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

Nonprofit crowdfunding course

Devin D. Thorpe

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Philanthropy

This category includes stories about philanthropy, typically covering the generosity of individuals, families, groups of individuals and foundations (nonprofits primarily in the business of funding other nonprofits.

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IIX works with ATEC Biodigesters to raise Series-A investment, bringing Australian and French investors together into the Impact Investment market in Asia

Press Release – August 18th, 2017 — ATEC Biodigesters (ATEC), an Australian-Cambodian Social Enterprise has raised US$700,000 in a Series-A equity round to expand its operations in Cambodia as well as to explore other international opportunities in the household waste-to-energy market. The investment was made by a consortium of investors, led by Small Giants (Australia) and consisting of Fondation Ensemble (France), ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies (France) and one other private Australian investor. The investment round has then been matched with a further €250,000 in results-based-financing by EEP Mekong, a Government of Finland initiative.

“Clean energy solutions that utilise natural systems principles to unlock the inherent energy in our waste streams have the potential to transform the way we power homes across the world”, says Dan Fitzgerald, Chief Investment Officer for Small Giants, an Australian family office devoted to investing 100% of their resources for impact. “The world needs innovative, replicable technologies in the clean energy sector, and we believe ATEC is at the leading edge both in Cambodia and internationally.”

ATEC’s unique household biodigester technology was founded and developed through a partnership of two Australian non-profits working in Cambodia, Engineers Without Borders Australia and Live and Learn Environmental Education, for specific application in seasonally-flooded countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia. By installing a biodigester system, families in rural Cambodia utilize gas as a source of reliable and free energy, replacing traditional wood-burning cook stoves with a cleaner, healthier, and eco-friendly alternative. The system also produces a high-quality organic fertilizer that increases crop yield and can also be used as a substitute for chemical fertilizer. Combining these benefits, an average rural Cambodian family can save $260 per year, a short video on ATEC’s technology can be seen here.

“Three years ago we pitched our concept to our seed funders Google & SNV, who were willing to take a risk with us to see if we could make this technology viable,” says Ben Jeffreys, CEO of ATEC, “to now have the technology validated with over 250 units in the ground and this fantastic investor group on-board, it’s an amazing step forward in bringing this high-impact technology to those who needs it most”.

ATEC raised investment with support from Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) through the award-winning ACTS (Acceleration for Capacity-building and Technical Services) program sponsored by USAID. The program supports Impact Enterprises from across the region with technical assistance and an impact assessment, along with support throughout the capital raise process.

“ATEC Biodigesters is an innovative company with the potential to create immense impact through the dissemination of its technology. IIX was honored to support ATEC through the IIX ACTS program and we are incredibly excited to see investors come together from Australia and France,” said Robert Kraybill, Managing Director at IIX.

About IIX: IIX is a Singapore-based impact enterprise that bridges the gap between finance and development, carving out a third space for social and environmental solutions by unlocking investment capital. As a pioneer of impact investing, IIX builds pathways to connect the Wall Streets of the world with the backstreets of underserved communities. IIX platforms and innovative financial products enable impact enterprises to accelerate their business and scale their positive impact, while pushing the impact investing space from the margins to the mainstream. IIX operates Impact Partners, a private platform that connects Impact Investors with a select group of pre-screened Impact Enterprises seeking investment capital. To date, the work of IIX has spanned 20 countries and continues to expand with the mission of unlocking US$1billion of impact investment capital, impacting 100 million lives by 2025.

About ATEC: ATEC* Biodigesters is a new social enterprise that produces, sells and distributes a custom-manufactured 3.25m3 biodigester design manufactured in Phnom Penh. The ATEC Biodigester is a rotor-moulded unit designed for the challenging environments of rural farmers. To date over 300 units have been sold within Cambodia within Cambodia, providing renewable gas for cooking, 20 tons of organic fertilizer per year, and saving the average rural family US$5,850 over the product lifetime.


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Henkel Joins The New Plastics Economy: A Collaboration Platform Promoting Innovation In Packaging And Recycling

Transforming the future – together

Press Release – Henkel is joining forces with partners from across industries to spark a wave of innovation in the design, production and recycling of packaging materials. As a participant in the New Plastics Economy initiative, the company will share its leading expertise to drive progress toward efficient, safe and environmentally sustainable packaging.

