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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe


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

Back for an Encore: The REAL Change Project—Artists for Education Returns for Second Season

— Pitbull, Jennifer Hudson, Ludacris, Tony Bennett and More Celebrate Education Superstars in Annual Television Special —

New York, NY (February 14, 2014)REAL Change Productions LLC, a premiere production and entertainment consultant company, today announced the return of The REAL Change Project—Artists for Education. Back for its second season, the annual television special in partnership with combines celebrities with philanthropy, exclusive musical performances, touching one-on-one interviews and more. The REAL Change Project Season 2 is scheduled to air during back-to-school season on September 8 and will feature performances and interviews from world-renowned artists including Pitbull, Jennifer Hudson, Ludacris, Tony Bennett, Matthew Morrison, Jason Mraz and Lady Antebellum.

During its debut last year, The REAL Change Project—along with partner and 2013 sponsor Office Depot—raised more than $1 million to help provide students across the country with the resources they need to succeed. Hosted by award-winning singer and actress Vanessa Williams, The REAL Change Project’s inaugural show featured performances and interviews from artists including Pitbull, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Quincy Jones, Jason Mraz, Redfoo, Matthew Morrison and Lady Antebellum.

The premier season’s success also had an international impact, funding the construction of two schools in Guatemala through generous donations to Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit organization that strives to provide quality education to underprivileged children in third world countries. Pala Preschool and Primary School as well as Pasac Palacal Preschool and Primary School are both located in the Boca Costa region of Guatemala and are dedicated to The REAL Change Project presented by Office Depot.

“We are awed and inspired by what The REAL Change Project achieved in just its first year, benefiting students and educators in the United States and abroad,” said Liam Murphy, Founder and CEO, REAL Change Productions LLC. “We have an incredible cast of artists lined up for our second season and are both excited and confident that together, we can extend our reach even farther, inspire others to help and change more lives for the better.”

The REAL Change Project looks forward to bringing further awareness for and Pencils of Promise, improving educational environments and opportunities for students both in the United States and around the world.

About REAL Change Productions

REAL Change Productions, LLC (RCP) is a premiere production/consultant company established in 2008. RCP focuses on the creative and business sides in television, film, music and special social platforms that complement the world and create change.

Founder and CEO Liam Murphy is the son of two career public school teachers and created the television special The REAL Change Project—Artists for Education to help bring to light educational programs that are helping children, teachers and schools. The REAL Change Project annual television special will inspire the nation to create change.


Founder James Rosenberg was a mergers and acquisitions attorney when he was mentoring a student at a school for pre-Kindergarten aged physically and mentally delayed children. James was astounded by the lack of resources in the classroom, especially in contrast to the wealth in corporate America that he witnessed in his professional life.

Inspired to “do something,” and with the assistance of law school friend Max Holtzman, James started to provide members of the community with an easy way to help teachers. James left his law job in 1998 and has devoted his full time to the mission ever since.

Today, increases the opportunity for student success by empowering teachers with community partners and funds to purchase resources for the classroom.


Tricia Manzanero

Citi Introduces New Way To Use THANKYOU® Points

NEW YORK, February 13, 2014 – Citi ThankYou Rewards members now have two new ways to use their Citi ThankYou® Points – either for an account credit to cover a recent purchase, or to make a donation to charity. With ThankYou Select and Credit, available ThankYou Points can be used to cover purchases in certain categories made with an eligible consumer Citi credit card that participates in ThankYou Rewards. ThankYou members can also use their available points to make a donation to a wide variety of charitable organizations on

“We want our customers to be empowered to use the ThankYou Points they earn for what they want – whether it’s dinner out with the family, groceries or concert tickets,” said Mary Hines, Head of Citi ThankYou Rewards. “This new Select and Credit feature provides the ability to use points to cover purchases recently made with their Citi credit card with just a few clicks.”

ThankYou members can use the Select and Credit feature for recent purchases made on an eligible Citi credit card – including dining, entertainment, grocery and drug store purchases, utilities and gas. With just a few clicks, ThankYou members can use their points to receive a statement credit to cover those eligible purchases made during their current credit card billing cycle on Citi Account Online. Here’s how it works:

  1. From Account Online, click the “Use Points to Select and Credit” link.
  2. Select one or more purchases from the list of eligible transactions.
  3. Accept the Terms & Conditions to redeem ThankYou Points for an account credit.
  4. Once the request is complete, the customer will receive an email confirmation and their ThankYou Point balance will be updated. The credit will post to customer’s account within 48 hours.

