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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.

In Search of the New Pioneers of Values-Driven Business

Social Venture Network Launches 7th Annual Innovation Awards

Applications Being Accepted Until May 9, 2014

February 19, 2014 – San Francisco, CA – On February 7th, Social Venture Network (SVN) launched its 7th annual Innovation Awards competition. The SVN Innovation Awards highlight entrepreneurs who are using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The awards will connect these up-and-coming entrepreneurs with the resources and support they need to expand their impact.

What do winners gain from the awards? The official prize includes two years of SVN membership, waived conference registration and travel expenses,media promotion, along with training and mentorship from experienced, values-driven leaders.

The benefits of the Innovation Awards extend far beyond SVN conferences: past winners have connected with advisors, funders and senior leadership through the network.Many previous Innovation Award winners have reported exponential growth since being recognized by SVN and have gone on to become leaders in their fields. Some notable winners include TerraCycle, Back to the Roots, Sungevity, RecycleForce, Green For All and Revolution Foods.

We have been amazed by the outpouring of support we received at the conference and in the weeks following — enthusiastic words of encouragement, sincere offers of guidance, and the opening of every type of door imaginable to solve the real challenges we face growing a social enterprise from the ground up. Without this program, we would never have had the opportunity to participate in the SVN community at such an early stage in our venture.”
– KavitaShukla&SwaroopSamant, Co-Founders, Fenugreen, 2013 SVN Innovation Award Winners

SVN’s members are uniquely qualified to recognize entrepreneurs with the talent and drive to succeed as leaders of a values-driven business. When SVN was first founded in 1987, its members were often dismissed as eccentrics for believing that business could create a better world. Today, they’re celebrated as pioneers in the field of socially responsible business –leaders of companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Stonyfield, EILEEN FISHER, Birkenstock, Greyston Bakery and Seventh Generation.

SVN is accepting applications for the awards from now through May 9th, 2014 at http://www.svn.org/awards. In May and June, a panel of expert judges will select the finalists and interview them to assess their organizations’ impact in solving social and environmental problems. This year’s judging panel includes Jean Oelwang of Virgin Unite, Bonny Moellenbrock of Investors’ Circle and Leigh Buchanan of Inc. Magazine.

The Innovation Award Winners will be announced in late July, and will be officially introduced to the SVN community at SVN’s Fall Conference in Greenwich, CT, from October 23 – 26, where winners will have a chance to share their stories with an audience of over 400 social entrepreneurs.

2014 Innovation Awards Eligibility

To be eligible for the 2014 Innovation Awards, applicants must currently hold positions as C-level executives (CEOs, presidents, executive directors, founders, etc.) of businesses or nonprofit organizations implementing an idea that is having a positive social, environmental or economic justice impact on the business sector. Eligible applicants will be leading an organization that has been operating for more than one year and less than ten years, and has generated at least $250,000 in revenue during the past year.

About Social Venture Network

Since 1987, Social Venture Network (SVN, www.svn.org) has been the leading network of entrepreneurs who are transforming the way the world does business. SVN connects the leaders of socially responsible enterprises to share wisdom and resources, form strategic alliances and explore new solutions that build a more just and sustainable economy.

Contact

Donna Daniels
Social Venture Network
203-453-5693
donnad@svn.org

Kate Worteck
Social Venture Network
415-561-6501 x11
katew@svn.org

Prodigy Network Launches “Prodigy Design Lab”

17John Creator Hosts Crowd Design Contest To Create First Ever “Cotel” Panel, Interactive Art and Contest Kickoff at New York Social Media Week

NEW YORK (February 20, 2014) – Today, Prodigy Network announces the launch of Prodigy Design Lab, the first crowdsourcing platform dedicated to real estate, architecture, interiors, and urban planning. The first competition hosted on the new platform is for the design of the interior spaces of Prodigy Network’s newest project, 17John. As the world’s first “Cotel,” a term coined by Prodigy Network, 17John will be an innovative hotel designed for the modern business traveler where guests can network, share ideas and foster like-minded connections.

