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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: October 2017

UCSF Launches $5 Billion Campaign to Solve the Most Complex Human Health Problems

Largest Campaign Focused Exclusively on Driving Innovation in Medicine

Press Release – UC San Francisco (UCSF) has announced the public phase of one of the largest fundraising efforts ever by a U.S. university, a $5 billion campaign aimed at tackling the most complex biomedical questions of our day and working more broadly to improve the quality of people’s health over their lifetimes.

The campaign, which makes its public launch with $3 billion raised, will focus on three “Grand Challenges:” solving fundamental biological mysteries; accelerating the translation of discoveries to transform patient care; and working with organizations and institutions to achieve greater health equity for all.

The boldness of the goal, said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, reflects the potential to tap the confluence of biomedicine and technology in the highly innovative ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Every couple of centuries, he said, a convergence of factors give rise to a significant advance in knowledge. Today, factors are coming together to allow this to happen in the health sciences, with the emergence of big data, software and hardware, combined with the knowledge that’s been gained in molecular biology.

‘We are facing a time of unprecedented opportunity, as well as tremendous need, in human health and equity that cannot be solved by individuals working in isolation,” said Hawgood. “This campaign brings together brilliant minds in science and technology, within the context of our region’s pioneering spirit, to solve the most challenging and vexing problems in human health.”

The first of the three Grand Challenges, “Decoding Life to Improve Health,” is aimed at illuminating the complex biology of human beings, using discoveries made at the molecular, cellular and circuitry levels to fight diseases or stop them before they start. Current examples at UCSF include the work of Wendell Lim, PhD, who is engineering “self-driving” cells from a person’s own immune system to kill cancer and other diseases, and Susanna Rosi, PhD, and Peter Walter, PhD, who are studying an experimental drug – discovered in Walter’s lab – that, when tested in mice, completely reversed severe learning and memory impairments caused by traumatic brain injury.

“Thanks to unprecedented advances in technology, we are at a historic moment in our ability to understand the mysteries of life,” said infectious disease researcher Joseph DeRisi, PhD, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF and co-president of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, who is using next-generation sequencing to pinpoint the genomic signatures of pathogens, creating a single, rapid test to diagnose infections.. “At UCSF, we can develop and refine answers and harness solutions that will help transform our understanding of human health and disease.”

The second challenge, “Leveraging Discovery to Revolutionize Care,” aims to translate discoveries – moving them from basic-science labs to clinical trials and into health care settings – faster and more effectively than ever before. This will include capitalizing on advances in technology and partnerships with industry leaders, such as Sanofi and GE. Atul Butte, MD, PhD, inaugural director of the UCSF Institute for Computational Health Sciences and the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg Distinguished Professor, for one, will leverage high-performance computing resources and access to more than 15 million UC Health electronic health records – representing health, genetic, lifestyle and environmental data from California’s highly diverse population – to identify causes and new treatment strategies for diseases and identify ways to improve health care quality and delivery by hospitals.

The third challenge, “Partnering to Achieve Health Equity,” applies UCSF’s scientific rigor to tackle socially determined obstacles to health, such as poverty and discrimination. Current efforts include the San Francisco Cancer Initiative (SF CAN) and the Child Equity Institute, which address the social and economic factors that impact health. A heightened focus on equity in mental health care is being led in part by Matthew State, MD, PhD, chair of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry, and an effort to address the challenges of fighting chronic diseases in disadvantaged and underserved populations is being led by Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and inaugural vice dean for population health and health equity at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

“UCSF is a national leader, and its collaborative, entrepreneurial spirit makes it uniquely suited to address the greatest challenges in health for individuals and populations,” said William E. Oberndorf, chair of the UCSF Board of Overseers and chairman of Oberndorf Enterprises.

About UCSF: UCSF is a unique campus of the University of California system, dedicated exclusively to graduate- and professional-level health sciences. It receives more research funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other public university in the nation, and the second most among all US universities. UCSF’s health system, UCSF Health, includes UCSF Medical Center, ranked fifth in the nation by US News & World Report, and the highly-ranked UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland. UCSF’s graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy are among the top-ranked in the nation, as is its graduate program, which offers doctoral degrees in a range of biomedical fields. For more information, please visit www.ucsf.edu/news.


