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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.

Holiday Inn® Brand Awards Manhattan-Based Harlem Grown A “Small Business In A Box” To Expand Work In Harlem Community

Grand Prize Includes $25,000 to Support the Organization’s Extraordinary Journey in 2015

ATLANTA (February 9, 2015) – Greater New York City area non-profit Harlem Grown has been named as the winner of the Holiday Inn® brand’s “Small Business in a Box” contest, receiving a $25,000 grant from the brand to expand its work in the local community. The contest, created to give one visionary entrepreneur the gift of possibility, launched in late December in celebration of the finale of the Holiday Inn and HLN co-created series Growing America: A Journey to Success. The Holiday Inn brand recognized Harlem Grown for its mission to inspire youth in Harlem to live healthy lives through hands-on education and mentorship in urban farming, sustainability and nutrition. Harlem Grown operates several local urban farms in Harlem and plans to use the funds to further its impact in the community it serves.

“Ninety percent of the families of the children we serve are at or below the poverty line, living in public housing and may not otherwise be able to afford access to fresh, organic food,” said Tony Hillery, founding director, Harlem Grown. “Winning the Holiday Inn brand’s ‘Small Business in a Box’ contest affords us the funds to not only reach more families in need, but also clean up areas in the community that are overridden with crime and trash, and transform them into thriving sustainable urban farms, instilling healthy habits in young kids for generations to come.”

Harlem Grown is an organization that understands the importance of children and helping them make smart decisions as they grow into adulthood. Children and their families are also at the heart of the Holiday Inn brand, which was conceived as a way to bring the joy of travel to families in a fun, affordable and comfortable way. Since the first hotel opened more than 60 years ago, Holiday Inn hotels have been committed to providing family-friendly travel options, including the Kids Stay and Eat Free programs. For today’s traveler, the Holiday Inn name stands for more than just a hotel, but for the contemporary design, modern amenities and warm, welcoming service that distinguish the brand.

“Kemmons Wilson created the Holiday Inn brand to change the way people travel, and the brand has a history of supporting and enabling entrepreneurs working to accomplish their goals and positively impact their community,” said Maurice Cooper, vice president, Holiday Inn® brand, the Americas, IHG. “Harlem Grown’s mission and focus on families closely aligns with the values on which the Holiday Inn brand was built, and we look forward to seeing them use the grand prize funds to support their continued extraordinary journey.”

As the winner of the Holiday Inn “Small Business in a Box” contest, Harlem Grown will receive the $25,000 grant, as well as the opportunity to work hand-in-hand for one week with Casey Gerald and Michael Baker, co-founders of MBAs Across America (MBAxAmerica), an innovative program that takes MBA students from some of America’s most prestigious universities and challenges them to take a journey across the U.S., learning from and working with visionary entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their communities. The organization will also receive 140,000 IHG® Rewards Club points to be applied towards future stays at a Holiday Inn property.

The Holiday Inn brand launched the “Small Business in a Box” contest via Twitter on December 22, 2014, asking entrepreneurs across the U.S. to tweet how their small businesses give back to their local communities, using the hashtag #SmallBizWishContest. Ten finalists were chosen from the pool of initial entries and asked to submit a two-minute video highlighting their positive social impact within their hometown, their business vision and what the prize would mean to them. A panel of judges from the Holiday Inn brand and MBAxAmerica then chose Harlem Grown as the overall contest winner from the ten finalists’ videos.

“Small Business in a Box” is the culmination of the Holiday Inn / HLN (a Turner Broadcasting network) co-created series, Growing America: A Journey to Success. The six-episode original series followed teams of MBA students from the MBAxAmerica program, who were given one week to use their expertise to transform small businesses and positively affect communities in cities across the U.S. Throughout the series, the Holiday Inn brand provided hotel accommodations for the MBA teams, giving them a place to relax, refresh and collaborate, and enable their journeys across the country. The brand also documented and shared the extraordinary journeys of these MBA teams and the entrepreneurs through a “Signature Stories” series as part of the Holiday Inn brand’s Journey to Extraordinary campaign.

$1 M in New Funding for SDSU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

An endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation will support learning opportunities for the San Diego community.


SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2015) — San Diego State University is now part of an exclusive network of universities whose lifelong learning programs have received significant private support.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at SDSU is one of 117 in the nation to receive a $1 million endowment from The Bernard Osher Foundation to secure its future and support continued growth.

