amazon facebook_32 gplus_32 linkedin_32 pinterest_32 tumblr_32 twitter_32 website_32 youtube_32 email_32 rss_32

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

Api Podder

Independent Sector Honors National Service Leader Michael Brown with 2015 John W. Gardner Leadership Award

(WASHINGTON, May 19, 2015) — Independent Sector is pleased to announce that Michael Brown, co-founder and CEO of City Year, will receive the 2015 John W. Gardner Leadership Award. The award will be presented at the John W. Gardner Leadership Luncheon on Thursday, October 29, 2015, concluding the 2015 Independent Sector National Conference in Miami.

Brown will be honored for his leadership in the national service movement, his commitment to education and social justice, and his belief in the potential of every young person. His leadership in the movement has been most powerfully evidenced by his co-founding and leadership of City Year, a national service education organization whose dedicated corps members serve full-time for a year in schools in high-poverty communities. They provide one-on-one tutoring, organize afterschool programs and other school-wide initiatives, and work together with school leaders, teachers and families to ensure success for all students. Brown also helped champion the founding of AmeriCorps and serves as an advocate for several service-oriented organizations.

“Through the creation of City Year, Michael has helped build what his friends and supporters have called ‘the missing link in our democracy’—a culture of national service,” said Ron Kagan, president and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society, chair of the 2015 John W. Gardner Leadership Award Committee and a member of the IS Board of Directors. “Growing City Year from a handful of corps members into a nationwide model that has inspired presidents to build national service into their legacies, Michael has exemplified the transformative leadership and high ideals of John W. Gardner, and we are delighted to recognize him with the award that bears Gardner’s name.”

Brown and his Harvard College roommate, Alan Khazei, became enthralled with the idea of national service while they were still undergraduates. Brown had taken a year off from college to serve as a legislative aide with then-Congressman Leon Panetta, who introduced him to the idea of national service. Brown became convinced that national service was the path to a more just nation and participatory democracy. After law school, he spent his nights on City Year while serving as a law clerk for Judge Stephen Breyer, long before Breyer’s appointment to the Supreme Court.

Eventually Brown began working on City Year full-time, which friends and family described as tantamount to “running off to join the circus.” He and Khazei launched City Year as a summer pilot program in Boston with 50 diverse corps members and quickly transitioned to a year-round program for young adults to partner with local nonprofits to perform community service. The program was entirely supported by private funding in those early days. Then-Governor Bill Clinton visited City Year during a presidential primary campaign stop, and grew inspired by what he saw. In 1993, Michael and City Year worked with President Clinton to champion the creation of AmeriCorps in the halls of Congress.

In 2006, as Alan Khazei departed City Year to start a new organization, Michael took on the role as CEO. Under his leadership, the organization underwent a strategic planning process to focus its efforts on the single area where it could provide the most benefit to communities: education. Because many City Year corps members were already serving in schools, and as teams comprise idealistic young adults, the organization had a built-in advantage—corps members were able to serve as ‘near-peer’ role models for students.

Today, all City Year corps members are members of AmeriCorps. In their signature bright red and yellow jackets, corps members can be spotted in 26 cities around the country, and in international affiliate locations including the United Kingdom and South Africa, the latter at the joint urging of Presidents Clinton and Nelson Mandela. Nearly 3,000 corps members serve each year. Since City Year’s founding, more than 22,000 corps members have dedicated more than 38 million hours of service to the lives of 1.7 million children. City Year today not only serves children in the communities where they work, but also prepares corps members to be community leaders for tomorrow.

“John W. Gardner, the founder of our organization and one of civil society’s great champions, lived an example of leadership like few in our history of this social good sector,” said IS President and CEO Diana Aviv. “Michael Brown does him proud. He has understood from the very launch of City Year that volunteers doing the real, on-the ground work of serving people in communities was what really mattered. Knowing that making such a difference requires both the heart and the hands, Michael has helped create a culture of national service in America.”

Brown is a past board member of Independent Sector and a trustee of America’s Promise Alliance, and currently serves on the boards of Cradles to Crayons and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He is also a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers.

The John W. Gardner Leadership Award is named after John W. Gardner, the founding chair of Independent Sector. An advisor to six presidents and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Gardner was an active and distinguished participant in America’s educational, philanthropic, and political life, and his many achievements demonstrate the ideals this award celebrates. The award is generously supported by the William Randolph Hearst Foundations and includes a replica of an original bust of John Gardner by the late sculptor Frederick Hart.

