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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 that apply to social good in general and may include policy, practice and other stories relevant to everyone.

Social Impact Startups Compete for Seed Stage Investment in Fast Pitch Finals Nine Local Startups to Compete

Portland, Oregon February 6, 2014 – A select group of innovative social venture startups from the Portland area will be competing for seed stage investment in the final round of the Portland Fast Pitch competition on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. 

Fast Pitch Portland – a project of the Portland-based Social Venture Society, an initiative of the NorthWest Social Venture Fund – is the city’s first investment competition for a new breed of startups that set out to generate high profit returns while also creating substantial and positive social impact in their global and local communities.

The inaugural Fast Pitch Portland competition also marks the debut of the NW Social Venture Fund, a highly anticipated impact investment fund curated by Carolynn Duncan, founder of the high-growth business accelerator TenX.

Over the past months, the competing startup teams have received intensive, hands-on coaching through workshops and mentoring from Portland’s accomplished social enterprise professionals.

The Fast Pitch finalists competing in the February 18th event are:

  • Supportland
  • Community Sourced Capital
  • Lite Sprite
  • InStove
  • Safi Water Works
  • Trovi
  • Mobius Microfarms
  • Snohomish Soap Company
  • SummerSkin, LLC

“It has been exhilarating to see these bold, big-thinking founders share their visions, form alliances, and sharpen their strategies as they honed their pitches.” says Social Venture Society founder and NW SVFund Managing Partner Carolynn Duncan. “This group is a great real-world examples of the convergence of business and social good that we want to promote at the Social Venture Society, and we stand by these teams.”

Due diligence screening is being performed in collaboration with impact professionals and business students from local organizations and universities, including the University of Oregon, Mercy Corps, and the Non-Profit Finance Fund.

The finals on February 18 provide an opportunity to meet – and cheer on – the rising stars of Portland’s social venture community, and for the general community to learn more about impact investing.

Tickets are now on sale here. 


Pam Abrahamsson

Prodigy Network Presents “Crowdsourcing And Crowdfunding: A Social Media Revolution In Real Estate” At Social Media Week

17John Creator Leads Discussion On The Future of Collaborative Real Estate With Harvard Business School, PSFK and LifeEdited

NEW YORK (February 5, 2014)Prodigy Network will lead the conversation, “Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding: A Social Media Revolution In Real Estate,” at Social Media Week New York on February 20. Prodigy Network will explore the impact social media has on the real estate industry through crowdfunding and crowdsourcing.

Prodigy Network’s current crowdfunding project 17John, is an extended stay “Cotel” next to the new Fulton Center, the third-largest transportation hub in Manhattan and one block away from the new World Trade Center. 17John is an extended stay “Cotel” designed to service the growth in the financial district and beyond. The term “Cotel” has been coined by Prodigy Network as “an innovative and unique hotel looking to the crowd, including on-the-go travelers, to be a part of a collaborative community where guests share ideas and foster likeminded connections.”

Individual accredited investors can purchase REPs (Real Estate Participations) of 17John for $100,000 each. Once completed, 17John will stand 23 stories high, and have 191 furnished units. Architects will combine the building’s existing classic architecture with the modernism of a glass tower to showcase 17John’s extensive views of Manhattan.

“We have learned that crowdfunding not only democratizes investments, it also makes projects viable that otherwise would not be possible,” said Rodrigo Nino, CEO and founder of Prodigy Network, who has dedicated his work to open these profitable ventures and to foster creativity. “With 17John we are providing real estate investment opportunities to the general public. Our presence at Social Media Week further defines the need for the conversation to continue, grow and inspire.”

On February 20 at 12:00pm EST, the panel titled, “Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding: A Social Media Revolution In Real Estate,” will present:

  • How society can address complex issues and impact fields like real estate through social media, for example 17John.
  • The definition of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, what they are and what they mean to the world at large.
  • How an interdisciplinary approach integrates crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, innovation, design and business thinking to put human issues at the core of problem solving and solutions.
  • How social media shapes our lives, our society, and our culture and how cutting-edge research from behavioral science, technology and economics can show how the crowd can collaborate for the collective good.
  • How world-renowned designers, researchers and strategists are shaping innovative approaches to address some of the most pressing economic challenges of our time.

The panel will include:

  • Rodrigo Nino, CEO and founder of Prodigy Network, who developed a crowdfunding business model as a safe and innovative way of giving smaller investors access to large real estate assets.
  • Graham Hill, CEO and founder of LifeEdited, creates ordinary spaces dedicated to microliving and efficiency.
  • Karim R. Lakhani, Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the Principal Investigator of the Harvard-NASA Tournament Lab at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, who specializes in the management of technological innovation in firms and communities.
  • Piers Fawkes, founder of PSFK, leads a daily news site that acts as the go-to source of new ideas and inspiration.