In the spirit of collaboration, this community-driven design effort will be hosted online on Prodigy Design Lab and will focus on three separate competition categories. Each category is focused on a different part of the Cotel experience, including collaborative public spaces, guest suites and digital services. The finalist for each category will be determined through online voting that will last for two weeks. Winners will be selected by the competition’s jury of experts, including Prodigy Network’s CEO and founder, Rodrigo Nino; Piers Fawks, editor-in-chief and founder of PSFK; Graham Hill, founder and CEO of LifeEdited; and Karim Lakhani and Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Director of NASA Tournament Lab.

The Prodigy Design Lab is an international think tank where the crowd can collaborate on the ideal travel experience for the highly engaged traveler. “We have learned that crowdfunding not only democratizes investments, it also makes projects viable that otherwise would not be possible. The next step is to create a way in which the crowd can design our crowdfunded projects and this platform is the international stage to showcase the creativity and ingenuity of the community,” said Nino.

17John is located next to the new Fulton Center, the third-largest transportation hub in Manhattan, and one block away from the new World Trade Center. 17John is an extended stay “Cotel” designed to service the growth in the financial district and beyond. Individual accredited investors can purchase REPs (Real Estate Participations) of this project for $50,000 each. Once completed, 17John will stand 23 stories high, and have 191 furnished units. Architects will combine the building’s existing classic architecture with the modernism of a glass tower to showcase 17John’s extensive views of Manhattan.

Prodigy Design Lab will kickoff on February 20 at 12:00pm EST, during the panel, “Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding: A Social Media Revolution In Real Estate” at the Highline Studios in New York City. The panel will also present how society can address complex issues and impact fields like real estate through social media, and how an interdisciplinary approach integrates crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, innovation, design and business thinking to put human issues at the core of problem solving and solutions.

Social Media Week guests will be invited to participate in “Unplugged Playground”, a one-of-a-kind collaborative installation with mural artist Rafael Esquer, featured as part of Social Media Week’s Interactive Gallery. The exhibit, meant to represent a part of the 17John “Cotel,” will start as a fully white room, or a blank canvas, where guests will be encouraged to share their artistic expression in the exhibit. The production of the mural will take place throughout the week and will engage the crowd to create a visual representation of the power of the collective mind. The crowd will also be able to contribute and follow the mural’s progress through #smwprodigy.

To visit the Prodigy Design Lab and more information on how to participate: www.prodigydesignlab.com

For more information and tickets to Social Media Week: www.socialmediaweek.org/newyork

About Prodigy Network

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

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Contact:
Thea Linscott Thea@relevancenewyork.com
Natalie Hernandez Natalie@relevancenewyork.com
212-920-7057

Wildlife Works to Launch Taita Hills Conservation and Sustainable Land Use Project in Kenya with $10M Investment from Althelia Climate Fund

Finance deal expands pioneering REDD+ project in Kenya that protects forest, wildlife and delivers local economic development at landscape scale across the Tsavo Conservation Area.

Mill Valley, California – February 18, 2014 – Wildlife Works Carbon LLC, the carbon market’s leading REDD+ project development and management company, announced today that is has signed a $10M financing deal with the Althelia Climate Fund to launch the Taita Hills Conservation and Sustainable Land Use Project in south-eastern Kenya.

The project aims to protect approximately 200,000 hectares of threatened natural forest and savannah grassland ecosystems and bring vital economic development benefits to local communities.

Wildlife Works will implement the project utilizing the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) mechanism, an essential climate change mitigation strategy originated by the United Nations, designed to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests.

The program addresses the causes of deforestation by creating sustainable economic alternatives that value standing forests as “natural capital” and incentivize local landowners and the broader community to protect their forest for the long term.

