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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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South Pole Group Completes Incubation Cycle And Sells Subsidiary Climate Neutral Investments To US-Based Institutional Shareholder Services

Press Release – Zurich, Switzerland, 21 June 2017 – Global sustainability solutions provider South Pole Group and Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), leading provider of end-to-end corporate governance and responsible investment solutions to the financial community, have agreed on the sale of South Pole Group’s Climate Neutral Investments (CNI) business to ISS.

The sale is testimony to South Pole Group’s pioneering position in the development of the market for climate-smart industry solutions:

Back in 2010, South Pole Group was one of the frontrunners in calculating carbon emissions of investment portfolios through its subsidiary CNI. What started as a novelty for the financial industry soon caught the attention of large investors globally: CNI established the world’s largest database of corporate climate change data and pioneered the leading, standardised investment carbon emission screening tools, resulting in the successful screening of over USD 2 trillion of assets under management for climate change implications. CNI data also enabled the financial industry to play a vital role ahead of the Paris Agreement, as a significant number of asset managers committed to increasing the transparency of their portfolio carbon footprint by joining the Montreal Pledge or the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition. Ultimately, CNI, as the largest remaining privately owned carbon emission data provider for the finance industry, caught the attention of large financial service companies that understood the pivotal value of its data and methodologies, and South Pole Group finally decided to sell CNI to ISS.

“For our company, this is a historic milestone. From incubating the completely unknown space of investment carbon footprinting back in 2010 to growing the business and co-shaping our own market, to now finally selling the investment carbon footprinting business to a large financial industry player – it has been an absolutely amazing journey,” says Renat Heuberger, CEO of South Pole Group.

The sale of CNI will allow South Pole Group to significantly scale its global sustainability business, which comprises the full suite of environmental risk and performance assessment – including climate change, energy, water, land use and deforestation. The company will continue to be one of the world’s largest sustainability project developers and a global provider of renewable energy and carbon credits, creating value for its wide range of public, private and civil society clients.

“We believe that there are excellent opportunities to execute smart, sustainable investments in every economic situation and in every market. We are excited to take our unique combination of climate change and sustainability expertise, ESG knowledge, and detailed analyses to the next level for investors and corporates around the world,” says John Davis, Director Financial Industry, South Pole Group.

“As part of ISS, we will be able to further scale our data and analytics work on climate change-related risks and impact. Our clients and the climate will benefit tremendously: We will widen and deepen our offering across all asset classes and make it available to all investors, companies, governments, and researchers around the globe,” says Maximilian Horster, Founder of CNI, and now Managing Director at ISS Ethix Climate Change Advisory.


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IBM Achieves Major Climate Protection Goals Four Years Early

IBM’s CO2 Emissions Decreased by Over 35% since 2005; Contracted Renewables Equal to More Than 20% of IBM’s Global Electricity Usage

Press Release – Armonk, N.Y. – Today, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that it achieved two major commitments four years ahead of schedule in its effort to help combat climate change.

“IBM has been one of industry’s earliest and unambiguous leaders regarding climate change, having publicly launched our first specific CO2 emissions reduction goal in 2000 and having published a formal position in 2007. The achievements we’re announcing today are a testament to our longstanding commitment to protecting our planet by delivering action and results,” said Wayne Balta, IBM Vice President of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety. “We know that businesses must play a leadership role in the fight against climate change, and we continue to lead by reducing our own operational impact and by developing innovative solutions to help our clients do the same.”

Goal 1: Reduce CO2 emissions associated with IBM’s energy consumption 35% by year-end 2020 against base year 2005 (adjusted for acquisitions and divestitures). IBM achieved 38.1% at year-end 2016, which is approximately equivalent to the emissions associated with the consumption of 1.8 million barrels of oil.

IBM’s latest accomplishments in relation to CO2 emissions is a result of a decades-long effort throughout which the company has set and met aggressive reduction goals. In fact, by 2005 IBM had already reduced CO2 emissions to 40% of the company’s 1990 emissions.