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Electrolux On Climate Change A-List

Press Release – Electrolux has been named one of the top 5 % corporate global leaders acting against climate change. The company has been awarded a position on the 2017 Climate A List by CDP, the international non-profit. It is the second year in a row Electrolux gets this top recognition by CDP for its efforts to cut emissions, mitigate climate risks and develop the low-carbon economy.

“We have shown that an ambitious climate agenda together with a strong commitment to implementing goals in our manufacturing considerably reduces our CO2footprint. I am pleased that Electrolux is recognized for our efforts to improve our climate impact,” said Henrik Sundström, Head of Sustainability Affairs at Electrolux.

As part of its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2020, the Electrolux Group has worked intensely in reducing its environmental footprint by shifting to renewables and optimizing the use of energy and other resources throughout its operations, as well as improving the energy efficiency of appliances.

In manufacturing, the average level of CO2emissions per unit produced has decreased by 25% since 2015 and the company has also set the goal that half of Electrolux energy used shall come from renewable sources by the year 2020. Electrolux was earlier this year named, for the eleventh consecutive year, Industry Leader of the Household Durables category in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World). Read more here.

CDP is an international non-profit that runs a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. Thousands of companies submit annual climate disclosures to CDP for independent assessment against its scoring methodology. The Climate A List is released alongside the Water A List and Forests A List on CDP’s website, accompanied with case studies from leading companies. This is the first year that CDP has announced company scores across all three areas simultaneously, reflecting a holistic approach to corporate sustainability.

Read more about the Climate A List here. Read more about Electrolux sustainability framework For the Better here.

For further information, please contact Electrolux Press Hotline, +46 8 657 65 07.

Electrolux shapes living for the better by reinventing taste, care and wellbeing experiences, making life more enjoyable and sustainable for millions of people. As a leading global appliance company, we place the consumer at the heart of everything we do. Through our brands, including Electrolux, AEG, Anova, Frigidaire, Westinghouse and Zanussi, we sell more than 60 million household and professional products in more than 150 markets every year. In 2016 Electrolux had sales of SEK 121 billion and employed 55,000 people around the world. For more information go to www.electroluxgroup.com.


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Penn Study Links Mutations in Notch Gene to Role in B Cell Cancers

Press Release – PHILADELPHIA — Notch is one of the most frequently mutated genes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common leukemia in adults in the United States. It is also often mutated in other common B cell tumors, such as mantle cell lymphoma. However, the role of Notch in these cancers has been uncertain. Now, a collaborative effort between investigators at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Harvard Medical School provides new insights into how Notch drives the growth of B-cell cancers. The teams report their findings in Cell Reports.

The researchers found that in B cell tumors, mutated overactive versions of the Notch protein directly drive the expression of the Myc gene and many other genes that participate in B cell signaling pathways. Myc is a critical gene in governing cell proliferation and survival, activities that it carries out by regulating the expression of other genes involved in cell metabolism.

B cell signaling pathways are the current targets of several therapies used to treat B cell malignancies such as CLL. “An important translational implication of this research is that we hope that by combining Notch inhibitors with drugs that target B-cell signaling we can better treat these B-cell cancers,” said senior author Warren Pear, MD, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Penn Medicine. “Although this is true of many transcription factors, it has been difficult to develop therapeutics that directly target the Myc protein, an alternative approach may be to target the proteins that regulate Myc expression.” Notably, multiple Notch inhibitors are in various stages of clinical development as potential cancer therapies.

Peripheral blood with chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells
Image courtesy of Jon Aster, Harvard Medical School

The mechanism used by Notch to regulate Myc in B cells is distinct from the mechanism used in other cell types, such as T cells, where Notch also regulates Myc. The team found that Notch uses different regulatory switches in the genome, called enhancers, in different cell types. This raises the issue of why evolution would select for this complexity. One reason may be that Myc needs to be under very tight control in each cell. For example, in the mouse model of Notch-induced T-cell leukemia, the Penn group previously found that the difference between inducing a T cell tumor or not is a doubling of Myc transcription by Notch. As Notch appears to use cell type-specific machinery to regulate Myc, it may be possible to target the Notch-Myc signaling path in a way that does not disrupt this path in other cell types.

