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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.

The World for People Foundation signs up to the UN Global Compact

London 3 July 2014. The World for People Foundation (www.worldforpeople.org) has officially joined the United Nations Global Compact (www.unglobalcompact.org), the strategic alliance which is made up of both businesses and non-profit organisations and which embraces a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.

In this way, the businesses and the organisations which lead the process of globalisation can contribute to ensuring that the markets, commerce, technology and finance develop in a way which combines economic and social growth.

The World for People Foundation operates through concrete projects, with minimum environmental impact, designed to increase the well-being of disadvantaged communities.

Alfonso Galdi, the president of the Foundation, declared “The Foundation is proud to have joined this network and to contribute to the spread of the principles of the Global Compact, which is a powerful tool for the promotion of a more inclusive and sustainable model of economic development. This membership of the Global Compact reinforces the principles and values of the World for People Foundation which has as its objective the long term and sustainable increase of people’s living standards.”

For more information please contact the directors Roberto Race on: roberto.race (at) wordforpeople.org or Michael Burgoyne MBE michael.burgoyne (at) worldforpeople.org or on the mobile +44 (0)787 1956748

About The World for People Foundation and The United Nations Global Compact:

The World for People Foundation (www.worldforpeople.org), aims to undertake sustainable development through socially innovative projects and to contribute to improving living conditions of local economies in our world’s poorest areas by.

Improving people’s lives, offering an unequalled business opportunity and revolutionary products has always been one of WOR(l)D Global Group Inc.’s pivotal mission points, and it’s even more so for the World for People Foundation.

The World for People Foundation identifies and seeks to implement the most advanced technological solutions which are aimed at improving the quality of life of populations.

The United Nations Global Compact (www.unglobalcompact.org) is a multi-stakeholder network which unites governments, businesses, UN agencies, trade unions and civil society with the aim of promoting on a global scale the culture of corporate citizenship.

The initiative was proposed for the first time in January 1999 by the then Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan on the occasion of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Since then Global Compact has developed rapidly to become foremost global forum for the most critical issues raised caused by globalisation. They are an ever growing number of business and organisation from all regions of the world which have decided to “work toward the vision of a sustainable and inclusive global economy which delivers lasting benefits to people, communities, and markets.”

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Education Advocate Malala Yousafzai Makes First Trip to Africa

— Malala Fund announces first Africa initiative, more to come —
— Free the Children hosts Malala in Kenya, partners with Malala Fund –
— High resolution photos available for redistribution: http://send.freethechildren.com/tHjVqjhMaU

New York, NY (July 3, 2014) – On her first trip to Africa, education activist and Malala Fund co-founder Malala Yousafzai said she was inspired by the dreams and determination of the schoolgirls she met while learning about the many challenges they have overcome to obtain an education.

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The 16-year-old spent several days speaking with girls from rural Kenyan communities about their passionate desire to go to school and the many obstacles they encounter, including discrimination, poverty, child labor and early marriage.

Malala said the moving stories the girls shared with her will strengthen her work as an education advocate. Malala visited Kenya recently on behalf of the Malala Fund, a foundation that empowers girls through education.

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“I came to Africa to raise awareness about the 58 million children not in primary school who face numerous barriers to education,” Malala said. “I was particularly inspired to meet young girls in Kenya who are so passionate about getting an education, building their future and the future of their country.”

Malala was hosted by Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children, a global organization of children engaged in service and development programs. Free The Children’s young supporters have raised funds to build more than 650 schools and schoolrooms throughout the developing world, while the organization works to topple the barriers to education.

On her visit, Malala also took up a shovel, mixed cement and laid bricks to help build Free The Children’s Oleleshwa All-Girls’ Secondary School, in rural South Narok, where the majority of girls do not attend high school.

Malala was also accompanied by her father, who is the Malala Fund’s chairman, along with its CEO, Shiza Shahid, who called on other school children to stand up for the rights of their peers.

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The Malala Fund also financially contributed to the building of Oleleshwa All-Girls’ Secondary School, its first gift to Africa, because of Free The Children’s sustainable approach to education and because of a common bond with young people from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada who support Free The Children.