Goal 2: Procure electricity from renewable sources for 20% of IBM’s annual electricity consumption by 2020. IBM achieved 21.5% at year-end 2016, which is enough to power about 60,000 homes for 1 year. If we also count renewable electricity within the grid mix IBM receives, then 40.1% of IBM’s electricity supply across its managed spaces came from renewable sources.

IBM set these ambitious goals in February 2015 and subsequently assigned them to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, a commitment by hundreds of companies demonstrating their support for action on climate change. By the end of 2016, IBM had exceeded both of those commitments four years ahead of schedule.

Between 1990 and 2016, the company had conserved 7.2 million MWh of electricity, avoiding 4.4 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and saving over $600 million. The emissions avoidance is equivalent to taking 900,000 cars off the road for a year.

In addition to supporting the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, IBM voiced its support for a global climate agreement in 2015. Earlier this month, IBM reaffirmed its support for the Paris Agreement and signed on to the #WeAreStillIn pledge, voicing its commitment to help lead the global fight against climate change.

Cognitive, Weather Models, and Analytics Advance the Use of Renewable Energy

IBM has made major investments in the use of powerful weather models and analytic and cognitive capabilities to develop highly accurate forecasting tools for electricity demand as well as solar and wind-power generation. These tools enable better use of available renewable generation and more effectively integrate new capacity into the grid. In February 2017, IBM and VELCO announced the creation of Utopus Insights, Inc., a new energy analytics company that provides open source application programming interfaces for improved energy forecasting on the grid. New insights from situational forecasting and cognitive technologies provide a more accurate understanding of the amount of power available from renewable sources, reducing risks and costs associated with the electricity grid and enabling the widespread use of renewable energy.

Partnerships for Environmental Sustainability

While focused on improving its operational performance and helping clients do likewise, IBM has worked over many years with partners across the public, private and nongovernmental sectors to advance environmental sustainability. Examples include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The European Union, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, the Chicago Climate Exchange, the Conference Board, the Conservation Fund, the Environmental Law Institute, The Nature Conservancy, the World Environment Center, the World Resources Institute, and the World Wildlife Fund.

In 2016, IBM joined Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance and became a founding member of the SMARTer2030 Action Coalition. Earlier this year the company also joined the U.S. Water Partnership.

  • Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance works to make navigating the path to renewables easier by connecting corporate demand to renewable energy supply and by helping utilities better understand the serve the needs of corporations.
  • SMARTer2030 Action Coalition is an initiative of leading companies, governments, multilaterals, eNGOs, thought leaders, and community-based organizations promoting an agenda that implements “smart” information and communications technology (ICT)-enabled solutions to advance a low-carbon economy.
  • U.S. Water Partnership’s mission is to unite and mobilize the best of U.S. expertise, resources and ingenuity to address global water challenges, with a special focus on developing countries where needs are greatest.

In March 2017, IBM won its 5th Climate Leadership Award from the U.S. EPA, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and The Climate Registry during the program’s six year history. IBM is the first company to earn this award in each of the award program’s four organizational categories of competition.

For more details on IBM’s commitment to protecting the environment, visit https://ibm.biz/BdiunE.


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Warriors in Recovery Division Return to Love, Unites with Africa Heartwood Project by Sponsoring Water Well in Liberia, West Africa

Return to Love Gives first Clean Water Well to Soap Tree Community.

Return to Love Foundation (PRNewsfoto/Warriors in Recovery)

Press Release – ATLANTA, June 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Jeanette Falu- Bishop, Executive Director announces, Warriors in Recovery’s new division “Return to Love,” has sponsored the very first hand pump water well through a strategic partnership with the Africa Heartwood Project.

For the first time in history for the community of Soap Tree a clean water well is being provided by “Return to Love,” through the Africa Heartwood Project that supplies safe water to the people in Liberia, West Africa.

“My programs are all designed to assist the warriors in finding and bolstering their sense of purpose. The wells symbolize a three-prong approach toward warrior recovery, international welfare, and home front veteran care,” stated Jeanette Falu- Bishop.

Andy Jones, Executive Director of Africa Heartwood Project, along with his team began drilling the water well back in May of this year.

Mr. Jones ran into trouble while digging, they hit granite and were unable to continue, as their drill was not strong enough to break through the granite.

