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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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National Preservation and Philanthropic Groups Partner for $25 Million Funding Initiative Aimed at Transforming the Nation’s Cultural Landscape to Fully Reflect the American Story

New African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Will Help to Preserve Overlooked Historic Places, Bring Preservation Funding to Underrepresented Communities and Uncover the Untold Stories of Communities of Color

Press Release – NOVEMBER 15, 2017 / 10:15 AM CENTRAL / CHICAGO, IL – The National Trust for Historic Preservation, in partnership with lead funders, the Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations, today announced the launch of the African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF). The multi-year national initiative is aimed at uplifting the largely overlooked contributions of African-Americans by establishing a grant fund for the protection and restoration of African-American historical sites—from Shockoe Bottom in Richmond to Fort Huachuca Black Officer’s Club in Arizona, and more. In addition to helping support direct action needed to protect threatened sites of historic significance and addressing critical funding gaps for their preservation, the fund will also help to uncover hidden stories of African-Americans connected to historic sites across the nation, empower youth through National Trust’s Hands On Preservation Experience program, support research on preservation’s impact on contemporary urban problems that disproportionately affect communities of color, and advocate for preservation funding for underrepresented communities.

“There is an opportunity and an obligation for us to step forward boldly and ensure the preservation of places which tell the often-overlooked stories of African-Americans and their many contributions to our nation,” said Stephanie Meeks, President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We believe that this fund will be transformative for our country, and we are committed to crafting a narrative that expands our view of history and, ultimately, begins to reconstruct our national identity, while inspiring a new generation of activists to advocate for our diverse historic places.”

Leaders in academia, business, government, arts, and philanthropy have answered the call to form an Advisory Council for the Action Fund. Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation will serve as its chair. Celebrated actress, singer, and activist Phylicia Rashad will serve as both an advisor and ambassador to this effort and expressed her support in a video. Ms. Rashad and her family have worked for nearly two decades to preserve the historic Brainerd Institute in South Carolina.

“Without a thorough reckoning with the complex and difficult history of our country, especially when it comes to race, we will not be able to overcome intolerance, injustice, and inequality,” said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. “We have an opportunity with this Fund to broaden the American narrative to reflect our remarkably rich and diverse history.”

The Action Fund has also drawn the support of a number of leading funders as partners—including four of the largest foundations in the country─ interested in furthering a vision of America where all its citizens’ diverse stories are reflected in the places that surround us. Joining the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and The JPB Foundation in supporting this multi-year initiative with a $25 million funding goal are the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Though currently funded at over $3.5 million – more than half of its first year goal – The Action Fund will continue with appeals to corporations, foundations and individuals to reach its $25 million funding goal.

“As the scholar Carl Becker once wrote, history is what the present chooses to remember about the past,” said Patrick Gaspard, vice president of the Open Society Foundations. “The events in Charlottesville this past summer are a stark reminder of how one segment of American society chooses to celebrate a brutal past. We have an opportunity, through this tremendous project, to preserve, protect and cherish another history too often neglected—the vital story of African-Americans and their enormous contributions to the idea of America.”

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, chartered by Congress nearly 70 years ago, has decades of experience leading the preservation of African-American historic sites and widening the tent for underrepresented communities in the professional field of preservation. In the past five years alone, the National Trust leveraged more than $10 million to preserve dozens of important African-American sites.

To see the complete list of Advisors and to learn more about the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the new African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, please visit:

To further support this important effort, please help to spread the word on Twitter and Facebook:

  • Twitter (@SavingPlaces) – Join the movement to elevate the overlooked stories and places that represent the African-American experience #TellTheFullHistory
  • Facebook (@NationalTrustforHistoricPreservation) – The National Trust for Historic Preservation is working to shine a light on the important contributions of African-Americans by protecting and restoring important African-American historical sites and monuments. Join the movement by visiting #TellTheFullHistory

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Hi-Tide Boat Lifts Launches Non-Profit Organization Kids On Track

501(c)(3) program to benefit children across the United States

Press Release – FORT PIERCE, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2017) – Hi-Tide Boat Lifts, the leading boat lift manufacturer in the industry, is excited to announce that it is creating opportunities through its Kids on Track program by becoming a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Dedicated to lifting the spirits of children by providing them with unique access to Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires racing events in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series, Kids on Track partners with other charitable groups across the nation that benefit children, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Youth Alliance, Hometown Heroes, and Ronald McDonald House Charities. Throughout 2017, Kids on Track worked with these charitable groups in cities where Mazda Road to Indy races were held to grant children free access to racing events, behind-the-scenes tours of racetracks, meet-and-greets with drivers and more. The non-profit’s objective is to inspire children and youth by exposing them to opportunities and people in a unique and personal way.

Prior to becoming a non-profit, Kids on Track was 100 percent funded by Hi-Tide Boat Lifts. The boat lift manufacturer elected to make Kids on Track a 501(c)(3) in an effort to expand the organization and inspire even more children.

