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.
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.
Accelerator Accepts Applications for Start-Ups to Receive Advisory Services and Funding
(Raleigh, NC) – January 30, 2014 – The Cherokee-McDonough Challenge, an accelerator designed to identify, fund and develop high impact environmental startups, has kicked off its fourth year of the program. The Challenge is seeking to support entrepreneurs who are addressing significant environmental challenges using viable, scalable business models. The application period is open now through April 15th. Information on the Challenge and how to apply can be found at www.cherokeechallenge.com
The group will select up to five ventures for the 2014 class. Entrepreneurs will participate in the three month accelerator program, which includes one-on-one and group advisory services, co-working space, start-up business services, and $20,000 in seed funding.
Participants that complete the program are typically well positioned for additional funding, have a working proto-type, are adept at communicating with potential investors, and have access to a strong network of investors, entrepreneurs, and advisors. Past participants have gone on to raise over $2 million in venture funding, including grants, debt and equity funding.
“We believe the environmental challenges that confront our society today will be solved by creative, determined entrepreneurs. Time has proven that a private sector, market-based approach is the best way to address such challenges,” said JT Vaughn, Director, Cherokee-McDonough Challenge. “Our role is to help develop and connect high quality start-ups so they can attract capital and get their ideas to market.”
In addition to facilitating the accelerator program, the Cherokee-McDonough Challenge will serve as a commercialization advisor for the recently announced Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute that is being led by NC State University.
The Challenge is sponsored by Cherokee, an environmentally focused investment company. Cherokee has raised over $2 billion in private equity funds focused on brownfield remediation and, separately, founded a number of environmental businesses and invested in over 80 startups and venture funds in the past 30 years. Through the Challenge, Cherokee hopes to lend experience and expertise to other environmental entrepreneurs. For more information or to submit an application, visit www.cherokeechallenge.com.
About William McDonough
William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable development. A pioneer architect of the green building movement, McDonough’s interests and influence range widely, and he works at scales from the global to the molecular. Time magazine recognized him in 1999 as a “Hero for the Planet,” stating that “his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that-in demonstrable and practical ways-is changing the design of the world.” In 1996, McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation’s highest environmental honor, and in 2003 he earned the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work with Shaw Industries, the carpet division of Berkshire Hathaway. In 2004, he received the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design. McDonough advises major enterprises including commercial and governmental leaders worldwide through McDonough Advisors. McDonough also co-founded Make It Right (2006) with Brad Pitt to bring affordable, Cradle to Cradle-inspired homes to the New Orleans Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina. He is co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002) and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability — Designing for Abundance (2013).
$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.
PARTICIPANTS IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE PAY FOR SUCCESS INITIATIVE
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.
First Joint Project Involves a $20 Million Dream Team Grant for Lung Cancer Research To Be Awarded in 2015
Bristol-Myers Squibb Becomes SU2C Donor in Support of SU2C-ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team
LOS ANGELES – January 29, 2014 — The American Cancer Society, the largest voluntary health organization in the world dedicated to eliminating cancer, and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), the charitable initiative supporting groundbreaking research aimed at getting new treatments to patients in an accelerated timeframe, announced today an historic collaboration in the fight against cancer, which takes more than 585,000 lives in the U.S. each year and nearly 8 million worldwide.
“SU2C was started by the entertainment community and has had tremendous success in heightening the public’s awareness of the great promise of today’s cancer research,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “This alliance marries the Society’s comprehensive cancer-fighting mission with SU2C’s high-impact funding model. Collectively, the Society and SU2C can push ahead more quickly with cutting-edge research on some of the most deadly cancers, all for the benefit of patients.”
“The American Cancer Society has been on the forefront of the battle against this insidious disease for more than 100 years; its millions of volunteers are literally the boots on the ground in this fight. We’re honored to collaborate with an organization with such a rich history in the research, education and advocacy arenas,” said Lisa Paulsen, an SU2C co-founder and president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), the 501(c)(3) that serves as the fiduciary behind Stand Up To Cancer.
