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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.

Holiday Inn® Brand and HLN Collaborate On New Television Series Growing America: A Journey To Success

Series Follows Three MBAxAmerica Teams as They Embark on Extraordinary Journeys

ATLANTA (October 28, 2014) – The iconic Holiday Inn® brand, part of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and HLN (a Turner Broadcasting network), today announced the production of the six-episode original series, Growing America: A Journey to Success, premiering on Sunday, November 16th at 9:00 pm EST on HLN. Hosted by Ty Pennington, (known for Trading Spaces, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, On The Menu), the documentary series follows teams of MBA students from the MBAs Across America (MBAxAmerica) program, who are given one week to use their expertise to transform businesses and positively affect communities in cities across the U.S.

“We were fortunate enough to work closely with Casey Gerald, co-founder and CEO of MBAxAmerica, this year as part of our Journey to Extraordinary campaign, and were in awe of the impact he and his MBAxAmerica teams are having on businesses and cities across the U.S. The entrepreneurial spirit and a focus on the communities in which our hotels do business is the foundation on which the Holiday Inn brand was built, so the relationship was a perfect fit,” said Maurice Cooper, vice president, Holiday Inn® brand, the Americas, IHG. “Together, we approached HLN to create a TV series that would further showcase on a national level the personal journeys of these MBA students and the entrepreneurs they are helping, and how the Holiday Inn brand has enabled them along the way – all while hopefully inspiring viewers on extraordinary journeys of their own.”

Over 50% of the working population in the U.S. is employed by a small business[1], making the success of entrepreneurs a vital part of the success of the American economy. Against this backdrop, the stakes are high as the MBAxAmerica teams are challenged each episode to leverage their education and expertise to help three entrepreneurs, who are about to get the opportunity of a lifetime, take risks and transform their business in just five days. From a Denver tech company seeking to revolutionize the nonprofit world and a barbershop striving to become a community centerpiece in Detroit to a family owned café in Little Rock aiming to become a leader in the local organic food movement – these small business are all on extraordinary journeys which the Holiday Inn brand is committed to enabling through Growing America: A Journey to Success.

“This collaboration speaks to the strength of both brands and how we connect with millions of Americans on a daily basis. This partnership also represents an important step forward for both HLN and the Holiday Inn brand in the way in which we now connect with our audiences – in person, on television and through digital channels,” said Katrina Cukaj, executive vice president, CNN/HLN Ad Sales.

Digital media will play a key role in Growing America: A Journey to Success. After each episode airs, viewers will be encouraged to visit to vote for the most inspirational small business of the television series, with the winner announced during the show finale, airing on Sunday, December 21st. The Holiday Inn brand and HLN also co-created a companion digital series, which will explore the challenges of small businesses in Boise, Idaho and Nashville, Tennessee. This series, along with profiles of the business owners and MBA teams, and tips for small business owners, will round out the content featured online. To join the conversation throughout the series and share their own extraordinary journeys, viewers can visit the Holiday Inn brand’s social channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube; dedicated HLN social channels for Growing America: A Journey to Success including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube; and are encouraged to use the hashtag #GrowingAmerica across all channels.


[1], 16 Surprising Statistics About Small Businesses, 9 September 2013

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New Report Examines Philanthropy’s Role in Hurricane Sandy Relief and Recovery

Insights Inform Response to Future Disasters

New York, NY — October 28, 2014. A new report released today examines the response of foundations, corporations, and other institutional donors to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Numbering nearly 600, these funders have so far committed more than $380 million for relief, recovery, and building efforts. The hard data and reflective observations in the report contribute to the growing body of knowledge that helps foundations and corporations be strategic and effective with their giving when disaster strikes.

