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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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and corporate social responsibility.


SeedEquity Ventures



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.

Xavier University Announces Commencement Speaker, Honorees

Blair Underwood to Address 2014 Xavier Graduates

New Orleans LA (March 14, 2014) – Award-winning actor/director/producer Blair Underwood will deliver the commencement address at Xavier University of Louisiana’s 87th annual graduation ceremony Saturday, May 10, at 10:00 a.m. in the Convocation Center.

Underwood, who will address more than 550 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional students and their families, will also be awarded an honorary degree at the commencement, along with retiring Tulane University President Dr. Scott Cowen and New Orleans educator, activist and community leader,Sybil Haydel Morial ‘52.

The annual Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation will be held the preceding evening, Friday (May 09), at 6:00 p.m. in the Convocation Center.

Blair Underwood

Blair Underwood has distinguished himself as an award-winning actor/director/producer who continues to showcase his multitude of talents in the world of film, television, theatre and literature.

Underwood, whose most recent film (co-starring Cicely Tyson) is the Lifetime telefilm based on the Tony-award winning play, “A Trip To Bountiful”, first burst into the national spotlight in the 1980’s with his confident and passionate portrayal of lawyer Jonathan Rollins in the NBC hit series “L.A. Law”, a role that earned him the first of his two Golden Globe nominations.

The next decade saw him singled out by TV Guide as one of “The Top Stars of the 90s”, and land a major role in CBS’ top-rated 1998 dramatic miniseries, “Mama Flora’s Family,” a performance which earned him the first of 13 NAACP Image Awards nominations, as well as the first of his six wins.

In 2000, People magazine named him one of its “50 Most Beautiful People” and in 2004 named him one of the “Sexiest Men Alive.”

Some of his more memorable cable and television movies include: HBO’s groundbreaking drama “In Treatment”; as well as NBC’s “Murder in Mississippi”; HBO’s “Soul of the Game” and Sex & the City”; Steven Bochco’s “City of Angels”; and TNT’s award-winning “Heat Wave”.

His theater credits include his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of Stanley in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” – which earned him a 2012 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination. Prior to that he starred in an off-Broadway, one-man show “IM4: From the Mountaintop to Hip Hop” – written by his brother Frank Underwood – in which he played eight characters in all.

Underwood made his feature directorial debut with the independent drama “Bridge to Nowhere.” Additionally, he produced the TLC series “Million Dollar Christmas”. As director, executive producer, writer and star of the dramatic short “The Second Coming,” Underwood played Jesus Christ returning to earth.

Underwood published his first book, a non-fiction bestseller called “Before I Got Here”, a collection of stories and anecdotes from parents that speak to the existence of a child’s soul prior to birth. He also portrayed Jesus in the audio book “The Bible Experience.” Since its release in October 2006, it has become the No. 1 selling audio Bible in history.

He has also co-authored several critically and reader acclaimed detective novels, the fourth installment of which, “South by Southeast”, will be released later this year.

In 2009, Underwood won a Grammy award for Best Spoken Word for former Vice President Al Gore’s album “An Inconvenient Truth” (with co-readers Beau Bridges & Cynthia Nixon).

Underwood is involved in numerous charitable organizations. His dedicated support of The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) won him the 1993 Humanitarian Award, presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of MDA. In 2003, Underwood, along with Ashley Judd, served as the spokesperson for YouthAIDS.

Underwood is also co-founder of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA). Founded in 1989, by members of the arts and entertainment community, ANSA is a nonprofit organization working in the U.S. and South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS, assist children orphaned by the disease, advance human and civil rights, educate and empower youth, and build bonds between our nations through arts, culture, and our shared pursuit of social justice.

In 2009, AIDS Healthcare Foundation,the United States’ largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider, announced the grand opening of their first AIDS treatment center in Washington DC – and the facility was named after Underwood in recognition of his longtime advocacy.

Dr. Scott Cowen

Dr. Scott Cowen, Tulane University’s 14th President, is set to retire in July 2014 after 16 years at the helm. He will leave behind a thriving university community and a remarkable legacy.

During his tenure, Tulane more than quadrupled its undergraduate applications while experiencing all-time highs in student quality. In addition, the university more than doubled its level of total private giving and received a record level of research awards, leading to the implementation of a number of innovative academic, research, and community outreach initiatives. Tulane’s growth has been the impetus for $700 million in new and renovated facilities in the last eight years.

The consummate fundraiser, Cowen successfully led the “Promise and Distinction: The Campaign for Tulane” campaign which exceeded its $700 million goal, making it the largest university fundraising effort in the history of Louisiana. Upon the completion of a comprehensive university-wide planning process in 2012, he launched a $1 billion plus campaign to support the university’s long-term future.

Cowen also led Tulane through the most trying period of its history when, in August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of the University’s uptown and downtown health sciences campuses, and dispersed faculty, staff and students for an entire semester. Under his leadership, a sweeping Renewal Plan strengthened and focused the university’s academic mission and strategically addressed its operations in the post-Katrina era. As a result, a remarkable 87 percent of Tulane undergraduate students returned for classes in January of 2006, just months after the storm.

His response to Katrina was not limited to Tulane. Cowen was an integral figure on the Bring New Orleans Back Commission, leading a committee which reformed and rebuilt the city’s failing public school system. He also served as a commissioner of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, and was co-founder of the Fleur-de-lis Ambassadors program, a group of New Orleans civic leaders who, in the aftermath of the storm, spread the message nationwide that post-Katrina New Orleans was an economically viable, livable city with a recovery plan in progress.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed. The recipient of several national awards and honorary degrees, Cowen was named one of the nation’s Top 10 Best College Presidents by TIME magazine in 2009, and was one of only four university leaders nationwide to receive the 2009 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award. In 2010 he was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies.