“Since its start in 2015, Kids on Track has created opportunities of inspiration for more than 250 children throughout the nation,” said Craig Wood, owner of Hi-Tide Boat Lifts and founder of Kids on Track. “Now that we have become an official non-profit organization, we are looking forward to continuing to partner with Andersen Promotions and the Mazda Road to Indy to grow the program. In order to do that, we are laying the groundwork for the participation of other individuals and organizations.”

Kids on Track’s 2018 season will begin in March on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., and will continue through the end of the year at each Mazda Road to Indy racing event (race schedule can be viewed here).

Additional information is available at

About Hi-Tide Boat Lifts:

Hi-Tide Boat Lifts is a pioneer in the boat lift industry, as the first manufacturer to design a product of corrosion-resistant aluminum made specifically for the marine environment. As the leaders and innovators in the boat lift industry, the company also developed and patented a direct gear box, the Gear Drive, that is only available from Hi-Tide.

About Andersen Promotions:

Andersen Promotions has a long and successful background in promoting open-wheel championships and has also owned multiple race teams, including an Indy Lights team, in the past. The company relaunched the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2010, which it operated from 1992 through 2001. In December of 2012, Andersen Promotions founded the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires to replace the void left by the Star Mazda Series which ceased operations after 22 years. On July 12, 2013, it was announced that Andersen Promotions would take over the licensing and operation of the Indy Lights Series from INDYCAR and now operates all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires. For additional information, please visit, and

About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports:

Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Mazda is also the title sponsor of the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Follow all of the latest news at, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.

About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company:

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is the parent company of a global family of companies that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of innovative, great-performing tires that you can count on to last for thousands of miles, getting you where you need to go, and back again. Cooper is proud to be the spec tire for all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, a development program within the Verizon IndyCar Series. Cooper tires can also be seen on the track as a sponsor in the short course off-road TORC Series. Headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, Cooper, with its subsidiaries, has manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design operations in more than one dozen countries around the world. To connect with Cooper, visit, or

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Ray C. Anderson Foundation Divests from Fossil Fuel Investments

Press Release – Atlanta, GA, November 14, 2017 – The trustees of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation (the Foundation) have announced that the Foundation’s investment portfolio is now fossil fuel free and divested of investments in oil, coal and gas companies. The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is a private family foundation that honors and shares the values that Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), Founder and Chairman of Interface Inc., set forth when he put his company on a path to sustainability in 1994. The Foundation’s assets total approximately $50 million.

“Fossil fuel divestment is both ethically and fiscally responsible,” said John A. Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and one of Ray’s five grandchildren. “Investment has consequences, and we intend for our assets to grow by fueling renewable energy and other clean technologies that will combat climate change.”

For 17 years preceding his passing, Anderson challenged his company and others in industry to recognize the fact that sustainability and environmentalism did not have to be exclusive of one another. He proved this fact by transforming Interface into a $1 billion revenue leader in industrial ecology, later earning him recognition as “the greenest CEO in America.” In his 2009 book, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, Anderson said:

“The age of fossil fuels will not end because there’s no more oil, coal or gas to dig up and burn. It will end because the finite supply cannot meet the exploding demand for them at a price–a climate price, a financial price, and a security price–we are willing (or even able) to bear. It will end because better, smarter and more profitable alternatives become available. It will end because enough of us will realize that paying the price for a systemic shift away from fossil fuels is a whole lot cheaper than footing the bill for the status quo.”

The Foundation joins a growing community of investors who are moving away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy investment. A report from Arabella Advisors issued in December 2016 entitled “Measuring the Growth of the Global Fossil Fuel Divestment and Clean Energy Investment Movement” showed that the amount of money represented by people and institutions that have vowed to divest from fossil fuels reached $5 trillion, having doubled between September 2015 and December 2016.

Read the Foundation’s official Divestment Statement here.

About The Ray C. Anderson Foundation

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote a sustainable society by supporting and funding educational and project-based initiatives that advance knowledge and innovation in sustainability.

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U of Utah Ranks 15th for Undergrad and 23rd for Grad Entrepreneurship Studies for 2018

Press Release – Nov. 14, 2017 – For the seventh straight year, The Princeton Review ranked the University of Utah as one of the top 25 schools in the country in 2018 for entrepreneurship education in a new survey released today. Led by the David Eccles School of Business and its Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, the University of Utah ranked No. 15 for undergraduate and No. 23 for graduate programs.

The Princeton Review surveyed more than 300 schools offering entrepreneurship studies for the rankings. The data collected for this year’s rankings are from the 2015-16 academic year, which precedes many recent developments at the University of Utah.

In recent years, the University of Utah has grown and improved its entrepreneurship programs and opportunities. Among these developments was opening Lassonde Studios in August 2016. The five-story innovation space is open to all students on campus to “live, create, launch.”

“Entrepreneurship is one of our core values at the David Eccles School of Business, and we are proud to be recognized as a national leader,” said Taylor Randall, dean of the Eccles School. “We have significantly expanded the number of opportunities we provide to students interested in entrepreneurship. This ranking shows that these efforts are paying off. We want to be known as the best place for students to study and experience entrepreneurship.”

