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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

Social Entrepreneurship

This category includes articles about social entrepreneurs, typically about businesses with a for-profit model with a social mission embedded into the fabric of the business.

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The Dodo’s Wildly Popular Series Comeback Kids: Animal Edition Returns For A Second Season

Top Digital Show with 140MM Views To Launch New Season on March 24

Press Release – New York, NY – March 21, 2018 – The Dodo, the no. 1 animal brand on digital, is bringing back its popular series Comeback Kids: Animal Edition for a second season across multiple platforms. The first of the five-episode series will go live on Facebook Watch on March 24 and air on YouTube and Twitter the following day. New episodes will premiere each week through the end of April.

The show features determined animals with a lot of heart who manage to beat the odds and make incredible comebacks — all thanks to the devoted people who refuse to give up on them. Each episode takes viewers on one animal’s individual rescue and rehabilitation journey, and captures what it means to be truly resilient through the stories of these inspiring comeback kids.

Here is the official trailer for Season 2 of Comeback Kids: Animal Edition; the second season follows:

  • Jeri, an orphaned baby monkey who was found all alone in South Africa with a badly broken leg. Rescuers took her to a sanctuary so she could get better, and in this episode, The Dodo builds up to the moment where she meets her new monkey mom for the very first time.
  • Lazarus, a kitten found frozen in a winter storm. A loving family went above and beyond to rescue little Lazarus as a kitten, and in this episode we relive the rescue as well as his path to recovery.
  • Pumpkin, a mini foal who has trouble walking and is much smaller than the other horses. In this episode, The Dodo shows her receiving new leg braces and finally getting the chance to live her life to the fullest.

The Dodo is the no. 1 media publisher on Facebook Watch with 3 of the top 6 shows on the platform for views per episode (Source: CrowdTangle). The Dodo has 3 of the top 5 shows on Watch for shares per episode and engagements per episode (Source: CrowdTangle).

About The Dodo:

The Dodo is the number one digital media brand for animal people. The Dodo is a mission-driven publisher — we tell stories that connect people to animals and empower people to help animals in need. We’re committed to looking at the world through animals’ eyes and engaging our audience through a combination of entertaining, uplifting, meaningful content that inspires people and helps pave the way for progress. The Dodo is part of Group Nine Media — a top 10 global publisher.

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Mission Edge Launches its 2018 Social Enterprise Accelerator and Impact Lab (SAIL)

10 Local Social Entrepreneurs Selected to Solve Problems and Scale Impact

Press Release – (SAN DIEGO, CA, March 20, 2018) – Mission Edge announces the launch of its 2018 Social Enterprise Accelerator and Impact Lab (SAIL), designed to empower nonprofit organizations and purpose-driven businesses to develop and grow sustainable, revenue-based business models that align with their social missions. In partnership with Qualcomm Foundation, The San Diego Foundation, San Diego Workforce Partnership, Mitchell International, and Cox, the 14-week program provides a rich curriculum with content, tools, workshops, and lectures that help participants build and test their business models.

SAIL will run from March through June 2018 and culminates with a final pitch event. Participating organizations include:

“The revenue generating landscape is changing for nonprofits. Organizations making an impact in our community recognize that sustainable operations may include an evolution of their business model,” explained Kathlyn Mead, President and CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “SAIL is a gamechanger that actively engages non-profits in a process of identifying innovative, market-based solutions toward greater financial stability. Strengthening our social safety-net through solid business practices can ensure the provision of much needed services to improve quality of life for our most vulnerable San Diegans.”

Social enterprise is a powerful business tool that advances the financial sustainability and viability of purpose-driven organizations. SAIL takes a page out of proven private-sector accelerators, and has social purpose businesses engage with capacity support organizations, business model experts, and members of the business community.

“NAMI San Diego is very excited to have been selected to participate in the accelerator program. SAIL will give us the tools and knowledge to launch our social enterprise and create a sustainable revenue stream while maintaining the mission and social impact of our organization,’ says Cathryn Nacario, CEO of NAMI SD. “The mentors and curriculum bring current business experience and a different perspective that will allow for growth and success.”