To learn more about the John W. Gardner Leadership Award, visit:

FTC, All 50 States and D.C. Charge Four Cancer Charities With Bilking Over $187 Million from Consumers

Complaint Alleges Defendants Falsely Claimed Donations Would Help Pay For Pain Medication, Hospice Care & Other Services; But Spent Donations on Cars, Trips, Sports Tickets, & Professional Fundraisers

The Federal Trade Commission and 58 law enforcement partners from every state and the District of Columbia have charged four sham cancer charities and their operators with bilking more than $187 million from consumers. The defendants told donors their money would help cancer patients, including children and women suffering from breast cancer, but the overwhelming majority of donations benefitted only the perpetrators, their families and friends, and fundraisers. This is one of the largest actions brought to date by enforcers against charity fraud.

Named in the federal court complaint are Cancer Fund of America, Inc. (CFA), Cancer Support Services Inc. (CSS), their president, James Reynolds, Sr., and their chief financial officer and CSS’s former president, Kyle Effler; Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CCFOA) and its president and executive director, Rose Perkins; and The Breast Cancer Society Inc. (BCS) and its executive director and former president, James Reynolds II.

CCFOA and Perkins, BCS, Reynolds II and Effler have agreed to settle the charges against them. Under the proposed settlement orders, Effler, Perkins and Reynolds II will be banned from fundraising, charity management, and oversight of charitable assets, and CCFOA and BCS will be dissolved. Litigation will continue against CFA, CSS and James Reynolds Sr.

“Cancer is a debilitating disease that impacts millions of Americans and their families every year. The defendants’ egregious scheme effectively deprived legitimate cancer charities and cancer patients of much-needed funds and support,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The defendants took in millions of dollars in donations meant to help cancer patients, but spent it on themselves and their fundraisers. I’m pleased that the FTC and our state partners are acting to end this appalling scheme.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said, “The allegations of fundraising for personal gain in the name of children with cancer and women battling breast cancer are simply shameful. This is the first time the FTC, all 50 states, and the District of Columbia have filed a joint enforcement action alleging deceptive solicitations by charities and I hope it serves as a strong warning for anyone trying to exploit the kindness and generosity of others.”

South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond said, “When charities lie to donors, it is our duty to step in to protect them. At the same time, however, this historic action should remind everyone to be vigilant when giving to charity. This case is an unfortunate example of why I always tell my constituents to give from the heart, but give smart.”

According to the complaint, the defendants used telemarketing calls, direct mail, websites, and materials distributed by the Combined Federal Campaign, which raises money from federal employees for non-profit organizations, to portray themselves as legitimate charities with substantial programs that provided direct support to cancer patients in the United States, such as providing patients with pain medication, transportation to chemotherapy, and hospice care. In fact, the complaint alleges that these claims were deceptive and that the charities “operated as personal fiefdoms characterized by rampant nepotism, flagrant conflicts of interest, and excessive insider compensation, with none of the financial and governance controls that any bona fide charity would have adopted.”

According to the complaint, the defendants used the organizations for lucrative employment for family members and friends, and spent consumer donations on cars, trips, luxury cruises, college tuition, gym memberships, jet ski outings, sporting event and concert tickets, and dating site memberships. They hired professional fundraisers who often received 85 percent or more of every donation.

The complaint alleges that, to hide their high administrative and fundraising costs from donors and regulators, the defendants falsely inflated their revenues by reporting in publicly filed financial documents more than $223 million in donated “gifts in kind” which they claimed to distribute to international recipients. In fact, the defendants were merely pass-through agents for such goods. By reporting the inflated “gift in kind” donations, the defendants created the illusion that they were larger and more efficient with donors’ dollars than they actually were. Thirty-five states alleged that the defendants filed false and misleading financial statements with state charities regulators.

In addition, the FTC and 36 states charged CFA, CCFOA and BCS with providing professional fundraisers with deceptive fundraising materials. The FTC and the attorneys general also charged the defendants with violating the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), CFA, CCFOA and BCS with assisting and facilitating in TSR violations, and CSS with making deceptive charitable solicitations.