Two years after the historic storm, Philanthropy & Hurricane Sandy: A Report on the Foundation & Corporate Response breaks down the allocation of dollars contributed thus far and offers perspective on the role of private giving in disaster response and lessons to be taken from this one. The report was published by New York-based Foundation Center in cooperation with the funder associations Philanthropy New York and the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, and with support from the Washington, DC-based Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

This report notes that philanthropic donations are a small fraction of the $60 billion in emergency assistance provided by the federal government and $19 billion paid out by insurance companies. Still, the research findings reveal that philanthropy’s response has nonetheless served a critical role in certain types of relief, recovery, and rebuilding work that might otherwise fall through the cracks.

“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, philanthropic dollars have been essential in helping community advocacy programs, filling holes in the social service delivery system, and helping community members provide input into the redevelopment planning process,” said Ronna Brown, president of Philanthropy New York. “This support is crucial to countless efforts that government often can’t or won’t fund.”

The data in the report reveal details about who provided funding and for what purposes, which organizations received support, and where funders and recipients were located. Key findings of the report include:

  • Among all institutional donors, corporations accounted for the largest share of cash commitments in response to Hurricane Sandy ($136.4 million).
  • Propelled by giving for immediate relief for those in the path of the storm, the largest share of support went to human services (44 percent), followed by housing (11 percent).
  • The national American Red Cross and its local affiliates received 23 percent of the contributions, more than any other single organization.

The report also highlights leading organizations in the region that have been important partners to philanthropy in the disaster response.

“Throughout the past two years, our exceptional nonprofit and funder community has taken on challenges they never imagined,” said Nina Stack, president of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers. “These organizations continue to develop innovative solutions that other communities will learn from and build upon in future disasters.”

Philanthropy & Hurricane Sandy goes beyond the numbers to assess the activities of funders in this and past disasters in order to highlight “best practices.” For instance, making an effort to share information with other funders and nonprofits is cited as a particularly effective strategy in such situations. The report also identifies opportunities for funders to make a bigger impact with their contributions, such as when they can address funding gaps that remain after the initial short-term response. The observations and advice outlined in the report are designed to help funders be more strategic in their response to disasters.

“After a devastating event such as Hurricane Sandy, stress levels are high, communities’ needs are great, and preparedness is key,” said Bradford K. Smith, president of Foundation Center. “Funders will be able to use the information in this report to put practical policies in place that position them to be nimble and strategic, especially in times of crisis.”

The report analyzes giving by type of funder, by type and purpose of support, and by location of funders and recipients, and it lists the top funders and grant recipients. Two essays explore the foundation and corporate response in the hardest hit areas in New York and New Jersey.

“There will undoubtedly be more disasters in the future when private donors will be called upon to take action,” said Robert G. Ottenhoff, president and CEO of Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which helped to fund the research report through its Hurricane Sandy Response Fund. “This is an important opportunity to learn lessons that can maximize the impact of philanthropic dollars through a thoughtful examination of which practices have been most successful.”

Philanthropy & Hurricane Sandy can be downloaded for free at Foundation Center’s website or at Philanthropy New York’s site at

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International Rescue Committee Hosts Annual Freedom Award Benefit Event November 5, 2014

Evening to honor Financial Analyst Cliff Asness and Professor Kenneth R. French

New York, NY (October 28, 2014)The International Rescue Committee will host its annual Freedom Award Dinner to support the organization’s lifesaving humanitarian aid work around the world on Wednesday, November 5, 2014. This year’s event – which will take place at the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City will honor long-time IRC supporters Cliff and Laurel Asness and Ken and Vickie French with the Humanitarian Leadership Award.

The evening will feature a special performance by opera sensation and IRC Voice Danielle de Niese and appearances by IRC President and CEO David Miliband and CBS Evening News anchor, Scott Pelley. Additional guests slated to attend include IRC Voices Piper Perabo and Nykhor Paul.

Cliff Asness became a supporter of the IRC in 2005 and a Board Member in 2009. Prior to co-founding AQR Capital Management, Asness was at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he was a Managing Director and Director of Quantitative Research for the Asset Management Division. He has authored articles on many financial topics including multiple publications in the Journal of Portfolio Management and the Financial Analysts Journal. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Portfolio Management, the editorial board of the Financial Analysts Journal, the governing board of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Finance at NYU and is a trustee of the Manhattan Institute and the Atlas Society.

