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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

Impact Investing

This category includes articles about people, firms and foundations that invest in social good by investing in social entrepreneurs, social impact or pay-for-success bonds, etc.

NMBC’s 11th Annual Women’s Business Leadership Conference Salutes Women in Finance During the Month of March

NEW YORK, NY (March 6, 2014 )The National Minority Business Council, Inc. (NMBC) will host its 11th Annual Women’s Business Leadership Conference with the theme “Financial Strategies for Business Growth” on Thursday, March 20th 2014, 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM at BNY Mellon, 101 Barclay Street, New York City, NY 10286. 

Photo: Dawn Henning

Dawn Henning, Vice Chair NMBC Board of Directors and Chair NMBC Women’s Business Committee is elated to host the annual event which allows women to connect and recognize their excellence while sharing proven approaches toward leadership and achievements.“Women in business are making a tremendous impact on the economy. During the most challenging economic times the focus must continue to be on growth,” states Ms. Henning.

The luncheon keynote will be provided by Randy Joy Epstein, CEO of Randy Joy & Co, CPA, and Founder & Co-organizer of TEDx Times Square. Ms Epstein is considered a serial entrepreneur, professional speaker and shoulder for entrepreneurs and CEOs to lean on to solve issues and grow their companies. CEOs and investors seek her direction on how to focus the entire company towards growth. “Knowing that failure is indeed an option,” Ms. Epstein shares, “CHOOSE. True failure is not falling but rather not picking yourself up when you fall and trying again.” It is that business acumen that has inspired not only women, but business leaders to heed her shrewd advice.

The morning workshops will explore three important topics with the following panels of financial experts:

Panel 1 – Invest in Your Business and You

Moderator – Debralee Nelson, CFP®, Senior Director, BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Panelists – Monika Mantilla, President & CEO, Altura Capital; and Brian Scanlon, CFP®,CRPS, Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager, Corporate Retirement Director, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley.

Panel 2 – Minding Your Money – Is Your Business Financially Healthy?

Moderator and Panelist – Geri Stengel, President, Stengel Solutions and Ventureneer; Panelists – Stacy Francis, CFP®, President and CEO, Francis Financial, Inc.; Samantha Champagnie, CPA, Founding Member, Champagnie Dawkins, CPAs, PLLC; and Dr. Michael C. Grayson, President and CEO, Grayson Financial Service

Panel 3 – Show me the Money! Financing Options for Your Business

Moderator – Coco Corona, Marketing, Valley Economic Development Corp.; Panelists – Deborah Jackson, Founder, Plum Alley; Marlene Citron, President, Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. and The Business Initiative Corporation of NY; Erica Dorn, Manager of Lending- New York, Accion East; and Jessie Lee, Director, Valley Economic Development Corp.

Advanced registration is required. To register for this event, visit NMBC website at or call Mr. John Robinson, NMBC President & CEO at 347-289-7620.

About National Minority Business Council

Founded in 1972 as a full-service, non-profit (501)(c)(3) corporation, the National Minority Business Council’s primary purpose is to enhance the success and profitability of the small business community through the provision of high-quality services, education, mentoring programs, advocacy and networking support. The NMBC is a membership organization that includes hundreds of small, minority, women owned and veteran owned businesses located nationally and internationally. Given the various levels of business expertise among the members, the NMBC strives to develop programs that are suited to the needs of the new start-up as well as seasoned entrepreneur.

Ulysses Williams

New Research Shows That 500 Million Family Farmers Have Enormous Potential To Feed The World

Family Farmers conserve environmental resources, protect biodiversity, and increase incomes — while feeding nine billion people by 2050.

CHICAGO, IL – As the world celebrates the International Year of Family Farming, Food Tank: The Food Think Tank ( highlights new research showing how family farms, can nourish the world while protecting the environment. The new report, Food Tank by the Numbers: Family Farming, features original research from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and draws on dozens of agriculture and sustainability experts. The report proves that family farms—farms or ranches owned and operated by families—are not only feeding the world, but also nourishing the planet. Family Farms are developing effective ways to address global food security, increase income, protect biodiversity, and conserve the environment for a growing population.

