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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe


This category includes articles about nonprofit organizations and NGOs that are actively working to accomplish a social mission. The work of foundations that primarily work as grantors to other nonprofits is covered in Philanthropy.

Man Paralyzed by Drunk Driver Launches Drive Clear to Support Fellow Victims

BACtrack® Partners with Drive Clear to Put Breathalyzers in the Hands of Consumers; Will Donate $5 for Every Breathalyzer Purchased at

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – April 16, 2015 – In 2010, Jimmy Anderson and his family were hit by a drunk driver who ran a stop sign at 60 mph in Patterson, CA. The tragic accident left Jimmy a quadriplegic, and took the lives of his mother, father and little brother. To honor his family, Jimmy today launched Drive Clear, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing drunk driving and restoring its victims.

“The crash left me with physical and emotional scars that will never heal. The ones on my skin are ugly and painful; the ones on my spine will leave me physically broken for the rest of my life; the ones on my memory haunt my nightmares; and the ones on my heart, well, those are the most difficult to live with. But it’s those same scars that give me purpose,” said Jimmy Anderson, founder and president of Drive Clear. “And if showing people my scars can save a life by encouraging someone not to drive drunk, then the pain of reliving that day is worth it.”

Drive Clear has partnered with BACtrack®, the leader in personal and professional-grade breathalyzers, to put breathalyzers in the hands of as many consumers as possible to empower them to make smart decisions while drinking. Additionally, BACtrack will donate $5 for each purchase made at

“We are both honored and humbled to work with someone who shares such a deep belief in what we stand for,” said Keith Nothacker, president and founder of BACtrack. “Jimmy has been through an unthinkable tragedy and he can speak firsthand about the extreme outcomes of impaired driving. We strongly feel people need to hear Jimmy’s story so they can learn from his experience and make smarter, more informed decisions while drinking.”

Restoring the Victims

According to the NHTSA, alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than an estimated $37 billion each year. From medical expenses, to disability resources, to the cost of replacing a vehicle, the victims of these accidents are too often forced to choose between their own well-being or financial ruin.

Understanding the costs associated with drunk driving, Jimmy created Drive Clear to provide a way for the victims of drunk driving to raise the funds they need. Through individualized Recovery Campaigns, survivors can share their stories, bring attention to their specific needs, and encourage family, friends and good-hearted individuals to donate to their campaigns. And unlike other fundraising sites, 100 percent of the donations raised for a specific campaign go directly to the person in need.

Drunk Driving Prevention

Drive Clear aims to prevent drunk driving by providing consumers with the knowledge and tools needed to take responsibility for their own safety. By partnering with BACtrack, Drive Clear hopes to put breathalyzers in the hands of as many people as possible so they can ensure they are safe to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

BACtrack offers a range of breathalyzers that allow consumers to test their BAC levels anytime, anywhere. For applications that demand the most accurate results, BACtrack’s Professional Series with advanced Xtend® Fuel Cell Sensor technology offers the highest level of accuracy and consistency. For personal and home BAC testing, BACtrack’s Elite Series with proprietary MicroCheck® Sensor technology offers consumers reliable, easy-to-use and affordable options.

“Preventing drunk driving requires more than just words,” continued Anderson. “We can’t just ask people to drink responsibly; we have to give them the tools to take responsibility.”

Together, Drive Clear and BACtrack hope to make breathalyzers as synonymous with safety as putting on a seatbelt, making the roads a safer place and ultimately saving lives.

If you are interested in donating to Drive Clear or are a victim of drunk driving who needs assistance, you can find more information by going to

About Drive Clear

Drive Clear is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing drunk driving and providing assistance to those who have been harmed by it. By partnering with local businesses, Drive Clear is able to provide people with the tools they need to ensure that they are both safe and legal to drive. The non-profit also offers individualized recovery campaigns so that the victims can raise the funds they need to cover the expenses they have incurred as a result of being injured by a drunk driver.

If you would like to know more about Drive Clear or are interested in donating, you can visit us at You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook to learn about upcoming events and to stay up-to-date on everything going on at Drive Clear.