The New Plastics Economy (NPEC) is a three-year initiative aiming to build momentum toward a plastics system based on the “circular economy” principle. The central idea of the circular economy is to gather materials after they have been used and process them so they can be reintegrated into another production process – over and over again. This saves resources and reduces the environmental impact. The NPEC is bringing key stakeholders together to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging. It is targeting a shift away from incremental improvements and fragmented initiatives, and moving toward a shared direction that delivers positive outcomes along the plastics value chain. The initiative is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

“Henkel is delighted to be part of the New Plastics Economy, and we’re looking forward to working with partners to drive innovations that make a big impact,” says Dr. Thorsten Leopold, Head of International Packaging Development for Home Care products. “Our company is in a strong position to make a valuable contribution to the NPEC because of its unique business model: On the one hand, Henkel can contribute as a manufacturer of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), like laundry detergent, shampoo or glue sticks. However, the company is also a global leader in adhesives and other advanced technologies that are used for packaging applications: These range from glues that seal boxes or secure product labels, through to functional and protective coatings for plastic packaging, and adhesives that hold the different layers of flexible packaging together. Taken together, this means we’re able to offer expertise from both perspectives, as an FMCG manufacturer and a supplier of adhesives and other technologies: Which gives our teams a uniquely broad understanding of the challenges and possible solutions related to packaging.”

Throughout its 140-year history, Henkel has leveraged its innovative power to drive leadership in sustainability. Commitment to leadership in sustainability is anchored firmly in Henkel’s corporate values. In line with this commitment, Henkel’s teams of packaging developers continually create innovative, intelligent and resource-efficient packaging solutions, by focusing on three principles: prevent, reduce, and reuse. This means producing less packaging and waste, developing better packaging and enabling a circular economy.

Henkel’s innovations in sustainable packaging include the bottles for its premium brand Perwoll Wolle & Feines in Germany, which were manufactured with 15 percent recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from post-consumer sources during a recent pilot project. Henkel’s packaging experts were able to retain the luminous pink color of the Perwoll bottle without making any compromises on the performance or fragrance of the product. The company also collaborated with Ball Corporation, a manufacturer of metal packaging including cans, to develop a technology enabling the use of up to 25 percent recycled aluminum in cans for the deodorant sprays from Henkel’s Fa, Souplesse and Neutromed brands. The buckets for Henkel’s Metylan wallpaper paste are another example: They are made of 50 percent recycled material and 50 percent waste from industrial production that is fed back into the process for manufacturing new buckets.

Participating in the NPEC forms part of Henkel’s comprehensive strategy for sustainable packaging. This is built around a set of key targets for the year 2020:

  • Reduce the weight of packaging measured against net sales to 20 percent (base year 2010).
  • Increase the proportion of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in bottles to 33 percent in Europe, and the proportion of recycled aluminum in cans to 9 percent.
  • Reach more than 300 million consumers through more targeted information on recycling.

These targets pay into Henkel’s overall sustainability strategy, which aims to triple the value it creates for the footprint made by its operations, products and services by the year 2030 (base year 2010). It calls this ambition to become three times more efficient “Factor 3”.

More information on Henkel’s approach to packaging can be found at http://www.henkel.com/sustainability/what-we-do/smart-packaging

More information on Henkel’s overall approach to sustainability can be found at http://www.henkel.com/sustainability/

About Henkel

Henkel operates globally with a well-balanced and diversified portfolio. The company holds leading positions with its three business units in both industrial and consumer businesses thanks to strong brands, innovations and technologies. Henkel Adhesive Technologies is the global leader in the adhesives market – across all industry segments worldwide. In its Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care businesses, Henkel holds leading positions in many markets and categories around the world. Founded in 1876, Henkel looks back on more than 140 years of success. In 2016, Henkel reported sales of 18.7 billion euros and adjusted operating profit of 3.2 billion euros. Combined sales of the respective top brands of the three business units – Loctite, Schwarzkopf and Persil – amounted to more than 6 billion euros. Henkel employs more than 50,000 people globally – a passionate and highly diverse team, united by a strong company culture, a common purpose to create sustainable value, and shared values. As a recognized leader in sustainability, Henkel holds top positions in many international indices and rankings. Henkel’s preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX. For more information, please visit www.henkel.com.


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Electrolux Partners With Sustainability Festival The Stockholm Act

Press Release – Electrolux is proud to be a contributing partner of the inaugural The Stockholm Act; a festival beginning August 21 to raise awareness for sustainable development towards 2030. Hosting a wide range of events in Stockholm during one week, Electrolux will work with partners to showcase initiatives related to sustainable cooking, reducing food waste and caring for clothes.

The Stockholm Act brings together people from politics, business, science and art to explore steps to build a more sustainable world – with action needed toward the ‘Agenda 2030’ to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals signed by all United Nations (UN) members in 2015.

Sustainability is a core part of the Electrolux business strategy and supports the company’s purpose to ‘Shape living for the better’. Electrolux sustainability framework comprises nine promises in three key areas, addressing many of the UN Sustainability Goals. With the events organized during The Stockholm Act, Electrolux will highlight and raise awareness mainly about goals 2 (Zero Hunger) and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).