Locally, he has received The Times-Picayune’s Loving Cup, which honors New Orleanians who have worked unselfishly for the community without expectation of recognition or material reward, and was also honored by New Orleans CityBusiness as one of the 30 “Driving Forces” in New Orleans in the last 30 year. Additionally, Gambit recognized Cowen as the New Orleanian of the Year.

Cowen, who as President also held the joint appointments as the Seymour S. Goodman Memorial Professor of Business in Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business and Professor of Economics in the School of Liberal Arts, has held leadership positions in national academic and professional associations, including the American Council on Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the NCAA, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). He currently serves as a board member of the University of Notre Dame and as an overseer of TIAA-CREF.

Cowen’s areas of scholarship and teaching focus on strategic financial management systems, corporate governance and leadership. He has consulted with dozens of companies, from startups to Fortune 100 companies and is currently a board member of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. and Forest City Enterprises. He is the author of five books and more than 100 academic and professional articles, essays and reviews. His most recent book, The Inevitable City: The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America, will be published in June 2014.

Cowen holds both a master’s and doctoral degree from The George Washington University in the fields of finance and management. He and his wife, Marjorie, have four adult children and four grandchildren.

Sybil Haydel Morial

Sybil Haydel Morial, a beloved educator, activist and community leader, is a New Orleans treasure.

The former First Lady of New Orleans and Xavier University of Louisiana administrator began a lifetime of involvement in human and civil rights dating back to the 1950s, when she became an active member of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans and the League of Women Voters.

She was a founder of the Louisiana League of Good Government, a non-partisan, interracial women’s organization devoted to civil liberties and full participation in government for all Louisiana citizens.
Both her late husband and her son served as mayor of New Orleans. During their terms, Mrs. Morial worked to improve the quality of education and healthcare for minorities. She also served as executive producer of A House Divided, a highly acclaimed documentary about the desegregation of New Orleans.

At Xavier, she served in a variety of administrative roles over a 15-year period, including Vice President for Public Affairs, before she retired in 1992.

Morial’s other civic affiliations include the Metropolitan Area Committee, the United Fund, the New Orleans Council of Arts for Children and the Amistad Research Center. Her community involvement has merited many awards, including the Torch of Liberty Award of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, the Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award, the Whitney M. Young Brotherhood Award and the National Council of Jewish Women’s Hannah Solomon Award.

In 2011 she was presented the first ever Outstanding Mom of New Orleans award by Feeding Dreams, the General Mills company’s platform for celebrating the hero in African American women and the catalyst for its Feeding Dreams Get Together initiative, a grassroots program that provides intimate forums in communities across the country to discuss efforts to positively impact health and education in African American communities.

She served on the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana Board for 14 years. She is also a past Board Chairwoman of HMO Louisiana, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Cross.

A 1952 Xavier graduate, Morial also holds a master’s degree from Boston University. She has five children.

About Xavier University of Louisiana

Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically Black, Catholic university in the United States, is a private, co-educational, comprehensive liberal arts college offering undergraduate, master’s and professional degrees. More than one-half of its more than 3,100 students are from Louisiana, but it draws students from nearly all fifty states and several countries. From its founding, Xavier has embraced a special mission to serve the African American Catholic community; however, its doors have always been open to qualified students of every race and creed. Today 72.8 percent of its enrollment is African American and 27.1 percent is Catholic. Nationally recognized for its success in the sciences, Xavier was selected in 2014 as both a “Best Buy” for academics and affordability by the Fiske Guide to Colleges and as one of the nation’s “Best 376 Colleges” by The Princeton Review.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, Xavier ranks first nationally in the number of African American students earning undergraduate degrees in both the biological/life sciences and the physical sciences. In pre-medical education, according to data compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Xavier ranks first in the nation in the number of African American graduates who go on to complete medical school. In addition, the College of Pharmacy, one of only two pharmacy schools in Louisiana, is among the nation’s top producers of African American Doctor of Pharmacy degree recipients.

For more information contact Xavier University of Louisiana, 1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans LA 70125, Phone: 504-520-7568, Fax 504-520-7933.


Additional Information:
Richard Tucker
Director of Communications, Xavier University of Louisiana
P: (504) 520-5425

Ron Flavin brings his Grants Expertise to the Little Dreams Foundation-aiding its Growth in the U.S.

Founded by Orianne and Phil Collins, the Little Dreams Foundation gives opportunities to talented children

Miami, FL, March 19, 2014 – Grants expert Ron Flavin is working with the Little Dreams Foundation to facilitate its growth in the United States. The Little Dreams Foundation was founded in Geneva Switzerland by Orianne and Phil Collins in February 2000. Its mission is to fulfill the dreams of talented young people by helping them to succeed in three worlds: music, sports or the arts.

The Little Dreams Foundation works with children all over the world who have demonstrated talent in music, sports or the arts, but who are in need of financial support in order to pursue their dreams. Children from ages 3 and 16 are eligible to apply for a scholarship. Little Dreams Foundation scholarships are unique because they provide children with the extracurricular classes & training, equipment & wardrobe to pursue the intensive training in music, sports and the arts. The scholarships provide the children with whatever is necessary for them to succeed in these fields. Another distinguishing characteristic of the scholarships is how the children are given the support of sponsors, mentors and technical advisors so they are empowered to become successful.