Prodigy Network will also invite Social Media Week participants to create a crowd-designed large-scale mural. The production of the mural will take place throughout the week and will engage the crowd to create a visual representation of the power of the collective mind. Acclaimed artist and visionary Rafael Esquer of Alfafa Studio will interact with visitors at Social Media Week in New York City, as well as engage the global community through social media. The crowd will be able to contribute and follow the mural’s progress through #smwprodigy.

For more information on Prodigy Network and its current portfolio:

For more information and tickets to Social Media Week:

About Prodigy Network

Founded in 2003, Prodigy Network specializes in connecting its international network of individual investors with opportunities to participate in institutional grade assets. With its proven crowdfunding model and use of a third party fiduciary, Prodigy Network has shifted real estate investment opportunities and returns – that once were solely accessible to large investors – to small investors. As the leader of the world’s largest crowdfunded skyscraper BD Bacata, Prodigy Network has led six international and U.S. based crowdfunded projects, raised over $200 million from 4,200 investors, and are currently developing projects with a projected value of $600 million. Prodigy Network’s vision is to advance crowdfunding as an innovative and dynamic way of doing business through democratizing real estate investments. Prodigy Network is headquartered in New York, New York. For more information visit:

Massachusetts Launches Landmark Initiative to Reduce Recidivism Among At-Risk Youth

$27 million Initiative is Largest Financial Investment in a Pay for Success Contract in the Country

Chelsea – Wednesday – January 29, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced the launch of the nation’s largest financial investment in a Pay for Success (PFS) initiative, which is designed to improve outcomes for hundreds of at-risk young men in the probation system or leaving the juvenile justice system. The Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Pay for Success Initiative will not only improve the lives of young people, but also reduce crime, promote safer and stronger communities and save taxpayer dollars.

This initiative, in partnership with Roca, Inc., Third Sector Capital Partners and commercial and philanthropic funders, is the largest PFS financial investment in the country and is designed to encourage innovative solutions to chronic social problems and improve outcomes for individuals in Massachusetts. PFS contracts allow governments with limited resources to expand innovative social programs and only pay for those that actually make a difference.

“By working with our partners at Roca, the Pay for Success initiative will allow us to marry smart financial solutions with programs proven successful in helping high-risk youth become employed, stay employed, and break the cycle of violence,” said Governor Deval Patrick.

The Commonwealth’s PFS initiative is part of an ongoing commitment by the Patrick Administration to reform the juvenile justice system and provide tools to keep youth on the right track to achieve future success. The program will allow Roca, a nonprofit service provider, to serve 929 young men in Boston, Cambridge, Chicopee, Everett, Holyoke, Ludlow, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Revere, Somerville, Springfield, West Springfield, Westfield and Winthrop by providing intensive outreach, life skills and employment training that will reduce recidivism and help these young men become assets and resources in their community.

PFS contracts, also called Social Impact Bonds, combine nonprofit expertise, private sector funding and rigorous evaluation to transform the way government and society respond to chronic social problems. In a PFS initiative, funders assume up-front financial risk, and taxpayers pay for a program only if a third party evaluator and validator determine that the initiative has achieved specific outcomes that both create benefits to society and generate savings for government.

“The Massachusetts Pay for Success Initiative is about changing the odds,” said Molly Baldwin, founder and executive director of Roca, In. “It’s about confronting the stubborn trends of incarceration and poverty among justice-system-involved young men, and standing in solidarity to say to these young men, ‘We will not leave you behind, you deserve more than jail or prison, and we will give you our time and support to help you make a better future for yourself and your community.”

The program’s success will be determined based on reductions in the number of days young men served by Roca spend in jail, and improvements in their employment and job readiness. The Commonwealth will repay funders if Roca’s services are proven to produce positive societal outcomes and savings for the Commonwealth. Roca was chosen because of their historical and ongoing commitment to intensive data and outcomes tracking that have proven the organization is well-equipped for a rigorous and long-term evaluation of its programming through the PFS initiative. To reduce incarceration rates among high-risk young men, Roca’s intervention model combines relentless outreach; intensive case management; life skills, educational, pre-vocational and employment training; and work opportunities with community partners.

Success payments will come from the Commonwealth, which has committed up to $27 million for this seven-year project, and from the U.S. Department of Labor, which awarded the Commonwealth a first-of-its-kind PFS grant of $11.7 million in September 2013. The additional funding for success payments from the Department of Labor will enable the Commonwealth to extend the project, should it prove successful, to an additional 391 young men, thereby serving a total of up to 1,320 young men over nine years.

Third Sector Capital Partners, a nonprofit advisory firm serving as project intermediary for this initiative, secured the $18 million in private financing for the project: $9 million in loan financing from the Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund; $1.5 million in loan financing from The Kresge Foundation; $1.5 million in loan financing from Living Cities; and $6 million total in grants from Laura and John Arnold Foundation, New Profit, and The Boston Foundation. Remaining grant funds will be re-cycled into future projects at the conclusion of this initiative.

