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

CARE Announces Letter-Writing, Social Media Campaign in Support of Refugees around the World

Letters of Hope initiative connects American youth with refugee children, invites others to express solidarity using #LettersOfHope

Forced from her home in Somalia in 2010, 11-year-old Safiyo lives with her family in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, one of the largest refugee camps in the world. On World Refugee Day, June 20, the UN announced a record number of displaced people worldwide: 65.6 million. CARE works with families in Dadaab and refugees in other parts of the world to deliver clean water, food, heath care, critical financial assistance and other support. Carey Wagner/CARE.

Press Release – ATLANTA (June 20, 2017) — To mark World Refugee Day, the global poverty-fighting organization CARE today announced its Letters of Hope campaign, which connects American youth with young refugees around the world and invites the public to share expressions of solidarity using #LettersOfHope. The campaign comes as the UN announces that the number of refugees worldwide has swelled to another record: 65.6 million.

Through the Letters of Hope campaign: fifth-graders in Boulder, Colo., exchanged letters with children in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp; Stanford University students wrote Syrian refugees in Jordan; middle school students in New York City sent letters to Afghan refugees in Greece and displaced families in Yemen; and fourth-graders outside Atlanta traded letters with South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Now CARE is asking individuals of all ages to show their support for refugees by sharing their expressions of hope and solidarity through their favorite social media channels using #LettersOfHope.

“In providing lifesaving food, water and shelter around the world, CARE staff often see another tremendous need: Refugees want to know if the rest of world sees their struggle and cares about their fate,” said Michelle Nunn, CARE president and CEO. “Amid increasing anti-refugee rhetoric and fewer open doors for displaced people, a simple message of solidarity and hope can boost the spirits of people living in limbo — giving them real hope.”

In one exchange between grade-schoolers in Boulder and Dadaab, several students used personal drawings in their letters. From her Dadaab school, Safiyo drew a beautiful blue-and-pink flower and wrote: “One day we will meet and I will draw a flower on your hands and legs. This is the flower I will draw on you.” CARE converted her artwork into temporary tattoos that the kids in Boulder affixed to their arms and legs. Two weeks later, Safiyo smiled with pride as she flipped through photos of these children, from thousands of miles away, with her flower all over them. One of the Boulder students even responded with his own drawing — of a giant yellow sun — at the end of his letter. “Everyone sees the sun,” he wrote underneath. “The sun brings us all together.”

Letters of Hope stems from a similar CARE letter-writing initiative in 2016 called Special Delivery, in which original CARE Package recipients in America — themselves former child refugees after WWII — wrote to Syrian refugee children. Though separated by seven decades and thousands of miles, the connections between child refugees of yesterday and those of today inspired people around the world to send their own heartfelt messages.

When CARE launched its original Letters of Hope campaign last year, requests to write letters poured in from schools and children. “Now we’re channeling that energy to raise the world’s collective voice in support of refugees,” Nunn said. Learn more at care.org/lettersofhope.

About CARE

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. That’s why women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve education and health, create economic opportunity, respond to emergencies and confront hunger. Last year CARE worked in 94 countries and reached 80 million people around the world. Learn more at care.org.

ImpactAssets’ Giving Fund Closes 251st Impact Deal

“Custom Investments” feature enables donors to source and recommend investment into social entrepreneurs addressing the world’s biggest challenges.

Press Release – Bethesda, June 20, 2017 – What does the world’s first plant-based burger maker have in common with a direct trade company that works with women coffee farmers and roasters in Latin America?

Both Beyond Meat and Vega Coffee are among 251 businesses, social enterprises and funds that have received funding through the ImpactAssets Custom Investments option – a unique service that is part of The Giving Fund, a donor advised fund [i] with more than $350 million in assets and a 100% focus on impact investing.

The Custom Investments option uniquely enables donors to source and recommend direct investments in private, mission-driven businesses, impact funds and nonprofit organizations using philanthropic dollars as recoverable investment capital.

“This is a great milestone for ImpactAssets as we work to democratize impact investing and provide clients with unique ways to direct capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns,” said Tim Freundlich, president of ImpactAssets. “We understand that impact investing can be a personal commitment. Custom Investments allows clients to recommend the investments that matter most to them.”

To date, donors have sourced and recommended more than 200 direct company investments and 50 funds in the private debt and equity segment, with a minimum $25,000 investment. All entities that receive investment from ImpactAssets must have a commitment to measuring and reporting their social or environmental impact, as well their financial returns.