Over the past several years, there has been growth in non-traditional models of revenue generation, both among 501c3 and for-profit social enterprises. This includes the development of earned revenue streams within existing nonprofits and the creation of for-profit enterprises that are focused on social impact. Both of these trends are geared toward developing sustainable business models while serving the community.

“Social enterprises epitomize the intersection of entrepreneurialism and community,” says Peter Callstrom, CEO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership. “By investing in companies that believe in a double-bottom line with both financial and social impact, we promote ROI for investors, increase job opportunities for underserved populations, and reap social benefits that extend far beyond the great products and services offered by these enterprises.”

Traditional models of philanthropy based on donations to tax-exempt organizations have long been the backbone of social sector activity, but can present very real challenges to organizations that rely solely on donations and grants for their operating revenue. These include a lack of transparency in the funding process, uncertainty in cash flow forecasting, and restrictions on the uses of funds that often compromise operations in the name of program support. SAIL exists to flip this script and help organizations find sustainability in revenue-generating business models.

“There is a pressing need for education, services, and collaboration where these new and innovative social enterprise models can be created, tested, and accelerated,” says Ken Davenport, CEO of Mission Edge. “There has never been a better time for SAIL, which gives social business and nonprofit organizations the opportunity to test assumptions about their customers and market, develop a business canvas, and confirm whether the market will pay for some or all of what they provide.”

To learn more about the SAIL program, visit

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Freedom Solar Travels To Haiti, Installs Donated Sustainable Solar Project For Orphanage

Daunting challenges didn’t dissuade team from finishing project for lost, abandoned children

Press Release – Texas-based Freedom Solar Power recently installed an off-grid solar system for A Child’s Hope, an orphanage in La Montagne, Haiti that did not previously have electricity. The completed 20-kilowatt solar array and battery backup now provide a sustainable source of electricity that meets 100 percent of the orphanage’s electricity needs.

“Thanks to the new solar power system, we’re now able to light our facilities. The ultimate goal is to make the orphanage self-sustaining, and solar power was the critical first step to achieving that mission,” said Raleigh Jenkins, founder of A Child’s Hope, the nonprofit that built the orphanage, and owner of ABC Home & Commercial Services’ Houston branch.

“The new solar array also powers the aquaponics farm we’re currently building at the orphanage, allowing us to raise fresh fish and grow nutritious, organic produce. And the project will ultimately allow us to refrigerate or freeze that food so the children have a constant, reliable source of food. It’s a life-changer,” said Jenkins.

Freedom Solar donated the labor for the project, and SunPower donated the solar panels. Freedom Solar also paid for additional costs for the project including international customs and trans-oceanic shipping costs for equipment. The estimated total value of the project is $100,000.

Four Freedom Solar team members made the trip to Haiti to install the system: Adrian Buck, founder and chief installation officer; Brian Gamez, lead installer; Louis Edwards, installer; and Clay McKelvy, system designer.

“Haiti has the world’s largest population living in energy poverty, with more than 7 million people lacking access to electricity. We’re humbled and honored to have been able to complete such a meaningful charitable project,” said Buck.

While ultimately successful, the project came with plenty of obstacles along the way.

Freedom Solar spent two days assembling the majority of the equipment at their headquarters in Austin before it was packed up for shipment to the port in Haiti. The shipping process took about five to six months because of delays and difficulties with import taxes and customs.

The orphanage’s solar installation took three days from start to finish. One full day was spent unpacking the shipping containers, which proved to be more difficult than anticipated.

“We had almost no tools, and dismantling the bracing was difficult. Members were spiral-nailed to the decking, impeding the removal of our heaviest equipment. The batteries had fallen onto precious, valuable items. Toys we brought for the children were smashed during transport, and our equipment was in disarray. A saw, a failing sledgehammer, two claw hammers, and some violence got the job done,” said McKelvy.

By end of day two at the orphanage, the Freedom Solar team had almost all of the racking installed, and six modules trickling a charge into the batteries. On day three, the team ran into several more snags including with shoddy wiring, circuit shorts, and a malfunctioning junction box yet still ended up successfully completing the installation.

“Somehow, we overcame each obstacle by luck, fortune, or providence— depending on who you talk to,” said McKelvy.

