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This category includes articles about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), typically including donations to or other support for nonprofit organizations.

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City Accelerator Expands To Five More U.S. Cities With A Focus On Strengthening Local Procurement Practices To Promote Economic Opportunity

With Support by the Citi Foundation and Living Cities, $500,000 Distributed to Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Milwaukee

Press Release – NEW YORK, JUNE 22, 2017 – The Citi Foundation and Living Cities today announced the expansion of the City Accelerator program to five additional U.S. cities – Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Milwaukee. The five cities will work together over the next year to refine their approach to procurement spending, pursuing at least one new strategy to increase the diversity of municipal vendors and contractors and direct more spend to local minority-owned businesses. This collaboration supports the goal of City Accelerator, to support innovative local government projects within and across cities that have a significant impact on the lives of residents, especially those with low incomes.

“These cities are taking a hard look at how they purchase goods and services for their communities,” said Ed Skyler, Citi’s Executive Vice President for Global Public Affairs and Chairman of the Citi Foundation. “They recognize that there is an opportunity to strengthen their procurement practices–and cities overall—by connecting directly with the diverse businesses and ideas within their communities. We are excited to see the ideas and approaches that come from this year’s City Accelerator.”

To date, City Accelerator has worked with 12 municipalities in the U.S. to test new ways to drive sustainable growth while increasing opportunity for lower-income residents. For example, the city of Philadelphia tested the use of various messages and attention-grabbing mailings to ensure that low-income seniors were signing up for subsidies offering a 25 percent reduction in their water bills. As a result of financial and technical assistance provided by City Accelerator, participation in the program doubled, and hundreds of Philadelphia’s most vulnerable seniors are now receiving a discount that will make managing their household bills easier. Philadelphia’s success with City Accelerator led to the launch of GovLabPHL, a multi-agency team headed by the Mayor’s Policy Office focused on developing innovative and evidence-based practice in city government.

The city of San Francisco is using its City Accelerator support to develop a financing plan to reinforce the city’s coastal seawall, which protects vital public transportation assets and land designated for affordable housing on a parcel adjacent to the Port of San Francisco.

“By opening up the procurement process to small and diverse businesses owned by people of color, cities have an incredible opportunity to realize the publics’ vision of a thriving, vital economy,” said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities. “These five cities were asked to lead the way, and we are excited to lift up their work as examples of how we can create a new urban practice dedicated to getting dramatically better results for low income people faster.”

“The City of Charlotte is committed to providing equal access and opportunities for all businesses to grow, especially businesses owned by people of color,” said Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts. “Through the City’s Charlotte Business INClusion Policy, we have made significant strides, achieving $41 million in spending with local Minority, Women, Small Business Enterprises in Fiscal Year 2016. I am proud of our accomplishments to date, and I look forward to working with the Citi Foundation and Living Cities to accelerate our work in this area. The expertise and funding from City Accelerator will help us grow our small, women- and minority-owned businesses.”

“My administration has made it a priority to create opportunities for businesses of all sizes to grow and thrive while strengthening our procurement processes,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Our selection by the Citi Foundation and Living Cities as one of five cities to participate in this program reflects the fact that Chicago is a national leader in procurement reform, and I commend our Chief Procurement Officer and her team for pursuing new opportunities and partnerships that will continue to strengthen our procurement practices and ensure those who do business with the City reflect Chicago’s rich diversity.”

“Los Angeles is a city of opportunity, and we are committed to connecting Angelenos to the good-paying jobs being created every day in our resurgent economy,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “City Accelerator will help us explore ways to increase equity among City contractors, and support our small business community. I thank Citi Foundation and Living Cities for engaging us in this partnership.”

“We know that for our economy to work, it must work for all,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “That’s why improving the City of Memphis’ performance with minority and women-owned businesses has been a priority of mine since becoming mayor. Citi Foundation and Living Cities’ inclusion of Memphis in this cohort of City Accelerator shows that we’re turning heads nationally with what we’re doing. This program will only make our efforts stronger.”

“I’m pleased Milwaukee has been selected by Citi Foundation and Living Cities to be part of City Accelerator as we continue to advance our goals of creating opportunities for local businesses and residents. Our downtown is the heart of the city, and it’s going strong. I want our downtown to pump that energy and vitality into every one of our neighborhoods,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “We have long emphasized connecting our work on the city with jobs and businesses in the city. Working with the City Accelerator on our procurement strategies will help connect us to more city businesses, and support business growth throughout Milwaukee.”

In addition to a $100,000 grant, the cities will receive a combination of coaching, technical assistance and implementation resources in the coming year. Cities may consider local policy reform, changes in standard procurement practice, staff training, leadership and accountability structures, communications, outreach and relationship building with local vendors, and capacity building for diverse local suppliers.