“The Custom Investments feature has been the perfect way for my wife and I to blend our impact investing and our charitable giving,” said Seth Goldman, Co-founder of Honest Tea and Executive Chairman of Beyond Meat. “We take a little more risk with our impact investments in the Giving Fund, because whether they succeed or not, we know we are supporting a social entrepreneur’s vision and we’re not getting money back personally whatever the outcome. We know that if our investments are successful, the money will be recirculated to support more mission-driven entrepreneurs.”

Custom Investments has been offered to ImpactAssets clients since 2011, but the service has seen a spike in interest and participation since the 2016 Presidential election, as investors seek to make a “hands-on” impact locally and globally. A series of ImpactAssets Roundtables with investment advisors found the post-election environment is generating greater investor activism.

Recent custom investments include:

  • Issue One: Bipartisan effort to reduce the influence of money in politics
  • PennyPass: A new revenue engine for digital media
  • Gigawatt Global: Renewable energy developer in emerging markets
  • Namaste Solar: Solar energy solutions for homeowners, businesses, and utilities
  • Translator: Tech-based provider of identity and empathy training in the workforce
  • OpenInvest: Technology platform to help align investments and values
  • BeyondMeat: The plant based meat alternative

“The donor recommended investment into OpenInvest represented a valuable source of capital in our venture round, which will help us scale our mission to mainstream impact investing and empower every day investors to fight for social progress,” said Josh Levin, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, OpenInvest.

About ImpactAssets:

ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns. ImpactAssets’ donor-advised fund (“The Giving Fund”), impact investment notes, and field-building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners and their wealth advisors to advance social or environmental change through investment.

About The Giving Fund:

The Giving Fund is an innovative donor advised fund that empowers donors to increase the impact of their giving by combining it with strategic sustainable and responsible investing to build a sophisticated philanthropic endowment. Donors recommend how The Giving Fund’s assets are invested across a range of leading impact investment options including community investment, turnkey portfolios, private debt and equity funds, seed venture and custom investments. The Giving Fund currently has $350M in total assets.

[i] A Donor Advised Fund is a philanthropic vehicle that allows organizations, families or individuals to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax benefit and then recommend grants from the fund over time.


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RemitRadar, CURE International Team Up to Raise Clubfoot Awareness

Press Release – New Cumberland, PA — June 21, 2017 — CURE International, a global leader in the treatment of clubfoot, and RemitRadar, a financial technology company focused on developing countries, are joining forces to tackle one of the biggest challenges to eliminating clubfoot as a lifelong disability: awareness.

Clubfoot, the most common musculoskeletal birth defect in the world, is a deformity that severely twists the foot downward and inward, making walking difficult or impossible. While it cannot be prevented, it can be corrected, and the treatment is inexpensive. CURE International is committed to working to end clubfoot as a lifelong disability, and one of the biggest challenges they face is awareness. Many people in developing countries simply do not know that treatment is available and accessible for their children.

RemitRadar was designed as a vehicle for financial education and outreach into developing countries and has established a global user base, including countries where CURE has active clubfoot treatment programs. Through this extensive network, RemitRadar will share information about clubfoot, including how to identify it and the nearest treatment locations, with key community leaders and influencers.

“The joint initiative between CURE and RemitRadar will be a world first, combining remittance market know-how and a charity focused on the eradication of a treatable birth defect,” said Jon Santos, Managing Director of Human Analytics and Africa for RemitRadar. “The application of this technology in support of CURE’s agenda will propel its message of healing, helping CURE reach very remote places and communities worldwide.”

“We’ve been able to reach nearly 100,000 children with clubfoot since 2006, but every hour, 20 more children are born with clubfoot,” says Scott Reichenbach, Operations Director of CURE Clubfoot. “We need to broaden our reach to get ahead of this problem. This collaboration with RemitRadar is an exciting venture using technology to get the word out that clubfoot is a treatable condition and that the global standard of care is available near where they live. We can improve their livelihood.”

The partnership between CURE and RemitRadar will begin with trials in Ghana, India, Kenya, and Niger, with a goal of expanding to every country where CURE and RemitRadar’s services overlap. This project helps RemitRadar reach one of its ultimate goals: bringing donors, executors, and beneficiaries together in groundbreaking ways by making its technology freely available in support of humanitarian agendas.

About CURE International

CURE International is a Christian health care network that operates charitable hospitals and programs in 29 countries worldwide where patients experience the life-changing message of God’s love for them, receiving surgical treatment regardless of gender, religion, or ethnicity. Since 1998, CURE has had over 3.3 million outpatient visits, provided over 230,000 life-changing surgeries, and trained over 8,100 medical professionals. For more information, visit https://cure.org/.