The social and financial costs related to recidivism for the Commonwealth are enormous. Currently in Massachusetts, 64 percent of young male ex-offenders reoffend within five years, and only 35 percent of these young men gain employment within a year of release. Roca’s groundbreaking approach to positive youth development aims to interrupt the cycle of recidivism by filling a gap in services for high-risk populations. Through this project, Roca will aim to reduce the number of days that young men in the program are incarcerated by 40 percent. If this goal is met, the project would generate millions of dollars in savings to the Commonwealth that fully offset the cost of delivering services.

“Pay for Success has the potential to transform how government procures some of its most important social services, and to redirect vast resources towards the social interventions that are best able to deliver the results our communities need,” said George Overholser, Third Sector Capital Partner’s CEO and Co-Founder.

“This partnership is a creative way to test new approaches to solving deeply rooted social problems,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor. “We are focused on government paying for demonstrated results, rather than simply the hope for success.”

“We are pleased to work with Governor Patrick, Roca and all of our partners to help high-risk youth in Massachusetts secure access to life skills training and employment opportunities,” said E. Gerald Corrigan, Managing Director and Chairman of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. “We are proud to be an investor in projects such as this that rely on public sector-private sector cooperation to better achieve social and economic public policy goals.”

“This is a promising program with the potential to improve public safety, save taxpayers money, and directly impact the lives of hundreds of young people who are at high-risk of incarceration,” Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) Vice President of Public Accountability Josh McGee explained. “Yet, the people of Massachusetts don’t have to invest millions of dollars into the program and just hope that it will work. The unique Pay for Success funding model means the Commonwealth will only pay for the program if it is proven to be successful. LJAF supports social innovation financing as part of our overall effort to promote evidence-based decision making. By rigorously evaluating programs, we are better able to determine what works and then scale those programs that actually make a difference.”

“We applaud the Commonwealth’s leadership on this program and we have high confidence that Roca will improve many lives and help transform communities through it,” said Tripp Jones, Managing Director of New Profit. “The Pay for Success approach is a promising way to mobilize critical private sector resources and ingenuity to drive greater impact in local programs, while also saving taxpayer money. It’s rare to be able to achieve both, and we are looking forward to working on this and other similar initiatives in the future.”

“While much of the attention for this project will be based on its game-changing model for addressing major social issues in a cost-effective and socially responsive way, that is but one part of the reason the Boston Foundation is supporting it. This effort also takes on a major challenge for the Commonwealth by attacking the problem of juvenile re-incarceration, using a proven model, on a scale that would have been unimaginable in traditional scenarios. The potential social benefit for the Commonwealth is immense,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation.

“The Kresge Foundation has a long history with Roca. We’re pleased that, as we’ve expanded our social investing footprint, we’re able to support Roca’s outstanding work in a new way and to partner with these other funders,” said Kimberlee Cornett, director of Kresge’s Social Investment Practice. “CEO Molly Baldwin has been recognized as one of the most innovative service providers in the country for rigorous data intensive approach. We think the impact here is going to be tremendous.”

“The payoff for this transaction goes above and beyond the almost 1,000 lives we hope to positively impact. The ultimate success will be inspiring a new way for government, philanthropy and the private sector to collaborate that funds outcomes, not outputs. That’s how we’ll expand opportunities and make a dent in inequality,” said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities.


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts: PFS stemmed from Governor Patrick’s dedication to reducing recidivism rates and a vision of a government that improves lives, is driven by results and in which principles of performance management and accountability thrive. The Commonwealth’s work in the PFS project spans multiple governmental branches and agencies. The Office of the Commissioner of Probation, and the Department of Youth Services, a juvenile justice agency within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, are responsible for referring the high-risk young men they serve to Roca. The Department of Criminal Justice Information Services in the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security is providing data required to execute the project. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development is helping measure employment outcomes and performing fiscal management for the U.S. Department of Labor grant. The Executive Office for Administration and Finance is managing the disbursement of success payments.

Roca, Inc.: Roca’s mission is to help disengaged, disenfranchised young people move out of violence and poverty. Founded in 1988, Roca is an outcomes-driven organization committed to serving the highest risk 17-24 year olds in the Massachusetts communities of Chelsea, Boston, Malden, Everett and Springfield. Roca’s cognitive-behavioral Intervention Model re-engages young people in society—moving them out of violence, poverty, and incarceration into educational, employment, and life skills programming. Since its inception, Roca has helped more than 20,000 young people make positive, profound changes in their lives, creating a nationally-acclaimed model for violence intervention and youth development (transformational relationships), pioneering effective local, regional and national relationships with government, state, religious, health and community partners.