About BACtrack

San Francisco­‐based BACtrack is the U.S. leader in breathalyzers, offering a full range of innovative products for both personal and professional use. Founded in 2001, BACtrack helps people monitor their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and make informed decisions about alcohol consumption. In 2013, BACtrack launched BACtrack Mobile, the world’s first smartphone breathalyzer that uses police-­‐grade fuel cell sensor technology and Bluetooth connectivity. It has since won Popular Science’s 2013 ‘Best of What’s New’ Award for its innovation in health, and an Edison Award for Industrial Design. BACtrack breathalyzers are available in 20 countries and at over 15,000 store locations, including Walgreens, Costco and Best Buy stores, and can be purchased online at Amazon,, and BACtrack products have been featured on Oprah’s All Stars, The Dr. Phil Show, The Doctors, and MythBusters. Connect with BACtrack via Twitter and on Facebook. For more company information, visit

Tony Goldwyn Honors His Mother in New Lung Cancer PSA for Stand Up To Cancer

Supported by Charitable Donation from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Campaign Reinforces Need for Patient Empowerment and Raises Awareness That Options Are Available

(LOS ANGELES / NEW YORK) – April 16, 2015 – Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), is increasing national awareness about one of the deadliest cancers, lung cancer, in a new public service announcement (PSA), which is supported by a charitable donation from Bristol-Myers Squibb. The campaign features actor, director and SU2C ambassador Tony Goldwyn, who lost his mother, Jennifer Coleman to lung cancer. The PSA will begin airing April 2015.

The PSA, entitled “Photograph,” promotes the importance of empowering lung cancer patients and their loved ones with information about the therapies, specialists, and clinical trials available to them and the latest breakthroughs in lung cancer research so they can make the most informed choices. Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. In 2015, more than 221,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and it will take the lives of approximately 158,000 — the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women.

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The PSA encourages lung cancer patients to visit to learn about questions to ask your health care professional, and for information about options that may be right for each individual.

“In 1993, I lost my mother to lung cancer. When she was diagnosed, she didn’t have many options. I was passionate about getting involved with Stand Up To Cancer because I want people to know that strides are being made in lung cancer research,” said Goldwyn. “Through this PSA, we hope to motivate people diagnosed with this insidious disease to ask about all the options available to them.”

In the PSA, Goldwyn shares his mother’s story, saying: “Twenty years ago, Jennifer Coleman was diagnosed with lung cancer. She had very few places to turn, and lost a difficult struggle. Today, there are significantly improved options. My mom didn’t have many choices, but you do.”

“On an equally personal level,” Goldwyn added, “my grandfather, Samuel Goldwyn, was a founder back in the 1940s of the organization that became the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Stand Up To Cancer is a program of EIF, so I am proud to carry out my grandfather’s legacy.”

“When cancer strikes someone dear to you, it can propel you to use all your energy to help fight this disease, and hopefully help prevent other families from enduring the heartache yours has. We are honored to have Tony help us spread the hopeful word that there are new options for those diagnosed with lung cancer,” said SU2C co-founder Katie Couric.

“Many of us at the Entertainment Industry Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer have lost loved ones to lung cancer. We are excited to help inform the public that this is an era of new options for patients with this difficult disease. We are grateful to Bristol-Myers Squibb for the company’s continued commitment to Stand Up To Cancer’s research and awareness work,” added EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen, who is also a Stand Up To Cancer co-founder.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb is honored to support Stand Up To Cancer, an organization that shares our commitment to accelerating research and uncovering new, innovative ways to advance cancer care,” said Chris Boerner, US President at Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Through our charitable donation, we are proud to support Stand Up To Cancer’s work creating greater awareness about lung cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths, and providing support for those patients and families who need it.”

To learn more or to view the broadcast PSA, visit or

To join the conversation, like us on Facebook at @StandUpToCancer or follow us on Twitter at @SU2C.

Fashion Project Launches Interactive Fundraising Platform to Connect Communities to Causes

My Fashion Project empowers users to raise money for their favorite charities

BOSTON (April 16, 2015) – Fashion Project, the leading charitable re-commerce destination, today announced the launch of My Fashion Project (My FP), a social fundraising platform that allows individuals, non-profits, designers, and retail organizations to raise money for causes they love. The platform enhances both the shopping and donation experience by enabling users to customize their giving efforts, and share content with their personal network.

My FP provides users with the tools to build a custom profile, donate their clothes, tell their story, and encourage friends, family, and the community to shop and donate to their cause. For charities, the platform offers a new fundraising channel to raise awareness and reach previously untapped supporters. All users can track the impact of their donations, and thank their supporters after they’ve engaged. The platform is equipped with specialized analytics tools – displayed in an easy-to-use dashboard – to help drive the success of fundraisers such as organized races and anniversary events through increased awareness, donations, and purchases.