Stand Up To Cancer was launched in 2008. The initiative draws on the resources of the entire entertainment industry to encourage the public to support research conducted by teams of scientists, as well as by young, individual investigators. To date, more than 700 researchers from over 100 institutions have collaborated through SU2C.
The first project of the collaboration will be a $20 million research “Dream Team” focused on lung cancer, the leading cancer killer of men and women in the United States. The Society and SU2C together will fund the Dream Team over a three-year period to develop new therapies for lung cancer, with each group providing half the funding. Bristol-Myers Squibb will provide funding in the amount of $5 million to Stand Up To Cancer that will support the SU2C-ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team.
Later this year, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Stand Up To Cancer’s scientific partner, will issue a call for research proposals. The selection process will be conducted by a Joint Scientific Advisory Committee, composed of an equal number of experts nominated by SU2C and the Society. The team itself will be announced in 2015.
“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States,” said Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate and Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, who is chairman of SU2C’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). “More work is urgently needed to address the many unanswered questions about lung cancer and guide new directions in treatment.”
“By combining forces with SU2C, the Society looks forward to leveraging our combined resources with the extraordinary collaboration made possible by the Dream Team research model to transform the field of lung cancer research,” said Otis W. Brawley, M.D., F.A.C.P., chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. “We believe this translational research will enhance and further diversify our research portfolio.”
Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, claiming the lives of approximately 160,000 people annually in the U.S. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 224,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed annually in the U.S. Overall, among both smokers and non-smokers, the chance that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about 1 in 13; for a woman, the risk is about 1 in 16, although for smokers, the risk is much higher.
“There continues to be a high unmet medical need in patients with lung cancer, which is a difficult disease to treat,” said Joseph Leveque, M.D., vice president, U.S. medical, oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to improving patient outcomes in lung cancer and we are proud to support this collaborative approach to research with Stand Up to Cancer to find innovative ways to treat this disease.”
The overarching collaboration also includes an advocacy component led by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, and SU2C (a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation). “ACS CAN is thrilled to bring its public policy expertise and nationwide network of advocacy volunteers to this collaboration to support increasing critical federal funding for lifesaving cancer research and prevention programs,” said Christopher W. Hansen, president of ACS CAN.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we mark our 100th birthday in 2013, we’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. We’re finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org/fight
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric; Sherry Lansing, Chairperson of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Board of Directors and Founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation; EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen; EIF Senior Vice President Kathleen Lobb; Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz of the Robertson Schwartz Agency; Pamela Oas Williams, President of Laura Ziskin Productions and Executive Producer of Stand Up To Cancer’s In-house Production Team, and Nonprofit Executive Ellen Ziffren. All current members of the CFA were co-producers of the 2012 televised special. The late co-founder Laura Ziskin executive produced both the Sept. 5, 2008, and Sept. 10, 2010, broadcasts. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., has served as SU2C’s president and CEO since 2011.
Major SU2C donors include founding donor Major League Baseball; Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Sidney Kimmel, the country’s largest individual contributor to cancer research; MasterCard; Genentech; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Cancer Research Institute; Melanoma Research Alliance; Prostate Cancer Foundation; The Safeway Foundation; Sean Parker Foundation; St. Baldrick’s Foundation; The Lustgarten Foundation: KWF; Wallis Annenberg & The Annenberg Foundation; Amgen; GlaxoSmithKline; Pfizer; Oakland A’s Owner/Managing Partner Lew Wolff; Comcast; The Island Def Jam Music Group and others.
Prior to the January 29, 2014 announcement, more than $260 million had been pledged to Stand Up To Cancer.
For more information on Stand Up To Cancer visit www.standup2cancer.org.
Carla D. Thompson, vice president – program strategy, issued the following statement around President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address:
In tonight’s State of the Union, President Barack Obama demonstrated his administration’s commitment to helping families achieve economic security, while increasing investments and opportunities for high quality education for all Americans, efforts that will help children and families reach their full potential now and in our nation’s future.
President Obama said he’s seeking across-the-board reform of America’s job training programs to, “train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life.”