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“We feel honoured to have laid the foundation of the first school that the Malala Fund is building in Africa with Free the Children,” said Shahid. “This is the beginning of a deep commitment to Africa, and a testament to our belief that educating the children of the world holds the key to spurring progress and countering violence.”

Free The Children is currently building Oleleshwa All-Girls’ Secondary School, a boarding school which now accommodates 60 students but when complete will educate and board two hundred. These new students will join the 4,780 girls already enrolled in Free The Children primary and secondary schools across Kenya.

Free The Children’s innovative holistic development model, Adopt a Village, eliminates all barriers to education by providing schools, clean water projects, support for health care, agriculture and food security, and local small businesses, many run by women.

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“We are so grateful to work together to build a school,” said Kielburger. “After the horrific kidnapping of the Nigerian girls, we are inspired by Malala’s compassion and leadership in ensuring education for girls on the African continent.”

While in Kenya, Malala spoke to a community gathering about the importance of educating girls and preventing early childhood marriage. When she finished speaking, the local children, in traditional Maasai dress, leapt to their feet and chanted “Malala” over and over. Finally, the community presented her with a goat, a sign of great respect in Maasai culture, in honor of her fight for girls’ education.

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NFIB Jobs Statement: Job Picture Remains Solid

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 2, 2014Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following statement on June’s job numbers, based on NFIB’s monthly economic survey that will be released on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The survey was conducted in June and reflects the responses of 672 sampled NFIB members:  

THIS REPORT TEXT COMPARES JUNE FINDINGS TO MAY FIGURES.

“NFIB owners increased employment by an average of 0.05 workers per firm in June (seasonally adjusted), the ninth positive month in a row and the best string of gains since 2006. Seasonally adjusted, 12 percent of the owners (up 1 point) reported adding an average of 3.3 workers per firm over the past few months. Offsetting that, 13 percent reduced employment (up 1 point) an average of 3.1 workers, producing the seasonally adjusted net gain of 0.05 workers per firm overall. The rather substantial dent in first quarter growth did not have much of an impact on Main Street

The remaining 75 percent of owners made no net change in employment. Fifty-three percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 43 percent (81 percent of those trying to hire or hiring) reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.

Twenty-six percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period (up 2 points), suggesting more downward pressure on the unemployment rate. Fourteen percent reported using temporary workers, unchanged for several months.

Job creation plans continued to strengthen and rose 2 percentage points to a seasonally adjusted net 12 percent, approaching “normal” levels for a growing economy (even with no growth last quarter). Not seasonally adjusted, 18 percent plan to increase employment at their firm (down 3 points), and 5 percent plan reductions (unchanged).

On a seasonally adjusted basis, job creation plans continued to improve as did the percent of owners reporting hard to fill job openings. This signals that the jobs numbers will be solid and the unemployment rate will fall.”

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Iniala Beach House Launches Inaugural Charitable Bidding Campaign

*Travelers Are Called to eBay to Bid on a Week in Paradise*

Phuket, Thailand (July 2, 2014)TODAY beginning at 11am EST, the newly opened Iniala Beach House will launch Inspirational August, a ten-day campaign in which 100% of the month’s room revenue will go to charity. From July 2 through July 11, guests will have the opportunity to bid on August vacation packages to Thailand’s most luxurious and imaginative hotel via eBay. Top bidders will experience Iniala for up to 70% off the standard rates.

The revenue from the auctions will go to the Inspirasia Foundation, which was founded by the CEO of Iniala Beach House Mark Weingard.

Travelers can explore the vacation packages and bid here: http://www.iniala.com/InspirasiaAuction

Iniala Beach House is a 10-suite private residence available to rent entirely, or by individual villa or Penthouse Suite. It is situated on the unspoiled Natai Beach just 20 minutes north of Phuket Airport. It’s comprised of three villas, each with three suites and their own spa, and one spectacular Iniala Penthouse Suite. The residence is a masterpiece of design fusing traditional Thai architecture with organic, contemporary forms created by designers from Thailand, Spain, Ireland, Britain, Brazil, Russia and the USA. Every bedroom and living space is completely different, a unique expression from masters of contemporary design from around the world.