The Miami branch of the Foundation was launched in November 2013. The Foundation’s founders, Orianne and Phil Collins, would like to see their mission of helping talented young people spread across the United States. Now that grants funding expert Ron Flavin is on board, the foundation is clearly positioned for growth in the U.S. Ron Flavin is an internationally acclaimed Business Organizational Strategist who has specific expertise in developing and writing grant proposals for businesses of all sizes as well as for non-profit organizations, government agencies and educational institutions. For more information, please see or follow @rflavin on Twitter.

Ron Flavin

According to Cal Miller, who is a consultant to the Little Dreams Foundation and Principal of the Florida-based Public Relations firm Cal Miller and Associates, “Ron Flavin brings value to the Little Dreams Foundation because he has an outstanding track record, a proven expertise and he’s an excellent researcher. Ron Flavin has a talent for writing grant proposals with the precise language and compelling details that get funding.” Aside from offering opportunities to talented youth who come from a low-income background, the foundation also offers annual scholarships in music, sports or the arts to children who are disabled as part of its “NO DIFFERENCE” program. The Little Dreams Foundation awards young talent a one-year contract that is renewable each year thereafter based on the child’s progress and commitment to pursue excellence. The foundation has established many strategic alliances and collaborations with other like-minded non-profit organizations, educational centers, and training programs, and with both public and private schools.

Little Dreams do come true

To date, the Little Dreams Foundation has helped over 200 young people from many nations around the world. Olympic athletes, world champions, and notable musicians are found among the hundreds of children who have been helped: Nicolas Peifer (FRA – Wheelchair Tennis), Silver Medalist (Men’s Doubles) at the 2012 London Olympics; Nathalie Brugger (SUI – Sailing) 6th place at the Beijing Olympics and 14th at the 2012 London Olympics; Joe Frank (SUI – Guitarist) performs with Earth, Wind and Fire; and Joni Fuller (UK – Singer) won the Junior Eurovision contest. These are only a few examples. For a more complete list of children who have achieved their dreams, please see the Little Dreams Foundation website.

The Little Dreams Foundation is a charitable agency established under Swiss law, whose headquarters are located at Chemin du Centenaire, 5 in 1008 Prilly (Switzerland) and which was created in February 2000 by Orianne Collins and Phil Collins. The Foundation has expanded to include branches in other countries that are legally independent, but who must still adhere to the foundation’s operating guidelines and requirements.

Little Dreams Branches include:

Little Dreams Europe:
C/o Ixos Groupe Rue Egide Van Ophem 40C
1180 Brussels – Belgium

Little Dreams Americas:
90 Northeast 39th Street
Miami FL 33137 – USA

Little Dreams Africa:
C/o Fès Country Club
Complexe Sportif El Merja
30020 Fez – Morocco


Patricia Vaccarino
Managing Partner
Xanthus Communications &
PR for People®

Josue Mora
Brand Manager
Xanthus Communications &
PR for People®


Ronald Flavin is an internationally acclaimed Business Organizational Strategist who has specific expertise in developing and writing grant proposals for businesses of all sizes as well as for non-profit organizations, government agencies and educational institutions.

Please see or contact him

Stay tuned for future presentations by Ron Flavin

Phoenix Impact Exchange Prototype Unveiled

PCG launches game – changing data platform to lead new solution economy.

ERIE, Pa. (@ SXSW 2014) – Promising a solution to the Achilles heel of nonprofits and the age-old conundrum for philanthropists and funders, Phoenix Impact Exchange, a division of Phoenix Cosmopolitan Group (PCG), unveiled a prototype of its proprietary data platformat SXSW 2014.Designed to provide access, transparency and aggregated intelligence for the players who are trying to solve some of society’s biggest problems, the platform is scheduled to go into beta by Spring 2014 and fully functional by end of year.

“Phoenix Cosmopolitan Group is a leader in the growing new solution economy,” said CEO Tamarah Black. “Impact Exchange is a game-changer for every stakeholder in the philanthropic industry – giving nonprofits the ability to satisfy the ever-increasing data demands of funders and providing the performance reports funders are looking for but rarely get.”

When Impact Exchange goes fully live later this year, it will serve as an online community that reimagines the logistics of philanthropy by uniting data, analytics, performance measurement, grant management and storytelling on a cloud-based social network platform to connect every stakeholder in the nonprofit sector. Nonprofits will provide Impact Exchange with data about their organization, using gamified technology, so they can finally reap rewards parallel to the data and effort they provide. Funders – foundations, philanthropists, institutions – receive access to the cloud data platform and nonprofit intelligence dashboard to access the information, create reports, get matched up with nonprofits that align with their funding initiatives, and make grants to the organizations in a few quick clicks.

As a result, nonprofits get to tell their story to an interested audience, build new relation-ships with funders, raise more money, confirm their impact, cultivate volunteers, reduce administration fatigue and become “investment ready.”Funders are able to receive secure direct, immediate exposure to the results of grants and investments, monitor and evaluate grants, manage a strategic portfolio, measure portfolio performance against third-party sector benchmarks, obtain sector insights, trends and reports and obtain criteria based “opportunity “alerts for joint ventures and projects.In addition, constituents and volunteers get to provide feedback, suggest ideas, share their experiences, connect with others, see what’s needed and get matched with nonprofits based on their interests and skills.

“Impact Exchange uses existing technology and reimagines it’s application to address the barriers to accelerating progress particular to the philanthropic sector,” said Black. “We aren’t re-creating the wheel, it’s more like swapping a horse and buggy for a Porsche.They’ll both get you there but why wouldn’t you want to go faster?”