“We created My Fashion Project to empower individuals and organizations to leverage their networks for charitable giving,” said Anna Palmer, co-founder and CEO of Fashion Project. “The goal is to extend the Fashion Project experience and act as a catalyst for donors, shoppers, and the community to interact with causes they love on a personal level.”

A My FP account is easy to create and use at After entering a username and password, users pick a cause, name their fundraiser, and set a goal. Profiles can be further customized with images and information on their charity of choice. From there, users can donate items from their own closets, spread the word to their network, and invite people to shop or donate directly to their My FP page.

About Fashion Project:

Fashion Project is the industry leader in online charitable re-commerce, and the ultimate shopping and donation platform for women who want to give back. At every touch point, both donors and shoppers have the opportunity to do something impactful for someone in need. Since its founding in 2012, Fashion Project has powered donation partnerships with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Simon Malls, Joie, Lord and Taylor and more. By focusing on maximizing the value of every item donated, Fashion Project can raise up to 100 times more funds for charity than an average thrift store. For more information on Fashion Project, visit

For A Small Donation to Charity, Diners Can Now Skip the Wait

— New CharityWait Feature Enables Popular Restaurants to Offer Waiting Guests the Opportunity to Get Seated Next by Making a Donation to Charity —

New York, NY April 15, 2015 – The creators of the SmartLine – a restaurant wait list and reservation management app – today announced the launch of CharityWait, ( a feature that allows diners to skip to the front of the line at their favorite restaurants for a nominal donation to charity.

Restaurants participating in CharityWait – which already include top names such as Kotobuki, Chez Lucienne, and Jado Sushi – do not monetarily profit from using the application, but they do benefit by being socially conscious and supporting the causes they love while increasing revenue and better managing operations with SmartLine’s digital wait list management application.

“The initial response from restaurants & charities has been tremendous,” said Daniel Reitman, Co-Founder & CEO of SmartLine and CharityWait. “Even before we officially announced our launch we had over 150 restaurants sign-up and download our app.”

“Our guests LOVE the CharityWait feature and we are happy to help give back to organizations that work within our community” said Eric Kim, Manager at Kotobuki.

Participating charities already include Aid for Africa, Water to Thrive, and Rock-Can-Roll. If a restaurant would prefer to choose their own charity, CharityWait is more than happy to accommodate as long as the nonprofit is a registered 501(c)3 organization.

“We are THRILLED with the dozens of donations already coming in” exclaimed Aimee Holtzman, Founder of rock CAN roll, a 501c3 non-profit hunger relief organization. Rock CAN roll is the beneficiary non-profit at Kotobuki in Roslyn, Long Island where more than 20% of the guests try to make donations to non-profits so they can skip the wait.

CharityWait is a proprietary feature of SmartLine (, a free wait list and reservation management application, which lets restaurants alert their guests to available seats via text message, as a replacement for clunky, range-limited and germ-infested restaurant buzzer systems.

In addition to texting patrons that their tables are ready, SmartLine also lets restaurants send brief marketing messages along with that text to promote specials, appetizers or exclusive offers.

To date, more than 400,000 restaurant guests have been seated using SmartLine.

NoteStream™ Partners with Surfrider Foundation to Share Content on Mobile Learning App

NoteStream Now Offers Content from Leading Organization Working to Protect and Preserve World’s Oceans and Beaches

ORANGE COUNTY, California – April 15, 2015 – NoteStream™, the innovative mobile learning app designed to enable users to find, enjoy and follow long-form articles and blogs easily on their mobile devices, today announced its partnership with the Surfrider Foundation. One of the largest non-profit, grassroots environmental organizations dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches, Surfrider is now utilizing NoteStream as a platform to share content with current supporters and to reach new ones. The content available on the app encourages readers to become better informed about coastal preservation efforts, and offers updates on live campaigns and ways to get involved with ongoing initiatives.

“We are Orange County locals and greatly enjoy our oceans and beaches so we couldn’t be more excited to team up with Surfrider Foundation,” said CEO and founder, Michelle Forsythe. “NoteStream users will now enjoy articles about sanctuary expansions, clean-up efforts and critical local activities. We feel privileged to partner with Surfrider to help spread the word about conservation outreach and help educate readers on the importance of protecting our oceans.”

The Notestream app will feature a robust and growing catalog from the Surfrider Foundation, with articles ranging from the importance of banning plastic bags to marine conservation and protection of the world’s beaches. Sample articles currently available to NoteStream readers include: San Diego Pure Water Program Approved, Surfing After a Rain: What are the Risks?, The Oceans are Full of Plastic – What Now?. New material is continually published for easy download in the app.