“It’s a first class implementation that will provide reliable power for years to come. We’re overwhelmed with gratitude for Freedom Solar Power. The new donated solar array they installed will help us build a sustainable future for lost and abandoned children in Haiti for generations to come,” said Jenkins.

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Global Impact Investing Network Launches Roadmap For The Future Of Impact Investing

The Roadmap presents a vision for more inclusive and sustainable financial markets and articulates a plan for impact investing to lead progress toward this future

Press Release – NEW YORK, March 20, 2018 – The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), today launched Roadmap for the Future of Impact Investing: Reshaping Financial Markets, a framework for collective action to accelerate development of the impact investing market and build a new future in which finance is instrumental to social and environmental progress. Commenced at the ten-year anniversary of the coining of the term impact investing, the Roadmap assesses industry progress to date, codifies a shared vision for the financial markets, and outlines specific actions needed to exponentially enhance the scale and effectiveness of impact investing across the world.

“Impact investing is laying the groundwork for a new model for financial markets—one in which the markets work for people and the planet, as well as investors,” said Amit Bouri, CEO and co-founder of the GIIN. “In order to meet the urgent need presented by social and environmental challenges around the world, the global impact investing market needs to scale and develop at a much faster pace. The Roadmap presents a collective plan to accelerate the development of the industry. We believe this Roadmap can multiply the impact of this movement and shift expectations about the role capital plays in society.”

The Roadmap details six categories of action to drive progress toward the vision. For each category, the Roadmap describes specific actions needed, which stakeholders should lead on these actions, and a timeframe. Enacting the plan will require collective action by leaders from the entire impact investing ecosystem.

The six categories of action:

  • Strengthen the identity of impact investing by establishing clear principles and standards for practice
  • Change the paradigm that governs investment behavior and expectations about the responsibility of finance in society via asset owner leadership and updated finance theory
  • Design tools and services that support the incorporation of impact into the routine analysis, allocation, and deal-making activities of investors
  • Develop products suited to the needs and preferences of the full spectrum of investors, from retail to institutional and of various types of investees
  • Increase supply of trained investment professionals and pipeline of investment-ready enterprises through targeted professional education
  • Introduce policies and regulation that both remove barriers and incentivize impact investments

The Roadmap was developed with inputs from more than 350 individuals operating in the impact investing ecosystem around the world as well as from extensive desk research into progress in the field to date, how successful movements evolve, and how paradigm-shifting systemic change takes place. The Roadmap was produced in consultation with The Monitor Institute by Deloitte and with generous support from The Rockefeller Foundation.

“The Rockefeller Foundation has been committed to developing the impact investing market since the industry’s earliest days and we look forward to continuing to advance this market at an exponential rate through the Roadmap initiative,” said Saadia Madsbjerg, Managing Director at The Rockefeller Foundation. “We believe impact investing holds incredible potential to help address many of the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. The industry also plays a pioneering role in influencing how all of us think about the value of our capital.”

About the Global Impact Investing Network

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing around the world. Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending upon the circumstances. The GIIN builds critical infrastructure and supports activities, education, and research that help accelerate the development of a coherent impact investing industry. For more information, please visit

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The Value of B Corps: What Investors Need to Know

When the largest asset manager and a Nobel laureate start saying the same things as Patagonia, everyone should listen.

Press Release – Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of the world’s largest investment firm, recently noted that long-term corporate prosperity requires not just financial performance, but “a positive contribution to society.” He does not stand alone with this opinion – nearly every major Silicon Valley venture capital firm backs companies that pursue sustainable practices.

In short, there is a profound shift underway in how capital markets value companies. So if you’re an investor, what do you need to know?

In partnership with Patagonia and wealth advisory firm Caprock, the Yale Center for Business and the Environment has released a new publication to answer this question. Entitled “Just Good Business: An Investor’s Guide to B Corps,” this report explores the distinct financial value offered by Certified B Corporations and Benefit Corporations. (These designations, created and overseen by the nonprofit B Lab, offer a certification program and legal framework by which companies can fold social and environmental impacts into their bottom line.)