Follow and continue the conversation with Iniala Beach House on social media channels:
Facebook
Twitter: @inialaBH
Instagram: @InialaBH

About Inspirasia:

Weingard set up the Inspirasia Foundation in 2002 as a response to his girlfriend’s death in the terror bombing of a Bali nightclub. The businesses he has been involved in have donated more than USD 10 million to date for the disadvantaged across Indonesia, Thailand and India.

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KIPP Schools Wins 2014 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools

LAS VEGAS — KIPP Schools is the winner of the 2014 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools and will receive $250,000 to support college-readiness efforts for their students, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today at the National Charter Schools Conference.

In the 20 years since starting its first school, KIPP Schools has demonstrated its ability to scale and to bring an increasingly high-quality education to thousands of low-income students and students of color who otherwise might not have had the opportunity. KIPP serves 50,000 students in 141 schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia, with the majority of that growth coming in the last five years. More than 86 percent of KIPP students come from low-income families, and 95 percent are students of color. Nationally, more than 93 percent of KIPP students who completed eighth grade have gone on to graduate from high school, and more than 83 percent have gone to college, according to KIPP.

“With 50,000 students—larger than 99 percent of school districts in the country—KIPP Schools is providing a quality education to low-income students and students of color on a scale that naysayers of public charter schools thought was impossible,” said Bruce Reed, president of The Broad Foundation, who announced the winner to an audience of more than 3,000 public charter school leaders attending the national conference in Las Vegas. “For 20 years KIPP has shown that when it comes to ensuring every student the opportunity to a great education, there can be no excuses. Every school and school system has something to learn from KIPP’s success.”

The Broad (rhymes with “road”) Prize for Public Charter Schools is an annual award that honors the public charter school system demonstrating the most outstanding overall student performance and improvement in the nation in recent years while reducing achievement gaps for low-income students and students of color.

An eight-member review board of prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from around the country evaluated publicly available student achievement data on 20 large established public charter school systems. They selected the top three public charter systems—Achievement First, IDEA Public Schools and KIPP Schools—and ultimately found that KIPP Schools deserved recognition for its ability to provide a high-quality education to students across the country, particularly noting the network’s ability to scale, adapt to new locations and pursue continuous innovation by bringing technology into the classroom. The Broad Foundation did not play a role in selecting the winner.

“In the third year of The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, we looked not only for strong academic results but also for a charter network that has demonstrated a sustainable track record of scale, an admirable commitment to provide a high-quality education for more and more students over time, and evidence of continuous improvement,” said Jane Hannaway, vice president of the American Institutes for Research and the director of the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research. “KIPP Schools has done just that. The network is a leader in the public charter school movement and, because of its size and ability to expand while maintaining a high quality bar, the network is a particular inspiration for CMOs and traditional public school districts alike.”

KIPP’s philosophy—built on its five core principles of believing in all students, working toward the goal of college graduation, a focus on academics and character, and the importance of visionary leadership and excellent teachers—has helped drive its strong student learning outcomes. Among the reasons KIPP Schools won the 2014 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools:

  • In 2013, in 84 percent of available comparisons (in elementary, middle and high school reading, math, and science), proficiency rates for KIPP’s African-American students ranked in the top 30 percent of their respective states when compared to African-American students in the rest of that state. By comparison, on average, eligible CMOs ranked in the top 30 percent of their state(s) in 41 percent of available comparisons.
  • In 2013, in 85 percent of available comparisons, proficiency rates for KIPP’s Hispanic students ranked in the top 30 percent of their respective states when compared to Hispanic students in the rest of that state, according to The Broad Prize methodology. By comparison, eligible CMOs on average ranked in the top 30 percent of their state(s) in 41 percent of available comparisons.
  • KIPP closed 21 percent of its ethnic and income achievement gaps in middle school reading, math and science across the available comparisons in 2013. By comparison, the remaining eligible CMOs on average closed 2 percent of achievement gaps in middle school. KIPP also narrowed 65 percent of its ethnic and income achievement gaps across the available comparisons in elementary school math, science and reading
  • KIPP closed 21 percent of achievement gaps between its Hispanic students and the state’s white students across the available comparisons, while on average, eligible CMOs on average closed 6 percent of achievement gaps between these groups in 2013.