Another surprising finding was the direct link between Notch and genes involved in other B cell signaling pathways. For example, Notch activates genes involved in B cell receptor signaling, which is an established drug target in these B cell cancers. The challenge now will be to understand what this might mean for treatment of patients with Notch-activated B-cell leukemias and lymphomas. The team plans to test the synergy between Notch and B-cell signaling inhibitors. If they find a relationship, the next step would be to stimulate interest in a clinical trial.

The study is collaboration between the Pear laboratory, including co-first author Jelena Petrovic and the lab of Robert Faryabi, PhD at Penn, along with the labs of Brad Bernstein and Jon Aster, Harvard Medical School. Co-first author Russell Ryan, from the Bernstein lab, is now an assistant professor at the University of Michigan.

This work was funded by the National Institutes of Health (P01 CA119070, R01AI047833, U01HL100405), the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Penn Epigenetics Institute, a Financial Peace University fellowship, a National Marfan Foundation Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and grants from the Spanish government and Red Tematica de Investigacia Cooperativa en Cancer.

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $6.7 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2016 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report — Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital — the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2016, Penn Medicine provided $393 million to benefit our community.


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Rare Genomics Institute Launches 2017-2018 BeHEARD (Helping Empower and Accelerate Research Discoveries) Rare Disease Challenge

– Finalists receive cash grants and cutting-edge technologies –

Press Release – Washington, D.C. Oct. 26, 2017. The Rare Genomics (RG) Institute is delighted to announce the launch of the 2018 BeHEARD (Helping Empower and Accelerate Research Discoveries) science challenge, a global competition that offers rare disease researchers, who traditionally have difficulty attracting funding, grants of cash and the latest life science innovations and technologies. This unique crowdsourced biotechnology competition allows companies to contribute their technology to make a difference for the rare disease community.

In the 2018 BeHEARD Challenge, in addition to BeHEARD’s usual competition open to all rare disease proposals, Rare Genomics is collaborating with the INADcure Foundation, whose mission is to support the development of treatments for INAD (Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy) to award $100,000 total in INAD Discovery Grants.

INAD is lipid storage disorder that occurs due to the lack of a certain enzyme. The result is an accumulation of lipids in nerve endings that causes progressive damage. The symptoms of INAD usually start to appear between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. A common pattern in young children is the steady loss of previously acquired skills, and mental and physical ability. Most children with INAD do not survive beyond the age of ten, and there are currently no effective treatments for the disease, although there has been some promising initial research. “BeHEARD and INADcure hope that by offering the Discovery Grants, we may be able to increase research on INAD, which has potential for treatments, but has difficulty attracting research and funding due to the relatively low number of sufferers,” says Danielle Fumagalli, BeHEARD Director.

Partnering with INADcure and life-science technology companies, we have over $500,000 of cutting-edge technologies and cash grants available for rare disease researchers to apply for. The prizes include custom mouse models, bioinformatics analysis software, and much more.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Researchers at non-profit institutions, universities, or academic laboratories.
  • Rare disease advocacy groups, foundations, and families.
  • For-profit companies may apply in collaboration with non-profit patient advocacy groups or universities.
  • Your project must involve a rare disease (as defined by the NIH).

Requirements:

Applicants are required to provide the following information:

  • CV of applicant(s)
  • Contact information
  • Summary of your research, including background, significance, hypothesis, and specific aims
  • Winners are required to provide a progress report on their research quarterly after receiving the prizes. The progress report form will be provided by RG.