The only options they had were to quit, make it a personal pump for a single family to use or change the plan and do a hand dug well. They decided on a hand dug well and were able to ensure the village would be able to pump approximately 100 gallons of water a day, which is enough for the entire village.

Several weeks ago Ms. Falu Bishop announced a Kick off Fundraiser, helping warrior find purpose; whereby warriors can volunteer and through fundraising efforts raise money to travel to Liberia to help dig water wells.

The parent organization “Warriors in Recovery,” along with Mrs. Falu- Bishop next project is to go to Liberia, West Africa in March of 2018, alongside other warriors to experience the training, and dedication to a cause that military veterans bring to a mission.

During the latest mission in Soap Tree when history was made, the moment the first drop of water came flowing out of the spout. It was a remarkable moment and exactly what the organization Warriors in Recovery represents. Showing Warriors that they can make the impossible possible.

For more information on Warriors in Recovery or to support the Fundraiser to help send Warriors to Liberia in March 2018, please go to www.warriorsinrecovery.org

All media inquiries please contact Pam Pinnock at the Pinnock Agency at 213 864 1370.

Please join us on www.Facebook.com/WarriorsinRecovery
Twitter https://twitter.com/Returntolove501
Instagram http://instagram.com/warriorsinrecovery

ABOUT: WARRIORS IN RECOVERY/RETURN TO LOVE COMMUNITY PROJECTS

Warriors in Recovery is a nonprofit organization 501©(3), dedicated to helping wounded warriors and wounded Veterans heal from physical, mental and emotional injuries through alternate methods of care programs, that may not be covered by insurance -serving as a support system for veterans and their families.


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Open House to be Held August 5, 2017 by Local Orthodontist-Giving Children Needing Help with the Cost of Braces a Reason to Smile

Press Release – Salt Lake City, Utah – June 2017: Thanks to a partnership with the nonprofit Smiles Change Lives, local orthodontist Dr. Chase Dansie is giving local kids a reason to smile. Dansie Orthodontics will be holding an Open House to screen children in the surrounding communities for braces through Smiles Change Lives.

Smiles Change Lives is a national nonprofit that helps kids get braces who could not otherwise afford them. On average, braces cost $6,000 per child, making them out of reach for many hard working families. Further, orthodontic treatment has long been considered cosmetic by insurance companies, providing little assistance, even for those that are insured. As a result, many children and teens suffer unnecessary discomfort and embarrassment from their misaligned teeth. Smiles Change Lives’ mission is to provide these families with the opportunity to provide their children with braces through its network of over 800 volunteer orthodontists in the United States and Canada.

Established in 1997, Smiles Change Lives has had a presence in the Salt Lake City area for nearly a decade. Upon learning about the program in 2015, Salt Lake City area orthodontist Dr. Dansie stepped up to help in a major way. Dansie Orthodontics has renewed its commitment and agreed to treat 50 kids through his practice over the next year. An Open House will be held in order to screen children for the program.

The Open House will be held on August 5, 2017 from 8am-12pm at Dansie Orthodontics at 11996 S. Anthem Park Boulevard, Ste 100, Herriman, UT 84096. Families who meet the program qualifications for Smiles Change Lives are encouraged to attend and bring their child, a copy of their 2016 tax return (listing their child as a dependent) and a $30 application fee to the screening or they can submit an application in advance, which can be found at www.smileschangelives.org/apply.

To qualify for the program, a child must be between the ages of 7-21, have good oral hygiene, not be wearing braces currently, have a moderate to severe need for braces, and meet certain financial guidelines (e.g., for a family of 4, their household income must be below $61,500).

In the words of a mother whose daughter recently completed treatment, “On behalf of myself and daughter, please accept our deepest thanks for a life changing experience for my daughter. She smiles all the time now and has a sense of confidence I’ve never seen before. To everyone responsible please know that you have helped another child regain a huge part of herself back. She may go on to change the world in a better way now; just like SCL did for her.”

To date, Smiles Change Lives and its network of orthodontists have helped more than 10,000 kids receive braces in the United States and Canada. Please watch this short video to learn more: http://www.smileschangelives.org/scl-overview-video.