According to research in the Food Tank report, approximately 70 percent of the world’s freshwater goes toward agriculture, and it is estimated that this will increase by 19 percent by the year 2050. Soils are being depleted 10 to 40 times faster than they are being replenished, and as a result, 30 percent of global arable land has lost productivity. And land use changes as a result of agriculture—deforestation and land degradation—are contributing to climate change.

But millions of family farmers are using agroecological approaches to combat climate change and create resilience to food price shocks, natural disasters, and conflict. Agroforestry, inter-cropping, cover crops and green manure, solar drip irrigation, integrated pest management, and utilizing orphan and indigenous crops are helping protect natural resources, improving nutrient density, and increasing farmers’ incomes.

“We need to bring more attention to what’s being implemented by family farmers—big and small—on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, the United States, and Europe because what they’re doing is working. These innovative practices, which are grounded in farmers’ knowledge, are nourishing communities and protecting the planet’s resources at the same time. Smallholder and family farmers are the backbone of food production all over the world,” says Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank President.

Seventy-five percent of Earth’s plant genetic resources have been lost, but family farmers are protecting plant diversity across the world. According to the report, by planting diversified and indigenous crops, family farmers can produce between 20 to 60 percent more yields than farmers who produce only one type of crop.

Supporting family farmers’ livelihoods through facilitating access to markets can have a substantial and significant effect on increasing rural incomes, which includes 70 percent of the world’s poor. Organic certification for family farmers has also had a positive effect on their incomes—in Indonesia, the Boyolali Farmers’ Association, Asosiasi Petani Padi Organik Boyolali [APPOLI], has shown a 40 percent reduction in production costs because of organic farming practices, and the market price of the organic rice that they grow is 20 percent higher than non-organic rice.

Family farming also drives economic growth and social stability by providing job opportunities. Small farmers create a “multiplier” effect that extends beyond the farm sector, spending a high share of their income in other sectors, including construction, infrastructure, and manufacturing, which creates demand for other goods and sectors in their communities. In Asia, for example, every dollar of income that the farming sector generates also creates an additional US$0.80 in non-farming sectors.

“Family farmers deserve to be recognized for the multiple roles they play—as business women and men, innovators, teachers, and stewards of the land. Family farmers need our recognition and our support now, not later,” says Caterina Batello, Senior Agricultural Officer FAO.

With increased support from research institutions and the funding and donor communities to invest in family farmers, global food security can be achieved, environmental resources can be protected, and national economies can grow.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Watch Food Tank’s new short movie, “Family Farmers + You = Nourished World” here:

Further highlights from the report:

  • Recent research by FAO shows that, in their global sample, over 98 percent of farms are family farms and these produce at least 56 percent of the world’s agricultural production. In many countries, the contribution of family farmers to food production far surpasses their share of land holdings.
  • Family farming makes up the majority of agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa,where approximately 33 million farms in the region, or 80 percent, are smallholder farms.
  • More than 80 percent of all agricultural holdings measure less than two hectares in size and are thus managed by smallholder farmers.
  • All farmers can have a direct impact on nutrition through the crops that they choose to grow and consume, as well as through post-harvest and preparation methods.
  • Smallholder farmers utilize farming practices that preserve biodiversity—not just for nutrition and taste—but also because cultivating a wide variety of species helps insulate farmers against risk of plant disease, and crop diversity promotes soil health and increases yields.
  • Diversified and indigenous crops are typically more resilient to climate change and extreme weather conditions.
  • The use of organic fertilizers by family farms has been proven to be effective in reducing soil degradation.
  • Smallholder farmers typically use innovative technologies to conserve resources. Drip irrigation methods used in Benin, for example, can save between 30 and 60 percent more water than conventional methods.
  • Evidence shows smallholder and family farming can be the key to mitigation of the negative effects of climate change and improving food security.
  • If 10,000 small- and medium-sized farms converted to organic, sustainable production, the environmental effect in terms of carbon sequestration would be equivalent to removing over one million cars from the road.
  • In Vietnam, land tenure reforms that provide private land use rights to smallholder farmers have had a significant and positive effect on agricultural productivity, as well as increasing household incomes.
  • Mobile phone technology has been instrumental in breaking down barriers that smallholder, rural farmers, especially women, face in accessing markets.
  • Despite growth of large-scale farms around the world, smallholder and family farming still make up the majority of global agriculture.