We invite you to explore the BeHEARD website in depth to learn more about the specific technologies available and how to apply for this year’s competition

A full list of last year’s BeHEARD winners can be found on the RG website:

https://www.raregenomics.org/contest-updates

For more information about the 2018 BeHEARD challenge, please visit:

http://www.raregenomics.org/beheard-competition/

More information on INADcure Foundation:

http://inadcure.org/

About the Rare Genomics Institute

The Rare Genomics Institute is an international 501(c) 3 non-profit that makes cutting edge research technologies of genome sequencing, physicians and scientists around the world accessible to rare disease patients. Rare Genomics helps families source, design and fund personalized research projects for diseases not otherwise studied helping rare disease patients find hope for a cure. By providing an expert network and an online crowdfunding mechanism Rare Genomics works alongside patients and their families, providing them with the necessary tools, knowledge, and connections so that they can better understand the cause of their disease.

For further information on Rare Genomics, please visit http://www.raregenomics.org.


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Mid Island Collision Announces the Return of Fill-The-Bag Charity Event

Local Small Business Owner Purchases Non-Perishable Food to Feed More Than 130,000 Food-poor Individuals for Thanksgiving

Press Release – Rockville Centre, NY (October 26, 2017) – One of the largest food charity events in the Tri-State area is returning after a one year hiatus. The three day Fill-The-Bag event will kick off at 7am on November 20th when hundreds of men, women and children will donate their time to fill more than 15,000 bags with non-perishable food items to create a Thanksgiving meal.

Robert Jesberger, owner and president of Mid Island Collision, personally donated more than $200,000 for the Fill-The-Bag event including the purchase of four tractor trailer loads of canned corn, ham, sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, fruit cocktail and string beans; boxed stuffing and mashed potatoes intended to feed more than 130,000 food-poor individuals.

Mid Island Collision’s unique Fill-The-Bag event, one the largest Thanksgiving-related charitable efforts in the Tri-State area, allows men, women and children, of all abilities and walks of life, to simply donate their time to fill grocery-style bags with each non-perishable food item that will create a Thanksgiving meal.

The bags are handed out to individuals in need and picked up by more than 100 food charities, homeless shelters, church pantries, military veterans organizations and other non-profit food related charities located throughout Long Island and the five boroughs of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, including Salvation Army, Long Island Cares and Catholic Charities.

“Our financially struggling neighbors down the street, homeless individuals, veterans—no adult or child should go hungry, especially during this time of year. Fill-The-Bag is my personal way of helping as many people as possible have a Thanksgiving meal.” Robert Jesberger said. “This event is also about community. By using my own money to purchase food items, it provides people the opportunity to give back by simply volunteering their time to help their fellowman. Every bag matters, and while this effort is long removed from being able to end hunger, we can make a significant difference in providing humanity during a special time of year.”

Jesberger, a passionate philanthropist with a fundamental true commitment to help people, started a Thanksgiving related food charity 25 years ago which eventually transformed into the Fill-The-Bag event to give everyone a chance to volunteer and give back to their community. To date, he has personally donated more than $2million to aid the area’s food poor. This is in addition to other philanthropic support he provides to a myriad of charities throughout each year including Administration for Children’s Services located in Bronx, NY; Make-A-Wish Foundation and most recently, (to aide survivors of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.)

Volunteers are invited to Fill-The-Bag at Mid Island Collision, located at 20 Lakeview Ave. Rockville Centre, NY 11570, 7am-7pm, Monday, November 20and 7am-7pm Tuesday, November 21, 2017. Food charities will need to pre-register by contacting the Fill-The-Bag team at 516-829-8374 orMICFillTheBag@gmail.com. Pick up will only be held on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 from 8am-3pm.

Mid Island Collision’s Fill-The-Bag event was created by owner and president Bob Jesberger. He has been bringing the Tri-State community together for food-related charity events for 25 years, providing meals to more than 1million of the region’s food poor including families, military veterans and homeless in need of meals during the holiday season. For more information, call 516-829-8374 or email MICFillTheBag@gmail.com. Follow Mid Island Collision’s Fill-The-Bag Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/MICFillTheBag and (INSTAGRAM/TWITTER/YOUTUBE) #FillTheBag


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Public Consulting Group Donates to Hurricane Maria Relief Efforts

Press Release – BOSTON, Oct. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Public Consulting Group (PCG), in continuing a long, unwavering tradition of commitment to the people and places it serves, has donated $133,931 to relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria. This figure includes personal donations by staff as well as a matching contribution from the company itself. In all, 372 employees voluntarily contributed to organizations conducting relief efforts.