In addition to the bans imposed on charity work by the settling individual defendants and the dissolution of two corporations, CCFOA and BCS, the proposed final order against CCFOA and Rose Perkins imposes a judgment of $30,079,821, the amount consumers donated between 2008 and 2012. The judgment against CCFOA will be partially satisfied via liquidation of its assets; the judgment against Perkins will be suspended based upon her inability to pay.

The proposed final orders against BCS and Reynolds II impose a $65,564,360 judgment, the amount consumers donated between 2008 and 2012. The BCS order provides an option, subject to court approval, for spinning off its Hope Supply Warehouses program to a legitimate, qualified charity. BCS’s remaining assets will be liquidated and used to partially satisfy the judgment. The judgment against Reynolds II will be suspended when he pays $75,000.

The proposed final order against Effler will impose a judgment of $41,152,231, the amount consumers donated to CSS between 2008 and 2012. The judgment will be suspended upon payment of $60,000. The full judgment amounts against the individuals will become due immediately if they are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and proposed stipulated final orders was 5-0. The documents were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The proposed orders are subject to court approval.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Stipulated orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

Before giving to a charity, read the FTC’s Charity Scams.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook (link is external), follow us on Twitter (link is external), and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Read to a Child Spark Something Meaningful Campaign!

BOSTON, May 1st – 31st, 2015 – National nonprofit literacy and mentoring organization Read to a Child will host its second annual digital fundraising campaign called ‘Spark Something Meaningful’ in the month of May.

Astoundingly, 80% of 4th graders from low-income families are not proficient in reading.

To combat this literacy crisis, the American Academy of Pediatrics official policy recommends doctors “prescribe” reading to children as a critical component of how parents can support children’s healthy development. In line with this recommendation, Read to a Child enlists volunteer reading mentors to read with at-risk children and give young students the time, confidence and tools to reverse the cycle of illiteracy. By raising $100,000 in one month, Read to a Child can provide 6,000 additional reading sessions to at-risk children in the 2015-16 school year.

Spark Something Meaningful aims to create an inspirational awareness movement across social media platforms. Supporters and fundraisers will help spread the message ‘Help Kids in Need Love to Read’ by sharing a personal story about ‘who sparked their love of reading’ in a social media post. The post, along with a favorite ‘book selfie’ image, is then passed along to networks of friends and family, challenging them to do the same.

By sharing people’s personal stories about the importance and joys of reading, the campaign hopes to engage and inspire online supporters and influencers to help promote the cause and fundraise $100,000 in one month.

“Together we can build a movement of people working towards the vision that one day, every child will have a caring adult reading regularly to him or her. You can give at-risk children a better chance to succeed by participating in this campaign” says Read to a Child CEO, Olivia Mathews.

“We are proud to be a sponsor of the Read to a Child digital campaign and it is exciting to come together with other agencies and partners in a collaborative effort – all in support of creating a social media literacy movement,” says Tracy Pearce, Global CSR Engagement Manger at Dentsu Aegis Network.

All proceeds from the campaign will go to Read to a Child to fund their lunchtime reading program, which pairs more than 1,100 elementary school children with volunteer mentors from businesses who spend a lunch hour each week reading with their student partners.


Leading sponsors of the campaign are Pitney Bowes and Arclight Capital. Other top sponsors include Baron Funds, the Tarini Family, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, along with Dentsu Aegis Network, Posterscope, Clear Channel and OUTFRONT Media, generously donating marketing and media services for the campaign.

When: May 1 – 31, 2015

About Read to a Child:

Read to a Child,, is a national literacy and mentoring nonprofit organization that inspires caring adults to read aloud to children and to help create better opportunities for the future. Research proves that the simple act of reading aloud to a child regularly significantly impacts his or her literacy skills and, thus, his or her likelihood for success.

Join the conversation by liking us on Facebook and following us on LinkedIn and Twitter

Urban League Conference to Bring Together Experts to Examine the State of Black New Orleans 10 Years Post-Katrina

NEW ORLEANS – The Urban League of Greater New Orleans (ULGNO) in partnership with the National Urban League (NUL) will convene both local and national experts on education, housing, workforce and economic development, criminal justice, healthcare, environmental justice, disaster preparedness, and civic engagement in post-Katrina New Orleans, as the organization commemorates the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The conference, titled “RISE: Katrina 10,” will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 26-29, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Avenue.