About Food Tank

Food Tank: The Food Think Tank ( is a think tank focused on feeding the world better. We research and highlight environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.

CONTACT: Danielle Nierenberg at 202-590-1037 or

NOTE: To obtain a complimentary copy of “Food Tank by the Numbers: Family Farming,” please contact Danielle Nierenberg at

Socially Conscious Luxury Brand Mela Artisans receives $3 Million Financing From Leading Impact Fund – Aavishkaar

NEW YORK, NY – March 3, 2014 — Mela Artisans, a socially conscious luxury lifestyle brand with offices in New York City and Boca Raton, announced today that it received $3 million in equity financing from Aavishkaar, the Mumbai, India-based Venture Capital and Private Equity firm,a pioneer in investments targeted at rural and underserved India.

This investment will help further Mela Artisans’ mission of supporting the artisans of India by providing a sustainable global market and promoting their entrepreneurship through high-end home accessories and jewelry collections.Mela intends to use the funds to expand its collections, grow its distribution channels domestically and internationally and to reach out to a wider range of artisan societies in various states in India.Mela Artisans’ distinctive collections combine the centuries-old handcrafting traditions and techniques of India’s artisan communities with modern and contemporary design, and are currently sold on the Mela Artisanse-commerce website and in leading stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Holt Renfrew and Bloomingdales.

Regarding the investment, Noshir Colah, Partner at Aavishkaar, said “Mela was a compelling investment with its rare combination of established industry relationships with international retailers, significant backward linkages with artisan groups and excellent design capabilities culminating in an extremely competitive product. Moreover, Mela’s eagerness to work directly with artisans and help them produce products of significantly superior quality has enabled artisan groups to upgrade their skills and earn more stable livelihoods, thus making the craft sustainable for them. This makes the investment incrementally attractive for Aavishkaar.”

“We are honored to be recognized by Aavishkaar, a pioneer and leader in impact investing,” says Mela Artisans Founder and CEO Navroze S. Mehta. “To have its vote of confidence and financial supportmeans the world to us and to the many artisans who will be impacted.We both share a similar philosophy and mission of empowerment and support of artisans in India”

For more information on the Mela Artisans collection and the artisan communities, please visit For more information on Aavishkaar, please visit


About Mela Artisans

Mela Artisans is a design driven luxury lifestyle brand that contemporizes traditional handcrafted techniques and celebrates local artisanal skills, along with fostering entrepreneurship and sustainable social uplift in the communities in which it does business. Co-Founded in August 2010 by entrepreneur, Navroze S. Mehta and his daughter Sonali Mehta-Rao and joined by design entrepreneur, DipaliPatwa, Mela Artisans has launched collectionswith Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, Holt Renfrew and other fine boutiques in the U.S., Europe and Latin America and online at

About Aavishkaar

A global pioneer in social venture capital, Aavishkaar has overseen investments in more than 45 enterprises in India in the last decade, each of which has a scalable business model that inherently delivers developmental impact to underserved segments of society. Advising four funds with over USD 150 million under management, Aavishkaar believes in providing ‘risk-capital’ in its true sense – by investing very early in promising business models that may yet be unproven, by supporting first generation entrepreneurs who echo its belief that scalable for-profit business models can deliver sustainable developmental impact, and by investing in low income geographies that are known to be particularly difficult to operate in and therefore have the widest gaps in essential infrastructure. With a focus on semi-urban and rural impact, its investments range from USD 0.3 million to USD 8 million in healthcare, water and sanitation, education, agri-business, financial inclusion and other sectors. Please visit for more information.

Aavishkaar Contact
Aavishkaar Venture Management Services
+91 22 6124 8921

Mela Artisans Media Contact
Godfrey Sanders PR

W.K. Kellogg Foundation applauds President Obama’s 2015 budget and its support for working families and children

La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO, issued the following statement

President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget request is a welcome step forward to enacting many of the key policies discussed in his recent State of the Union address – efforts that will increase investments and opportunities in programs that will help our nation’s children and families reach their full potential now and in the future.