“Through greater appreciation of the real motives that drive and excite people, B Corporations provide a significant new opportunity for investors,” says Robert Shiller, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale and 2013 Nobel laureate. “I think they could make more profits than any other types of companies, and this guide helps investors understand why.”

Download the full report.

B Corporations demonstrated a greater revenue growth rate than public firms of comparable size from 2006 to 2011—a period that includes the Great Recession. And between 2013 and 2015 impact investors’ assets under management grew by 18 percent compounded annually, according to The Global Impact Investing Network.

Importantly, though, certification as a B Corp or Benefit Corporation does not by itself promise solid financial returns. Rather, these designations provide investors with a novel and increasingly robust lens through which to evaluate companies, says Managing Director and Owner of The Caprock Group, Matthew Weatherley-White.

“As the economy continues to shift from manufacturing and resource extraction to technology and services, intangible assets are acquiring an increasingly important part of business valuation; it is the foolish executive who refuses to explore ways to optimize intangible asset values,” he says. “B Lab quietly offers investors a pair of braided firsts: the first toolbox to help management focus on the kind of patient, steady value creation that defines ‘the right way to do business;’ and the first window into the DNA of a sustainable business for analysts and diligence professionals who know nothing about sustainable business.”

This publication comes at a time when both corporate and investor interests in sustainability are maturing. Today, 2,500 companies have certified as B Corps and 5,000 entrepreneurs have incorporated their U.S. ventures as Benefit Corporations across 37 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. In 2015, Laureate Education was the first Certified B Corp and the third Benefit Corporation to go public, raising $450 million in its IPO. At the same time, JP Morgan has pegged the market for socially responsible investing somewhere between $400 billion and $1 trillion dollars.

Through greater appreciation of the real motives that drive and excite people, B Corporations provide a significant new opportunity for investors. I think they could make more profits than any other types of companies, and this guide helps investors understand why.

– Robert Shiller, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale and 2013 Nobel laureate

This report is a natural follow-up to “An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Certified B Corporations and Benefit Corporations,” published by CBEY and Patagonia last March. “After the success of the entrepreneur’s guidebook, we saw a gap between the value B Corps offer and the awareness of their benefits among the investor community,” says Cass Walker, Program Director, Social Entrepreneurship at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. “B Corps are a growing trend in business, and this guide offers investors a path to understand this trend.”

“Just Good Business: An Investor’s Guide to B Corps” draws on more than 60 interviews with individual and institutional investors, top academics, and entrepreneurs. The full report can be downloaded here.

In the New York City area? Join us for the official launch party on March 20th at 7:00pm. Register to attend!

This article was originally published here.

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Arjuna Capital: Google Moves Forward On Closing Gender Pay Gap, But Wage Data Still Incomplete

Three-year Shareholder Engagement with Google Not Over Yet; New Salary Data Shows “Serious Commitment to Disclosure” After 2017 Federal Allegation Of “Extreme” Gender Disparity

Press Release – BOSTON (March 15, 2018) – One of the world’s largest publicly traded companies, Alphabet (parent of the Google search engine) is finally taking steps to close its gender pay gap. Arjuna Capital and gender pay co-filers, Proxy Impact and Baldwin Brothers, Inc., today applauded Google’s disclosure of new wage data showing a 0 (zero) percent statistically significant gender pay gap for 89 percent of its employees worldwide. The announcement expresses a public commitment previously unseen from Google to eliminate gender pay disparity within it ranks. While acknowledging the importance of this step, Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact will not withdraw its shareholder proposal at Google.

In 2016, seven of nine top US tech companies responded to shareholder pressure from Arjuna Capital, disclosing their gender pay gaps and making major progress on pay equity. But Alphabet/Google – was one of two holdouts, and has been largely inflexible on the issue.

The new salary data and Google’s willingness to disclose the information publicly represents a sea change at the company, which the U.S. Department of Labor cited for “extreme” and “systemic” gender pay equity disparities in 2017. Still, shareholder activists leading gender pay engagements find the analysis incomplete. Specifically, the gender pay gap findings are limited to job categories with 30 or more employees, at least five men, and at least five women. In addition, the data only extends to VP level because employees above that pay grade do not fit the criteria. Therefore, Google’s gender pay gap analysis leaves 11 percent of employees out.