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Skoll Venture Award Winners Tackle Dementia With Virtual Reality

Press Release – The Skoll Centre at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School held the final pitching round for the fifth annual Skoll Venture Awards in June. Three early-stage ventures pitched to a panel of judges and a live audience. Current Oxford MBA team, VRTU, were awarded the winning prize of £15,000. The two runners up, Redbird Health Tech and PowerMarket won £7,500, each.

Oxford MBA 2016-17 Candidates, Arfa Rehman (CEO), Scott Gorman (CTO) and Christopher Larson (CMO) are the team behind VRTU, a healthcare start-up that uses virtual reality to help dementia patients. VRTU delivers simulated time-travel therapy through story based virtual reality content.

The Skoll Venture Awards provide funding to current Oxford Saïd students and alumni who have developed a social impact-focused venture. The Awards serve to supply the venture with catalytic funding, but the Skoll Centre also accompanies the businesses as they progress in their development, including identifying possibilities for further financial and non-financial support.

‘We’re incredibly excited to have won’ says Rehman. ‘Especially as we have not been working on this venture long, I feel validated that we’re going in the right direction. We’re trying to move fast to produce the VR content and develop our product so it can be out there as soon as possible. This grant is going to be instrumental in helping us do that.’

VRTU were recently unveiled as the most promising new app at the App Factor competition in London, winning 500 hours of design and development of their platform.


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Better Way Foundation Expands Support of Early Childhood Development Programs with Addition of Program Officer

Press Release – MINNEAPOLIS, June 21, 2017Better Way Foundation has added Daniel Yang as a program officer to help expand the foundation’s work with global and domestic early childhood learning programs to support improved student outcomes and stem the cycle of poverty.

With his strong background in childhood development initiatives, and work with refugees, children of color and American Indian children, Daniel will be a tremendous asset to Better Way Foundation and its partners in both Tanzania and Indian Country,” said Andreas Hipple, senior adviser for Better Way Foundation. “He is familiar with the factors impeding children’s personal and academic success, believes in our partnership approach and is motivated to apply our foundation’s funding, resources and networks to effect positive systems change.”

Yang previously worked for the Children’s Defense Fund-MN (CDF-MN), where he served as director of organizing, building a cross-sector early childhood coalition focused on creating opportunity and equitable outcomes for children of color and American Indian children in Minnesota. Before joining CDF-MN, he served the Native American Community Development Institute in Minneapolis as the director of organizing and community building. Yang has extensive experience working with refugee communities in East Africa and has worked on indigenous rights issues with governments, indigenous communities and social movements in Latin America.

Yang has been a Wellstone Action! Organizing Fellow and a Wilder Foundation Community Equity Pipeline – Public Policy Fellow. He has served on the boards of the Charities Review Council, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change and the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless. In 2016, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed him to serve on the governor’s Early Learning Council.

Yang earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and social justice from Hamline University.

Better Way Foundation: Motivated by decades of research demonstrating that sound beginnings in children’s lives can help to break inter-generational cycles of poverty, Better Way Foundation helps others create healthy, sustainable, supportive environments where children can properly develop, learn and thrive. www.BetterWayFoundation.org


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Kris Putnam-Walkerly Named Number 7 of “Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers” List

Press Release – CLEVELAND, June 21, 2017 — Kris Putnam-Walkerly, president of Putnam Consulting Group, Inc., was named the seventh top philanthropy speaker on America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers for 2017 by Philanthropy Media and The Michael Chatman Giving Show. The Top 25 list was created from more than 25,000 survey responses from philanthropy experts, who submitted more than 2,200 nominees.

The criteria include thought leadership, excellence in communication, and significant contributions to the profession. Among her leading-edge approaches in the field is her concept of “Delusional Altruism℠”—misguided giving and lack of impact.

“It’s a great honor to be included on this list for a second year,” said Putnam-Walkerly, author of Confident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders. “Helping philanthropists and foundations transform lives and communities as is my passion, and taking part in the sharing of ideas as a speaker is both gratifying and inspiring.”