Third Sector Capital Partners: Third Sector Capital Partners (Third Sector) is a nonprofit advisory services firm whose mission is to accelerate America’s transition to a performance-driven social sector. Third Sector works with government, service providers and funders to develop and launch PFS projects. Third Sector is currently developing multiple projects with federal, state and local partners. Third Sector received pro bono legal assistance from Ropes & Gray, LLP throughout the establishment, structuring and negotiation of the Pay for Success initiative.

Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund: In 2013, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (UIG) launched the Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund, a first of its kind direct impact-investing vehicle, and manages the strategy on behalf of Goldman Sachs clients. Established in 2001, the Urban Investment Group deploys capital to help transform distressed communities into sustainable and vibrant neighborhoods of choice and opportunity. UIG seeks double bottom line returns by providing flexible financing for community projects that respond to the needs of low- and moderate-income communities and support public sector priorities. Through its comprehensive platform, UIG has committed more than $3 billion of Goldman Sachs capital, catalyzing development across dozens of residential, mixed-use and commercial projects, and financing job creation and neighborhood revitalization strategies as well as social services, through the nation’s first social impact bonds.

Living Cities: Founded in 1991, Living Cities is an innovative philanthropic collaborative that harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Living Cities’ grants, investments, research, networks and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of our learning to accelerate adoption in more places.

Kresge Foundation: The Kresge Foundation works to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities through grant making and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit. Kresge’s Human Services Program seeks to strengthen multiservice human services organizations that improve the quality of life and economic security of low-income people. Its Social Investment Practice uses loans, loan guarantees and deposits in support of Kresge program goals.

Laura and John Arnold Foundation: Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) is a private foundation that currently focuses its strategic investments on criminal justice, education, public accountability, and research integrity. LJAF has offices in Houston and New York City.

The Boston Foundation: The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of close to $900 million. The Foundation is a partner in philanthropy, with some 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives that address the region’s most pressing challenges.

New Profit Inc.: Founded in 1998, New Profit is a nonprofit social innovation organization and venture philanthropy fund seeking to increase social mobility by strengthening, connecting and amplifying the best ideas across the nation. With its signature partners and a network of philanthropists, New Profit invests in a portfolio of social entrepreneurs, grows their impact, and drives systemic change in education, workforce development, public health, community development/poverty alleviation, and other levers of opportunity. Through its annual Gathering of Leaders and cross-portfolio forums, New Profit connects social entrepreneurs with cross-sector leaders and builds communities that amplify bold visions and systems-changing agendas that fuel social innovation. Through America Forward, its public policy platform, these communities drive policy agendas that forge public/private partnerships to accelerate their impact.

Sibalytics LLC: Led by Dr. Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Sibalytics is an independent evaluation firm that has been selected to run the Randomized Control Trial (RCT) for the project. Sibalytics will take the young men referred to the project and divide them into a group to be referred to Roca for programming and a control group that is not referred to Roca. Sibalytics will track the outcomes of the young men in both groups and report on whether those participating in Roca services are incarcerated for less time and are more likely to be employed than the group of young men not participating in Roca.

Public Consulting Group: The Public Consulting Group (PCG) is the independent validator and will be responsible for assessing the proposed evaluation methodology and verifying whether outcome targets are met. PCG was selected by Massachusetts through a formal procurement.

Harvard Kennedy School Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab (SIB Lab): The SIB Lab provides pro bono technical assistance to state and local governments implementing PFS contracts using Social Impact Bonds. The SIB Lab assisted Massachusetts in developing the procurement and designing the data analysis strategy for this project.

World Design Impact Prize 2013-2014 Finalists Announced

Montreal (Canada) – The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) announced today that the following projects (in alphabetical order) have been identified as the three finalist projects for the World Design Impact Prize 2013-2014: A Behaviour Changing (ABC) Syringe, BioLite HomeStove and the Refugee Housing Unit. Icsid’s Members, made up of design promotion agencies, professional organisations and universities in more than 40 countries cast their votes selecting these three projects as most deserving of the Prize. Of these three, one winner will be honoured at the World Design Capital® (WDC) International Design Gala on 28 February 2014 in Cape Town (South Africa).

The three finalists’ projects address issues of security, stability and safety in the areas of health and home. The ABC Syringe, developed by the University of Huddersfield, provides the opportunity for patients to easily ascertain if the syringes used in their care are sterilised. A simple colour-changing label affixed to the syringe turns bright red to indicate it has been used. This design solution will hopefully lead to a drop in the reuse of syringes and lower the level of communicable diseases as a result.

The BioLite HomeStove emits low levels of smoke, therefore providing a cleaner cooking environment for women in the developing world who traditionally burn wood or coal to cook indoors. This cookstove, developed by BioLite LLC, features a USB port to charge electronics, a feature that further entices families to make the switch to a more efficient stove.