“The theme of the conference “RISE: Katrina 10,” symbolizes the continual growth in our city’s re-emergence,” said Erika McConduit-Diggs, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans. “While there will be many worthy commemorations taking place throughout the city, the goal of this conference is to substantively evaluate the last decade and make systemic recommendations for continued improvement for all New Orleanians.”

Key conference sponsors include JPMorgan Chase & Co., IBERIABANK, Ford Foundation, Baptist Community Ministries and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

“New Orleans’ story is one of diverse community partners working together to move past recovery and spark an urban renaissance,” said Lizette Terral, New Orleans Region Market Manager of JPMorgan Chase & Co. “Our city can reach its full potential only if we promote inclusive economic growth strategies that benefit residents from all walks of life. JPMorgan Chase is proud to support the Urban League as it partners with New Orleans to chart a course for a brighter future.”

The commemorative conference will provide a platform for a cross-section of community members, civic and industry leaders, to participate in informative and engaging sessions that address critical issues impacting communities of color post-Katrina.

“After Katrina, New Orleans faced the biggest challenge any city has ever faced, and we have come a long way,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “It’s safe to say we are America’s best comeback story, but we have a lot more work to do. The RISE: Katrina 10 conference will give us the opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned from our recovery and create a vision for the future of New Orleans.”

According to National Urban League president, Marc Morial, “With cities across the United States in crisis, the National Urban League’s theme for the State of Black America and our Annual Conference is Save Our Cities: Education, Jobs + Justice. The dialogue planned for RISE Katrina 10 is critically important to helping inform national economic, educational and cultural response strategies for rebuilding urban centers.”

The conference will begin with a special press conference to release the State of Black New Orleans: 10 Years Post Katrina report, which will establish the framework for all conference sessions. The publication will include essays, editorials and research by local scholars and will produce a clear set of recommendations for the continued recovery and development of New Orleans in a more equitable and sustainable manner. Research partners for the State of Black New Orleans publication include: The Data Center, Dillard University, Xavier University, Tulane University, Loyola University, Southern University of New Orleans, the University of New Orleans and the Urban League Washington Bureau.

The reformation of the New Orleans public education system over the past 10 years will be examined deeply during the conference. A live-streamed town hall will feature education leaders discussing Pre-K-12 education, outcomes and the plausibility of New Orleans’ reforms as a national strategy to close the achievement and opportunity gaps.

During the conference, the Urban League will host a RISE: Katrina 10 luncheon which will include a national correspondent’s panel to share perspectives of the recovery from journalists who were in New Orleans during and following Hurricane Katrina.

The RISE: Katrina 10 Commemorative Conference will also feature the Urban League Annual Gala, which will recognize the notable accomplishments of “Katrina Heroes.” The Annual Gala will take place on the evening of Thursday, August 27.

The conference will conclude with a Youth Town Hall, providing a critical platform for youth to lend their voice to their post-Katrina experiences and vision for youth engagement in the city moving forward. Finally, conference attendees will be encouraged to take city tours to experience the spirit of “Resilience” and see first-hand how New Orleans communities have recovered post-Katrina.

The conference is expected to attract thousands of individuals from across the city and the United States.

For more information and to register for the conference please visit

New Action Plan to Save World’s Rarest Primate

An international team of more than 100 scientists, policy makers and community representatives, led by international conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), today published a new report outlining the vital steps needed to save the Hainan gibbon (Nomascus hainanus) from extinction. With only 25 individuals remaining in less than 20 square kilometres of forest in China’s Hainan Island, the Critically Endangered Hainan gibbon is one of the rarest animals in the world.

The last surviving Hainan gibbon population contains only three social groups, in which male and female gibbons still sing duets with each other at dawn. This species faces a high risk of extinction due to its isolation and tiny population size – it could potentially become the first ape species to be wiped out by human activity. Experts hope the comprehensive report will galvanise and encourage authorities and communities to take immediate and effective action.

Dr Samuel Turvey, Senior Research Fellow at ZSL, who co-chaired the major international conservation planning meeting in Hainan that produced the report, said: “Ensuring a future for the Hainan gibbon is one of the most important global priorities in mammal conservation. If the right steps are carried out now, it’s not too late to save this incredible species. I hope that the Hainan gibbon will be used in the future as an example of a conservation success story.”