The University of Utah provides numerous academic opportunities for students interested in entrepreneurship through the Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the Eccles School. They include a major and minor, an interdisciplinary certificate for non-business majors, an MBA with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and a Ph.D.

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute adds to the academic opportunities by providing many experiential-learning opportunities to all students on campus. Those opportunities include workshops, tools, makerspace, grants, offices, networking, scholarships and more.

Programs provided by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute are held at Lassonde Studios since it opened. The building has received national recognition from The New York Times, Business Insider, Fast Company and other publications. Architectural Digest named Lassonde Studios one of the “nine best new university buildings around the world.” The first floor of Lassonde Studios is open to all students at the University of Utah, while all students can also apply to be one of the 400 residents living on four upper floors.

Troy D’Ambrosio, the executive director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and an assistant dean at the Eccles School, managed the construction and opening of Lassonde Studios. He has also been with the institute since it started as one program in 2001.

“We have only been in Lassonde Studios for one year, and it has already exceeded our expectations,” D’Ambrosio said. “Students from every major are starting companies, building prototypes and gaining life-changing experiences. We look forward to many more years of growth and impact as more students discover what we can offer them.”

Of the schools that The Princeton Review surveyed, 38 institutions’ undergraduate and/or graduate programs made the roster of top schools for 2018. The rankings can be viewed at and will be published in the December issue of Entrepreneur magazine, available on newsstands Nov. 28. The Princeton Review posted the lists at as well as the methodology for the survey, criteria for the rankings, and detailed profiles of the schools.

The Princeton Review conducted a 60-question survey from May through August 2017. The survey asked schools to report on levels of their commitment to entrepreneurship studies inside and outside the classroom. More than 40 data points were analyzed for the tally to determine the rankings. Topics included: the percentage of faculty, students, alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors, the number and reach of mentorship programs, scholarships and grants for entrepreneurial studies, and the level of support for school-sponsored business plan competitions.

“These colleges and business schools have superb entrepreneurship programs, said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief. “We highly recommend them to any applicant aspiring to launch a business. Their faculties are truly engaged in entrepreneurism. Their courses are rich with in-class and out-of-class experiential components, and the financial and networking support their students and programs receive via donors and alumni is extraordinary.”

This is the 12th year that Entrepreneur has partnered with The Princeton Review to publish this list. Only schools that participate in The Princeton Review entrepreneurship program survey are eligible for consideration for the rankings.

Learn more about entrepreneurship at the University of Utah by visiting the Lassonde Institute website at Learn more about the David Eccles School of Business at

Annual Princeton Review Rankings for the University of Utah

  • 2018 (ranking year, released the year before) – Ranked 23 graduate, 15 undergraduate
  • 2017 – Ranked 15 graduate, 18 undergraduate
  • 2016 – Ranked 17 graduate, 24 undergraduate
  • 2015 – Ranked 23 graduate
  • 2014 – Ranked 23 graduate
  • 2013 – Ranked 15 graduate, 17 undergraduate
  • 2012 – Ranked 16 undergraduate

About the David Eccles School of Business

Founded in 1917 on a rich tradition of business success and leadership, the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business offers an experiential learning environment for students. We’re home to seven institutes and centers that deliver academic research and support an ecosystem of entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. The University of Utah in Salt Lake City is nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, just 30 minutes from seven ski resorts and less than five hours from several national parks. Salt Lake City is an urban hub of diverse nightlife, dining, art and music, and boasts a top-ranked business environment for U.S. job growth and economic prowess. For more information, visit or call 801-581-7676.

About the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute also manages Lassonde Studios, a new five-story innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at

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10,000 Beds, Inc. Awarded Grant To Support Nationwide #Ontheroad4recovery Program

––Funding will Support the Addiction Treatment Scholarship & Outreach Programs––

Press Release – [Salt Lake City, UT] — 10,000 Beds announced today that it has been selected as one of 13 non-profit organizations to receive a substantial grant from the ALKERMES INSPIRATION GRANTS® program. The grant will support the 10,000 Beds #ontheroad4recovery nationwide program to raise awareness, change perceptions and offer hope to families and individuals battling addition. It will also support the nationwide 10,000 Beds addiction treatment scholarship program.

CEO/Founder Jean Krisle expressed her gratitude: “This grant will allow us to provide support to more families and individuals battling this devastating disease while also supporting our cross-country tour to raise awareness. It’s a game-changer.”

“Addiction and mental illness affect millions of people and their families every day, and require an integrated approach to treatment that is scalable in communities across the country,” said Richard Pops, Chief Executive Officer of Alkermes. “Medicines play a role, but importantly, it is the innovative programs, like 10,000 Beds, designed to support people affected by these diseases and led by passionate leaders on the front lines that will ignite sustainable and meaningful change for patients.”

The idea for 10,000 Beds was conceived in the fall of 2014, the result of conversations with many needing help for addiction who had no resources, followed by site visits to treatment centers with empty beds. Founder Jean Krisle knew this was an equation needing a solution and she immediately set out to solve it.