Mike Korchinsky, Founder and CEO of Wildlife Works, said, “With the Althelia Climate Fund’s support for the Taita Hills Project, the community has a chance to have their broad development needs addressed including education, health, jobs, housing, food and water, and security. Althelia’s investment enables us to deliver tangible economic benefits on day one, allowing the community to choose to shift their lifestyle towards a green development path.”

The Taita Hills REDD+ Project aims to reduce 30M tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the 30-year life of the project through the avoidance of deforestation and forest degradation. The project will also facilitate the regeneration of already degraded areas.

This is the first in a series of planned investments by the Luxembourg based Althelia Climate Fund, an asset management platform dedicated to finance transition towards sustainable land use and ecosystems conservation. Althelia is backed by notable institutions including EIB, FMO, Finnfund and the Church of Sweden.

“We are inspired by Wildlife Works’ innovative conservation and community engagement know-how. We have seen proof that their model works to stop deforestation and transform a community by engaging and enabling local people to directly solve their own problems. We are delighted to have the opportunity to help this leading-edge company scale their successful model,” said Christian del Valle, Managing Partner at the Althelia Climate Fund.

The Taita Hills Project will build upon the success of Wildlife Works’ well-known Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project, the first REDD+ project in the world that in 2010 received verification and issuance of REDD+ Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), also known as offsets or carbon credits, under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB).

The financing provided by the Althelia Climate Fund will facilitate Wildlife Works nearly doubling the area of forest and wildlife protection they provide in south-east Kenya, and will extend the social impact to new communities. The expanded protection covers all remaining wilderness in an essential wildlife conservation corridor spanning 445,000 hectares that connects Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks and brings sustainable economic development to over 200,000 local landowners and community members.

About Wildlife Works Carbon LLC

Wildlife Works, headquartered in Mill Valley, California, is the carbon market’s leading REDD+ project development and management company.

REDD+ is an essential climate change mitigation strategy originated by the United Nations, designed to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests. Protecting threatened forests under the REDD+ mechanism empowers forest communities with alternatives to deforestation and viable means for sustainable development.

Under rigorous environmental and social standards with third-party audits, Wildlife Works REDD+ projects generate Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), where each VER represents the avoidance of one ton of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. VERs are purchased by corporations who voluntarily elect to reduce their unavoidable emissions.

Proceeds from Wildlife Works VER sales are reinvested in green economic development for the forest communities, thus removing the threat to the forest. Wildlife Works REDD+ projects deliver unprecedented environmental and social benefits to seriously impoverished parts of Africa that are in desperate need of change. To learn more about Wildlife Works, please visit us at www.wildlifeworks.com.

About the Althelia Climate Fund

Today, humanity uses the equivalent of one and a half planets to meet resource demand and absorb its waste, and rising populations and consumption patterns are placing increased pressures on terrestrial, marine and atmospheric systems that, if left unabated, will lead to further resource and supply chain challenges.

The Luxembourg-based Althelia Climate Fund has been set up to demonstrate that competitive financial returns can be fully aligned with the preservation of natural capital and social development. Utilizing a model that profitably directs finance to activities that generate income from sustainable agriculture (e.g. cocoa and coffee certified to Fair Trade and organic standards) and environmental services (e.g. carbon, biodiversity) we invest to simultaneously catalyze a range of impacts, including:

-Positively transformed land-use models delivering social, economic and environmental outcomes;
-Economic and livelihood benefits realized by a wide spectrum of local stakeholders;
-Reduced greenhouse gas emissions;
-Sustained or enhanced biodiversity and ecosystem function; and
-Improvements in the conservation status of threatened and endangered species.

The Althelia Climate Fund was launched in June 2013 and is backed by notable institutions from the private and public sectors. To find out more about how Althelia is working to align the Earth’s economy with its ecology, please visit us on the web (www.althelia.com).