CEO William Mosakowski said that he could not be prouder of the company’s response. “Every time the call goes out, my colleagues from around the world step up,” Mosakowski said. “The company is proud to aid in their generosity and to make a matching donation.”

The fundraising effort was spearheaded by PCG Cares, an initiative within PCG to support populations in need and improve lives in the communities it serves. As part of the program, employees are encouraged to spend one day a quarter volunteering their time with a non-profit organization.

About Public Consulting Group

Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) is a leading public sector management consulting and operations improvement firm that partners with health, education, and human services agencies to improve lives. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, PCG has nearly 2,000 professionals in more than 50 offices across North America and in Europe. The firm has six designated practice areas with extensive experience in all 50 states, clients in six Canadian provinces, and a growing practice in Europe. Often combining resources from two or more practice areas, PCG offers clients a multidisciplinary approach to solve their challenges or pursue opportunities. To learn more, visit www.publicconsultinggroup.com.


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Keep America Beautiful and Coca-Cola Celebrate Impact of Public Space Recycling Grants Over Past Decade; Announce 2017 Grant Opportunity

More than 50,000 Recycling Bins Expand Public Space Recycling Opportunities to 2.1 Million People

Press Release – STAMFORD, Conn. (Oct. 26, 2017) – National nonprofit Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation today announced the opening of the application period for the 2017 Coca-Cola Public Space Recycling Bin Grant Program. In its 11th year, the initiative is designed to expand access to recycling in public spaces in communities across America. Grant applications will be available online through Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. All interested parties can visit BinGrant.org to apply.

Since its inception in 2007, the grant program has made impressive strides toward expanding recycling in public spaces. Over the 10-year history, nearly 50,000 recycling bins have been awarded, including 36,000 specifically for public space locations, providing opportunities for recycling on-the-go to 2.1 million people on a daily basis. The more than 930 grant programs that have been awarded in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have collected an estimated 21 million pounds of containers and other recyclables during this time.

The 2017 program is expected to award up to 3,000 recycling bins for locations such as streetscapes and playgrounds, athletic fields, fairs and festivals, and colleges and universities. The program is funded through a $300,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation to Keep America Beautiful, which in turn awards recycling bins through a competitive, merit-based application process.

“Our partnership with The Coca-Cola Foundation is helping us overcome a primary barrier to recycling outside of the home – lack of conveniently available recycling bins” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “With these grants we’ve made great strides over the last decade to expand access to recycling in public spaces.”

Eligible recipients for the 2017 Coca-Cola Public Space Recycling Bin Grant Program include government agencies, colleges and universities, civic organizations, public and local nonprofit groups throughout the United States. Keep America Beautiful will award the grants in November 2017, and make arrangements with suppliers to deliver recycling bins directly to the recipients in the first quarter of 2018.

“At Coca-Cola, sustainability is factored into everything that we do. Through our partnership with Keep America Beautiful and the Public Space Recycling Bin Grant program, we are working to reduce waste and increase recycling rates by making recycling bins more accessible and convenient for communities” said Helen Smith Price, President of The Coca-Cola Foundation.

About The Coca-Cola Foundation

The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has awarded more than $900 million in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation, please visit www.coca-colagivingback.com.

About Keep America Beautiful

Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, we strive to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a community that is clean, green and beautiful, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.

Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.


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Evernham Family-Racing for a Reason Foundation to Auction a 2017 Ford GT, Benefiting the Autism Society of North Carolina’s IGNITE Program, During 2018 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction

Press Release – SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Oct. 26, 2017Barrett-Jackson will auction a 2017 Ford GT that was generously donated by businessman Ron Pratte to the Evernham Family-Racing for a Reason Foundation, during the Scottsdale Auction, Jan. 13-21, 2018. The Evernham Family-Racing for a Reason Foundation will sell the supercar during the auction, with proceeds benefiting the Autism Society of North Carolina’s IGNITE program, which offers activities, skills training and educational workshops that address the social, financial, educational and employment needs of young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. This will be the first current-generation Ford GT that has been donated for charity since the car was introduced.

