.scholastic.com.

Embracing Vice President Biden’s Moonshot Call To Cure Cancer, Johns Hopkins Launches Immunotherapy Center With $125 Million Gift From Michael Bloomberg, Sidney Kimmel And Others

–Immunotherapy holds the potential to cure and end all forms of cancer–

(Baltimore) — A new institute studying immunology with the potential to eventually end all forms of cancer was announced today at Johns Hopkins by Vice President Joe Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg and more than a dozen additional supporters of this initiative. Embracing the vice president’s “moonshot” initiative to cure cancer, the new Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy was founded with gifts from Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist, entrepreneur and three-term mayor of New York City, and Jones Apparel Group founder Sidney Kimmel, who each contributed $50 million. An additional $25 million for the center is thanks to more than a dozen additional supporters.

Immunotherapy is a central element of the Obama administration’s new moonshot to cure cancer. It has the potential to cure and end all forms of cancer, which makes it one of the most promising avenues of cancer research today. Currently the most rapidly advancing approach to cancer treatment, immunotherapy seeks to redirect patients’ highly individual immune systems to target, detect and destroy cancer cells. (See attached FAQs for more information on immunotherapy.)

The institute will further strengthen Johns Hopkins’ world-class program in cancer immunology, uniting the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center experts with the immunology, genetics, microbiology and biomedical engineering experts throughout Johns Hopkins in a concentrated effort involving over 100 scientists and clinicians.

“We are at the forefront of an emerging and promising field of cancer research and treatment,” said Paul Rothman, M.D., dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “We are grateful for these tremendous gifts which will help us accelerate the already rapid pace of discoveries in immunotherapy.”

How Funds Will Be Used

While funds for the new institute will primarily support research, they also will be used to recruit additional scientists; provide additional infrastructure for engineering cellular products related to immunotherapy research; enhance partnerships with the private sector, including biotech and pharma; and invest in critical technology development, such as new ways to profile the immune response inside the tumor. Research at the institute will focus particularly on melanoma, colon, pancreatic, urologic, lung, breast and ovarian cancers.

According to Drew Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D., the institute’s inaugural director, “We believe the focused and collaborative research made possible through the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy will advance immunotherapies to the point where the immune system will ultimately be able to beat 100 percent of cancers. The potential to control or cure even the most advanced, treatment-resistant cancers has been elusive until now.”

Bloomberg and Kimmel: A History of Support for Health Funding

Sidney Kimmel and Michael Bloomberg each have a long history of support for Johns Hopkins.

Bloomberg, a 1964 alumnus of The Johns Hopkins University and chairman of its board of trustees from 1996 to 2002, has given more than $1.2 billion to the university and the Johns Hopkins Health System since graduating. Funding from Bloomberg has contributed to a physics building, a school of public health, a children’s hospital, a stem cell research institute, a malaria institute and a library wing. He has also financed 20 percent of all need-based financial aid grants to undergraduates, with over 2,000 scholarships committed over the next several years. Announced in January 2013, Bloomberg committed an additional $250 million to recruit 50 faculty members as Bloomberg Distinguished Professors. The majority of this gift is dedicated to creating 50 new interdisciplinary professorships, galvanizing people, resources, research and educational opportunities to address major world problems.

“Ending all cancer would rank among humanity’s greatest achievements, and immunotherapy is bringing that dream within reach. This new institute will build on the pioneering work that doctors and researchers at Johns Hopkins have done in immunotherapy and help fuel new advances and discoveries. It’s an honor to join Vice President Biden in the moonshot effort he’s leading to end cancer and also to partner with Sidney Kimmel, whose generous and committed support for cancer research is saving lives,” says Bloomberg.

Since 2001, Kimmel has contributed $157 million; in recognition of that generosity, Johns Hopkins named its cancer center after him. Kimmel also has given an additional $2.4 million to support 12 young cancer scientists at Johns Hopkins as part of his national Kimmel Scholars Program.

“I could not be more honored to partner with Mike Bloomberg and capture the opportunity to advance immunotherapy research at this critical moment,” Kimmel says. “Having been committed to cancer research for more than 20 years, it simply thrills me to know that the scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center see a new light at the end of the tunnel.”

“Michael Bloomberg and Sidney Kimmel are visionaries,” says Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University. “Their philanthropy has already fostered remarkable innovation throughout Johns Hopkins, transforming the landscape of public health and cancer research. The new Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute builds on that legacy, giving us the latitude to dream big as we accelerate our efforts to end all forms of cancer.”