The president’s vision for connecting the dots between education and employment, transforming high schools to be STEM-ready and expanding partnerships between business, industry and community colleges to prepare youth to enter the workforce with much needed skills is right on target.
These proposed investments at all levels of the education continuum are made even stronger when connected with efforts that build the economic stability of families. The foundation is pleased with the president’s call for increasing the minimum wage, expanding apprenticeships and workforce skills development, and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), because if families achieve greater access onto and up the ladder of economic and social mobility, they can gain opportunities that will help both themselves and their children succeed in school, work and life. By helping two generations simultaneously (children and their parents), we can break the cycle of poverty and create a brighter future for children.
American families need every available resource to help them achieve economic stability by building skills for better-paying and more secure jobs. President Obama’s discussions on college affordability, job-driven training efforts at community colleges and launching retirement investments for all workers are welcome news. Too many families are out of work or only able to take jobs that barely get them by month to month. Building the assets of families now can create economic security for generations to come.
The president also reaffirmed his commitment to high-quality early childhood education for all students, saying, “Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education.”
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) unequivocally supports stronger investments in early childhood education at the local, state and national levels. We know that these investments work – especially for children from birth to age 8 who face barriers based on race or income. Smart, targeted investments in early childhood education are proven to fight poverty by delivering strong educational, social and economic outcomes not just for children, but for their families and communities where they live. We are thrilled that the president recognizes the value in such investments that will give every child a fair chance at success in school and life and save communities money in the long run by increasing independence and self-sufficiency.
The president also touched on the specific need to support young males of color and set them on the path to success. WKKF has pledged to work nationally with a number of other leading foundations on a new initiative that the president said will “help more young men of color facing tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential.” The foundation is already working with 25 community organizations in its priority place Mississippi to change the conditions that young males of color in that state face, by creating an environment and a comprehensive network of support from birth into adulthood that enables racial healing and eliminates barriers to opportunity.
Tonight, we heard strategies for moving our country forward. We hope these efforts will build on what’s currently working in communities across the country and ensure that our youngest Americans and their families can learn and thrive economically together.
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, 269-969-2166
San Diego, Calif. and Washington, DC – January 29, 2014 – Dealstruck, Inc, announced today that it has signed an exclusive agreement with the National Small Business Association (NSBA) to provide NSBA members with valuable benefits and resources, including small business lending products and services. The Dealstruck crowdlending platform is now the business advocate’s preferred lending solution, available to the small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that comprise the NSBA’s membership.
The NSBA already offers many valuable benefits and resources to its members, including federal advocacy for small business, healthcare plans for its members, and discounts on small-business products and services.
“NSBA is excited to have this exclusive partnership with Dealstruck, which addresses the critical need by smaller firms to have access to capital,” said Todd McCracken, President of the NSBA. “NSBA members will now have access to assistance in finding the right loans at loan terms that work for them, quickly and safely. We were approached by several alternative lenders, but found Dealstruck uniquely positioned to best serve our members, which are established and healthy companies looking to continue their growth efficiently and responsibly. Together, the NSBA and Dealstruck can now jointly provide support and resources to businesses to help them overcome these challenges.”
“Dealstruck is thrilled to be chosen as the crowdlending partner by one of the leading advocacy groups for small businesses, the majority of which are underserved and largely in need of healthy loan options,” said Ethan Senturia, co-founder and CEO of Dealstruck. “We look forward to providing NSBA members with fair, transparent and affordable capital to enable them to better compete in today’s marketplace. Our role as the exclusive provider means we will be able to develop financial education and loan programs tailored specifically to the needs of its membership base.”
Dealstruck is committed to educating the small business community on affordable business line of credit programs, flexible financing solutions and access to working capital options. The company is practiced in setting businesses on the path to becoming bankable.