As the winner of The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, KIPP Schools will receive $250,000 to support college-readiness efforts for low-income students, such as scholarships, speaker series or campus visits.

In selecting the winner, The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools review board examined data since the 2009-10 school year collected by RTI International, a leading global research institute. The review board considered student outcomes, scalability, size, poverty and demographics, and selected the charter management organization that it believed showed the most outstanding overall student performance and improvement while reducing achievement gaps. No formula was used. For more information on the methodology, visit http://www.broadprize.org/publiccharterschools/FAQ.html.

Charter management organizations eligible for the 2014 award operated a minimum of five schools for at least four years, had at least 2,500 enrolled each year since the 2009-10 school year—an increase of 1,000 students compared to last year’s criteria—and served sizeable percentages of low-income students and students of color. Organizations cannot apply for the award nor be nominated. For a list of eligible organizations, visit http://www.broadprize.org/publiccharterschools/eligible.html. The list of organizations eligible for the 2015 award will be released this fall.

“Congratulations to KIPP Schools for winning this much-deserved award,” said National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nina Rees. “Over the past 20 years, their schools have given tens of thousands of students access to a high-quality education and their results continue to impress. Because of KIPP schools, many students have gone on to brighter futures and many more are on their way. Charter schools like KIPP have shown us what is possible—that every student can succeed.”

The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools is the sister award to The Broad Prize for Urban Education that is awarded to traditional public school districts. The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation launched both awards to help schools and school systems across America learn from innovative public school systems producing the strongest student outcomes. The Broad Foundation will release data summary analyses on all organizations eligible for the award next month, followed by the research-based best practice findings from a site visit to KIPP Schools this fall.

Founded by entrepreneur Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, both graduates of Detroit Public Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a philanthropy that seeks to ensure that every student in an urban public school has the opportunity to succeed. Bringing together top education experts and practitioners, the foundation funds system-wide programs and policies that strengthen public schools by creating environments that allow good teachers to do great work and enable students of all backgrounds to learn and thrive. For more information, visit www.broadeducation.org.

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Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership Launches Peanut Supply Chain in Haiti to Enable 12,000 Small Farmers to Improve their Livelihoods

President Bill Clinton and philanthropist Frank Giustra visit

Port-au-Prince, Haiti — The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, founded by President Bill Clinton and philanthropist Frank Giustra, today announced the launch of the “Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corporation,” a supply chain enterprise in Haiti that will improve the livelihoods of more than 12,000 smallholder peanut farmers. The Enterprise Partnership will provide a network of service depots throughout the Central Plateau and Northern regions of the country facilitating the delivery of quality inputs and training to farmers as well as the collection and safe storage of peanuts.

The announcement came as President Clinton and Frank Giustra visited one of the depots that are providing peanut farmers with training, supplies, and a market for their harvests. Five of these depots have already opened, and 35 are planned throughout the Central Plateau and the North.

“We are committed to long-term, sustainable economic development in Haiti,” said President Clinton. “The enterprise partnership model, which has worked with great success in other countries, will connect thousands of farmers to high-quality supplies and help them improve their incomes and livelihoods.”

“The Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corporation is modeled after the success of a similar supply chain enterprises we have launched in Latin America and India and illustrates a replicable solution that has the potential to alleviate global poverty,” said Giustra, co-founder of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. “We’re very excited at the potential it has in Haiti not only to increase the yield and productivity, but to scale up Haiti’s peanut supply chain to meet the growing regional demand for peanuts without relying on imports. We are also delighted to have Fundacion Carlos Slim’s partnership in making this investment reflecting our joint commitment to economic development in Haiti.”

The Enterprise Partnership will sell peanuts to regional buyers including Meds and Food for Kids and Partners in Health – manufacturers of peanut-based nutrition supplements for children. The training of farmers will also be facilitated by TechnoServe as a result of grants received from the Kellogg Foundation, the Abbott Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

“The farmers in Haiti are willing and able to work and this enterprise will enable them to become competitive players in a potentially thriving market,” said Mark Gunton, CEO of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. “A market-driven approach to poverty alleviation such as this empowers these farmers to earn a reliable source of income and provide for their families – a much more sustainable solution than charitable handouts.”