The Refugee Housing Unit, a pilot project with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides temporary shelter which facilitates ‘a feeling of normality’ for families living in refugee camps. Facilitated by the IKEA Foundation, prototypes are currently being tested and will dictate the ideal shape and size of the structure.

The World Design Impact Prize 2013-2014 is now entering its final stage. Projects were first measured against the demanding guidelines established by Icsid, then reviewed by a panel of five experts in the field of design for social good who selected seven projects that best embodied the ways in which design can positively impact the social, cultural, economic and environmental quality of life for individuals everywhere. Roberto Cuervo, a member of the Review Panel said, “the selected projects are great examples of design for social good because design is about collective intelligence, social innovation, networking and all forms of collective knowledge production and all of these projects are based on the fundamental principles of today’s vision of industrial design. Its not just about traditional product development anymore but concerns itself with the social needs of the world’s population.” The three finalists will be invited to present their projects at a workshop following the WDC International Design Gala, where they will have the opportunity to present their research, products and future plans to the South African design community.

The World Design Impact Prize creates a platform to talk about industrial design as a means to creative problem solving. It also aims to recognise excellence and diverse ways of addressing societal challenges. Through this initiative, Icsid hopes to recognise those projects that highlight the use of industrial design beyond the creation of products and demonstrate that it is also about creating systems and experiences.

For more information please contact:

Mariam Masud
Icsid Project Development Officer
t: + 1 514 448 4949 ext. 228

Natalie Dutil
Icsid Communications Officer
t: + 1 514 448 4949 ext. 223


About the World Design Impact Prize

The World Design Impact Prize is a biennial designation created to recognise, empower and stimulate socially responsible design projects around the world. Established by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid), the World Design Impact Prize will honour and reward industrial design driven projects that are making a positive impact on our social, economic, cultural and/or environmental quality of life.

By drawing from the expertise of Icsid’s network, the World Design Impact Prize creates an exciting opportunity for members and the general public to play an active role in recognising and honouring projects, and project partners, that create a better world through design. Furthermore, the establishment of a prize specifically for industrial design driven projects will produce tangible examples, best practices and socially responsible industrial designs that will help shape the future of the profession.

About the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid)

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) is a non-profit organisation that protects and promotes the interests of the profession of industrial design. Founded in 1957, Icsid serves as a unified voice of over 50 nations through which members can express their views and be heard on an international platform. Since its inception, Icsid has continued to develop its wide-reaching network of students and professionals devoted to the recognition, success and growth of the industrial design community. Together, professional associations, promotional societies, educational institutions, government bodies and corporations create a comprehensive and diverse system on the forefront of industrial design education and progress.

Emmy’s Organics Shares Their Green Impact from Sri Lanka

ITHACA, NEW YORK (January 23, 2014) – By now, chances are you’re familiar with the green movement. Whether it’s been referred to as Eco-friendly or going green, a lot of companies have made it their mission to become more environmentally and socially conscious. “Green-washing” has also become common, where a company touts that they are conscious in one way or another but don’t actually walk the walk. This past year, locally-owned and operated Emmy’s Organics, a vegan, gluten free and non-gmo goods company, took their sustainable ingredient sourcing to another level with a trip to Sri Lanka. There, co-owner Samantha Abrams, took a deeper look into the home of their coconut supply, and the environmental footprint the company is making in both the US and around the world.

“It has always been a dream of mine to visit the source of our ingredients, particularly where our coconut comes from since we use so much of it. Though we use many ingredients that don’t grow in the US, we’re still very sustainable minded and do a lot of research on all of our ingredients before we purchase them,” said Abrams. “It has always been important to me to have an understanding of where our ingredients come from and how they are processed.”

While in Sri Lanka, Abrams was able to visit the coconut plantation and processing factory that Emmy’s Organics uses. At this particular organic coconut farm, every part of the tree is used in everyday life – the coconut husks are even used as fertilizer. Trees range from 4 months to 20 years old. Important parts of the trip for Abrams was seeing how their supplier was very careful about the planting and harvesting, and also giving back to their local community and employees.

This resonates deeply with Emmy’s Organics, especially with their recent B-Corporation Certification. B-Corporation is a rigorous certification that looks at everything from health initiatives for employees to Eco-friendly materials used in renovations, as well as the company’s impact on all its stakeholders and offers a rating system so companies can improve.

“It’s similar to a Fair Trade certification but for the business as a whole,” says Abrams.

Some popular companies that are also B-Corporation Certified are Ben & Jerry’s, Etsy, and Dansko.

Not only is it a commitment to create clean, health and energizing foods, but Emmy’s is committed to taking care of the planet. Emmy’s only uses recycle-able materials for packaging but are also committed to recycling bottles, composting food scraps, and using recycled paper to buying second-hand furniture, and equipment for their office and facility.

“Nothing is more valuable than learning the Sri Lankan culture and about the coconut plantation community,” Abrams mentioned. “It was a way for us to build a deeper connection with our supplier, see the impact of sustainable ingredient sourcing firsthand, and learn ways to continue the movement locally and in our business practices.”

