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Monthly Archives: December 2016

AmericInn Cares Raises $50,000 for Give Kids the World

Company-wide Support for Children’s Charity Surpasses $820,000 Total

Press Release – MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/AmericInn raised $50,000 for the Give Kids the World Scoops of Hope initiative as part of its AmericInn Cares fundraising efforts. This is the third year that AmericInn, the largest mid-scale hotel brand in the upper Midwest, has been a sponsor of Scoops of Hope. Give Kids the World fulfills the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, by providing fantasy vacations at its 70-acre “storybook” resort in Orlando, Fla. Since beginning its support in 1995, Northcott Hospitality, parent company for AmericInn, has raised more than $820,000 for Give Kids the World.

“Our hotels, employees and guests have really embraced Scoops of Hope and the great experiences it provides to families in need,” said Paul Kirwin, AmericInn president and CEO. “It is rewarding to see our fundraising efforts continue to grow year over year.”

As part of its AmericInn Cares initiative, twice each year the company unites as a brand to support a single cause. During November 2016, AmericInn encouraged its hotels to host ice cream-themed events in an effort to raise money for the program. This year the brand experienced a 10 percent increase in hotel participation.

It costs about $5,000 for each child and family served by Give Kids the World. Scoops of Hope is a fundraising initiative inspired by a former wish family, who celebrate the anniversary of their Village trip each year by having ice cream for breakfast—just as they did at the Ice Cream Palace during their stay.

The partnership with Give Kids the World is part of AmericInn’s long-standing commitment to community involvement, which grew into its AmericInn Cares initiative in 2011. Past support has gone to military groups, including the Blue Star Mothers and Yellow Ribbon Network when more than 3,000 care packages were sent overseas; True Friends camps, when camp supply kits were assembled; and a fire department, when fleece blankets and teddy bears were made to support their outreach programs.

About AmericInn

AmericInn® is a leading mid-scale hotel chain with over 200 locations currently open or under development in 24 states. The brand is dedicated to providing an exceptional lodging value for its guests by offering spacious, comfortable guest rooms; great rates and amenities such as a free, hot, home-style AmericInn Perk breakfast; free hotel-wide wireless high-speed Internet; inviting swimming pools; and the Easy Rewards guest loyalty program. AmericInn is part of Northcott Hospitality, owner and developer of successful franchised hospitality brands for more than 50 years. For more information or reservations visit www.AmericInn.com or call 1-800-634-3444.

2017 Music In Our Schools – Music Inspires Tour to Present $30,000 in Grants to Six Winning Schools

Kickoff Celebration with Little Big Town at Walt Disney World Resort

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Press Release – December 19, 2016 (Reston, VA)—After more than 60,000 views of the 12 semifinalist schools’ videos for the 2017 Music In Our Schools – Music Inspires Tour, during which viewers voted daily for their favorite schools, the six schools to be part of the Tour have been chosen. Early next year, Give a Note Foundation’s fourth annual Music In Our Schools Tour will visit the following locations:

  • Ramona High School, Riverside, CA
  • Joliet Central High School, Joliet, IL
  • Salina South Middle School, Salina, KS
  • James Otis Elementary School, Boston, MA
  • Tar River Elementary School, Franklinton, NC
  • Wenatchee High School, Wenatchee, WA

Schools will receive a $2,500 grant from Give a Note Foundation, which will be matched by the CMA Foundation. Additionally, Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country will join in celebrating the talented students with select hosted performances.

This is Radio Disney’s fourth year collaborating with Give a Note, an affiliate of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), for the Music In Our Schools Tour. The CMA Foundation continues its ongoing work with Give a Note, recognizing the importance of music education in keeping students engaged and in school, as well as providing access to higher education through scholarships and supporting music educators. CMA Foundation grants are presented on behalf of the artists who perform each year during CMA Music Festival for free.

As such, five-time Country Music Association (CMA) Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town will kick off the 2017 Music In Our Schools Tour at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort Performance Hall at Walt Disney World during one of the Disney Performing Arts Workshops, Disney Sings—where students record from a Disney animated feature film soundtrack, allowing them to review and critique their vocal technics. Little Big Town (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Philip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook) will share their own experiences with music education and the importance of music in the lives of all students.

“Give a Note believes in the power of music to inspire and to bring everyone together,” said Jane Mell Balek, Give a Note Executive Director and CEO. “We are excited to work once again with Radio Disney, Disney Performing Arts, and the CMA Foundation to celebrate and share the amazing power of music-making and learning through the Music In Our Schools Tour. This fourth Tour will once again show the positive impact of music on students’ lives, and encourage communities to rally together to support music in all schools.”