Kenneth R. French became an IRC Board Member in 2009 and currently sits on the Finance Committee. He works at the Carl E. and Catherine M. Heidt Professor of Finance at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. French is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, an Advisory Editor of the Journal of Financial Economics, a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Finance and the Review of Financial Studies, and a former President of the American Finance Association. French is also a Fellow of the American Finance Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Before joining Dartmouth, French was on the faculty of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the Yale School of Management and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

The Co-Chairs for this year’s Freedom Award Dinner are Maurice R. Greenberg, Starr International Foundation/The Starr Foundation, Ruth & David Levine, Gillian M. Shepherd, Eduardo G. Mestre, Kathleen and Omar Saeed and Catherine and Tracy Wolstencroft. Vice Chairs include The Partners of AQR Capital, Katherine Farley, Jerry I. Speyer, Marie and Joseph Field, Evan G. Greenberg, ACE Group, Judy and Josh Weston, Maureen White, and Steven Rattner.

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Mazda Announces Its 2014 Mazda Drive for Good Charity Event

Mazda Partners with NBCUniversal Around Campaign to Help Those in Need

IRVINE, Calif. (October 28, 2014) – Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today announced the second-annual Mazda Drive for Good™ winter event and partnership with NBCUniversal. The 2014 Mazda Drive for Good event will increase opportunities for charitable donations, will include a larger local outreach through additional charities, and of course include the donation of thousands of charitable service hours from Mazda and Mazda dealer employees. Mazda has partnered with NBCUniversal to help expand the reach of the Mazda Drive for Good campaign across the company’s portfolio and ultimately serve one lucky community in need of charitable assistance.

“Mazda Drive for Good started as an idea, a way to bring together the good things Mazda, its employees, its dealers and its business partners were doing in their local community,” explained Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO. “From there it grew into a way for Mazda to reach new heights in charitable giving, whether monetarily or through volunteer service. Mazda is honored to expand our efforts further by partnering with NBCUniversal and helping a community that needs an extra hand to achieve its goal.”

“We are excited to team up with Mazda around their ‘Mazda Drive for Good’ campaign and inspire philanthropic activities in communities across the country,” said Alison Tarrant, Executive Vice President, Client Solutions Group, NBCUniversal. “Through the unmatched scale of our portfolio, NBCUniversal has partnered with Mazda for a unique and custom program that empowers our passionate audiences during the most charitable time of the year.”

Together, Mazda and NBCUniversal aim to help communities, across the country, that have a non-profit project in need of resources. The partnership will span across NBCUniversal’s broadcast, cable and digital networks with calls for nominations featuring actress, Academy Award® nominee and philanthropist, Minnie Driver. Viewers will be encouraged to nominate themselves through an online contest where they can tell their story and why their community needs assistance. Submissions will be received starting October 27th and end November 12th. Consumers can submit their story via

The selected community representative will be surprised by Driver and attend NBC’s annual Rockefeller Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center on December 3rd. Custom creative spots, produced by NBCUniversal’s Content Innovation Agency, featuring Driver, and their community will highlight their story. Mazda commits to helping this community through monetary donation and volunteer service.

“The differentiating factor for the Mazda Drive for Good event is the pledged volunteer hours, added O’Sullivan. “It helps bring the program to a local level by providing charities much need hands-on support.”

The Mazda Drive for Good winter event is in its second year of fundraising and Mazda has announced that it will increase its monetary donation from $100 to $150 per new Mazda sold or leased between November 21, 2014 and January 2, 2015. Mazda stands to again differentiate itself again by pledging one hour of charitable service for every test drive of a new Mazda throughout this same time period. Mazda will again work through four national charities and 42 local charities, all of which will be announced at a later date.