Added Mary Hines, “Through our relationship with PointWorthy, we’re proud to offer our members the opportunity to use their ThankYou Points to make donations to a wide variety of charities that are personally meaningful to them.”


Donate with Points is a new ThankYou Rewards feature that lets ThankYou members use their available ThankYou Points to make a donation to a wide variety of charitable organizations, supporting causes ranging from education and medical research to the arts. ThankYou members can get started by linking their PointWorthy and ThankYou accounts and find more information on

About Citi ThankYou Rewards

With Citi ThankYou Rewards, members can combine points earned across their Citi relationships into one account. ThankYou Points can be redeemed for thousands of rewards on, from gift cards for popular retailers and restaurants to sporting goods, electronics and travel rewards. ThankYou Rewards also makes it easy to share points; members can transfer points to another member free of charge. ThankYou members can also pool points together using the ThankYou Point Sharing App on Facebook, towards a shared reward or common goal. For more information on Citi ThankYou Rewards, visit

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: | Blog: | Facebook: | LinkedIn:


Media Contact:
Emily Collins, Citi, 718.248.3901,

Oliberté’s Spring 2014 Footwear Line Celebrates Sustainability with Casual Style and Color

Made-in-Africa styles are handcrafted in the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear factory

(OAKVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA) — Oliberté, maker of high-quality leather shoes in the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear factory located in Africa, is launching its most extensive line of new footwear ever this spring, including four new styles for men and six for women inspired by Africa’s vibrant culture and colorful fashions. Every item features hand-finished detailing and stitching, making each pair of shoes and every wallet and bag slightly unique. Oliberté’s workmanship (backed with a lifetime guarantee) and commitment to creating sustainable jobs in Sub-Saharan African is captured in this new brand video:

“All of our shoes and boots for men and women have historically featured traditional African stitch-down construction, but this spring’s new line is the first time we’ve offered women’s casual shoes with a slimmer profile and more vibrant color options,” says Tal Dehtiar, founder of Oliberté.

Oliberté’s spring 2014 line of casual footwear features sustainably sourced premium suede, pull-up, nubuck or waxed-leather uppers dyed brilliant pink, and lakeview blue or sky blue for women (in addition to traditional tan, dark grey, rustic brown, mocha or black). All Oliberté shoes feature ultra-soft goat-skin lining and in recognition of their origins, the new women’s styles feature a map of Africa imprinted on the shoes’ all-natural crepe rubber outsole and on the cushioning OrthoLite insole.

Featured Women’s Styles

The Blanca ($105) is a wingtip smoking slipper available in four colors, while the Mbozi ($105) features traditional African-style hand-stitched detailing. The Niami ($115), pictured here in lemon suede, is a moccasin-style boat shoe with a natural crepe-rubber outsole, while the Ralini ($110) is a classic smoking slipper embellished with a handcrafted toe fringe.

Featured Men’s Styles

The men’s collection expands on Oliberté’s wide selection of casual, rugged boot styles with several new shoes. A highlight in the men’s collection is the Lomayo ($125), a casual boat shoe featuring traditional African stitchdown construction, premium leather upper, goat leather lining and a natural crepe rubber outsole printed with a map of Ethiopia. The Dubano ($120) is a casual driving moccasin with two-hole lacing, while the Sogal ($110) is an easy-to-slip-on casual espadrille, and the Tuomi ($115) is a rugged moccasin with suede upper.

Sustainably Manufactured Bags and Wallets

The Gymano ($300) is a hand-crafted leather overnight bag sustainably manufactured in Ethiopia. Measuring 23 inches long and 10 inches wide, this spacious duffel has a large main compartment for your travel essentials, plus two side pockets. The Yezu ($230) is a soft-sided leather briefcase with casual-yet-sophisticated styling. Its spacious interior accommodates a 13-inch laptop plus accessories, while the horizontal side pocket is ideal for storing pens, an e-reader, a notebook and other small items. The 24-inch leather carrying straps can be used for toting this bag in-hand or over the shoulder. The Bazbo ($45) is a slim, hand-stitched bi-fold passport case with five card-holder slots.

Oliberté’s spring 2014 footwear line for men and women, all proudly displaying the Fair Trade CertifiedTM Factory logo, will be available at select retailers throughout North America and overseas, and on starting in February 2014.