“The Surfrider Foundation is excited to partner with NoteStream to further educate, engage and inspire readers about the great work by our passionate and driven staff and volunteer-activists around the country,” said Katie Ferguson, Communications Manager for the Surfrider Foundation. “Really, nobody does a better job at understanding the issues and defending our coastlines than us.”

The NoteStream app presents content known as “NoteStreams” in short, sequential, easy-to-read segments known as “Notes.” NoteStream’s contributors are carefully selected and identified as experts in their designated category. Authors on the app, without any monetary investment to leverage this mobile platform, will benefit from the recent 2.0 update through its app and web-based author profile. NoteStream readers have an average article completion rate of 59%, compared to the average online completion rate of only 8-15%. Further reinforcing the efficacy of the NoteStream app platform, NoteStream users are reading content at roughly 300 words per minute, compared to the average online reader skimming articles at 1,000 words per minute (Source: Nielsen Norman Group). These statistics combined show that NoteStream users are consuming content and finishing articles more than their online user counterparts who end up only skim-reading and, more often than not, dropping off long before reaching the end of an article.

About NoteStream™

NoteStream™ is an innovative mobile learning app that encourages personal growth and exploration through the presentation of enriching content in snackable form written by expert contributors on a wide range of topics. NoteStream was launched in 2014 by Michelle and Richard Forsythe who wanted to learn more about French wine but were underwhelmed with their options to do so. They decided to create a mobile solution where anyone could acquire credible information in the scattered moments of “dead time” found throughout the modern mobile lifestyle. Unlimited NoteStreams can be saved in a personal file box, are automatically picked up where the reader leaves off, and are easily shared.

About Surfrider Foundation

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains more than 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit

To learn more about NoteStream and the Surfrider Foundation, make sure to visit their websites at: and Download the NoteStream app at to learn how you can get involved with ocean conservation efforts.

ZERO Grants More than $1M for Prostate Cancer Research

Washington, D.C. – ZERO – In the past year the ZERO Cancer Research Fund, charged with supporting innovative, high-reward research that offers the best return on investment for patients and families fighting prostate cancer, has awarded nearly $400,000 toward promising prostate cancer research, bringing ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer’s total research contributions to more than $1M.

“The critical research ZERO is funding addresses key challenges in the fight to end prostate cancer,” said ZERO’s CEO Jamie Bearse. “By providing early detection methods that can distinguish aggressive from non-aggressive disease, and exploring gene targeting, we can broaden and improve testing and treatment options for men and families.”

In 2014, ZERO funded the following research:

  • $234,000 to the American Urological Association for research scholar programs and grants
  • $61,000 to UC San Francisco for new and improved methods for early detection of prostate cancer
  • $60,000 to the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University for gene targeting research
  • $20,000 to Beaumont Cancer Institute for clinical trial opportunities
  • $14,000 to the Prostate Cancer Research Institute for clinical research

At UC San Francisco, Dr. Peter Carroll is researching new and improved methods for early detection of prostate cancer, including developing a low cost mechanism to ensure men diagnosed with low risk disease that immediate treatment is not necessary. The grant was made possible through a partnership between ZERO and Shining Down, a nonprofit founded by Jennifer Lafferty and Tamara Wyman in memory and honor of Jim Lafferty, who lost his battle with prostate cancer in 2010 at the young age of 40.

At the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, Dr. Joshi Alumkal’s research focuses on targeting gene activation in late stage prostate cancer that has not responded to currently available therapies. This research specifically targets a new type of androgen receptor (AR), the engine of prostate cancer cells, called AR-V7, for which there are currently no available treatments.

“Funding from the ZERO Cancer Research Fund will enable us to better understand the role of AR-V7 cells in prostate cancer and accelerate the work we need to do to develop drugs for patients with this form of prostate cancer who currently have no viable treatment options,” said Dr. Alumkal.

