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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

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.

Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation Announces First Grants

Grants total more than $900,000 in Oregon and Washington, including $100,000 match for State of Oregon’s stORytime program

Portland, Ore., September 30, 2014 – Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (UMPQ), today announced the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation first four grants with commitments to organizations in Oregon and Washington State and an education partnership with the State of Oregon.

The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation recognizes the integral connection between educational success and economic prosperity. Through targeted investments in organizations focused on children’s education and wellbeing, the Foundation works to create economic opportunity for all in the communities Umpqua Bank serves. It was initially funded with $10 million in April 2014 to demonstrate the company’s deep commitment to the communities it serves as the West Coast’s largest community bank.

“As a community bank, Umpqua Bank’s commitment to investing in the communities we serve runs deep – in fact, we believe we have an obligation to give back in meaningful ways,” said Ray Davis, president and CEO of Umpqua Bank. “Now, through the Foundation, we’ll be able to take our commitment to a new level with larger, multi-year partnerships that advance our ability to help make a difference in the lives of children and families, and our communities’ economic wellbeing and success long into the future.”

Oregon Education Partnership

Studies show that a child’s ability to read by 3rd grade is one of the single-greatest predictors of lifelong success. In partnership with the state of Oregon’s Literacy Campaign, stORytime, the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation will match community book donations with a goal of putting more than 80,000 books in the homes of families in communities across Oregon. From October 1 through December 15, Umpqua will match every book purchased by the community through the stORytime website, up to $100,000. Donations can be made by going to storytimeoregon.com/books or umpquabank.com, or by visiting any Oregon Umpqua Bank store to learn more.

Initial Grants

With its first four grants, the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation is taking a lead role in four pivotal initiatives in Douglas County, Ore., and Spokane County, Wash.

Family Development Center

Through the Foundation’s $350,000 grant, Family Development Center will be able to expand its services to serve an additional 75 at-risk children across Douglas County. Family Development Center is focused on providing child abuse and neglect intervention and prevention services to extremely high-risk families. The organization delivers therapeutic early childhood education, training and skill building to parents; and meals, transportation and more for families with children 0-5 years old. The intensive services provided to children at the Family Development Center help ensure children arrive at school ready to learn, which is a critical milestone in their development.

SMART

Children who are proficient readers by the end of third grade are four times more likely to graduate from high school, better positioning them for lifelong economic success. The Foundation’s $85,000 grant will allow SMART to expand its reading support to PreK – third-grade students across Douglas County with nine new school and Head Start sites to serve an additional 220 children over a three-year period. In addition, SMART will be able to hire new staff to increase volunteer efforts immediately.

Second Harvest

Research has shown consistently that hungry children are at a distinct disadvantage in school. Through the Foundation’s $300,000 grant, Second Harvest will be launching a new program to ensure food security at three low-income elementary schools in Spokane County. By combining access to food over weekends, supplemental food distributions through mobile food banks and in-class snacks, the goal is to positively impact academic success for individual students and the school overall.

Excelerate Success

This unique program uses an innovative model to convene complementary organizations, streamline and leverage existing resources and work toward common outcomes. With the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation’s grant of $120,000, Excelerate Success will implement strategies – both broad-based, impacting the whole of the county, and targeted tactics focused on three selected schools – to increase kindergarten readiness in Spokane County. The program includes elements ranging from distribution of books to creation of parent support networks.

Ongoing Commitment

Going forward, the Foundation will also fund Umpqua’s ongoing Community Giving grants – typically between $2,500 and $10,000 – to organizations focused on youth development and education, community development and arts access. Grants are available to nonprofit organizations in Umpqua’s five-state presence in California, Idaho, Northern Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Organizations can submit an application at www.umpquabank.com/communitygiving; the company’s associate-led Community Giving team reviews and approves all grants.

In addition, Umpqua Bank also invests in the communities it serves through its Connect Volunteer Network, which provides every Umpqua associate with up to 40 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer. Since the program’s inception, Umpqua associates have volunteered more than 300,000 hours at organizations across the company’s footprint, with more than 82% of all associates serving 43,000 hours in 2013 alone.

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About Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation

The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation recognizes the fundamental connection between education and economic prosperity. It works to strengthen the communities Umpqua Bank serves by investing in organizations and initiatives that expand access to education and create economic opportunity for children and families.

The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation was initially funded with $10 million in April 2014, and was formed to demonstrate the company’s deep commitment to the communities it serves.

About Umpqua Bank

Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Northern Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for the past eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the ninth consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to small businesses.