About RemitRadar

RemitRadar is a financial technology forged out of two decades of critical exposure to the remittance industry. The team behind RemitRadar was a key driving force behind the development of person-to-person money transfers world wide, having grown it out of the Americas to what it is today.

The team’s experience in this industry is second to none, having been responsible for the world-wide rollout and development of multiple Money Transfer Services. The team has also been instrumental in helping create the architecture that supports the industry. Our people have a solid and proven record in innovation, opening new markets and introducing disruptive technologies. RemitRadar specialises in providing complementary technologies to the remittance industry.


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Rights, Safety, Tolerance Eroding Worldwide

Most countries, however, have improved over the past four years
Access to Information and Communications, Access to Advanced Education are driving progress

Press Release – WASHINGTON, DC / June 21, 2017—While quality of life is improving across the globe, world leaders must confront two deeply troubling trends: declining personal rights, personal safety, and tolerance and inclusion, as well as slow and uneven progress worldwide, according to new research, released today by the Social Progress Imperative in collaboration with Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School and Scott Stern of MIT.

For the first time, the Social Progress Imperative, which annually publishes the Social Progress Index, is able to compare 128 countries’ social progress performance across four years and reveal global, regional, and national trends.

“Millions of people are experiencing a shameful rolling back of their freedoms, more violence and injustice, and blatant discrimination and exclusion from life’s most meaningful opportunities. And despite having access to extreme wealth and other influence, the US along with other advanced nations have hardly made much progress since 2014,” Social Progress Imperative CEO Michael Green said. “This means we’re seeing incremental change and pockets of social progress rather than widespread transformation. Some countries are even backsliding in areas that are critical to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—like Environmental Quality, Health and Wellness, Personal Freedom and Choice, and Shelter.”

  • The 2017 Social Progress Index finds that since 2014, Personal Rights—which includes measures of political rights and freedom of expression—declined in more countries than it improved.
    • The Index detects a rapid deterioration of rights, especially marked in terms of falling political participation and worsening freedoms of expression and assembly, in six countries including Turkey, Thailand and Hungary.
    • Thirty-three countries experienced a deterioration in rights: Brazil saw the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, and Poland is increasingly restricting free speech and dissent.
  • Improvements in Personal Safety over the last four years remain stubbornly elusive. Almost as many countries experienced a fall as saw an increase in this category of social progress—which spans political terror and traffic deaths.
    • Inverse changes in the homicide rate and in violent crime are canceling out progress in many countries.
    • Latin America and the Caribbean accounts for many of the world’s largest declines in safety. Since 2009, Honduras has seen the most dramatic increase in homicides: from 44.5 to 74.6 deaths per 100,000 people.

“Divisive political rhetoric on asylum and migration issues, rising xenophobia, and restrictions on access to asylum have become increasingly visible in certain regions, and the spirit of shared responsibility has been replaced by a hate-filled narrative of intolerance,” said former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on World Refugee Day last year.

  • On the Index, countries diverge the most when it comes to Tolerance and Inclusion—a measure that includes acceptance of immigrants, homosexuals and religious minorities. Though relatively stable on average, country-level scores are the most volatile in the Index.
    • Most countries in Europe show consistent or gradually improving scores, but there have been substantial declines in the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Slovakia where they are experiencing signs of deteriorating tolerance towards immigrants and increasing discrimination against minorities. The United States has also declined for the same reasons. The ongoing movement of refugees and migrants, and subsequent pressure on resources have likely had a negative effect on this area of social progress.
    • There are some signs of improving tolerance towards homosexuals, however, particularly in regions where recorded levels of tolerance have been poorest. For example, in Nepal 83% of its population say it’s a good place to live for gay and lesbian people, compared to just 56% seven years ago.
    • Globally, the Index reflects a large decline in the percentage of people who indicate that they have relatives or friends they can count on, if they need help.

“During a time when trust is in free fall, the Social Progress Index can be a tool for government, business, and civil society to regain that trust, and make transparent the case for rebuilding the institutions that matter most to citizens, communities, and nations,” said Sally Osberg, Skoll Foundation President and CEO and Social Progress Imperative board member.

Generally, the world is underperforming on social progress compared to what the average GDP per capita suggests is possible. Despite progress in the last decade, our world is still failing most egregiously on Water and Sanitation (access to piped water and improved sanitation facilities) and Access to Basic Knowledge (adult literacy and secondary school enrollment).