Ford is also including a Ford Performance Racing School GT Experience that will be included in the auction of the Ford GT. This world-class program will give the winning bidder the chance to improve their driving skills behind the wheel of one of the world’s most celebrated supercars, while also supporting individuals with autism.

“Barrett-Jackson raised nearly $1.6 million for charity during our Las Vegas auction last weekend,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “To date, we’ve helped bring over $95 million in donations to deserving people and organizations across the country. We’re honored to sell the Ford GT in Scottsdale and bring some much-needed funding to the Autism Society of North Carolina’s IGNITE community center. This will be another wonderful opportunity for Barrett-Jackson and the collector car community to give back to some incredibly deserving individuals.”

One of the few 2017 model year Ford GTs built to date, this extremely rare liquid-blue supercar was delivered earlier in the year to Mr. Pratte. Ford’s all-new supercar is designed and optimized for track performance to honor its racing heritage. The Ford GT couples its extraordinary power with impressive aerodynamic efficiency and advanced active dynamics to achieve a maximum speed of 216 mph – making it the fastest Ford production vehicle on the track ever.

“When Ford Motor Company introduced the Ford GT, they unveiled the car in liquid blue and declared their intentions of racing at Le Mans,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “In almost storybook fashion, they took first, third and fourth in class in 2016, capturing Ford’s first Le Mans victory in 50 years. All of the 2017 model year cars have been sold, and this is an unbelievable opportunity to obtain the unobtainable. The best part is that the new owner will also have the satisfaction of helping a wonderful charity.”

IGNITE is operated by the Autism Society of North Carolina with founding support from the Evernham Family-Racing for a Reason Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization by legendary NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham. More than half a million individuals with autism in the U.S. will reach adulthood this decade and lose support as they transition from high school. IGNITE addresses this need, focusing on the strengths of its members and providing them with the tools and support to achieve their goals and dreams.

“I would like to thank Ron Pratte for his generous donation and Barrett-Jackson and Ford Motor Company for the opportunity,” Evernham said. “My son, Ray J, has Asperger’s Syndrome and at 26, he is fortunate to have benefited from IGNITE and to have strong family support. However, many of his peers do not. These young adults may be the next Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., or person who cures cancer but we will never know if they don’t get the help they so desperately need. IGNITE is a program that I started to meet this significant gap in support for young adults. We named the program IGNITE hoping it would be the spark to create more of these programs around the country. This donation very well could be what we have needed to make that happen.”

Over the past decade, several historic Ford vehicles have been auctioned with Barrett-Jackson to support charity, including a 2007 Ford Shelby GT500, 2017 Ford Raptor, Ford Focus RS and 2016 Ford Shelby GT350. Working together, Ford and Barrett-Jackson’s auction of this 2017 Ford GT will add to the millions of dollars that have already been raised by both companies for non-profit organizations nationwide.

“We created the Ford GT as a way to innovate across our company while inspiring people around the world,” says Dave Pericak, director of Ford Performance. “Over the years, Ford has worked closely with the Autism Alliance of Michigan who, along with IGNITE, supports the efforts to help improve the lives of those with autism. Mr. Pratte’s donation to the Autism Society of North Carolina inspired us to donate an exclusive Ford Performance Racing School GT Experience, giving the winning bidder the ultimate driver instruction in the ultimate Ford Performance supercar.”

About The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company

Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions®, is the leader in collector car and automotive lifestyle events, which include authentic automobilia auctions and the sale of high-profile estates and private collections. The company produces auctions in Scottsdale, Arizona; Palm Beach, Florida; at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut; and Las Vegas, Nevada. With broadcast partners Velocity and Discovery Channel, Barrett-Jackson features extensive live television coverage, including broadcasts in over 100 countries internationally. Barrett-Jackson also endorses a one-of-a-kind collector car insurance for collector vehicles and other valued belongings. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit Barrett-Jackson.com or call 480-421-6694.


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West African Leader In Off-Grid Solar Completes US$13.5 Million Fundraise

Delivering solar to 500,000 underserved off-grid consumers in West Africa

Press Release – PEG Africa, the leading off-grid solar company in West Africa, is pleased to announce it has successfully raised US$13.5 million through a combination of debt and a Series B equity financing. The proceeds will be used to accelerate growth in Ghana and Ivory Coast, where PEG is already a sector leader, to reach 500,000 people.