The results of this enterprise will help to improve the yields and qualities of peanut farms in Haiti and increase in farmer income the coming years.

The Enterprise Partnership’s implementation of its Supply Chain Enterprise model continues the Clinton Foundation’s active engagement in Haiti since 2009. Since the 2010 earthquake, the Foundation has focused on reconstruction and long-term, sustainable development, through economic diversification, private sector investment and job creation. The Haiti team has provided and facilitated grants and investments to support Haitian entrepreneurs, small businesses, and farming cooperatives; helped to facilitate more than $30 million in foreign direct investment into Haiti; and continued to provide capacity building and access to markets for Haitian businesses and the Haitian Center for Investment Facilitation.

About the Clinton Foundation

The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, 20,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; 28,000 farmers in Malawi have improved their incomes by more than 500 percent; 248 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced in cities worldwide; more than 5,000 people have been trained in marketable job skills in Colombia; 8.2 million people have access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications; $200 million in strategic investments have been made, impacting the health of 75 million people in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative have made nearly 2,800 Commitments to Action to improve more than 430 million lives around the world.

Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.

About the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership

The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (the Enterprise Partnership) established by President Bill Clinton and Canadian philanthropist Frank Giustra, combines the best of non-profit and for-profit approaches to create new enterprises that capitalize market opportunities to generate social impact and financial returns by addressing existing market gaps in developing country supply and distribution chains. The Enterprise Partnership has been refining its approach for several years and believes there is great potential to enhance the economic and social benefits of marginalized communities by incorporating these individuals into one of three “market-driven” models – Distribution Enterprises, Supply Chain Enterprises, and Training Center Enterprises. Through these models, the Enterprise Partnership seeks to help people work themselves out of poverty.

Learn more at http://www.CGEPartnership.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/CGEPartnership and on Twitter @CGEPartnership

About Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corporation

Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corporation S.A. (APEC) is a Haitian company seeking both financial and social returns. APEC operates a network of depots throughout the Centre and North East departments of Haiti, providing capacity building and selling inputs to significantly improve smallholder peanut yield, income and quality. Additionally, APEC purchases production from smallholder farmers at favorable, fixed prices, and sorts, tests and re-sells these peanuts directly to buyers and the general market.

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SNOWMAN New York Creates Limited Edition Trooper Jacket Benefiting LIVESTRONG

NEW YORK, NY, June 26, 2014 – SNOWMAN New York is an outerwear brand based in the heart of the country’s most fashionable city. SNOWMAN New York is where quality down outerwear meets high fashion. The brand embraces the rich culture of New York City and exudes the energy and creativity of the city’s uniqueness. SNOWMAN New York implements luxurious construction techniques to create high quality down outerwear. Down is used in the most shocking ways to create high fashion looks, while still prioritizing functionality and timelessness.

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In a harmonious effort to encourage fashion and philanthropy, SNOWMAN has collaborated with LIVESTRONG to create the limited edition Trooper jacket. SNOWMAN New York invites you to join them on their mission to improve your days with functional fashion while helping improve the lives of others in the process. This new project is an opportunity for both the SNOWMAN brand and loyal customers to connect with and support the community. 5% of each Trooper jacket pre-sold from the 42 Collection, FW14/15, will benefit the LIVESTRONG foundation. LIVESTRONG works to identify the issues faced by cancer survivors to improve quality of life for members of the global cancer community. SNOWMAN New York cares about lifestyles and designs for a myriad of individuals who are constantly seeking to improve day-to-day life. The collaboration with LIVESTRONG is the first of many to continue to artistically bring awareness and support to the needs and issues of our communities.

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The limited edition LIVESTRONG by SNOWMAN Trooper jacket is designed to increase a person’s confidence just as the LIVESTRONG brand does for Cancer survivors. The edgy design is biker-inspired with its asymmetrical zipper and double layer sleeves. It is unique in that it uses down fill in a biker jacket, a rare combination. The Trooper jacket is very versatile, because of its practicality as well as the sleek innovative design. By purchasing this jacket and supporting this initiative, consumers will look and feel bold while joining the fight against cancer. With the Trooper, no goal is too great.