Specifically, the president has requested $56 billion in new spending for the “Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative,” an economic initiative which would provide much-needed investments in our youngest Americans through early childhood education, a new Race to the Top Equity and Opportunity competition, support for 35 additional Promise Neighborhoods to expand educational opportunities in high-poverty communities and increased funding for voluntary home visiting and child care programs. The president’s proposed budget also puts forth requests for raising the minimum wage, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), investing in impactful job training programs and creating a new way for working Americans to start saving for retirement.

The president is right to request additional funding for early childhood education; high-quality programs can create new learning opportunities for children and families while producing strong academic and economic outcomes. An increase in funding for Preschool Development Grants from $250 million to $750 million, aimed at reaching two-thirds of all states by 2015, would help lay the groundwork for the president’s Preschool for All initiative, a $75 billion federal investment in proven early childhood education strategies.

Increasing investments in our nation’s youngest learners will help ensure that all children, regardless of race or income, are ready to learn and contribute when they step into a classroom. Research clearly shows that by focusing on a child’s earliest and most formative years, and empowering families to address the key factors that influence a child’s academic and emotional development, children are 29 percent more likely to graduate from high school and 33 percent more likely to have meaningful careers.

The proposed budget also includes a new $300 million Race to the Top Equity and Opportunity competition centered on addressing the factors that create opportunity gaps for low-income students across the country.

We know that education and economic stability are inextricably linked. Unfortunately, more than 32 million children currently live in low-income households. Children who live in poverty in their earliest years are far more likely to drop out of school and perpetuate the cycle of poverty.

The creation of a new $6 billion Community College Job-Driven Training Fund, which would offer competitive grants to community colleges and employers to launch new job training programs, as well as increased investments in apprenticeship opportunities, are critical steps to helping strengthen economic opportunities for young parents, workers and those who may be re-entering the workforce.

The president’s budget would also double the value of the EITC for workers without children and non-custodial parents and makes it available to younger adult workers. This proposal, along with the president’s support for raising the minimum wage to $10.10, are major policy milestones toward helping more young people attain quality jobs and achieve economic security.

We look forward to a discussion on these issues and continuing our support of policies that will move our country forward by ensuring more families can become economically secure and that every child has a fair chance at success in school and life.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to help break the cycle of poverty by removing barriers based on race or income that hold back children, so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.


Wade Nelson

The Nature Conservancy Receives $26 Million in Funding—one of the Largest Gifts to Conservation in Africa

Commitment from the Peter Hawkins Dobberpuhl Foundation will benefit wild places and the people living in them

Arlington, VA — The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a global non-profit organization, announced today receipt of $26 million in funding through the Peter Hawkins Dobberpuhl Foundation for projects in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia that are designed to conserve wild places and benefit the people who live in them, with $3 million allocated specifically for work to combat the elephant poaching crisis. This is one of the largest gifts, other than through bequest, to on-the-ground conservation in Africa.

The Dobberpuhl family – Joel, Holly, and their children Samuel and Lily – chose to make their funding commitment a strategic combination of philanthropic giving and impact investment capital: $22.5 million is outright philanthropy, and $3.5 million is a seven-year, zero-interest loan to scale up an innovative conservation financing program in Kenya focused on sustainable livestock grazing. The Dobberpuhls aim to encourage more philanthropists to engage in this blended funding strategy.

“TNC is doing the right thing by bringing their resources and expertise to the marketplace to make a greater conservation impact, but it is not without risk” said Joel Dobberpuhl. “Like any venture it is important to provide them with flexible capital. Innovation is alive in conservation and it’s definitely alive at The Nature Conservancy.”

This transformative funding support builds on generous support from the Peter Hawkins Dobberpuhl Foundation to TNC projects in their home state of Tennessee and second home, Washington state, where they support the Pacific Northwest’s Emerald Edge program to protect the world’s largest temperate rainforest.

“TNC’s efforts in Africa are aimed at easing the tension between people and wildlife; helping to create a healthy balance for both – and that is one of the main reasons we wanted to participate,” said Holly Dobberpuhl.

“The fact that a family from Tennessee is stepping up at this level is an indication of how important Africa is on a global scale for social and conservation causes. Populations are growing and demand for resources is increasing. It really is crunch time. If we’re going to make it through, people in the U.S. and other parts of the world must also step up,” said David Banks, Director of TNC’s Africa Program.


