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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


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.

ZviDance Receives $10,000 NEA Art Works Grant to Support Surveillance

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that ZviDance is one of 886 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. ZviDance is recommended for a $10,000 grant to support Artistic Director, Zvi Gotheiner’s newest work: Surveillance – a contemporary dance and multimedia piece which explores the realities behind the surveillance camera.

Recognized by the New York Times as creating one of the “TOP TEN BEST DANCE PIECES OF 2013,” ZviDance will present its newest work, Surveillance for five performances only at New York Live Arts from June 11-14, 2014. Experience the groundbreaking collaboration of contemporary dance, video technology and animation as the lines between performer and spectator blur when each take turns using cams to create video streams that will be recorded, projected, and resampled on screens set up throughout the building. From the moment the audience enters the venue, they will feel the presence of these devices and inevitably participate in the evening’s narrative. Scott Killian’s provocative sound design will use real-time recordings of audiences footsteps, conversations between audience members, and the sound of performers breath to add an aural architecture of inhabitance and domination. Surveillance is an immersive-intrusive-inescapable-environmental dance piece that will leave you wondering how and why as a society we consent to this invasion into our private lives?

NEA Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, “The NEA is pleased to announce that ZviDance is recommended for an NEA Art Works grant. These NEA-supported projects will not only have a positive impact on local economies, but will also provide opportunities for people of all ages to participate in the arts, help our communities to become more vibrant, and support our nation’s artists as they contribute to our cultural landscape.”

“Surveillance is a continual exploration in my reflection on the way technologies are shaping our realities. The work integrates video cameras, projectors and dancers. I thank the NEA for the support of this ambitious work.” -Zvi Gotheiner, Artistic Director

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,515 eligible applications under the Art Workscategory, requesting more than $76 million in funding. Of those applications, 886 are recommended for grants for a total of $25.8 million.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at

About ZviDance

ZviDance exists to share with audiences the choreographic vision and movement vocabulary of Israeli-born Artistic Director Zvi Gotheiner. Each piece defines a unique set of relationships and experiences, boldly addressing the depths of the human experience. ZviDance also exists to engage students in enriching their appreciation of the art form. ZviDance brings its audiences a passionate vision of community in a modern age. A collaborative alliance among artists, the company’s stirring work celebrates diversity by melding movement genres into the distinct dance vocabulary constantly evolving and refusing to succumb to dialectics of the medium. Led by Israeli-born Artistic Director Zvi Gotheiner and Executive Director, Nikki Chalas, the company is shaped by a collaborative model of creation, involving the ensemble and designers from the initial research phase, so as to constantly push the methodology and ethics of a creation process within an inter-disciplinary format. In the last 20 years of existence, ZviDance has received critical praise and stable funding for its artistic projects, a work that fearlessly refuses to be bounded to specific thematic or aesthetic dogma. The company performs frequently at home in such New York venues as the Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors. ZviDance has toured across North America to festivals such as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and The American Dance Festival, and abroad to Germany, Poland, Russia, Israel, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and Japan.

About Zvi Gotheiner, Artistic Director

Born and raised in a kibbutz in northern Israel, Zvi began his artistic career as a gifted violinist with the Young Kibbutzim Orchestra, where he attained the rank of soloist and Concertmaster at age 15. He began dancing at 17, and soon after, formed his first performance group. Zvi arrived in New York in 1978 on a dance scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and danced with the Joyce Trisler Dance Company, Feld Ballets/NY and Bat-Sheva Dance Company. After directing Tamar Ramle and the Jerusalem Tamar Dance Companies in Israel and the Israeli Chamber Dance Company in New York, he founded ZviDance.

For more information, visit

ZviDance’s presentation of Surveillance at New York Live Arts is made possible through New York Live Arts’ Theater Access Program. The Theater Access Program is a comprehensive subsidized rental program benefiting a diverse group of dance and theater companies and producing organizations.