Electrolux Head of Sustainability Affairs Henrik Sundström said: “Partnering with The Stockholm Act is a great opportunity to jointly raise awareness of the UN goals and build a more sustainable future. Through showcasing our own sustainability initiatives, we hope to contribute to learnings that help drive sustainable development towards 2030 at both a local and global level.”

Events by or with Electrolux during The Stockholm Act include:

  • A taste-along with Tasteology, a mini-documentary series deconstructing the concept of taste from a fresh perspective. More info.
  • A Transformation Talk on Electrolux journey to work more with partners in the area of social enagement. Electrolux representatives discuss this together with partners Worldchefs, AIESEC and Stockholm City Mission. More info.
  • Waste Tasting – a unique dinner experience aiming to inspire and educate around food waste to make a change for the better. The dinner also includes a short panel discussion with spokespeople from Stockholm’s food waste scene and will be the premiere for a mini-documentary around food waste. More info.
  • A Care & Repair Station together with Houdini, aiming to educating around sustainability and how to better care for your clothes. More info.
  • The Zero Waste Market in collaboration with the Stockholm City Mission, shedding light on sustainable consumption patterns. Smoothies made by vegan chef Sebastian Schauermann using rescued fruits and vegetables and other sample treats made of donated surplus food will be served for free. More info.
  • A smoothie pop-up bar installed by Electrolux on the topic of how to reduce food waste. The smoothies will be served by Eat Easier, a startup run by three high school students. Food will be provided by Sopköket, a startup offering gourmet catering and school meals made out of rescued food and providing jobs for youths and long-term employees. More info.

Electrolux shapes living for the better by reinventing taste, care and wellbeing experiences, making life more enjoyable and sustainable for millions of people. As a leading global appliance company, we place the consumer at the heart of everything we do. Through our brands, including Electrolux, AEG, Anova, Frigidaire, Westinghouse and Zanussi, we sell more than 60 million household and professional products in more than 150 markets every year. In 2016 Electrolux had sales of SEK 121 billion and employed 55,000 people around the world. For more information go to www.electroluxgroup.com.

Source: http://news.cision.com/


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Sustainability Thought Leaders and Innovators to Come Together at Yale University

Preeminent event provides unprecedented access for participants with industry experts

Press Release – NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 07 /CSRwire/ – Sustainability professionals from around the world will gather at Yale University this September 12-15 for four days of thought-provoking lectures and interactive discussions at the Yale Sustainability Leadership Forum.

The Forum’s small class size fosters an environment of idea sharing and gives participants and speakers an opportunity to interact one-on-one. Speakers are distinguished thought leaders and innovators drawn from Yale’s renowned Law School, School of Management, and School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, as well as leading practitioners in government and industry. They collectively offer an essential set of strategies and sustainability principles to guide our institutions, governments, businesses, and society.

The Director of the Forum, Professor Daniel C. Esty, brings decades of groundbreaking thinking on environmental law, policy, sustainability innovation, and public-private partnerships to the Forum.

Video: Professor Esty discusses the Forum’s agenda, speakers, benefits for participants, and why you can’t miss this incredible educational experience: https://youtu.be/CiXCLYK-UOA

Yale Faculty returning to teach again this fall are standouts in the field of sustainability. Professors William Nordhaus, Marian Chertow, Gary Brudvig, E. Donald Elliott, and Bradford Gentry specialize respectively in carbon pricing, industrial ecology, molecular biophysics and biochemistry, environmental law, and land conservation. Each of their modules will examine current trends in their disciplines, along with sustainability principles and strategies for innovation.

New speakers joining the Forum bring an equally rich set of insights to share. The U.S. State Department’s former top climate change lawyer and a key architect of the Paris Climate Agreement, Susan Biniaz, will teach a module on climate change negotiations. David Lubin, a world leader in the field of corporate performance management will teach a module on sustainable investing. Other speakers include Kenneth Gillingham, Julie Zimmerman, Anthony Leiserowitz, and Andrew Winston, who will teach respectively on the latest innovations in energy and environmental economics, green design, climate change communications, and corporate sustainability management.

To view the agenda, click here. To view the speaker line-up, click here.

Participants of the 2016 inaugural Forum praised the depth and breadth of the candid discussions and felt confident that they left Yale inspired and armed with a myriad of innovative and practical takeaways. “The Forum was an excellent opportunity for me to receive a compact overview of the main trends and challenges in our quest to transition to sustainable societies. Listening to and engaging with some of the field’s brightest minds and leading scholars was both inspiring and an opportunity to calibrate some aspects of my work so that I can be more effective and successful,” said Tanja Srebotjnak, Hixon Professor of Sustainable Environmental Design at Harvey Mudd College.