Oliberté footwear, founded by Canadian entrepreneur and leader in corporate social responsibility Tal Dehtiar, manufactures hand-crafted casual leather shoes in the world’s Fair Trade Certified™ footwear factory. Located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Oliberté’s factory employs more than 80 skilled artisans who use an average of 1000 stitches per shoe, made from high-quality African leather uppers and natural crepe rubber soles. Oliberté supports sustainable employment and workers’ rights in Sub-Saharan Africa and is a member of 1% For the Planet and is a certified B Corporation. Oliberté goods are sold throughout the world at specialty retailers at

7 Companies Making Sure Aging Parents Are Safe At Home

CEO of Caremerge Asif Khan Identifies New Apps to Give Peace of Mind

CHICAGO, February 11 – An adult child’s concern for an aging parent is nothing new, but as the baby boomer generation heads for retirement the Department of Health and Human Services says nearly 20% of the population will be 65 or older by 2030.

The concern about aging parents living alone at home is about to reach an all-time high and while the state of assisted living facilities continues to improve, many seniors prefer to keep their independence as long as possible. This begs the question, “How can we keep our parents safe, afford it and have peace of mind?”

While there has been an explosion of wearable technology — devices that monitor an individuals’ health and fitness levels including sleep patterns and water intake to name a few — products just for seniors has been lacking. The good news is that is starting to change.

Asif Khan, CEO of Caremerge – a healthcare technology company dedicated to improving communication and care coordination within senior living facilities — has identified 7 forward-thinking companies that have stepped up to help solve this problem.

Here is a list of 7 apps and gadgets that help families, patients, and health care givers keep our seniors safe at home:

  1. Lively – Small sensors are placed on objects within the home – such as to prescription pill bottles or the refrigerator – to detect when the resident is taking medications, getting food, or leaving the home. Activity signals are sent from the sensors to Lively’s website (no internet WiFi connection required), where the data is held for family members and caregivers to monitor. Data also shared with all connected via smartphone and email with notifications on any irregular activity. A printed LivelyGram mailer with photos and messages from family members and friends given access is automatically created twice a month for the adult in the home.
  2. WalkJoy – As our parents grow old, risk of falling is one of the costliest and the most difficult to manage. Recovering from a fall at an old age is extremely difficult. It actually results in lack of mobility, further resulting in depression and many other serious conditions and putting the patient in a downward spiral. WalkJoy is a company that’s set out to solve this problem. It’s a non-invasive technology that aids in the restoration of gait and balance for people with peripheral neuropathy. Devices are attached to the knees that re-establish signal to the brain through healthy nerves around the knees, telling the brain that the heel just struck the ground. The brain’s central nervous system incorporates the new signal from the device, and the motor system responds as if there is no loss of sensation in the foot – therefore returning the person to a normal pattern of gait. The company also offers a second device, WalkingHealth, that serves as a walking diagnostics tool for the elderly suffering from mobility challenges to help reduce falls.
  3. Respondesign – Physical fitness and healthy daily movement is critical to healthy aging. However, most times it’s not easy to figure out how much physical activity or exercise is necessary because many factors drive this decision. It depends upon a person’s physical abilities, their conditions, and medications, just to name a few. Respondesign is a company that uses the Kinect sensor that aids in understanding a persons physical limitation and connects them with a therapist who can then create an individualized physical fitness plan for the patient. The plan is then plugged into Respondesign, where an avatar helps the patient follow along and determines progress, which is again sent back to the designated therapist so he/she can monitor progress and make changes to the plan accordingly.
  4. Independa and LG – A meticulously designed interface known as “Angela” is Independa’s HAL-like personality built in to LG tv’s, ready to use with larger screen fonts and higher contrast for the elderly. When activated for use, the viewer can browse the web, use video chat with friends and family, access simple e-mail, play games, see family photos, follow a daily schedule, get medication reminders and more. Angela can even be programmed to call mom or dad to remind them to take medications, and these services are available through TV and laptops, in private homes, senior living and skilled nursing facilities.
  5. Pocketfinder – These discreet devices allow families to have peace of mind while their loved ones remain mobile with a GPS locator to help stay connected. These GPS locators provide real time location information, activity that can be viewed through a web-based portal or smartphone. There’s also a PocketFinder Vehicle device that mounts directly on to a vehicle, powered by the car’s battery.
  6. Guardian Medical Monitoring – Guardian offers the Virtually There Care camera monitoring system, which allows family members to check in on their loved ones living independently via remove camera viewing and audible communications. This decreases the need for paid caregivers and daily check-ins, lowers home care costs in assisted living or nursing placement and extends independence.
  7. MC10’s BioStamp – Although not quite to market yet (3-5 years), the BioStamp puts medical diagnostics on a whole new playing field for all ages. Applied like a band-aid or temporary tattoo, the bio stamp measures everything hydration levels (critical with senior citizens), body temperature, heart rate, brain activity, and even exposure to UV radiation. This is a wireless technology where the data can be uploaded to a nearby smartphone for analysis (i.e. grandma’s doctor can check in without her having to visit!).