Schools Demonstrating Extraordinary Success To Be Honored By Coalition Of Schools Educating Boys Of Color At Annual Gathering Of Leaders In Jackson, MS., April 23-25th

Special White House Town Hall to Convene Immediately Following The Gathering

Boston, MA. (April 22, 2014) – The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), the only national network of school leaders focused on educating boys and young men of color today announced the recipients of the prestigious 2014 COSEBOC School Awards. The International School of Louisiana – Camp Street Campus, New Orleans, La., and Jumoke Academy Charter Schools, Hartford, Ct. will receive their awards at the 8th annual COSEBOC Gathering of Leaders at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS, on April 23-25, 2014. Following COSEBOC’s Gathering of Leaders conference, the Obama Administration will convene two special events including a community forum aligned with the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative and a White House Town Hall on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

This year’s awardees, the International School of Louisiana – Camp Street Campus, New Orleans, La., and Jumoke Academy Charter Schools, Hartford, Ct. were selected after a rigorous three-part evaluation of the academic success of their boys of color over a three-year period. The criteria for selection includes an assessment of how each school aligns with the research based COSEBOC Standards. These awardees share the common characteristics of successful schools such as strong school leadership, culturally responsive school climate, rigorous academic offerings and more.

“Both the International School of Louisiana (ISL) and Jumoke Academy Charter Schools exemplify innovative, real world practices, and exemplary leadership that reflect the COSEBOC Standards for success,” said Ron Walker, COSEBOC’s Executive Director.

“Research shows that 85-98% of male students of color at our Award Schools achieve academic success at or above that of their white peers statewide, and 85-95% of male students of color at the Award elementary schools passed their state’s ELA test. We are pleased to add ISL and Jumoke to our growing list of successful schools and look forward to sharing their benchmark practices with our network of school leaders across the country”, Walker stated.

The International School of Louisiana

Guided by Principal Melanie Tennyson, The International School of Louisiana – Camp Street Campus, (ISL) New Orleans, La., is a full language-immersion public charter school serving 600 students grades K-8; two-thirds are students of color. In keeping with its mission to provide a challenging education emphasizing language immersion, international awareness, celebration of diversity, and community responsibility, ISL programs address culture, ethnicity, learning capacity, and religion, offering quality learning that transcends socio-economic boundaries. The results of ISL’s highly effective education programs are evidenced by designation as an “A” School in 2012-13 by the state; male students of color consistently scoring higher than state averages on state standardized tests; higher retention rates than state averages for ISL male students of color; and 100% of 5th grade students in the French immersion track passing the French DELF examination, qualifying them to receive the official French-language diploma awarded by France’s Ministry of National Education.

Jumoke Academy Charter Schools: Hartford, Connecticut

Jumoke Academy Charter Schools has a simple: goal – make every child believe there is nothing he or she cannot accomplish. Headed by Dr. Michael Sharpe, CEO, Jumoke’s schools accomplish this through its multiple initiatives in support of young men of color, including mentor programs, student celebrations, awards ceremonies that include students and parents, fathers’ groups, afterschool programming and Saturday and summer programs. Jumoke Academy has built and maintained a strong school culture that promotes success of all of its “Young Kings” and “First Ladies”.

Likely a result of hard work on the part of the school’s faculty and staff, data shows great retention of students, families and faculty from year to year as well as high levels of academic achievement and proficiency rates on state standardized testing.

The International School of Louisiana and Jumoke Academy Schools join a select group of COSEBOC School Award Winners from across the U.S. including 2012 and 2013 Award-winning schools: Bedford Academy, Best Academy, Devonshire Elementary School, Eagle Academy for Young Men – the Bronx, Fenway High School, Merrillville High School, Salk Elementary School, Thurgood Marshall Academy and Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice.

The 2014 Award recipients will be honored at the COSEBOC Annual Gathering: Onward and Upward: Advancing the Affirmative Development of Boys and Young Men of Color. Over 600 educators and school leaders from across the United States are expected to attend. The lead sponsor for the Gathering of Leaders is the W.K. Kellogg Foundation with additional support from the NEA, Scholastic and the American Reading Company.