To learn more and support the ZERO Cancer Research Fund, visit

About ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer

ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer is a national nonprofit organization with the mission to end prostate cancer. As a leader in the fight against prostate cancer, ZERO advances research, encourages action, and provides education and support to men and their families. ZERO’s premier programs include the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, the largest men’s health event series in America. We are a 501c3 charity recognized with four stars by Charity Navigator, a Better Business Bureau member, and 98 cents of every dollar donated goes to research and programs. For more information, visit

Smitten Ice Cream Partners with Five Local Charities to Celebrate Volunteerism

Rewarding 2,500 Bay Area Volunteers with Ice Cream for their Commitment to Service During National Volunteer Month

San Francisco, CA (March 12, 2015) – National Volunteer Month just got a bit sweeter in the Bay Area. Smitten Ice Cream, the beloved San Francisco –based company that churns made-to-order scoops of the freshest, purest, creamiest ice cream has partnered with five local charities; San Francisco Baykeeper, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco, Headstand, SF-Marin Food Bank, and the San Francisco SPCA, to sprinkle joy and decadent ice cream into the lives of 2,500 Bay Area volunteers during the month of April 2015, National Volunteer Month. The campaign, called Smitten Community Rockstars, was created to thank the many volunteers that give their time and love to non-profit organizations that make their Bay Area communities so much better.

“The volunteers are giving their time and energy to help make the community a better place. We are super grateful to them for making an impact on the world, and we think they deserve the best. A scoop of Smitten Ice Cream is our small way to say thank you, ” shares Robyn Sue Fisher, Founder, Smitten Ice Cream.

The selected Smitten Community Rockstars will each be given a “scoop badge” of honor (a specially-designed sticker) by the charity partners redeemable during the month of April for a small ice cream at any of the four Bay Area Smitten Ice Cream locations.

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Each charity partner participating relies on volunteers to be able to fulfill their mission and make an impact in Bay Area communities. Volunteers can be the silent heroes that make much of the work possible. In today’s very busy world, Smitten Ice Cream hopes to bring scoops of joy to those who commit time to giving back through volunteering.

“Volunteers play a key role in our mission. They work tirelessly — every day of the year — to help animals in need. We couldn’t do it without them! We’re thankful to Smitten Ice Cream for recognizing our volunteers’ dedication and commitment to the San Francisco community,” adds Jason Walthall, Co-President, San Francisco SPCA.

Founded in 2009 by Robyn Sue Fisher, Smitten Ice Cream takes great pride in crafting decadent churned-to–order ice cream for each of their guests by using only the freshest and purest, locally sourced and organic ingredients. Smitten makes everything right down to their proprietary Brrr ™ machine which churns the utmost perfect scoop right before your eyes using liquid nitrogen (at -321˚!). Thanks to the company’s obsessively high standard for quality and chef-driven menu, Smitten Ice Cream is supremely smooth in texture with unparalleled seasonal and traditional flavors – all made-to-order just for you. With four locations across the Bay Area and expanding, Smitten has become a favorite to many who have a passion for the best ice cream in town.

Smitten Community Rockstars will be celebrated and recognized for the entire month of April. To follow the campaign, go to @SmittenIceCream Twitter/Instagram and LIKE on Facebook.
#SmittenCommunityRockstars #volunteers #BayArea #icecream #NationalVolunteerMonth

More about the Smitten Community Rockstars Charity Partners:

About San Francisco Baykeeper

For more than 25 years, San Francisco Baykeeper has worked to protect San Francisco Bay from pollution. Baykeeper uses legal action, science, advocacy, and on-the-water patrols in the Baykeeper boat to secure strong clean water laws and rein in polluters. Our vision is a San Francisco Bay where the ecosystem is healthy, recreation is safe, and wildlife thrives. @SFBaykeeper

About Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco

Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco builds homes and community in partnership with thousands of annual volunteers, hard-working families, donors, civic leaders and other engaged community members in Marin, San Francisco and on the Peninsula. The work supporters help us do provides a critical path to financial security for families who live and work here and strengthens neighborhoods across the Bay Area. Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco has built more than 200 affordable homes in the Bay Area and is currently building Habitat Terrace, a development of 28 single-family homes in San Francisco’s Ocean View neighborhood, and Mt. Burdell Place, a 10-home development in Novato. We are doing ongoing critical home repairs and park cleanups in San Francisco’s Bayview. Those interested in supporting our work or volunteering with us can find more information at our website: or can follow us on facebook at or twitter @habitatgsf.

About Headstand

Founded in San Francisco in 2008, Headstand is the leading innovative non-profit working in underserved communities to combat toxic stress in K-12 students through yoga, mindfulness and character education.

About SF-Marin Food Bank

The Food Bank plays a central role in the food assistance network in San Francisco and Marin, where one in four residents is at risk of hunger. Set up farmer’s market-style, the Food Bank’s pantries enable households to select groceries that can be used to create home-cooked meals. Nearly 60 percent of what is distributed is fresh fruits and vegetables. The Food Bank will distribute more than 47 million pounds of food to the community this year alone – enough for more than 107,000 meals every day.