Jonathan Steinberg, State Representative at the Connecticut General Assembly, echoed that sentiment, saying, “If sustainability is truly the defining framework for this century, this forum is an invaluable medium for grasping the critical issues and opportunities which will determine our planet’s continuing viability.”

YSLF is designed to advance sustainability thought leadership and to inspire sustainability action. To learn from leaders in the field and other sustainability professionals, apply for the 2017 program here. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and space is limited.

For more information on the Forum and to apply, please visit sustainability-forum.yale.edu.


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Recovery Unplugged® Launches “What Track Are You On?” Powerful Digital Campaign During September’s “National Recovery” Month

“I Got This” track by Grammy-winning performance songwriter & guitarist, Richie Supa

Featured within video, thought-provoking Social media and display message campaign

Press Release – FT. LAUDERDALE, FL – (August 1, 2017) Today, as 23 million in the U.S. are currently addicted to drugs and alcohol which is now the leading cause of death to those under age 25, Recovery Unplugged®, an addiction treatment center that uses music as a catalyst towards the effective treatment of substance abuse leaps forward to showcase an effective solution by launching a powerful addiction awareness campaign capturing a thought provoking video, quick-wit phrased social media and display messages during September’s National Recovery Month.

The video opens to an on-screen caption, RECOVERY UNPLUGGED presents, while the camera shoots upward at New York City apartment complex while both the track name, I Got This appears on the screen and the track begins to play the soothing Island flare-guitar and vocal sounds by Richie Supa. I Got This, also written by Richie Supa, Creative Music Director at Recovery Unplugged® is a Grammy-winning performance songwriter & guitarist. Supa has written songs for Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Pink and many others has also been sober for 28 years. He describes meeting weekly with recovery clients, “They are in denial and I hear addicts say ‘I thought I had this, but they didn’t’ which is all part of the addiction disease.” Supa talks about his technique for songwriting describing that songs have to be relatable and unfiltered.

“I’ve lived every line in this song and focus on keeping it real,” says Supa. “The music approach at Recovery Unplugged® is making sustainable recovery a reality. Addicts can’t see living without a fix. By asking ‘what track are you on?’ we’re providing people with a choice. We’re saying, choose music.”

The overall campaign was created by Ari Merkin, advertising agency and brand development company which shot the video portion in New York City during June 2017 with the sense of urgency to help Recovery Unplugged launch an upfront direct message campaign during this heightened and escalated period of the country’s addiction issues.

The video begins with the sounds of a lighter flint wheel being rolled back as you hear the water bubbling of a marijuana bong – which grabs your attention as the video showcases a man inhaling and coughing on a bong hit as he leans back relaxed on the sofa singing the lyrics, “I get high seven days a week so damn twisted I can hardly speak, I’m fine – I ain’t worried – I got this…”

As the music continues to play and the lyrics start to match the subject profile, the video rolls into a variety of addiction vignette stories: From the stoner– to a male addict roaming the streets of New York City scratching his arms and hungry to make a purchase from his drug dealer. The video moves onto a girl who is dancing the night away at a nightclub and then seen stumbling down the nightclub halls to reach a bathroom as she hovers over a toilet. Music continues to play, “Yeah yeah – you can’t tell me nothing – yeah yeah, I ain’t got a problem – denial – It’s my style, I got this…”. From there, the video moves to a man wearing a collared shirt and tie as he’s typing on his office computer and begins to move through the empty hallways looking to make sure no one is nearby as he goes into a remote area to shoot up. “Oh I’m playing Russian roulette – oh, you know the higher I get – but swear I got this all under control – so leave me alone…”

As the scenes progress, the camera moves to an older woman in bed as she starts singing looking hung over and unhealthy as a man in the room starts to get dressed: “Last night I drank till I blacked out – my clothes fell off and I don’t know how – shit happens – I’m laughing – I got this”.

As the music continues playing, “Yeah yeah, I know I’m in trouble, yeah yeah – hand me a shovel, I’m fine – I GOT THIS….” Each vignette quickly shows individual stories reach the same place of overwhelming loss of control and emptiness: From the man roaming the streets being seized by undercover police officers; to the girl in the night club huddled over a toilet; to the woman in bed as she begins to grieve her loss of control; to the man on the sofa who goes outside to look over the city as he appears to be searching for himself; to the office worker, passed out on the floor of the private area who now appears he’s overdosed. The video closes with a message from Recovery Unplugged®, that says, “‘I Got This,’ is one of 60 original songs we’re using to help clients recognize and conquer their addiction.” And then, “What Track are you on?”