Abrams continued, “As much as I learned about our coconut supplier from our distributor, there was still a missing piece for me and as a business owner, I needed to see that for myself. There are things that I would have never learned if I hadn’t gone on this trip. It’s very important to us as a company to have a full understanding of how our products come together. It was an experience I will never forget.”

For more information on Emmy’s Organics, for hi-res photography from the trip, and/or to arrange interviews, please contact Becki Cooper at 440.227.8794 or via email at


Emmy’s Organics is a 100% vegan and gluten-free food company that prides itself on the quality, creativity & sustainability of the products it offers. The company uses only the finest non-GMO ingredients in everything produced. All packaging is made from biodegradable and earth-friendly materials. All goods produced are made in a vegan & gluten-free kitchen. For more information visit


Nominees get the chance to go on a groundbreaking NGO placement Fighting major obstacles faced by worldwide NGOs at a grassroots level

The D&AD White Pencil rewards creative ideas with a social purpose. The Award is the world’s top prize for design, advertising or digital work that addresses key social, political or ethical issues.

In order to demonstrate its increasing commitment to supporting positive change through creativity, D&AD is collaborating with The International Exchange (TIE) to offer two placements to White Pencil nominees.

TIE is a leadership development program that combines the expertise within agencies and studios with the needs of NGOs to create positive, sustainable change. It takes talented communications leaders and enables them to share their experience and skills in areas of urgent need.

TIE counts many of the world’s top agencies as clients. Alice Hooper, now Board Account Director at Leo Burnett London, co-founded Leo Burnett Change on the back of her TIE experience back in 2011, in which she helped to develop a communications campaign for a small grassroots NGO working with extremely vulnerable children and adolescents within Recife, Brazil.

Change is a collective dedicated to making powerful communications with positive social impact. This initiative led to Leo Burnett worldwide taking on the inaugural White Pencil challenge, and saw them take home the first White Pencil for ‘Recipeace’ by Leo Burnett Chicago.

Philippa White, Founder and Managing Director of TIE, said “By collaborating with D&AD, our reach around the world will be that much bigger, and the skill sets offered that much more diverse. We’ll not only be helping many more NGOs and communities around the world with our powerful communications skills, but together we’ll also be enabling more talented communication leaders to learn and grow from the experience of sharing their skills with the emerging world.

“The opportunity for change is huge, both abroad, but also back at home. On the back of the TIE placements, more commercially sustainable ways to fix problems will be discovered and the industry will be better placed to know how to grow business by doing the right thing.

“The more TIE placements that take place, the more our industry will start to change from the core. Our industry will be made to stand for more and we’ll all feel even prouder of our chosen profession. Here’s to a very exciting collaboration.”

Making ethical business behavior the norm

Tim Lindsay, CEO of D&AD, said: “Our responsibility is to help agencies, studios and individuals to understand and get involved in more sustainable ways of doing business. To encourage a movement that puts corporate social responsibility at the cornerstone of all corporate growth plans and that makes ethical business behavior the norm, not the exception.

“Ahead of the curve, as they so often are, Unilever liked this and now generously sponsor the White Pencil and through their support we’ve been able to collaborate with TIE to help push the White Pencil agenda forward.

“The White Pencil, now split into two categories – one for advertising and one for design – is about encouraging and rewarding brands, and their agencies, who are looking to grow those brands and businesses, but in a way that benefits everyone involved.

“And if everyone – consumer, supplier, retailer, employee and employer – benefits, then the motivation becomes irrelevant. In the end, everyone will have to join in or see their business diminish and eventually disappear.

“It’s a great opportunity for the advertising and design industries to help our clients, and their consumers, by inventing a new vocabulary; developing new capabilities and leading from the front. In short, to demonstrate that commercial communications can be a force for good. The White Pencil is designed to help the industry bring this about. Over to you.”

Recent TIE Success Stories

Melissa Parsey, Lead Strategist for JWT Ethos, has recently completed her own TIE placement in Recife, Brazil, and is now working on the Al Gore Brief with Jon Steel, WPP Planning Director, to tackle the Global Legacy Project – changing habits to change the world. This brief has also been set to our young creative community through the D&AD New Blood Awards.

Trevor Gilley, a designer at Wieden+Kennedy New York, worked in Malawi to create a presentation for government officials that showed people, for the first time, the shocking reality of charcoal production and its impact on deforestation in Malawi. At launch, more than 10,000 fuel-sufficient stoves had been ordered.

Sarah Walker, Director of R&D at Millward Brown London (WPP), explained her recent experience in Brazil: “I have just returned from working with a group of NGOs in Brazil to raise awareness of some of the corruption and human rights atrocities that are being committed in the name of ‘preparations’ for the coming World Cup… We had four weeks to plan, create and implement a campaign, with a budget of little more than £1000, in a media environment largely controlled by the government. It was one of the most enjoyable, but also intense, learning experiences I have ever had.”