The gift coincides with the 10th anniversary of OLLI at SDSU, which offers university-quality courses without tests or grades to San Diego community members 50 years of age or “better.” SDSU President Elliot Hirshman announced the gift during an anniversary celebration Saturday morning at the university’s Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.

“We are deeply grateful to Bernie Osher, Mary Bitterman and the entire staff of The Bernard Osher Foundation for their extremely generous support of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Diego State,” said Hirshman. “Through their endowment support, San Diego State will provide opportunities for lifelong learning and enrichment to members of our community in perpetuity.”

More than 145 courses

In the last decade, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SDSU has expanded to include 700 members and more than 145 course offerings annually.

Many SDSU faculty are among the instructors, lecturing on a wide variety of subjects including history, theatre, world affairs, literature, political science, cultural studies and creative arts.

Courses are offered through SDSU’s College of Extended Studies, and the OLLI is operated by CES staff and supported by Osher Institute volunteers, including an advisory board and four committees.

“The Bernard Osher Foundation is delighted to recognize the accomplishments of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Diego State University with this endowment gift,” said Mary Bitterman, president of The Bernard Osher Foundation. “We applaud the Institute’s dedicated volunteers and staff—as well as the leadership of the University—for developing such an exceptional educational program.”

Local history and wine-tasting

The 2015 spring course schedule highlights local and state history with a lecture and a book club about the Panama-California Exposition staged in San Diego a century ago.

Another new offering for OLLI members affords an opportunity to join the College of Extended Studies’ October 2015 study abroad program in Spain. The nine-day course examines the wine and cuisine of Spain’s Catalan, Rioja and Basque regions.

At the celebration Saturday morning, students and prospective students had an opportunity to meet course instructors and view video highlights from the first decade of the OLLI.

More about the Bernard Osher Foundation

The Bernard Osher Foundation makes grants and endowment gifts to colleges, universities, and other non-profit organizations in four program areas: post-secondary scholarships, lifelong learning institutes for seasoned adults, select integrative medicine programs, and arts and educational organizations.

The foundation currently supports 119 lifelong learning programs on university and college campuses across the country, with at least one grantee in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Initial grants of $100,000 have been made with the understanding that once a lifelong learning institute is launched, the foundation would consider renewal of the grant for two or more years with a view to providing an endowment gift of no less than $1 million if the institute was able to demonstrate potential for success and sustainability.

MCSF Names State Farm’s Emily Clark to Board of Directors

(BIRMINGHAM, AL) – The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation proudly welcomes Emily Clark of State Farm Insurance to its Board of Directors. Ms. Clark is responsible for public affairs, community relations, safety and education initiatives in Alabama and Mississippi.

“We are delighted to welcome Emily into the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation family,” MCSF Founder and President Dr. Shelley Stewart said. “State Farm has been a strong national partner of the Foundation since its earliest days, and Emily has been a pacesetter in bringing innovation and leadership to our efforts to keep the nation’s children on track for education. We look forward to even brighter days ahead with her inclusion into the Board of Directors.”

Emily Clark

Emily Clark

Clark is a graduate of Jacksonville State University with a degree in business management and received her master’s degree in advertising and public relations from the University of Alabama. She is on the board of directors for the Alabama JumpStart Coalition of Alabama and F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (Families Reaching, Influencing, Educating & Networking for Down Syndrome), and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

She joins fellow MCSF Board members Carmen J. Smith, vice president of Creative Development Inclusive Strategies for Walt Disney Imagineering; Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc.; Stan Lawler, president of Lawler Foundry Corporation; and Matthew Dent, president and chief operating officer of Buffalo Rock Company.

Shelley Stewart founded the MCSF in 2007 in honor of his late mother, Mattie C. Stewart. The Birmingham-based nonprofit has since reached some 17 million students, teachers, parents and community leaders in 49 states and Canada through tools such as The Choice Bus, the InsideOut documentary and toolkit, and the Learn2Earn financial curriculum. The recently published book Mattie C.’s Boy – the Shelley Stewart Story covers Stewart’s amazing life story, with proceeds going to the foundation (

About The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation

The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the dropout rate. The foundation was established in honor of Dr. Shelley Stewart’s late mother, Mattie C. Stewart, in the summer of 2007 and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. The mission of the foundation is to create tools and resources to help educators, community leaders and parents effectively address the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate. The foundation also partners with America’s Promise Alliance, Communities In Schools, Jobs for Alabama’s Graduates, the National Dropout Prevention Center, PepsiCo, Shelby County, State Farm and Verizon Wireless. For more information, visit

Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation Celebrates “Mutts Across America” For The 2nd Year By Granting More Than $200,000 Dollars To 50 Shelters in 50 States

Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation is thrilled to continue their Mutts Across America: 50 States/50 Shelters initiative. A total of $206,000 was distributed to shelters in each of the 50 states in January, with the minimum donation to an individual shelter being $3000. Miranda Lambert said, “I feel so passionately about helping all animals and I’m thrilled that we have once again been able to give to phenomenal shelters all across the country. The people at these shelters do such amazing work day in and day out and are truly heroes for the animals.”

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The MuttNation Foundation board worked diligently to find the most deserving shelters in each of the 50 states. MNF does not solicit grant applications. The board researches shelters on their own in order to surprise the selected recipients. The criteria used in the decision to support these shelters were:

  • High adoption per intake rate: At least 90% successful adoption rate. Low euthanasia rate (10%)
  • High volunteerism: People rarely jump on/stay on a sinking ship. Do they push volunteerism?
  • Fiscally responsible: Do they have low administrative/staff ratios?
  • High activity/fundraising: Are they working hard to earn income?
  • Any specialties: MNF selected a zoo, a horse sanctuary, disabled pet farm, and an elderly/senior pet sanctuary, a last chance rescue for animals from other shelters and a blind farm to name a few. What is special about them?
  • Presence in the community: Do they work outside of the shelter to adopt out or minister to elderly, schools, etc.?
  • Current website: Do they send newsletters? Is their site/Facebook updated? Do they appear to still have the “fire”?
  • Spay and neuter push: Are they heavily advocating/helping in spay and neuter campaigns, clinics and activities?
  • Reasonable adoption hours: Are they open on weekends, nights, and/or weekdays? How many hours?

As explained by MNF co-founder Bev Lambert, “In October 2014 we took over our first owned and operated shelter in Tishomingo, OK, Redemption Ranch. Prior to that, we didn’t operate a shelter but we adhered to the belief that we should “hold up the arms” of those who do. We are fortunate enough to have the funding again this year to continue this initiative which is so important. We believe the selected shelters stand as examples in the fight to end animal homelessness, abuse and neglect, as well as encouraging adoption, spay and neuter programs and avoiding needless euthanasia.”

MNF continues to support their partners in animal rescue at The American Humane Association and Northshore Animal League as well as Miranda’s home town shelters, Redemption Ranch in OK and Pet Fur People in East Texas. A complete list of the shelters that received donations is available at MuttNationFoundation.


MuttNation Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and all contributions are 100% tax deductible; it has raised over $1.5 M the past seven years. To donate please visit: MuttNationFoundation. Miranda and her mother, Bev, make every effort to ensure that your hard-earned dollars are going to spay and neuter efforts, medical treatments, adoptions, preventions, transportation, legislative changes, and education. By contributing, you are making a difference to end animal cruelty, neglect, and homelessness.


Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Miranda Lambert is the reigning five-time CMA and reigning five-time ACM Female Vocalist of the Year (the first time any female has won 5 consecutive years for either of these organizations). The first single off of Lambert’s fifth studio album, Platinum, “Automatic,” was Lambert’s highest charting first week single to date and won CMA Song of the Year. Her duet with Carrie Underwood, the album’s second single, “Somethin’ Bad,” has been certified as an RIAA Platinum Digital Single. Her 3rd single “Little Red Wagon” is currently chasing up the charts.

Platinum, made history when it debuted atop Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart, making Lambert the first country artist in the history of the chart to have each of her five albums debut at number one. Platinum also debuted at the top of the all genre Billboard 200 as the number one album in the nation.

In addition to her award winning music, she dedicates much of her time to her MuttNation Foundation. She owns two lifestyle boutiques, general stores she named, The Pink Pistol, that are located in her hometown of Lindale, Texas, and Tishomingo, Oklahoma. She also added The Ladysmith, a bed & breakfast in Tishomingo, to her empire this past year. In addition, Lambert has designed a shoe line that is available at DSW, Off Broadway, Shoe Dept, and other retailers across the country.