The 2013 Mazda Drive for Good winter event was the first time this charitable event was held. Results were astounding as Mazda donated more than $2.7 million to charity and pledged more than 56,000 service hours. Mazda partnered with four national charities including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and Mazda Foundation, and reached locally through its dealers and 32 local charities. Video:

Follow the social conversation on Twitter at #MazdaDrive4Good.

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Miami Children’s Health Foundation’s 2014 Hope Diamond Ball Raises More Than Six Million Dollars Including Announced Gifts

Romero Britto was inducted into the prestigious Ambassador David M. Walters International Pediatric Hall of Fame and unveiled the new logo of Together For The Children, The Campaign For Miami Children’s Hospital

MIAMI – Approximately 800 celebrities, community leaders, philanthropists, physicians, friends, supporters, patients and families of Miami Children’s Hospital came together this past Saturday at the JW Marriott Marquis, as Miami Children’s Health Foundation hosted the Hope Diamond Ball Affair.

The premier signature event raised more than $6 million, including announced gifts, that will help support world-class care at Miami Children’s Hospital and will continue to position them as a global destination for pediatric health and wellness, as well as a provider of hope for children everywhere. Invited guests and celebrities experienced a Hope Diamond-themed, black-tie affair with a stylish cocktail soiree featuring entertainment, silent auctions and much more.

Internationally renowned pop artist Romero Britto joined the ranks of Walt Disney, Dwyane Wade, Dr. Jonas Salk and Beyoncé Knowles when he was inducted into the Ambassador David M. Walters International Pediatric Hall of Fame for exemplifying his passion for helping children throughout the world.

“I am incredibly humbled by this wonderful recognition from the Miami Children’s Health Foundation,” said Romero Britto. “My passion is helping others, especially children in the community and around the world. I believe that using art as a positive agent of change is the key to unlocking the potential of today’s youth. It’s all about illustrating hope and happiness through my work and it truly means the world to me.

The Ambassador David M. Walters International Pediatric Hall of Fame was created in 1986 to recognize and honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the health and happiness of children everywhere. It is the highest honor bestowed by the foundation.

“We are extremely thrilled to be able to honor Romero Britto this year and induct him into the Ambassador David M. Walters International Pediatric Hall of Fame,” said Lucy Morillo, president and CEO of Miami Children’s Health Foundation. “The work he has done for children all over the world truly embodies our mission and we are delighted that he’s accepted this special recognition.”

In addition, the Foundation unveiled a new logo of Together For The Children, The Campaign For Miami Children’s Hospital, which includes an original work of art by Romero Britto. Miami Children’s Health Foundation recently announced that it has received nearly 75 million dollars in donations towards Together For The Children, which is on track to fundraise $150 million by 2017. The evening served to celebrate the latest accomplishments of the campaign, which included a $5 million donation from the Live Like Bella Foundation. The donation is part of a recent partnership that will help with the construction of the Live Like Bella Pavilion at Miami Children’s Hospital, a temporary housing facility for families of children undergoing treatments.

Furthermore, during the gala, the foundation announced that Raúl “El Gordo” De Molina, a multiple Emmy Award-winning co-host of Univision Networks’ number one rated entertainment news show El Gordo y la Flaca, became the newest Celebrity Ambassador. Raúl De Molina will join Romero Britto, international superstar Armando “Pitbull” Perez, and Danish model Nina Agdal to support the Together For The Children campaign.

Individuals who also joined Miami Children’s Health Foundation‘s President & CEO, Lucy Morillo and Romero Britto were today’s most recognized influencers and celebrities including David Chocarro, Carolina Laursen, Mariela Encarnación, Maria Regina Bustamante, Lili Estefan, Aníbal Sánchez and Bryan Holaday.