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The MacArthur Foundation Awards Grant to Home Matters® to Elevate the Importance of Safe, Quality Affordable Housing to Thriving Families and Communities

WASHINGTON DC, June 25th, 2014Home Matters®, a national movement focused on raising awareness and funds to make home a reality for everyone, announced today that it was selected to receive a three-year grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to help change public perception of home and its crucial impact on health, education, public safety, personal success and the economy.

The $300,000 grant spread out over three years will enable Home Matters to ignite a long overdue public conversation around the value of housing in people’s lives by leveraging recent research, including that from the MacArthur Foundation’s How Housing Matters initiative. Current findings show that a safe and stable home plays a central role in shaping successful families and communities. “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this grant from such a recognized housing leader,” said Dave Brown, Executive Director of the National NeighborWorks® Association, a proud founder of the Home Matters movement. “The overarching hypothesis guiding this research dovetails with the Home Matters mission and vision and will enable us to elevate the importance of home in the hearts and minds of Americans, getting the general public to take action and placing housing firmly on the national agenda.”

Home Matters will leverage the MacArthur grant and research to build a consumer-friendly and interactive online experience which will engage the general public – to think differently about home’s value in Americans’ quality of life; create viral, credible video content regarding the importance of Home; and thread the research throughout its consumer communications plans and activations.

This support comes at a critical point in time as Americans’ perceptions of housing is shifting. Innovative organizations like Home Matters recognize the need to take the complex world of housing and make it relevant and compelling to mainstream audiences. The grant is part of the MacArthur Foundation’s How Housing Matters to Families and Communities initiative.

According to the recent MacArthur-supported How Housing Matters national survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates, half of all U.S. adults (52%) have had to make at least one sacrifice to cover their rent or mortgage since 2011. These sacrifices, which include getting an additional job and cutting back on health care and nutrition, prove that having a home isn’t just an economic issue, it’s our nation’s social common denominator. Home Matters plans to help solve this problem, one home and one community at a time.

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Transform Finance Investor Network Launches With Pledge of $556m in “Transformative” Investments at White House Event

A group of leading private sector investors, at a high-level roundtable on impact investing convened by the White House, has pledged $556 million to a range of social investments using a novel investment approach centered on social justice and community value creation.

On June 25, 2014, the White House hosted a roundtable on impact investing, during which some 20 new private sector commitments were made to drive more than $1.5 billion into investments that intentionally generate measurable social or environmental impact as well as financial return.

The group of investors convened by the Transform Finance Investor Network, concerned about a trend in impact investing that stops short of truly transformative impact, pledged to invest in alignment with the transformative finance principles of:

  1. engaging communities in the design, governance, and ownership of projects
  2. creating more value for communities than is extracted by investors
  3. fairly allocating risks and rewards between investors, entrepreneurs, and communities

The group of Transform Finance Investor Network investors includes Pi Investments, Blue Haven Initiative, New Belgium Family Foundation, ReInventure Capital, and The Working World. These members will invest across asset classes, geographies, and verticals.

“This is a novel approach that puts capital at the service of community needs. We hope that through our participation in the Transform Finance Investor Network, we can help build a vibrant community of sophisticated investors who deeply believe in empowerment and intend to consider and prioritize community benefit in every investment we make,” said Brendan Martin, President of The Working World.

Investments may span from debt funds that finance conversion of corporations into worker-owned cooperatives, to renewable energy projects that are locally owned by and benefit indigenous communities.

Andrea Armeni, Executive Director of Transform Finance, convened the group, which has grown to include impact investment leaders such as Calvert Foundation and RSF Social Finance.

“Impact investment is at the tipping point to scale, and hence it’s a cruicial time to ensure community accountability and engagement becomes common practice. We appreciate the White House’s commitment to real impact, and look forward to engaging with our investor peers, both public and private, to put the transform finance principles into action,” said Morgan Simon, managing director of Pi Investments and founder of Transform Finance.