Umpqua Holdings also owns a retail brokerage subsidiary, Umpqua Investments, Inc., which offers services through Umpqua Bank stores and in dedicated offices throughout Oregon. Umpqua’s Wealth Management Division serves high net worth individuals and nonprofits by providing customized financial solutions and offerings. Umpqua Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Portland, Ore. For more information, visit http://www.umpquabank.com.

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Impact Angel Group and National Impact Investing Organization Investors’ Circle Combine Forces to Form IC Colorado

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Denver, CO, September 29, 2014Impact Angel Group (IAG) announced today that it has transitioned into Investors’ Circle Colorado (IC Colorado), a change that connects its 40 plus members to high-quality deal flow from across the country, and gives Colorado impact entrepreneurs better access to Investors’ Circle’s national funding network. Home to a strong sustainable and natural goods market, pioneering impact-oriented incubators and workspaces like the Unreasonable Institute and HUB, and B Lab’s first-ever state office, Colorado has become a hotbed for impact entrepreneurship. Friday’s inaugural IC Colorado pitch meeting gave investors the first look at two game-changing energy startups, a taste of local and national impact investing opportunities thanks to IC’s SOURCE partnership.

“Since starting Impact Angel Group four years ago I’ve been trying to find enough people committed to impact investing at the angel level to create a viable network here in Colorado,” said Elizabeth Kraus, Founder of Impact Angel Group. “I’m thrilled that we’ve reached a critical mass that makes it possible to connect what’s happening here to the national impact investing ecosystem – we have a lot to offer and gain.”

Investors’ Circle’s regional groups enable impact investors to foster local mission-driven companies and contribute to economic development within their communities. By participating in the national network members have access to deal flow across the country, and can also attract capital from the network to invest in companies in their own region. Colorado is the 4th largest source of deal flow for IC’s international network and IC hosted its first Beyond the Pitch event in Colorado in February 2014, bringing together over 70 investors and paving the way for a Colorado-based IC local network.

“We’re honored to have Impact Angel Group’s robust and early-adopter impact community become a part of Investors’ Circle,” said Bonny Moellenbrock, Executive Director of Investors’ Circle. “With impact investing gaining momentum across the country it’s time to plug what’s happening in Colorado into this national movement.”

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Elizabeth Kraus launched the Impact Angel Group in 2011 to cultivate and fund Colorado-based impact enterprises and has grown IAG to nearly 50 private investor members that meet and invest locally. Investors’ Circle has a rich history within the impact investing space. Started in 1992 to increase the flow of capital to the next generation of mission-driven companies, it’s founding members have become today’s most recognized impact investors including Calvert Founder Wayne Silby and Angel Capital Association Chairman Emeritus John May. IC Colorado joins a roster of thriving local IC networks that includes Philadelphia, New York, North Carolina, San Francisco Bay Area and Boston. IC consistently ranks as one of the top 10 most active angel groups in the US, having invested $25+ million in 75+ enterprises over the last two years and funding 50% of pitching entrepreneurs.

Investors’ Circle also has innovative partnerships that generate unique deal flow access for members across the country. In collaboration with The Hitachi Foundation and Village Capital, SOURCE connects businesses that solve pressing social problems affecting low-wealth Americans to the investment capital and mentoring needed to scale. At the culmination of SOURCE’s energy cohort, Village Capital awarded two $50K investments based on a unique peer-selection process and IC Colorado invited these peer-winners to be its first presenters.

About Impact Angel Group

The Impact Angel Group is an angel investment group equally dedicated to making a difference and realizing a return. The group of nearly 50 angel investors invests in high-growth, early-stage companies with the potential to make a significant social and/or environmental impact. The group was founded in 2011 and became a formal membership organization in 2013. In its first year as a formal membership organization, the group committed over $700,000 to ten different angel investment opportunities presented by the Impact Angel Group. For more information visit www.impactangelgroup.com.

About Investors’ Circle

Investors’ Circle (IC) is the largest early-stage impact investing network in the world. Together with hundreds of angels, venture capitalists, foundations and family offices, IC has propelled over $185 million into more than 285 enterprises dedicated to improving the environment, education, health, and community. A nonprofit organization, IC cultivates its impact investor network, provides opportunities for high-potential impact entrepreneurs to meet impact investors, and facilitates investment.

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Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education Host Virtual Field Trip for Classrooms Nationwide

Offers Students Grades 6-12 a Behind the Scenes Look Into World of Advanced Manufacturing

SILVER SPRING, Md. (September 30, 2014)Alcoa Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, will celebrate National Manufacturing Day on October 3, 2014, with an interactive virtual field trip. The Manufacture Your Future LIVE Virtual Field Trip will be hosted from an Alcoa facility as part of Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education’s overall “Manufacture Your Future” program, which provides middle and high school students with an inside look at careers in advanced manufacturing.