The solution is a unique model of partnering with treatment programs that donate one scholarship (bed) per year.Applicants apply online through; the online application process includes 30+ questions, a comprehensive review and assessment, consideration of unique needs to identify the appropriate program for each qualifying client, and coordination with the selected treatment center to make certain a scholarship bed is available and to allow for their own clinical assessment prior to admission. Once approved, 10,000 Beds covers transportation costs for the client.

In 2016, 10,000 Beds awarded $1,000,000 in treatment scholarships, in 2017 the organization is on target to award $2,500,000, and the 2018 goal is $5,000,000 in addiction treatment scholarships.

Now in its second year, ALKERMES INSPIRATION GRANTS focuses on two key areas: improving or enhancing support or resources for people affected by mental health concerns or substance use disorder, and/or integrating the perspective of people affected by mental health concerns or addiction into drug development or care delivery.

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Sunwealth™ Completes Installation of World Learning Solar Project

Installation marks another success for investors and overlooked communities

Press Release – (Boston, MA) November 14, 2017Sunwealth, the innovative clean energy investment firm delivering market-rate returns and wider-reaching social and environmental impact, today announced the completion of the World Learning School for International Training (SIT) solar project installation.

The 196.5 kW project, located on World Learning’s SIT Brattleboro, Vermont campus, will help the national non-governmental organization achieve $10,000 in energy savings per year. The project will also mitigate 183 metric tons of carbon in the first year of operation and produce approximately 260,200 kWh of renewable energy annually – equal to burning 211,866 pounds of coal per year.

“We have always been interested in renewables, but they can be cost prohibitive for organizations like ours,” said Kote Lomidze, Chief Financial Officer at World Learning. “Partnering with Sunwealth has given us access to an energy source that has been out of reach until now.”

Commercial solar development has traditionally been overlooked by banks and other financial institutions in favor of residential and utility-scale projects for two primary reasons: the lack of a credit rating system and the size of the projects.

Sunwealth’s proprietary underwriting process, however, ensures the credit worthiness of its commercial clients. In addition, Sunwealth’s approach minimizes transaction costs and provides investors with an attractive return potential and the opportunity to make a positive impact.

“The World Learning project represents what we envisioned when launching Sunwealth,” said Jonathan Abe, Chief Executive Officer at Sunwealth. “It’s incredible to see how World Learning is putting its energy savings to work furthering the organization’s mission.”

Solar Design Associates, Inc. an Ayer, Massachusetts engineering firm, and Dynamic Organics, LLC a renewable energy developer located in Putney, Vermont, designed and constructed the World Learning solar project. “As a local developer, we understand how every installation affects our community,” said Morgan Casella, Managing Partner at Dynamic Organics. “We’re proud to be part of a project team that helps create a more resilient economy right in our backyard.”

The World Learning project will begin testing operations in November 2017.

To learn more about Sunwealth, the Solar Impact Fund, and investing in the future of energy, please visit

About Sunwealth

Sunwealth ( is a pioneering clean energy firm that delivers a unique investment model designed to expand access to commercial solar. The firm’s Solar Impact Fund is comprised of projects that deliver abundant clean energy to diverse communities and target market-rate return potential for investors. The Fund allows participants to forecast the impact of their investment from the beginning – and see that impact develop in real time through transparent monitoring and measurement tools.

About World Learning Inc.

World Learning Inc. ( is distinct among our competitors as both an accredited academic institution and a global nonprofit. The World Learning Inc. family includes the School for International Training (SIT), offering accredited undergraduate study abroad programs through SIT Study Abroad, and globally focused master’s degrees through SIT Graduate Institute; The Experiment in International Living, the nation’s most experienced and respected provider of international education and experiential learning for high school students; and World Learning, a global nonprofit working to empower people and strengthen institutions through global education, sustainable development, and exchange programs.

Under no circumstances is the information contained herein to be considered an offer to sell or as a solicitation of an offer to buy any financial product. Investments are offered only via definitive transaction documents and any potential investor should read such documents carefully, including all the risk factors relating to the investment, before investing.

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Hewlett Foundation Announces First 10 Awards in $8 Million Arts Initiative

First Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions Go to Bay Area Nonprofits to Work with World-Class Artists on Major New Music Compositions

Press Release – MENLO PARK, Calif. (November 14, 2017) – The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced today the first 10 recipients of its Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, an $8 million commissioning initiative that is the largest of its kind in the United States. Reflecting the foundation’s longstanding commitment to sustaining artistic expression and encouraging public engagement with the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, 10 local nonprofit organizations will receive grants of $150,000 each to commission major new musical compositions from world-class artists in genres including chamber, electronic, jazz, opera, and hip hop.

“The Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions are a symbol of the foundation’s longstanding commitment to performing arts in the Bay Area,” said Larry Kramer, president of the Hewlett Foundation. “We believe the awards will fund the creation of new musical works of lasting significance that are as dynamic and diverse as the Bay Area communities where they will premiere.”