  • $7MM in IMPACT CAPITAL to Livestock to Markets ($3.5MM is to be repaid after seven years)

Through the Livestock to Markets program, local partner, the Northern Rangelands Trust, incents herders to manage grasslands to benefit cattle and wildlife. Cattle is fattened on conservation land before selling in Nairobi. Earnings are used for wildlife conservation and community projects. The Dobberpuhl funding will help pay for infrastructure, such as cattle transport and processing equipment, that is needed scale up from 1,000 head of cattle annually to the goal of 10,000.

  • $6MM to Secure Land in Kenya

Loisaba is a 60,000-acre private ranch that is rich in wildlife and serves as a critical elephant corridor. It also provides grazing land for local herders and jobs through eco-tourism. The Dobberpuhl funding will cover most of the $10.7MM cost to conserve the property and ensure that it continues to support wildlife and local people.

  • $3MM for The Nature Conservancy’s Elephant Protection Initiative

The Elephants Matter initiative is a multi-region effort to protect habitat and improve security for elephants in Africa while raising awareness and reducing demand for ivory in China.

  • $6.7MM for Tuungane, a multi-partner collaboration addressing the interconnected challenges of population growth, poverty and natural resource consumption in western Tanzania.
  • $3.3MM for work in western Zambia with the Zambian Wildlife Authority and local communities to improve natural resource management within the 16-million-acre Kafue Ecosystem.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working in 35 countries to conserve lands and waters upon which all life depends. TNC and its more than 1 million members have conserved nearly 120 million acres worldwide.

The Nature Conservancy in Africa works with partners to conserve wild places and improve the lives of people who call them home. We focus on communally owned lands and provide people with tools to conserve their wildlife and other resources.

The Nature Conservancy in Washington works to protect, connect and restore vital lands and waters across the state. Partnering with diverse groups and using science-based innovation, the Conservancy is doing wide ranging work on the Washington Coast, around Puget Sound and in the East Cascades, bringing new health to damaged environments, strengthening local communities and economies and protecting land, air and water.

The Secrets To Success Revealed! Author Celebrates Book Release In NYC

March 3, 2014—New York, NY: On Wednesday February 26th, 2014 author Charles A. Archer celebrated the release of his latest book Everybody Paddles: A CEO Strategic Guide to Building Company Consensus.

Charles A. Archer

This event was held at the Carlton Hotel in New York City and was hosted by the author and motivational speaker Charles A. Archer. Born and raised in an underserved community in Brooklyn, Charles share the six principles he has applied in his life to achieve personal success, which includes building an organization with an annual revenue of $25 million.

Archer is CEO of the Evelyn Douglin Center for Serving People In Need, a NY based non-profit agency aiding individuals and families who are intellectually — and developmentally — disabled in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. He has had accomplishments and he’s sharing his methods in his book.

Charles A. Archer, Guy Stanley Philoche, Dr. Theodore Hanley, Stacie Henderson, Peter Borish

The book examines Archer’s principles for company/enterprise achievements and features the accounts from other successful New Yorkers, who also share their secrets to success and attended the event to help celebrate the book launch. Teamwork is the basic focus of the “Everybody Paddles” book and initiative, which is why it was important to Charles that he include the experiences of the contributing authors in this book. They include:

Stacie Henderson, VP of Marketing Westfield World Trade Center, which opens in late 2014

Stacie Henderson

Peter Borish, founder chairman & CEO of Computer Trading Corporation (CTC). As well as the founding investor and member of the board of directors of Charitybuzz.

Peter Borish, Guy Stanley Philoche, Dr. Theodore Hanley, Charles A. Archer

Guy Stanley Philoche, acclaimed New York based artist

Dr. Theodore Hanley, Chief of Anesthesia & Pain Management at Woodhull North Brooklyn Health Network

Dr. Theodore Hanley, Guy Stanley Philoche, Stacie Henderson, Peter Borish, Charles A. Archer

Charles is currently in Trinadad & Tobago as part of his Caribbean book tour. He’s already promoted the book in Barbados and St. Kitts and Nevis and is continuing to spread the message globally. “When Everybody Paddles — at the same time in the same direction towards the same goal, we win,” reads part of the promotional material for event.