About Caremerge

Caremerge is a healthcare technology company dedicated to revolutionizing communication and care coordination in senior living. Caremerge is a member of the GE Health Growth Accelerator Program. For more information, please visit

About Asif Khan

Asif has over 20 years of experience in Technology. Most of his experience (over 12 years) has been with GE in leadership roles with increasing responsibilities at various GE businesses. Asif served about 8 years in various Senior and Global Product Marketing roles at GE Healthcare IT. During his tenure at GE, Asif worked as an entrepreneurial catalyst driving positive change across various businesses. Before leaving GE Healthcare in late 2010 to start Caremerge, Asif was responsible for a portfolio of healthcare products generating $140 million annually with over 3000 customers (Hospitals and large centers) worldwide.

Asif holds a B.A. in Journalism & History and a B.Sc. in Computer Science. He earned his M.B.A. from Booth School of Business – University of Chicago. Caremerge brings the world’s first complete set of simple yet revolutionary communication and care coordination solutions, organizing healthcare teams, providers and families, with shared information around seniors and senior care. Therefore resulting in timely and efficient care delivery and care decisions.

CREDO Announces It Will Donate $200,000 to 3 Progressive Nonprofits in the Middle of Heated Battles

CREDO Empowers Customers to Support Progressive Nonprofits

San Francisco, CA – CREDO, America’s only progressive phone company, announced today that it is donating a total of $206,690.00 to Planned Parenthood, and the Mother Jones Investigative Fund to boost the nonprofits’ efforts as they fight back against attacks on women’s rights, the environment and fairness in news reporting.

Planned Parenthood, and the Mother Jones Investigative Fund were nominated by CREDO customers and chosen among hundreds of nonprofits to be featured as the three groups eligible in the month of January to receive funding. CREDO customers then helped decide how much money each nonprofit received by simply voting online or via phone or text.

Planned Parenthood received 39 percent, which added up to $80,609 in funding. Planned Parenthood is under constant attack from right-wing legislatures that are trying to defund Planned Parenthood and prevent women from accessing reproductive health care services. CREDO is Planned Parenthood’s largest corporate contributor.

“CREDO is Planned Parenthood’s largest corporate contributor, and we are incredibly grateful for its longstanding partnership,” said Eric Ferrero, Vice President, Communications, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “With women’s health coming under repeated and increasingly harsh assault in states across the country, CREDO’s support is now more important than ever. Recent efforts to restrict access to safe and legal abortion, as well as preventive care like birth control and cancer screenings, have a very real and devastating impact on women who already have the least access to health care. CREDO’s support makes it possible for Planned Parenthood to fight back against these attacks on every front to protect women’s health and rights.”

image received 32 percent, which added up to $66,140 in funding. has been working alongside CREDO to stop the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline and most recently launched a nationwide campaign to pressure universities and other institutions to divest of fossil fuels.

“CREDO has been an invaluable ally and leader in the climate fight, regularly pushing boundaries, moving nimbly, and taking a firm stance when others hesitate,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of “ and CREDO are regular partners—just this week they teamed up with other partners to help organize more than 280 vigils to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.”

The Mother Jones Investigative Fund received 29 percent, which added up to $59,609 in funding. The Mother Jones Investigative Fund has been a critical force in exposing corporate and political corruption.

“CREDO is way more than a phone company. It’s a leader – working for a strong and independent press, for social and environmental justice, and for peace and democracy – and that is why Mother Jones is honored to be one of the organizations that CREDO’s community members can support through this one-of-a-kind grassroots funding process,” said Steve Katz, Publisher of Mother Jones.

Every month, three progressive nonprofits will be eligible for funding through CREDO’s donations program. CREDO has donated more than $76 million to organizations committed to social change since the company was founded in 1985. To read more about CREDO’s donations program, go here:


Sarah Lane

New Guide Helps Funders Adopt a Transparency Mindset

Philanthropists Indicate That Openness Leads to More Effective Social Change in “Opening Up: Demystifying Funder Transparency”

New York, NY — February 6, 2014. As funders face an increasing demand by the nonprofit sector, the public, and governments to be more transparent, a new GrantCraft guide released today in collaboration with Glasspockets provides practical advice for funders to publicly share various aspects of their operations, work, and knowledge. Opening Up: Demystifying Funder Transparency presents real-world case studies that demonstrate the value of foundation transparency in strengthening credibility, improving grantee relationships, facilitating greater collaboration, increasing public trust, reducing duplication of effort, and building communities of shared learning. The guide joins a growing collection of resources published by GrantCraft, a joint service of the New York-based Foundation Center and Brussels-based European Foundation Centre that taps the practical wisdom of funders to develop free resources for the philanthropy sector.