Putnam-Walkerly’s moved from number 17 in last year’s survey to number 7 this year. Others in the top 5 include Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation; Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Amy Danforth, President of Fidelity Charitable.

“Kris’s presentation on grantmaking was one of the most valuable conference sessions I have ever attended, so this honor is well-deserved. She does much more than impart information; she fully engages her audience and makes us all think more strategically about our philanthropy,” said Maureen Sheehan Massaro, Executive Director, Wilson Sheehan Foundation.

About Kris Putnam-Walkerly

Kris Putnam-Walkerly, MSW, is a global philanthropy advisor and president of Putnam Consulting Group, Inc. For over 18 years, top philanthropies have requested Kris’s help to transform their giving and catapult their impact. Her clients include the Robert Wood Johnson, David and Lucile Packard, Annie E. Casey, Charles and Helen Schwab, and California HealthCare foundations. She’s helped over 60 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over $350 million in grants and gifts.

A thought leader in transformational giving℠, Kris is the author of Confident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders, which was a finalist in the 2017 International Book Awards. She is a regular contributor to Forbes.com, and as well as the publications of leading philanthropy associations including the National Center for Family Philanthropy, Foundation Center, Southeastern Council on Foundations, Exponent Philanthropy, and AsianNGO Magazine. She provides expert commentary about philanthropy in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Washington Examiner, Entepreneur.com, BusinessWeek.com, and others.

Prior to forming Putnam Consulting Group, she was a grantmaker at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and an evaluator at the highly esteemed Stanford University School of Medicine.


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“Challenging the Status Quo: Philadelphia’s Exploration of Pay for Success”

Social Finance Releases Pay for Success Feasibility Framework for Government; Highlights Public Impact Initiative to Amplify Impact

Press Release – Washington, D.C. June 22 – Social Finance launched Challenging the Status Quo: Philadelphia’s Exploration of Pay for Success today at the Urban Institute’s Pay for Success Initiative National Symposium. The paper details Social Finance’s work with the City of Philadelphia and provides a framework for governments looking to use the tools of Pay for Success (PFS) and outcomes-based approaches to improving their communities.

Read Challenging the Status Quo

Learnings from Social Finance’s work in Philadelphia informed the creation of Social Finance’s Public Impact Initiative

“Social Finance is focused on helping governments use the elements and lessons of Pay for Success to build effective social service initiatives based on data, evidence and high-quality execution, driving impact at scale,” said Jeff Shumway, Vice President of Advisory Services at Social Finance. “We hope the questions highlighted in Challenging the Status Quo will help governments adopt an outcomes focus using the full range of tools of Pay for Success.”

The City of Philadelphia engaged Social Finance to assess the feasibility of implementing a Pay for Success project. The city was focused on using PFS to reduce recidivism rates of citizens returning from jail or prison and to limit out-of-county placements of system-involved youth. Their goal was to understand the potential for PFS financing to complement ongoing efforts by driving public resources toward evidence-based, outcomes-driven programs.

“Enhancing the well-being of residents, including our most vulnerable citizens, requires a steadfast commitment to continuously improving government services,” said Mayor Michael Nutter, City of Philadelphia (2008-2016). “In order to achieve meaningful continuous improvement, policymakers must use data and evidence to drive decision-making. As importantly, policy-makers must be open to exploring new ideas that disrupt the status quo.”

Cities, counties, and states considering PFS financing face a number of questions about how PFS works. Each of these themes is explored in Challenging the Status Quo:

  1. DEFINING VALUE: What are the societal and fiscal benefits created for the city by the proposed PFS project?
  2. UNDERSTANDING GOVERNMENT FUNDING STREAMS: Which city agencies benefit from the proposed PFS project?
  3. DATA, DATA, DATA: What information does the city need to estimate and, ultimately, evaluate the impact of the proposed PFS project?
  4. A NEW KIND OF CONTRACT: How are PFS contracts different from other social services contracts and how can the city set them up for success?
  5. BEYOND THE ECONOMICS: How will PFS fit within existing initiatives and what new resources will the city need to support a PFS project?