All nominees for this year’s White Pencil will have the chance to apply for a spot on a TIE placement of up to 30 days. Everyone in the nominated team can apply, from the ECD to the Account Manager, to the Strategist. The individual who is selected will then have the full support of their team back at their home ‘base’, meaning everyone can play a part.

For more information on this collaboration, visit:

You can enter work for D&AD’s White Pencil by going to:

The pinnacle of creative achievement across the design, advertising and digital industries, the D&AD Awards have been running since 1962.

Follow D&AD @DandAD #DandAD14 #WhitePencil


TIE Film:

TIE is a leadership development program that combines the expertise of communication professionals with the needs of NGOs to create positive, sustainable change. We enable talented communications leaders to learn and grown from the experience of sharing their skills with the emerging world.

TIE develops future leaders. The program takes them out of their comfort zone by getting them to run all aspects of a campaign from start to finish, drawing on skills they already have but may not use every day. Individuals are given the chance to develop their skills whilst making a difference to people who really need it. People return from the program more confident and brimming with fresh ideas.


Since 1962, D&AD has been inspiring a community of creative thinkers by celebrating and stimulating the finest in design and advertising. A D&AD Award is recognized globally as the ultimate creative accolade, entered and attended by the best creative decision makers from around the world. Set to reward, promote and enable creative brilliance in all areas of creative communication, a Yellow – or Black – Pencil remains the pinnacle in many careers.

But it’s much more than just awards. Members join a vibrant global community, whilst creatives and clients are inspired by a world-class training and development programme. Students are supported with projects, awards and exhibitions, which give them a vital leg-up as they enter the industry.

As a non-profit, all of D&AD’s surpluses go straight into programmers that develop the next generation of creative talent while campaigning for the creative industries to help solve the world’s toughest social and environmental issues.


Dan Bryant
D&AD | +44 (0)20 7840 1122|

Matthew Parker
D&AD | +44 (0)207840 1121 |



On November 20, more than 15,000 people in 57 countries helped 100,000 children

ADA, Mich., Dec. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — During the span of 24 hours on November 20, more than 15,000 Amway business owners and employees mobilized to serve children’s causes in their communities. In 57 countries, together they volunteered 35,425 service hours through 304 projects benefiting more than 100,000 children.

The AMWAY ONE BY ONE® Campaign for Children Universal Children’s Day was the culmination of activities celebrating the Campaign’s 10th anniversary.

“Amway is a people business, and our people live and work in communities all across the world,” said Todd Woodward, vice president for Amway brand, public relations and corporate social responsibility. “For one day, we aligned as a global company to make the lives of the children and families in the communities we serve a little better.”

Since the AMWAY ONE BY ONE® campaign launched in 2003, its focus has been to assist children in need around the world. In just 10 short years, Amway business owners and employees have impacted the lives of 10 million children, logged 2.7 million volunteer hours, and raised $190 million for programs.

Employees and distributors also chronicled their participation in Amway Universal Children’s Day by using the #amwayonebyone. The hashtag populated an Instagram map on in real time.

Specific programs on November 20 included:

  • Amway Thailand and the Thai Society Foundation collaborated with the Border Patrol Police bureau to donate more than 22,000 winter jackets to underprivileged students in remote schools.
  • Amway Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica and El Salvador organized a home building and renovation project with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Amway Japan built a playground for a community house in earthquake-affected regions through its Remember Hope program.
  • Amway Russia assisted at multiple child crisis centers across the country.
  • The Amway Charity Foundation in China partnered with UNICEF, local education administration authorities, and community partners to educate orphans in 100 communities.
  • In the United States, 4,000 Amway World Headquarters employees partnered with 15 nonprofits on 23 separate projects that included the assembly of more than 1,400 bikes and the creation of 10,000 hygiene kits that will provide relief to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

About the Amway One by One Campaign for Children

The AMWAY ONE BY ONE® Campaign For Children program rallies the resources of Amway distributors and employees around the world to make a difference in the lives of children in every market in which the company conducts business. Since the AMWAY ONE BY ONE® program launched in 2003, it has provided hope and opportunity to 10 million children and donated $190 million to children’s causes worldwide. The number of employee and distributor volunteer hours logged since 2003 totals more than 2.7 million. For information, visit

About Amway

Alticor / Amway is the world’s #1 direct selling business, ranked by 2012 global sales of $11.3 billion in the Direct Selling News Global 100, and based on the efforts of more than 3 million Amway distributors and more than 21,000 employees in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide. Founded in 1959 by entrepreneurs Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel, and based in Ada, Michigan, U.S., Amway offers consumer products and business opportunities that are supported by a global agribusiness, manufacturing and logistics supply chain. More than 900 scientists, engineers and technical professionals work in 75 R&D and quality assurance labs worldwide to support product development and create a culture of scientific excellence. Top-selling brands for Amway are NUTRILITE® vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, ARTISTRY® skincare and color cosmetics, and eSpring® water treatment systems. For company news, visit

Givelocity Launches Revolutionary Shared Giving Platform Bringing Community and Transparency To The Giving Process

Givelocity aims to drive greater social impact by connecting individuals, social networks, and corporate donors, amplifying their collective giving power.