Additionally, the unique thought-provoking social media and display message campaign includes:

  1. Nobody Ever Died from a Music Overdose.
  2. Heroin enters through a single vein, music enters through all of them.
  3. You’ll Swear we should sell music by the gram.
  4. Long Live Rock & Roll. And You.
  5. The first step is admitting you Hate Smashmouth.
  6. Heroin, $50 | Music .99
  7. Come on Over. We’ll Do Some Lines (with a visual of a music sheet)

v Needle: A medical device used to illegally inject Heroin

Needle: A stylus used to play phonographic records

v Score: To succeed in buying or obtaining an illicit drug

Score: The written form of a musical composition

v Hit: The single dose of an illegal drug

Hit: A highly successful song

v Refrain: To abstain from having that which one desires, such as drugs or alcohol

Refrain: A recurring melody such as the chorus of a song

v Rock: Slang for crack cocaine

Rock: A popular form of music

While the campaign showcases the drug addiction epidemic in reality, Recovery Unplugged® showcases the solution. “We’re providing further awareness options of effective and unique treatment,” says Chief Strategy Officer of Recovery Unplugged, Paul Pellinger.

“The challenge with traditional treatment is that clients are forced to rely on fear, consequences and relapse protocols versus a more proactive approach that includes recovery triggers”. The music helps them learn to communicate emotionally. The process of utilizing music becomes a catalyst for an emotional connection to the soul where long lasting change occurs. When we work with addicts using all aspects of music, from the lyrics, the vibration, live performances, etc. … it breaks down defenses, motivates and facilitates the recovery process,” adds Pellinger.

In addition, the Recovery Unplugged® program is designed to adapt to individual needs. Although addicts tend to have much in common, people’s fundamental differences can be overlooked in some treatment environments. Recovery Unplugged® works to establish a better understanding of the individual and his or her needs for a full recovery. Clients engage in a full continuum of care including detox, residential treatment day/night treatment intensive outpatient programming including community housing and transitional living. Many people working in addiction rehabilitation report that recovering from drug addiction often involves at least one relapse, and that many users will backslide multiple times. A frequently used and often misleading National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) statistic states, “40-60% of people addicted to substances recover and remain sober. However, there is no precise statistic that calculates an average relapse rate after addiction rehab program completion. Professionals do agree that most addicts will enter addiction treatment programs that use some form a “12 Step” program again and again without achieving long-term sobriety.

About Ari Merkin, LLC:

Ari Merkin LLC is a handful of highly recognized agency types who have received countless accolades for creativity and effectiveness and “best of show” honors at virtually every major advertising award competition. The agency helps to solve big problems and accelerate growth for a select number of brands – working closely with in-house brand teams to deliver inspired thinking from planning through production. Ari believes that every brand has a voice, that creativity can solve anything and that you don’t need a big agency system to deliver big brand ideas. arimerkin.com.

About Recovery Unplugged®:

Recovery Unplugged® Treatment Center is an addiction treatment organization with facilities in Florida and Texas offering a music-based approach to treatment and recovery from chemical dependency. The centers combine traditional and cognitive behavioral approaches that use music, performance and appreciation as catalysts to break down emotional barrier to inspire and motivate the change necessary for lasting sobriety. Recovery Unplugged® is committed to providing hope and healing, using music to help individuals suffering from addiction all over the United States.

Since opening in 2013, Recovery Unplugged® has achieved client completion and long-term sobriety rates of over 90 percent and a long-term sobriety rate over five-times the national average. Independent studies confirm over the last two years that the Recovery Unplugged® treatment model is a proven method. Research has revealed an extremely low AMA rate (the rate at which patients leave a program against medical advice) of less than 9% compared to the national average of 39%. For more information call (855) 906-2980 or visit recoveryunplugged.com.


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Common Threads’ Nationwide Pop-Up Dinner Series Honors Julia Child In New York City

The non-profit, along with presenting partner Circuit of The Americas, hosts Tamron Hall, Gail Simmons, Adam Richman and an impressive roster of celebrity chefs, announces fundraising event in New York City

Press Release – AUSTIN (AUGUST 16, 2017) – Common Threads, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing health and wellness to children, families and communities through cooking and nutrition education, is headed to New York to master the art of French cooking at the Common Threads Chef Takeover Fueled by Circuit of The Americas. This five city, one-night-only, pop-up dinner will take over Manhattan on Wednesday, October 11 at Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark (450 E. 29th St.) from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Each dinner in the series features a line-up of celebrated chefs from across the country and tasks them with creating dishes that reflect the evening’s theme. TV personality and author Adam Richman, award-winning journalist Tamron Hall and Food & Wine Magazine’s Gail Simmons will play host at the New York dinner bringing together an impressive list of chefs to honor the legendary Julia Child. Participating chefs include:

  • Chef Govind Armstrong – Post & Beam, Los Angeles
  • Chef Andrew Smith – Riverpark, New York
  • Chef Silvia Barban – LaRina Pastificia & Vino, Brooklyn
  • Chef Fany Gerson – Dough, New York
  • Chef Umber Ahmad – Mah Ze Dhar, New York
  • Chef Daniel Serfer – Mignonette, Miami
  • Chef Christian Apetz – The Driskill, Austin

Additionally, the evening will include an opening reception with small bites prepared by Common Threads students, a silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind experiences and a special musical guest performance. The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts Trustee, author and grand-nephew of Julia Child, Alex Prud’homme, who has penned two books about his grand-aunt, will also be speaking at the dinner. The Julia Child Foundation supports Common Threads programs and provided permission for this event to be held in Julia’s honor.