The Manufacture Your Future LIVE Virtual Field Trip will occur at a high-tech aluminum manufacturing facility, which has produced lightweight metal and other materials for every American space vehicle, helping to make many milestones possible, including the first moon landing. During the Virtual Field Trip, students will have the exclusive opportunity to tour Alcoa’s Davenport facility to see how products for major aircrafts are manufactured, including the wings of Air Force One. The tour will also showcase the company’s new revolutionary Auto Treatment Line, which enables mass production of aluminum for cars—a growing trend in reducing vehicle weight for increased fuel efficiency.

“Giving students the opportunity to look inside a facility makes manufacturing come to life,” said Mark Case, teacher at Southern Guilford High School, Guilford County Schools, NC. “An event like this creates a stronger impression than getting the information from a textbook. Students can see how information we provide in the classroom translates into a career path.”

“According to The Manufacturing Institute, more than one in seven U.S. private sector jobs depend on the U.S. manufacturing base,” said Esra Ozer, President, Alcoa Foundation. “We are thrilled to showcase several of these jobs, which are held by talented members of Alcoa’s Davenport team — a Metallurgical Engineer, Electrical Engineer and Process Specialist. Their passion and enthusiasm for their manufacturing careers will be inspiring for tomorrow’s workforce.”

In addition to the virtual field trip, Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education’s Manufacture Your Future program provides middle and high school educators, guidance counselors, students and families with a comprehensive online site that includes hands-on resources to build excitement around post-secondary manufacturing career opportunities. Manufacture Your Future encourages the development of critical thinking skills through real-world application, offers dynamic standards-based, Science Technology Engineering and Math-focused lesson plans, career guides, family discussion starters and other online resources that provide insight into today’s advanced manufacturing careers and highlight the crucial role that manufacturing plays in day-to-day life. Hope Street Group, The Manufacturing Institute, and SME Education Foundation provided expertise.

For more information about the virtual field trip or Manufacture Your Future’s program and free resources, visit: www.manufactureyourfuture.com.

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About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

About Alcoa Foundation

Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $470 million. Founded 62 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $590 million. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2013, a record 62 percent of Alcoa employees took part in nearly 1,300 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 505,000 people and 1,900 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

About Alcoa

A global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our 60,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products. For more information, visit www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Alcoa and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Alcoa.

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The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Good Morning America’s Amy Robach Kick off October With #BeTheEnd Campaign

Lifetime rallies around #BeTheEnd with PSA featuring Project Runway’s Heidi Klum

New York, NY, September 30, 2014 – The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) is proud to announce its #BeTheEnd campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and throughout the year. The call to action was built from the belief that research will bring an end to cancer and everyone has the power to play a role in eradicating the disease.

“We are all part of the solution,” said Myra Biblowit, President of BCRF. “We want to empower the public to be the end of cancer by joining us to help fuel the research today needed to save lives tomorrow. We believe that research has the power to bring an end to cancer. When you donate to BCRF, every dollar has an impact because research produces results and will lead us to prevention and a cure.”

Joining BCRF in its pursuit to turn awareness into action is Good Morning America anchor and breast cancer survivor Amy Robach. Last October, Robach received her first mammogram on air only to discover she had breast cancer. She has partnered with BCRF as an ambassador promoting breast health and the importance of research to help inform and activate the public. On October 9, Robach will also host the foundation’s annual Symposium & Awards Luncheon, which will honor ABC veteran and broadcast legend Barbara Walters for her humanitarian efforts.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Amy to the BCRF family,” said Leonard Lauder, BCRF Co-Chairman. “Not only did she demonstrate incredible poise and strength during her journey with breast cancer, but she also is using her experience to advocate for the cause and galvanize women and men across the nation.”

BCRF Scientific Director Dr. Larry Norton and grantee Dr. Edith Perez have also joined ABC’s October initiative, Pink Pledge, as leading breast cancer experts.

Lifetime also signed on to support #BeTheEnd through a number of platforms including a public service announcement featuring Heidi Klum, the Emmy-winning host and executive producer of Project Runway. The PSA will run across Lifetime’s broadcast and digital channels. Lifetime further solidified its partnership with BCRF by sponsoring in part the foundation’s fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria. This year marks Lifetime’s 20th anniversary advocating for the end of breast cancer.