Contact:
Gerald Prolman
Gerald@wildlifeworks.com
+1 (415) 548 0973
www.wildlifeworks.com

EquityNet Now Offers The Broadest Deal Distribution Network in The Crowdfunding Industry

EquityNet Distributing Deals to MarketWatch and Other Leading Crowdfunding Platforms, Meaning Title II Crowdfunding is Working

February 18, 2014 – EquityNet (www.equitynet.com) is announcing the launch of its new deal distribution network with Dow Jones MarketWatch via Crowdnetic and with North Capital Private Securities. Through partnerships with Crowdnetic and North Capital, businesses can now use EquityNet to showcase their private offerings on MarketWatch, CrowdWatch, and other crowdfunding platforms, thereby gaining exposure to thousands of additional investors. THIS INITIATIVE IS A STRONG EXAMPLE OF TITLE II AT WORK ALLOWING GENERAL SOLICITATIONS AND ADVERTISMENTS OF DEALS TO A WIDER BASED OF INVESTORS.

EquityNet founder and CEO, Judd Hollas, stated, “I am excited about our new partnerships with Crowdnetic and North Capital Private Securities. Businesses using EquityNet now have the unparalleled ability to distribute their deals to large extendable networks featuring tens of thousands of visitors and potential investors.”

“As a leading provider of financial information and market data, we at MarketWatch are pleased to offer the first publicly available private offerings on a major financial media website” said Ian Rosen, Vice President and General Manager of MarketWatch.

According to Crowdnetic founder and CEO, Luan Cox, “EquityNet is a wonderful addition to our Private Offerings dashboard on MarketWatch and CrowdWatch and is bringing many new private offerings and quality businesses to MarketWatch, CrowdWatch, and our broader distribution network.”

In addition to deal distribution with MarketWatch and CrowdWatch, businesses using EquityNet can also tap into the placement capabilities of North Capital Private Securities, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, to distribute their private offerings to other crowdfunding platforms such as SeedInvest and RealtyShares.

“EquityNet has built a great technology platform that prepares entrepreneurs to access the capital markets and enables investors to research, compare, and benchmark private companies. We are excited for the opportunity to offer North Capital’s distribution abilities to their customers,” said Jim Dowd, Managing Director of North Capital. “We expect that our relationships with other platforms, angel networks, independent broker-dealers, investment advisors, and institutional investors will help many EquityNet customers secure the financing they need to grow their businesses.”

Privately-held businesses can use EquityNet’s new distribution network and patented technology to showcase their private offerings on MarketWatch and CrowdWatch with the click of a button and on other crowdfunding platforms through engagement of North Capital Private Securities. Both of these distribution abilities are readily available to all businesses that sign up with EquityNet and create a free business profile.

According to industry research by Massolution and the World Bank, crowdfunding generated $5.1 billion in funding transactions in 2013 and will surpass $300 billion in funding transactions by 2025. Within the next year, Title III of the US JOBS Act is expected to go into effect, allowing non-accredited investors to invest in startups in exchange for equity. Experts have estimated that crowdfunding could expand the population of potential investors from 2 million to over 50 million investors.

To view EquityNet private offerings on MarketWatch and CrowdWatch visit: www.marketwatch.com/investing/crowdnetic?page=dashboard
www.crowdwatch.co

About EquityNet

EquityNet was launched in 2005 and is the only multi-patented crowdfunding platform in the world. It is used by over 30,000 individual entrepreneurs and investors, angel groups, government entities, business supporters, and other members of the entrepreneurial community to plan, analyze, and capitalize privately-held businesses. EquityNet provides access to thousands of investors and has helped entrepreneurs across North America raise over $220 million in capital. For more information, visit www.equitynet.com

For more press information:
Kimberley Brown
Account Manager
email: kimberley@leverage-pr.com
phone. (512) 502-5833
mobile. (404) 314-2900
Website: www.leverage-pr.com

NSA and GCHQ Spying on WikiLeaks, Assange Calls for Special Prosecutor to Investigate

Julian Assange calls for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate the NSA, after documents show US spying on WikiLeaks and its supporters.