“We couldn’t be more proud to help kick off a program that will not only reach students around the country but also recognize the amazing music educators who impact their lives every day,” said Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, who also serves on the CMA Foundation Board of Directors. “Music clearly inspired us when we were young, and we’re honored to be advocates for young people, who each deserve access to music programs.”

“It’s an honor to be part of celebrating these talented students and see the positive impact that music education has made on their lives. We value our role in Music In Our Schools and share in Give a Note’s commitment to expand music education in schools,” said Phil Guerini, Vice President, Music Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide and General Manager, Radio Disney Network.

This past fall schools submitted videos of their ensembles performing music that inspired them. Then the twelve semifinalist schools were selected and voted on by the public to be part of the 2017 Music In Our Schools Tour. Additionally, the 2017 Tour will visit the schools of two Tri-M® Music Honor Society chapters and the colleges/universities of two collegiate NAfME chapters that raised the most donations for Give a Note during the fall’s #MusicEdMatters Chapter Challenge October 1-December 31.

To learn more about Give a Note Foundation and the Music In Our Schools Tour, visit www.giveanote.org and follow the hashtag #MusicInspires. Be sure to follow the Tour on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Fisheries-Focused Impact Investment Fund Announces First Deal

Philippines-based Meliomar to Receive $1 Million in Financing from the Meloy Fund I, LP

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Press Release – ARLINGTON, VA (PRWEB) DECEMBER 19, 2016: Today Rare’s Sustainable Markets Group announced a US$1 million-dollar investment in Philippines-based seafood company, Meliomar Inc. This marks the first investment by the Meloy Fund for Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in Southeast Asia, the first impact fund focused solely on near-shore fishing-related enterprises in the developing tropics.

Based in Manila, Meliomar is a fish aggregator, processor, importer and exporter, founded in 2013. This five-year investment will help Meliomar increase its processing capacity and logistics, as well as strengthen its internal systems, supporting growth in volume as well as the development of additional product lines to complement its current offering. As part of the agreement, Meliomar will partner with Rare’s flagship coastal fisheries program, Fish Forever, to source at least ten tons of sustainable seafood annually from local Filipino communities as part of jointly developed fishery improvement projects (FIPs).

Christian Schmidradner, CEO of Meliomar, said, “We are looking forward to the collaboration with the Meloy Fund, which will finance our increased investment and working capital needs for our growing sustainable seafood business in the Philippines. It was key to have a financing partner that understands the complexities and underlying challenges of working with local small-scale fisheries towards improvement and management reform.”

In addition to financial returns, the investment aims to deliver environmental and social impacts, projected to include more than $2.5 million in additional annual income to 16,000 local fishers and at least 12,000 hectares of critically important marine ecosystems under improved management by 2021.

Launching in 2017, the Meloy Fund is a first-of-its-kind impact investment fund focused on coastal fisheries in Indonesia and the Philippines. Investors include the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, and has been further supported by partners including Bloomberg Philanthropies and JPMorgan Chase & Co., among others.

Matt Arnold, Global Head of Sustainable Finance for JPMorgan Chase said, “Rare has moved quickly to build a compelling approach for investment in conservation and JPMorgan Chase is proud to support its innovative efforts.”

Ramsay Ravenel, Executive Director of the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust said, “The Grantham Environmental Trust is excited to support Rare’s first investment from the Meloy Fund. This transaction perfectly exemplifies the fund’s strategy to make pioneering private investments that benefit local fishing communities while protecting critical ocean habitat.”

The Meloy Fund, an initiative of Rare’s Sustainable Markets Group, is part of a larger push by Rare to create financial incentives and innovative public-private collaborations in order to scale conservation solutions across its work areas. This includes Rare’s participation in the Vibrant Oceans Initiative (VOI), funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Among its many critical impacts, the VOI has played a fundamental role in creating the foundation for the Meloy Fund to succeed.

Tom Chappell’s Ramblers Way Opens its Doors in Hanover

– Sustainable Clothing Company Offers ”Clothing for a Good Life” in Time for Holiday Shopping – 

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Press Release – Hanover, NH — (December 19, 2016) The wait is over. Ramblers Way, the ethically sourced, and skillfully crafted sustainable clothing company, today opened its brand new store to serve New Hampshire and Vermont shoppers who are looking for an American-made, sustainable alternative.