“The research we conducted for this guide demonstrates that funders who openly communicate about their work are finding it to be a win-win strategy,” said Jen Bokoff, director of GrantCraft at the Foundation Center. “Grantees, funding partners, the public, and philanthropy professionals themselves all benefit when foundations make their work and their knowledge broadly accessible.”

A commitment to transparency means a foundation is making available information on aspects of its work, including past grants awarded, the grantee selection process, performance assessments, and strategy documents. In addition to web sites, foundations are also employing social media, video, conferences, publications, and other media to share knowledge about their work. Funders profiled in the guide listed many benefits of transparency, such as gaining efficiencies in time, receiving better and more appropriate grant proposals, and increasing effectiveness based on feedback loops and greater awareness of peer efforts.

Other key insights in the report include:

  • Seventy-five percent of survey respondents reported observing an increased demand for funder transparency over the past five years.
  • Numerous interviews with funders and an analysis of blog posts and survey responses indicate that true transparency comes down to a mindset, one in which funders believe they are most effective when they approach all aspects of their work by saying “let’s publicly share this.”
  • While transparency can be challenging for many reasons, including limited staff time and potential vulnerability, funders interviewed agree that sharing what they know and creating space for dialogue are essential to accelerating change.

The guide is divided into five sections, each of which addresses a key aspect of transparency: sharing grantee data, sharing performance assessments, improving relationships, improving the practice of philanthropy, and recognizing opportunities for connecting. Each section explores transparency with funder stories, a list of challenges, action steps, and discussion questions. The guide does not advocate for a “one-size-fits-all” approach, but rather, uses qualitative research to show how each foundation can determine a level of transparency for itself that is appropriate, beneficial, and part of an ongoing process.


The guide is based on an international scan of the field, and one of the real-life examples comes from South Africa: Jason Hudson, the Shuttleworth Foundation’s chief information officer sums up its strategy as follows: “We have a mildly aggressive obsession with being transparent. We open up our financials and share our planning, learning, and relationships as we go along. It’s not easy and, at times, quite uncomfortable, but by doing this, we hope to have partners who come with better ideas, offer improvements, and even run with things on their own. That’s what we want.”

Opening Up: Demystifying Funder Transparency is complemented by online components, including podcasts and the complete results of the transparency survey. Knowledge tools on the Foundation Center’s newly-redesigned Glasspockets web site help foundations incorporate transparency activities into everyday practice, and an ongoing conversation can be found at the Transparency Talk blog. The Glasspockets site is also home to a new video that makes the case for foundations to be transparent, as well as an infographic that reveals trends with foundations and social media.

Opening Up: Demystifying Funder Transparency and related resources were funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It can be downloaded for free at

About the Foundation Center

Established in 1956, the Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center’s web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and at more than 470 Funding Information Network locations nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit or call (212) 620-4230.

About the European Foundation Centre

The European Foundation Centre, founded in 1989, is an international membership association representing public-benefit foundations and corporate funders active in philanthropy in Europe, and beyond. The Centre develops and pursues activities in line with its four key objectives: creating an enabling legal and fiscal environment; documenting the foundation landscape; building the capacity of foundation professionals; and promoting collaboration, both among foundations and between foundations and other actors. Emphasising transparency and best practice, all members sign up to and uphold the European Foundation Centre Principles of Good Practice. For more information, please visit



Cheryl Loe
Communications Project Manager
The Foundation Center
(888) 356-0354 ext. 701

Catherine Lennon
Communications Director
European Foundation Centre
+32 2 508 3075

Resolve To Make A Difference – For Your Community And Your Bottom Line – in 2014 — Expert Tips to help SMBs capitalize on cause marketing —

Burlington, Vt. — For small and medium size businesses looking to shine a positive light on their endeavors in the new year, cause-related marketing is an important way to help build long-lasting and profitable connections with customers, while making a difference in their communities.

Cone Echo’s 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility study revealed that 94% of consumers prefer to do business with companies that give back in some way but only 16% believe that businesses have actually made a positive impact. Moreover, over half of all consumers (55%) have switched brands in favor of ones that they believed to be more socially responsible. The impact is even greater when one considers that when people switch brands, they tend to bring some friends and family along with them.

These data underscore the opportunity that effective cause marketing presents as well as the risks of doing nothing. Businesses can either be the beneficiaries, or the victims, of these shifts in loyalty. Developing an ongoing cause marketing program is essential for businesses that want to appeal to the growing ranks of ‘conscientious consumers,’ but finding the right way to do so isn’t always clear.