“Addressing disparities in the local economy has always been at the heart of our work,” said Rodney Strong, founder and CEO of Griffin and Strong P.C., a law and public policy consulting firm providing coaching and expertise to participating cities. “We are excited to help bring our expertise from decades of national public policy research and implementation to these five leading cities as we ensure that opportunity and economic growth go hand-in-hand as part of a comprehensive strategy that benefits all residents.”

To track the progress and work of these City Accelerator cities in the coming year, visit Governing Magazine, Citi’s blog and follow #CityAccelerator on Twitter.

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Dream Foundation & Headspace Announce Partnership

Meditation app teams with national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults to introduce an essential element of palliative care

Press Release – Santa Barbara, Calif., June 21, 2017 — Today, Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, announced its partnership with Headspace as a part of their Get Some / Give Some™ program, which donates free subscriptions of the meditation and mindfulness app to nonprofit partners. Headspace has generously provided 13,000 annual subscriptions to Dream Foundation Dreamers, their families, nurses, doctors, caretakers, and social workers as well as the organization’s staff and volunteers. The partnership will provide guided meditation thoughtfully curated by Headspace co-founder, Andy Puddicombe, to assist Dreamers at the end of their lives, becoming an essential element of their palliative care while also providing a supportive resource for their communities of caregivers and loved ones.

A variety of meditation content currently available on Headspace, including a Health category which includes themed meditation packs to assist people of Health-related issues. Dreamers, whose life expectancies are 12 months or less, can benefit from these specialized packs including pain management, cancer, depression, self-esteem, stress, anxiety, and sleep. Dream Foundation Dreamers struggle with these realities on any given day.

“I believe this partnership to be groundbreaking as an additional element to palliative care treatment,” says Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Kisa Heyer. “Together, we are offering another platform for our Dreamers to help manage pain management, loss of self, and quality of life. I look forward to witnessing the positive effects that mindful meditation has on bringing inspiration, comfort and closure to those we serve.”

Nearly 30 percent of Dreamers have young children living at home that can also benefit from the partnership. Headspace for Kids, a category of the app which is designed specifically for children, not only introduces them to the process of meditation but can offer support and stability through calm, focus, kindness, sleep, and wake up packages. The app even allows the user to program the meditation for three different age groups beginning with toddler up through pre-teen.

Consistent meditation has revealed a stronger personal foundation, thoughtfulness, and compassion for oneself and others, key elements of palliative care mindfulness. This extra layer of support will improve quality of life for Dreamers and those around them.

“We’re privileged to be partnering with Dream Foundation as part of our Get Some / Give Some program, which donates free subscriptions to support a wide range of human needs,” said Rich Pierson, Co-Founder and CEO of Headspace. “This is the first time we’ve partnered with such inspiring end-of-life experts and it’s an absolute honor to offer meditation and mindfulness to their community of Dreamers, families and phenomenal network of caregivers.”

The families, caretakers, social workers, and medical professionals who support Dreamers, as well as Dream Foundation employees and volunteers who work with those at the end of life, will also benefit from the Relationship category that offers meditation packs for patience, kindness, generosity, relationships, change, appreciation, and acceptance that can assist with personal nourishment and growth.

About Dream Foundation:

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 27,000 final Dreams over the past two decades and has never turned down a qualified applicant. The Foundation is proud to maintain Charity Navigator’s four-star rating—its highest—for sound fiscal management ensuring its donors and partners that their investment will be used wisely. Dream Foundation receives no state of federal funding—we rely solely on private donations. To support our mission please visit

About Headspace, Get Some / Give Some™:

Founded in 2010 by Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson, Headspace was created with one mission in mind: to improve the health and happiness of the world. With 16 million users in more than 190 countries, the Headspace app offers hundreds of guided meditations designed to help with everything from stress and anxiety to relationships and sleep. To learn more, go to or download the Headspace app on the App Store or Google Play.

To help fulfill our mission of improving the health and happiness of the world, Headspace’s Get Some / Give Some program makes a free Headspace subscription available to our nonprofit partners for every subscription we sell.

So far, Get Some / Give Some recipients have included those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, long-term unemployment and mental health problems. We’re also working with people recovering from serious illness and abuse, families of cancer patients, frontline charity workers, trauma counsellors, human rights organizations and communities facing economic and social hardship. We’re even trialing getting Headspace to the elderly and to people in prison.

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Mastercard and Western Union Explore Digital Model for Refugee Camps

Research indicates need to integrate access to goods, services and finances in digital format

Press Release – Purchase, NY and Englewood, CO – June 20, 2017 – With more than 65 million people around the world currently displaced from their homes due to political conflict and natural disasters, there is a growing need to find better ways for refugees to achieve self-sufficiency and become economic engines in their host countries.

On World Refugee Day, Mastercard and Western Union announced a collaboration to explore the development of a digital model to help refugees more easily access basic human goods, services and finances within refugee settlements. The aim is to enable refugees, their host communities and donors to send and receive funds digitally, allowing for more transparency and long-term empowerment of refugees.