Beginning October 1, BCRF will launch a number of engagements as part of #BeTheEnd:

  • Breast Cancer Research Symposium & Awards Luncheon – Each October, BCRF hosts two signature events in New York and Boston establishing its position as a leading global resource on breast cancer research and innovation. In New York, BCRF will award $47 million in annual grants as more than 220 researchers from around the world come together to shed light on the critical advances made possible by the foundation’s support. In addition, BCRF is committing $11.6 million this year through the Evelyn H. Lauder Founder’s Fund to support an international research initiative focused on breast cancer metastasis. In Boston, BCRF grantees from New England’s top medical institutions will offer scientific insight on the ever-changing breast cancer landscape in an open forum with the public. Learn more at www.bcrfcure.org/events.
  • Shop Pink – BCRF’s corporate partnerships program harnesses the power of many of the world’s most iconic and beloved brands to fund lifesaving research. Shop Pink features products, retail activations, employee fundraising, and social engagement programs from BCRF’s more than 130 corporate partners. Each program triggers donations to support BCRF research. For more information, visit www.bcrfcure.org/shop-pink.
  • #BeTheEnd Fundraising Platform – BCRF’s newly designed website features an interactive fundraising platform that helps to make raising money for research fun and easy in October and all year long. Learn more at www.bcrfcure.org/fundraise.
  • #BeTheEnd Social Media Campaign – BCRF wants to empower its supporters to share their stories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and to encourage them to #BeTheEnd of breast cancer and all that comes with it—fear, hospital visits, needless suffering and losing loved ones.

Join BCRF and #BeTheEnd of breast cancer.

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U.K. Taxpayer Donations to U.S.-Based Himalayan Stove Project Now Count for More

Community Action Nepal Accepts Gift Aid Donations on Behalf of Clean Cookstove Organization

TAOS, NM (September 30, 2014)The Himalayan Stove Project (HSP)—a U.S.-based nonprofit that distributes free, clean-burning cook stoves to the people of the high Himalayas to reduce deadly household air pollution (HAP)—announces a new donation arrangement with longtime U.K.-based implementing partner and supporter Community Action Nepal (CAN). The arrangement allows U.K. taxpayers donating through the U.K.’s Gift Aid program to designate CAN donation funds for HSP.

The U.K.’s Gift Aid program increases the value of donations to charities by allowing charities to reclaim the basic rate tax on gifts. According to the Gift Aid website, “Basic rate tax is 20 per cent, so this means that if you give £10 using Gift Aid, it’s worth £12.50 to the charity.”

“We all agree that it is good to co-operate like this,” says Ruth Moore of CAN. “The Himalayan Stove Project’s life enhancing stoves contribute greatly to our work to aid the Nepalese people. Now, through our benefits with the Gift Aid program, U.K. donations to HSP can count for more clean, efficient stoves, which means even more families will be protected from the deadly effects of household air pollution.”

Himalayan Stove Project Founder George Basch (right), His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh (center) and Rebecca Stephens (left), the current president of the Himalayan Trust and the first British woman to summit Everest, survey a model of Mount Everest at the 60th anniversary celebration of the peak’s first summit, held on April 29, 2013 at the Royal Geographical Society.

Since its foundation, the Himalayan Stove Project has donated more than 3,000 cookstoves to the people of the high Himalayas, with the help of implementing partners like the CAN organization, which help facilitate the placement of these donations into the remote mountain homes of families in the greatest need.

“We are very grateful to our Himalayan partner CAN, which has been a great supporter of our program since the beginning, for facilitating this donation process,” says HSP Founder George Basch. “With 4.3 million premature deaths caused yearly by HAP (more than Malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB, combined), our cause is of critical importance. The more donations we can collect, the sooner we can meet the estimated need for more than 1,000,000 stoves in the Nepal Himalayan region.”

Founded by Doug Scott CBE, who in 1975 made the first British ascent of Everest, Community Action Nepal is a U.K.-based charity whose aim is to bring long term benefits to the resourceful and proud Nepalese mountain people. CAN has established more than 50 community projects focusing on health, water and sanitation, schools, education, porter welfare and cultural development. Supported by mountaineers and mountain-lovers from across the globe, CAN’s Kathmandu office and Nepali staff facilitate projects on the ground. Funds are raised from donations, fundraising events, sales of Nepali goods, grants and Doug Scott’s lecture tours.

U.K. income tax payers who wish to make a Gift-Aid Qualifying Donation to the Himalayan Stove Project can do so by following the links at http://www.himalayanstoveproject.org/donate-uk-gift-aid. For more information about or to donate to the Himalayan Stove Project, located at 1335 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, #305, Taos, NM, 87571, visit http://www.himalayanstoveproject.org/transforming-lives or www.facebook.com/himalayanstoveproject, or call 505-363-8863. Donations can also be made by texting “stove” to 50155.

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Groundbreaking Climate Change Mitigation Program to Protect 9 Million Hectares of Forest and Benefit 1.8 Million People in the Congo Basin

New York City – 25 September 2014 – In the midst of the UN Climate Summit, on Wednesday, 24 September, His Excellency Minister N’sa Mputu Elima, Minister of Environment, Conservation of Nature and Tourism for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Mike Korchinsky, Founder and President of Wildlife Works presented a groundbreaking national REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) program to protect the Congo Basin Forest through Africa’s largest pay-for-performance initiative designed to capture the natural value of standing forests.