One of the most blatant failures is the world’s most powerful countries have failed to make significant progress over the past four years. Despite having the greatest wealth, largest populations and strongest regional influence, G20 countries like France, the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey and China have been largely unsuccessful at improving social and environmental outcomes and continue to underperform compared to what their GDPs suggest is possible.

As the wealthiest G7 country, the US should have been able to make much more social progress over the past four years, but by all accounts, its progress has flat lined. Its modest improvement in rank and change at the component level shouldn’t overshadow the fact that the nation is significantly falling behind countries with similar GDP per capita on half of the Social Progress Index measures.

“The US is not only slow to produce social and environmental outcomes, it is failing to address basic human needs, equip citizens to improve their quality of life, protect the environment, and provide opportunity for everyone to make personal choices and reach their full potential,” said Social Progress Imperative CEO Michael Green. “Regardless of economic growth over the same period, a society which fails to meet its own social needs is not succeeding. And it is certainly not competitive on the global stage.”

“We have the resources to do better. The main problem is the inequality in wealth between rich and poor nations. Global aid flows are not sufficient to help the poorest countries to provide these basic needs for all,” Green said. “Greater income can easily and positively influence a country’s social progress performance in more than half of the areas measured on the Social Progress Index. But getting richer simply won’t move the needle far enough; the most stubborn challenges need innovation and other creative interventions, making social progress achievable by even the lowest resourced countries.”

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at stake. Social progress will need to accelerate, if our world is to see the step change required to achieve the SDGs. The world as a whole needs to reach a score of 75, an improvement of 10 points, on the Social Progress Index to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Thankfully, the issues highlighted in the Social Progress Index are solvable, and business is part of the solution.

“Addressing the complex challenges society faces, globally and locally, is a critical role for business. That is why Deloitte has been working alongside Social Progress Imperative to empower communities with new ways to think about and measure what matters most for society to advance and prosper,” said David Cruickshank, Deloitte Global Chairman and Social Progress Imperative board member. “Today’s business leaders want to better understand the societal forces shaping our world. I believe this Index has the ability to help enable these leaders, alongside those in government and civil society organizations, to systematically identify a strategy towards responsible and inclusive growth through prioritizing the most pressing needs of their communities.”

Other global findings

  • Denmark tops the 2017 Social Progress Index ranking, boasting strong performance across all the components of the Index. It leads the world in Shelter (94.27) and Personal Rights (97.89), ranks second on Access to Information and Communications (98.49) and Personal Rights (97.89), and places third on Personal Safety (93.75).
  • If the world were a country, it would rank between Indonesia (rank 79) and Botswana (rank 80) on the 2017 Social Progress Index. It would fall within the Lower Middle Social Progress Tier.
  • In the last four years, social progress has advanced worldwide but not fast or far enough. The average world score rose from 63.19 in 2014 to 64.85 in 2017—a 2.6% increase on the Social Progress Index. Out of the 128 countries measured on the Social Progress Index, 113 countries improved since 2014. The average improvement was 1.37 points.
  • Access to Information and Communications and Access to Advanced Education are driving global social progress.
    • More than 87% of people globally have mobile phone subscription and 95% of people live in an area with a mobile-cellular network—with lower-income countries increasingly gaining widespread access. The increase in Internet users globally has also increased over the last five years: more than 49% of the world’s population use the Web—up over 8% in just four years.
    • Better access to advanced education has contributed to social progress gains over the last four years: 89 countries boast globally ranked university up from 75 in 2014. Although most world-class universities are in Europe, North America, and Australia; East Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa can now claim top quality university education. In 2014, only South Africa had any globally ranked universities in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, that list now includes Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda.
  • The top improvers (moving up their scores by three or more points) over the past four years are low and lower middle-income countries, which have the most areas to improve: Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Ghana, Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Nigeria.
  • The countries that have shown the most decline (moving down their scores by more than one point) in the past four years include: Nicaragua, Hungary, Central African Republic, and Republic of Congo.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is far from being the sole determinant of social progress. Across the spectrum, from rich to poor, we see how some countries are much better at turning their economic growth into social progress than others.
  • Costa Rica, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Nepal, Senegal and Chile are identified by the 2017 Social Progress Index as the nations that most overperform on measures of social progress.
  • Angola, Saudi Arabia, Central African Republic, Kuwait, Chad and Afghanistan are identified by the 2017 Social Progress Index as the nations that most underperform on measures of social progress.