Over the last year, Mastercard and Western Union examined the needs, challenges and opportunities for refugees and their host communities at two settlement camps in northwestern Kenya. The findings have led to the development of Smart Communities: Using Digital Technology to Create Sustainable Refugee Economies, a blueprint that would combine digital access to remittances, banking, education, healthcare and other basic needs in way that is unified and trackable.

“Today’s camps were not built to sustain a global refugee crisis of this magnitude,” said Tara Nathan, executive vice president of public-private partnerships at Mastercard. “Our plans to reinvent the existing model can help the world’s refugee populations achieve self-sufficiency faster, while also contributing to the economic growth of their host communities.”

“Refugees across the world want to be empowered to break the chains of dependence and to rebuild their lives in meaningful ways, while also contributing positively to their host communities,” said Maureen Sigliano, head of customer relationship management at Western Union. “The new digital infrastructure model would focus on solutions that might include the delivery of mobile money, digital vouchers, prepaid cards, and track other goods and services. The goal is to drive personal empowerment, stimulate growth and promote social cohesion among the world’s refugee populations, while driving better governance and transparency.”

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that the average length of a refugee settlement dependency is approximately 26 years. Many of today’s refugee camps founded in the 1960s and 70s, were built as a temporary solution and are unable to sustain today’s systemic long-term dependence.

The qualitative research conducted at the Kakuma and Kalobeyei camps in Kenya uncovered the complexity of needs in the camps and the surrounding community. The Mastercard and Western Union blueprint would address these various needs by:

  • Laying the groundwork for a set of multipurpose transactional tools that refugees and residents can access, which are optimized to work in low infrastructure areas.
  • Giving residents greater control over their livelihoods, well-being, and dignity, while providing agencies access to data that informs community planning and development.
  • Providing a digital platform which would serve as a unique identifier for both local and refugee populations, advancing the critical goals of social cohesion and cooperation across the settlement.
  • Encouraging adoption of digital payments as an entry point to the formal financial system and can be extended to incorporate a wider set of use cases.

Both Mastercard and Western Union are founding members of the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a coalition of more than 70 companies committed to addressing the global refugee crisis.

“The private sector is uniquely positioned to bring greater innovation and ingenuity to this crisis,” said Gideon Maltz, executive director of Tent. “Today’s announcement offers an exciting new approach to helping refugees, and reflects the contributions that companies can make when they identify problems, collaborate with each other, and work tirelessly to find and fund scalable solutions to fix them. It’s our hope that initiatives such as these encourage even more companies and entrepreneurs to step up.”

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of March 31, 2017, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 550,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 150,000 ATMs and kiosks, and included the capability to send money to billions of accounts. For more information, visit


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RemitRadar, CURE International Team Up to Raise Clubfoot Awareness

Press Release – New Cumberland, PA — June 21, 2017 — CURE International, a global leader in the treatment of clubfoot, and RemitRadar, a financial technology company focused on developing countries, are joining forces to tackle one of the biggest challenges to eliminating clubfoot as a lifelong disability: awareness.

Clubfoot, the most common musculoskeletal birth defect in the world, is a deformity that severely twists the foot downward and inward, making walking difficult or impossible. While it cannot be prevented, it can be corrected, and the treatment is inexpensive. CURE International is committed to working to end clubfoot as a lifelong disability, and one of the biggest challenges they face is awareness. Many people in developing countries simply do not know that treatment is available and accessible for their children.

RemitRadar was designed as a vehicle for financial education and outreach into developing countries and has established a global user base, including countries where CURE has active clubfoot treatment programs. Through this extensive network, RemitRadar will share information about clubfoot, including how to identify it and the nearest treatment locations, with key community leaders and influencers.

“The joint initiative between CURE and RemitRadar will be a world first, combining remittance market know-how and a charity focused on the eradication of a treatable birth defect,” said Jon Santos, Managing Director of Human Analytics and Africa for RemitRadar. “The application of this technology in support of CURE’s agenda will propel its message of healing, helping CURE reach very remote places and communities worldwide.”

“We’ve been able to reach nearly 100,000 children with clubfoot since 2006, but every hour, 20 more children are born with clubfoot,” says Scott Reichenbach, Operations Director of CURE Clubfoot. “We need to broaden our reach to get ahead of this problem. This collaboration with RemitRadar is an exciting venture using technology to get the word out that clubfoot is a treatable condition and that the global standard of care is available near where they live. We can improve their livelihood.”

The partnership between CURE and RemitRadar will begin with trials in Ghana, India, Kenya, and Niger, with a goal of expanding to every country where CURE and RemitRadar’s services overlap. This project helps RemitRadar reach one of its ultimate goals: bringing donors, executors, and beneficiaries together in groundbreaking ways by making its technology freely available in support of humanitarian agendas.