To learn more about becoming a part of the annual Diamond Ball affair, please visit or contact Lisbet Fernandez-Vina at 786.338.5057 or

About Miami Children’s Health Foundation

Miami Children’s Health Foundation (MCH Foundation) is a not-for profit 501(c)(3) established to create a world-class pediatric hospital so no child needs to leave South Florida for superior medical care. “Funding World-Class Care” and following the principle that all children deserve state-of-the-art pediatric care with no financial boundaries, MCH Foundation, now a part of the newly-formed Miami Children’s Health System, has helped the 289-bed Miami Children’s Hospital become a leader in pediatric healthcare with more than 40 subspecialties, the largest pediatric neurology center in the United States, a top provider of cardiology and neonatology services, and a Research Institute conducting in excess of 200 clinical trials and protocols. Currently, MCH Foundation is dedicating all its resources to Together For The Children, The Campaign For Miami Children’s Hospital, which aims to raise $150 million by 2017 and will help fund seven MCH priorities, including the expansion and enhancement of the Emergency Department, as well as the construction of a new Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion, and expanding its Global/Telehealth endeavors.

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Food Tank and the James Beard Foundation Launch 1st Annual Good Food Org Guide

The first annual Good Food Org Guide identifies and celebrates more than four hundred U.S.-based groups including five from every State who are cultivating a better food system. Click HERE to download.

New York City, NY – The James Beard Foundation ( and Food Tank (, along with a prestigious advisory group of food system experts, developed the first annual “Good Food Org Guide.” This definitive Guide highlights nonprofit organizations that are doing exemplary work in the United States in the areas of food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice. Only nonprofit, scholarly, and municipal initiatives have been selected in order to spotlight efforts that are focused on community building and engagement, advocacy, and service.

The vision and objective of this annual publication is to focus attention on the dozens of nonprofit organizations (listed in alphabetical order, not ranked) who are working in fields, kitchens, classrooms, laboratories, businesses, town halls, and Congress to create a better food system. The list was determined by distinguished experts, including past recipients of the James Beard Leadership Award and food and agriculture leaders.

“We hope this guide will serve as a resource for chefs, farmers, students, advocates, and others to find the resources they need about the growing good food movement in the U.S.,” says Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation.

This annual guide will be launched at the James Beard Food Conference on October 27th, 2014 as the definitive guide to organizations—national and state-by-state—who are making an impact with their work.

These groups include organizations who combat childhood obesity, malnourishment, and physical inactivity; prevent food waste; educate consumers on healthy, nutritious food choices; create networks of social entrepreneurs; protect food and restaurant workers; highlight solutions for restoring the health of people and the planet; work with indigenous communities to preserve traditions, culture, and biodiversity; inspire and educate individuals to cook more of their own food; and protect public health, human health, and the environment.

“Food Tank is delighted to collaborate on this effort with the James Beard Foundation—we’re thrilled to highlight so many great organizations who are working to educate, inspire, and cultivate a better food system,” says Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank.


Food Tank ( is a think tank focused on feeding the world better. We research and highlight environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.


Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation (JBF) celebrates, nurtures, and honors America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. In September of 2012, JBF launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Protocol and helped create the American Chef Corps as a way to champion American chefs abroad, promote American food products, and foster an interest in American culinary culture and history through international programs and initiatives. One such project is the next world’s fair, Expo Milano 2015, for which the James Beard Foundation is co-leading the effort for the State Department to design and produce the USA Pavilion, a global gathering of 147 countries addressing the challenges of how we will feed ourselves in the future. The pavilion, whose theme will be “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet,” will showcase America’s contributions to global food security and gastronomy. For more information, please visit Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.

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Miranda Lambert Raised Over $600,000 For 7th Annual “Cause For The Paws” Event Benefitting Muttnation Foundation

Muttnation Foundation’s First Owned and Operated Shelter, “Redemption Ranch” To Open November 22nd In Oklahoma

Photo courtesy Becky Fluke

LOS ANGELES, CA —- Grammy® winner and dog ‘mother’ to seven rescue dogs, Miranda Lambert, has donated proceeds from her show at the Route 91 Harvest Festival to her 7th annual charity event, “Cause for the Paws,” to benefit her beloved MuttNation Foundation. The event brought in a total of $628,148, which is put to good use in helping furry friends all across the country.