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, based in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of 45 centers designated by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive center.

The Unstoppable Foundation Raises $1.2M for Education Projects in Kenya

LOS ANGELES, CA – (March 28, 2016) – The Unstoppable Foundation held its 7th annual Unstoppable Gala on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at the JW Marriott Live in downtown Los Angeles. It was its most successful to-date. Because of the generosity of guests and the Proctor Gallagher Institute’s matching pledge, the gala raised $1.2 million in donations that will help to bring an education as well as the 5-Pillars of sustainability to the entire Kipisan community of 2,000 men, women and children.

Philanthropic celebrities, business and thought leaders, best- selling authors, and professional athletes, helped make the evening a success including Anne Archer, Dyan Cannon, Henry Winkler, Melanie Griffith, Ron Moss, David Meltzer, Leigh Steinberg, and athletes including Warren Moon, Marcellus Wiley, Jim Leyritz and Christian Okoye.

Bob Proctor, CK & Blaine Bartlett

Best selling -author, Jack Canfield has called the Unstoppable Gala, “the Oscars for the transformational industry.”

The theme of the evening was “One Child Can Change the World” and it was demonstrated over and over by our honorees, and presentations that evening.

Dyan Cannon opened the festivities, featuring performances by the Joy Enriquez, Heavenly Joy, LA Inner City Mass Choir, The Monster Kids and Carmen Twillie.. Cynthia Kersey, founder and CEO of the Unstoppable Foundation, presented the foundation’s first ever Unstoppable Legacy Award to longtime supporter, Bob Proctor. Bob is a legendary figure in the world of personal development and was one of key figures in the best-selling book and movie, The Secret.

Academy Award nominee Anne Archer presented the 2016 Unstoppable Achievement Award to Senior Human Rights advisor to the United Nations, Chris Mburu. Previous honorees have included Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, and scholar/activist Dr. Tererai Trent.

Chris is a native Kenyan whose primary and secondary education was funded through monthly donation from holocaust survivor Hilde Back. Chris went on to graduate from Harvard University and establish his own charity to support education for Kenyan children.

Highlights of the program included a powerful speech by Faith Cherop, one of the Unstoppable Foundation Kenyan students who will graduate from high school this year. Faith was among the first primary students to receive support from the Unstoppable Foundation.

“We are ecstatic and humbled by the love and generosity of our attendees and this money will do a world of good for the families in the Kipisan Community,” said founder Cynthia Kersey.

Sponsors for the evening included Presenting Sponsor Centerpointe Research Institute, Diamond Sponsor Sports 1 Marketing, and Wine Sponsor Eleven Eleven.

ABOUT UNSTOPPABLE FOUNDATION

The Unstoppable Foundation is a not-for-profit humanitarian organization bringing sustainable education to children and communities in developing countries, thereby creating a safer and just world for everyone.

The Unstoppable Foundation’s proven five-pillar model not only builds schools, but transforms the entire community by providing access to 1) education, 2) clean water and sanitation, 3) food and nutrition, 4) healthcare, and 5) income training and empowerment for parents.

The five-pillar model is designed so that the communities own and maintain the projects, which are self-sustainable within five years of the completed implementation.

With the help of our implementing partners, we are currently educating and providing daily nutritional meals for more than 8,000 students. In addition, over 30,000 community members are receiving access to clean water, healthcare and income and empowerment training, which shows the program continues to be self-sustaining.

Please visit unstoppablefoundation.org to learn more and to download pictures from the evening.

Walgreens Invites Americans To Get Seriously Silly And Welcome Red Nose Day Back To The U.S.

Red Nose Day’s official retail partner makes more Red Noses available and expands Red Nose Day merchandise to help raise funds to fight kids’ poverty

DEERFIELD, Ill., March 28, 2016 – Championing everyone’s right to be happy and healthy, Walgreens proudly returns as the exclusive retail partner of the second annual Red Nose Day, helping raise funds to fight kids’ poverty. The campaign’s iconic Red Noses – which people wear in support of the official Red Nose Day on Thursday, May 26 – returned to store shelves at Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide this morning, officially kick starting the nine-week charitable campaign.