Google’s public announcement regarding its new gender pay analysis is available at:

Natasha Lamb, managing partner, lead filer of gender pay resolutions, Arjuna Capital, said: “Today’s announcement represents a serious first step toward ensuring gender pay equity at Google. Still, we find ourselves uncomfortable with its lack of breadth. Make no mistake: We are eager to withdraw our shareholder proposal at Google, but are concerned that 11 percent of Google employees are left out of the analysis published today. We think there is room for improvement and can’t give a rubber stamp to an incomplete analysis. For instance, disclosure of the company’s median wage gap, like that being disclosed for Google’s UK operations by April, would give shareholders a more complete understanding of the issue. That said, Google’s announcement is progress in the right direction.”

In an open letter to Eric Schmidt in September 2017 (, Lamb expressed concerns regarding the company’s management of gender pay equity. In the wake of an employee-led salary data leak and DOJ investigation, Lamb noted the company relied on platitudes such as there is no gap, followed by a semi-transparent accounting of gender pay. And while last year Google claimed women make 99.7 cents for every dollar a man makes, the analysis did not cover 100% of the employee base. Even today’s analysis excludes 11 percent of workers and C-suite managers/owners.

Michael Passoff, CEO, Proxy Impact and Google resolution co-filer said: “Google’s massive size and influence doesn’t make it invulnerable to shareholder pressure. That’s why it’s important that we don’t walk away until we have the same commitments that other companies have taken to fully address gender pay equity.”

Google is poised to become the eighth of ten major U.S. tech companies targeted by shareholders since 2016 to move on gender pay. Arjuna Capital led the successful campaign, which pressured seven tech companies — eBay, Intel, Apple, Amazon, Expedia, Microsoft and Adobe — to upgrade their standards and transparency on gender pay disparity in the workplace. Facebook remains a holdout.

More recently, since January 15, 2018, Arjuna Capital led a similar campaign on Wall Street to influence seven top banks and credit card companies to close their gender pay gaps: Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, JP Morgan, MasterCard and American Express.

Arjuna Capital’s gender pay shareholder proposal at Google is available at:

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MIT’s 2018 Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) Launches in North America; Over $1 Million to be Awarded to Organizations Reinventing the Future of Work

MIT IIC collaborates with Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to celebrate and support North American entrepreneurs that are improving economic opportunity for workers. Registration now open for 2018 IIC.

Detroit selected as host of the IIC North America regional competition event, taking place in September

Press Release – CAMBRIDGE, MA, March 15, 2018 – Today, the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) announced that it will expand the global reach of its Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC). Collaborating with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the IIC will seek to identify and promote entrepreneurial organizations in North America that are using technology to improve economic opportunity for low and moderate income earners. Entrepreneurs operating primarily in North America and/or those that are based in the region can register today through May 29, 2018 at

“The grand challenge of our era is to use digital technologies to create not only prosperity, but shared prosperity,” says Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. “We can only address this Challenge by relying on the innovative genius of entrepreneurs from the global community.”

The MIT IIC was launched two years ago to recognize and celebrate organizations around the world that are using technology to solve a grand challenge of our time — to create not only prosperity, but shared prosperity by reinventing the future of work in the digital era. This year, the IIC has expanded to a global tournament model, collaborating with partners in five regions — North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The North America region is defined by Canada and the United States.

Regional Judges will select 12 regional IIC winners to receive monetary prizes, recognition, and promotion at the IIC North America Celebration held in Detroit, Michigan this September. (Four Regional Champions will each win $20,000, and eight Finalists will each win $5,000.) Following this high-profile event, four North America Regional Winners will be selected to advance to the IIC Global Grand Prize Tournament & Celebration hosted at MIT in Cambridge, MA in October 2018. One million dollars in prize money will be awarded to four Global Grand Prize Winners, selected from Regional Winners from around the world.

“The Inclusive Innovation Challenge lies at the heart of our foundation’s mission, helping catalyze innovative solutions that improve the quality of life and future of work for the communities we serve,” said Lavea Brachman, vice president of programs, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “We are thrilled to further support the IIC by hosting the North America regional challenge event in Detroit, a city and community at the forefront of innovation and inclusive innovative solutions.”