The presentation followed the announcement of The New York Declaration on Forests in which world leaders from governments, businesses and NGOs joined together to commit to drastically reduce emissions to combat climate change by slowing, halting and reversing forest loss by 2020.

“The United Nations has framed the climate change problem and the Government of the DRC has presented a compelling solution,” Korchinsky said. “There is a window of opportunity right now for the private sector to join the sovereign funds and do their part to invest in our collective future by reducing the impact of their unavoidable emissions through the protection of the Congo Basin Forest.”

The DRC Government came to New York to present its solution to save the Congo Basin Forest to policy makers, corporate leaders and foundation directors. Minister Elima informed the audience that the DRC Government has completed a multi-year strategic planning effort for a massive green development program to be financed by the sale of emission reductions earned only if the DRC can dramatically reduce deforestation. “The DRC accepts its responsibility to protect its forests for the benefit of humanity,” Minister Elima said. “But as a developing country for us to move from planning to implementation, we require a partnership with industrialized nations to provide the financial support needed by the program. We hope this innovative climate change mitigation program can become a model for the Congo Basin Forest Nations of Africa and perhaps for forest nations throughout the developing world. We believe this program can demonstrate the transformational power of REDD+ to conserve our forests for future generations while providing unprecedented green development for our citizens.”

The DRC’s pilot program is a landmark initiative built upon the success of Mai Ndombe, Wildlife Works’ pioneering REDD+ project in the DRC. The program will safeguard about 10% of the DRC’s forest estate utilizing the UN’s REDD+ mechanism to protect nearly 9M hectares of primary tropical rainforest within a 12M-hectare landscape, almost the size of England. The area is home to more than 1.8M people as well as magnificent endangered species, including the forest elephant and the bonobo, the great ape that is the closest relative to humans and that lives only in the DRC.

The DRC holds 155M hectares of forest, which is more than 50% of all of Africa’s forests. The DRC’s Congo Basin Forest is second only to Brazil’s Amazon in global size and significance. But the DRC also has the lowest score on the United Nations’ Human Development Index as a consequence of decades of civil war and political instability that have only recently ended. With peace will come development, and that development will either be fueled by the destruction of forest resources, or funded by the success of this program.

The program has garnered high-level support from the scientific and policy communities.

“The Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC is essentially the first time that we have given so much importance to forestry and we have clearly stated that if we want to limit temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, then we will have to stop deforestation and expand forest area,” said Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at Wednesday’s event. “REDD+ embodies the importance that science places on expanding forest cover and doing away with deforestation – and doing it in a manner that is market friendly.”

Mario Boccucci, Head of the UN-REDD Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland also acknowledged the program’s significance. “Ever since the emergence of REDD+ under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the DRC has been one of the leading countries in advancing REDD+ and moving the process forward both nationally and internationally. Today, with this event, it proves again its leadership on REDD+ and its ability to convene a number of partners in its support. This is a tribute to the level of political will and commitment towards REDD+ in the country, a political will that the Summit yesterday sought to achieve in other countries as well. The UN-REDD Programme congratulates the DRC for its resolve and we hope that support from all partners will meet the same level of ambition in realizing the potential of REDD+ as a powerful incentive for green economic development.”

The World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility recently acknowledged the innovative nature and global significance of this emission reductions program by accepting the DRC into the Carbon Fund pipeline. The Carbon Fund is a World Bank program that will pay selected forest nations for proving they can reduce emissions from deforestation. The DRC is under consideration for this program, but even if selected will need to find significant additional sources of financing to ensure the program achieves its full potential for success.

Sovereign funds and multilateral banks have already pledged billions of dollars to support early action national REDD+ programs in Brazil and Indonesia, the world’s first and third largest tropical forest nations, and those with the highest historical deforestation rates. The DRC is the second largest forest nation, and has stepped up to meet the challenge of finding a new development pathway that can avoid the massive destruction seen in Brazil and Indonesia. Success in the DRC will catalyze a massive scaling of REDD+ that can quickly and efficiently mitigate hundreds of millions of tons of annual emissions and at the same time provide substantial green development for local forest communities.

Wildlife Works is investing alongside the DRC Government to help design and implement the program. “We believe the DRC Government’s REDD+ green development plan may be the single most vital social and environmental initiative of our time as this program’s success will prove that the most impoverished communities in one of the most impoverished countries on earth can find a way to meet their economic development needs without destroying their forests. If the DRC can succeed then surely all other forest nations can follow suit,” said Korchinsky.