United Way, Elementary School Principals, Scholastic Launch National “Adopt-A-School” Program

— Innovative Program to Bring Vital Literacy Resources to Schools Across America —

ALEXANDRIA, VA (Feb. 3, 2015) – United Way Worldwide in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and Scholastic launched the “Club Connect Adopt-A-School” program across the country today. The ground breaking national program provides resources to the elementary schools most in need of improving early grade reading.

“The Club Connect Adopt a School program is an opportunity for all of us to work together and promote the value of reading and the importance of literacy,” said Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way Worldwide. “Research shows that improving reading levels as early as third grade is a key strategy to reducing high school dropout rates. Our goal is to have every Title I school in America adopted through Club Connect.”

Club Connect helps participating elementary schools by providing relevant books and resources to promote reading and parent engagement throughout the entire year. In addition, every child receives a free one-year membership to the Club Connect website, which encourages a love for reading and offers incentives to read after school and through the summer. The interactive website features educational games, videos, e-books and more. Parental engagement is also a primary focus, which empowers the families to help their children read and learn, especially during the summer.

The program also includes a state-of-the-art “Reading Oasis” from Scholastic set up at all participating schools, a wonderful space with hundreds of books for grades PK-3, a stereo listening center and colorful furniture. The Reading Oasis is a safe and inviting location where families and community partners can meet and enjoy reading together while gaining access to books year-round.

“After traveling to visit principals in more than a dozen states, their message is consistent and clear…we need to do more to engage kids in reading after school and in the summer months,” said Bill O’Dowd, member of the Worldwide Leadership Council of United Way and creator of Club Connect. “At lower income levels there is only one age appropriate book in the home for every 300 children. Club Connect was designed to give these kids a chance.”

Fifteen schools have participated in Club Connect pilot programs, and provided valuable insights and positive feedback leading up to this national launch. The inaugural Reading Oasis installation is taking place today at Chalmette Elementary School in the greater New Orleans area, hosted by United Way of Southeast Louisiana.

“We are thrilled to bring Club Connect to our school,” said Doris Votier, Superintendent of Schools, St. Parish County Public Schools. “We know that reading is critical to academic success, and if these skills are not mastered in the early years, children will fall further and further behind. The incredible Reading Oasis and generous Club Connect memberships are wonderful opportunities for our students and their families.”

For $10,000 per year, donors can adopt a school and help hundreds of children. United Way Worldwide is also announcing a crowdfunding tool for people to give donations as small as $20 to the national program, or they can choose to direct their funds to a specific school’s Club Connect program. Individuals, corporations and organizations are encouraged to participate and adopt a school in their local communities. They can visit to adopt a school or donate to United Way Club Connect there. There are also numerous opportunities to volunteer at participating schools across the country.

About United Way

With more than 2.8 million volunteers and 9.7 million donors worldwide, and more than $5 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. It is working in nearly 1,800 communities across 41 countries and territories to create community solutions that improve life for everyone. Across the world, United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, civic and faith organizations, as well as educators, labor, health organizations, government and more.


Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle school principals in the United States and internationally. NAESP supports principals as the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning through policy and professional development, advocacy, programs, and resources for effective instructional leadership. NAESP advances the profession on behalf of all principals, providing specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. Key focus areas include pre-K-3 education, school safety, technology and digital learning, and capacity-building educator evaluation. For more information about NAESP, please visit

About Scholastic

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality books, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at home. The Company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based book clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, on-air, and online at

McCourt Global Makes Transformative $10m Investment In The Future Project To Launch The Award-Winning Non-Profit’s Campaign To Reach Millions Of Young Americans

Company to Serve as Strategic Partner as The Future Project Inspires Students Across the Country to Live Lives of Passion and Purpose

NEW YORK CITY – February 3, 2015 – McCourt Global (MG), a leader in building value through entrepreneurial, strategic, and philanthropic investments, today announced that it has made a transformative $10 million investment in The Future Project (TFP) – one of the fastest-growing non-profits in America – to help it meet the national demand for its award-winning model of inspiring young people to discover the power within themselves to fulfill their dreams and change the world. MG will serve as TFP’s strategic partner and provide the organization with counsel, resources, and operational support as it mobilizes young people to build their futures and the future of the country.