In Philadelphia, the funding mechanism may have been Pay for Success, but the tools themselves are useful beyond projects financed with private capital. Governments focused on outcomes are increasingly employing the tools of Pay for Success to build outcomes-oriented contracts that clearly define and measure success; build in deep, data-driven program design; and invest seriously in active performance management.

About Social Finance

Social Finance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing capital to drive social progress. Social Finance is committed to using Pay for Success to tackle complex social challenges, facilitate greater access to services for vulnerable populations, and direct capital to evidence-based social programs – all with the goal of measurably improving the lives of people most in need. Social Finance has deep experience in the design and implementation of Pay for Success projects, from early-stage feasibility assessment, to project development and capital formation, to post-launch performance management and investment support.


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City Accelerator Expands To Five More U.S. Cities With A Focus On Strengthening Local Procurement Practices To Promote Economic Opportunity

With Support by the Citi Foundation and Living Cities, $500,000 Distributed to Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Milwaukee

Press Release – NEW YORK, JUNE 22, 2017 – The Citi Foundation and Living Cities today announced the expansion of the City Accelerator program to five additional U.S. cities – Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Milwaukee. The five cities will work together over the next year to refine their approach to procurement spending, pursuing at least one new strategy to increase the diversity of municipal vendors and contractors and direct more spend to local minority-owned businesses. This collaboration supports the goal of City Accelerator, to support innovative local government projects within and across cities that have a significant impact on the lives of residents, especially those with low incomes.

“These cities are taking a hard look at how they purchase goods and services for their communities,” said Ed Skyler, Citi’s Executive Vice President for Global Public Affairs and Chairman of the Citi Foundation. “They recognize that there is an opportunity to strengthen their procurement practices–and cities overall—by connecting directly with the diverse businesses and ideas within their communities. We are excited to see the ideas and approaches that come from this year’s City Accelerator.”

To date, City Accelerator has worked with 12 municipalities in the U.S. to test new ways to drive sustainable growth while increasing opportunity for lower-income residents. For example, the city of Philadelphia tested the use of various messages and attention-grabbing mailings to ensure that low-income seniors were signing up for subsidies offering a 25 percent reduction in their water bills. As a result of financial and technical assistance provided by City Accelerator, participation in the program doubled, and hundreds of Philadelphia’s most vulnerable seniors are now receiving a discount that will make managing their household bills easier. Philadelphia’s success with City Accelerator led to the launch of GovLabPHL, a multi-agency team headed by the Mayor’s Policy Office focused on developing innovative and evidence-based practice in city government.

The city of San Francisco is using its City Accelerator support to develop a financing plan to reinforce the city’s coastal seawall, which protects vital public transportation assets and land designated for affordable housing on a parcel adjacent to the Port of San Francisco.

“By opening up the procurement process to small and diverse businesses owned by people of color, cities have an incredible opportunity to realize the publics’ vision of a thriving, vital economy,” said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities. “These five cities were asked to lead the way, and we are excited to lift up their work as examples of how we can create a new urban practice dedicated to getting dramatically better results for low income people faster.”

“The City of Charlotte is committed to providing equal access and opportunities for all businesses to grow, especially businesses owned by people of color,” said Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts. “Through the City’s Charlotte Business INClusion Policy, we have made significant strides, achieving $41 million in spending with local Minority, Women, Small Business Enterprises in Fiscal Year 2016. I am proud of our accomplishments to date, and I look forward to working with the Citi Foundation and Living Cities to accelerate our work in this area. The expertise and funding from City Accelerator will help us grow our small, women- and minority-owned businesses.”

“My administration has made it a priority to create opportunities for businesses of all sizes to grow and thrive while strengthening our procurement processes,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Our selection by the Citi Foundation and Living Cities as one of five cities to participate in this program reflects the fact that Chicago is a national leader in procurement reform, and I commend our Chief Procurement Officer and her team for pursuing new opportunities and partnerships that will continue to strengthen our procurement practices and ensure those who do business with the City reflect Chicago’s rich diversity.”

“Los Angeles is a city of opportunity, and we are committed to connecting Angelenos to the good-paying jobs being created every day in our resurgent economy,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “City Accelerator will help us explore ways to increase equity among City contractors, and support our small business community. I thank Citi Foundation and Living Cities for engaging us in this partnership.”