In the first two years, over 1,500 inclusive innovation organizations responded to the IIC, illustrating the momentum of the growing global future of work movement. Over 230 Core Judges have reviewed applications and more than $2 million has been awarded to entrepreneurs and innovators who are demonstrating different ways to put powerful new technologies to work to improve people’s economic opportunity.

For-profit and nonprofit organizations of any size, age, or type and from any nation are encouraged to apply.

Eligible organizations are:

  • Using technology to reinvent work and create economic opportunity for people below the top rung of the economic ladder;
  • Demonstrating traction and impact-—They are beyond the “idea phase” and are enhancing shared prosperity today.

Organizations that do not yet meet the above criteria are encouraged to apply in the 2019 Challenge.

Based on data from the 2016 global Challenge, the MIT IIC determined that Inclusive Innovators accomplish their goals primarily in four ways. These four paths to increased shared prosperity make up the 2018 IIC Award Categories: Financial Inclusion; Income Growth & Job Creation; Skills Development & Opportunity Matching; and Technology Access.

“There is good reason to be hopeful about the future of work in North America. There are many ways for digital technology to benefit more people, and scalable solutions exist,” says David Verrill, Executive Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. “The IIC North American Challenge will help identify and promote those solutions working in the region today.”

The IIC is funded with support from; ISN®; The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation; Merck KGaA; Accenture Digital; Via Varejo; Joseph Eastin; Gustavo Pierini; and Gustavo Marini.

Join the Movement

The MIT IIC is dedicated to the promotion of sustainable, scalable global inclusive innovation. We engage U.S. and international media to report on solutions that can be harnessed today. We also connect winners with key ecosystem players and investors, while providing insights to government and policy makers. Smart capital investment and policies, we believe, can give us the best of both worlds: all the benefits that come from the technology breakthroughs of today and tomorrow and jobs that provide dignity and a good paycheck. We invite you to join us by embracing and supporting inclusive innovators and their equitable solutions to reinventing the future of work for all humans, not just an elite few.

The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) explores how people and businesses will work, interact, and prosper in an era of profound digital transformation. Working alone and with public and private sector partners, the IDE supports and conducts groundbreaking research in the areas of productivity and employment, big data, new digital business models, and social analytics. The IDE sponsors fellowships; hosts competitions, conferences, and roundtables; and supports other events that inspire new ideas. The IDE believes that challenges posed by the digital economy not only are solvable, but that technology will create new opportunities for people and businesses to thrive. @MIT_IDE

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit

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Discovery Education Teams Up With LG Electronics USA To Launch ‘Discover Your Happy’ Program That Combats Youth Stress With Science-Based Happiness Curriculum

– Celebrating the International Day of Happiness, ‘Discover Your Happy’ Virtual Field Trip to Expose Students and Educators to the Science Behind Happiness –

Press Release – Silver Spring, Md. (Thursday, March 15, 2018) – In celebration of the International Day of Happiness, LG Electronics USA has teamed up with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, to launch Discover Your Happy – an exciting new program designed equip students nationwide with the skills for sustainable happiness. Studies assert that two out of three American teens are stressed and lack the tools needed to manage anxiety. On March 20, 2018, the International Day of Happiness, LG and Discovery Education will host a unique Discover Your Happy Virtual Field Trip at 1:00 p.m. ET to address this critical issue.

“Discovery Education is excited to partner with LG to help teach students that happiness is more than just a positive mood, it is an emotion and state of being that can be achieved through the practice of fostering mindfulness and contentment,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “Research has shown that happy children do better in school and ‘Discover Your Happy’ invites them to explore immersive experiences that equip them with the skills necessary to lead healthy, successful and impactful lives.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents age 12-17 in the United States. Research from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America shows that one in four children are affected by anxiety disorders; these youth are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences and engage in substance abuse. Happy people are healthier, live longer, earn more money, and do better in school and life.