San Francisco, CA (December 3, 2013) – Givelocity, a portal for shared giving, announced today (Giving Tuesday) the launch of its proprietary crowd sourcing platform. At Givelocity, donors can pool their dollars with other people who care about the same things they do and vote on which charities receive their collective support.

“Givelocity disrupts the philanthropic model by tapping into a new era of connectivity, allowing individuals to more easily seek out and build connections based on natural affinities”, said Susan Cooney, founder and CEO of Givelocity. “Our platform brings ‘givers’ together, increasing their ability to effect change for the things they are most passionate about, like poverty, hunger or access to clean water. By building online communities for shared giving, we feed our human desire for connection.” Cooney believes people want to give, but don’t know where to start, and fear their limited funds won’t make a difference. At Givelocity, members gain leverage by combining small donations with others in online giving circles, or “Neighborhoods,” for greater impact.

This innovative platform fosters a powerful new ecosystem for giving. Anyone can build or “move in” to public or private neighborhoods to pool funds for specific types of causes that they are passionate about, starting at as little as one dollar. Animal lovers can “move in” to the Animal Kingdom Neighborhood and know that their monthly donations will only benefit animal causes. Members focused on children’s causes can “move in” to the Children’s Network Neighborhood and be assured that their dollars will only support children. Once settled in a neighborhood, members vote on the causes that will receive their collective support at the end of every month.

The model offers a more sustainable and less intrusive way to give to charities, which spend an average of 10% of total donations on fundraising and often sell lists of donor information. At Givelocity, contributing members create recurring payments through the subscription-based giving feature, and can rest assured their donations remain anonymous. Through Givelocity’s partnership with Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, members will choose from charities with “high credibility” ratings, reducing the worry over where their contributions will be distributed.

Corporations can even use the platform to set up private communities and allow their employees, customers or followers to vote on the charities they feel the corporation should support. Corporations can now place their giving decisions into the hands of their employees or fans instead of making these decisions behind the closed doors of a boardroom. This new transparency builds trust when engaging employees in social impact initiatives.

About Givelocity

Givelocity is a unique online platform designed to harness the power of crowd sourcing, allowing individuals to create theme-based giving circles, or neighborhoods, for shared impact. Corporate giving is also supported, with tools to engage employees and build transparency. Givelocity’s easy-to-use, shared giving portal puts the donor in charge, as individuals and businesses vote on where donations are sent. 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, as their shared giving model increases the impact on beneficiaries and lessens the impact on wallets.


Men and women living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and serious depression prepare and enjoy a Thanksgiving feast at Fountain House’s Clubhouse in Hell’s Kitchen.

New York, NY (November 27th, 2013) – Fountain House gets ready for a larger than expected turnout for this year’s Thanksgiving Feast. Thanksgiving is Fountain House’s largest celebration. Members living with serious mental illness come together with staff at the clubhouse in Hell’s Kitchen to prepare a spectacular feast including roasted turkey or stuffed squash, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, braised carrots, green beans, and peas.  A delicious assortment of pies, including homemade pies baked with apples grown at Fountain House’s 500 acre High Point Farm are a sweet end to the meal.  Members participate in preparing, decorating the house, and serving the meal. Floral decorations are produced by members working in Fountain House’s Horticulture Unit.

Who:                    Fountain House
What:                   Thanksgiving preparations by/for individuals living with serious mental illness
Where:                 425 West 47th Street NY, NY 10036
When:                  Prep:  Wednesday, November 27th 9 am – 5 pm
Why:                    Mental illness disrupts people’s lives and relationships, leaving them alone and isolated in the community. Fountain House offers a sense of belonging, meaningful activity, and the opportunity to form relationships with their peers and with dedicated professional staff.  All members and staff are invited to celebrate Holidays together.

Serious mental illness affects 23 million people in the United States each year. The stigma, rejection, and isolation that accompany mental illness are often as damaging and debilitating as the illness itself.  Fountain House reduces the devastating social impact of mental illness. Every day, over 300 members choose to come to Fountain House to learn new skills, access opportunities, and forge meaningful relationships. Members and staff operate successful employment, education, wellness, and housing programs. They work as partners to perform all the functions that keep the community going.  The Fountain House model has been replicated in more than 300 locations in 30 countries and 32 states and currently serves more than 100,000 people with mental illness worldwide.

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