“Economic growth alone is not sufficient to advance societies and improve the quality of life for citizens. True success, and growth that is inclusive, requires achieving both economic and social progress,” said Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School, who co-authored the 2017 Social Progress Index report and leads the Social Progress Imperative’s scientific team. “The US is the wealthiest G7 country in terms of GDP per capita, for example, but it is lagging behind other leading countries in areas like education, health, personal safety, and inclusion. America’s failure to advance social progress is limiting our economic growth and standing in the way of prosperity that is widely shared. Countries must rethink how they measure success. Benchmarking social progress and taking the steps needed to advance it will be the key to national and local success in this century.”


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The International Rescue Committee, YouTube and YouTube Stars Team Up To Release #MoreThanARefugee Video Series

Press Release – New York, NY, June 20, 2017 — According to the latest figures, more than 65.6 million people last year were forced to flee their homes because of crisis and disaster. This World Refugee Day, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and YouTube’s Creators for Change program have joined seven YouTube stars to help raise awareness of refugee stories through a series of new YouTube videos. These #MoreThanARefugee videos are designed to help put names, faces and real stories to the people behind the staggering statistics and to help people around the world understand who refugees are and why they are displaced from their home countries.

Over the past weeks, seven YouTube Creators including Mama Bee from Eh Bee Family, Tyler Oakley, Jouelzy, Fly with Haifa, Francis Maxwell of The Young Turks, Suli Breaks, and Greg and Mitch from ASAPScience traveled to Jordan, Serbia, Uganda, Greece, and a couple of cities in the US to meet refugees and film video collaborations to help share their personal stories. Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. Combined, these YouTube stars have over 21 million subscribers who regularly tune in to watch their content, and their new videos are now available on YouTube here.

Each video will have a donation card enabled on it, which will allow people watching to contribute funds to help support the IRC’s ongoing on-ground support work. As part of this collaboration, YouTube and Google.org have pledged up to match up to $500,000 of these donations.

“When we see refugees as people first, we are able to replace fear with recognition and hope,” said David Miliband, IRC president and CEO. “Our YouTube partnership allows us to introduce refugees in a distinctly deeper and personal way while reaching millions of people who otherwise may have remained unengaged.”

“We’re proud to partner with the International Rescue Committee to support their work and help raise awareness of refugee experiences around the world. We’re also humbled to be a platform where refugees and creators alike can share their personal stories through video, and in doing so, help create empathy for the brave people who are experiencing life as a refugee,” said Danielle Tiedt, Chief Marketing Officer, YouTube.

The IRC encourages everyone to show their support of refugees by using #MoreThanARefugee and #StandwithRefugees on social media posts today.


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Cambridge Associates And The Intentional Endowments Network Outline A Blueprint For Action For Investors Wishing To Uphold Aims Of Paris Climate Agreement And Implement Environmental Factors Into Portfolios

Press Release – Though the United States government is no longer supporting the Paris Climate Agreement, hundreds of American institutions – including endowments and foundations – have joined businesses, philanthropists, cities and states across the country in remaining committed to the international accord.

Many institutions struggle to integrate environmental objectives and considerations (including ESG factors) into their investment portfolios, and the language of the Paris Agreement provides a good framework for moving forward. To integrate this framework effectively, they would do well to focus investment decision-making around three elements of their organizations and missions – their Purpose, Priorities and Principles – and to ensure their investment policies reflect those guideposts, according to the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN), a non-profit peer learning network, and global investment firm Cambridge Associates. IEN and CA have created related resources for institutions, “Considerations for ESG Policy Development” and “Paris Agreement in the Investment Policy.”

“The investment risks and opportunities associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy remain salient for many long-term investors, and the U.S. exit from the Paris Agreement should not prevent them from integrating environmental factors into their investment decisions,” says Georges Dyer, Principal of the Intentional Endowments Network.

“Long-term investors understand that climate change and human responses to it will present both risks and opportunities for their portfolios,” says Tom Mitchell, Managing Director in the Mission-Related Investing Practice at Cambridge Associates. “The guiding objectives of the Paris Agreement provide investors a sound framework for integrating sustainability factors and considerations within investment policy, which serves as a blueprint for action and support our longer term view on the importance of resource efficiency and sustainability.”