Discovery Education’s Discover Your Happy program, designed to teach students that happiness is a learnable skill, is an extension of LG’s Life’s Good: Experience Happiness corporate social responsibility initiative. Discover Your Happy highlights six skills that sustain one’s ability to recognize that life’s good: mindfulness, human connection, positive outlook, purpose, generosity and gratitude. The goal is to create awareness that happiness is more than a fleeting feeling, that sustainable happiness is achievable, and that there are a set of skills that can be taught, learned and practiced to help anyone in their journey toward happiness.

The International Day of Happiness is a global celebration to recognize happiness as a fundamental human goal that lays the foundation for the well-being of people worldwide. The Discover Your Happy Virtual Field Trip, premiering on March 20, will enlighten students and educators across the country as experts from The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, Inner Explorer and Project Happiness demonstrate how happiness impacts our physiology and psychology.

Accessible standards-aligned materials found on the Discover Your Happy website will help students identify actionable ways to start their journey toward sustainable happiness. The immersive experience will also inspire and encourage them to bring happiness to their communities.

“Many of us are focused on happiness as a momentary feeling, but our goal is to spread the message that sustainable happiness is what matters – though it takes effort to achieve,” said Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D, science director at the Greater Good Science Center. “LG’s dedication to this important mission will help empower our youth to unlock their potential by learning the fundamental, science-backed skills of sustainable happiness.”

Research shows that happy kids do better in school. Happy learners remember information better and happiness positively impacts grades. LG’s Life’s Good: Experience Happiness initiative, Discover Your Happy introduces skills and practices aimed at achieving sustainable happiness. These classroom tools are aligned with curriculum standards and are designed to provide engaging, hands-on activities for students to identify actionable ways to start their journey toward sustainable happiness and bring happiness to their communities through six sustainable happiness skills.

LG Experience Happiness | Discover Your Happy program elements include:

Classroom Activities — Providing standards-aligned, grades 9-12 classroom resources, curriculum will incorporate the six sustainable happiness skills and will frame curriculum around the science behind happiness.

Family Activities — Offering parents, families and communities helpful tools to teach their children to experience happiness.

“Helping my students identify actionable ways to thrive, by teaching them the science behind happiness, provides them with prosocial advantages at home, at school and in their communities,” said Brandon Wislocki, fifth grade teacher, Irvine (Calif.) Unified School District. “Providing them with an awareness that happiness is more than a fleeting feeling, that sustainable happiness is achievable, and that there are a set of skills that can be taught, learned, and practiced to help them in their journey toward happiness, centers their concentration and helps them to alleviate stress.”

These resources are available at and will become available through Discovery Education Streaming. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.

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ImpactAssets Drops Investment Minimums and Fees on Private Debt and Equity Impact Investment Options, Adds New Funds

Industry’s lowest investment minimums open “deep” impact investing to a new tier of donors who are using philanthropic dollars to generate social, environmental and financial returns.

Press Release – BETHESDA, Md., March 15 – ImpactAssets today slashed investment minimums on its private debt and equity investment options to $10,000 and flattened administrative fees to 0.40%. Effective March 1, 2018, the changes are designed to break down the barriers to deep impact investing for donors within the ImpactAssets Giving Fund, its donor advised fund.

“Unquestionably, interest in impact investing has mushroomed, but investors remain daunted by significant financial hurdles, including investment minimums that can be as high as $250,000 to $1 million,” said Sally Boulter, Senior Engagement Officer at ImpactAssets. “We believe flat fees and lower minimums will lead to greater engagement with financial advisors and individuals who want to ‘toe-dip’ into impact investing.”

“There’s a real hunger among many investors—partly driven by the current political environment—to tap investment strategies that address critical systemic problems,” Boulter added. “Our clients look for deep, meaningful impact combined with appropriate financial returns.”

In addition to dropping fees and minimums, ImpactAssets added two new private debt funds to it growing roster of investment solutions that open access to impact investments in ecoforestry, climate change solutions, sustainable food and agriculture, underserved small business owners, the growing middle class in emerging markets and more.