Founded in 2011, Phoenix Cosmopolitan Group (PCG) is a triple bottom line shared value social enterprise with the mission of increasing and accelerating impact of every stakeholder in the philanthropic sector. PCG is comprised of four divisions: Phoenix Impact Exchange reimagines the logistics of philanthropy by uniting data, analytics, performance measurement, grant management and storytelling on a social network cloud based platform to connect every stakeholder in the nonprofit sector; Phoenix Impact Advisors provides a spectrum of services that capture, manage, and transform big data into actionable insights for decision-makers; Phoenix Impact Media, which provides video capture, distribution and engagement services that help organizations communicate and educate more effectively; and Phoenix Impact Analytics (2015) will monitor progress and identify opportunities for policymakers, funders, nonprofits and social entrepreneurs to create more effective solutions. PCG is located at 1001 State Street, Suite 907, Erie, PA 16501. Further information may be gleaned from the company website:


Marjory Hawkins | 512.219.1972


Caren A. Heller, MD, MBA Joins the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America as their Chief Scientific Officer

New York, NY— March 21, 2014 –The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Caren A. Heller, M.D., M.B.A. as their new Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Heller will be responsible for the overall management of the organization’s mission department which includes research, patient & professional services and advocacy.

“Dr. Heller brings a wealth of medical, academic and scientific experience that we need in order to take our mission activities to the next level,” said Richard J. Geswell, President and CEO of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. ”We are expanding at a rapid pace into a number of new areas and are looking to Dr. Heller to help lead our way.”

Dr. Heller received her medical degree from Columbia University and a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Chicago. She has more than thirty years of professional experience within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries and academic medical centers. She previously worked for Weil Cornell Medical College, where she most recently held the positions of Associate Dean of Intercampus and Industry Initiatives and Assistant Research Professor. In these roles, she implemented plans to promote interdisciplinary collaborations between the medical school and Cornell University faculties, facilitated the development of NIH-funded intercampus centers, promoted collaborative research projects with industry partners, and managed the intercampus pilot grant program.

Prior to Weil Cornell, she was at Athena Healthcare Consulting, working with industry and academic centers regarding new product opportunities, new drug development, and clinical and translational research. While there, she developed Models of Care, a health care information series that identified and described best practices in disease management.

She has worked with the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee and implemented clinical development plans resulting in drug approval. She has been published in more than 20 publications and is the recipient of the “Best Journal Article on Disease Management” honor.

“I am so impressed with the work that CCFA does and am delighted to be joining the foundation at such an exciting time,” Dr. Heller said. “Everything we do is focused on improving the lives of our patients.”

About the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). CCFA’s mission is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit, call 888-694-8872, like us on Facebook, find us on LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

Media Contact:
Erin Mulvey Stoeber

Woodbury University Announces Groundbreaking Master’s Program in Media for Social Justice

With Accent on Apprenticeship, Grad Students Will Work Closely with Ashoka Fellows Harry Wiland and Dale Bell at Santa Monica’s Media Policy Center

LOS ANGELES (March 20, 2014) – Woodbury University ( today announced the formation of a groundbreaking advanced degree program in Media for Social Justice. Students in the two-year M.A. program – which will reside in the university’s School of Media, Culture and Design — will learn how to cre­ate and lever­age media for social change. The program, accredited by WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), will welcome its first cohort in September 2014.

Through­out the two-year pro­gram, stu­dents will explore their com­mit­ment to social jus­tice, develop skills in trans­me­dia pro­duc­tion and entre­pre­neur­ship, and work closely with award-winning pro­duc­ers Harry Wiland and Dale Bell of the Media Policy Cen­ter in Santa Mon­ica (

The M.A. cur­ricu­lum will com­bine tra­di­tional course­work with an inno­v­a­tive, hands-on appren­tice­ship pro­gram that runs the entire course of the grad­u­ate degree. The program’s trans­me­dia approach will pro­vide an immer­sive media expe­ri­ence as students work together to advance the cause of social jus­tice across mul­ti­ple media formats and plat­forms. Students will emerge from the pro­gram as media entrepreneurs, with the knowl­edge, tools, and net­work­ing skills nec­es­sary for pro­duc­ing and dis­trib­ut­ing media that pro­motes greater social justice.

“The Media for Social Justice program is a very special collaboration between Woodbury University and the Media Policy Center,” said Nicole Keating, Ph.D., Chair, Media for Social Justice, Woodbury University. “Whether students want to produce documentaries, develop websites, design games, engage in research and writing, or design their own approach to transmedia production, our program teaches social entrepreneurship with an emphasis on civic engagement. Students will have the privilege of working with Harry and Dale, two media luminaries whose experience and expertise will shape apprenticeships that promise to be transformational.”

The Media for Social Justice curriculum consists of three core elements:

  • Transmedia Production – Transmedia production relies on varied yet related parts that work together to advance the cause of social justice and create a more immersive experience for audiences. Components may include documentary, graphic design, game design, print media, web design, animation, emerging platforms and more.
  • Creative Entrepreneurship – Students learn how to become social justice entrepreneurs in the creative economy through case studies and through the design, implementation, and evaluation of their own business plans.
  • Social Justice Media Studies – Students develop an in-depth understanding of the connection between media and social change by exploring historical and theoretical foundations as well as its political implications.

“We’re embracing new models in education and new models in media,” Keating said. “In serving as both school and studio, the new program strives to create a bridge between the classroom and the working world. We view them as complementary and as central to the notion of ‘practical idealism.’”

According to Bell, the program “fits in a new space between documentary filmmaking and journalism, a space created by the rise of digital media. The various forms of digital media are linked, whether game design, graphic design for print, or film and video production, and so on. We’re focused not just on students learning the skills of the medium but on how to get the word out regarding social justice, which in turn will foster entrepreneurship.”