“I always have a great time in Vegas, but being able to save dogs along the way was probably the best,” Miranda said. “Getting to do what I love and help the cause that’s closest to my heart, and do it in Vegas; it doesn’t get any better. With the money raised, I am looking forward to seeing lots of dogs find loving forever homes through adoption.”

The Route 91 Harvest Festival was held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on October 3rd, 4th and 5th, and featured fellow superstar headliners, Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean.

This year’s “Cause for the Paws” event included a sold out VIP cocktail party; complete with a live and silent auction with items from Blake Shelton, Miranda, Live Nation and MGM Resorts (which raised more than $60,000). There was also an online eBay auction.

MNF co-founder, Bev Lambert explains, “Miranda and I were a bit apprehensive about moving the 7th Annual Cause For The Paws from our homes states of Texas and Oklahoma into Las Vegas. As our long time sponsors signed on in record time and the tickets for the 1st Harvest Festival began to sell out we started to feel like this year may indeed be worthy of the name – Lucky 7! We stand amazed at the support that her fans, friends and sponsors continue to show as they join hands with us to help shelter pets across the US. We both continue our pledge to be watchful over every penny donated.”

The money raised from “Cause for the Paws” will be used for a variety of initiatives throughout the coming year including to finish work on and fund Redemption Ranch, the first MuttNation Foundation owned and operated shelter, which will be opening in Tishomingo, OK on November 22nd.

In addition, on Sunday, October 26th starting at noon MuttNation Foundation will partner with the Humane Society of Tulsa to host their FIRST Muttoberfest (at 6232 E. 60th Street in Tulsa, OK). Over 100 dogs and cats (all of whom have been vaccinated, tested and spayed and neutered) rescued by MuttNation Foundation will be available for adoption.


MNF will also be continuing their very successful Mutts Across America: 50 States/50 Shelters initiative. Operating under the premise that fans, friends, colleagues and benefactors across the US have sown into MuttNation Foundation, last year they selected a shelter in each of the 50 states to lend a financial hand and will do so again this year.

They will also continue their support for Pets Fur People (, which is the former home of Miranda’s first shelter pet, Delilah, and the start of Cause For The Paws in Tyler, TX.

MuttNation Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and all contributions are 100% tax deductible; it has raised over $1.5 M the past seven years. To donate please visit: Miranda and her mother, Bev, make every effort to ensure that your hard-earned dollars are going to spay and neuter efforts, medical treatments, adoptions, preventions, transportation, legislative changes, and education. By contributing, you are making a difference to end animal cruelty, neglect, and homelessness.

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Rotary Announces US $2 Million in Grants to Fight Polio in Ethiopia

Funds to go to UNICEF to helpstem waning polio outbreak

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (21 October, 2014) — In advance of the Oct. 24 observance of World Polio Day 2014, Rotary announces US$2 million in grants to combat polio in Ethiopia. The funds – part of Rotary’s broader contribution of $44.7 million to end the paralyzing disease worldwide – will be used by UNICEF to support high quality polio immunization campaigns.

For the second year in a row, Rotary will mark World Polio Day with a live stream event featuring a global status update on the fight to end polio as well as an array of guest speakers and performers. The event, which will stream live from Chicago, Ill., can be viewed at

In Ethiopia, Rotary’s PolioPlus program will celebrate World Polio Day by hosting a commemoration ceremony in conjunction with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health. The PolioPlus program will also host a World Polio Day march to mark the occasion and raise awareness of the disease.

Polio is set to become the second human disease ever to be eliminated from the world (smallpox is the first). To date, Rotary has helped 193 countries stop the transmission of polio through the mass immunization of children. Rotary’s new funding commitment targets countries where children remain at risk of contracting this incurable, but totally vaccine-preventable disease.

There are only three countries in the world where the wild poliovirus has never been stopped: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, the virus from these countries can travel and lead to outbreaks in other parts of the world. In fact, last year the majority of the world’s polio cases stemmed from outbreaks in countries that had previously been polio-free. In particular, an outbreak in the Horn of Africa resulted in 217 cases in 2013, including nine in Ethiopia.