“Common Threads envisions a world where people embrace healthy cooking, healthy eating and healthy living as both a life choice and a human right,” said Linda Novick O’Keefe, founding CEO of Common Threads. “Chef Takeover Fueled by Circuit of The Americas is a great way to bring our mission to life. We are thrilled to unite some of the restaurant industry’s top chefs to create a special experience over the dinner table while raising awareness for the importance of health and wellness.”

Common Threads Chef Takeover Fueled by Circuit of The Americas has already visited Chicago and Los Angeles and will be in Miami on Thursday, September 7 at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel where it will celebrate “Food as Art.” After the New York event, the series wraps up in Austin, TX during Formula 1 United States Grand Prix race weekend.

“It’s our pleasure to support Common Threads’ mission of extending nutrition education into schools located in underserved communities across the country. By serving as presenting sponsor for these unique fundraising dinner events, not only are we able to support the cause nationwide, but we are particularly honored to assist in launching Common Threads’ programs in our neighboring school district, Del Valle ISD,” stated Circuit of The Americas Chairman, Bobby Epstein.

All funds raised will benefit Common Threads programs, teaching children in underserved communities how to lead healthier lives. The Common Threads Chef Takeover Fueled by Circuit of The Americas will help fund the organization’s growth goal of getting one million children cooking for life by 2020.

General tickets cost $175 per person and Chef’s Table tickets (which include a welcome gift, elevated wine pairing and celebrity chef dish presentations) cost $250 per person. For additional information and to purchase tickets visit www.commonthreads.org/cheftakeover.


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ScoutComms Receives Official B Corp Recertification for 2017-2019

Fast-growing veteran-focused communications and consulting firm increases overall B Impact Score

Press Release – FREDERICKSBURG, VA – ScoutComms announced today that B Lab, the B Corporation certification body, has recognized the company for its second two-year period as a certified B Corporation™. As a certified B Corp, ScoutComms has publicly committed to use the power of business to address the social challenges facing veterans and military families.

Not only did ScoutComms once again successfully complete the rigorous recertification process, it also increased its overall B Impact Score to 125 out, up from an already impressive 116 when it was named 2016 Best for the World B Corporation Honoree. To remain certified, a company needs a score of at least 80. ScoutComms’ updated B Corporation profile is now available online.

ScoutComms is a communications and consulting firm with unmatched knowledge and experience in the nation’s veteran and military communities. The firm supports a diverse array of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations that employ, empower and serve veterans, service members and their families.

The company was founded in 2010 by Army veteran Fred Wellman with the mission to empower veterans and military families through impactful initiatives and collaborative partnerships that lead to great awareness of veterans’ needs. ScoutComms’ efforts have led to the expansion of veterans’ access to resources that promote their economic, physical and mental well-being.

ScoutComms was the first certified B Corporation in the Fredericksburg area, and third in the world focused on veterans.

In addition to serving a wide range of paying clients, ScoutComms supports a number of small, deserving non-profits through a range of pro bono services that range from simple mentorship to comprehensive project support. ScoutComms believes that giving back to the community is a key to success and to making a difference. Each year, the company donates thousands of dollars in profits to non-profit and charitable causes and encourages all employees to pursue volunteer work during and outside of work hours.

“We are incredibly proud to be part of the growing B Corp movement and being recertified at an even higher score demonstrates how much our entire firm has embraced this way of doing business,” said ScoutComms CEO Fred Wellman, a West Point graduate and 22-year Army veteran. “We believe that being a business with a mission is why we have seen such incredible growth and part of why we are growing at a breakneck pace. Clients are coming to us because they know that we are here to make a difference and not just make a buck.”

ScoutComms was also recognized by B Labs for its impressive supplier relations, diversity and involvement in the local community, as well as for the growing number of benefits and incentives it offers employees, including generous health care plans and professional development training.

The firm’s work has resulted in a host of awards and recognitions, including being recently ranked as the nation’s sixth-fastest-growing PR firm by O’Dwyer’s PR News.

To learn more about ScoutComms, visit our website and B Corporation profile.