Today, documents were published from the national security whistleblower Edward Snowden, detailing US and UK spying efforts against the publishing organization WikiLeaks. One document shows that as far back as 2010 the US National Security Agency added WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to a “MANHUNTING” target list, together with suspected members of al-Qaeda. Another shows that the NSA wanted to designate WikiLeaks as a “malicious foreign actor” in order to expand the NSA’s ability to target WikiLeaks staff, associates and supporters. And a third document, from 2012, demonstrates that the NSA’s UK partner GCHQ also spied on WikiLeaks and its readers.

READ THE ARTICLE AT THE INTERCEPT HERE: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/02/18/snowden-docs-reveal-covert-surveillance-and-pressure-tactics-aimed-at-wikileaks-and-its-supporters/

In response to these revelations WikiLeaks Editor Julian Assange has released the following statement:

’WikiLeaks strongly condemns the reckless and unlawful behavior of the National Security Agency. We call on the Obama administration to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the extent of the NSA’s criminal activity against the media including WikiLeaks and its extended network.

News that the NSA planned these operations at the level of its Office of the General Counsel is especially troubling. No less concerning are revelations that the US government deployed “elements of state power” to pressure European nations into abusing their own legal systems; and that the British spy agency GCHQ is engaged in extensive hostile monitoring of a popular publisher’s website and its readers.

The NSA and its UK accomplices show no respect for the rule of law. But there is a cost to conducting illicit actions against a media organization. We have already filed criminal cases against the FBI and US military in multiple European jurisdictions. The FBI’s paid informant, who attempted to sell information about me and my staff to the FBI, was imprisoned earlier this year.

No entity, including the NSA, should be permitted to act against journalists with impunity. We have instructed our General Counsel Judge Baltasar Garzón to prepare the appropriate response. The investigations into attempts to interfere with the work of WikiLeaks will go wherever they need to go. Make no mistake: those responsible will be held to account and brought to justice.’

The disclosures come after yesterday’s release of two new documents from the long-running US Grand Jury against WikiLeaks. As of November 2013 the United States Department of Justice has stated that the investigation continues.

For background on some of the US intelligence activities conducted against WikiLeaks, see Julian Assange’s affidavit.

For interviews, please contact Trevor FitzGibbon at 202.406.0646 or trevor@fitzgibbonmedia.com

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Contact:
Trevor FitzGibbon
202.406.0646
trevor@fitzgibbonmedia.com

Christina DiPasquale
202.716.1953
Christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com

Community Foundation of Utah Shows Its Love For Utah Nonprofits on Valentine’s Day At First Annual Utah Fund Social Investors Forum

Salt Lake City, Utah –– On Friday, February 14th, the Community Foundation of Utah showed its love for Utah nonprofit organizations at the First Annual Utah Fund Social Investors Forum held at Westminster on the Draw. Social entrepreneurs The Green Urban Lunchbox and the Salt Lake Bicycle Collective were each given $20,000 in capital to expand their innovative, high impact and sustainable business models.

Of note, the Green Urban Lunchbox received twice the amount requested, underscoring the investment nature of this program
. The Social Investors Forum is the first of its kind in the nation, and another first for the Community Foundation of Utah, fast becoming known as a pioneering grantmaker.

In January, the Community Foundation of Utah received 150 responses to a Call for Investments. In stark contrast to a typical grant application, the Call was only one page long and did not specify a grant amount. Fraser Nelson, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Utah explained, “The responses are a barometer of the needs of our state, and the entrepreneurial spirit that Utahns bring to solving social problems.”

A group of experts reviewed the requests and narrowed the field to six finalists whose projects demonstrated a compelling new idea, a novel approach to solving a social problem, and a commitment to a sustainable funding model. These finalists pitched their ideas 17 representatives from the venture capital, philanthropic, corporate, entrepreneurial and social sectors in front of an audience. The finalists were: AAA Fair Credit Foundation, Canyonlands Field Institute, The Green Urban Lunch Box, The Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective, Spy Hop Productions and the Utah Nonprofits Association.