About CURE International

CURE International is a Christian health care network that operates charitable hospitals and programs in 29 countries worldwide where patients experience the life-changing message of God’s love for them, receiving surgical treatment regardless of gender, religion, or ethnicity. Since 1998, CURE has had over 3.3 million outpatient visits, provided over 230,000 life-changing surgeries, and trained over 8,100 medical professionals. For more information, visit

About RemitRadar

RemitRadar is a financial technology forged out of two decades of critical exposure to the remittance industry. The team behind RemitRadar was a key driving force behind the development of person-to-person money transfers world wide, having grown it out of the Americas to what it is today.

The team’s experience in this industry is second to none, having been responsible for the world-wide rollout and development of multiple Money Transfer Services. The team has also been instrumental in helping create the architecture that supports the industry. Our people have a solid and proven record in innovation, opening new markets and introducing disruptive technologies. RemitRadar specialises in providing complementary technologies to the remittance industry.

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The International Rescue Committee, YouTube and YouTube Stars Team Up To Release #MoreThanARefugee Video Series

Press Release – New York, NY, June 20, 2017 — According to the latest figures, more than 65.6 million people last year were forced to flee their homes because of crisis and disaster. This World Refugee Day, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and YouTube’s Creators for Change program have joined seven YouTube stars to help raise awareness of refugee stories through a series of new YouTube videos. These #MoreThanARefugee videos are designed to help put names, faces and real stories to the people behind the staggering statistics and to help people around the world understand who refugees are and why they are displaced from their home countries.

Over the past weeks, seven YouTube Creators including Mama Bee from Eh Bee Family, Tyler Oakley, Jouelzy, Fly with Haifa, Francis Maxwell of The Young Turks, Suli Breaks, and Greg and Mitch from ASAPScience traveled to Jordan, Serbia, Uganda, Greece, and a couple of cities in the US to meet refugees and film video collaborations to help share their personal stories. Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. Combined, these YouTube stars have over 21 million subscribers who regularly tune in to watch their content, and their new videos are now available on YouTube here.

Each video will have a donation card enabled on it, which will allow people watching to contribute funds to help support the IRC’s ongoing on-ground support work. As part of this collaboration, YouTube and have pledged up to match up to $500,000 of these donations.

“When we see refugees as people first, we are able to replace fear with recognition and hope,” said David Miliband, IRC president and CEO. “Our YouTube partnership allows us to introduce refugees in a distinctly deeper and personal way while reaching millions of people who otherwise may have remained unengaged.”

“We’re proud to partner with the International Rescue Committee to support their work and help raise awareness of refugee experiences around the world. We’re also humbled to be a platform where refugees and creators alike can share their personal stories through video, and in doing so, help create empathy for the brave people who are experiencing life as a refugee,” said Danielle Tiedt, Chief Marketing Officer, YouTube.

The IRC encourages everyone to show their support of refugees by using #MoreThanARefugee and #StandwithRefugees on social media posts today.

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10-Year Partnership Between the Government of Malawi, the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program and Camfed to Transform Prospects for Girls and Young Women

Press Release – June 16, 2017 – Blantyre, Malawi, Toronto, Canada, and Cambridge, UKThis Day of the African Child, Camfed and The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program announced a pioneering new partnership with the Government of Malawi to support 3,500 girls from economically disadvantaged rural communities to succeed in secondary school and transition to independence and leadership. The announcement follows the national launch of a 10-year secondary education and transitions program, presided over by Malawi’s Minister of Education, Science and Technology, the Hon. Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano, MP.

Dr. Fabiano noted the importance of the length and scope of the partnership: “Education is a patient business, but the rewards pay dividends for generations. This 10-year program encourages sustainability by enabling a large cohort of girls and young women to make the transition to secure livelihoods and local philanthropy.”

In collaboration with The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, Camfed Malawi will support 3,500 girls to reach their potential in partner secondary schools. It will also equip school graduates to make the transition from secondary education into entrepreneurship, employment or further study. The program will include bespoke training, support and mentorship, enabling young women to launch and grow new businesses in their rural communities, generating the resources to support more girls and boys on their journey through school.

“This new partnership comes at a time of great need and urgency,” says Harold Kuombola, National Director of Camfed Malawi. “Every year, exceptional students are punished because they are poor, selected to secondary schools but unable to take up their places because they cannot afford the costs, especially when these include boarding fees and travel. And it addresses the important question of support for young women after school: how do they become independent agents of their destiny after they complete school, in a context where more than half of our youth are either unemployed or working low wage jobs?”

Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation, joined Camfed Founder and President Ann Cotton at the launch event. “Young Malawian women have a less than one percent university education enrollment rate. This new collaboration will enable a greater number of the country’s women to take their educational journey beyond secondary school and on to university. These vibrant and talented young women hold so much promise for Malawi. For all of Africa. Championed by their families, their teachers and mentors, they will realize their ambitions, ideas and aspirations to lead meaningful change within their communities.”