“The Future Project is changing the national dialogue by inspiring America’s youth to define the future on their terms, to be excited about the possibilities of tomorrow, and to hold themselves and the world around them accountable for delivering on the promises upon which America was built,” said Frank H. McCourt, Jr., Chairman and CEO of McCourt Global. “Those powerful concepts fueled the fires that created this country and made it great, and those are the very same concepts that can reignite the torch of America’s greatness. I expect McCourt Global’s investment in The Future Project will be one of best we’ve ever made – it’s an investment in our youth, our communities, and our country, which will reap unlimited dividends for years to come.”

Co-founded in 2011 by social entrepreneurs Andrew Mangino and Kanya Balakrishna – who currently serve as CEO and president respectively – TFP embeds entrepreneurial “Dream Directors,” recruited from within the communities they serve, in schools around the country to expose young people to the dreams and passions they can pursue, instill in them a belief that they can achieve what seems ‘impossible,’ and teach them the hard skills they need to turn their dreams into reality. Students design and implement “Future Projects” in partnership with their peers and volunteer coaches that prepare them to solve problems in an increasingly complex world – and awaken them to the power of their ideas. The TFP model – which has been designed in partnership with dozens of educators and students across the nation – is built on cutting-edge research about the mindset and skillset young people need most in the 21st Century in order to flourish personally – and become leaders of building a better world.

“By making this unprecedented investment in our mission to fulfill the unmet promise of our country to all of its young people, McCourt Global has taken a bold stand that non-profits should not be afraid to pursue their biggest dreams, even when those dreams require significant capital,” Mangino said. “We’re now able to invite the millions of Americans out there with so much passion and purpose – future Dream Directors, volunteers, principals, teachers, parents, and of course the young people themselves whose voices are too often left out – to answer the call to action of this decade: to build a more perfect union by empowering the next generation like never before. And we hope McCourt Global’s investment – and the partnership underlying it – inspires philanthropists of all kinds to think even bigger about the difference they can make, no matter their cause.”

Based in New York City, TFP has nearly 70 full-time employees and works with thousands of young people across seven states. The organization is supported by a Board of Directors and advisors that include many of today’s leading philanthropists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, educators, authors, and visionaries. TFP currently works with young people in New York City, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Newark, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, and New Haven, CT; and after seeing outsized demand for its model from thousands of students, educators, and institutions nationwide, plans to grow its presence and impact to all corners of the country by the end of the decade. TFP is the recipient of the Ashoka Fellowship, awarded to the world’s leading social entrepreneurs with audacious visions of systemic change; and the Draper Richards Kaplan Fellowship, awarded to the most promising early-stage non-profits in America (past recipients have included Kiva, Room to Read, and the Mission Continues).

“McCourt Global believes in The Future Project and its mission, and we intend this investment to be a transformative opportunity for the organization,” McCourt continued. “Given the daily challenges not-for-profits often experience simply keeping the lights on and making payroll, it is understandably difficult for them to operate strategically and drive rapid growth. Today, the need for a new paradigm is far too acute to allow an organization like The Future Project to be held back by fundraising cycles. This investment and our ongoing partnership will enable The Future Project to take the long view – to operate strategically and to help bring about the significant changes our young people and our nation are hungry for. As importantly, we expect our investment will prompt others to join The Future Project’s growing team of investors and partners.”

“My family moved to America when I was five years old because we believed the United States was a place of limitless possibility, optimism, and ingenuity – a place where anyone could create the life and world they imagine,” Balakrishna said. “These ideas are a core part of the American narrative – but for too many people, especially young people, they are nowhere close to reality. Today, we are inviting Americans of all kinds to join us and thousands of young people in changing the status quo. Millions of lives – and our national spirit – is at stake. We have the chance, together, to inspire a generation to lead us into the future and change this country for the better.”

About McCourt Global

McCourt Global (MG) is a leader in building value through entrepreneurial, strategic, and philanthropic investments. With roots dating back to 1893, MG was founded by real estate developer and philanthropist Frank H. McCourt, Jr. MG’s principal business units include: MG Properties, its real estate investment and development arm with current projects in New York City, Miami, and Austin; MG Capital, the global investment solutions unit that recently launched specialty finance firm MGG Investment Group; and MG Sports & Media, whose businesses include the LA Marathon and Global Champions Tour, the premier global show jumping series. MG is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Los Angeles. Additional information can be found at

Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation to Host Gala Fundraising Dinner at Chicago’s House of Blues

CHICAGO (January 29, 2015) – The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Midwest Division will host its fourth annual Blazing the Trail Benefit Event at 6:00 PM on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at the House of Blues in Chicago. The proceeds from the benefit fund the Midwest Division’s community grants program and will go directly to local nonprofits that serve health, education, and safety initiatives for their respective communities.