Wildlife Works is one of the key organizations on the advisory team supporting the DRC Government on the development of its national REDD+ program. Other partners in program design and development include WWF and a broad network of local civil society organizations in the DRC.

About Wildlife Works

Wildlife Works is a unique private sector forest conservation company founded in 2009 and based in Mill Valley, CA. The company aims to make a massive contribution to reducing global emissions while protecting some of the most important and highly threatened tropical forests in the world.

Wildlife Works is currently engaged in several developing country forest communities, managing their transition away from forest destruction and towards sustainable economic development. Wildlife Works is a private company using the innovative market mechanism REDD+ to finance activities and to provide the financial incentives for those communities and governments to protect their forests.

REDD+ places a value on the natural capital of standing forests as the key element in mitigating climate change and sells that value to willing corporate leaders who are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of their organizations. In addition to reducing emissions from avoiding deforestation, Wildlife Works REDD+ projects deliver unprecedented environmental and social benefits to seriously impoverished parts of Africa that are in desperate need of change.

Wildlife Works is a business that protects forests and the wildlife that live within them, and provides communities with a sustainable and transformative development path.

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AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund Donates $3.7 Million to Organizations Nationwide

Locally, AMC Awards $45,000 to Two Organizations

Leawood, Kan. (Sept. 24, 2014) – AMC Theatres is proud to announce New York City-based City Harvest, Inc. and Starlight Children’s Foundation NY*NJ*CT received a combined $45,000 through the AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund. During the AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund Annual Ceremony, AMC announced the 2014 awards for 37 charitable organizations nationwide. This year, AMC donated $755,000 in cash and more than $3 million in in-kind donations to charities that support children and youth.

Two charitable organizations in New York City received cash grants made possible by the AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund:

  • City Harvest is the world’s first food rescue organization dedicated to feeding hungry New Yorkers by rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste. With $25,000 from the AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund, City Harvest’s Fruit Bowl will provide low-income children with healthy snacks. This grant will expand the City Harvest’s Fruit Bowl to include 320 classrooms at 83 sites and will provide low-income children with 570,000 lbs. of fresh fruit and low-fat dairy.
  • Starlight Children’s Foundation serves children who suffer from chronic or serious illnesses, physical disabilities and injuries. A $20,000 grant will help fund Starlight Escapes, family outings that create fun, positive memories for seriously or chronically ill children aged 4-18 and their parents and siblings. AMC Movie Days are popular among Starlight children in New York because of wheelchair-accessible seating for children with limited mobility.

“AMC theatres are an important part of the social fabric of the neighborhoods and communities we serve,” said Gerry Lopez, CEO and president of AMC. “Through the AMC Cares Charitable Fund, our associates nationwide have the opportunity to participate in giving back to meaningful charitable organizations in their own communities.”

This year, organizations that support youth and children were asked to visit amctheatres.com/donations to fill out an application by July 18. A group of AMC associates from around the country selected the charities they felt best fit AMC’s goals and values, and allocated the cash from the AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund and other resources accordingly.

The AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund is a component fund of Tulsa Community Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that worked closely with AMC to administer the AMC Annual Grant Evaluation process to pare down the applicants to the selected recipients.

AMC Cares Charitable Grants – AMC Committee-Awarded Cash Recipients

Adult and Child Mental Health Center – IN ($20,000)
Camp for Kids – MO ($15,000)
Chances and Services for Youth – IN ($5,000)
City Harvest – NY ($25,000)
Eden Autism Services – NJ ($15,000)
Family and Community Education and Support – CO ($20,000)
Guadalupe Centers, Inc. – MO ($20,000)
Happy Hollow Children’s Camp – IN ($10,000)
Harvesters – The Community Food Network – MO ($25,000)
Hollenbeck Police Activities – CA ($15,000)
Home Works – MO ($15,000)
Hoops for Hope – KS ($5,000)
Just Like You – KS ($15,000)
Lake Mary Center – KS ($10,000)
Make Way for Books – AZ (25,000)
Make-A-Wish Foundation – MO ($20,000)
Mercy Health Foundation – MO ($10,000)
Operation Breakthrough – MO ($10,000)
Pathfinders Milwaukee – WI ($10,000)
PF Bresee Foundation – CA ($25,000)
Philadelphia Children’s Alliance – PA ($10,000)
Pomeroy – CA ($10,000)
Prevention Education – NJ ($10,000)
School on Wheels – IN ($15,000)
Starlight Children’s Foundation – NY ($20,000)
The Moyer Foundation – PA ($25,000)
Together We Rise – CA ($25,000)
United Way – Kansas City – MO ($20,000)
Variety Children’s Charity – MO ($10,000)
Women of Tomorrow – FL & MI ($10,000)

