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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

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

BlueSky Investment Management Announces Appointment of Grant Cleghorn as Head of Global Marketing

Press Release – New York, November 16, 2017 – BlueSky Investment Management, LLC (“BlueSky”) announced the appointment of Grant Cleghorn as Partner and Head of Global Marketing. In his new role, Grant will oversee BlueSky sales and marketing including U.S. and International institutional asset owners, family offices and other intermediaries including bank and advisory platforms.

“Having had the privilege to serve on BlueSky’s Advisory Board since the firm’s inception, I have watched BlueSky evolve from a great concept to a true thought leader in ESG integration,” said Mr. Cleghorn.

Prior to joining BlueSky, Mr. Cleghorn was a Partner and Head of Institutional Marketing at Parnassus Investments, where he played a critical role in growing the firm’s AUM from $1 billion to over $15 billion over a six-year period.

“I am compelled by BlueSky’s methodology that ties the financial impacts of ESG factors into a disciplined fundamental value approach. They are integrating the ESG factors unique to each industry which can have financial impact to the company’s bottom line and can ultimately affect stock performance. The team is simply using better information to drive better investment decisions,” said Mr. Cleghorn.

“We have known Grant for nearly a decade and could not be more excited to have someone of Grant’s character and pedigree to lead our growth strategy,” said Bud Sturmak, Founder of BlueSky. Ron Dornau, Portfolio Manager, added “We have admired Parnassus for many years and look to Grant to implement a similar marketing strategy here that will benefit all stake holders.”

The announcement caps an exciting 2017 for BlueSky, including having achieved their one-year performance milestone on October 1st and having been a featured case study in SASB’s ESG Integration Insights in September. Additionally, BlueSky was featured in Emerging Manager Monthly in July. Following two years of empirical research, this past summer, the team trademarked their proprietary ESG Roadmaps™ process which identifies financially material ESG factors by sector and region.

About BlueSky Investment Management

BlueSky Investment Management is a global fundamental value investment management firm, dedicated to active, high quality investing and founded on a process-driven, repeatable approach. BlueSky’s unique investment approach integrates financially material environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into a disciplined fundamental value investing framework. BlueSky’s empirical research culminated in the creation of their ESG Roadmaps™ which identifies the financially material ESG factors unique to each sector and region.

To learn more about BlueSky Investment Management, please visit www.blueskyinvm.com


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Statement: America Recycles Day Marks 20th Anniversary; Focuses Nation’s Attention on Improving Recycling Everyday

Today, Nov. 15, 2017, is the 20th anniversary of America Recycles Day, a Keep America Beautiful national initiative to raise awareness about the value of recycling.

While most people agree that recycling is good for the environment, America Recycles Day is an opportune time to stress that recycling is also good for our economy and our communities.

Through America Recycles Day, it’s our aim to teach Americans the importance of recycling right – recycling clean, uncontaminated materials correctly – and to encourage buying products made from recycled content. And while more than 70 percent of the population has access to recycling, the number that actually participate is much lower.

Consider that 20 years ago, 217 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) were generated and 58.6 million tons – 27 percent – were recycled or composted. More recently (2014 is the most recent data available), more than 258 million tons of MSW are generated annually, and the nation has a 35 percent recycling rate with 89 million tons being recycled or composted. With more than 130 million tons being landfilled, considerable opportunity remains to recover material and keep it in the economy as a feedstock to make new products.

Twenty years after the inaugural America Recycles Day, we find ourselves in an interdependent global economy, in which recycling and the use of recycled materials plays a significant role. The China Ministry of Environmental Protection’s July filing with the World Trade Organization announcing a ban on certain scrap imports has put our domestic recycling markets in a state of flux.

It is true that we still need to increase recycling participation in the United States, while continuing to promote reduced consumption. It is also more critical than ever that we produce a cleaner stream of recyclables, and promote the purchase of products and packaging made from recycled materials. By focusing on improving the quality of materials entering the recycling stream – and enhancing efforts to educate consumers – we can deliver lasting economic benefits to communities nationwide.

In addition to building efficient and affordable recycling infrastructure, we can create a domestic feedstock for manufacturers and support those manufacturers through the purchase of their products. Those systems are within our ability to support individually and create both economic and environmental benefit. Convenience and knowledge are critical factors for individuals to more easily and effectively engage in the act of recycling, whether at home, at work, at school, or on-the-go. So, too, is an understanding that their efforts to recycle and to Buy Recycled make a difference.