Frequently used cause marketing approaches include 1) Sales-dependent donations in which businesses donate a portion of sales proceeds, and 2) Donation drives which involve the solicitation of customer donations at the checkout counter. However, both bring with them a host of legal and administrative obstacles and have the potential to backfire in terms of consumer sentiment.

Regardless of the approach, success will depend greatly on the degree to which a program reverberates with the public. There are many factors that have been found to increase consumer interest and participation. Below, Jay Ziskrout, Founder and CEO of Charitable Checkout, the online cause-marketing platform, offers a few tips for businesses that want to support worthwhile causes while maximizing ROI.

1. Choosing The Right Causes.

In order to capture positive attention from consumers, it’s important to select the right causes to support. Research shows that the more the business and charities seem to fit together, the more the public perceives that the company has the expertise to effectively help the charity. This increases consumer interest in getting involved while clarifying the company’s market positioning. For this reason, pairings of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters with Fair Trade charities or HGTV with Rebuilding Together, make perfect sense and work. As a business manager, you should take the time to look for non-profits that align well with your company’s ethos and mission. Another consideration is consumer choice. When people are afforded the opportunity to direct funds to a charity of their choice, their perceived control over the donation process is increased which results in higher participation rates. For this reason, it’s a good idea to select a short list of properly aligned charities and then allow customers to make their own decisions. A great example of this approach is Subaru’s annual “Share The Love” event, which enables car buyers to select from five charities.

Sometimes, in the wake of a natural disaster or other tragedy, the choice is easy. Still, there are over 1.5 million 501(c)3 non-profits in the United States and, even with the above advice in mind, making a decision can be difficult. Fortunately, there are some great online tools such as GuideStar and CharityNavigator that can help you identify your short list.

2. Use Social Media To Tell Your Story, But Not To Brag

Get the word out about your cause-related efforts in your advertising, newsletters and in-store signage. Make sure to share what you’re doing on your business’s website and social media channels and encourage the non-profits you’re working with to do the same. Although it’s important to generate awareness of what you’re doing, it’s best to refrain from overt shameless self-promotion. A great way to accomplish this is to use social media to show your appreciation for your customers that participate. A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way and in the social media age, a huge customer segment prefers to get kudos in full view of friends and family. By publicly thanking every participant, rather than bragging, you get an exponentially better uptick in consumer sentiment.

3. Reward Participating Customers

A ‘thank you’ is great, but if you’re asking your customers to make a donation, the secret sauce is in putting some ‘skin in the game’ and going beyond mere words. There are many ways to reward your customers that reflect well on your company. Here are a few ideas:

– Donation Matching: People respond better when the business offers to match donations because it creates the sense that ‘we’re all in this together,’ which is highly motivating.

– Redeemable Rewards: Instead of forcing people to purchase a product to unlock a donation, how about focusing on the cause first and reward donors after they give? Businesses can promote a cause by offering their product or service (or a discount on it) as a reward for doing the right thing. As an example, Shake Shack offers a free shake to customers who make donations. At Charitable Checkout, we have found that nearly 13% of donors redeem their coupon rewards, a great example of measurable ROI.

– Unlock Exclusive Content: A digital download of exclusive content for donors is a great tool to positively reinforce your business’s brand and the overall campaign, at a low marginal cost. Examples include music downloads, videos, images, documents, apps, etc.

4. Resolve To Make A Difference in 2014

Charitable Checkout’s ‘Rewarded Giving’ cause-marketing platform embodies these principles and enables businesses to measurably and profitably connect with consumers around shared values. We make it easy for businesses of all sizes to create campaigns that benefit whatever charities they happen to support while enhancing their corporate image and driving customer retention, acquisition, and sales. When consumers give to a business-endorsed cause using Charitable Checkout, they automatically receive redeemable rewards like coupons, and are thanked publicly via social media. Moreover, all the financial and regulatory functions are seamlessly handled in the background by the platform.

Charitable Checkout never touches your customer’s donations and a Basic Subscription costs just $9.99 per month. To learn more and sign up for your 15-day free-trial, go to:

Givelocity and Charity Navigator Partner to Bring Transparency and Sustainability to Charitable Giving

New crowdsourcing model amplifies donor giving power for vetted charities

San Francisco (Feb. 5, 2014)Givelocity, a community for shared giving, and Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities, have announced a partnership that gives donors an added level of confidence in their charitable giving. Givelocity, a proprietary crowdsourcing platform, allows donors to pool their dollars with others who care about the same types of causes and then vote on which charities receive their collective support.