Dyer and Mitchell explain how articulating Purpose, Priorities, and Principles in a well-designed investment policy can help institutions effectively incorporate environmental concerns into their investment portfolios. Questions investors should explore include:

  • What is our institution’s purpose? That is, what are our primary goals and core beliefs – and how should they inform our investment decisions? An institutional purpose usually takes an aspirational, longer-term time horizon. For example, an investor’s Purpose statement may simply be to support the transition toward a low-carbon economy.  Ultimately, defining a purpose ensures that the institution knows what it is striving toward with its investments.
  • What are our core environmental or social priorities, and how can we express them in policy language? Thinking about priorities allows investment committees to link their broad purpose to specific investment areas. If an institution’s purpose is to support the transition toward a low-carbon economy, for example, its investment priorities may exist in areas like renewable infrastructure, clean transportation and smart energy management.
  • What are the principles that inform our investment decision-making? Endowments and foundations should think of these principles as overarching guidelines that help ensure the investments they make are in line with their purpose and priorities. For instance, a guiding principle for some investors may be that all investment opportunities should be viewed through a sustainability lens.

Dyer and Mitchell add that decision-makers at endowments and foundations should also proactively study sustainability themes to remain aware of potential opportunities to align their portfolios with their environmental goals.

Ultimately, note Dyer and Mitchell, open discussions among key stakeholders are essential for defining and refining an institution’s investment purpose, priorities and principles. If institutions do not seek input and build consensus internally, they will be more likely to fall short of their sustainable investment goals.

Cambridge Associates’ Mission-Related Investing Practice works with institutions to design and implement their mission-related investing programs.

To learn more about how investors can organize their investment decision-making around their purpose, priorities and principles, please click here.


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National Hands-On Preservation Training Program Reaches Milestone 100th Project

Program empowering the next generation of historic preservationists to launch 100th project with Juneteenth commemoration at Virginia’s Fort Monroe National Monument

Press Release – WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 13, 2017) — Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew, a nationwide initiative connecting hundreds of young people to preservation trades and breathing new life into historic structures across our public lands, announced Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton, Virginia, as the site of the program’s 100th project. In partnership with the National Park Service and the Fort Monroe Authority, HOPE Crew will deploy a team of national experts and young, local participants from The Corps Network’s member corps to rehabilitate Fort Monroe National Monument’s historic quarters this summer.

“The success of HOPE Crew highlights a hands-on approach to saving places that—beyond addressing deferred maintenance at historic sites—is making a positive difference in the lives of future preservationists and the communities where they serve,” said Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We’re excited to continue broadening the preservation movement with our partners and to kick-off HOPE Crew’s 100th project at Fort Monroe National Monument, a National Treasure and site of one of our country’s most extraordinary chapters in the fight for freedom.”

At Fort Monroe National Monument, known to many as “Freedom’s Fortress” for being the place where more than 500,000 African Americans took the first step in ending their enslavement during the American Civil War, HOPE Crew participants working on former living quarters built in 1834 will have an opportunity to discover the site’s history while acquiring advanced preservation skills that make them competitive in the job market, including: foundation stabilization; wall assessments; re-pointing; masonry; painting and refinishing; and carpentry.

“We cannot understand the Civil War—the most significant event in American history—without knowing what happened at Fort Monroe,” said Terry E. Brown, National Park Service superintendent of Fort Monroe National Monument. “In helping us preserve historic Building 50 this summer, HOPE Crew participants are also helping us commemorate the courage of Civil War-era freedom seekers and allowing future generations to understand the full American story.”

Since the start of the program in 2014, HOPE Crew (named for “Hands-On Preservation Experience”) has completed 99 projects around the country, trained more than 600 young people and veterans in preservation trades and recruited over 2,000 volunteers to protect places that are significant to their communities. In just three years, aligning the National Park Service with The Corps Network membership of over 130 Corps across the country, the program has contributed 80,000 hours and $14.3 million worth of preservation work at an array of historic sites, including: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s boyhood home in Georgia; Painted Desert Community Complex in Arizona, the last remaining structure in the National Park Service designed by modernist Richard Neutra; and the White Grass Dude Ranch in Montana where cabins were restored for use as a future training facility for the Western Center for Historic Preservation.

“We are proud to have played a role in the development and growth of the HOPE Crew program and are excited to celebrate the 100th project at a site bearing as much historical significance as Fort Monroe,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, CEO of The Corps Network. “The mission of Corps is to provide young adults the opportunity to learn job and life skills through service to our country. HOPE Crew allows Corpsmembers to also learn about our country’s history and engage in keeping America’s past alive.”

At an event on Monday, June 19, 2017, 1PM ET, at Fort Monroe National Monument, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Fort Monroe Authority, and The Corps Network will host a public event to launch the program’s 100th project and honor the Juneteenth holiday that celebrates the ending of slavery in the United States. The public and members of the media can join a roster of special guests, government officials, local leaders and HOPE Crew participants to learn about what makes Fort Monroe National Monument an essential landmark of African American history, as well as the wide-ranging importance of engaging young people across the country through preservation work on public lands.