“As the media production landscape shifts, hands-on experience becomes more vital than ever,” Wiland said. “Apprenticeship will be at the center of the program, in part because apprenticeships, unlike internships, provide real-world on-the-job training and will be fully integrated into the curriculum.”

Wiland and Bell — whose individual projects have won an Oscar®, five Emmys, a Peabody, and two Christophers — founded the not-for-profit Media Policy Center in 2003. The Ashoka Foundation, which showcases emerging ideas from highly effective social entrepreneurs, has recognized Wiland and Bell as Ashoka Fellows. Students enrolling in the inaugural class starting in Fall 2014 will be eligible to apply for Ashoka Graduate Fellow Scholarships as well as Dean’s Scholarships that will pay 50 percent of the program’s tuition.

About Woodbury University

Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California. Woodbury offers bachelor’s degrees from the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media, Culture & Design, and Institute of Transdisciplinary Studies, along with an MBA program, Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of Science in Architecture (MSArch), and Master of Organizational Leadership. A San Diego campus offers bachelor of architecture, Master of Real Estate Development for Architects (MRED), and Master of Science in Architecture, Landscape, and Urbanism degrees.

Visit for more information, and Reflections on Excellence (, the new twice-monthly blog written by Woodbury University President Luis Maria R. Calingo, Ph.D.

Media Contact
Ken Greenberg
Edge Communications, Inc.
(323) 469-3397

India’s 1st Skills Enterprise Challenge, ‘Power to Empower’ announces the winners for its third edition.

National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) and India@75 announced UNNATI and Tamul Plates Marketing Pvt. Ltd as the winners of the third Power to Empower 2013 Challenge.

March 19, 2014 | Delhi, India: National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) and India@75 have announced Ramesh Swamy of UNNATI and Arindam Dasgupta of Tamul Plates Marketing Pvt. Ltd. as the winners of the Power to Empower 2013 Challenge (P2E 2013).

Supported by the Muthoot Pappachan Foundation, the CSR arm of the Muthoot Pappachan Group, the P2E 2013 Challenge was launched in October 2013 with the aim of identifying, selecting and rewarding the best solutions bridging the gap between the supply and demand of skilled labour in India.

This year, Power to Empower received a record 1,004 applications from over 150 cities across India and was managed by Ennovent and TiE Delhi-NCR. These applications were accepted as part of two distinct categories – Idea and Operations. P2E 2013 received 724 Idea and 280 Operations applications with the highest number of entries coming from New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune respectively.

The winning Idea submitted by Guwahati based Tamul Plates Marketing focuses on generating rural livelihoods by producing and marketing biodegradable dinnerware. They also provide technical support and financial linkages to rural areca nut – commonly referred to as betel nut – producers. In contrast, the winning application within the Operations category, UNNATI is a Bangalore based organisation that runs a 70-day vocational training program for economically backward youth with an assured job at the end of the training period.

In addition to the winners, the finalists for the Idea category were Rachel Bennett, Bhavani B, Dwayne Dias and Dr. Shelley Batra. Their ideas for skill development ranged from projects such as Saarthi, which aims at creating teacher entrepreneurs to OpASHA, which hires local slum residents as community health-workers.

Within the Operations category, Guwahati based Sahayika and Gurgaon based INDHA received the second and third place respectively with TARA Livelihood Academy and GMR Varalakshmi Foundation being the other two finalists. While Sahayika is a skills initiative to assure respect and fair wages to home based caregivers, INDHA was started by Literacy India and provides women with vocational training in sewing, block printing, papermaking and more to empower underprivileged women and children.

The finalists and winners were selected after multiple rounds of expert evaluation by an esteemed jury panel consisting of Mr. S Ramadorai, Chairman NSDC, Mr. Rajan Navani, Chairman India@75, Mr. Pramod Bhasin, Vice Chairman, Genpact & Chairman, The Skills Academy and Mr. Thomas Muthoot, Executive Director Muthoot Fincorp Ltd amongst others.

At the ceremony held in Delhi to announce the winners, Mr. S Ramadorai, Chairman, NSDC, said, “My heartiest congratulations to all the winners, finalists and the participants. P2E as an initiative was designed to sensitize and encourage entrepreneurship in the skills space. Reaching out to grass-root entrepreneurs and enabling them to scale up their businesses is a step towards nation building. I hope through this effort we develop a system that not only encourages the concept of entrepreneurship, but actually works towards the achievement of creating a skilled workforce of 500 million by 2022.”

As part of the prizes for P2E 2013, UNNATI and Tamul Plates Marketing will receive INR 1.5 lakh and 3.5 lakh cash respectively by the Muthoot Pappachan Foundation, the CSR arm of the Muthoot Pappachan Group. Upon rewarding the prizes, Mr. Thomas Muthoot, Executive Director Muthoot Fincorp Ltd said, “The finalists did a great job in clearly explaining their solutions for enhancing the skills ecosystem in India. P2E 2013 has been a real eye opener, and a great initiative that we would like to be part of next year as well.”

Both winners will also receive access to the high profile capacity building Empretec program, an initiative of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development as well as access to the iDiya program at ISB Hyderabad.

In addition to the above, the winners and finalists in each category will receive access to the Sankalp Unconvention Summit 2014 and to the Diffusion workshop by ISB, networking opportunities and national visibility.

Further talking about the Power to Empower 2013 Challenge, Mr. Rajan Navani, Chairman, National Committee, India@75, said, “The Power to Empower 2013 Challenge aspires to encourage young and budding entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and scalable business models working in the skills eco-system, so that they can contribute and decrease the demand – supply gap in the entry level workforce across sectors.