Ann Cotton underscored the unique nature of the joint approach: “This groundbreaking partnership takes secondary school education as the vital foundation for secure lives but, unlike so many other initiatives, it also recognizes the lack of jobs and training for school leavers and invests in their futures. This long-term approach will enable academically gifted young women from the poorest of backgrounds to show the world their capability and, with their social commitment and emotional intelligence, to give back to their families, communities and society as powerful change-makers.”

Teacher Mentor Mercy Kansale from Zomba District, where the celebrations took place, expressed her pride in girls’ zeal for education in Malawi, despite the many challenges they face. Writing a blog for the Day of the African Child, she amplifies the voices of girls, Mother Support Groups, and Camfed’s CAMA alumnae, who return to school as role models, showing girls that it is possible to start small businesses and create employment. Kansale also highlights the need for sexual reproductive health training and HIV/AIDS awareness, and the commitment of local chiefs in the fight against child marriage. The Malawian government sees girls’ education and women’s empowerment as ways to address all these issues, with their direct link to smaller, healthier families, so vital in achieving sustained economic growth, combating youth unemployment, and tackling climate change.

“There is a reason why it takes a village to raise a child,” Harold Kuombola concludes. “Collaboration with communities and government is central to the approach taken by Camfed and The MasterCard Foundation – this partnership will enable us to provide the wrap-around support that tackles barriers holistically. Without girls’ education, all the other Sustainable Development Goals will remain elusive in Malawi.”

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Starlight Children’s Foundation And Niagara Cares Unveil New Pediatric Playroom At Grady Burn Center

Press Release – ATLANTA, Georgia (June 16, 2017) – Today, Starlight Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to creating moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized children, with Niagara Cares, the philanthropic division of Niagara Bottling Company, unveil a newly renovated playroom for pediatric patients and their families at Grady Burn Center of Grady Memorial Hospital. The new Starlight Site will help young burn victims and their loved ones escape the isolation of patient rooms and offer much more than a place to play.

The $100,000 grant awarded to the Grady Health Foundation by Niagara Cares and Starlight Children’s Foundation supported the building and development of the Starlight Site at Grady Burn Center. The unique new space offers a happy and relaxing place for patients, friends and family to connect, learn and visit while undergoing treatment. The pediatric playroom is equipped with children’s furniture, toys, books, games and more.

“We are pleased to unveil this new, state-of-the-art Starlight Site playroom, and we hope it offers kids and families at Grady a fun and comforting escape from the stress of an otherwise traumatic experience,” said Chris Helfrich, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation. “Niagara Cares is an incredible partner in helping us bring smiles to seriously ill or injured children in communities across the nation where Niagara employees live and work, such as right here in Atlanta.”

“We were proud to partner with Starlight Children’s Foundation and Niagara Cares to create this special playroom for our young burn victims and their families. This newly renovated space will give children facing difficult times a place to relax and feel at ease,” said Renay Blumenthal, President of the Grady Health Foundation.

“We are grateful for our partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation as we continue to improve lives of children in hospitals where our team members work and live,” said Kristen Venick, Director of Niagara Cares. “Together we hope to not only put smiles on the faces of young patients but also help with their treatment and coping techniques. We also take pride in the opportunity to involve team members of Niagara Bottling so that they can make an impact in the lives of children and families in need.”

The Starlight Site at Grady is funded as part of a generous $500,000 grant from Niagara Cares to awarded to Starlight in 2015 to support the creation or renovation of Starlight Sites in select locations where Niagara also has bottling operations. In addition to the playroom at Grady, the Sites include an outdoor playground at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, Calif., a mobile washing station at Camp Korey in Seattle and an activity center at University Children’s Health in San Antonio, Texas.

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Financial Solutions Lab Announces Winners of $3 Million Fintech Competition to Improve Financial Health of Overlooked Populations in America

Eight financial technology entrepreneurs focused on delivering innovative financial health solutions chosen to join lab created by CFSI and JPMorgan Chase

Lab to continue focusing on helping startups improve and scale solutions for populations who face difficulty managing their financial lives, such as people of color, low-income women, aging Americans and individuals with disabilities

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY, June 15, 2017 — Today the Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab) at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding Lab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) announced eight financial services innovators as the winners of its third competition, aimed at identifying solutions that can help Americans improve their financial health. Each winner will receive $250,000 in capital and additional resources to test, enhance and scale their products, many of which are designed to address the needs of often overlooked populations, such as people of color, low-income women, aging Americans, and individuals with disabilities. For more information and graphics, visit

“Over the last three years, we have been incredibly impressed by both the quality and volume of applicants to the FinLab,” said Jennifer Tescher, CEO and founder of CFSI. “This year was perhaps the most competitive yet. We are encouraged to see so many talented startups and nonprofits focused on finding truly innovative solutions that can help the 57 percent of Americans who struggle with financial health.”