PEG provides loans for solar home systems and other useful assets to off-grid households in West Africa. PEG is able to offer loans to off-grid customers earning $5-$10 per day, who are often rural and considered risky by banks and microfinance, using ‘pay-as-you-go’ technology. This technology allows PEG to control assets remotely in the field while they are being repaid by customers. Importantly, by allowing customers to pay over time in small increments, PEG is able to reach many customers who would not otherwise be able to afford such life-changing products.

Hugh Whalan, CEO of PEG Africa, commented: “With this funding, PEG Africa will be able to reach a major milestone of extending energy and financing to half a million people. We are excited that we can now accelerate our growth plans in key West African markets. It is testament to the quality of the opportunity that all previous investors have participated in the Series B equity financing.”

PEG raises industry-first syndicated multi-currency loan in West Africa

PEG worked with SunFunder on a large multi-currency syndicated loan – an industry first – with participation from six lenders, including SunFunder, ResponsAbility, Oikocredit, Global Partnerships and Palladium Impact Investments. The transaction was advised by Nixon Peabody LLP.

Audrey Desiderato, COO of SunFunder, commented: “We have seen PEG Africa achieve major milestones in the last few years. By structuring and arranging this syndication on PEG’s behalf, we have provided scalable financing so they can focus on their core business.”

PEG raises Series B financing, bringing total funding raised to over $21M USD

PEG’s Series B was led by Blue Haven Initiative, with participation from EAV, Investisseurs & Partenaires (via IPAE 1 fund), ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, Acumen and PCG Investments.

Lauren Cochran, Managing Director at Blue Haven Initiative, commented: “We are big believers in the potential for consumer finance and off-grid energy across Sub Saharan Africa. PEG are the team to back in West Africa and we are thrilled to be a part of their growing company.”

About PEG Africa

PEG Africa is the leading company in West Africa providing asset-based financing for solar and other useful assets to consumers who lack both access to reliable electricity and formal banking services. PEG’s anchor product, a basic solar home system that includes three lights, a phone charger, and a radio, allows consumers living on $5-10 per day to access clean light for working and studying after hours, avoid harmful air pollution from kerosene based lighting solutions, and also build credit for additional products and services over time. PEG has 300 full time staff, and reaches close to 200,000 people at present. www.pegafrica.com


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Impact Awards Seek Out Best In Tech For Good

  • DigitalAgenda’s Impact Awards enter their second year
  • Impact Awards open for entry across 12 categories until December 18
  • Awards ceremony happens in London on Wednesday March 7
  • Awards sponsored by Nominet Trust in association with Berenberg

Press Release – October 26th 2017, London: The search is now on for the best of UK technology for good, as independent publisher and commentator DigitalAgenda opens up its respected Impact Awards for a second year from today.

The Impact Awards celebrate digital innovations that make a positive impact on the way we live, learn and do business. With 12 categories covering three broad themes of people, places and business, the awards are open to entry from any UK-based business, government or non-profit using digital products or services for positive social or environmental impact.

The 2018 Impact Awards are sponsored by Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading social tech funder. We are delighted that in 2018, the awards are being run in association with Berenberg, one of Europe’s leading private banks.

The 2018 Impact Awards ceremony takes place on Wednesday March 7 at east London’s iconic Oval Space. An afternoon awards ceremony will hear from our winners, alongside guest speakers. The ceremony will be followed by an evening reception giving winners a chance to celebrate, and all of our guests the opportunity to connect. The awards will be co-hosted by Oli Barrett MBE and DigitalAgenda director and editor Julian Blake.

The awards are open for entries across our 12 themed categories until December 18, 2017. We will also be giving out awards for people’s choice and individual impact.

Judging takes place in January 2018, with the finalists announced in the first week of February. Entering is free and simple – just fill out the form.