What is a B Corporation?

In order to be recognized as a Certified B Corporation, ScoutComms had to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance as well as dedication to greater transparency, ethics and employee care in its business practices. As of July 2017, there were 2,204 Certified B Corporations from 50+ countries and more than 130 industries, representing a diverse multi-billion dollar global marketplace. Unlike traditional corporations, Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, consumers and environment. To achieve certification, ScoutComms participated in an in-depth assessment process established by B Lab, the B Corporation certification body. The assessment included extensive disclosure of information relating to ScoutComms operations, business practices, hiring and promotion procedures, environmental management practices, and governance.

ScoutComms Account Executive Danielle Doss, who is a military child herself, successfully led the months-long recertification process for the company.

Source: http://scoutcommsusa.com/


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Central Florida Foundation’s “Better Together Fund” Continues Mission Of Healing For Pulse Survivors, Community

Fund Invests in Nonprofit Relief, Long-term Aid

Press Release – ORLANDO, Fla. (August 16, 2017) – The Better Together Fund, an initiative at Central Florida Foundation created in response to the Pulse nightclub tragedy, continues to provide support and aid to the community on its road to healing.

Since launching in June 2016, the Fund has received more than $1.1 million in contributions. During its first year of grant-making through the Fund, Central Florida Foundation has made the following investments in the community:

  • $14,000 to Barry University to provide cultural competency training for LGBTQ+ Affirmative Care to mental health and community providers.
  • $30,000 to Equality Florida to hire Central Florida Safe and Healthy Schools coordinators to launch programs in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola County public schools that ensure the safe and equal treatment of LGBTQ students.
  • $50,000 to the “Friends Talking Faith” radio show to share stories of the community and how it’s been transformed by the events at Pulse.
  • $272,000 to Heart of Florida United Way to provide gap funds for emergency needs and mental health care, as well as to support those directly impacted by the tragedy with basic needs, like rent, mortgage, utilities and monthly expenses.
  • $1,500 Mental Health Association of Central Florida to provide mental health care for survivors through weekly support groups.
  • $5,000 to Orlando Youth Alliance to provide educational scholarships.
  • $20,000 to Pulse of Orlando to develop a plan and strategy to formalize the One Orlando Alliance and provide ongoing assistance.
  • $5,000 to The 49 Fund to provide educational scholarships.
  • $41,000 to Trauma Resource Institute to train lay leaders across our community on the biological response of trauma using the Community Resiliency Model to help participants heal themselves and help the community.
  • $91,854 to Two Spirit Health Services to provide gap funding for the community’s infrastructure for mental health services.
  • $5,000 to UCF Foundation to provide educational scholarships through the Dively-Dupuis LGBTQ Leadership Award.
  • $5,000 to Valencia Foundation to provide educational scholarships through the Pulse Memorial Foundation.
  • $5,000 to Zebra Coalition to provide educational scholarships through the Jefferson R. Voss Education Fund.

These recipients were selected based on the Fund’s four key areas of support: nonprofits that support victims and families; the LGBTQ, Hispanic, faith and other affected communities; underlying causes of the event; and other unanticipated needs. The Foundation distributes grants through an accountable, transparent grant-making process that enables the public to see where funds are directed.

“During one of Central Florida’s darkest moments in history, we saw incredible support as generous individuals and organizations came forward to help rebuild our community,” said Mark Brewer, president and CEO of Central Florida Foundation. “This is only the beginning of a long process, and we will continue to work closely with those on the front lines to identify and respond to our community’s needs in the time ahead.”

Contributors to the Better Together Fund include Universal Orlando Foundation, Winter Park Health Foundation, Coca-Cola Foundation, The Delta Air Lines Foundation Nationwide Insurance Foundation, and Wells Fargo Foundation.

To see the full list of contributors and for updates on grants from the Fund, visit www.cffound.org/bettertogether.


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Hero Clean Pays Tribute To The Hero In Each Of Us By Supporting Our Veterans

Press Release – Hero Clean products were scientifically engineered specifically to address a void in the marketplace that its founder, Mike Eaton, identified years ago on a routine trip to the grocery store. Now, there is a new player in the cleaning products game who is raising the bar not only on clean, but also on brand philanthropy.

It started with a simple premise: men have different deodorant, shaving cream and skin care for their unique hormones and pheromones, shouldn’t there also be laundry and cleaning products formulated for men’s unique biology, cleaning regimens, lifestyle and shopping habits? And, what if the brand that made those products made a real commitment to contribute to a cause that’s close to the hearts of men (and women) across the country? Thus, Hero Clean was born.