“At JPMorgan Chase, we are incredibly proud to mentor and support a data-driven community of innovators who are focused on helping more Americans achieve financial health,” said Karen Keogh, Head of Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “We are delighted to see the progress that FinLab alumni have made over the past two years, with their products now serving over a million American consumers, and are confident that this year’s winners will continue to help us reach and empower overlooked populations.”

The broader issue of financial health was selected as this year’s challenge because 57 percent of Americans – some 138 million adults – have difficulty managing their daily financial lives, establishing a cushion for financial resilience, and positioning themselves for financial security and mobility according to CFSI’s Consumer Financial Health Study. Research from the JPMorgan Chase Institute found that expenses fluctuate by 29 percent – nearly $1,300 – on a month-to-month basis for median-income households and that income volatility affects Americans across the income spectrum, with older families exhibiting a wider range of income and expense volatility.

The 2017 winners were selected from more than 300 applicants from across the United States. Winners were announced Thursday morning at the EMERGE Forum in Austin, TX, an event which gathers more than 800 banks, credit unions, fintech innovators and other financial services providers to generate ideas around the new era of financial services.

Meet the Winners:

  • Blueprint Income (New York, NY) is creating the future pension – a simple, pre-determined income stream backed by insurance companies. Blueprint Income makes it easy for anyone, regardless of employer, age, or wealth, to head into retirement with guaranteed, lifelong income.
  • Dave (Los Angeles, CA) alerts consumers ahead of an upcoming overdraft and can instantly advance up to $75 at 0% interest to prevent overdraft fees.
  • EverSafe (Columbia, MD) offers protection for aging Americans and their families by monitoring bank and investment accounts, credit cards and credit reports, alerting them to any sign of irregular activity.
  • Grove (San Francisco, CA) delivers personalized financial advice that is accessible and affordable. By pairing technology with advisors, Grove puts a comprehensive financial plan within reach for everyone.
  • Nova (San Francisco, CA) has built the world’s first cross-border credit reporting agency by building data partnerships across the globe. Nova’s Credit Passport accompanies immigrants on all their moves, so they need never start building credit from scratch again.
  • Point (Palo Alto, CA) is an alternative to traditional home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. Point buys into a fraction of a consumer’s property, paying today for a share of the home’s future appreciation. There are no monthly payments, no interest rate, and consumers can buy Point out or sell the home at any time.
  • Token Transit (San Francisco, CA) is a mobile app to pay for public transportation that enables low-income riders to have convenient access to the transit passes they need. Riders are able to pay using a credit, debit, or a prepaid debit card. Token Transit also partners with pass programs to distribute free or subsidized passes to qualifying riders.
  • Tomorrow (Seattle, WA) is aimed at providing long-term financial security to busy millennials and working families.

Each company will receive networking and advisory opportunities to grow and scale their business, $250,000 in capital, as well as the following benefits:

  • Access to the CFSI Network and partnership opportunities that can help innovators increase product reach
  • 1:1 ongoing mentorship and expertise provided by CFSI and JPMorgan Chase executives and other industry leaders, including FinLab’s own Entrepreneur-In-Residence and FinLab year-one member Tyler Griffin, founder and CEO of Prism (acquired by PayNearMe)
  • Professional services assistance from industry leaders including CFSI, ideas42,, Paul Hastings, Promontory Financial, Google and others
  • Peer learning opportunities via in-person retreats throughout the year and regular virtual working sessions

Beyond the support it offers startups selected for its FinLab program, the Lab also recently issued a $100,000 grant to nonprofit GreenPath Financial Wellness, a national financial counseling organization, to support its work creating partnerships with Lab winners and other fintech providers. In partnering with providers of innovative financial health solutions, GreenPath plans to offer complementary tools that enhance its ability to serve and impact financially struggling Americans.

FinLab’s First Two Years

FinLab alumni make up a who’s who in fintech innovation, and include Year One alums Ascend Consumer Finance, Digit, Even, LendStreet, PayGoal by Neighborhood Trust, Prism (now part of PayNearMe/Handle), Propel (which recently closed a $4 million funding round led by Andreesen Horowitz), Puddle and SupportPay, as well as Year Two companies Albert, Bee, EARN, EarnUp, eCreditHero (now CreditHero, which recently participated in Tech Crunch Disrupt), Everlance, Remedy, Scratch and WiseBanyan. A profile of FinLab’s Year One winners is here, and Year Two winners can be found here.

Collectively, the members of FinLab’s first two classes have raised more than $120 million in funding and acquisition deals, and today serve more than 1.3 million American consumers. In addition, more than 100 JPMorgan Chase employees have volunteered their expertise and leveraged their networks to help winners improve their products and increase their reach.