The Dealstruck lending marketplace connects profitable, small- and medium-sized businesses with innovative credit solutions funded by individual and institutional accredited investors. Unlike the one-size-fits-all approach offered to them by banks and the high-cost, short-term credit offered to them by alternative lenders, Dealstruck provides growing small businesses with a suite of products that give them a credible and transparent path to bankable. Dealstruck is the first crowdlending platform to offer multiple products to small- and medium-sized businesses and to allow investors the freedom to choose specific investments. For more information, please visit https://www.dealstruck.com/.
Celebrating more than 75 years in operation, NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. NSBA’s 65,000 members represent every state and every industry in the U.S., and we are proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. Please visit www.nsba.biz.
ZEBULON, N.C. (January 28, 2014) – Nomacorc, the leading producer of alternative wine bottle closures, is the first to create a plant-based closure, Select® Bio, using Braskem’s I’m greenTM Polyethylene. Green PE is made from sugarcane ethanol, a 100 percent renewable material. Its major advantage is the fact that it is made from raw materials derived from renewable resources, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’m greenTM Polyethylene not only removes CO2 from the atmosphere due to its renewable feedstock but also contributes to reducing the use of fossil fuel. For each ton produced, “green” polyethylene sequestrates more than 2.0 tons of CO2, a significant gain compared to traditional polyethylene*.
Select® Bio closures are 100 percent recyclable. The closures mirror Nomacorc’s current Select® Series portfolio in oxygen management performance. As with other Select® Series products, Select® Bio minimizes the environmental impact of wines by preventing spoilage and waste from wine faults such as oxidation and reduction. By consistently delivering the right amount of oxygen into the bottle using a carbon neutral closure, sustainability-minded wineries will now be able to deliver their wines just as they intend.
“Braskem is a strong organization with a history of creating reliable, sustainable polymer materials for leading manufacturers around the world,” said Dr. Olav Aagaard, Nomacorc’s principal scientist. “By using Braskem’s sugar-cane based green polyethylene, we can confidently offer to our customers a carbon neutral wine closure which will not only be consistent and optimal for their wines, but also now allows them to create a more sustainable packaging solution.”
Braskem has been making I’m greenTM polyethylene since 2010 in its Triunfo Plant in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the south region of Brazil. The plant’s capacity is 200 kton/year and the total investment amounts to U.S. $290 million. Using agricultural products as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel to produce materials has great potential in Brazil. Brazil has approximately 330 million hectares of arable land of which 67% is in use. Sugarcane cultivation uses 9.2 million hectares which is highly concentrated in the state of Sao Paulo (which is located more than 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) from the Amazon region). Expansion of sugarcane fields is highly regulated to be done in a sustainable way. Brazil is producing annually more than 8 billion gallons (30 billion liters) of bio-alcohol of which only 2.3% is used to make I’m greenTM polyethylene.
“Braskem is excited that Nomacorc, the global leader in wine closures, has chosen Braskem’s I’m greenTM Polyethylene to develop a more sustainable wine closure solution. With this, Nomacorc is showing its leadership position in the market and their drive to innovate in developing more sustainable solutions for their customers,” said Marco Jansen, Braskem’s Renewable Chemicals Commercial Director for Europe and North America.
Nomacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, China and Argentina, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit nomacorc.com or follow Nomacorc on Twitter (@Nomacorc) and Facebook (Nomacorc).
Braskem is the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and the world’s leading biopolymers producer, manufacturing green polyethylene from sugarcane-based ethanol. With 36 industrial plants in Brazil, the United States and Germany, the company produces over 35 billion pounds of thermoplastic resins and other petrochemicals per year, creating more environmental-friendly, intelligent and sustainable solutions through chemicals and plastics that improve people’s lives.
Braskem is a component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Emerging Markets, the Carbon Efficient Index (ICo2) and the Corporate Sustainability Index of the BM&FBovespa – Securities, Commodities and Futures Exchange. Braskem is a member of the United Nations’ platform for more sustainable industries and its sustainability annual report is rated level A+.