The Green Urban Lunch Box was awarded $20,000 in support of their Fruit Share program, which gathers fruit from urban trees, and shares the bounty three ways: one third of the fruit is given back to the tree owner, one third to food banks and one third is used to produce jams sold at local farmers markets, sustaining the organization. The Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective received $20,000 for their Earn-A-Bike program. Here, youth earn their bike by building it. Reconstructed and repaired bikes are also sold to the public, creating a revenue source for the Collective.

Jeramy Lund, Board Chair of The Community Foundation of Utah, stated, “We are pleased to be able to support these social enterprises. They share our commitment to sustainability, impact and innovation, and demonstrate a new way to meet social needs.”

In addition, the Community Foundation of Utah is encouraging others to invest in these and other efforts uncovered through the Call for Investments. Lund added, “True to what the Community Foundation of Utah is all about, we look to leverage our charitable giving expertise and help connect philanthropists with projects that have the potential to change our community. We would love to all these worthy projects funded.”

A compendium of all requests for support has been made available on the Community Foundation of Utah’s website (www.utahcf.org) , informing government, foundations, investors and the community about both needs and the social innovators dedicated to meeting them.

About The Community Foundation of Utah

The Community Foundation of Utah is a catalyst for philanthropy that is visionary, diverse, and inclusive. The Utah Fund is the grant-making fund of the Community Foundation of Utah, built by and for the people of our state. It leverages the giving of many individuals to support programs and services are hard to find, unique, and selected for their innovation and impact. You can support the Utah Fund by making a donation at www.utahcf.org.

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Contact:
Fraser Nelson, Executive Director
Community Foundation of Utah
(801) 559-3005
fraser@utahcf.org

The Move Project to Host Bicycle Fundraising Event in Des Moines for Clean Water

DES MOINES, Iowa (February 13, 2014) – The Move Project will host their second annual ride for clean water -The Water Ride, on May 17. The Water Ride is a bicycle ride, starting and ending at Water Works Park, which raises funds for clean water projects in Ghana, West Africa. Participants and park visitors will enjoy live entertainment after the ride at Water Works Park, with educational activities highlighting the need for clean water in rural villages in Africa. Des Moines Water Works is sponsor of The Water Ride.

“This event is powerful in that 100% of the funds raised on this ride will go directly to providing clean water to a community in Africa. Having access to clean water affords individuals and families the opportunity to receive an education, work and live a healthier life,” said Sam Mahlstadt, co-founder of The Move Project.

The Move Project is a non-profit organization that focuses on the alleviation of poverty, freeing slaves, providing shelter to the homeless, and food and water to those without access to these life essentials.

image

“The Water Ride elevates our community’s awareness of the inaccessibility of water in other countries, as well as celebrates our local drinking water quality,” said Bill Stowe, CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works. “The Water Ride is a great way to emphasize the value of drinking water to a community’s overall health.”

For more information and to sign up for the bike ride, visit www.themoveproject.org/water.

About The Move Project:

The Move Project is a non-profit organization that is joining in the alleviation of poverty; freeing slaves, providing shelter to the homeless, and providing access to food and water to those without. The organization maintains a sharp focus on these three basic areas of need through local and global partnerships and providing a clear call to action.

About Des Moines Water Works:

Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) is a municipal water utility serving the citizens of Des Moines and surrounding communities (approximately 500,000 people). DMWW is an independently operated public utility with a commitment to leading, advocating and investing today and in the future to deliver water you can trust for life.