The “Swingin’ 60s” serves as the theme for the night. During the event, Zurich North America will be honored with IICF’s 2015 Trailblazer Award for philanthropic leadership in the Midwest region. The award will be accepted by Kathleen Savio, President, Programs and Direct Markets at Zurich North America.

“The Blazing the Trail event, coupled with IICF fundraising activities across the Midwest, has allowed the insurance industry to raise more than $1.3 million for regional non-profits since 2011,” said Marty Hughes, CEO of Hub International, member of IICF’s National Board of Governors, and Blazing the Trail Benefit Chair. “We’re looking forward to hosting another event that brings together Midwest-based insurance professionals for a celebration of philanthropy.”

Through its grant program, IICF reinvests funds raised by a region back into that same region and its communities. In 2014, IICF’s Midwest Division provided $682,000 in grants for 48 local non-profit organizations in Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

About the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF)

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation was established in 1994 and is completely directed and funded by the insurance industry. The foundation helps communities and enriches lives by uniting the collective strengths of the industry to provide grants, volunteer service and leadership. Since its inception in 1994, IICF has contributed more than $23.5 million in grants to charities and nearly 200,000 volunteer hours to hundreds of community nonprofit organizations. IICF is a registered not-for-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Learn more at about the IICF at

Mongram Foods Debuts Impact10 To Benefit 10 Local Charities

Company Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary with $100,000 Charitable Giving Program

MEMPHIS, TN – (February 2, 2015) – In keeping with its mission to support and give back to its home community, Memphis-based Monogram Foods will celebrate its tenth anniversary through its creation of IMPACT10, a philanthropic campaign that will give away $100,000 to 10 charities in Memphis and the Mid-South.

IMPACT10 recipients will be randomly selected to receive $1,000 a year for the next 10 years. As part of the IMPACT10 charitable effort, Monogram also pledges to perform 10 acts of kindness in Memphis and the Mid-South area, and encourages participants to do the same. Nominations of deserving charities can be submitted through the IMPACT10 website at

Since its inception 10 years ago, Monogram Foods has become a leader in the nation’s meat snack industry and has created a proud tradition of investing in the communities where its employees live.

About Monogram Foods

Founded in 2004 with the purchase of King Cotton and Circle B Brand meats from Sara Lee Corporation, Monogram Foods manufactures and distributes top-quality food products. Monogram Foods brands include: Wild Bill’s, O’Brien’s, Trail’s Best, Hannah’s, Bull’s and licensed brands Bass Pro Shop’s Uncle Buck’s, Johnsonville and Butterball. Monogram Foods also produces a wide variety of private-label brand meat snacks, smoked meats, corn dogs and pre-cooked bacon for strategic partners throughout the nation. Monogram Foods operates facilities in Virginia, Minnesota, Indiana, Texas and Iowa.

Follow Monogram Foods and the IMPACT10 campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @MonogramFoods with #IMPACT10.

Leading Native American Business Event to Return to Las Vegas, March 9th-12th

National Reservation Economic Summit (RES), presented by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, to take place at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino

January 30, 2015 – Las Vegas, NV —The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (National Center) will host its National Reservation Economic Summit (National RES) from March 9th – 12th at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. National RES is another multifaceted event from the National Center, which will feature unparalleled access to respected tribal leaders, federal agency representatives, elected officials, and top CEOs. Attendees will benefit from high caliber networking opportunities, business development sessions, a business tradeshow and expo, American Indian Artisan Market, procurement sessions, business matchmaking, and much more. Now in its fourth decade, National RES is the country’s leading Native American business event.

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“While our regional RES events have been tremendous successes, we are looking forward to once again returning to Las Vegas for our signature national event,” said National Center President and CEO Gary Davis. “National RES 2015 will connect Indian Country to business opportunities across many different sectors and fields. We will host business leaders, tribal representatives, and many others from across the U.S. in Las Vegas in a few weeks.”

The event kicks off with a scholarship golf tournament on Monday, March 9th. The opening day will feature a business boot camp, covering such topics as access to capital, communications, accounting, workforce development, and others. Monday also features the “Buy Native Procurement Expo” powered by the Small Business Administration.