Attendees of The Gathering of Leaders are also invited to attend a community forum on Friday, April 25th aligned with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans Town Hall on April 26th presented at Jackson State University. COSEBOC Executive Director Ron Walker, educator David Banks and COSEBOC youth will be featured among the panel participants at the forum and town hall events.

For more information regarding COSEBOC, the Annual Gathering and the 2014 Summits on Educational Excellence for African Americans presented by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans please visit our website at

Follow us on Twitter @COSEBOC, Facebook and #COSEBOC.


The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) is a national network of school leaders focused on educating boys and young men of color. The non-profit organization is a leading resource and a repository of tested, innovative, ‘real world’ practices and research that help boys and young men of color succeed. COSEBOC ‘s mission is to connect, inspire, support and strengthen school leaders dedicated to the social, emotional and academic development of boys and young men of color. COSEBOC provides Standards for schools to adopt based on research and the innovative policies and practices of successful schools. The publication, “Standards and Promising Practices for Educating Boys and Young Men of Color”, provides a framework for assessment, curriculum, training, leadership, community engagement and more for schools across the country. Headquartered in Boston, MA., COSEBOC’s national network of school leaders represents 600 schools educating 300,000 students across the United States.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit

Impact Investment Advocates Ring The Closing Bell at the NYSE

NEW YORK, New York (April, 21, 2014) – Representatives and guests from the U.S. National Advisory Board to the Global Task Force on Social Impact Investment rang the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today to raise awareness about the role of public and private innovation and entrepreneurship in solving our greatest social and environmental challenges.

“Our society faces challenges that cannot be solved by government and philanthropy alone, spurring innovative approaches that harness the efficiency and discipline of markets. Impact investments deploy private capital for public good and are intentionally designed to deliver social or environmental benefits as well as financial return,” said Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance U.S. and co-chair of the National Advisory Board. Matt Bannick, Managing Partner of Omidyar Network, co-chairs the National Advisory Board with Palandjian.

A global effort 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 Global Task Force on Social Impact Investment (Task Force) was created and charged with: recommending policies to accelerate impact investing; establishing a common global approach for measuring social outcomes; and, encouraging greater engagement across foundations, institutions and private investors.

The National Advisory Board on Impact Investing rang the closing bell at the NYSE

The National Advisory Board is coordinating with, and advising, the Task Force, and will issue a report in early June 2014. The report will contain a set of policy recommendations to mainstream impact investing within the United States and globally, and is actively reaching out to key stakeholders and communities to get feedback, ideas and input.

“The early pioneers in impact investing have built significant momentum around creating a new market for companies and structures that generate a financial return while doing good for the world – in spite of a an outdated regulatory environment that does little to support this work,” said Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation and a National Advisory Board member. “Imagine the investment we’ll unlock to address big social challenges with updated policies that encourage and reward impact investing.”

The National Advisory Board is comprised of 27 thought leaders including private investors, entrepreneurs, foundations, academics, think tanks, impact enterprises, nonprofits, coalitions and intermediaries.

National Advisory Board members and guests on the podium for the bell ringing on Monday included:

  • Jean Case, CEO, Case Foundation
  • Audrey Choi, Head, Global Sustainable Finance, Morgan Stanley
  • Paula Goldman, Senior Director, Knowledge & Advocacy, Omidyar Network
  • Michelle Greene, Senior Vice President & Head of Corporate Responsibility, NYSE Euronext
  • Andrew Kassoy, Co-founder, B Lab
  • Antony Bugg-Levine, Nonprofit Finance Fund
  • Elizabeth Littlefield, President & CEO, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • Tracy Palandjian, CEO & Co-founder, Social Finance US, National Advisory Board co-chair
  • Andrea Phillips, Vice President, Urban Investment Group, Goldman Sachs
  • Luther Ragin Jr., CEO, Global Impact Investing Network
  • Curtis Ravenel, Director, Global Sustainable Strategy Group, Bloomberg LP
  • Sean Greene, Entrepreneur In Residence, Revolution Ventures
  • Xavier Briggs, VP Economic Opportunity, Ford Foundation
  • Zia Khan, VP Initiatives and Strategy, Rockefeller Foundation

Kristin Groos Richmond, founder and CEO of impact investment success story Revolution Foods also attended the Bell Ringing and said, “Revolution Foods is proof that you can start a business that provides both a financial and social rate of return.”