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Contacts:
Sam Mahlstadt
Chief Communications Officer
The Move Project
(515) 864-1600

William Stowe
CEO and General Manager
Des Moines Water Works
(515) 283-8721

Citi Introduces New Way To Use THANKYOU® Points

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

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

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

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

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

image

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

About Citi ThankYou Rewards

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

About Citi

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

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://new.citi.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

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Media Contact:
Emily Collins, Citi, 718.248.3901, Emily.collins@citi.com

Leading Agencies, Paradysz And PM Digital, Highlight New Program Optimization Strategies For Nonprofit Clients At The 2014 Washington Nonprofit Conference

Paradysz & PM Digital host their annual cocktail party, announce new solutions, and join forces with Alzheimer’s Association to present donor gifting optimization strategies.

FEBRUARY 12, 2014–NEW YORK, NYParadysz and PM Digital announced today that they are once again a patron-level sponsor of the 2014 Washington Nonprofit Conference, and will continue their tradition of leveraging this event to make key announcements around their long-standing nonprofit practice. The conference is Thursday, February 13th – Friday, February 14th at the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel located at 999 Ninth Street NW, Washington, DC.

For the 12th consecutive year, Paradysz /PM Digital have spearheaded efforts at the event to demonstrate their commitment to helping nonprofits optimize their marketing efforts. This year, they have joined forces with the Alzheimer’s Association for a session that explores how to optimize gift strategies that drive increased Donor Long Term Value. The presentation will be held at 2:00 PM on February 14th. Additionally, Paradysz will be hosting a cocktail party for its clients and agency partners as a celebratory thank you on Wednesday, February 12th at LIMA Restaurant & Lounge from 5PM – 7PM.

The past year has been one of significant growth and innovation for the Paradysz / PM Digital Nonprofit practice, and the team has gone to market with key solutions for this sector, including:

  • Media Optimization & Prospect Databases: The agency has enriched their analytics data with 1000s of more variables, including household-level donor transactions, through a partnership with an award-winning data provider. The Paradysz / PM Digital team uses state-of-the-art modeling to identify names to be cut and new replacements at half the cost typically paid for comparable names. This data can be managed in their prospect database solution to help nonprofits expand their target universe, reduce media costs, eliminate merge expenses, improve CPA/ROI, reduce cycle time, and enhance customer data with demographics and segmentation.
  • Persona & Gift Optimization Strategies: Paradysz / PM Digital persona segmentations combine demographic, lifestyle, and donor behavior traits into consistent and descriptive profiles that are used to deliver the right offer to the right audience. 
  • Digital Strategies: The agency recently announced the addition of nonprofit digital expert, Bethany Bauman to the team to continue their focus on integrating offline and online marketing programs. Paradysz / PM Digital has now developed a set of Digital Strategies to help to help attract new, profitable donor audiences that can significantly enhance funding efforts.

This all comes on the heels of a series of Paradysz / PM Digital announcements in the nonprofit sector, including the addition of new clients for their list exchange solution, HelixTM.

“With close to 24 years of experience, our goal is to help nonprofits truly optimize and scale their programs across offline and online channels,” said Chris Paradysz, co-founder and chief executive officer of Paradysz and PM Digital. “Our continued heavy investments in talent and new solutions reflect our unwavering commitment to solving the ever-changing challenges facing nonprofit marketers today.”

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About Paradysz and PM Digital

With its direct and digital businesses, Paradysz and PM Digital’s core capabilities are based in a data-driven approach to understanding, targeting, acquiring, cultivating and optimizing customer value for its clients. Through comprehensive experience in multiple media channels, including search, social, display, email, direct mail, print and insert media, as well as strategic and creative web development capabilities, the company leverages proprietary research tools and an obsessive focus on performance to help clients make the most informed marketing decisions. With a client list that’s a “Who’s Who” of nonprofit and commercial organizations, Paradysz and PM Digital have continued to grow their reputation as some of the industry’s most critical thinkers and leaders.

For more information, visit www.paradysz.com and www.pmdigital.com.

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets are now on sale here. 


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Pam Abrahamsson
503.298.9749
pabrahamsson@stephensongroup.com

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