“There are over a million charities, and people often don’t have the time or know-how to evaluate those they’re interested in; that’s where Charity Navigator comes in,” said Susan Cooney, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Givelocity. “In addition to the company’s expertise in evaluating charities, we also chose Charity Navigator for their extensive educational efforts around creating meaningful content to help donors learn more about smart giving, an effort close to us at Givelocity.”

Givelocity is helping to bring innovation to philanthropy through its unique approach to donation-based crowdfunding. Givelocity members pledge to donate as little as $1 a month and join communities, or “neighborhoods,” built around shared causes like the environment, literacy or animals. Neighborhood members then vote on which charities will receive their collective contributions each month.

“Givelocity is making it easy and enjoyable for people to make small donations that can go a long way,” said Ken Berger, CEO of Charity Navigator. “Susan understands the importance of transparency to donors, and we are pleased to be the preferred charity evaluator for Givelocity, to help provide that information.”

Through this new partnership, Givelocity members can now choose from charities with “high credibility” ratings, reducing the worry over where their contributions will be distributed. Charity Navigator’s rating system examines two main areas – Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency. The group’s professional analysts have examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents to develop an unbiased rating system that shows givers how efficiently a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information.

The Charity Navigator site is a two-time Forbes award winner for “Best of the Web,” was selected by Reader’s Digest as one of the “100 Best Things about America,” and was chosen by PC World as “One of America’s Top Websites.”

Together, Givelocity and Charity Navigator offer individual and corporate donors alike increased confidence in where their contributions are sent, while simultaneously building stronger communities around giving. All donors can now enjoy a platform where giving decisions are made more purposefully, inclusively and frequently.


About Givelocity

Givelocity is a community for shared giving. Members pool pledges and vote on where collective donations are sent every month. Givelocity is a unique online platform designed to harness the power of crowdsourcing, allowing individuals and businesses to create theme-based communities, or neighborhoods, for shared impact. The site offers enterprise tools to engage employees and build a culture of giving back. The platform fosters a sense of community, reinforcing social and economic equality, with the advantage of offering anonymity and better mapping of credible, accountable charities. With more scalable and sustainable donating, Givelocity is changing the way people give back.

About Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator is the most-utilized charity evaluator in America. The organization helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the Financial Health, Accountability and Transparency of more than 7,000 charities and by disclosing basic information on the remainder of the 1.4 U.S. nonprofits while providing donors with the tools to conduct their own evaluation of a charity. Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data. As a result, Charity Navigator, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) charity itself, depends on support from individuals, corporations and foundations that believe it provides a much-needed service to America’s charitable givers. Charity Navigator, can be reached directly by telephone at (201) 818-1288, or by mail at 139 Harristown Road, Suite 101, Glen Rock, N.J., 07452.


Stephanie Myers

Charity Navigator
Sandra Miniutti
201.818.1288 x105

China To Set Pace On Environmental Policy In 2014

Sustainable Insight Capital Management Reveals its Predictions for the Year

NEW YORK – February 4, 2014Sustainable Insight Capital Management (SICM), an investment management firm focused on companies with superior environmental, social, and governance practices, expects China will set the pace on global environmental policy this year. The company’s newly released “Sustainable Insights: 2014” report predicts trends in sustainability.

“Companies across all industries and governments throughout the world must realize the need to incorporate sustainable practices throughout their entire organization, in order to invest not only in their future but the future of the planet,” said Kevin Parker, Chief Executive Officer of SICM. “Our report reveals that in the year ahead certain industries will be making progress, but there still remains much work to be done.”

The persistent smog in many Chinese cities cannot be disguised and rising concerns over the long-term impacts will continue to worry many urbanites, according to the report. The firm predicts that there will more restrictions on vehicle registrations, financial penalties on the worst industrial emitters and development of new carbon trading schemes in the region.

In its report, SICM also predicts that:

  • Financial markets will become increasingly nervous about the issue of standard carbon assets
  • The Sustainable Accounting Standards Board will develop sustainable accounting standards for 10 sectors and over 80 industries
  • The conditions of the Earth’s oceans will receive significantly more publicity this year
  • The debate over genetically modified organisms will continue
  • Little progress will be made by politicians – both nationally and abroad – on climate change policy
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will garner more media attention, with important papers planned for release
  • Oil majors might open up the renewables investment tap, most likely in biofuels
  • Oil majors will also drop their objections to a carbon tax
  • The long-short hedge fund strategies will see the emergence of the first sustainable funds

“Carbon dioxide is increasing in the Earth’s atmosphere at an alarming rate,” Parker noted. “It is the responsibility of the greatest contributors to the problem to act swiftly, and while there are gaps that still need to be filled, we are generally pleased that our predictions indicate corporations and governments are taking this obligation seriously.”