According to “Education To Employment: Designing a system that works” by McKinsey & Company, around 53 per cent of employers in India say that skills deficiency is one of the key reasons for entry-level vacancies. At present, of the 15 million individuals who enter the work force, only 3 per cent undergo any form of vocational training due to limited access to such training opportunities in a fast growing economy. As a result, a majority of India’s population cannot realize the employment opportunities necessary to improve their income leading to a more prosperous life.

Ennovent managed P2E 2013 on behalf of NSDC and India@75. In addition, TiE Delhi-NCR served as a knowledge and delivery partner for the Challenge and National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) as the key outreach partner.

About National Skill Development Corporation

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is a one of its kind, Public Private Partnership in India. It aims to promote skill development by catalyzing creation of large, quality, for-profit vocational institutions. It provides funding to build scalable, for-profit vocational training initiatives. Its mandate is also to enable support systems such as quality assurance, information systems and train the trainer academies either directly or through partnerships. Its objective is to contribute significantly (about 30 per cent) to the overall target of skilling/up skilling 500 million people in India by 2022.

About India@75

India@75 is a grassroots initiative aimed at realizing the dream of an inclusive, sustainable and developed India by the year 2022, when India completes 75 years of Independence. It is a universal vision for India shared by Indians from all geographies and all walks of life. The initiative is incubated and supported by the Confederation Indian Industry (CII).

About Ennovent

Ennovent is an innovation accelerator. We provide services to accelerate for-profit innovations for sustainability in low-income markets in developing countries. We specialise in helping clients discover enterprises with novel solutions, develop business models to start-up enterprises, provide finance by facilitating early-stage investments and grow operations to scale profit and impact. Since 2008, Ennovent has worked with over 4,800 Network members, 15 Circle members and 10 Solution clients to accelerate over 80 innovations in 10 countries.

About TiE Delhi-NCR

The Delhi Chapter is among the largest and most vibrant across the vast TiE network. In the last 12 years, of its existence it has emerged as the forum of choice for startups, serial entrepreneurs, VC and angel investors, policy makers and academia. At the heart of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, TiE Delhi plays the role of an ecosystem builder by bringing in multiple stakeholders and values to align with the common goal to foster entrepreneurship. It boasts of an active membership of 1500 members in the Delhi-NCR region and conducts 60+ events in a year.

About Muthoot Pappachan Group and Muthoot Pappachan Foundation

Muthoot Pappachan Group is a diversified corporate conglomerate with presence across various businesses. In financial services, it offers a range of products & services including gold loan, auto loan, affordable housing finance & microfinance through a wide network of over 3600 branches. Muthoot Pappachan Foundation (MPF), the CSR arm of the Muthoot Pappachan Group, facilitates the CSR activities for the entire Group Companies. Its objective is to build a framework of corporate social responsibility with a philanthropic approach in line with business unit objectives. The CSR initiatives are focussed on the areas of Health, Education, Environment and Livelihood (HEEL).

Media Contact:

Perzen Patel, Manager – Marketing, Ennovent


New Report Reveals Hidden Casualties of War: Children of the Wounded


First-of-its-kind Nationwide Assessment Reveals Trending Challenges Facing Children of Wounded Service Members

WASHINGTON, DC, March 19, 2014 – A first-of-its-kind nationwide assessment, “Study on Children of Seriously Wounded Service Members,” reveals challenging trends that can have a significant impact on the social and psychological development of children of wounded service members. The study, commissioned by the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, was conducted by the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research, part of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego.

Five trends prevailed from the study that can impact the 52,000 children in the United States that are living with a parent who has been wounded in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. When not addressed, these challenges can have a lasting impact on children’s social, emotional, and academic development.

  • Initial Communication about the Injury: Many parents, while mindful of protecting their children, lack the tools or techniques for how to communicate, so discussions often don’t adequately prepare children for the short- and long-term consequences of their ‘new normal’. 
  • Understanding Severity of the Parent’s Injury: Invisible wounds, such as post- traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and depression, can be difficult to comprehend and can impact family dynamics and parent-child relationships, influencing a child’s self- esteem and overall development. 
  • Loss of Childhood: Caring for a seriously physically wounded parent may require children to take on taxing caretaking duties by necessity, interfering with their activities, development and perceived normalcy. This means growing up early and taking on responsibilities many of their peers do not understand. 
  • Diversion of Attention: When the injured parent needs significant caregiving, it diverts parents’ focus away from the child to the parent in need. Following this, providing adequate childcare can become a struggle and may leave children with a sense of loss of both parents. 
  • Social and Community Isolation: Not only are children of wounded service members often physically isolated from the military communities that support them and understand what they are going through—–they also experience social isolation from their peers, given drastic differences in their day-to-day lives compared to peers.

“These children are struggling with the particular challenges of not only of being part of a military family, but readjusting to a ‘new normal’ when a parent comes home with a life-altering injury,” said Dr. Mary Jo Schumann, associate director at the Caster Center and co-principal investigator of this study. “These challenges are compounded by the isolation many of the children face, and it’s disconcerting that there are not many programs that provide direct short- and long-term support to these children.”

While over 400 organizations exist to-date to assist seriously wounded service members and their families, the majority of the programs focus on the wounded service member, and often do not address the long-term issues of children and families.

“This study proves what the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has believed for a long time, that military children and spouses are often the hidden faces of huge sacrifice,” remarked Margaret B. Davis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. “These families have already sacrificed so much for this country. It’s our job, along with our partners, to work together to address the unmet needs of these families and provide them with the support they require to be well.”