This year’s commissioned projects have themes that speak directly to Bay Area communities, including the impact of technology on our culture, humanity’s relationship to the natural world, and the experiences of immigrants and women in our society.

Among the selected projects are: “At War with Ourselves,” an evening-length work exploring race relations in America by Grammy Award winners Kronos Quartet and Terence Blanchard; “Indra’s Net,” an immersive, multidisciplinary piece by MacArthur “genius” award winner Meredith Monk, commissioned by Mills College; “Angel Island Oratorio,” a new work for strings and chorus inspired by immigrant poetry from composer Huang Ruo and commissioned by Del Sol String Quartet; and a new work commissioned by Music at Kohl Mansion and composed by Guggenheim Fellow Jake Heggie for the Violins of Hope, a set of instruments played by musicians in concentration camps and ghettos during World War II and restored over the last 20 years by Israeli craftsmen.

All of this year’s recipients are described in greater detail below.

The nonprofits commissioning the new works include both well-established, large-budget organizations and smaller nonprofit organizations that are deeply rooted in their communities. The commissioned artists come from diverse backgrounds and bring unique experiences to their work, hailing from New Orleans, Florida, Puerto Rico, New York, China, Peru, and right here in the Bay Area, among other places. Some have long-established composing careers, and others are closer to the start of their musical journeys. What unites them is the quality of their artistry and their commitment to creating new compositions that will engage, challenge, and inspire Bay Area audiences.

“I want nothing less than to change hearts and souls,” said jazz composer Terence Blanchard, who will work with Kronos Quartet on “At War with Ourselves.” “Music is communal. Concerts bring people together to vibe in one place, for one night. That, to me, is the power of this art.”

Awardees were decided based on four selection criteria: artistic excellence, community engagement, collaboration and leadership, and financial capacity. A group of 23 finalists for the awards was nominated by a panel of outside experts whose members included:

  • Maribel Alvarez, Jim Griffith Public Folklore Chair, Southwest Center/University of Arizona
  • Mario Garcia Durham, President and CEO, Association of Performing Arts Presenters
  • Sandra Gibson, Principal and Chief Catalyst, Gibson and Associates, LLC
  • Ed Harsh, President and CEO, New Music USA
  • Benjamin Johnson, Director of Performing Arts, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles
  • Sojin Kim, Curator, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
  • John Nuechterlein, President and CEO, American Composers Forum

The Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts Program staff selected this year’s 10 recipients from among the finalists.

“Without a doubt, this was the most competitive set of proposals I’ve seen in almost two decades of working in arts philanthropy,” said John McGuirk, director of the Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts Program. “The works we ultimately selected are of the highest artistic quality and enduring value.”

Since 1967, the Hewlett Foundation has made more than $335 million in grants to arts organizations. Launched in January 2017 to celebrate the foundation’s 50th anniversary, the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions will award 10 grants to local nonprofits annually in each of five performing arts disciplines through 2021. Future years will focus on theater, dance, traditional arts, and film. The new works created with this year’s awards will premiere in Bay Area communities over the next three years.

2017 Hewlett 50 Arts Commission Awardees

Cal Performances at UC Berkeley “Dreamer” – Lead artist Jimmy López, in collaboration with artist Nilo Cruz, Alameda County community organizations, and the UC Berkeley Undocumented Student Program. Peruvian composer Jimmy López will collaborate with Nilo Cruz to create an oratorio for orchestra, chorus, and soprano that focuses on sanctuary cities and immigration experiences, to be performed by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London. A creative cohort of “Dreamers,” undocumented young people brought to the United States as children, will serve as members of the artistic team and their stories will help inspire the piece.

Community School of Music & Arts “Imagine Our Future” – Lead artist Taylor Eigsti, in collaboration with the Freestyle Academy of Communication Arts and Technology. Grammy-winning jazz pianist and composer Taylor Eigsti will create a 45-minute work for piano and ensemble. Eigsti will crowdsource ideas from nearly 100 local elementary and high schools, and use their ideas to develop a musical storyline. The process will be filmed and turned into a documentary about the project, set to premiere in April 2020.

Del Sol String Quartet “Angel Island Oratorio” – Lead artist Huang Ruo, in collaboration with Volti and Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, the Chinese Historical Society of America, and the Asian Art Museum. Songs and spoken word are inspired by the poetry inscribed on the walls of the Angel Island barracks between 1910 and 1940 by Chinese immigrants detained under the Chinese Exclusion Act. The poems, providing the basis for the work, will be sung in Chinese by Volti, a contemporary chamber choir, and a narrative in English will weave in universal themes of immigration and discrimination. The work will premiere at Angel Island State Park in 2020, with potential additional performances in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York/Ellis Island.