In its location at 37 South Main Street, Hanover, shoppers will find premium Rambouillet Merino wool and Pima cotton clothing lines for women and men who are looking for sustainable clothing that can be worn comfortably both in the office and in nature. The look and feel embodies Ramblers Way’s commitment to protect the planet, support local economies and build its business based on lifelong values of doing business for good.

Ramblers Way was launched in 2007 as a mail-order store by Tom Chappell, founder of the personal care products company Tom’s of Maine, which was sold to Colgate in 2006. Chappell created Ramblers Way after searching for clothing that met specific performance needs and minimized the impact on nature. He established an all-American supply chain that meets the company’s stringent standards for sustainable farming and animal welfare.

“We must ensure that our world is sustained to be enjoyed for many generations to come,” said Chappell. “Business plays a critical role in ensuring we create healthy systems in which people and all of life can thrive. With Ramblers Way, we’re crafting beautiful clothing that makes people feel good, both inside and out.”

Ramblers Way plans to expand quickly. Its next store, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, will open next month, and additional stores in Portland, ME, Cambridge, MA, and West Hartford, CT are scheduled for 2017.

Major Gift from Finns Pushes NU Nursing Scholarship Over $1 Million

Press Release – Niagara University, NY – E. John and Jeanne C. Finn have made an $875,000 gift to support the Jerome Patrick and Alice Conley Corcoran Scholarship at Niagara University.

Their most recent gift brings the endowed scholarship fund over $1 million.

The scholarship is offered to students from Central and Western New York who demonstrate financial need and plan to study in Niagara University’s esteemed School of Nursing. It was established by the Finns in 1997 in memory of Jeanne Finn’s parents. More than 50 students have received the scholarship since its inception.

Jeanne Finn was inspired by her mother, Alice Conley Corcoran, a gifted caregiver, who instilled in her an appreciation for the nursing profession and, hence, the creation and support of the scholarship at Niagara University.

“We are extremely appreciative of Jack and Jeanne Finn’s continued support of Niagara University, which serves as an enduring tribute to Jeanne’s parents and a powerful testament to the excellence of our nursing programs,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “Thanks to the generosity of the Finns, more students will have an opportunity to be connected with the Vincentian spirit and our acclaimed School of Nursing, thus inspiring them to be lifelong caregivers of people in need, especially to those in our nearby communities.”

Nurses-in-Training at Niagara University

Nurses-in-Training at Niagara University

E. John Finn held executive positions with The Carborundum Company, the Kennecott Corporation, and the Standard Oil Company. The Carnegie Mellon University graduate is also the retired chairman of Dorr-Oliver, a former partner with Broadsword Partners LLC, and a previous director of ART, Esterline Technologies and Stantec Inc. He served as a Niagara University Trustee from March 1983 to December 2002, was named a Trustee Emeritus in December 2003, and presented with an honorary doctorate in 1987.

Jeanne Finn also completed undergraduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University, before earning a graduate degree in education from Niagara University in 1971. She founded and served as director of the Fantastico Tutorial program, a volunteer effort that provides academic assistance and language instruction to children and teenagers in the disadvantaged Hill Section of New Haven, Connecticut. She also taught courses to women inmates at a maximum security prison in Connecticut. In light of her incredible work with those in need, Niagara University awarded Jeanne Finn its Caritas Medal in 2007.

It has been a banner fundraising period for student scholarships at Niagara University.

On Nov. 18, NU announced that it had received a $500,000 gift from Robert and Lynda Engel in support of the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Endowed Scholarship. Later that day, the Catholic and Vincentian institution netted more than $200,000 for student scholarships at its annual President’s Dinner.

Niagara University offers financial assistance to 99 percent of incoming and freshmen and transfer students, totaling more than $43 million.

To learn more about Niagara University, please visit www.niagara.edu.

Niagara University

Founded by the Vincentian community in 1856, Niagara University is a comprehensive institution, blending the best of a liberal arts and professional education, grounded in our values-based Catholic tradition. Its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, and Hospitality and Tourism Management offer programs at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral level.

HealthCorps’ Organ Donation Campaign to be featured on The Dr. Oz Show

Press Release – NEW YORK, New York (December 19, 2016) – On December 21, HealthCorps’s Organ Donation Campaign will be featured on The Dr. Oz Show. HealthCorps, a national health and wellness nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz, is attempting to sign up 62,500 new organ donors through its program. If successful, the year-long initiative could save 500,000 lives.