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National RES will place a heavy focus on energy, and high-level officials within the Department of Energy will be at the event to discuss DOE programs. National RES will feature the largest American Indian business trade show and an “Interactive Access to Capital Fair” wherein attendees are encouraged to bring their projects to National RES to meet one-on-one with potential funders. Dozens of business development and training sessions will address topics such as e-commerce, federal and corporate contracting, agriculture, taxation, telecommunications, and legislative activity, including implementation of the Buy Indian Act… and much more.

To learn more about National RES, please visit For a copy of the draft agenda, please click here.

About the National Center:

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation. Our motto is: “We Mean Business For Indian Country” as we are actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.

U.S. Charitable Giving Tops $450 Billion in 2014

Initial forecast for 2015 predicts drop in donations

DALLAS, Texas (January 28, 2015)—Atlas of Giving today shared the 2014 final report on charitable giving in the United States and released the initial 2015 giving forecast. As noted in the final report, Americans gave a record $456.7 billion to charity in 2014. According to the year-end report, total donations grew by 9.3% over 2014, fueled by favorable economic factors that drive giving, an increase in the number of nonprofit organizations, the impact of donor advised funds, as well as advances in fundraising technology and techniques.

“Charitable giving in the U.S. is primarily a function of specific economic and demographic factors, coupled with the impact of regional, national and world events,” Rob Mitchell, CEO of the Atlas of Giving, said. “How a charity chooses to go about raising money and who they raise it from determines what impact the various drivers of giving activity have on gifts to that organization.”

The biggest gains in gift revenue were realized by human services/disaster relief organizations, educational institutions and environmental causes. In 2014, double digit growth in stock prices encouraged these increases in giving to organizations such as colleges and universities, which rely heavily on large gifts and capital campaigns. An improved employment picture coupled with reduced energy prices boosted giving from discretionary income to disaster relief, social service agencies and environmental programs, most of which depend on a high volume of smaller donations to fund operations.

Improved consumer confidence also played a role in giving growth. “Mood matters,” Mitchell, said. “When consumers feel better about the economy, they tend to give more.”

The report also cites low inflation and historically low interest rates as factors which contributed to a robust year of receipts for America’s nonprofits. Other factors which contributed to the rise in giving include a continued surge in the number of new nonprofits and churches in the U.S., as well as an enormous increase in contributions to donor advised fund accounts. In fact, the number of U.S. nonprofit organizations recognized by the IRS has grown 50% since 2003.

Mitchell says the impact of donor advised funds on giving is enormous and growing. “In 2014, donor advised funds accounted for $29.4 billion in giving. That’s 6.4% of all giving in the U.S.” Mitchell noted.

While donations to churches and religious causes remains the largest giving category, representing one third of all gifts, giving to religious organizations grew at a rate of only 6.4% in 2014. Comparatively, gifts to human services/disaster relief organizations increased 12.7%, while gifts to environmental causes and educational institutions rose 11.8% and 11.5%, respectively.

The initial forecast for giving in 2015 is far less positive. The Atlas projects that giving could actually drop from 2014 levels by as much as 3.2%. The last time total annual giving fell was in 2009, when recessionary conditions brought about a 5.8% decline from the 2008 total. The forecast cites an anticipated stock market correction, along with an expected rise in interest rates in the second half of 2015 as primary drivers of an upcoming downturn in giving.

Global economic factors are also expected to negatively impact 2015 giving. Weakening economies in Germany, France and Italy could negatively impact many American corporations, and rising geostrategic competition from Asia may weaken the value of some U.S. companies, putting pressure on American jobs and compensation levels.

The Atlas of Giving reports and forecasts U.S. charitable giving on a monthly basis by charitable sector, gift source and all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.

The full Atlas of Giving report on 2014 giving and forecast for 2015 is available at no charge at

About The Atlas of Giving

The Atlas of Giving is an economic intelligence tool created to measure and reliably forecast charitable giving in the United States. The Atlas of Giving was originally engineered by Philanthromax, LLC in 2010. Data from the Atlas of Giving is gathered from a series of proprietary algorithms using multiple economic and demographic variables. The algorithms match published giving data for the last 42 years with a 99.5% coefficient of correlation. The Atlas of Giving accounts for the entire giving economy and is the most precise and timely measurement of total charitable giving in the United States, as well as the only giving forecast. For more information, visit

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