Everybody Paddles is the blueprint for building office teamwork and camaraderie created by management guru Charles A. Archer. Drawing on his extensive background as a lawyer and head of a large New York social service agency, Archer has created a movement that has evolved into a premier management model used by organizations and companies in the US and abroad. For more information about the Everybody Paddles movement click here.

Media Contact: Jenelle Hamilton – / Tel: 646.421.9139 (cell)

Equity Crowdfunding Industry in Canada Announces New Alliance

March 3, 2014 – Toronto, Canada – Today, a group of companies and individuals dedicated to the developing Equity Crowdfunding industry in Canada, announced that they have come together by establishing the Equity Crowdfunding Alliance of Canada (ECFA Canada), Canada’s first equity only Crowdfunding alliance.

These companies and individuals, including funding portals through which Equity Crowdfunding is offered, professionals and vendors to the industry, are united in the common purposes of promoting Equity Crowdfunding in Canada, educating the public and their members about Equity Crowdfunding, establishing best practices for the Equity Crowdfunding industry and providing many networking opportunities for like-minded individuals.

Explanation of Equity Crowdfunding

Equity Crowdfunding involves businesses raising investment capital on-line through the internet and giving investors an equity stake in their companies. Equity Crowdfunding has now been established in different countries around the world and currently hundreds of millions of dollars are being raised globally through Equity Crowdfunding.

Oscar Jofre, Co-Chair of ECFA Canada states, “All of us are excited about this new Alliance that brings together individuals and firms, from different parts of Canada and the Canadian capital raising industry, to develop what we believe will completely alter the capital raising landscape in Canada.”

ECFA Canada’s Mandates

Some of the key mandates of ECFA Canada include:

  1. Educating the public, media and Canadian securities regulators about Equity Crowdfunding; 
  2. Guiding issuers and investors into Equity Crowdfunding and on to success; 
  3. Helping funding portals set-up and comply with applicable Canadian securities laws; and 
  4. Working with issuers, funding portals angel investors, venture capital firms registered dealers and other capital markets participants in developing the Equity Crowdfunding eco-system.

Sandi Gilbert Co-Founder of ECFA Canada says, “Finally, securities and the internet are coming together in a manner that makes capital raising easier, more transparent and beneficial for both investors and companies looking to raise capital.”

Executive Council Founders:

ECFA Canada is represented by all stakeholders in the eco-system of Equity Crowdfunding in Canada and today, we would like to introduce our founders:

Oscar A Jofre, President/CEO, BoardSuite Inc.,
Member, Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates
Executive Council Member, MidMarket Alliance
Co-Chair, ECFA Canada

Brian Koscak, Chair, Private Capital Markets Association of Canada (formerly, the Exempt Market Dealers Association of Canada)
Member, Ontario Securities Commission’s Exempt Market Advisory Committee
Partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Co-Chair, ECFA Canada

Raphael Bouskila, President & CTO, CoPower

Jason Futko, President of Brook Capital

Sandi Gilbert, CEO, SeedsUp Canada
COO, The Exempt Capital Network
Director, National Angel Capital Organization

Calvin McElroy, President of NexKapital

Matthew McGrath, President and CEO, CLM Associates

Tim McKillican, President of Open Avenue

Jeff Musson, Founder, North of 41 

Marcus New, President and Founder of InvestX Capital Ltd.
President, Stockhouse Publishing Ltd.

Andrew Patricio, President/CEO of Bizlaunch

Carlos Pinto Lobo, Chief Compliance Officer, MaRS VX

Sean Stanleigh, Product Manager of Report on Small Business and Drive, The Globe and Mail

Peter-Paul van Hoeken, President, Silver Maples Ventures Inc.

Upcoming Conferences and Events

In 2014, ECFA Canada will be hosting conferences in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal and other webinars and networking events. They are for investors, issuers (companies looking to raise capital), Equity Crowdfunding portals, dealers and professionals who make up the eco system of Equity Crowdfunding and investing in Canada.

About Equity Crowdfunding Alliance of Canada

The Equity Crowdfunding Alliance is represented by companies and individuals with an interest in Equity Crowdfunding in Canada. ECFA Canada’s mandate includes supporting, educating and developing the Equity Crowdfunding industry in Canada.