“Protecting older Americans from financial exploitation is everyone’s responsibility,” said Debra Whitman, Chief Public Policy Officer, AARP. “We applaud the CFSI and JPMorgan Chase at the Financial Solutions Lab for their support of innovative fintech solutions that protect consumers as they age. Taking steps like using technology to monitor accounts and create alerts are essential to stop this growing form of abuse before it ever happens.”

“Access to money and financial management tools are key for lower-income households to achieve greater financial health and economic stability,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO, National Council of La Raza (NCLR). “The Financial Solutions Lab enables innovators to offer new products and services to help Latino households manage their finances, thanks to the expertise of CFSI, and the mentorship and expertise offered by JPMorgan Chase.”

“National Disability Institute has long admired the work of CFSI and JPMorgan Chase at the Financial Solutions Lab, and the Lab’s dedication toward advancing the financial health of all Americans, especially those from underserved populations, through technology-based solutions,” said Chris Rodriguez, Director, ABLE National Resource Center. “Moreover, we could not be more excited about the Lab’s recent pursuit to address the challenges facing Americans with disabilities with respect to financial well-being.”

“It’s exciting to see more entrepreneurs innovating through technology to build solutions that have the potential for transformational impact on the financial health of the underserved community,” said Ash Hassan, Strategic Partnerships, Fintech, Google Play. “Together with CFSI and JPMorgan Chase, we look forward to helping improve more Americans’ financial health.”

“We are proud to lend our behavioral science expertise to the Financial Solutions Lab for the third year,” said Josh Wright, Executive Director, ideas42. “Thanks to its data-driven approach and mentorship offered by JPMorgan Chase and CFSI, the Lab has helped so many organizations both improve their products using insights into human behavior and better reach the growing number of people trying to achieve financial health. This year’s winners will only add to the Lab’s legacy of using fintech to improve the lives of many.”

“We are thrilled to join JPMorgan Chase and CFSI in their work to help so many innovative companies design breakthrough solutions to meet the needs of often overlooked populations,” said Jocelyn Wyatt, Executive Director, “We look forward to helping advance the Lab’s mission to promote financial health for these communities.”

About the Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab)

The Financial Solutions Lab is a $30 million, five-year initiative managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding Lab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. to identify, test and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets. The lab will launch a series of competitions to identify solutions to specific consumer financial challenges. It will provide incentives for entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits to enhance financial products and services that address these challenges and improve consumers’ financial health. For more information, visit

About the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI)

CFSI is the nation’s authority on consumer financial health. CFSI leads a network of financial services innovators committed to building a more robust financial services marketplace with higher quality products and services. Through its Compass Principles and a lineup of proprietary research, insights and events, CFSI informs, advises, and connects members of its network to seed the innovation that will transform the financial services landscape. For more on CFSI, go to and follow on Twitter at @CFSInnovation.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

Lata Reddy Elevated To Chair Of The Prudential Foundation; Company Aligns To Accelerate Growth And Advance Financial Security For All

Press Release – June 14, 2017 10:43 AM Eastern Daylight Time: NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU) has strengthened its longstanding commitment to address societal needs and champion financial security by moving its office of Corporate Social Responsibility to the C-Suite, reporting directly to Vice Chairman Mark Grier. The move affirms Prudential’s shared value approach to integrating CSR with business strategy under the leadership of Lata Reddy, who leads CSR and has been named chair of The Prudential Foundation.

Reddy, the architect of Prudential’s shared value approach, also serves as president of the Foundation. In these roles, she oversees the company’s efforts to harness capital markets to drive social and financial mobility and sustainable growth.

“Prudential was founded to serve working families. From our beginning, we have always believed that our higher purpose is to pursue inclusive growth that benefits shareholders, customers and society,” said John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential.

“Lata is a transformative leader who has advanced Prudential’s mission to connect business growth with societal progress. The elevation of her role and this important organizational shift recognizes that the integration of Corporate Social Responsibility and business strategy is foundational to creating true long-term value,” Strangfeld continued.

Advancing social progress, creating business value

Prudential’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts tackle some of society’s most intractable problems and position the company for the future by building partnerships that lead to new markets or expand Prudential’s own workforce. Reddy leads these efforts by harnessing impact investments, philanthropy, corporate contributions and employee engagement, and leveraging Prudential’s full business capabilities.