There is good news. Consumers value and want to recycle – they recycle more than they vote – and they are interested in purchasing goods from companies using recycled content. This demand has grown eight percent since 2012, according to Natural Marketing Institute’s Consumer Trends Database. In addition, based on Keep America Beautiful and NMI’s recent Consumer Recycling Tracker Survey, 44 percent of all American adults are interested in what companies are doing to use more recycled content in their products and packaging.

Much work is underway by government, municipalities, industry, and nonprofits to re-establish greater focus, improvements and opportunities for the next generation of recycling. Through the simple act of recycling and buying recycled products, consumers can create the momentum that helps invigorate the materials markets and fills the supply chain with recycled materials. That, in turn, can fuel manufacturers, and other industry innovations.

Twenty years ago the message behind America Recycles Day was: “Keep Recycling Working. Buy Recycled.” Today, the message is no less important. On the 20th anniversary of America Recycles Day, we remind everyone to find out what can be recycled in your community – continue to “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” – and when you buy, Buy Recycled. Finally, we encourage you to take the #BeRecycled Pledge and commit to living a recycled lifestyle.


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DKT International Celebrates World Vasectomy Day: The World’s Largest Male-Centric Family Planning Movement

DKT is a proud sponsor of World Vasectomy Day, hosted in Mexico City on November 17, 2017

Press Release – Washington, D.C.: DKT International is honored to sponsor the fifth annual World Vasectomy Day in Mexico City on November 17, promoting gender equity and shared responsibility in family planning efforts.

“We are proud to support World Vasectomy Day’s mission and celebrate the men who are helping to prevent maternal deaths. This event catalyzes the discussion of a man’s responsibility in family planning and raises awareness of vasectomy as an important and viable option,” says Ana Karina de la Vega, DKT Mexico Country Director. “This event aligns with DKT’s out-of-the-box social media marketing tactics in reaching women and couples with messages of family planning and contraceptive options.”

World Vasectomy Day has over 1,000 participating providers in more than 50 countries anticipated to do over 10,000 vasectomies as part of this year’s fifth anniversary celebration. Since World Vasectomy Day’s inception, they have worked in Bali to refurbish mobile buses for rural outreach, there has been an increase in Planned Parenthood clinics offering vasectomies in the US, India has adopted World Vasectomy Day for a fortnight each year and Kenya has seen a 300% increase in vasectomies since hosting the event in 2016.

This year there will be events in over a dozen countries, including promotional road trips, a full-day vasectomy seminar for medical students and live vasectomies shared with the public to demonstrate the simplicity of the procedure. It all culminates in a 24-hour ‘vasectomy-thon’ on the day itself, during which live-streamed interviews of men receiving vasectomies will be shared from all over the world, including information about access to vasectomy providers, conversations with leaders in family planning, a range of visual media including documentaries and animations as well as contributions from wives, partners and mothers.

World Vasectomy Day is more than just a one-day observance; it is an ongoing social media communications project that unites men, vasectomy providers, public and private health care stakeholders, global sponsors, and Ministries of Health and Public Planning in a mission to increase male participation in family planning.

“We know men, both informed and uninformed, can be resistant to a vasectomy. In many cultures, giving up one’s fertility is stigmatized,” says Jonathan Stack, Co-Founder of World Vasectomy Day. “We are proud to have emerged as the largest male-oriented family planning event in history in response to this. We do not measure our success by the number of vasectomies alone, but by the quality of conversations we launch about gender equity and responsible masculinity”

DKT International offers an increasingly wide range of contraceptives and works with distributors who stock supermarkets, drugstores and wholesalers to ensure easy access to contraceptives for all. In Mexico this year, DKT launched an oral contraceptive and a one-month injectable contraceptive. DKT’s condom brand Prudence is the top-selling brand in Mexico.


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Dream Foundation Gala to Fulfill Thousands of End-of-Life Dreams

Press Release – Santa Barbara, Calif. — Dream Foundation will host Dreamland, its 16th Annual Gala, on November 18th at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, to raise awareness about its mission to fulfill the end-of-life Dreams of terminally-ill adults.