If you want to get involved in Equity Crowdfunding in Canada, then join ECFA Canada today at ; the Alliance that is going to transform equity investing in Canada.

For more information contact:

Oscar A. Jofre
Co-Chair, ECFA Canada
@boardsuite on twitter
@ECFACanada on twitter
Co-Chair, ECFA Canada

Brian Koscak
@briankoscak on twitter


The Two Leading Organizations In Strategic Philanthropy Education, Networking, And Thought Leadership Legally Merge

New York (March 3, 2014) — The London- and New York-based Institute for Philanthropy and the San Francisco-based The Philanthropy Workshop West, the leaders in strategic philanthropy education, networking, and thought leadership, legally merged effective March 1, 2014.

Leadership from the two not-for-profit charities announced the marriage from their San Francisco, New York, and London offices in a video conference with members.

Several forward-thinking philanthropists, foundations, and advisors are at the heart of the creation and evolution of the two organizations, including the Rockefeller Foundation, leadership from HRH the Prince of Wales’s charities, the TOSA Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The new entity will have offices in London, New York, and San Francisco, and be named The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW).

The two respective brands and websites ( and will continue to operate until the organizations are fully integrated. TPW anticipates formally announcing its merger this summer in New York.

“Along with our co-vice chairs Olana Hirsch Khan and Bea Hollond, and other fellow board members, we’re taking an exciting step forward in building the Philanthropy Workshop, together,” Katherine Lorenz, the Philanthropy Workshop’s new board chair, said. “TPW’s combined network of more than 300 philanthropists—all trained in strategic philanthropy by our organizations—is the largest of its kind and unique to the field of philanthropy.”

The network hails largely from the United States and the United Kingdom with significant numbers from Canada and countries throughout Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.

The two leading organizations in strategic philanthropy education, networking, and thought leadership legally merge

“Full alignment and integration of our two groups requires thoughtful and diligent planning,” Glen Galaich, the Philanthropy Workshop’s chief executive officer, said. “The Philanthropy Workshop will leverage the strengths of our founding organizations to bring members stronger programming, a broader network, and a united position as the foremost influencers of strategic and innovative philanthropy in the global community.”

Within a confidential forum of fellow philanthropists, participants in the Philanthropy Workshop’s “cohorts” acquire a roadmap for strategic philanthropy—the knowledge, skills, and networks necessary to achieve impact in financial giving and social investing, and to realize their full potential as philanthropists.

TPW’s curriculum includes case studies, site visits, peer discussions, and skills-building sessions, meeting with some of the best thinkers and leaders in philanthropy, including community and leading social entrepreneurs, and visiting organizations crafting solutions to local and global issues. Each cohort participates in three weeklong modules in different parts of the world, with an optional fourth module in Washington, DC.

“Strategic philanthropy is a rigorous discipline, requiring an excellent grounding in both theory and practice,” Tracy Mack Parker, executive vice president of the Philanthropy Workshop, said. “It’s not about quantifying assets as much as the need to be intellectually curious and seriously committed to, and optimistic about, making lasting change.”

Cleveland Museum of Art Receives $10 million Gift Enabling Museum to Build on Mission and Core Principles

Visionary gift connects the museum with the life of the community

CLEVELAND (March 3, 2014) — The Cleveland Museum of Art announces a $10 million gift by an anonymous donor that will further strengthen the hallmarks of the museum’s guiding vision: scholarship, artistic excellence and community engagement. These three pillars reinforce the museum’s regional and international reputation and serve as a bridge to both the neighborhood and global communities.

The generous gift has enabled the museum to establish two endowments, one to support community engagement activities and the other for interpretation of the collection. The final component of the gift helped make possible the December 2013 acquisition of the Catherine Glynn Benkaim and Ralph Benkaim Collection of Deccan and Mughal Paintings, an unparalleled private collection of 95 works from India’s major Islamic courts. This noteworthy acquisition fulfilled a critical need in the collection, along with the museum’s ability to engage and educate visitors of all races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds.