Hero Clean uses the most cutting edge cleaning technologies available with a look and scent that appeal to guys who don’t want to pick up a pastel bottle or smell flowery or perfumey. Despite the fact that the Hero Clean line was “made for men,” it’s “loved by women” because of its effectiveness. It is the ideal antidote to kids’ and teens’ “stinky boy syndrome,” leaves mom’s yoga pants smelling clean, cuts through grease and grime like nothing else and provides truly multi-use products that simplify the cleaning process.

Hero Clean was created for the hero inside of all of us, and is proud to support our nation’s heroes, donating 7% of the profit on every bottle sold to IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America). IAVA is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO), committed to connecting, uniting and empowering America’s veterans by providing critical services, advocacy and community building opportunities around the globe.

The bedrock of all Hero Clean products is the patented Odor Defeater™ technology, which neutralizes odor at the source. Products in the Hero Clean line-up include leading edge, patented, enzyme and microbial formulas– and they are made in the USA. Hero Clean provides a better overall cleaning experience allowing people to get dirty, sweaty and messy like a guy, and then power clean their clothes, gear and home like a man.

Hero Clean Laundry Detergent features a six-enzyme package that removes stains and bring whites and colors to life – outperforming the leading brands in third party testing. It is both a sport and everyday wash, perfect for training gear, gym clothes, little league uniforms and anything else that gets sweaty and dirty while getting the whole household’s laundry cleaner than ever. It is also loved by people with sensitive skin.

Hero Clean Odor Eliminator spray is the ultimate armor against odor – for athletic wear, jerseys, shoes, gloves, bedding and gear. It is a perfect pre-treater for stubborn or intense odors. The crisp juniper scent and patented Odor Defeater TM neutralizes odor and smells clean without being flowery or feminine. The probiotic microbes starve and destroy the bacteria that creates odor and prevent its return – the only real way to rid fabric of odor, especially in today’s dry-wicking fabrics.

Hero Clean Dish + Hand Soap cuts grease without scrubbing, is dermatologist tested and phosphate free – perfect for anything that can use a little soapy water. The All-Purpose Cleaner is just that – it provides a scrub-free, streak-free clean on any surface from glass and stainless steel to wood and stone. Both products are great for home, tools, equipment and almost anything that gets greasy or dirty.

Members of the military have reported great results when using Hero Clean products to clean the carbon fiber off their weapons and get the embedded stench out of their clothes after training exercises.


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IIX’s Women’s Livelihood Bond Officially Listed on the Singapore Exchange

Press Release – SINGAPORE, — August 16th, 2017 — The Women’s Livelihood Bond (WLB), structured by Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), has become listed and quoted on the Bonds Market of the Singapore Exchange (SGX) as of 9:00am today, making it the first listed bond in the impact investing space with a dual focus on financial returns and social impact. The US$8 million debt security will impact over 385,000 women in Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines through enhanced access to credit, market linkages, and affordable goods and services that will build women’s resilience to socio-economic shocks and stresses.

The listing of the WLB ensures transparency and accountability for the bond’s investors who will receive rigorous disclosure of both financial performance and social impact, while also creating the potential for secondary liquidity in the impact investment market.

Ore Huiying | Bloomberg | Getty Images

“Since the WLB has been announced, we have witnessed a sharp growth of interest from global investors for financial structures like the WLB which has greatly strengthened our confidence that impact investing is the future of financial markets. Now, with the listing of the WLB, we have achieved the holy grail of potential liquidity in the impact investing market.” said IIX Founder, Durreen Shahnaz.

The four-year bond offers a coupon rate of 5.65% and includes a number of credit protection features, including $500,000 of first-loss capital provided by IIX as well as a 50% guarantee of the principal amount of the underlying loan portfolio, provided by USAID. Over 60% of the WLB’s investment capital was provided by Asian investors, mostly private banking clients. The WLB is the first in a series of IIX Social Sustainability Bonds™ which IIX plans to structure and list over the coming years.

About IIX Social Sustainability Bonds™

IIX Social Sustainability Bonds™ are uniquely structured fixed-income financial instruments which pool together a group of high-impact enterprises and issues a collective bond. These bonds differ from traditional Social Impact Bonds as they mobilize private sector capital to generate positive social impact worldwide, offer financial returns independent of social outcomes, and are able to be listed on both social and traditional stock exchanges.

About IIX

IIX is a Singapore-based impact enterprise that bridges the gap between finance and development, carving out a third space for social and environmental solutions by unlocking investment capital. As a pioneer of impact investing, IIX builds pathways to connect the Wall Streets of the world with the backstreets of underserved communities. IIX platforms and innovative financial products enable impact enterprises to accelerate their business and scale their positive impact, while pushing the impact investing space from the margins to the mainstream. To date, the work of IIX has spanned 20 countries and continues to expand with the mission of unlocking US$1billion of impact investment capital, impacting 100 million lives by 2025.


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