AMC Cares Charitable Grants – AMC Committee-Awarded In-Kind Recipients

Beverly’s Birthdays – PA (Annual Pass)
Free Arts for Abused Children of New York City – NY (Paper Passes)
Harvesters – The Community Food Network – MO (On-Screen PSAs)
Just Like You – KS (Movie Screening)
KaBoom! – D.C. (On-Screen PSAs)
Make-A-Wish Foundation – MO (Annual Passes)
PF Bresee Foundation – CA (On-Screen PSAs)
Pomeroy – CA (Annual Passes)
Prevention Education – NJ (Paper Passes)
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – TN (On-Screen PSAs)
Starlight Children’s Foundation – NY (Paper Passes)
The Moyer Foundation – PA (On-Screen PSAs)
Together We Rise – CA (On-Screen PSAs)

AMC Cares Charitable Grants – Guest-Focused Initiatives/Additional Grant Recipients

Autism Speaks – NY ($25,000)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City – MO ($100,000)
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – MO ($25,000; On-Screen PSAs)
The Autism Society – MD ($25,000)
Will Rogers Foundation – CA ($100,000)

About Starlight Children’s Foundation NY*NJ*CT

Starlight Children’s Foundation New York*NJ*CT is part of Starlight’s global network, serving kids and families through partnerships with more than 100 healthcare facilities. Founded in 1982, Starlight is a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world. Collaborating with innovators in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, Starlight provides a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. Starlight partners with more than 1,750 healthcare facilities and pediatric hospitals in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, serving millions of children every year. To learn more, visit www.starlight.org/newyork.

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Camfed Partners With Pearson to Train 5,000 Learner Guides In Sub-Saharan Africa

Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard Announce CHARGE – a new Clinton Global Initiative Commitment for Girls’ Secondary Education

New York – September 24, 2014 – Camfed (Campaign for Female Education), an international nonprofit organization that invests in the education of girls in rural Africa, today announced that Pearson, one of the world’s leading learning and education companies, will train and certify 5,000 Camfed Learner Guides.

“Camfed’s model works to set in place a virtuous cycle of education, economic security and leadership among young women in Africa,” said Lucy Lake, CEO of Camfed. “And one of the most important ways that we are achieving that is through the activism of the graduates of our education program who are supporting the education of the next generation of girls. Pearson, a longtime Camfed partner, has stepped up to ensure that these Learner Guides are trained and certified under Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) standards and fully prepared to be mentors and guides.”

Learner Guides are young women who have graduated from secondary school under Camfed’s support, and are now volunteering to teach and mentor children at local schools in remote rural areas. Often, they are the only female role models for girls in the school. Working closely with school authorities, Learner Guides identify and address particular problems that girls may face that hinder school attendance and overall success at school.

“We’re excited to expand our valued partnership with Camfed,” said Manos Kapterian, VP of International Qualifications at Pearson. “By investing in the training of an additional 3,000 Camfed Learner Guides in Ghana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, we bring our total commitment to more than 5,000. We are proud to be part of the transformation of these women into educated business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders. This is precisely the type of social impact that forms the core of Pearson’s purpose, as a company committed to helping people make progress in their lives through learning.”

“Through the BTEC, a transferable vocational qualification, Learner Guides themselves acquire an important, internationally benchmarked qualification that provides a stepping-stone into formal higher education and teacher training,” said Lucy Lake, CEO of Camfed. “The 5,000 Learner Guides will reach over 150,000 girls to improve their attendance, retention and learning at secondary school.”

The Camfed-Pearson training program was announced as part of the Clinton Global Initiative’s CHARGE (The Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls’ Education) Commitment, which was announced by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the final day of the tenth annual CGI Annual Meeting in New York City. CHARGE unites the efforts of Government, civil society organizations, and private sector corporations to work together towards one common goal in supporting the education of girls around the world.

As part of the Commitment, Camfed has pledged to support one million girls in sub Saharan Africa on their journey through secondary school and in making the transition to a secure livelihood.

For more information, please visit www.camfed.org or pearson.com.

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The Lulu & Leo Fund Selects Sing for Hope for Grant

New York, NY, September 24, 2014The Lulu & Leo Fund has awarded a multi-year grant to Sing for Hope, it was announced today by Jennifer Goldschein, Executive Director, Lulu & Leo Fund. Sing for Hope, through the volunteer service of over 1,500 artists including opera singers, actors, visual artists and more, brings dynamic arts outreach programming to under-resourced communities throughout New York City.