Our group of Impact Awards judges brings extensive experience in startups, impact technology, investment and academia and includes representation from: Bethnal Green Ventures, Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness, Essence, Freeformers, Nominet Trust, Northzone, RocketSpace, University College London, US Ai, ustwo and White Star Capital. More judges to be confirmed.

DigitalAgenda director and editor Julian Blake said: “The Impact Awards celebrate technology that is being used for positive impact rather than just for profit. Our awards highlight the amazing potential for technology to be a force for good. Technology isn’t always seen by as a force for good, with understandable public fears about its effects on privacy, child safety and the future of work. But digital also offers the potential to address some of the biggest challenges we face.”

“We’re delighted that the Impact Awards are running for a second year, and proud to be sponsored for a second year by Nominet Trust. We’re also delighted that the 2018 awards are being run in association with Berenberg. We have assembled a group of judges that add expertise and credibility to the decision-making process. Our aim is to make the Impact Awards the most important accolade anywhere for technology making a positive impact, across business, government and non-profits alike.”

Nominet Trust director Vicki Hearn said: “We’re proud to be lead sponsor of DigitalAgenda’s Impact Awards for a second year, giving some of the most impactful UK tech for good projects an opportunity to shine. Through our grant funding and partnerships, we create a supportive environment for organisations striving to realise the full promise of socially-motivated tech. It’s great that DigitalAgenda’s building on the evident success of last year’s awards and we’re looking forward to seeing the innovation and evidence of social impact demonstrated by this year’s applicants.”

Richard Brass, Berenberg head of wealth and asset management UK, said: “We are delighted to support DigitalAgenda’s Impact Awards. Harnessing digital skills is a core component for companies looking to reach the widest audience and to develop positive impact. These awards not only celebrate technology and innovation but also look to identify sustainable and long-term business models. This is consistent with our own investment philosophy and, of course, our heritage as a 427-year old bank managed by personally unlimited managing partners.”

Impact Awards 2018 – categories

The 2018 Impact Awards are grouped under three overall headings: people, places and business.

People theme

Education – technologies that are transforming both teaching and learning, in schools, universities or online.

Employment & skills – technology that is changing ways into work, and work itself, as well as initiatives that increase people’s skills and access to talent.

Health – technology that enhances healthcare knowledge and treatment, as well as people’s abilities to lead healthier and happier lives.

Sharing and communities – digital initiatives that help people to share resources more effectively, or where collaboration enables greater community participation and an increased sense of shared purpose.

Places theme

Cities – digital initiatives that enhance places and spaces, making them better places to live, work and play.

Climate – technologies that help organisations to manage and understand environmental change, helping them to create places that are more sustainable.

Sustainable living – technologies that enable individuals to live more sustainably, by providing higher-quality, healthier food or reducing waste.

Smart – products and services using smart technologies, including around travel, to make urban and rural living easier, offering greater mobility and enabling people to connect more easily.

Business

Business transformation – products and projects that help business, government and non-profits to become more effective and happier, healthier places to work.

Financial inclusion – technologies that make it easier for people to save and spend, and that enhance access to and the quality of financial services.

Investment – the best in impact funding provided by investors and backers of all kinds, across all platforms and funding routes.

Additional categories

People’s choice award – chosen by a public vote of the 36 finalists across our 12 themed categories.

Individual impact – outstanding contribution by an individual in helping to grow technology for good, through personal giving of time or money.

Join us at the 2018 Impact Awards

Come along to London’s Oval Space on Wednesday March 7, 2018 for our afternoon awards event (3-7pm) and after party (7:30-10pm). You’ll join senior-level entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, academics and more on a mission to change the world and individual lives for the better through digital innovation. You can expect a brilliant set of speakers and innovators on stage on the day. All food and drink is included. Individual combined ticket (awards and party): £49+VAT. Various discounts are available for group orders and for members of the DigitalAgenda Network. Tickets for the Impact Awards are on sale now.

Impact Awards sponsorship opportunities are available for 2018. To discuss, please contact Hagit Amsterdam, business development manager on 07732 949089, email marketing@digital-agenda.co.uk. Awards sponsors receive awards and evening reception tickets as part of their sponsor packages. Shortlisted finalists receive one complimentary ticket for the event.


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