Among examples:

  • A recent partnership with Leapfrog Investments, a private equity platform focused on promoting financial inclusion in emerging markets, began as a $15 million impact investment in a fund that invests in companies that provide insurance, savings, pensions, investment products and other financial services to emerging consumers in Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia. By 2016, the effort grew to a $350 million investment to expand Prudential’s international business footprint in Africa.
  • A nearly $1 million commitment from The Prudential Foundation in El Paso, Texas, is helping to build the next generation workforce in the city, specifically providing math and technology training to military veterans and military spouses, and the city’s large Latino community. The commitment complements the company’s business technology solutions center, opened in 2014, and promises to create a pipeline for new talent at Prudential, aiming to make Prudential the city’s employer of choice.
  • Prudential is more than halfway toward meeting its pledge to build a $1 billion impact investing portfolio by 2020 that seeks to generate financial returns while creating social impact. As an example, Newark, N.J.’s iconic Hahne Building reopened in January after sitting abandoned for nearly three decades, thanks to a $174 million redevelopment project led by joint venture partners Prudential Financial and L+M Development. The project continues Prudential’s campaign of investments to build a walkable, thriving community in its hometown, and creates a blueprint for revitalizing similar cities throughout the country.
  • Most recently, Prudential announced a three-year, $5 million partnership with The Aspen Institute to advance solutions that increase financial security for all American workers. The partnership will promote broad reforms in labor and financial markets to help working people move from financial fragility toward resilience, mobility and prosperity.

Reddy is credited with leading Prudential’s advancement of the revitalization of its hometown, Newark, N.J., by combining investments in the physical redevelopment of the city with philanthropic funding to support programs that enable social and economic mobility for its residents. In addition to the Hahne & Co. project, she has been instrumental in the renovation of Military Park, the epicenter of the historic downtown corridor; the creation of a free ultra-high speed Wi-Fi network in Newark’s downtown district; the development of the Teachers Village live-learn-work-play community; and bringing next-wave manufacturing to the city through the innovative vertical farming company AeroFarms, among numerous other projects and programs.

Reddy originally joined Prudential in 1997 to manage The Prudential Foundation’s education grants and became vice president of the Foundation in 2002. She left in 2008 to launch a consulting practice and returned—to her current role—in 2012. For her entire career, she has been dedicated to promoting equity—exemplified through her work as a civil rights attorney with the U.S. Department of Education.

Reddy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Emory University School of Law. She currently serves on the boards of Living Cities and Local Initiatives Support Corporation and is on the advisory board for the California Organized Investment Network.

About Prudential

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), a financial services leader with more than $1 trillion of assets under management as of March 31, 2017, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit

EY Professionals Donate 3,120 Hours in 2017 Assisting Local Entrepreneurs in Mexico and Peru

EY professionals support local entrepreneurs and contribute to health of local ecosystems through EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors Program

Press Release – June 14, 2017 NEW YORK: This year, EY professionals have donated more than 3,000 hours to local, community-based projects in Mexico and Peru through the EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors Program, a collaboration between the EY organization and the Earthwatch Institute, a non-profit organization that engages people worldwide in scientific field research and education in sustainable environments.

Through the week-long program, 40 EY professionals traveled to Mexico or Peru to leverage their business and consulting skills to assist local entrepreneurs with improving business practices, as well as to conduct field research that promotes education in sustainable developments.

Now in its ninth year, the program has had more than 245 EY professionals participate, donating nearly 20,000 hours since its inception. The number of applications to take part in this year’s program increased by 36 percent since last year, demonstrating the dedication of EY people to the organization’s purpose to build a better working world. This year, Peru was also introduced as a new location.

“The EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors program offers an excellent opportunity for our people, particularly our young professionals, to immerse themselves in a new culture and leverage their skills in a non-traditional workplace,” said Deborah K. Holmes, EY Americas Director of Corporate Responsibility. “Over the last nine years, we have witnessed the direct impact that this program has on our people and the quality of their work. Involvement in EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors strengthens participants’ teaming skills and they return empowered to directly apply what they’ve learned offsite to their work at home. They also demonstrate higher engagement with EY.”

“One aspect of the program that stood out for me was the diversity of our team, which included colleagues from many member firms across geographies and with different backgrounds, skills and abilities. I learned so much about the other service lines at EY and how they compare across countries,” said Mala Bingham, a campus recruiter on the Talent team of Ernst & Young LLP in Denver. “With the support of my EY-Earthwatch team, I was able to simultaneously collaborate and project manage, while also developing my public speaking skills. This experience reinvigorated my commitment to giving back to our communities and the earth. I gained confidence in my knowledge of sustainable initiatives and in my ability to explain the concepts to those in my sphere of influence.”

2017 Expedition Highlights

In Peru, EY professionals provided operational recommendations to AmazonEco, a research expedition business that provides a sustainable financial strategy for holistic, conservation efforts in western Amazonia. Ambassadors also supported research staff by surveying a variety of wildlife species to better understand how climate change is impacting the area. Findings from the project are being used to develop conservation strategies with local indigenous communities.

In Mexico, Ambassadors helped to improve marketing and sales strategies for a local farming cooperative that aims to improve the health of the region’s ecosystem. They also collected data for water quality in the Xochimilco wetlands, outside of Mexico City, as part of a study on the health of global freshwater ecosystems.

Learn more about EY Corporate Responsibility efforts here.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member firm of EY serving clients in the US.

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