Additionally, the National Trust for Historic Preservation will collect and curate the multifaceted stories of descendants of Fort Monroe’s Civil War-era freedom seekers. Individuals with special connections to Fort Monroe, in the Hampton Roads area and across the country, are encouraged to share their family stories at: www.savingplaces.org/freedom-stories

For more info on HOPE Crew, please visit: www.savingplaces.org/hope-crew


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10 Nonprofits Win Classy Awards for Groundbreaking Innovations in Social Good

Winners were recognized in Boston at the Collaborative, the social sector’s leading annual event, hosted by Classy

Scot Chisholm, Classy’s CEO & Co-Founder, addresses the crowd during the 2017 Collaborative in Boston, Massachusetts.

Press Release – BOSTON, June 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — It was a night to remember for ten organizations who took home a Classy Award—recognizing the most innovative solutions to the world’s toughest social issues.

Classy, the leading online and mobile fundraising platform for social enterprises, created the Classy Awards to bring much-needed attention to the work nonprofits are doing across the globe.

“For-profits have many opportunities for recognition through award shows and industry accolades,” said Pat Walsh, Classy’s Co-Founder and Chief Impact Officer. “But as we deepened our connection to the nonprofits and social enterprises we serve, including those outside of our network, we realized there wasn’t a formal way to recognize their progress or achievements across the sector—so we created one.”

Out of hundreds of program nominations, 100 finalists were selected based on rigorous judging criteria. The winners were then chosen by the Classy Leadership Council, an honorary board of 100 industry leaders and cause experts including Kim Rubey, Head of Global Social Impact at Airbnb; Kate Brandt, Lead for Sustainability at Google; Jesse Schultz, Manager of Social Innovation at Warby Parker; and Steve Davis, President & CEO at PATH.

From global poverty and hunger relief, to health services, educational advancement, and social justice, the Classy Award winners are tackling some of the world’s most complex problems through the specific programs that were nominated.

This year’s winning programs and respective organizations are:

  • Days for Girls by Days for Girls International
  • Lending Circles by Mission Asset Fund
  • MicroBuild Fund by Habitat for Humanity International
  • Missing Maps by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
  • Protecting Children from Cybersex Trafficking by International Justice Mission
  • Safe Access by OpenBiome
  • Samasource by Samasource
  • SHE28 by Sustainable Health Enterprises
  • SKILLZ Street by Grassroot Soccer
  • The Shoe That Grows by Because International

To learn more about the winners and their innovative programs, click here.

In addition to the ten program winners, Classy recognized Ray Offenheiser with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his unmatched dedication to advancing the sector. As President and CEO of Oxfam America, Ray grew the organization eightfold, became one of the strongest members of the global Oxfam confederation, and established its influential presence in Washington, D.C. promoting a social justice approach to the fight against global poverty.

The Classy Awards ceremony capped off the Collaborative—Classy’s three-day experience that convenes top social innovators from around the world to incite meaningful dialogue and accelerate progress in the social sector. Hot-button issues were discussed by a range of influential speakers, including Boston Bombing Marathon Survivor, Adrianne Haslet; Linda Sarsour of the Women’s March; Laurie Barnett, Managing Director Communications & Outreach at Southwest Airlines; Vox’s Liz Plank, and more.

The Collaborative + Classy Awards will return to Boston next year from June 12-14, 2018; visit classy.org/collaborative to get involved.

The 2017 Collaborative was presented by Classy, Fluxx, Plenty, Southwest Airlines and The Boston Foundation, in partnership with Appirio, Benevity, Omatic Software, Qlik, TripAdvisor, Twilio, and other sponsors.

About Classy

Classy is the world’s leading fundraising platform for social enterprises with the goal of solving social problems more effectively and efficiently. Since launching in 2011, Classy has helped more than 3,000 social enterprises including Oxfam, World Food Program USA, and National Geographic to raise hundreds of millions of dollars. Classy also hosts the Collaborative, a three-day summit and awards ceremony that convenes impactful social enterprises and celebrates achievements in the sector. Based in San Diego, California, Classy employs a staff of over 200 people and was recognized by Glassdoor in 2017 as one of the Best Places to Work. Other recent recognition includes Fast Company’s 2016 10 Most Innovative Companies for Social Good, Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2016 10 Most Brilliant Companies for Social Impact, and a “Rising Star” recognition in the first-ever Forbes Cloud 100 list. Classy is backed by investors including JMI Equity, Mithril, and Salesforce Ventures. For more information, visit www.classy.org or follow Classy on Twitter: @Classy.