For more information contact Andrea Armeni, Executive Director of Transform Finance, at (415) 265-0035 or andrea@transformfinance.org

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The US National Advisory Board Issues Policy Recommendations To Encourage Impact Investing

Several NAB members pledge $184 million for projects that yield social and financial ROI

WASHINGTON, DC (June 25, 2014) — The US National Advisory Board (NAB) on Impact Investing released its report of policy recommendations to mainstream impact investing within the United States at a White House event this morning. The initiative, focused on promoting public and private innovation and entrepreneurship in solving the United States’ greatest social challenges, addresses the most catalytic changes needed from a policy standpoint. The report, Private Capital, Public Good: How Smart Federal Policy Can Galvanize Impact Investing — and Why It’s Urgent, has been made public online at www.NABimpactinvesting.org.

“Impact investing uses the power of markets to unleash private capital for public good. Done well, it can scale sustainable solutions to some of our toughest social challenges, such as affordable housing, clean energy, quality education, and workforce development,” said Matt Bannick, Co-Chair of the US National Advisory Board and Managing Partner at Omidyar Network. “Impact investing has been a part of the fabric of social and community development finance in the US for decades. But we have only begun to see a glimpse of its promise, and smart public policy will help us get where we need to be. The National Advisory Board on Impact Investing has come together to offer a policy framework that can help catalyze the market and transform millions of lives in a positive way.”

Private Capital, Public Good Recommendations:

The report offers policy recommendations on opportunities in the short-term, as well as supporting policy ideas that would encourage the impact investing market over the long-term. The recommendations are mostly budget neutral and sometimes even result in cost-savings. They include:

  • Remove regulatory barriers to unlock private impact investment. Innovative impact-oriented businesses are in need of investment, and unnecessary regulatory barriers stand in the way—leaving much private capital on the sidelines. For example, the IRS could further clarify and refine its rules about foundation investments in for-profit enterprises to help fill the funding gap between grants and commercial capital. This would be cost neutral.
  • Increase the effectiveness of government programs. Government agencies frequently lack the flexibility and range of tools needed to achieve social and environmental goals. For example, Congress could revise the longstanding investment restrictions under which the Overseas Private Investment Corporation operates, so that it could participate in a wider range of impact investments, reinvest its proceeds for portfolio growth, and develop next-generation financial instruments and models. These policies would increase the environmental and social impact of programs while lowering costs or potentially increasing revenue.
  • Provide incentives for new private impact investment. Some markets need a push to get off the ground. By putting the first dollar on the table, government can attract private investment to support important social and environmental goals. More federal agencies should have the authority to replicate successful impact investing programs such as the Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Fund, which marshals $20 of private capital for every $1 of federal funds invested. These policies may increase agency expenditures, but they often repay their costs over time or attract considerable private funding.
  • Support innovative impact enterprises. Every entrepreneur needs support to get off the ground. Congress, the White House, and government agencies command powerful public platforms for spreading the word about the benefits of impact investing. They can support the development of field-building organizations.
  • Standardize metrics and improve data access. Measuring the impact is critical to the development of the impact investing field. The government can support and accelerate private sector standards while promoting open access to data. For example, development finance institutions could coordinate to create a platform that enables data sharing and due diligence, modeling their efforts after the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) fund.

“Innovative strategies by government can unlock new sources of capital and significantly advance the impact investing sector,” noted Tracy Palandjian, Co-Chair of the US National Advisory Board and CEO of Social Finance US. “This report, which we present to the White House and members of Congress today, articulates these strategies, many of which are budget-neutral, and provides a roadmap to a more enabling policy environment at the federal, state and local levels.”

NAB Members Commit $184 Million in Impact Investments

Several impact investment pledges were also announced this morning at the White House including a number of commitments from members of the US National Advisory Board. Those pledges include: 