About San Francisco SPCA

The San Francisco SPCA is an independent, community-supported, non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving, protecting and providing immediate care for cats and dogs who are homeless, ill or in need of an advocate. The SF SPCA also works long-term to educate the community, reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies through spaying and neutering, and improve the quality of life for animals and their human companions. The organization does not receive government funding and is not affiliated with any national organization. Support the SF SPCA by adopting, donating, volunteering and becoming a client of our state-of-the-art veterinary hospitals. In addition to our campus in the Mission neighborhood, as a result of our recent merger with Pets Unlimited we now have a second campus in Pacific Heights. The SF SPCA offers volunteer opportunities to care for shelter dogs and cats, conduct adoption counseling, assist clients and veterinary staff, provide foster care, help with the Community Cats Program, and enrich the lives of people in the community through animal-assisted therapy. For more information about San Francisco pet adoption, call the San Francisco SPCA at (415) 522-3500 or visit

To learn more about Smitten Ice Cream to go

Fraud Risk Is on the Rise for Nonprofits — and the Impact Can Be Fatal

Nonprofit Leaders Need to Know the Danger, Probe for Weaknesses and Improve Controls, Says Marks Paneth LLP

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – April 14, 2015) – Nonprofit fraud is on the rise, according to a number of sources, and may account for 10% of all fraud in the U.S.(1) The implication is that many nonprofits are at risk, probably due to a deficit in financial controls.

“Financial control failures are common at nonprofits and can sometimes be fatal. Leaders of nonprofits would be well served to take steps to assess their risk, tighten controls and detect fraud as early as possible,” said Eric Kreuter, Ph.D., CPA, Partner in the Litigation and Financial Advisory Services Group at New York accounting firm Marks Paneth LLP.

Dr. Kreuter and Hope Goldstein, CPA, Partner in Marks Paneth’s Nonprofit and Government Service Practice make the following points about the risk of fraud at nonprofits and the best ways to address it:

  • The rising rate and growing impact of nonprofit fraud: Nonprofit fraud is happening more often and costing more money. According to the 2014 Report to the Nations by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, nonprofit fraud accounted for 10.8% of total frauds in 2013, up from 9.6% reported in 2010. Nonprofit organizations lost a median $108,000 per fraud in 2013, up from $90,000 reported in 2010. “Since many nonprofits are small, the financial impact is even greater than the dollar amount might make it seem,” Ms. Goldstein says.
  • Why nonprofits are at risk: “All organizations are at risk for fraud,” Dr. Kreuter says. “There are always fraudsters at work, and when the economy is difficult — as this one is, in spite of employment numbers — then there are more frustrated, underemployed people. That means there may be an increase in the number of people willing to commit fraud.

    “The problem for nonprofits is that their finances are often fragile to begin with, so that the impact of fraud and mishandling of finances can be severe. In addition, they are often short-staffed, with people doing multiple and sometimes conflicting jobs — for example, one person issues the checks, does the receivables and handles the bank reconciliation. This means that controls are sometimes not tight and that opens the door to fraud.”

  • Why fraud and control failures can kill a nonprofit organization while a for-profit business might survive: “While fraud is always harmful, nonprofits have to worry about the risk to their reputation. A perception that they’re mishandling funds can have a severe impact on donations,” Ms. Goldstein says. “Especially in the current economy, contributions are difficult to come by, and the fundraising environment is competitive. If donors lose confidence in the organization, they’re likely to move their contributions elsewhere. These effects can be long-lasting. For-profit organizations can clean house, replace the Board, and customers seem to forgive them. In the nonprofit world that’s not always the case. If you were to survey heads of nonprofits where fraud occurred, they probably would not deny that they are still feeling the aftereffects to their organizations’ reputations many years later. A smaller nonprofit can be badly hurt or lose donations, be forced to merge, or worse, find themselves having to shut its doors.

    “Of course, some nonprofits address this by failing to report fraud — trying to handle it quietly without going public. The result is that the fraudster leaves — and goes on to work and commit fraud at some other organization. Nondisclosure is not an answer.”