“We know that for our economy to work, it must work for all,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “That’s why improving the City of Memphis’ performance with minority and women-owned businesses has been a priority of mine since becoming mayor. Citi Foundation and Living Cities’ inclusion of Memphis in this cohort of City Accelerator shows that we’re turning heads nationally with what we’re doing. This program will only make our efforts stronger.”

“I’m pleased Milwaukee has been selected by Citi Foundation and Living Cities to be part of City Accelerator as we continue to advance our goals of creating opportunities for local businesses and residents. Our downtown is the heart of the city, and it’s going strong. I want our downtown to pump that energy and vitality into every one of our neighborhoods,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “We have long emphasized connecting our work on the city with jobs and businesses in the city. Working with the City Accelerator on our procurement strategies will help connect us to more city businesses, and support business growth throughout Milwaukee.”

In addition to a $100,000 grant, the cities will receive a combination of coaching, technical assistance and implementation resources in the coming year. Cities may consider local policy reform, changes in standard procurement practice, staff training, leadership and accountability structures, communications, outreach and relationship building with local vendors, and capacity building for diverse local suppliers.

“Addressing disparities in the local economy has always been at the heart of our work,” said Rodney Strong, founder and CEO of Griffin and Strong P.C., a law and public policy consulting firm providing coaching and expertise to participating cities. “We are excited to help bring our expertise from decades of national public policy research and implementation to these five leading cities as we ensure that opportunity and economic growth go hand-in-hand as part of a comprehensive strategy that benefits all residents.”

To track the progress and work of these City Accelerator cities in the coming year, visit Governing Magazine, Citi’s blog and follow #CityAccelerator on Twitter.


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Scot Chisholm, Classy CEO And Co-Founder, Named A Glassdoor Highest Rated CEO In 2017

Press Release – SAN DIEGO, CA (June 21, 2017) — Classy CEO and co-founder Scot Chisholm has won a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award recognizing the Highest Rated CEOs for 2017 in the U.S. SMB category.

Based in San Diego, California, Classy aims to accelerate social impact by providing world-class online fundraising tools that fuel modern nonprofits. Recognized by Fast Company as a Top Innovative Company in Social Good, Classy is trusted by thousands of organizations that are solving the world’s toughest problems.

Glassdoor released its annual report honoring the Highest Rated CEOs, which highlights top leaders employees love working for at Small & Medium Companies in the U.S.

Among chief executives recognized by employees in the U.S., Chisholm received an impressive approval rating based on the anonymous and voluntary reviews Classy employees shared on Glassdoor throughout the past year. Out of the 700,000 companies reviewed on Glassdoor, the average CEO approval rating is 67 percent; Chisholm has a current approval rating of 97 percent.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by Glassdoor and the Classy team, and to appear on this list alongside so many other inspiring leaders,” said Chisholm. “We believe a healthy and thriving culture is paramount to growth, so it’s incredibly rewarding to see our Glassdoor reviews continuously reflect the transparent and inclusive environment we’re striving to create for every team member.”

“CEOs tell us the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award is one of the highest honors they can receive because it truly reflects employee opinion about the job they do every day. I congratulate all of the winners on this significant honor,” said Robert Hohman, Glassdoor co-founder and CEO. “We know that CEO approval ratings correlate to overall employee satisfaction and trust in senior leadership, which contributes to long-term employee engagement, ultimately helping an employer’s recruiting and retention efforts.”

When employees submit reviews about their company on Glassdoor, they are asked to rate various factors about their employment experience, including their overall satisfaction and other workplace attributes like senior management. As part of these ratings, employees are also asked to rate whether they approve, disapprove, or are neutral about the job their CEO is doing.

Earlier this year, Classy signed Glassdoor’s Equal Pay Pledge and was also recognized by Glassdoor as one of the Best Places to Work.

See the complete list of all Highest Rated CEOs in 2017 in the U.S. SMB category: https://www.glassdoor.com/Award/Highest-Rated-CEOs-at-SMBs-LST_KQ0,26.htm


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