Claire Wineland and Jim Mills will grace the stage to share their stories of inspiration.

Claire, 20, has been living with cystic fibrosis (CF) for her entire life. At the age of 13, she founded Claire’s Place Foundation that provides support to children and families affected by CF. Claire speaks across the globe, sharing her unique and inspiring outlook on life.

Dream Foundation had the honor of fulfilling the final Dream of Jim’s wife, Leeanne, when the couple enjoyed a Dream trip to Santa Barbara. Leeanne and Jim were married for 30 years and had five children. There is not a day that goes by that Jim does not think of his beloved.

The evening will include performances by one of the United Kingdom’s top-selling artists, Sir Cliff Richard, rock-and-roll front woman Tina Schlieske of Tina Schlieske and the Graceland Exiles w Sister Laura, and DJ 2nd Nature will headline the Dreamland after-party.

Guests will also enjoy a silent auction featuring original artwork by fashion photographer Dewey Nicks and a live auction including a private dinner with “Top Chef” alum, Chef Marcel Vigneron and a meet and greet with superstar Jennifer Lopez.

“This year we hope to forge a connection between Dreams and destiny, reminding all of us why Dreams are so vital,” says Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Kisa Heyer. “Dream Foundation values the Dreams of all, especially those with limited time remaining. Funds raised at Dreamland will help us continue this important conversation and work.”

Dream Foundation acknowledges the generous support of Platinum Sponsors: Colleen Barnett-Taylor and Michael Taylor, Barnett Clutches & Cables, Genentech, Kindred Hospice Foundation, Media Sponsor: Cal Jet Magazine and other sponsors without whom Dreamland would not be possible.

More information can be found at http://dreamfoundation.org/gala2017/.

About Dream Foundation:

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 27,000 final Dreams over the past two decades and has never turned down a qualified applicant. Dream Foundation receives no state or federal funding, relying solely on private donations.


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All Hands Volunteers and Happy Hearts Fund Unite To Form All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response, Expanding Disaster Relief Efforts and Creating More Impactful Change Worldwide

Press Release – (New York, NY) November 13, 2017 – After more than a decade of providing relief to those who have been impacted by natural disasters, today, All Hands Volunteers and Happy Hearts Fund, which was founded by supermodel and philanthropist Petra Nemcova, merged to form All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response, which will work to efficiently and effectively address the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disaster. The merger goes into effect today.

After surviving the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Nemcova founded Happy Hearts Fund in an effort to rebuild safe, resilient schools in disaster stricken areas. Since 2005, 171 schools have been rebuilt in 10 countries around the globe. All Hands Volunteers was founded by David Campbell, a former technology CEO, in 2005 to provide relief to residents in areas affected by natural disasters in the U.S. and around the world. Since then the team has grown to 100 disaster experienced staff and is augmented by the hundreds of volunteers engaged daily.

Nemcova and All Hands CEO David Campbell met briefly in Pisco, Peru, where they were both assisting the community after the 2007 earthquake. They reconnected after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal and since then partnered together to provide a faster and more effective long-term response to help communities affected by devastation. This partnership model yielded greater results because it provides not just a first response, but a smart, long-term response. Happy Hearts Fund and All Hands Volunteers complement one another, and together, All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response will have a greater impact and broader reach in communities in great need, which are often forgotten after natural disasters.

“Since 2005, I have devoted my life to helping communities rebuild after natural disasters and I am thrilled to combine forces on this next chapter with David, who has made the same commitment since founding All Hands Volunteers,” said Petra Nemcova, co-founder, All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response. “Over the last 12 years I have seen the same pattern where children and families are forgotten for years after a natural disaster, with no homes or schools. We have seen one natural disaster after the next over the last few months and it is a strong reminder that we need to increase our efforts and respond faster and in more resilient ways in this time of need.”

By listening to local communities, and deploying the unique model of engaging volunteers to enable direct impact, All Hands and Hearts will rebuild safe, resilient schools, homes and other community infrastructure. One of the organization’s core values is “Smart Response,” focusing on response, recovery, resilience and renewal in all aspects of their work.