The Internet Archive “Sonic Web” – Lead artist Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, in collaobration with artist Greg Niemeyer, Berkeley Center for New Media, and Stanford Live. Electronic musician and experimental composer DJ Spooky will create an 11-movement multimedia production for string quartet, vocalist, and an original electronic instrument. The composition will be about the origins of the internet and what needs to happen to keep it accessible, neutral, and free. Greg Niemeyer will create an original Sonic Web Instrument – a large touchscreen with a software tool to draw network diagrams. DJ Spooky will use this to build and take apart simple networks using sampled sounds, further layered by the vocalist and string quartet. “Artists need support now more than ever! Given that we are shifting further into the ‘creative economy,’ it’s not just about tech or what software you are using to make music,” said Miller. “It’s about ideas. With the Hewlett 50 Arts Commission Award I can take time to really dig into all that a digital artist can be.”

The Internet Archive and its partners will host music and technology workshops, and premiere the work at the Internet Archive Great Room. A downloadable album with music videos and a livestream of the premiere will be hosted by Internet Archive.

Kronos Quartet “At War With Ourselves” – Lead artist Terence Blanchard, in collaboration with artist Nikky Finney, Youth Speaks, San Francisco Girls Chorus, 826 Valencia, and Sunset Youth Services. This evening-length work by Grammy-winning jazz artist Terence Blanchard explores race relations. Blanchard will collaborate with poet Nikky Finney for the sung/spoken word libretto that explores race relations, social justice, civil rights, and resistance movements, layering musical elements to produce a rich, complex work in keeping with the gravity of the subject matter. David Harrington, artistic director, founder, and violinist of Kronos Quartet, said of the new work, “Increasingly I feel my role as an artist is to point in constructive musical and cultural directions as we attempt to help repair the torn fabric of our society.” Kronos Quartet will host a series of workshops with community partners to ensure that the perspective and music of youth is integrated into the work. The piece will premiere in 2020, on the West Coast at SF Jazz and on the East Coast at the University of South Carolina.

Mills College “Indra’s Net” – Lead artist Meredith Monk, in collaboration with the Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble, chamber musicians from San Francisco Symphony, and The House Foundation for the Arts. Award-winning musician Meredith Monk is creating an immersive performance piece inspired by “Indra’s net,” a metaphor used to illustrate the concepts of Śūnyatā (emptiness) and pratītyasamutpāda (dependent origination) in Buddhist philosophy. Instrumentalists and members of Monk’s acclaimed Vocal Ensemble will be dispersed throughout the theater, like the vertexes of Indra’s Net, while the audience moves independently around them. The local community will be invited to participate in open rehearsals, workshops, lectures on composition technique for students, and public dialogues throughout the Bay Area. The work will premiere in the newly renovated Lisser Hall at Mills College in Fall 2019. Future touring may include New York, Miami, and Minneapolis.

Music at Kohl Mansion “Violins of Hope Bay Area Project” – Lead artist Jake Heggie, in collaboration with artist Gene Scheer and Violins of Hope Israel. Guggenheim Fellow Jake Heggie will collaborate with librettist Gene Scheer to create a chamber work for the West Coast premiere appearance of the Violins of Hope (VOH), at the Kohl Mansion in Burlingame, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. VOH are a set of more than 60 instruments that were originally played by prisoners in WWII concentration camps and ghettos. They’ve been restored and maintained for the past 20 years by Israeli violin-makers. “This is easily one of the most challenging projects of my career and I have no doubt it will be one of the most rewarding,” said Heggie. “It will certainly push me creatively to find a deeper level of expression in my work.” The premiere will include community conversations exploring historical, religious, and social justice issues. The piece will also be recorded at Skywalker Sound for a release in late 2020.

Opera Parallèle “Today it Rains” – Lead artist Laura Kaminsky, in collaboration with artists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed, American Opera Projects, UC Santa Cruz, Kuumbwa Jazz, and Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. “Today it Rains” is a chamber opera composed by Laura Kaminsky based on an event in the life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe as she left her marriage to move to Santa Fe and pursue her art. The 80-minute piece will be performed by a cast of eight singers and an instrumental ensemble of 11, along with a sophisticated projection design by Reed that explores O’Keeffe’s inner life. “With ‘Today it Rains,’ we are using an event in the life of iconic American artist Georgia O’Keeffe as the point of departure to reflect on several universal issues: the human need for self-expression and the struggle for creative freedom; imbalance of power in relationships; the desire to seek — and make — beauty; the fragility and fierceness both of the natural environment; and more,” said Kaminsky. The piece will be presented in workshop in May 2018, in addition to in-depth music workshops, art-making, and panel discussions in local communities. Opera Parallèle will partner with American Opera Projects to premiere the work at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in March 2019.

Peralta Hacienda “MU巫: 9 Goddesses” – Lead artist Dohee Lee, in collaboration with artist Donald Swearingen, Bay Area Bhutanese Youth, and CoRazOn. This 90-minute musical composition, in which ancestral traditions are transmitted through singing and drumming, will be accompanied by a 3-D motion-tracking, wearable sound-controller system. Inspired by the traditional Korean shamanic healing ritual, Dohee Lee will transform into goddess characters from Korean mythology. The electronic soundscape will be manipulated by Donald Swearingen, enabling Dohee’s body to become a musical instrument during the performance. Holly Alonso, the executive director of Peralta Hacienda, sees the work as critical to engaging the communities surrounding the historical park. “Diversity is a challenge because often people keep to themselves, preferring the comfort of their own families and cultures, even though they feel isolated,” she said. “Immigrants may be unsure of the ways of other cultures, and the dominant culture. Music and performance will bridge these gaps, helping people to understand each other through shared spectacle and through Dohee’s method of creating the work with the community itself.” The contemporary work will be presented in July 2020 at Peralta Hacienda in Oakland with subsequent performances in the Bay Area and around the world.