“Sing for Hope is an incredible organization that ignites the spark of creative innovation for students of all ages and brings the power of the arts to those who need it most,” said Goldschein. “Their work perfectly embodies the mission of Lulu & Leo Fund which aims to inspire, educate and grow the hearts and minds of children in need. We could not be prouder to be supporting Sing for Hope in their extraordinary efforts.”

“Sing for Hope is honored to partner with the Lulu & Leo Fund to bring art – and hope – to our most vulnerable communities,” said Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, Co-Executive Directors, Sing For Hope. “The support of the Lulu & Leo Fund speaks to the complementary missions of our two organizations and to our shared vision of ‘art for all.’ Our partnership will bring the transformational power of the arts to under-resourced areas where it is needed most, brightening lives. We are excited to embark on our next chapter with the Lulu & Leo Fund, and we are deeply grateful to the Krims and everyone at Lulu & Leo Fund for their innovative philanthropic leadership and their commitment to uplifting lives through the arts.”

The Lulu & Leo Fund grant will enable Sing for Hope to serve an additional 1,000 under-resourced individuals and will also support several of the organization’s programs including:

  • The Sing for Hope Healing Arts Program, which brings dynamic arts experiences to hospital patients, the disabled, seniors and veterans through Bedside Performances (personalized access to the arts for nonambulatory patients); Interactive Visits (the creation of a collaborative work of art) and Collaborative Concerts throughout the city.
  • The Sing for Hope Youth Arts Program, which is comprised of a range of educational programs for underserved youth in the greater New York area.
  • The Sing for Hope Community Arts Program that aims to enliven neighborhoods across New York City with public art projects throughout the year.

The Sing for Hope Youth Chorus, along with Broadway sensation and Sing for Hope volunteer, Blake Whyte, will perform at the 2nd Annual Lulu & Leo Fund Benefit: The Art of Healing at the Museum of the City of New York on Wednesday, November 5, 2014.

Founded by Marina and Kevin Krim in November 2012 in memory of their two children, the Lulu & Leo Fund is a public foundation primarily focused on healing through art.

Previous grantees include Cool Culture, an organization that ensures that New York’s most diverse families with preschool-aged children have access to arts and culture as a way to increase literacy and learning in early childhood and to prepare children to succeed in school and Free Arts NYC program Parents and Children Together (PACT), which creates theme-based art experience for families. PACT’s activities are designed to increase parental involvement and graduate in complexity to encourage positive forms of family communication and sustained teamwork.

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Camfed Commits to Educate One Million Girls

Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard Announce CHARGE – a new Clinton Global Initiative Commitment for Girls’ Secondary Education

New York – September 24, 2014 – Camfed (Campaign for Female Education), an international nonprofit organization that invests in the education of girls and empowerment of young women in rural Africa, today announced their strategic goal to support one million girls through their secondary school education and into successful, secure livelihoods.

Camfed’s announcement is part of the Clinton Global Initiative’s CHARGE (The Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls’ Education) Commitment, which was announced by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the final day of the tenth annual CGI Annual Meeting in New York City.

“Our goal is to reach marginalized and excluded girls in rural communities in sub Saharan Africa and support them to complete a full cycle of secondary education,” said Lucy Lake, CEO of Camfed. “Our commitment to these students doesn’t end with graduation. We will work with them and support them to move forward from school into economic independence and positions of leadership.”

CHARGE is a top-priority promise that unites the efforts of Government, civil society organizations, and private sector corporations to work together towards one common goal in supporting the education of girls around the world. “We are excited and honored to sign up for this commitment,” said Lake. “This is an ambitious undertaking that will multiply opportunities for girls and young women in rural areas of Africa.”

Camfed will join 30 organizations in CHARGE to lift women and children out of poverty and pave the way for a better life, increased opportunity, better healthcare, and access to education. The other commitment partners include Discovery, Intel, Malala Fund, Microsoft, and Pearson, among many others. “We know when girls have access to quality education in both primary and secondary schools, cycles of poverty are broken, economies grow, glass ceilings crack and potential is unleashed,” said Secretary Clinton.

Heads of state, CEOs, philanthropists, influencers and media attended the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, which wraps up today. The CGI has been highly successful in its mission to create social change. Since the program was launched in 2005, nearly 3,000 commitments have been made and fulfilled, impacting the lives of more than 430 million people.

In addition to Camfed’s own announcement, Pearson, in partnership with Camfed, will publicly commit to offer BTEC qualifications to 5,000 Camfed Learner Guides in Ghana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The 5,000 Learner Guides are young women school graduates who will return to school to teach and guide more than 150,000 girls to improve their attendance, retention and education in secondary school. Through the BTEC, a transferable vocational qualification, Learner Guides will acquire an important, internationally benchmarked qualification that provides a stepping stone into formal higher education and teacher training.

For more information, please visit www.camfed.org.

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