The report identified over 40 key actions needed to boost gibbon numbers and ensure their long-term survival, including enhancing monitoring systems to keep track of remaining individuals, creating canopy bridges between forest fragments to expand their habitat range, and limiting disturbance by people in forested areas.

Professor Long Yongcheng, head of the IUCN’s China Primate Specialist Group, said: “The Hainan gibbon is an indicator of good forest health and ecological stability, and so protecting the species also helps to conserve Hainan’s environment and its international green image.”

There were more than 2,000 Hainan gibbons in the 1950s. During the late 20th century their numbers were devastated by hunting and the loss of their forest habitat for logging and rubber plantations. Only about 30 gibbons remained in the 1980s. While both the gibbons and their habitat are now protected under Chinese law, they are still potentially threatened by human disturbance, and by a lack of connected forest habitat to allow expansion of their population. A typhoon or disease outbreak also has the potential to wipe out the entire tiny population.

Knight Foundation Appoints Sam Gill as Vice President for Learning and Impact

MIAMI – (May 19, 2015) – The trustees of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation have elected Sam Gill as vice president for learning and impact. Gill is an experienced strategic planning and evaluation professional with a range of expertise in the areas of philanthropy, politics, civic engagement and technology.

Gill will reinforce Knight’s emphasis on measuring the impact of its work and sharing lessons learned, both from its own grantmaking, field-wide evaluations and other research and study. He will begin on June 22 and report directly to Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen.

Gill has been with Freedman Consulting since 2008, and served as a vice president of the firm. In this role, he has led many of the firm’s projects, including strategic planning and evaluation, as well as campaign and initiative management. He has led or participated in projects for elected officials and candidates for office, Fortune 500 companies and many leading philanthropies and nonprofits.

Gill also helped create Next Century Cities, a leading coalition of cities and their elected officials committed to fostering next-generation Internet networks that are accessible to all. Launched in October 2014, the effort has grown to more than 80 communities across the country, and has been recognized widely.

”We need to be intentional about our assessment, clear about why we succeed and honest when we fail. That’s how we learn and stay focused on impact,” Ibargüen said. “Sam’s wealth of expertise will help us down this path. His track record of smart, collaborative problem-solving and focus on community transformation will be a major asset to Knight.”

“Knight Foundation has a clear commitment to experimenting and taking risks in ways that help people test new ideas and learn from their work. This focus creates fertile terrain for doing and supporting work that results in positive change,” said Gill. “In a world in which the boundaries of communities and information are shifting beneath our feet, I am excited to take on this new role and help Knight create sustained impact through learning.”

Gill has led and managed research and authored numerous reports. His commentary on philanthropy and society has been published widely, including in The Foundation Review and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, as well as the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Politico, The Christian Science Monitor, the New York Daily News, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Huffington Post, Policy & Practice, MinnPost and The Oxonian Review.

Previously, he worked for Media Matters for America, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights and Mental Disability Rights International.

Gill has a master’s of philosophy in politics from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and a bachelor of arts in politics from the University of Chicago.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more visit,

Joyful Heart Foundation Releases New Data on Rape Kit Backlogs in Five U.S. Cities

Prepares to Testify before U.S. Senate Committee

NEW YORK – As part of its ongoing effort to identify the number of untested rape kits across the United States, the Joyful Heart Foundation today released information obtained from the following cities:

The data, obtained through public records requests, show that thousands of rape kits remain untested in police storage facilities across the country.

“We commend these cities for sharing their data with us and hope they will take aggressive and comprehensive steps toward rape kit reform,” said Ilse Knecht, Senior Advisor for Policy & Advocacy. “Joyful Heart stands ready to provide assistance to these and other communities working to address their untested kit backlogs.”

The release of the data announced today is part of The Accountability Project, an initiative of Joyful Heart’s ENDTHEBACKLOG program to uncover the extent of the rape kit backlog in cities across the country. Through a pro bono partnership with Goodwin Procter LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, the initiative uses public records requests to ascertain the number of untested kits at police departments around the country.

Few states and no federal agencies require that law enforcement track or count the untested rape kits in their storage facilities. The Accountability Project seeks to bring greater transparency and accountability around rape kit testing practices nationwide.