“At HealthCorps, we give teens practical life skills to improve their physical and mental health so they can learn to live more productive and happier lives. We teach them life-saving skills as well. Understanding the importance of organ donation can be life-saving,” said Michelle Bouchard, the organization’s president.

HealthCorps Coordinator Elizabeth Gass and three students from The High School of Fashion Industries in New York City will be featured on the show discussing the campaign and the importance of organ donation. Ms. Gass is also the daughter of a heart transplant cardiologist and spent much of her childhood around transplant specialists.

HealthCorps will employ social media and in-school training to educate teens about the need for organ donations. Its curriculum now includes two lesson plans on organ donation. HealthCorps is working with Organize.org to leverage social media to raise awareness and Donate Life to process the registrations of new donors.

HealthCorps Coordinators around the country will promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle to maintain organ health, and will work in their classrooms and communities to dispel myths surrounding organ donation. A recent poll of high school students conducted by HealthCorps found that 32% of students erroneously think that doctors are less likely to save your life if you are an organ donor. Students will play an organ donation myth-busting game in their schools in December and January.

The organ donation campaign is sponsored by The Choudhrie Family Foundation, which supports medical research and education. Philanthropist and businessman Sudhir Choudhrie was the recipient of a heart transplant, performed by HealthCorps founder Dr. Mehmet Oz, in 1999. His new book “From My Heart” details his struggle with heart disease and recovery following his transplant.

Mr. Choudhrie will appear on The Dr. Oz Show on December 21 to discuss his new book and the importance of organ donation.

To learn more about the HealthCorps organ donation initiative please visit, https://www.healthcorps.org/organdonor

The Dr. Oz Show air times may vary, please check your local listings to find out where and when the show airs in your city.

Vulnerable Coastal and Marine Areas in the Caribbean Receive Landmark $42 Million Endowment

The Nature Conservancy’s $8 million capstone support will sustain 21 million acres of newly protected areas

Press Release – New York, NY | December 19, 2016: The Nature Conservancy is pleased to announce the completion of its $8 million private philanthropy commitment toward the creation of the $42 million Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, an endowment supporting the protection and management of 21 million acres of coastal and marine areas. In an unprecedented collaboration for a sustainable Caribbean, eleven governments have signed on to the Caribbean Challenge Initiative, committing to protect 20% of important coastal and marine habitats by 2020 – effectively tripling the coverage of marine protected areas in the region.

The Caribbean region, home to some of the world’s richest biodiversity, is under threat. Unsustainable development, pollution, overfishing and climate change are some of the threats to the area. Warming oceans are affecting weather patterns, creating more powerful tropical storms and damaging coral reefs, which protect shorelines from flooding and erosion while providing critical habitat for many of the Caribbean’s 12,000 marine species. Mangrove forests, which also provide coastal protection and carbon sequestration, are being cleared for human development at a rapid pace.

The wellbeing of the Caribbean’s human population is also in danger. Nearly 44 million people live in the region, with more than 70% of the population residing along the coastlines. Water and food security, local economies and livelihoods are all dependent upon a healthy, resilient environment.

Together, the Caribbean Challenge Initiative and the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund will help build natural and socioeconomic resilience in the Caribbean. The 21 million acres of new marine protected areas – roughly the size of South Carolina – will benefit both nature and people. The protected areas can play a significant role in fighting climate change by capturing and removing carbon from the atmosphere. Furthermore, they will help to foster tourism and provide sustainable management of fisheries and marine resources.

“What is so striking here is the magnitude of this work,” said Luis Solórzano, Executive Director of the Caribbean Division. “We need to start bringing globally-scaled attention to oceans in order to address the threat of climate change and solve the crisis facing both marine and human life before it is too late. This was especially apparent at the recent follow-up to the Paris climate talks, COP22, where the changing seas were a focus of many of the world’s leaders. It is clear that now is the time to take bold and swift action.”

The Nature Conservancy’s fundraising efforts are setting a philanthropic trend in a climate-changing world. To help the Conservancy fulfill its $8 million commitment toward the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, Dan Chung, CEO and CIO of Fred Alger Management and the Chair of the Conservancy’s New York Board of Trustees, created the “Chung Challenge for the Caribbean,” urging donors to match his gift. His challenge was a success, and enabled the Conservancy to leverage $34 million in funding to the endowment. The Conservancy’s financial commitment was also championed by Caribbean Division Board Chair Michael Kowalski and the J.A. Woollam Foundation, as well as generous donors and Caribbean Trustees.