“The missions of both Happy Hearts Fund and All Hands Volunteers are alike in so many ways,” said David Campbell, co-founder All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response. “Both work to help provide relief to individuals, children and families around the world, and together we will be able to maximize our resources to create a more efficient outcome. Petra’s friendship and partnership throughout this journey has been unwavering and I know there are great things ahead.”

Typically it takes more than five years for communities to rebuild after natural disasters, but when All Hands Volunteers and Happy Hearts Fund partnered after the 2015 Nepal earthquake, they were able to combine forces and open the first safe, disaster resilient school after such great devastation, within a year and a half. The organizations once again partnered earlier this year after the 2017 flooding in Peru and used key learnings from Nepal to accelerate their process. Their first safe disaster resilient school in Peru opened its doors on November 10, 2017, just seven months after the flood. This demonstrates the power and capabilities of these two organizations when working together. All Hands and Hearts can rebuild safe, disaster resilient structures quicker and more efficiently than ever before.

On the heels of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, All Hands and Hearts have deployed immediate response teams in the Florida Keys, St. Thomas and Texas. All Hands and Hearts made a two-year commitment to rebuilding homes and schools in Texas and throughout the Caribbean and Virgin Islands thanks to partners like Taube Philanthropies and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

All Hands and Hearts current impact numbers as a result of the merger**:

  • Number of people helped: 1,165,00
  • Number of children sent back to school: 105,200
  • Number of schools rebuilt: 196
  • Volunteers to date: 45,500
  • Volunteer days donated: 289,000

**Combined total from both organizations

Together this new organization will offer Smart Response to those reeling from disasters both domestically and internationally. To learn more, please visit www.allhandsandhearts.org.


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Answer The Call Hosts 32nd Annual Gala To Honor Fallen NYC First Responders And Their Families

Attendees included former NY Met Rusty Staub, former NY Ranger Mark Messier, Actor Vincent Piazza and commissioners from the NYPD, FDNY and PAPD.

Press Release – NEW YORK, N.Y. (November 1, 2017)—Answer the Call: the N.Y. Police and Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund (ATC) hosted its 32nd Annual Gala to honor fallen New York City first responders and their families at Cipriani Wall Street. The event included a NYPD, FDNY & Port Authority Police Department Pipe and Drums procession that led guests from a cocktail reception at the Wall Street Atrium into Cipriani’s ballroom for a dinner ceremony.

This event brought together New York City’s philanthropic community, the widows and families that the organization supports, and the first responders that protect New York City. The Annual Gala is Answer the Call’s largest fundraising event of the year. The event raised $2.5 million to allow the organization to continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the families of fallen heroes.

“We are grateful for the generosity of our sponsors and our guests who help Answer the Call fulfill its important mission, and we are forever indebted to all our first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty” said Lauren Profeta, Executive Director of ATC “The outpouring of support tonight shows the families we serve that their spouse or parent’s selflessness and heroism are not forgotten.”

The event honored Scott A. Carmilani, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, AG. He received his award from Answer the Call’s President, Philip V. Moyles, Jr., the Managing Principal and CEO of Vanbridge LLC.

Notable attendees included Founder and former NY Met Daniel “Rusty” Staub, Vice President and Former NY Ranger Mark Messier, “Boardwalk Empire” and “Jersey Boys” Actor Vincent Piazza and leadership from the NYPD, FDNY and the PAPD .

About Answer the Call: the N.Y. Police and Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund

Since Answer the Call was founded in 1985 by Former NY Met Daniel “Rusty” Staub, the organization has distributed over $135 million directly to the families of those who lost a loved one in the line of duty. It is the only nonprofit organization that provides immediate and ongoing financial assistance to the families of NYPD, FDNY, and PAPD heroes killed in the line of duty. Answer the Call’s goal is to provide meaningful support for the rest of a widow or widower’s life. In 2017 alone, they will help nearly 600 families and distribute over $4 million. To learn more, visit www.answerthecall.org.


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Downtown Businesses Donated $6,778 to the Penn State Student Military Fund

Check Presented to Dr. Eric Barron at the Veteran’s Tailgate

Press Release – State College, PAWith nearly 10,000 veterans looking on inside the Bryce Jordan Center during Saturday’s Veteran’s Tailgate, representatives from downtown businesses presented Dr. Eric Barron with a $6,778 donation to the Penn State Student Military Fund.