“This incredibly generous gift really touches upon the fundamental initiatives of the Cleveland Museum of Art,” said Fred Bidwell, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s interim director. “The establishment of the two endowments and the Benkaim Collection acquisition reflect the museum’s mission and help to leverage this vision to optimally benefit its diverse communities. Adhering to the highest standards of excellence in scholarship, artistic excellence and community engagement, the museum can contribute to and enhance the quality of life of Northeast Ohio citizens and beyond.”

The Cleveland Museum of Art recently began to strategically consider its community engagement program and elected to transition from a traditional community arts model into a more comprehensive, multi-faceted effort. This new effort was identified and defined through a special taskforce, the Community Engagement 360˚ Committee, comprised of 20 community leaders and museum leadership. The community engagement endowment established by this anonymous gift will help advance the museum’s groundbreaking new community engagement strategy and its related activities. Through this comprehensive initiative, the museum will most fully embody the concept of local and regional relevance, actively connecting the museum with the life of the community.

The establishment of the interpretation endowment invests in research, curriculum development and interpretation. This endowment gift completes the museum’s efforts to match a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The endowment directly supports the museum’s interpretation staff and the development of humanities-based interpretive materials that makes possible refreshed gallery interpretation, program modification and technology updates that enhance the visitor experience. Through interpretive tools like interactive technology and in-gallery interpreters, visitors can connect with the varying perspectives on works of art and their cultural histories.

The Benkaim Collection, which immediately elevates the museum to a world-class leader in Deccan and Mughal Paintings, was made possible by part of the gift. The Benkaim Collection contains rare folios and has been represented in many publications. Christian subjects are represented along with Hindu and Muslim themes; the collection of works offers an opportunity to encourage tolerance and respect for differing ideas and beliefs, reflecting some of the museum’s highest aspirations. Thoughtfully and selectively building the permanent collection allows unparalleled opportunities for the museum’s diverse community to enjoy and learn.


About the Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes almost 45,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. The museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education and recently completed an ambitious, multi-phase renovation and expansion project across its campus. One of the top comprehensive art museums in the nation and free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is supported by a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. The museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Additional support comes from the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund the museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. For more information about the museum, its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit

Caroline Guscott
Communications Manager
Marketing and Communications
The Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-1797

T 216-707-2261
F 216-707-6521 Launches Crowdfunding Platform to Cultivate Food + Drink-Related Startups

From Cookbooks and Food Products to Restaurants and Wineries, fundafeast Promises to Support a Wide Variety of Food+Drink-Related Startups

NEW YORK – Feb. 1,, a new crowdfunding platform uniquely designed to help fund startups in the food+drink business launched Feb. 1 to help raise money for a wide variety of food+drink-related ventures.

“Fundafeast is designed for entrepreneurs who want to make a business out of their own food or drink ‘passion’ and need some help getting their venture started,”says Cheryl A. Clements, founder and CEO of fundafeast. “Sometimes all you need to pursue a great food business is a $500 investment, but there isn’t a bank in the world that’s going to help.I myself used GoFundMe to get fundafeast started.”

On fundafeast, entrepreneurs can post profiles of their business ideas and elicit contributions. The page provides details of the food + drink-related business, explains how the funds will be spent and keeps a running total of donations.Fundafeast collects a fee from entrepreneurs that represents only 4% of the money raised versus the 5% charged by most other crowdfunding platforms. Fundafeast doesn’t charge a penalty for clients who fall short of their goal, as some other sites do, such as a higher % rate or not allowing them to keep funding raised short of goal. Entrepreneurs are allowed to keep all funds raised.

Fundafeast hopes to develop restaurants, wine bars,cookbooks, food products, food inspired art, innovative kitchen gadgets or other food + drink-related ventures.The company wants to help anyone who wants to promote their food + drink-related passion.

About is a new rewards-based crowdfunding platform uniquely designed to help raise funds for entrepreneurs with a wide variety of food- or drink-related business ideas., which went live on Feb. 1, 2014, will give entrepreneurs a page to describe their business idea in detail, set a fundraising goal and track contributions as they come in.Fundafeast will also allow campaigners to keep any and all funds raised and will only be charging a 4% fee.

For more information, contact:
Cheryl A. Clements, Founder& CEO, fundafeast
Ph: (917) 426-6766


Contact Information
Cheryl Clements

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