Joyful Heart Managing Director Sarah Haacke Byrd will testify tomorrow on the need for a continued national response to the rape kit backlog at the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on The Constitution’s hearing, “Taking Sexual Assault Seriously: The Rape Kit Backlog and Human Rights.” For more information or to watch live online, go to:

“Focusing a national effort on comprehensive rape kit reform demonstrates a commitment to survivors that we will do everything possible to bring healing and justice,” added Maile M. Zambuto, Joyful Heart’s Chief Executive Officer. “Testing rape kits sends a fundamental and crucial message to victims of sexual violence: You matter. What happened to you matters.”

Joyful Heart has been at the forefront of efforts to provide funding and resources to jurisdictions that are struggling to comprehensively address their backlogs and implement reform. The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance is currently reviewing proposals for its $41 million community response program. An additional $41 million in federal funding is pending for fiscal year 2016. In November, the Office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. also announced a new $35 million grant program to allow jurisdictions across the country to test previously unanalyzed rape kits. Proposals for funding from the DA’s office are due on June 1, 2015 by 5:00pm ET.

To learn more about The Accountability Project’s progress, and to see available data and public records responses, visit: ENDTHEBACKLOG.ORG.

Bridge International Academies Wins US Government Award for Development Impact

TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2015 – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution, today awarded Bridge International Academies its 2015 Impact Award for Development Impact. Presented by Matt Bannick, the Managing Partner of the Omidyar Network, the award recognized Bridge International Academies’ innovative approach to bringing accessible quality education to the world’s poor.

Bridge International Academies (Bridge) works to realize the dreams of every child. Academies are purpose built around pupils’ developmental needs with 40 hours of engaging lessons, physical activities, and co-curriculars taught each week by local teachers, which Bridge recruits and trains from each community. Independent testing has found that Bridge pupils learn the equivalent of two years of material in one year, as compared to peers in neighbouring schools.

The key to the Bridge model is its rapid scalability. Bridge owns the full delivery system, including everything from sourcing the land, building schools, providing books and learning tools, to developing daily lesson plans. This has allowed Bridge to keep school fees accessible for those living below the international $2-a-day poverty line.

The speed of growth is dizzying. With over 400 academies, 100,000 pupils, and operations in four countries, Bridge is already the world’s largest provider of nursery and primary schools. Bridge currently serves families in Kenya, Uganda, and soon Nigeria and India, aiming to reach 10,000,000 pupils in the next decade.

In presenting the award, OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield said: “Bridge applied keen business sense in a high-impact sector, and the results speak for themselves. Bridge’s innovative business model, coupled with financial support from OPIC and other supporters, means that tens of thousands of Kenyan students now enjoy affordable, high-quality education. I’m proud to honor them with this award.”

Accepting the award on behalf of Bridge International Academies, Co-Founder Shannon May said: “This award is recognition of the incredible opportunities that can be created when the American Government has confidence in innovative approaches to international development. Bridge International Academies relies on the support of organizations like OPIC to continue with its mission to democratize the right to succeed for all children.”

‘Designated Skipper’ Campaign Launches Nationwide!

Sea Tow Foundation Program Is the Boater’s Version Of Choosing a ‘Designated Driver’ on Land

Southold, N.Y. – May 19, 2015 – The Sea Tow Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting boater safety, is proud to announce the launch of its Designated Skipper campaign across the U.S. The goal of this important new program, which is supported by a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund as administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, is to help eliminate boating under the influence (BUI) and alcohol-related accidents on the water while keeping boating fun for everyone. BUI is against the law in all states. While always safer for all passengers on a boat to remain sober, should individuals choose to drink alcoholic beverages while boating, the Sea Tow Foundation’s Designated Skipper campaign and the Coast Guard encourage boaters to be or designate a skipper to stay sober and operate the boat every time they leave the dock.

It takes less than five minutes to join the Designated Skipper campaign. All a boater needs to do is visit the website and “Take the Pledge” to:

  • Respect the legal drinking age.
  • Be responsible for my vessel and all my passengers.
  • Be or designate a sober skipper.

“We don’t want to tell boaters not to have fun out on the water. We just want to encourage them to pick a designated skipper for their boat who will stay sober, do the driving, and make sure everybody gets home safely – the same thing they would if they were heading out for a night of fun in their car,” said Kristen Frohnhoefer, vice president of the Sea Tow Foundation Board of Directors. “Our program is designed to complement the U.S. Coast Guard’s enforcement efforts on the water by promoting BUI awareness and voluntary prevention by boaters.”