  • The new risk of cybercrime: “While much of fraud is still simple theft, that’s not the whole story,” Dr. Kreuter says. “Cybercrime is a new danger. Fraudsters break into a system, steal data and sell it. The risk environment is complex and there are many dangers.” 
  • Why safeguards probably won’t work — why it’s better to tighten controls and catch fraud early: “Everyone likes to talk about fraud prevention, but in practice it’s hard to prevent fraud — fraudsters will often find new ways around safeguards,” Dr. Kreuter says. “What’s much more effective is deterrence. A combination of tighter controls, strong whistleblower policies and early detection is the best anti-fraud formula.”
  • What organizations should do to improve controls and stop fraud: “There are several steps that nonprofit organizations can and should take,” Dr. Kreuter says. “Some are mandatory — whistleblower policies are required by law. Some are strongly advisable even if difficult — budgets may be constrained, but it’s important to staff appropriately, so that jobs are separated in a way that supports fiscal controls, and to pay a competitive wage that reduces the odds of dissatisfaction.

“The most important single step is to audit current controls, identify weak points and make changes as needed to both policies and staffing levels. Many of these changers are simple — in one case we recommended mailing bank statements to the leader’s home so he could examine the signatures on the backs of checks. Fraud deterrence can be that simple.”

“Stealing is not going out of vogue,” Ms. Goldstein said. “The answer is to be proactive, not passive. Being proactive can carry a price tag, but so does insurance. When fraud hits, organizations are likely to find it faster and come through better if they’ve taken the right steps and set up the right controls ahead of time.”

About Marks Paneth

Marks Paneth LLP is an accounting firm with more than 550 people, including over 70 partners and principals. The firm provides public and private businesses with a full range of auditing, accounting, tax, consulting, trade remediation and valuation services as well as litigation and corporate financial advisory services to domestic and international clients. The firm also specializes in providing tax advisory and consulting for high-net-worth individuals and their families, as well as a wide range of services for international, real estate, media, entertainment, nonprofit and medical practice clients. The firm has a strong track record supporting emerging growth companies, entrepreneurs, business owners and investors as they navigate the business life cycle.

The firm’s subsidiary, Tailored Technologies, LLC, provides information technology consulting services. In addition, its membership in Morison International, a leading international association for independent business advisers, financial consulting and accounting firms, facilitates service delivery to clients throughout the United States and around the world. Marks Paneth, whose origins date back to 1907, is the 35th largest accounting firm in the nation and the 9th largest in the mid-Atlantic region. In addition, readers of the New York Law Journal rank Marks Paneth as one of the area’s top three forensic accounting firms for the fifth year in a row.

Its headquarters are in New York City. Additional offices are in Washington, DC, New Jersey, Long Island, Westchester and the Cayman Islands. For more information, please visit

(1) Report to the Nations. Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. 2014.

Wyeast Laboratories, Inc. commits $100,000 to The Next Door Through Matching Funds Program

Odell, Ore. (April 14, 2015)Wyeast Laboratories Founder and President Jeannette (Jenny) Kreft-Logsdon has announced that the Oregon-based yeast producer will provide a matching fund donation of $100,000 to The Next Door, Inc. (NDI), an organization that is dedicated to opening doors to new possibilities by strengthening children and families and improving communities in Oregon’s Columbia Gorge.

Jenny is the founder of Wyeast Laboratories, a leading supplier of Pure Liquid Yeast cultures and fermentation products, headquartered in the Columbia River Gorge since 1986. Today, Wyeast is a worldwide leader in the fermentation industry and the foremost craft yeast manufacturer and laboratory serving craft brewers everywhere. But in 1985, Jenny moved to Hood River with $2,000 in the bank and the idea of starting a small business while raising a family. Wyeast Laboratories formed in 1986, and two years later, Jenny was blessed with three daughters.

“I did not have much at the time my daughters were born, and I will always remember Family Services visiting my home in the woods on a regular basis and providing coupons for formula,” Jenny recalled. “My most embarrassing moment was to ask how to fold a cloth diaper, I had never changed a diaper before and did not have a clue how to fold them. The Next Door’s Family Services was there to help.”

The Wyeast Laboratories’ Matching Fund Program benefiting The Next Door, Inc. will match dollar for dollar donations up to $100,000 by the deadline of December 31, 2015. Donated funds will support The Next Door programs including the Klahre House Alternative School, Families First, New Parent Services, Youth & Family Services, Nuestra Comunidad Sana and Treatment Services.

“The Next Door provides critical assistance to families in six Oregon and Washington counties. We see how our efforts can change lives and create success,” said Janet L. Hamada, MSW, Executive Director, The Next Door, Inc. (NDI). “Knowing about Jenny’s success story is amazing, but having her give back to the organization that played a role in supporting her family is incredible. We look forward to fundraising over the year to make the most of this generous donation.”