Revolution Foods is disrupting the world of school lunches by providing over 1 million healthy, affordable meals to students across the country, more than 60% of whom are in low-income households.

New Report on Foundation Funding to Address Domestic Violence

New York, NY — April 21, 2014. Today, the Foundation Center announced the release of a landmark report on foundation support for organizations and programs working to prevent — and address the consequences of — domestic violence in California. Enabled through a grant from Blue Shield of California Foundation, and using data from the Foundation Center’s research database, Foundation Funding to Address Domestic Violence in California is the first-ever examination of philanthropy’s contribution to the field of domestic violence. The report provides a landscape analysis to inform community organizations, funders, government agencies, and other stakeholders working to improve prevailing statistics that show one in three women will experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in her lifetime.

“It is evident from this study that there is still ample space for additional funders to help end domestic violence,” said Peter Long, Ph.D., president and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation. “Given the complex causes of and solutions for domestic violence, philanthropic organizations working on a variety of issues — from healthcare to childhood development — have clear opportunities to get involved and make a difference.”

In the period 2009-2011, a total of 96 funders awarded more than $42 million in grants to domestic violence organizations in California. Funds primarily supported family services (80 percent), along with grants for legal services (28.8 percent), prevention (35.6 percent), and public health (27.2 percent).

Other key findings from the report:

  • The populations most targeted by foundations were women and girls (96 percent) and children and youth (73.5 percent), followed by the economically disadvantaged (35 percent) and racial/ethnic minorities (16.1 percent).
  • Grant recipient organizations located in major metropolitan areas led the state in their share of domestic violence funding dollars: San Francisco (27.4 percent) and Los Angeles (20.7 percent).
  • Blue Shield of California Foundation is the leading domestic violence funder in California, making up more than 30 percent of total grant dollars awarded toward domestic violence prevention and services.
  • Among the 1,000 largest foundations, the most that invested in any given year during the study period was 74.

“It is essential for funders, practitioners, and policymakers to have concrete data about funding to address domestic violence,” said Brenda Henry-Sanchez, director of research for special projects at the Foundation Center and co-author of the report. “This kind of knowledge helps pinpoint where the gaps are so funders can direct their investments where it will do the most good.”

Data on foundation funding for critical social issues like domestic violence align with the Foundation Center’s stated priorities to communicate philanthropy’s contribution to making a better world and to empower donors with the knowledge tools they need to be strategic. This report provides benchmarks against which to measure future progress in California and can serve as a model for other states that want to better understand the nature of foundation funding to address domestic violence.

The data highlighted in Foundation Funding to Address Domestic Violence in California are from the Foundation Center’s research grants set, which includes all grants of $10,000 or more awarded by 1,000 of the largest U.S. foundations.

The report, which can be downloaded for free from the Foundation Center’s web site, is part of a project funded by Blue Shield of California Foundation that offers tools and training to improve the fundraising capacity of California’s domestic violence service providers. In collaboration with several funder associations and Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Foundation Center will present a webinar on May 6 at 11:00 am (PT) to highlight the findings of the report and engage funders and advocates to discuss its implications for the field. Registration for the webinar is online.

About the Foundation Center

Established in 1956, the Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center’s web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 470 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit or call (212) 620-4230.

Cheryl Loe
Communications Project Manager
The Foundation Center
(888) 356-0354 ext. 701

4 Non Blondes To Reunite On Stage For The First Time In Almost Two Decades At The 2014 “An Evening With Women” Event Benefiting The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

Evan Rachel Wood Will Join the Stage as a Special Guest Performer

Margaret Cho to Host the Annual Event At The Beverly Hilton on Saturday, May 10th  

Los Angeles, CA – The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center announced today that ‘90s female rock group 4 Non Blondes will reunite for a one-time, special performance at the 2014 “An Evening with Women” (AEWW) event produced by Grammy Award-winner Linda Perry on Saturday, May 10th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Actress and singer Evan Rachel Wood will join the stage as a special guest performer and comedian Margaret Cho will host the annual event, which is always attended by some of the most influential women in music and entertainment.