SFJAZZ “Golden City Suite” – Lead artist Miguel Zenón, in collaboration with multiple jazz musicans, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, and Acción Latina. Multiple Grammy nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón will create a jazz composition for a large ensemble. In partnership with organizations deeply rooted in the history and cultures that created San Francisco, Zenón will conduct interviews as the source material for Golden City Suite, an hour-long work scored for 15 to 20 musicians. “Jazz is a constantly evolving tradition that is endlessly in dialogue with the community that creates, attends, and responds to the music,” said Randall Kline, founder and artistic director of SFJAZZ. “The concerns of that community are necessarily present in the music and how it develops and changes over time.” SFJAZZ and Zenón will seek to include a multitude of populations that have impacted the development of San Francisco, including the Ohlone, Spanish, Mexican, French, Russian, Japanese, African American, Italian, Irish, Chinese, and Filipino communities – and explore the vital role that immigrant communities play in the Bay Area. The work will premiere at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco in May 2020. The project will also be documented for a film.

While the 2017 commissions support music composition, 2018 will focus on theater, spoken word, and musical theater; 2019 will focus on dance and multi-discipline performance art; 2020 will focus on folk and traditional arts; and 2021 will focus on film and media.

For more information about the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, please visit For information about the 2018 grant application process, please visit

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Financial Performance Data Show Profitability In Impact Investing, Enhancing Industry Transparency And Credibility

Press Release – NEW YORK, November 14, 2017 – A growing body of data sheds new light on the promising financial performance of impact investments. A new report, GIIN Perspectives: Evidence on the Financial Performance of Impact Investments, published today by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), provides investors with a comprehensive review of available research to date on the financial performance of impact investments. In addition to describing each study, the report synthesizes findings across available research by asset class and surfaces implications for the industry.

Key findings include:

  • Impact investors that target market-rate returns can achieve them. Across private market strategies – private equity, fixed income and real assets – the distribution of impact investing fund returns is similar to what is seen in analogous conventional markets. The impact themes pursued by these fund managers include financial inclusion, access to clean energy, sustainable timber, and low-income housing.
  • As in conventional markets, performance varies greatly from one fund to the next, indicating that fund manager selection is key to achieving strong returns.
  • Not all impact investments seek to achieve market rates of return. Some impact investors intentionally target below-market returns given the nature of their strategies. Concessionary impact investments can be a sustainable funding source for impactful organizations historically reliant solely on grant funding.
  • Many impact investors take a portfolio approach to building an impact investment strategy across multiple asset classes in order to meet their overall risk/return preferences.

The report evaluates over a dozen studies on the financial performance of funds in three common asset classes in impact investing: private equity, private debt, and real assets, as well as individual investor portfolios allocated across asset classes. Insights were derived from studies produced by a wide range of organizations, including Cambridge Associates, McKinsey & Company, Wharton Social Impact Initiative, Boston Consulting Group, Symbiotics, EngagedX and Impact Investing Australia, as well as the GIIN, among others.

“Increased transparency around financial performance will enable current players to make more informed portfolio allocation decisions, allow new players to more confidently develop market entry strategies, and allow both to set well-informed performance expectations and more accurately evaluate performance,” said GIIN Research Director Abhilash Mudaliar. “To continue to advance and exponentially scale the industry, active impact investors and other field-builders need to embrace an openness to sharing data on the financial and impact performance of their investments, either directly with the public or by contributing to third-party research.”

The report also identifies gaps in current financial performance research and suggests that future analyses should include: target financial returns across strategies and investors’ abilities to meet them; the performance and role of below-market capital across asset classes; fund and investment performance across asset classes at a more granular geographic and sector level; and the relationship between impact objectives, impact measurement and management practice, and financial returns.

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Wender Weis Foundation for Children Brings Bay Area Professional Athletes to AT&T Park for Eighth Annual Holiday Heroes Extravaganza

Olympic Gold Medalists, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, San Jose Earthquakes and Other Bay Area Sports “Heroes” Gather to Raise Funds for Local Children’s Charities that Inspire Youth to Reach for Their Dreams

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO (November 13, 2017) – The Wender Weis Foundation for Children (WWFC) is bringing your favorite Bay Area sports stars to AT&T Park for the eighth annual Holiday Heroes fundraiser on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Now in its twenty-third year of funding innovative programs for underserved children in the areas of sports, arts, and children’s health, WWFC has announced a preliminary line-up of Bay Area athletes for this year’s event, promising a magical night of holiday cheer for San Francisco Bay Area families and children.