“On behalf of the Downtown State College Improvement District’s staff, board members, and businesses, we want to acknowledge our deep gratitude for all those who have served, are serving, and their families who also sacrifice so much,” noted Irene Miller, Executive Director of the Downtown State College Improvement District. “The Penn State Student Military Fund gives out more than just scholarships. It is an investment in those who have already given so much for us. While they are away from their families, ensuring our democracy is preserved, we are free to follow our dreams. For many in the downtown area, that means the freedom to pursue a very particular American dream – owning and running a small business.”

Over 40 local businesses, community members, and organizations made a donation, including:

  • Appalachian Outdoors
  • American Legion #245
  • Balfurd Dry Cleaners
  • Beck Psychotherapy
  • Branch and the Vine
  • Col. Oscar Johnston
  • Connections
  • CrossFit Nittany
  • Douglas Albert Gallery
  • Downtown State College Improvement District
  • Evolve Studio, LLC
  • First Citizens Community Bank
  • Frost & Conn
  • Funky Trunk
  • Happy Valley Optical
  • Harper’s
  • Herlocher’s Dipping Mustard
  • Hotel State College Properties
  • Jodi & Al Pringle
  • Kitchen Kaboodle
  • Law Office of Richard Kalin
  • Lion & Cub
  • Lion’s Pride
  • McLanahan’s Downtown Market
  • McLanahan’s Penn State Room
  • Miska & Reini Goldsmiths and Jewelers
  • Moyer Jewelers
  • Old State Clothing Co.
  • Rinaldo’s Barber Shop
  • Saint’s Cafe
  • Sign Factory
  • State Theatre
  • Tavern
  • The Makery
  • The Shandygaff
  • Towne Centre One
  • Uncle Eli’s
  • Webster’s Bookstore
  • Yoga in State College
  • Your Cigar Den

There were a few things that could not be displayed on a check though – things that were important to businesses and that went above and beyond a donation.

Miller explained that numerous businesses offered and continue to offer discounts to military members.

She also noted that a check could not relay the way people came together, felt appreciated, and were excited to help.

“And, one of the biggest things that you won’t see on this check is an event that was held downtown last Friday,” continued Miller.

“This was our community’s way of showing their appreciation in a physical way, out loud, in person, on Allen Street. With a 25 foot long American flag flying proudly over Allen Street, there were hours of festivities in honor of Military Appreciation. Businesses decorated their storefronts, opened their doors, and continued the appreciation throughout their shops. Community members met Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty, and Dr. Barron, all of whom graciously took many selfies!”

In addition to the check, the jumbo Thank You card that community members signed the previous Friday was displayed at the Veteran’s Tailgate.

The Penn State Student Military Fund supports scholarships to any Penn State student who is an active military member, in ROTC, a veteran, or whose spouse applies for financial support from the fund.

For more information about the Downtown State College Improvement District, please visit our website or call the office at (814) 238-7004.


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Packed with High-Profile Speakers, Ruderman Inclusion Summit Returns to Boston to Galvanize Disability Rights Movement

Notable guest speakers at the summit will include: Oscar winning actress Marlee Matlin, deaf singing sensation & America’s Got Talent finalist Mandy Harvey, former President of Malawi Dr. Joyce Banda, and many others

Press Release – Boston, MA – More than 1,000 people and 50 renowned guest speakers will unite in Boston from Nov. 19-20 to advance a common goal: the full inclusion of people with disabilities in every aspect of life.

The Ruderman Family Foundation—an international leader in advocating for the inclusion of people with disabilities—hosted a first-of-its-kind inclusion summit in 2015. At the conference, the foundation spotlighted that year’s 25th anniversary of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act and honored former Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), a driving force behind the most powerful disability rights legislation in U.S. history. From longtime inclusion advocates to those learning about disability issues for the first time, summit attendees left with both renewed purpose and newfound inspiration to promote a more inclusive world.

Two years later, for the second Ruderman Inclusion Summit, the foundation is again bringing together leaders in a wide array of sectors—including technology, policy, human services, fashion, performing arts, education, social justice, business, housing, advocacy, sports, and more — to network, share best practices, and move the conversation forward on key issues pertaining to disability inclusion.