“To give is one of the greatest gifts one could ever receive. ‘An Evening with Women’ is all of us giving heart, passion, time and self. I want to be of service and what better way than to create an evening raising awareness by celebrating life, music and community,” said Linda Perry. “The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has done so much for so many. It’s important to me that they continue helping people, and they need all the support they can get.”

“An Evening with Women” raises funds for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s vital services for women and girls. Co-hosted & produced by Linda Perry & Brent Bolthouse, the event celebrates the life-saving programs of the Center through the powerful medium of music. Since Perry first began producing AEWW, the event has raised more than $4.1 million. Past performers at “An Evening with Women” have included Christina Aguilera, Pink, Cyndi Lauper, Heart, Cat Power, Courtney Love, Juliette Lewis, Ozzy Osbourne and Sia.

Event sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: The Annenberg Foundation, Lexus Financial Services, The Osbournes, Wells Fargo; Gold Sponsors: AGA-Vie, American Airlines, Anita May Rosenstein Foundation, UBS; Silver Sponsors: Bank of America, The Bungalow, Foley & Lardner, Gibson Dunn, Keck Medicine of USC, KPL Select Mortgage, Pinnacle, Ralphs/Food4Less, US Bank and Contributing Sponsor: LA Pride.

About the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center:

Since 1969 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has cared for, championed and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today our health center, shelters, performance stages and classrooms serve more LGBT people than any other organization in the world. We are an unstoppable force in our community’s fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world—a world in which LGBT people can be healthy, equal and complete members of society. Learn more at

About 4 Non Blondes:

Born from the angst of living in a city rich with activism, music and on the forefront of the gay sexual revolution, 4 Non Blondes was formed in San Francisco in 1989. The band formed a musical bridge from an urban underground to music lovers of all genders, races and sexual orientations. They were signed by Interscope records and their musical strength and honesty broke through and crossed over to the masses with their 1992 debut release, Bigger, Better, Faster, More. Their 1993 anthemic hit “Whats Up” and the smash video on heavy rotation at MTV helped propel sales of the album to over six million copies worldwide. 4 Non Blondes disbanded in late 1994.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation announces recipients of $13.7 million investment to empower parents as leaders and key decision makers in education

Thirty organizations from 18 states and the District of Columbia to create opportunities that connect schools, communities and families for economic and early school success

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) is pleased to announce a total investment of $13.7 million to 30 exceptional organizations developing and implementing transformative family engagement programs in the field of early childhood education.

In September 2013, WKKF received more than 1,130 applications for this investment, the most ever received for a single funding opportunity in the foundation’s 83-year history. The unprecedented interest and clear demand from the field was an important indication about both the need and opportunity to invest in efforts that would result in increased family engagement in a child’s academic life.

“This was an eye-opening moment for us. We knew there was a need and a value around the issue of family engagement, but we didn’t realize the extent of the shared value around families’ desire to more deeply engage in their children’s education,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation. “We are actively seeding and cultivating authentic family leadership programs that create opportunities for parents to be engaged from the very beginning of their children’s education.”

The 30 organizations share WKKF’s commitment to family engagement, which:

  • Is defined as a shared responsibility between families, schools and communities for student learning and achievement;
  • Is a continuous process from birth to third grade and beyond that occurs in multiple settings where children learn;
  • Takes place in environments where empowered parents and families are leaders; and
  • Requires a shift in national conversations so that all families are viewed as powerful assets for their children’s education.

“All too often families are not at the table when it comes time to make major decisions impacting their children’s education,” said Carla Thompson, vice president for program strategy at WKKF. “These organizations recognize that family engagement is a core strategy connected to improving learning outcomes and are working tirelessly to lift up the voices of families in an effort to set all children on a path to success.”