“More needs to be done globally to save our oceans,” said Chung. “Our oceans have undergone a tremendous amount of damage in a relatively short amount of time, and we must act now. We depend on oceans for so much: food security, coastal protection, carbon sequestration and more than half of our oxygen. This work in the Caribbean is an exciting, precedent-setting opportunity to ensure nature and people thrive far into the future.”

In addition, Dan Chung’s gift, in tandem with other leadership gifts, will allow The Nature Conservancy to scale-up all work in the Caribbean to protect coral reefs. Corals, which are essential to 25% of all marine life and provide critical natural defenses to coastal communities, are in serious peril.

The countries and territories currently participating in the Caribbean Challenge Initiative are Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

World’s Largest Muslim Body Convenes UN, World Bank and over 40 Nations to Plan International Humanitarian Conference for Yemen

Press Release – Jeddah, 18 December 2016: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s second largest inter-governmental organisation, convened senior representatives from the UN, World Bank and ambassadorial diplomats from over 40 nations yesterday at a preparatory meeting for a humanitarian conference to support Yemen. The OIC Secretary General also called for the “adoption of quality humanitarian intervention initiatives” that are “commensurate to the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen”.

The OIC, a body spanning 57 Muslim nations, has committed to organising an international conference to provide humanitarian and development assistance to the Yemeni people. The conference will take in cooperation with the United Nations, the Yemeni Government, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and several international donors, namely the USA, Germany, Sweden, Japan and the UK.

Yesterday’s preparatory meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, focused on pooling efforts from partnering organisations (including the Gulf Cooperation Council and the World Bank) and participating countries in the planning of such a conference.

Nations represented at the meeting by official Ambassadors to Riyadh included the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Finland, as well as several OIC member states from the Muslim world.

In his address, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Partnerships with Middle East, Central Asia, Mr. Rashid Khalikov said that only $150 million had been received from the total $1.6 billion pledged by international donors in 2016. He added that seven million people in Yemen do not know from where they will get their next meal.

Abdur-Raqueeb Saif Fath, Minister of Local Administration and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Relief in Yemen, presented UN findings of the scale of the humanitarian disaster in Yemen. These included:

  • 21.2 million Yemenis needing different forms of humanitarian aid;
  • 19.3 million Yemenis not having access to safe drinking water;
  • 14.1 million Yemenis suffering a shortage of food;
  • 2.2 million Yemeni children suffering from acute malnutrition.

The OIC Secretary General, General Yousuf Al-Othaimeen, said “the aim of this meeting is to find ways to support the Yemeni people”.

He added “today, we are required to adopt -in cooperation with other international organizations- quality initiatives for humanitarian intervention that would be commensurate to the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The conference that is being planned is an important step towards boosting response and coordination system among active parties in Yemen to ensure non-multiplication or duplication of mechanisms”

The Secretary General also stressed the need to “bridge the huge gap in the required financing for humanitarian action in Yemen”.

Centre Foundation: $2.3M Invested in the Community in 2016

Press Release – State College, PA – Over $2.3 million in grants and scholarships were invested in the local community this year thanks to the visionary and generous donors that support Centre Foundation’s various programs, online giving events, and the hundreds of endowment and scholarships funds!

“This year has been a truly impactful year and we can’t thank the community enough for making this incredible investment in our local area,” said Molly Kunkel, Executive Director at Centre Foundation. “Donors past and present, of all ages, and from across Centre County have demonstrated their commitment to our community through Centre Foundation. We are honored to be able to work with these inspired donors to achieve their philanthropic goals and make a difference in the community.”

Just over $1 million was distributed among the more than 100 local organizations that participated in Centre Gives this year. This online giving event was held over two days in early May and touted over 6,000 gifts to organizations working in every field imaginable: arts, animals, education, environment, and health & social services.

Each Centre Gives gift was stretched further thanks to the $100,000 stretch pool and $25,000 in prizes provided by Centre Foundation. The gifts were stretched yet again when an anonymous donor added $50,000 to the stretch pool! Since Centre Gives launched in 2012, the program has invested over $4 million into our local non-profit network thanks to over 23,500 gifts.

Almost $300,000 in scholarships were distributed to over 95 students this year. These scholarship and award funds were opened by community members who seek to inspire the next generation. Scholarship recipients will be able to achieve their educational goals just a bit easier thanks to this financial support.