The new funds include:

  • Ecotrust Forests III (EFIII), a long-term investment vehicle targeting commercial forestland in the western U.S. that have unique social and environmental attributes. The goal of the fund is to diversify investment in properties across regions, hold periods, timber and income streams. EFIII identifies and monetizes conservation, cultural and environmental assets to generate value for investors and society. The main driver of value is timber as well as various conservation finance tools including easements and carbon finance. Through its first and second funds, Ecotrust Forest Management (EFM) has honed its investment strategy to focus on property acquisitions where a competitive advantage exists.
  • Community Investment Management (CIM), an institutional impact investment firm providing strategic debt capital to scale and demonstrate responsible innovation in lending to small businesses and underserved borrowers in the United States. CIM seeks to deliver positive social impact and attractive risk-adjusted returns with low volatility by investing in a diversified short-duration portfolio of marketplace loans originated by financial technology companies. Since 2014, CIM has provided more than $350 million of debt financing to 5,000 U.S. small businesses in 50 states, diversified across an array of industries including information technology, professional services, and retail trade. Across its portfolio, CIM funds 2-3 times more woman, minority, and veteran-owned businesses than banks and financial institutions.

“Our partnership with ImpactAssets is enabling a new wave of smaller-scale investors to channel their money into impact,” said Bettina von Hagen, Managing Director & CEO at EFM. “By investing philanthropic dollars into deep impact investment, the incredible ImpactAssets community is finding ways to expand the power and positive impact generated by their charitable giving.”

“We applaud ImpactAssets in broadening access to institutional impact investment funds for a greater number of investors by lowering their minimums and fees,” added CIM Managing Partner Michael Hokenson.

The EFM and CIM funds are available individually or through the turn-key ImpactAssets Impact Portfolios. They join a growing list of the world’s most innovative impact investing managers, including EcoEnterprises Fund, Iroquois Valley Farms, MicroVest and Sarona, and they are among a long history of high quality private debt and equity funds that have been offered by ImpactAssets. Through this suite of funds, donors have been able to construct their own ‘fund of funds’ portfolios that are customized to their interests, don’t have an extra layer of management and offer lower expenses.

“With the addition of these new funds, we are building a comprehensive suite of deep impact investing options of experienced managers with solid track records” said Sandra Osborne, Director of Investments, ImpactAssets. “Our donors are driving this innovation and helping us to propel impact forward.”

About ImpactAssets

ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns. ImpactAssets’ donor advised fund (“The Giving Fund”) and field-building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners and their wealth advisors to advance social or environmental change through investment. The Giving Fund currently has $424M in total assets.

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Wahed, The First Digital Halal-Focused Ethical Investing Platform, Launches Mobile App

Easy-To-Use App Available for iOS and Android

Press Release – New York City, NY – March 14, 2018Wahed Invest LLC (“Wahed”), the first digital halal-focused ethical investing platform, today launched mobile apps for iOS and Android, enabling people to invest ethically wherever they are located. Using Wahed’s mobile app, individuals can get an optimized and diversified halal portfolio, open an account, securely link their bank accounts to their investment portfolios, quickly access their funds, deposit money into accounts and monitor the performance of their portfolios, all from their smartphone.

The apps can be download at

Users of the app are prompted with a variety of questions that enable Wahed to find investment portfolios that best meet their risk tolerance, financial preferences and economic objectives and needs.

“The interest we’ve seen from existing and potential clients about our web platform has been amazing, and are thrilled to expand our capabilities for new and existing clients,” said Junaid Wahedna, CEO, Wahed Invest. “People gain financial insights at all times and in all locations, and want to act on them immediately today’s mobile world. Wahed is pleased to offer new and existing clients the opportunity to invest in their futures in increasingly convenient and opportunistic ways through an app that further revolutionizes the halal investing industry.”

Wahed’s easy-to-use digital investing platform is the first automated Halal-focused system that is overseen by an Ethical Review Board, preventing concerned investors from investing in companies that do not agree with their values (e.g., companies involved in any aspect of the liquor, firearms, gambling and tobacco industries). The platform also screens investments that generate profit from interest and those that do not comply with certain debt ratios.

About Wahed

Wahed is a technology driven company democratizing Islamic finance by increasing investment accessibility. Wahed’s investment portfolios are approved by an Ethical Review Board, enabling concerned investor to feel confident that their investments are halal. Please see for more information about Wahed.

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