A complete list of the 30 winners is provided below, with details on each grant available here:

  • Sitka Tribe of Alaska
    • Sitka, Alaska
  • Amistades Inc.
    • Tucson, Ariz.
  • Advancement Project
    • Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network
    • Oakland, Calif.
  • Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth
    • San Francisco, Calif.
  • Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational and Environmental Design (I-SEEED)
    • Oakland, Calif.
  • San Mateo County Office of Education
    • Redwood City, Calif.
  • UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education
    • Los Angeles, Calif.
  • American Indian College Fund
    • Denver, Colo.
  • National Parent Leadership Institute
    • Hartford, Conn.
  • Generations United Inc.
    • Washington, D.C.
  • Teaching for Change
    • Washington, D.C.
  • Bass Museum of Art
    • Miami Beach, Fla.
  • Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science
    • Miami, Fla.
  • Clarkston Development Foundation (CDF)
    • Clarkston, Ga.
  • Southern Partners Fund Inc.
    • Atlanta, Ga.
  • United Way of Greater Atlanta Inc.
    • Atlanta, Ga.
  • Keiki O Ka Aina Preschool Inc.
    • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Chicago Pre-College Science and Engineering Program
    • Chicago, Ill.
  • Community Organizing and Family Issues
    • Chicago, Ill.
  • Kansas Families and Schools Together Inc.
    • Topeka, Kan.
  • Fusion Partnerships Inc.
    • Baltimore, Md.
  • Harvard Family Research Project
    • Cambridge, Mass.
  • Lawrence Community Works Inc.
    • Lawrence, Mass.
  • Public Policy and Education Fund
    • Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa
    • Tulsa, Okla.
  • Center for Southeast Asians
    • Providence, R.I.
  • Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)
    • San Antonio, Texas
  • Greater Burlington YMCA
    • Burlington, Vt.
  • OneAmerica
    • Seattle, Wash.


Scholarship Awarded to Young Entrepreneurs for Small-Business Achievements

Five Teenagers Receive $5,000 Scholarships; 100 Receive $1,000 Scholarships

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 16, 2014 – The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation (YEF) has awarded five exceptional high school seniors with a $5,000 educational scholarship for their entrepreneurial accomplishments. The awards are part of the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards scholarship program that is designed to recognize, reward and encourage young men and women to pursue their dreams of owning and operating a small business.

  • Anna Erkalova of Chalfont, PA. Crane Books, LLC publishes and sells public domain literature. 
  • Cody Gradert of Ireton, IA. Gradert and Sons is a multigenerational business that grows corn and soybean as well as finish cattle.
  • Zach Haney of Topeka, KS. Kansas Carnival Supply, LLC is an event rental company that supplies clients’ with interactive party and equipment rentals for a wide variety of events. 
  • LeiLei Secor of Hagaman, NY. Designed By Lei is an online jewelry business specializing in handmade wire wrap rings and earrings targeted to women. 
  • Vivek Tedla of Newton, CT. VRT Studios is a photography studio that creates and delivers high quality and innovated products specializing in wedding photography, senior pictures, and multi-cultural photography.

On July 16, two of these five students will each be awarded an additional $10,000 scholarship to apply to their college tuition. At a ceremony in Washington, D.C., one student will be dubbed the “2014 Young Entrepreneur of the Year” and the other will earn the “2014 Dan Danner Leadership Award.” Both awards acknowledge the dedication and successes that these students have achieved as entrepreneurs and budding small-business owners.

In 2014, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation awarded 100 Young Entrepreneur Award Scholarships to students across the country. Each award is between $1,000 and $15,000. Student who received the Young Entrepreneur Award are seniors in high school who own and/or operate their own small business. The scholarships are used to help with tuition costs for the winners’ post-secondary education. NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation awarded $145,000 to deserving young entrepreneurs in 2014, thanks to the financial support from numerous small business leaders, corporate and foundation supporters. A complete list of donors is available here.