To download the full report, please visit:


About Sustainable Insight Capital Management: Sustainable Insight Capital Management (SICM), a leading investment management firm, was founded to enable investors to benefit from the transition to a resource-constrained economy. The firm believes today’s most forward-thinking companies are responding to challenges and opportunities created by population growth, natural resource scarcity, climate change, urbanization and globalization. SICM’s research suggests that markets are inefficient and not accurately pricing securities to reflect these macro trends. Leaders who manage these sustainability risks have historically demonstrated superior performance, more stable cash flows, and higher dividend growth over time.

The above research materials are for informational purposes only. They are not an offer or solicitation for any security or investment product managed by SICM and should not be construed as investment advice. Investment strategies implemented by SICM on behalf of its clients may or may not trade or hold positions in the securities referred to above. Further, investment accounts managed by SICM may or may not employ strategies based on or related to the above research.

IKEA Lights Up UNHCR Refugee Camps With Sustainable Lighting

Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign supports camps in Asia, Africa and Middle East with Sustainable Lighting and Improved Access to Renewable Energy and Primary Education

(Conshohocken, PA- February 3, 2013) It’s a bright idea for a good cause with the introduction of the new IKEA Foundation campaign, ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees.’ Running February 3 – March 29, 2014, the global IKEA store initiative includes a donation of one euro ($1.35)* to the UN refugee agency UNHCR for every IKEA LEDARE – LED light bulb sold. Raised campaign funds will help to provide solar street lights, indoor solar lanterns, and other renewable energy technologies such as fuel efficient cooking stoves in UNHCR refugee camps in countries including Ethiopia, Chad, Bangladesh and Jordan.

In addition the campaign will also fund improved primary education.

Today, there are nearly 10.5 million refugees globally, around half of which are children. Some refugees have no choice but to live in refugee camps where an absence or lack of light after sunset can have a devastating effect on safety and security. Simple activities such as visiting the toilet, collecting water or returning to the shelter from elsewhere can become difficult and dangerous, particularly for women and girls. The improvements funded by the campaign will make each refugee camp a safer and more suitable home for refugee children and their families.

“In 2013, over 2 million people became refugees – a near twenty-year record. With each new humanitarian emergency the support of the private sector becomes more vital and more urgent. This campaign represents a new, unique chapter in our relationship with the IKEA Foundation, UNHCR’s largest private sector partner. Together, we hope to be able to transform the lives of many refugees,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.


The IKEA Foundation believes that every child deserves a safe place to call home. Since 2010 the IKEA Foundation has partnered with UNHCR, helping to provide shelter, care and education to families and children within refugee camps and surrounding communities.

“Life in a refugee camp can be very hard, particularly for children. The absence of powered light limits everyday activities we take for granted such as sharing a meal or doing your homework. It impacts safety and security and the ability for families to generate an income. The ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees’ campaign will help bring lights and renewable energy into the streets and homes of refugees camps, so UNHCR can help build a better everyday life for refugee children and families,” explains Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation.

IKEA continues to lead in sustainable business practices. In October 2012, IKEA US announced it would make a bold move to sell only LED lights in all its US stores by 2016. Already well on its way, the IKEA sale of only LED lights and lamps will and has enabled millions of people to live a more sustainable life at home, and save on their energy bills. IKEA also phased out all plastic bags in its stores in 2007 and incandescent bulbs in 2010.

*One euro is equivalent to approximately $1.35

For further information about the ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees’ campaign, please contact:

Mona Astra Liss
IKEA US Corporate PR Director, 610.834.0180 ~ ext. 5852

Nick Slijepcevic
Director, Corporate Relations 202.644.7161


About IKEA

The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 305 IKEA Group stores in 26 countries. There are 38 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 13, the IKEA Group had 135,000 co-workers, 684 million visitors to the stores and 1.3 billion visitors to IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.

The Yearly Summary FY13 and the IKEA Group Sustainability Report FY13 are available on Visit, @IKEAUSANews, and

About IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change. The Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and sustainable family income. Currently-funded programmes benefit an estimated 100 million children by 2015. Learn more at and


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, also known as the UN refugee agency, was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. UNHCR safeguards the rights and well-being of refugees. In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. It also has a mandate to help people who have become forcibly displaced inside their own countries, and stateless people. UNHCR is on the front lines of the world’s major humanitarian crises, including Syria, Mali, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and countless other emergencies.

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