Prevent BUI + Keep Boating Fun = Designated Skipper

The Sea Tow Foundation’s Designated Skipper campaign incorporates a major nationwide marketing campaign that includes social media, print advertising, digital advertising, email marketing, video and audio public service announcements (PSAs), as well as free pamphlets, stickers, posters, wristbands and other cool giveaways placed in areas where boaters will see and pick them up. These eye-catching marketing materials will be available in marinas, fuel docks, ship’s supply stores, and on life jacket loaner stands. Bars and restaurants frequented by boaters will be given free coasters, wristbands and stickers with the Designated Skipper message on them. In addition, Sea Tow Captains across the U.S. are mounting grassroots efforts to spread the word about Designated Skipper to their local Sea Tow members and other boaters in the region.

In addition to grant funding, the Designated Skipper campaign relies on strategic partnerships between the Sea Tow Foundation and other organizations in and associated with the marine industry. Organizations and companies that want to help promote the Sea Tow Foundation’s Designated Skipper campaign may visit to order free campaign materials and giveaways that they can distribute to the boaters in their area.

About the Sea Tow Foundation

In 2007, Sea Tow Founder Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer created the Sea Tow Foundation – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – to promote safe boating practices. The Foundation’s goal is to reduce accidents, fatalities and property damage related to recreational boating. For more information, please visit

About Sea Tow

Sea Tow Services International Inc. is the nation’s leading on-water assistance provider for boaters. Established in 1983 by Founder Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow serves members inland to the coast throughout the United States, Europe, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a full list of membership benefits, how to become a Sea Tow member or to inquire about becoming a Sea Tow franchise owner, please visit Sea Tow also offers free boating safety information including the Sea Tow App for smartphones, Sea Tow’s Automated Radio Check Service, and the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Station program. For more information, visit and

Peter and Jennifer Buffett’s NoVo Foundation Selects Day One’s Supervising Attorney for Prestigious Program to End Violence

Andrew Sta. Ana is One of 20 U.S. Leaders Selected for Vision, Leadership to Create a World Where Girls and Women Can Live Free from Violence

New York City — Today, Andrew Sta. Ana, of Day One New York, was named by the NoVo Foundation as one of 20 new leaders selected to join its groundbreaking Move to End Violence program, a 10-year program to strengthen leaders and organizations, and build a breakthrough movement to end violence against girls and women in the United States.

“These leaders have shown incredible vision and leadership in their day-to-day work, confronting violence of girls and women and in their communities,” said Jennifer Buffett, co-president of the NoVo Foundation. “The Move to End Violence program is an effort to honor their forward thinking and power their potential to create the change needed so that girls and women are free from violence and can lead the way to a better world.”

Andrew is an attorney and native of Staten Island. He joins a growing community of Movement Makers working together to envision, build, and lead a powerful movement to end violence against girls and women in the United States. Leaders selected for the Move to End Violence program begin their work with a group of extraordinary peers in an intensive, two-year capacity building program that includes: time and space to explore critical movement questions, transformative leadership development and organizational development, social change skills and liberatory practices.

“It is an extraordinary privilege to work alongside these visionary activists,” stated Sta. Ana. “This partnership with the NoVo Foundation and the other Movement Makers allows Day One more opportunities to center the experiences of young survivors and build a world without dating abuse.”

Day One partners with youth to end dating abuse and domestic violence because 1 in 3 young people nationwide experiences abuse in a dating relationship. The organization raises awareness of the warning signs of abuse, educates youth and adults about the issue, delivers assistance to young people already experiencing harm, and improves policies and systems that affect young survivors.

Over ten years, the Move to End Violence program will connect and strengthen hundreds of advocates and organizations, investing in a national network of committed leaders with the skills and shared vision to work in alignment together to end violence against girls and women.

“We are delighted to name Andrew Sta. Ana and Day One as partners in this effort,” said Jackie Payne, Move to End Violence director. “We look forward to supporting Andrew and the other ‘Movement Makers’ as they transform themselves, their organizations, and their work together to create lasting change for all girls and women.”

More information on the Move to End Violence program or Day One is available at and

Don't miss any Good News!
Subscribe to news from!
* = required field
Content I want:

Find Us On

amazon facebook_32 gplus_32 linkedin_32 pinterest_32 tumblr_32 twitter_32 website_32 youtube_32 email_32 rss_32