“America’s young people have caught the entrepreneurial bug, and we at the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation could not be more confident in our next generation of business owners,” said Molly Young, Senior Manager of the Young Entrepreneur Foundation. “The number of applicants for the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards continues to grow and we are impressed year after year with the quality of these hard-working, innovative high school students who are making their entrepreneurial dreams happen. Our scholarship winners are driven to succeed; our nation’s future is all the brighter because of their determination and leadership. NFIB congratulates this year’s winners for their tremendous accomplishments and hopes the scholarships will assist these young entrepreneurs as they continue on their paths towards successful futures.”

NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation established its scholarship program to raise awareness among the nation’s youth about the critical role of private enterprise and entrepreneurship in growing America’s economy. The foundation selected today’s recipients from a nationwide applicant pool of more than 600 students. Award recipients will use the scholarships to attend the university, college, community college or career institute of their choice.Since 2003, YEF has awarded over 2,500 scholarships worth more than $2.5 million to graduating high school seniors.

To qualify for an NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award, students must be seniors in high school who own and/or operate their own small business. They are required to write an essay describing their entrepreneurial endeavors and future goals. NFIB members around the country interviewed the applicants for the Young Entrepreneur Awards.

Contact: Kelly Hoffman (202-314-2054) or
Molly Young (202-314-2042) or

Sesame Workshop Names Stephen B. Sobhani Vice President, International

(New York, NY, April 16, 2014)Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, has named Stephen B. Sobhani to the newly created position of Vice President, International, Sesame Workshop. Sobhani will oversee the Workshop’s strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa with an emphasis on developing new multi-sector partnerships and resources for the organization’s health and education initiatives in that territory. He will also lead the development of a global themes strategy, aligning the organization’s global network of partners to collaborate and leverage common content across the brand, featuring curricula on health, literacy, girls’ education, financial empowerment and tolerance. Sobhani’s efforts will also focus on Sesame Workshop’s first-ever Global Health Initiative.

Stephen B. Sobhani

“Sesame Workshop is dedicated to sharing multimedia content with children all around the world, to help them stay healthy and ready to learn,” said Robert Knezevic, Senior Vice President, International Project Management. “We are thrilled to have Stephen lead our efforts to leverage our extensive collection of existing content for international communities, and encouraging collaboration within the Sesame Street brand and among our global partners. Stephen brings with him an incredible energy and passion for children’s education and health. We look forward to his future strides with the organization, beginning with our Global Health Initiative.”

Sobhani joins Sesame Workshop with over 14 years of experience at the UN Foundation, forging and leading a wide range of multi-sector alliances for the United Nations, international philanthropies, NGOs, and corporations. He also has extensive cross-discipline expertise in women’s and children’s health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and reproductive health.

Originally from Santa Barbara, CA, Sobhani earned both a Bachelor of Sciences in Foreign Service and his Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University. He also holds a certificate in mediation and conflict resolution from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the landmark television program that reaches millions of children every day in more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, Sesame Workshop develops research-based content – including television programs, books, games, mobile apps and community engagement initiatives – that supports early childhood learning, helps prepare children for school, and addresses developmental needs. The Workshop’s programs are tailored to the needs of specific regions and focus on topics that help young children and families develop critical skills for lifelong learning. For more information, visit us at

Mayor Becker Announces Grant Award for Local Sustainability Effort

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City’s Green City Growers program has been awarded $50,000 in grant funds to support the development of two new community gardens for residents who lack their own gardens or who have limited access to fresh, whole foods. The two new gardens will be on .6 acres of City-owned and managed land.

The award includes $25,000 from the Local Sustainability Matching Fund, a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. The Community Foundation of Utah provided the $25,000 grant match and will manage permanent endowments.

“Salt Lake City recognizes the important role community gardens play in not only supporting our local food system but in making positive impacts on the carbon footprint, and related air quality impacts, associated with commercial food shipment,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “We are delighted to accept this grant, which would not have been possible without the support from our friends at the Community Foundation of Utah.””

“Leveraging national opportunities is a great role for the Community Foundation of Utah’s Natural Heritage Fund. “ said the Foundation’s Board Chair Jeramy Lund. “We are committed to sustainable nonprofits and sustainable communities, and this project is a demonstration of both.”