Following the sell-out success of last year’s inaugural Red Nose Day, Walgreens is going beyond the nose in 2016 and raising funds through the sale of new Red Flair merchandise, also available nationwide starting today. From red hats and springy novelty headbands to oversized sequin bowties and Red Noses for cars (to name a few), Walgreens is making it even easier for Americans to “Get Seriously Silly” in support of a great cause.

“Helping people live happy and healthy lives is our passion at Walgreens, and participating in Red Nose Day lets us do just that for those who need it most: kids living in poverty in the U.S. and abroad,” said Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreens. “Topping last year’s success is a challenge we’re ready for. We have more Red Noses, new Red Flair and several other fun ways for everyone in the Walgreens family – from our valued customers and vendor partners to our passionate team members – to get involved in this powerful campaign.”

The Return of the Red Noses

Between now and the official Red Nose Day in May, Walgreens hopes to sell significantly more Red Noses than the 5 million it sold last year. To help meet its goal, Red Noses and Red Flair hit Walgreens shelves two weeks earlier this year, giving Americans even more time to “Get Seriously Silly” in support of a great cause. Starting today and continuing through June 4, Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide will sell Red Noses for $1 each and Red Flair items for between $1-$5.99. Proceeds from Red Nose and Red Flair purchases benefit the Red Nose Day Fund* which supports charities with domestic and international reach aimed at fighting childhood poverty, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America; charity:water; Children’s Health Fund; Covenant House; Feeding America; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; National Council of La Raza; National Urban League; Oxfam America; Save the Children; and The Global Fund.

Beyond purchasing Red Noses and Red Flair for themselves, Americans can further support the cause by purchasing Red Noses and Red Flair products for their schools or workplaces, or organize fundraisers in their community. Cash donations can also be made at any Walgreens location.

Walgreens commemorated the return of the laughs and Red Nose Day fun with the help of actor and comedian Ravi Patel (Grandfathered, Masters of None), who helped deliver the first batch of Red Noses and Red Flair to Walgreens shelves in Chicago, the retailer’s hometown. Accompanied by Walgreens team members, Patel arrived at Walgreens flagship store in a Red Nose Day-adorned armored truck. With security in place, a briefcase full of Red Noses and Red Flair handcuffed to his arm and a store full of unsuspecting shoppers, Patel successfully delivered the Red Nose Day fun to Walgreens. The event was captured on film and is posted on the Walgreens YouTube channel.

#RedNose Road Trip & Challenges

Together with Walgreens, Patel will continue the fun online by inviting Americans to “Get Seriously Silly” on social media with weekly #RedNose challenges. Starting today and continuing every Monday leading up to Red Nose Day, Patel will accept the weekly #RedNose challenge from Walgreens with a silly video and task Americans to join in. The challenges include “Share your four-legged friend’s #RedNose look,” “Share your #RedNose Mom & Me Flair selfie,” and “Share your #RedNose landmark photo,” among others. People can share their silliest pictures and videos answering the challenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #RedNose.

Weekly #RedNose challenge videos will be featured as part of a new Walgreens “50 States, 50 Stories” video series to live on Walgreens.com/RedNoseDay. In the series, Walgreens takes Red Nose Day on the road in search of powerful stories showing people both supporting and benefitting from Red Nose Day. The uplifting, fun-filled stories will showcase real people’s charitable Red Nose Day efforts in action across the country.

Walgreens “nose” consumers aren’t the only ones who know how to have fun for a great cause. Later this week, Walgreens executives will issue a Corporate Challenge to colleagues at other companies encouraging them to share funny videos and show America their silly sides. In the coming weeks Walgreens Facebook page will show just how silly corporate America can get to help fight kids’ poverty around the world.

Beyond the Nose

In the UK, Red Nose Day has raised more than $1 billion since it launched over 25 years ago and is an inspiring cultural phenomenon that unites people from all walks of life in the interest of saving and changing lives. The inaugural Red Nose Day event in the U.S. took place last May and raised more than $23 million to help kids in need in America and abroad.

This year, Red Nose Day’s nine-week campaign will culminate in a live, two-hour broadcast on NBC airing on May 26 (9-11 p.m. ET). The Red Nose Day Special will feature popular comedians, top musicians and Hollywood stars in an engaging mix of comedy, live musical performances and short, compelling films shedding light on the cause.

For more information on Red Nose Day and how to get involved, visit walgreens.com/RedNoseDay and Walgreens on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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