The study’s researchers concluded that there is an immediate need for a variety of focused programs to meet the needs of family members, especially children. The following resources, programs and services are researcher recommend to more effectively address the unique challenges and needs of children and spouses.

  • Create focused programs that ultimately hone in on the needs of both parents and children to develop long-term resiliency strategies; 
  • Provide children with peer-to-peer social support; 
  • Offer mentoring programs for parents and children; 
  • Provide communication at the right time and in the right manner; 
  • Develop a central database of support programs and services will ultimately help to reduce the negative impact of challenges identified in the study.

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and the Caster Center thanks our partner organizations for their support of the study: Fisher House Foundation, Gary Sinise Foundation, The National Intrepid Center of Excellence, National Military Family Association, Operation Homefront, Semper Fi Fund, SemperMax Support Fund, USO, and Wounded Warrior Project. We are also grateful to all of the nonprofit organizations, military personnel and families who graciously participated in interviews and focus groups for this research study.

To download the full report, comprehensive analysis trends and recommendations, visit

About the Scholarship Foundation:

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is the Nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children. Since 1962, the Scholarship Foundation has provided more than 30,000 scholarships valued at over $80,000,000 to Marine Corps children whose parents have been killed or wounded in combat or have demonstrated financial need. For more information on the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, please visit

About the Caster Center:

The Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research is part of the Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. The mission of the Caster Center is to provide research, evaluation and consulting services that benchmark the nonprofit sector and build the capacity of nonprofits and philanthropies. For more information on the Caster Center, please visit

About the Research Study:

Over the course of one year, researchers from the Caster Center interviewed a total of 125 participants, including seriously wounded service members, their spouses and children, as well as military, civilian and nonprofit professionals who work with this population. The study included two phases to ensure a comprehensive understanding around the population and its unfulfilled needs: The first phase focused on understanding the specific needs of children of seriously wounded service members through interviews and reviews of existing research; the second phase focused on an assessment of government and nonprofit programs available to identify gaps that exist.


Emily Cahill, Senior Manager, Communications
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
(703) 549-0060

PwrdBy Honored as ‘Best for the World’, Creating Most Overall Positive Social and Environmental Impact

The Impact Economy is Global and Diverse:
92 Companies From 15 Countries and 31 Industries
Recognized As Leaders in Redefining Success in Business

March 19, 2014: Santa Monica, California

PwrdBy was recognized for creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact by the nonprofit B Lab with the release of the third annual ‘B Corp Best for the World’ list. The ‘B Corp Best for the World’ list honors 92 businesses worldwide that earned an overall score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a company’s impact on its workers, community, and the environment. Honorees were recognized among micro-, small-, and mid-sized businesses.

Today, there are over 970 certified B Corporations, across 60 industries and 32 countries, unified by one common goal: to redefine success in business. B Corp’s foundation of using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems through rigorous standards of performance, accountability, and transparency closely aligned with PwrdBy’s Founder Chris Brereton’s cultural and financial goals for his company and his clients: “I believe if we provide the best tools to facilitate the work of nonprofits, in the most cost-effective manner, and one in which the community, the stakeholders, and the team’s needs are met, we can enact the most good in the world.” In essence: be an agent of change through contribution, empowerment, and collaboration.

This will be PwrdBy’s 1st ‘Best for the World’ award, having already been honored with “Best of the Community” two years in a row. Twyla Monti, of PwrdBy’s fondly-named Cultivation team (which handles building and maximizing use of the App’s tools), weighed in: “We’re thrilled to be a part of this game-changing movement in business and hope to do our part to keep it moving. B Corp’s tools helped us think differently about the impact we make and where we could improve our social and environmental performance in the community. We encourage all our staff to take B Lab’s assessment and share their view of our company’s performance and where we have room for improvement.”

PwrdBy, launched in 2009, was built on providing easy and effective mobile solutions to nonprofit organizations. The company was founded on unusual turf; a former lead singer-turned white collar marketing agent-turned CEO of a tech company with a passion for helping others. Chris and his team have created a company in PwrdBy that is driven by innovation and collaboration, working hard to maintain a culture that enables nonprofits to maximize their people, process and technology resources.

One example of this impact is PwrdBy’s current project with Habitat for Humanity (HFH), which involves the creation of a platform to integrate HFH’s three main focuses:

  • Streamline the process and paperwork of volunteering
  • Improve the donation process to ReStores 
  • Increase donor revenue

These three foci are challenging PwrdBy to improve speed, security and simplicity while keeping the cost affordable. Said Brereton, “Through our collaboration on the needs of our clients, we can continue to develop tools that most of the time are relevant to other nonprofits out there. The more users we have, the less we can charge, and continue to expand the functionality of the App at the same time.” PwrdBy currently offers the HFH Mobile application in both the iTunes and Play stores.

The team is working towards creating an open-source environment: “The mindshare in the nonprofit world is what makes this work the most fun for me. Developers and many stakeholders have a ton of talent, big goals, and big hearts. Their willingness to share their expertise and ideas means we can collectively create, innovate and grow, while being in alignment with the goals of the nonprofit world: to use the least resources and do the most good.”

The ‘Best for the World’ companies come from 31 different industries such as manufacturing, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and real estate. A majority operate in a service industry, including 17 honorees in financial services and 15 in environmental consulting. 30% of honorees are based outside the US with 15 companies operating in emerging markets, such as Afghanistan, Kenya and Colombia. (Full list of honorees at

For more information contact PwrdBy at 805-660-6622 or via email at


CONTACT: Twyla Monti, Media Relations
Twyla Monti, Pwrdby – (855) 691-2345, ext. 702 or

Utahns Will “Give Where They Live” On March 20

Love UT Give UT brings thousands of donors to hundreds of Utah nonprofits and schools for the second annual 24 hour day of giving

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – On Thursday, March 20, Utahns will again prove their record-breaking generosity by contributing to their favorite nonprofit organizations and schools.