SOURCE Classy

Related Links

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$100,000 Available for Centre Inspires Ideas

Grant Proposals Due to Centre Foundation by July 27

Press Release – State College, PA – What project would you like to implement to meet a local need and encourage the people of Centre County to become more engaged in their community?

This is the question that applicants are answering to secure funding from Centre Foundation’s $100,000 Centre Inspires granting program.

“We’re excited to see what ideas there are to make our community an even more engaging place to live,” said Molly Kunkel, Executive Director of Centre Foundation. “In prior years, the Centre Inspires grant program has brought the community projects like the Book Benches, Food Centres, and Centred Outdoors!”

To learn more about Centre Inspires, read the granting program guidelines, and apply ahead of the July 27th deadline, please visit Centre-Foundation.org.

For more information, please contact Centre Foundation’s Grant & Scholarship Coordinator, Ashley Pipe, at 814-237-6229 or by e-mail at ashley@centre-foundation.org.

Centre Foundation’s mission is to inspire and facilitate a culture of giving to create a vibrant community.


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10-Year Partnership Between the Government of Malawi, the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program and Camfed to Transform Prospects for Girls and Young Women

Press Release – June 16, 2017 – Blantyre, Malawi, Toronto, Canada, and Cambridge, UKThis Day of the African Child, Camfed and The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program announced a pioneering new partnership with the Government of Malawi to support 3,500 girls from economically disadvantaged rural communities to succeed in secondary school and transition to independence and leadership. The announcement follows the national launch of a 10-year secondary education and transitions program, presided over by Malawi’s Minister of Education, Science and Technology, the Hon. Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano, MP.

Dr. Fabiano noted the importance of the length and scope of the partnership: “Education is a patient business, but the rewards pay dividends for generations. This 10-year program encourages sustainability by enabling a large cohort of girls and young women to make the transition to secure livelihoods and local philanthropy.”

In collaboration with The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, Camfed Malawi will support 3,500 girls to reach their potential in partner secondary schools. It will also equip school graduates to make the transition from secondary education into entrepreneurship, employment or further study. The program will include bespoke training, support and mentorship, enabling young women to launch and grow new businesses in their rural communities, generating the resources to support more girls and boys on their journey through school.

“This new partnership comes at a time of great need and urgency,” says Harold Kuombola, National Director of Camfed Malawi. “Every year, exceptional students are punished because they are poor, selected to secondary schools but unable to take up their places because they cannot afford the costs, especially when these include boarding fees and travel. And it addresses the important question of support for young women after school: how do they become independent agents of their destiny after they complete school, in a context where more than half of our youth are either unemployed or working low wage jobs?”

Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation, joined Camfed Founder and President Ann Cotton at the launch event. “Young Malawian women have a less than one percent university education enrollment rate. This new collaboration will enable a greater number of the country’s women to take their educational journey beyond secondary school and on to university. These vibrant and talented young women hold so much promise for Malawi. For all of Africa. Championed by their families, their teachers and mentors, they will realize their ambitions, ideas and aspirations to lead meaningful change within their communities.”

Ann Cotton underscored the unique nature of the joint approach: “This groundbreaking partnership takes secondary school education as the vital foundation for secure lives but, unlike so many other initiatives, it also recognizes the lack of jobs and training for school leavers and invests in their futures. This long-term approach will enable academically gifted young women from the poorest of backgrounds to show the world their capability and, with their social commitment and emotional intelligence, to give back to their families, communities and society as powerful change-makers.”

Teacher Mentor Mercy Kansale from Zomba District, where the celebrations took place, expressed her pride in girls’ zeal for education in Malawi, despite the many challenges they face. Writing a blog for the Day of the African Child, she amplifies the voices of girls, Mother Support Groups, and Camfed’s CAMA alumnae, who return to school as role models, showing girls that it is possible to start small businesses and create employment. Kansale also highlights the need for sexual reproductive health training and HIV/AIDS awareness, and the commitment of local chiefs in the fight against child marriage. The Malawian government sees girls’ education and women’s empowerment as ways to address all these issues, with their direct link to smaller, healthier families, so vital in achieving sustained economic growth, combating youth unemployment, and tackling climate change.

“There is a reason why it takes a village to raise a child,” Harold Kuombola concludes. “Collaboration with communities and government is central to the approach taken by Camfed and The MasterCard Foundation – this partnership will enable us to provide the wrap-around support that tackles barriers holistically. Without girls’ education, all the other Sustainable Development Goals will remain elusive in Malawi.”


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