  • Omidyar Network $100 million: Omidyar Network is committing $100 million in early-stage risk capital over the next three years to new impact investments that will create opportunity in their key initiatives including financial inclusion, education, and consumer Internet and mobile technologies in order to create a world of positive returns. Guided by the principles of individual access, connection, and ownership, Omidyar Network is excited to build upon ten years of investing in entrepreneurs developing critical innovations that can improve the lives of millions worldwide.
  • Case Foundation $50 million: As a reflection of their belief that complex social challenges can best be addressed through multi-sector approaches, Jean and Steve Case commit to increasing the Case Foundation’s focus on accelerating the growth of the impact investing sector, including by investing $50 million in impact-focused funds.
  • MacArthur Foundation $25 million: Investment to support the launch and scaling of several innovative energy efficiency financing programs specifically designed to meet the challenges and needs of multifamily housing in the US. Projected impacts will include significant carbon footprint reductions for some of the country’s least energy efficient buildings, as well as improved long-term rental affordability for low-income families, seniors and individuals with special needs, such as veterans and the formerly homeless. The MacArthur Foundation has made $400 million in program-related investments to 200 organizations worldwide since 1986.
  • Ford Foundation $9 million: Funding to increase economic mobility and opportunity of low-income families in the United States. This investment would expand and create equitable and affordable housing with access to transit in the Denver metropolitan region; address financial gaps in the Appalachian region to spur development and create jobs; and finance innovative health care models throughout low-income communities with a focus on creating high-caliber health-sector jobs. Spurring development has been at the core of the foundation’s program-related investments totaling $625 million in anchor funding since it began in 1968.

Formation of the US National Advisory Board on Impact Investing

The US National Advisory Board’s work is part of a global effort that was initiated at the June 2013 G8 meetings in London to explore how impact investing can accelerate economic growth and solve the world’s most pressing social challenges. At that time the Social Impact Task Force (Task Force) was created and charged with recommending policies to accelerate impact investing, establish a common global approach for measuring social outcomes, and encourage greater engagement across foundations, institutions and private investors with input from the G8 countries. The US National Advisory Board on Impact Investing was formed to coordinate with and advise the global effort while actively reaching out to key stakeholders and communities to get feedback, ideas and input about what policy changes are necessary to drive social impact investing in the United States.

The policy recommendations contained within the report are focused on executive and legislative strategies for updating existing regulations and laws to make it easier for social impact investors to work with government agencies. Although the policies are focused on opportunities at the federal level, the report does intentionally include both examples and opportunities at the state and local level.

The NAB is comprised of 27 thought leaders including private investors, entrepreneurs, foundations, academics, think tanks, impact enterprises, nonprofits, coalitions and intermediaries, including:

Matt Bannick, Omidyar Network (co-chair); Tracy Palandjian, Social Finance US (co-chair); Antony Bugg-Levine, Nonprofit Finance Fund; Jean Case, Case Foundation; David Chen, Equilibrium Capital; Audrey Choi, Morgan Stanley; Maya Chorengel, Elevar Equity; Cathy Clark, Duke University; Kimberlee Cornett, Kresge Foundation; William Foster, Bridgespan Group; Seth Goldman, Honest Tea; John Goldstein, Imprint Capital; Josh Gotbaum, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp; Michelle Greene, NYSE Euronext; Sean Greene, Revolution; Ben Hecht, Living Cities; Andrew Kassoy, B Lab; Zia Khan, The Rockefeller Foundation; Clara Miller, Heron Foundation; Elizabeth Littlefield, Overseas Private Investment Corporation; Stewart Paparin, Soros Economic Development Fund; Andrea Phillips, Goldman Sachs; Luther Ragin, Global Impact Investing Network; Curtis Ravenel, Bloomberg LP; Harold Rosen, Grassroots Business Fund; Debra Schwartz, MacArthur Foundation; and Darren Walker, Ford Foundation.

After presenting the report at the White House and to members of Congress on June 25, the US National Advisory Board will focus on sharing its recommendations with the impact investing community in the US and feeding its recommendations into the broader Task Force’s efforts. The Social Impact Investment Task Force is expected to meet again in September to review a global proposal with input from each member country.

The report can be viewed at www.NABimpactinvesting.org.

About the NAB

The US National Advisory Board (NAB) to the Global Social Impact Investment Taskforce aims to catalyze the development of the global social impact investment market. It was established following the June 2013 G8 Social Impact Investment Forum in London. The NAB was formed to focus on the US domestic policy agenda. The NAB is comprised of 27 thought leaders, including private investors, entrepreneurs, foundations, academics, impact-oriented organizations, nonprofits, and intermediaries.

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