In October 2013, the City designated eight additional parcels of City-owned and managed land for its new community garden program, Green City Growers. As a result, the City has contracted with the well-established local non-profit, Wasatch Community Gardens, to serve as the community garden liaison and provide support and management of community gardens in the city.

The Local Sustainability Matching Fund is a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. The Fund is supported with leadership grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies, The JPB Foundation, Kendeda Fund, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Summit Foundation, and Surdna Foundation. The Fund is designed to catalyze partnerships between local governments and local, place-based foundations and to advance community-based sustainability initiative.

The Community Foundation of Utah is a catalyst for philanthropy that is inclusive, innovative and sustainable. More information is available at www.utahcf.og.

More information on the Green City Growers program is available at, and


Art Raymond

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to Receive American Hero Award at PenFed Foundation’s 10th Annual Gala

Newly appointed military head to be recognized for work with veterans at May gala 

April 15, 2014, WASHINGTONThe Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation (PenFed Foundation) announced today that Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James will receive the American Hero Award at its 10th Annual Night of Heroes Gala, “Welcome Home: Supporting Warriors in Transition.” The event, which will be held on Wednesday, May 14, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., will honor those who have demonstrated leadership in providing support and services to our returning military, veterans, and their families.

“Throughout her career, Secretary James has worked to ensure that America’s obligation to our service members doesn’t end when they put away their uniforms,” said Jane Whitfield, president and chief executive officer of the PenFed Foundation. “We are proud to recognize her commitment to this vital issue as part of this year’s gala.”

In her new role as Secretary of the Air Force, she is responsible for overseeing more than 690,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian airmen along with their families. She has three decades of experience in homeland and national security, having worked in both the federal government and private sector. Prior to joining the Air Force, Secretary James served as president of Science Applications International Corporation’s Technical and Engineering Sector. She also served in the Pentagon as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs in the Clinton Administration from 1993 to 1998.

From 2010 until taking her new position with the Air Force, Secretary James was chair of the national advisory council for the PenFed Foundation, where she was instrumental in helping build and expand its key programs benefiting the military community.

“In my opinion, when you’re leading any organization, it’s always all about people — and there’s no group of people who have worked harder or sacrificed more for our nation than our veterans,” said Secretary James. “It’s such an honor to receive this award from the PenFed Foundation, which has been serving our wounded warriors for more than 10 years now, increasing financial literacy for our troops and helping make the American dream of home ownership come true for so many of them.”

Gen. (Ret.) Norton Schwartz, former Chief of Staff for the Air Force and current CEO of Business Executives for National Security, will present the award to Secretary James.

Lee Woodruff, author and founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, will serve as the emcee, and the Virginia Grand Military Band will provide the evening’s entertainment. Harvey C. “Barney” Barnum, Jr., First Lieutenant, U.S. Marines Corps Company H, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, and Medal of Honor recipient, will serve as an awards presenter along with Brian Miles Thacker, a former U.S. Army officer and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his heroic service in the Vietnam War. Lt. (Ret.) Gen. Daniel W. Christman, senior vice president for international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will also present an award.

The Night of Heroes Gala, a black tie or military dress occasion, will begin at 6 p.m. at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 14, with a reception and live auction followed by dinner and the program. The location of this year’s gala is especially significant because the National Building Museum is located in a historic structure built in the 1880s for a government agency helping Civil War veterans.

“The gala is always a special evening, but this year’s event promises to be one of the most exciting in the 10 years we’ve held it,” added Whitfield. “Thanks to our supporters we are planning an extraordinary night for our guests to remember as we honor those that have gone above and beyond to support our men and women in uniform, even long after they’ve returned.”

Sponsors of this year’s gala include PSCU; corporate circle of honor sponsors APi Group, Inc., The Niner Foundation, and UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans; and legendary hero sponsors Alliant Techsystems, Inc. and Allied Solutions.

Contact: Alison Beckwith, 301-699-0148,


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