“We are pleased it appears we have halted the polio outbreak in Ethiopia,” said Tadesse Alemu, Rotary’s National Polio Plus Chair for Ethiopia, referencing the country’s only case this year, recorded more than nine months ago on 14 January. “However, given the mobility of our global society, until polio is gone from Africa – and the world – Ethiopian children will remain at risk for this disease.”

Rotary provides grant funding to polio eradication initiative partners UNICEF and the World Health Organization, which work with the governments and Rotary club members of polio-affected countries to plan and carry out immunization activities. Mass immunizations of children via the oral polio vaccine must continue until global eradication is achieved.

Approximately $18.5 million will go to the three remaining polio-endemic countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. An endemic country is one where the wild poliovirus has never been stopped. Another $9.5 million is marked for previously polio-free countries currently reporting cases “imported” from the endemic countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Somalia. And $10.4 million will go to polio-free countries that remain at risk of reinfection: Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Niger, South Sudan, and Sudan.

The remaining $6.3 million will go toward polio eradication research.

Funds for these countries will be used to fight existing polio outbreaks, or to conduct campaigns to protect against the high risk for reinfection. Countries experiencing conflict, like Ethiopia’s neighbor Somalia, are at particular risk for polio outbreaks.

To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1.3 billion to fight polio. Through 2018, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match two-to-one every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication (up to $35 million a year). As of 2013, there were only 416 confirmed polio cases in the world, down from about 350,000 a year when the initiative launched in 1988.


About Rotary

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. In 1988, Rotary was joined by the WHO, UNICEF and the CDC to launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Visit and for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio. Video and still images will be available on the Rotary Media Center.

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World Health Organization, UNICEF And Rotary International, Appreciate Frontline Workers In The Fight Against Polio And Call For Sustained Support For Eradication Efforts.

Addis Ababa, 24 October 2014 – The World Health Organization, UNICEF and Rotary International stand together in the fight against polio and in commemoration of World Polio Day, 24 October 2014.

Despite significant progress made in polio eradication since the launch of the initiative in 1988, the wild poliovirus (WPV) continues to infect people, causing life-long paralysis and disability. The Horn of Africa was struck with a polio outbreak in April 2013. To date, 223 cases of WPV1 have been confirmed in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. The date of onset of the last case confirmed in Somalia was in August 2014.

Up until 2013, Ethiopia was polio-free since 2008. However, since last year, Ethiopia has confirmed 10 cases of polio in Doolo Zone, Somali Region. Ethiopia’s response to this crisis has been fast and aggressive. Since June 2013, 11 rounds of polio immunization campaigns have been conducted in addition to ongoing border vaccination at 45 permanent vaccination posts along the border with Somalia. National immunization days (NIDs) in October and December 2013 reached over 12 million and 15 million children, respectively. Due to these aggressive efforts, the last case of WPV in Ethiopia was confirmed more than 9 months ago, in January 2014.

The success of these polio immunization efforts is a result of national commitment and the coordinated efforts of immunization partners. We recognize those who are in the forefront of the fight against this debilitating disease: health workers, vaccination teams, mobilizers, traditional and religious leaders, partners and others who work long hours, and walk long distances, to ensure all children are reached with the polio vaccine.

Rotary International launched a new campaign that promises every dollar donated to Rotary will be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. On 21 October 2014, Rotary International announced the release of US$ 2 million to support polio eradication efforts in Ethiopia. UNICEF supports communication and social mobilization, vaccine procurement, cold chain and logistics and technical assistance while WHO is providing technical assistance, coordination support, including across cross border coordination, and surveillance support.

As World Polio Day is commemorated on the same day as UN Day today, we remember our efforts within the broader context, a day when we uphold a child’s right to health as a basic human right for all. As we look to 2015, we measure the success of our efforts against achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, acknowledging the contribution of polio immunization efforts to MDG achievement. In two weeks, Ethiopia will conduct the first of two rounds of the 2014 NIDs aiming to vaccinate over 13 million children. We look to all partners, decision makers, donors, leaders and other stakeholders to provide their support so that we can ensure no child is left behind. We will continue to work together to END POLIO NOW.