A total of $970,000 in grants were distributed to almost 100 non-profit organizations.

“Endowment funds provide our local organizations with annual grant money that they can depend on every single year in perpetuity,” noted Kunkel. “Additionally, when some donors establish their own family funds at Centre Foundation, they designate their favorite organizations to receive this same type of annual grant payments which also occur in perpetuity.”

Young philanthropists also made an impact with grants this year. Centre PACT (Philanthropic Actions Created by Teens) had a successful pilot program. These Centre County high school students raised their own money, did research, and then gave $5,000 in grants to four local organizations working towards the students’ theme of ‘Setting Students up for Success.’

Engaged community members of all ages also made an impact in a social way. Giving Circle members met in August for their annual cocktail reception and to hear presentations from three local organizations. After members’ votes were counted, the group granted a total of $15,000 across the three health & social service organizations.

“Our local community is blessed with engaged donors who have a plethora of philanthropic passions,” explained Kunkel. “At Centre Foundation, our staff is happy to help anyone who wishes to make a difference in our community.”

For more information about all of Centre Foundation’s granting opportunities, please visit our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Centre Foundation is committed to helping donors fulfill their philanthropic goals by building and maintaining a permanent collection of endowment funds. The Foundation champions the betterment of Centre County for both present and future generations with trustworthy leadership in shaping effective responses to community issues and opportunities.

Kresge Investing $14 Million to Community Finance Institutions Serving Low-Income People

First round of Kresge Community Finance financing includes loans to six CDFIs, DFAs

Press Release – The Kresge Foundation announced today $14 million in investments to six Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and Development Finance Agencies (DFAs) working to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities through an initiative called Kresge Community Finance (KCF).

KCF invited proposals from qualifying CDFIs and DFAs working in American cities on projects that align with Kresge’s strategic priorities in six program areas – Arts & Culture, Education, Health, Human Services, Environment and Detroit.

More than 130 organizations submitted proposals for funding, representing more than $280 million in capital requests. The resulting investments from Kresge’s Social Investment Practice pair standardized loans, available for up to 10 years, with small operating grants.

Program-related investments made in the first round of Kresge Community Finance funding include:

  • $3 million to Reinvestment Fund to support creative placemaking efforts in Baltimore, Atlanta and New Orleans.
  • $3 million to Connecticut Green Bank to support the installation of solar generation and storage systems in affordable housing and other community facilities in Connecticut’s urban and coastal communities.
  • $1 million to the Cooperative Fund of New England to support the development of resident/member-owned and managed cooperative housing, and healthy food retail projects in cities in Southern New England
  • $3 million to Enterprise Community Loan Fund for the equitable revitalization of the Jefferson-Chalmers Corridor in Detroit’s East Jefferson neighborhood.
  • $3 million to Boston Community Capital in support of its collaboration with MassDevelopment, Massachusetts’ economic development and finance authority, to finance mixed-use projects in Massachusetts cities pursuing community-led placemaking redevelopment.
  • $1 million to Capital Impact Partners in support of its partnership with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative to finance and promote community development, residential density and walkability.

In total, the Foundation plans to award up to $30 million in financing and up to $1.5 million in grants through KCF to at least 15 organizations. Additional investments through KCF will be announced in 2017.

“We wanted to test the demand for a standardized product of patient capital for CDFIs and DFAs,” said Joe Evans, the foundation’s portfolio manager, Social Investment Practice, “and to demonstrate to other investors an efficient approach to meeting the capital needs of low-income communities.”

Kresge’s Social Investment Practice uses a variety of financial tools to invest in projects that bring both a social and financial return. The foundation has committed to investing $350 million in social investments by 2020.

“To move that amount of money, we wanted to explore innovative ways of sourcing and funding a large pipeline of investments that advance our mission, while balancing risk and portfolio construction considerations,” said Kimberlee Cornett, Kresge’s managing director, Social Investments Practice. “The demand for KCF proved to us that there is a market for this type of product, and we’re thrilled to partner with and support so many important efforts that will improve opportunity for thousands of low-income people.”

CDFIs are private nonprofits that leverage private sector investment to provide financing and technical assistance for a range of community development activities, including job creation, small business development, housing and other community development.

DFAs are public, private and non-profit development entities that provide financing for programs that foster job creation and economic development with a focus on growing housing and employment opportunities in low income communities.

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