“Utahns are by far the most charitable people in the United States. Last year Love UT Give UT gave us a chance to demonstrate that generosity in a new way – a 24 hour online day of giving. More than 6,500 people from across Utah raised an astonishing $800,000 for 357 charities in just one day. This year on Thursday, March 20, we’re hoping to blow the roof off that record, and help more than 400 organizations,” said Fraser Nelson, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Utah.

Love UT Give UT’s vision is that everyone contributes to the causes that matter most to them – their school, a favorite charity, or a specific need. It is a day for Utahns of all backgrounds and beliefs to come together for 24-hours of unprecedented giving using an online platform, Love UT Give UT appeals to younger donors by setting the minimum gift at only $10, and by accepting donations on smartphones and tablets.

An event will be held all day at the Gallivan Center, where a number of nonprofits and charities will collaborate to raise funds. All media and public are invited to join anytime throughout the day.

WHAT: Love UT Give UT Day of Giving

WHEN: Thursday, March 20, 2014, 5 a.m. – Midnight

WHERE: Upstairs at the Gallivan Center, 239 S Main St, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Love UT Give UT is meeting a need not only of nonprofits, but also of Utah’s corporations, who are encouraging their employees to log into, and matching their donations. Flying J Management, for example, will match all employees’ donations up to $50,000. Since the employee picks the charity, companies are not forced to pick a favorite cause, reflecting the increasing diversity of Utah’s workforce.

Love UT Give UT helps nonprofits and schools showcase their work and introduce their organizations to new and potential donors. Last year more than a third of all donors were new to the causes they supported, crucial to the sustainability of our region’s nonprofits.

The Community Foundation of Utah will offer incentives to encourage participation, including:

  • Leaderboard Grants – The three organizations that receive the most number of donors
  • during Love UT Give UT in their respective categories will receive additional grants. Categories include: 1) small nonprofits with budgets under $250,000; 2) medium nonprofits with budgets over $250,000 but under $1 million; 3) large nonprofits with budgets over $1 million, and, 4) schools, colleges and universities.
  • Golden Tickets – A donor to a nonprofit will be randomly selected to have $100 added to their donations twelve times during the day.
  • Matching Funds – Donors will have the opportunity to double their dollars for nonprofit organizations that have secured matching funds from generous supporters. is powered by Razoo, a venture funded social enterprise committed to transforming people’s lives through meaningful giving. Its secure online platform facilitates crowd-sourced fundraising, streamlines the donation process and offers a suite of free and easy-to-use fundraising tools that inspire individuals and nonprofits to give and fundraise online.

About the Community Foundation of Utah:

The Community Foundation of Utah is a catalyst for philanthropy that is visionary, diverse, and inclusive. For more information, go to, call 801.559.3005, or email Community Foundation of Utah Executive Director, Fraser Nelson at


Contact: Todd Patton


City Parks Foundation Announces New Director of Arts & Cultural Programs

New York, NY. — City Parks Foundation (CPF), the largest independent nonprofit offering free programs in New York City parks, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Noble as Director of Arts & Cultural Programs for the organization.

Ian Noble is coming from New York City-based Metropolitan Entertainment where he has overseen all of the company’s live performance activity since 2003. The company produces a wide range of events across the U.S. and Canada in venues ranging from clubs to theaters, amphitheaters, and arenas. Mr. Noble, who hails from Vancouver, BC, began his career in the live entertainment business in 1989. Prior to joining Metropolitan, he worked as a Talent Buyer for some of North America’s largest concert promoting companies including Delsener Slater Enterprises in New York, Concert Productions International (CPI) in Toronto, and Perryscope Concert Productions in Vancouver. Over the years, Mr. Noble has presented a who’s who of top tier artists including Pearl Jam, Radiohead, David Bowie, the Dave Matthews Band, Simon and Garfunkel, Eric Clapton, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and countless others.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Ian to the CPF family,” said City Parks Foundation President Alison Tocci. “His experience in presenting performing arts will be invaluable to the organization as we continue to engage new audiences throughout the city through our innovative programs. Ian brings a fresh new perspective to the table, and we are excited to be working with him.”

The Arts & Cultural Programs Department produces and presents 1,200 performances each year, making City Parks Foundation one of the largest arts organizations in New York City. Its programs include: SummerStage, SummerStage Kids, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre and the traveling PuppetMobile. Mr. Noble will supervise all programming for CPF’s Arts Department, including the 30th Anniversary season of SummerStage in 2015.

“There are not many things better than live outdoor entertainment, and that is what City Parks Foundation specializes in. I am honored to join an organization whose mandate it is to bring arts and culture to the people of New York – in their own backyards no less,” said Noble. “On top of that, to have SummerStage as part of the mix makes this opportunity unparalleled since it is indisputably one of the city’s best festivals. I look forward to applying all my experience – from promoting Nirvana in a club to Liza Minnelli on Broadway to Metallica at Madison Square Garden – to help make New York City a more vibrant place.”

Ian Noble is replacing James Burke, who was with CPF from 2001, and served as Director of Arts & Cultural Programs from 2007 until November 2013. Burke now serves as the Executive Director at The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.

City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. CPF works in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level. Our programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year, contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City.

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Media Contact: Nora Lanning / (212) 360-8205 /

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