The Next Door, Inc., (NDI) is a 501(c)(3) Tax ID# 93-0600421 Non-Profit organization. To donate to The Next Door, please visit and select “Wyeast Laboratories Matching Fund” under the donation designation field.

About Wyeast Laboratories, Inc.

Since 1986, Wyeast Laboratories, Inc. has been producing Pure Liquid Yeast cultures and fermentations products crafted with skill and integrity. Our continuing devotion to providing superior products, insightful technical expertise and helpful customer service has earned Wyeast Laboratories the reputation as a worldwide industry leader. Wyeast Laboratories, Inc. Pure Liquid Yeast cultures are shipped directly to breweries, wineries, and cideries, with purity, viability, and freshness guaranteed. Follow us on Twitter at @WyeastLab; Friend us on Facebook.

About The Next Door

The Next Door is a Columbia Gorge nonprofit whose mission is opening doors to new possibilities by strengthening children and families and improving communities. Staff members in over two dozen programs work with thousands of children and families in the Columbia Gorge who are struggling; to grow up strong, to stay out of trouble, to learn parenting skills, and even to learn a sustainable way to have enough food.

For Equal Pay Day, New Analysis Reveals the Real Costs of the Wage Gap for Utah’s Women, Families and Economy

If Paid Equally, Utah Women Could Afford More Than Two More Years of Food, 17+ Months of Rent

An analysis released for Equal Pay Day tomorrow shows just how much damage the gender-based wage gap is doing to Utah’s families and economy. Women employed full time in Utah are paid just 70 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to a yearly gap of $15,144. This means that, collectively, Utah women lose nearly $4.8 billion every year that could pay for basic goods and services that strengthen the state’s economy and are essential for the more than 86,000 Utah households headed by women.

The analysis was conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families when the U.S. Census Bureau released its most recent data. It is being released for the first time today. The full set of findings for Utah, which has the fourth largest cents-on-the-dollar gap among the states, can be found here.

These state-based findings are included in a new national report also released today, An Unlevel Playing Field: America’s Gender-Based Wage Gap, Binds of Discrimination, And A Path Forward. The report features original analysis, never released before, about the country’s wage gap across states, among women of color, and by parental and marital status. It identifies a punishing and pervasive gap that disproportionately harms mothers, single mothers and mothers of color, who can suffer from double and triple binds of discrimination.

“At a time when women’s wages are essential to families and our economy, the persistence of the gender-based wage gap is doing real and lasting damage to women, families, communities and to our nation. It defies common sense that lawmakers are not doing more to stop gender discrimination in wages,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “This analysis shows that women and families are losing thousands of dollars in critical income each year that could pay for significant amounts of food, rent, gas and other basic necessities. The effects ripple throughout our economy.”

According to the analysis of Utah, if the gap between men’s and women’s wages were eliminated, a full-time working woman in Utah could afford food for more than two more years, mortgage and utilities for 11 more months, rent for more than 17 more months, or 4,200+ more gallons of gas. These basic necessities would be especially important for the 28 percent of Utah’s women-headed households currently living below the poverty level.

Nationally, women working full time, year round are paid 78 cents for every dollar paid to men, with significant disparities for women of color. African American women and Latinas are paid 64 cents and Latinas are paid 56 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The country’s wage gap has been closing at a rate of less than half a cent per year since passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963. At that rate, experts say America’s women will not be paid equally to men for another 43 years.

“It has been well documented that the wage gap spans geography, race, industry, education level and other factors, and that it is closing at a glacial pace,” Ness continued. “America’s women and families simply cannot afford to wait another four decades for fair pay. It is past time for fair and family friendly workplace policies that will level the playing field and give all women the fair shot they need to support themselves and their families while fully contributing to our economy.”

An Unlevel Playing Field outlines several measures that would help close the wage gap, including fair and family friendly workplace policies. Members of Congress have reintroduced three of the proposals so far this year: the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help break harmful patterns of pay discrimination and establish stronger workplace protections for women; the Healthy Families Act, which would establish a national paid sick days standard; and the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program. Other measures discussed in the report include an increase in the minimum wage and protections for pregnant workers.

The National Partnership’s analysis of the wage gap was released the day before Equal Pay Day, which is April 14 this year. The day marks how far into the year women must work in order to catch up with what men were paid the year before. The state-by-state analysis uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The findings for each state, state rankings, analyses specific to women of color and An Unlevel Playing Field are all available at

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