Current and former Bay Area athletes – including San Francisco Giants Legend & Home Run King Barry Bonds, Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley, San Francisco 49er players and alums Joe Staley, Solomon Thomas, Eric Heitmann and Dennis Brown, Warriors alum Adonal Foyle, San Jose Earthquakes Chris Wondolowski and Khari Stephenson and more to be announced closer to the event – are scheduled to attend Holiday Heroes, as well as Bay Area team mascots Lou Seal (San Francisco Giants), Sourdough Sam (San Francisco 49ers), Stomper (Oakland A’s) and the San Francisco 49er Gold Rush cheerleaders. The festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. A special VIP reception including field access will begin at 4:30 p.m.

At Holiday Heroes, guests enjoy an exclusive opportunity to meet local athletes while experiencing a holiday celebration featuring children’s games, activities, a silent auction, and behind-the-scenes admittance to AT&T Park – home of three-time World Series Champions the San Francisco Giants. Attendees will enjoy rare access to the San Francisco Giants’ dugout and batting cages, ballpark fare, beverages, and activities such as holiday cookie decorating, teddy bear stuffing, face painting, and photo/video booths. VIP ticket holders will receive early entry to the batting cages and dugouts, make s’mores on the field, and enjoy beverages and appetizers. All are welcome to participate in story time with Amy “G” Gutierrez in the “Reading Corner.” This year, Holiday Heroes will also feature a Teen Hangout exclusively for guests ages 11 to 15 featuring music, activities and food. During the VIP reception, guests can also enjoy special performances by cast members from Disney’s Aladdin and Broadway actress Jenn Gambastese from School of Rock.

“We are so grateful to all of the athletes who participate in Holiday Heroes, helping to make it our biggest fundraising event of the year,” said Amy Wender-Hoch, WWFC founder. “Our goal at Wender Weis Foundation for Children is to inspire children to reach for their dreams and few things are more inspiring to children than meeting their heroes. The money this event generates directly supports programs that help at-risk kids reach their full potential.”

Established in 1994, WWFC has generously donated to several Bay Area organizations that provide support and services to children in need, including UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Warriors Community Foundation, Giants Community Fund, the 49ers Foundation and Safe and Sound.

In addition to its extraordinary support of Bay Area kids, WWFC has designed Holiday Heroes to be an unforgettable holiday celebration for attendees, including children who attend as guests of the foundation. Due to the success of Holiday Heroes over the years, WWFC has been able to host more than 5,000 at-risk children – ranging from four to fifteen years of age – at this special event. Many have called the event the highlight of their year and continue to comment that they feel encouraged, inspired and special when mingling with their favorite sports idols. For some of the children, this will be their only holiday celebration, and the gift bags will be their only holiday presents. Of the 700 children expected to attend this year’s event, 300 children are sponsored by the foundation. Additionally, WWFC plans to host two hundred children who have been displaced and affected by the recent North Bay fires.

This year’s event will include a special presentation of WWFC’s fifth annual Inspiration Award to San Francisco Giants Legend & Home Run King Barry Bonds, recognizing the positive impact he has made on Bay Area children and youth. Jonny Moseley and Natalie Coughlin, Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican, Joe and Jennifer Montana, Brandi Chastain, and Brent Jones are previous recipients of the WWFC Inspiration Award. The award is generously sponsored by Level Construction Supply in conjunction with Tiffany & Co. San Francisco.

The cost to attend Holiday Heroes is $175 to $450 for tickets to the main reception; $300 to $850 for tickets at the VIP Hero level; and $2,750 to $50,000 for Major Sponsor level. A $250 donation sponsors one child and a chaperone from one of WWFC’s benefitting children’s organizations, while a $1,000 donation sponsors two at-risk families from WWFC’s benefiting organizations. A $2,500 donation sponsors a beneficiary organization including round-trip transportation. Proceeds for this year’s Holiday Heroes will benefit Giants Community Fund, Warriors Community Foundation, 49ers Foundation, UCSF Children’s Hospital, Barry Bonds Family Foundation, Do It for the Love Foundation and Fit Kids.

WWFC is also proudly donating proceeds from the event to the Giants Community Fund for the 21st straight year. Sponsored children will attend from the aforementioned charities plus Holy Family Day Home, Family House, 49ers Academy Raphael House and Safe and Sound. Tickets are available for purchase at or by calling (650) 325-5302.

Holiday Heroes 2017 Event Chairpersons are Marie Hurabiell and Mainul Mondal, and Michelle and Jody Harris. Holiday Heroes is sponsored, in part, by TIBCO Software and Level Construction Supply.

About Wender Weis Foundation for Children (WWFC)

Wender Weis Foundation for Children funds innovative programs for underserved children in the areas of sports, the arts, and health.

Wender Weis Foundation for Children (WWFC) provides at-risk children with unique, event-based experiences that offer a break from their daily routine, create a sense of magic, wonder and joy, and open their eyes to the hope and possibilities in their own lives. We donate proceeds from our fundraising efforts to various outreach programs which provide children with opportunities to build their confidence and grow their self-esteem.

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