Braskem America is the leading producer of polypropylene in the United States, with five production plants located in Texas, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and a Technology and Innovation Center in Pittsburgh. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Braskem America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Braskem S.A. For more information, visit www.braskem.com
*based on Braskem cradle to gate Eco efficiency analysis done by Fundação Espaço Eco, 2007
Report documents current trends in sustainable investing among foundations, provides practical resources
WASHINGTON, DC – Today the US SIF Foundation released Unleashing the Potential of US Foundation Endowments: Using Responsible Investment to Strengthen Endowment Oversight and Enhance Impact.
The report, using extensive data from primary and secondary sources, assesses the current range and state of foundation involvement in sustainable and responsible investing (SRI). It suggests that the number of foundations engaged in SRI, often employing such terms as mission-related investing and impact investing, has been growing in the last few years.
The guide encourages foundations to adopt SRI strategies in order to have tools, in addition to grantmaking, with which to generate positive impact and to fulfill their fiduciary duties. It profiles a number of foundations whose approaches to SRI—including shareholder advocacy at publicly traded companies and investments in vehicles supporting community development, land conservation and other sectors— have resulted in meaningful environmental, social or corporate governance (ESG) outcomes. Another strategy foundations employ is to consider ESG criteria in addition to traditional financial indicators when selecting companies for their portfolios. Many of the foundations profiled in the guide provide background on the process they followed—with staff, trustees and consultants—to develop or update their responsible investing policies and procedures.
The report concludes with a list of practical steps that foundation staff and trustees can take to help their institutions align a broader portion of their assets with their programmatic or broader institutional goals. To assist these first steps, an extensive appendix of resources provides links to:
US SIF Foundation CEO Lisa Woll said: “This guide provides compelling examples of foundations that have made the commitment to utilize their endowments for positive social and environmental impact. We hope that the information and tools provided in this report will motivate many more foundations to follow their example.”
The US SIF Foundation is grateful to The J.A. and H.G. Woodruff Charitable Trust, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and Goodfunds Wealth Management for their generous support of this report.
The US SIF Foundation is a 501c3 organization that undertakes educational, research and programmatic activities to advance the mission of US SIF. The US SIF Foundation offers an online course on the Fundamentals of Sustainable and Responsible Investment, a resource for investment advisors, financial planners and other financial professionals who want to learn the basics of sustainable and responsible investment.
US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in sustainable and responsible investing. US SIF and its members advance investment practices that consider environmental, social and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. US SIF’s members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, banks, credit unions, community development organizations, non-profit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners. Learn more at www.ussif.org.
Contact: Megan Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-747-7820
BOSTON, Tuesday, January 28, 2014 – The Patrick Administration will host a conference call with national reporters on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. following the launch of Massachusetts’ Pay for Success (PFS) initiative designed to reduce crime, save taxpayers money, and improve outcomes for hundreds of young men who are leaving the juvenile justice system or in the probation system.
Representatives from the Patrick Administration, Roca Inc., Third Sector Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs, The Laura and John Arnold Foundation, New Profit, The Boston Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and Living Cities.
A discussion with commercial and philanthropic partners of the nation’s largest financial investment in PFS to provide background and details on the PFS initiative and answer any questions relative to how the Patrick Administration is continuing its commitment to reform juvenile by combining nonprofit expertise, private sector funding and rigorous evaluation to transform the way government and society respond to chronic social problems.
Guest access code: 467428#
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Alex Zaroulis – 617-680-2018
Grant from Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Builds on LWR’s Successful Resilience Plus Model
Baltimore, January 28, 2014 – Lutheran World Relief (LWR) has received a $1.5 million grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation to scale up community-based resilience building work in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. The project, “Community Led Food Crisis Recovery in the Sahel,” will run through January 2016.
During the last four years, the Sahel region of West Africa has experienced three severe food crises due to poor rains, inflated food prices and limited pasture for animal grazing. These food crises force poor families to sell land, livestock or other assets, go into debt, and limit food consumption just to survive, creating a cycle of food insecurity.
LWR’s successful “Resilience Plus” program in West Africa takes a long-term view, prioritizing community recovery and resilience even during an immediate crisis response. By bridging the delivery of humanitarian assistance with sustainable development approaches, the program lays a foundation to break the recurring cycle of low agricultural productivity and low farm incomes and has already helped make more than 300,000 people less vulnerable to future food shortages.
The grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation builds on this success and enables LWR to reach more than 100,000 additional farmers in the Sahel region.
The project, which runs through January 2016, addresses the underlying factors contributing to persistent poverty and food insecurity by providing livestock such as goats and sheep, and training farmers on their care; helping farmers access certified seeds for staple crops like millet, sorghum and cowpeas; training farmers on improved crop production techniques; providing short-term opportunities to earn income by contributing labor to soil and water conservation projects such as terraces, trenches and stone walls; building warehouses for crop storage; and training farmers on business and marketing skills and helping them access financial services.
“We know this approach works – we’ve seen it improve countless lives in West Africa,” said Jeff Whisenant, LWR’s interim president and CEO. “It’s possible to break the cycle of extreme poverty, and this grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation will help to do that by investing in making communities more resilient.”
WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world’s most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 36 countries, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945.
Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.
Emily Sollie, 410-230-2802 office, 443-220-3269 cell, email@example.com
Growing equity crowdfunding compliance provider attracts the attention of investors, crowdfunding platforms.
Cleveland, OH (PRWEB), January 21, 2014 – Crowdentials (http://www.crowdentials.com), a leading provider of investor accreditation and equity crowdfunding compliance software, today announced the official launch of its API solution for crowdfunding platforms to help companies, investment firms and other issuers seamlessly verify investor accreditation status. Two crowdfunding platforms, AlumVest and GroundBreaker, have already signed on as early adopters of the Crowdentials technology.
Crowdentials designed its software to bring transparency and efficiency to the tedious investor verification process required for companies that solicit investment capital from investors under the JOBS Act. With privacy being a key concern for individuals, the company utilizes provisions from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that allows an investor’s CPA, broker or investment advisor to verify status on their behalf. Crowdentials’ white-label API solution and services include maximum protection of investor information, early detection of suspicious applications and automation tools to provide seamless investor support. The company also offers a “pre-accreditation” service for investors to verify their status through its website, which can take as little as an hour.
“After the SEC’s general solicitation rules went live, we canvassed the market and were very excited to find a partner in Crowdentials, which offers an innovative way to comply with the SEC’s new general solicitation rules with no requirement for investors to provide their confidential personal information,” says Lynn Chen, CEO of AlumVest, an equity- and rewards-based crowdfunding platform connecting entrepreneurs from leading U.S. universities with their alumni investors.
Crowdentials Co-founder and CEO Richard Rodman worked with CTO Max Heckel and CDO Rohan Kusre to develop a program that goes above and beyond the minimum “reasonable” steps outlined by regulators. “As an entrepreneur, I recognized the inherent obstacles in getting attention and funding for new ventures. We don’t believe that platforms and issuers should be weighed down by legislation that ultimately affects the quality of deal flow. Crowdentials covers the most ground in the verification process to give investment platforms and businesses peace of mind in a highly scrutinized regulatory environment,” says Rodman.
“Crowdentials’ software lets us focus on our core business and grow it knowing that Rich and the Crowdentials team are taking care of an important aspect of our operations,” according to Stefano D’Aniello, a securities attorney by trade and the co-founder of GroundBreaker, an equity-based real estate investment platform. “We were impressed and found Rich to be very knowledgeable, and we’re confident that his services will match our growing and evolving needs.”
Crowdentials is a graduate of the FlashStarts accelerator program founded by noted entrepreneur and angel investor Charles Stack, who launched the first online bookstore. The company intends to introduce bad actor checks and Title III unaccredited investor crowdfunding tools pending the finalization of SEC regulations.
Crowdentials is a provider of regulatory compliance tools for equity crowdfunding and private placement platforms that help companies efficiently manage their financial compliance. Crowdentials’ investor accreditation service eases the burden of complying with the JOBS Act by offering platforms a “plug-and-play” white-label API option and pre-accreditation services for investors. Investors are able to verify accredited status without disclosing personal financial information.