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President Bill Clinton Selects Early Childhood Education as 2015 Hult Prize $1M Start-up Challenge.

Applications to compete in the world’s largest student competition are now open.

Boston, October 20, 2014The Hult Prize Foundation announced today that President Bill Clinton has selected Early Childhood Education as the topic for the sixth annual Hult Prize. Student teams from over 600 universities and representing 150 countries will compete to develop innovative start-ups which seek to reimagine education, in order to reach ten million children, aged 0-6 over the next five years who reside in urban slums and beyond. The winner will be awarded one million dollars in seed capital, along with resources to scale worldwide.

Since its inception in 2009, the Hult Prize has launched some of the most disruptive start-ups in the social enterprise sector including India’s largest loyalty and rewards program targeting the urban poor (m.Paani), the largest solar light distributor in Africa (SunnyMoney) and the fastest growing company in the insect agriculture sector (Aspire Food Group), a start-up that the UN called, “a company whose time has come and has a chance to eliminate poverty.”

Last month at the 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, President Bill Clinton named NanoHealth, a team from the Indian School of Business, as the 2014 Hult Prize winning start- up. 

NanoHealth was selected and announced by a live judging committee comprised of President Bill Clinton, Muhammad Yunus (Nobel laureate), Dr. Sanjay Gupta (CNN), Fadi Ghandour (Aramex), Ashish Thakkar (Mara Group) and Kathleen Rogers (Earth Day) . Working towards solving the challenge of the proliferation of non-communicable diseases in urban slums, NanoHealth created a mobile technology which reduces diagnostics costs by nearly 100x. The start-up has paired their door- to-door diagnostics capabilities with a US$4 per month micro-insurance program, creating India’s largest slum-based EMR system and disease landscape map.

President Bill Clinton, who has supported the Hult Prize since inception in 2009, has described the Hult Prize in TIME Magazine as, “one of the top 5 ideas that are changing the world.” He has gone onto say, “I love the Hult Prize, because it is a wonderful example of the creative cooperation needed to build a world with shared opportunity, shared responsibility, and shared prosperity, and each year I look forward to seeing the many outstanding ideas the competition produces.”

Founded only five years ago by Hult International Business School alumnus Ahmad Ashkar, the Hult Prize Foundation has fast tracked its way to the top, as the largest millennial movement for social impact in the world. The competition for the Hult Prize is the world’s largest international student competition with events hosted in over 100 cities globally each year. Regional Finals take place in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and on-line, with a final USD1 million round held in New York City, hosted by President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting.

“We are mobilizing thousands of young entrepreneurs who are collectively spending over 2 million man hours each year on solving the world’s most pressing issues through a business lens. Endorsements from partners like Clinton, Yunus and H.E. Sh. Nahyan have really cemented our seat at the international social entrepreneurship table and we are pleased to be disrupting the sector. Our global reach is unmatched with hundreds of established university chapters and access to nearly every college student and idea on the planet,” says Ahmad Ashkar, CEO of Hult Prize.

About Hult Prize Foundation

The Hult Prize Foundation is the world’s largest start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship and millennial movement for social impact. Founded in 2009 by Hult International Business School alumnus Ahmad Ashkar, the Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition and the planet’s largest crowd-sourcing platform for social good. Events are hosted in over 100 cities around the world each year, with regional finals taking place in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and on-line. The final round takes place at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City, hosted by President Bill Clinton.

The mission of the Hult Prize Foundation is to mobilize and empower the next generation of social entrepreneurs. The Hult Prize has been funded and supported by the Hult family since its inception in 2009 and sponsored by the Hult International Business School and run in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative. For more information, please visit

About The Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) is an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation that convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, CGI members have made more than 2,500 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $87.9 billion.

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