“We really are laying out a wide field of topics, from politics, to entertainment, to sports, to faith, housing, employment, media, advocacy and more,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “We’re trying to cover every aspect of life because 20% of our population has a disability and the vast majority of us who don’t yet have one will acquire one in time. It’s crucial for all of us to come together to further galvanize this civil rights movement.”

High-profile guests at this month’s inclusion summit include deaf singing sensation Mandy Harvey, who inspired viewers around the world this year by finishing in fourth place during Season 12 of the “America’s Got Talent” reality television series; fellow reality TV star Nyle DiMarco, the deaf winner of Cycle 22 of the “America’s Next Top Model” competition; Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire); Dr. Joyce Banda, the former president of Malawi; Richard Marriott, chairman of Host Hotels & Resorts as well as the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities;; Haben Girma, the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School; Marlee Matlin, an Oscar-winning actress and disability activist; Cong. Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island) and Cong. Gregg Harper (R-Mississippi), Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus; Michelle Wu, the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Boston City Council; actor Danny Woodburn; and many others.

The two-day summit at Boston’s Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center will be packed with more than 15 panel discussions and plenary sessions, all of which will equip attendees with the tools to promote greater inclusion of people with disabilities in their everyday lives and in all sectors of society. Topics of the sessions will range from the representation of people with disabilities in television and movies, employment of people with disabilities, voting accessibility, law enforcements’ use of force against people with disabilities, and much more.

For more information and a full list of speakers and schedule at the summit, please visit: inclusion2017.org

About the Ruderman Family Foundation

The Ruderman Family Foundation is an internationally recognized organization, which advocates for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in our society. The Foundation supports effective programs, innovative partnerships and a dynamic approach to philanthropy in advocating for and advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout the United States and the world.

The Ruderman Family Foundation believes that inclusion and understanding of all people is essential to a fair and flourishing community and imposes these values within its leadership and funding.

For more information, please visit www.rudermanfoundation.org


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Independent Sector Statement on Tax Reform Developments in House and Senate

Press Release – (WASHINGTON, November 10, 2017) — The following statement is from Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector:

“Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee completed work on its tax reform legislation, while the Senate Finance Committee released its tax reform draft. Both bills have major implications for the charitable sector.

The House Ways and Means Committee approved an amendment to its final bill that effectively eliminates the Johnson Amendment, a 63-year-old law that protects all charities from partisan politics. This is a full-out assault on the independence and integrity of our sector. The House bill also eliminates the estate tax and severely limits the charitable deduction, ensuring that 95 percent of Americans will be taxed on their charitable donations while only the wealthiest continue to benefit. Independent Sector strongly opposes H.R. 1 because it unravels civil society in America, undercuts charities and their ability to respond to the needs of our communities, and, ultimately, widens the gap between the truly privileged and the rest of society. This bill should be defeated.

We had hoped for better from the Senate bill.

While we are pleased to see the Senate reject the House’s assault on the Johnson Amendment, we are disheartened that the Senate bill, in its current form, limits the charitable deduction rather than expanding it to all taxpayers by way of a universal charitable deduction as we have proposed. This will result in a loss of billions of charitable dollars, charities will provide fewer services, help fewer people, and create fewer jobs.

The bill also limits the estate tax by doubling the current exemption. Independent Sector supports preserving the estate tax at current levels as an incentive for wealthy individuals to give more of their estate to charity.

These and other provisions in the bill foreshadow a troubling transfer of financial, political, and civic power to the wealthiest households. This is setting up a societal imbalance that we cannot allow to occur. The Senate Finance Committee now has the opportunity to correct these problems through the amendment process.

In the days and weeks to come, Independent Sector will continue to work with Congress to ensure that tax reform promotes a vibrant nonprofit sector that’s well equipped to strengthen families, build up our communities, and repair civil society in America.”


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YWCA Congratulates New Topeka Mayor, YWCA Alum

Press Release – Statement by YWCA USA CEO, Alejandra Y. Castillo

“New Topeka Mayor, Michelle De La Isla, is a testament to the incredible successes women can achieve when they are given the support and resources they need. We are so proud to see a survivor who found help at her local YWCA and through her civic engagement and commitment to public service will now lead her city as an elected official. There are truly no limits to what women can accomplish when we support one another. On behalf of the YWCA movement, I extend my deepest congratulations.”

About YWCA USA

YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.

YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 150 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more: www.ywca.org.


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