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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

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Hyundai Hope On Wheels Announces New Donations of $10.25 Million during September National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

COSTA MESA, Calif. – August 28, 2013Hyundai Hope On Wheels®, a leader in the fight against childhood cancer and supported by Hyundai Motor America and its dealers, today announced a donation of $10.25 million to pediatric cancer research in the U.S.  This latest donation is part of Hyundai Hope On Wheels’ annual September program recognizing National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  This year, a unique social media initiative will be promoted to thank all Hyundai owners whose vehicle purchases contribute to the cause.  Since 1998, Hyundai Hope On Wheels has awarded over $72.0 million for pediatric cancer research in the U.S.

“Hope On Wheels is our fight to end pediatric cancer, and is at the soul of our work at Hyundai. With each car we sell, we make a contribution with our dealers to end this disease,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “We’ve now raised over $72 million dollars, and ask everyone to join us this September on Facebook to raise awareness about this cause.”

This year’s initiative will kick-off with a full page announcement in the August 30thweekend edition of the USA Today.  It will be immediately followed by a 5K run/walk in Fountain Valley, CA on August 31st.  Throughout the month of September, Hope On Wheels will travel the U.S. donating research grants to children’s hospitals each in the amount of $250,000.  Other activities will include seven additional 5K run/walks around the country and Hope On Wheels will take part in a series of events on Capitol Hill with the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus.

Hyundai will promote a unique social media initiative, primarily on Facebook and other social media sites, to create awareness about pediatric cancer during the month.  The program is called “Every Handprint Tells A Story.” The iconic handprints of the Hope On Wheels logo represent the dreams, hopes and journeys of kids diagnosed with cancer everyday in the U.S.   Visitors to the Hyundai Facebook app will be able to learn about the research funded by Hope On Wheels, view videos of pediatric cancer survivors, share stories on social media and post their own messages of hope.  You can visit the page, or go to the website

“With childhood cancer remaining the leading cause of death from disease for children in the U.S., there is an urgent need for more research that can lead to better cures for our children,” said Peter C. Adamson, Chairman of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). “Hyundai and its dealers are bridging the widening gap in childhood cancer research funding and have quickly become one of the largest and more innovative grant providers in the field. We are grateful for their support and efforts to bring our cause to the forefront of the national dialogue.”

As part of its annual September effort, Hope On Wheels will hold a series of pediatric cancer awareness activities in Washington, D.C.  Once again this year, Hyundai and its dealers will come together at a joint press conference with Members of the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus, co-chaired by U.S. Representatives Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).  Hope On Wheels national youth ambassador, CJ George, will address the audience, and leading doctors, policy makers, Members of Congress, and childhood cancer survivors will attend the press conference at the Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room on September 19th from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. EDT.  Immediately following the press conference, the Congressional Caucus will host its 4th Annual Childhood Cancer Summit.  The summit will examine the current state of pediatric cancer and open discussion for future advancements to benefit children battling cancer.

“Over the past 15 years, Hyundai dealers and the Company have stood resolute to provide pediatric cancer research,” said Mickey Pong, Chairman of Hope On Wheels and Hyundai Dealer of North County Hyundai. “As a Hyundai dealer, there is nothing that I am more proud of than the work we do with Hope On Wheels. We want every person who enters our dealerships across the country to know the impact they are having on these children’s lives.  The September effort will not only provide needed research dollars, but also tell the stories of these brave children for whom we fight.”

Hyundai Hope On Wheels will surpass $72 million in grant awards to children’s hospitals nationwide by the end of 2013.  The Hyundai Scholar Grant program awarded $3 million earlier this year to young investigators across the country.  The September Hope Grant will be awarded to 41 children’s hospitals and research institutions across the country.  The highly-competitive Hyundai Hope research grant program is open to the nearly 200 Children’s Oncology Group member institutions engaged in pediatric cancer research in the U.S.  Grant winners are selected by the Hope On Wheels Medical Advisory Committee, a distinguished group of leading pediatric oncologists throughout the nation.

To learn more about Hyundai Hope On Wheels, please


Hyundai Hope On Wheels® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer.  Launched in 1998, Hyundai Hope On Wheels provides grants to eligible institutions nationwide that are pursuing life-saving research and innovative treatments for the disease. Primary funding for Hyundai Hope On Wheels comes from Hyundai Motor America and its more than 800 U.S. dealers.  At the end of its 15th year, Hyundai Hope On Wheels will have awarded more than $72 million towards childhood cancer research in pursuit of a cure.


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea.  Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide.  All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.  Hyundai Assurance includes Assurance Connected Care that provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Hyundai Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services complimentary for three years.  These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.   

For more details on Hyundai Assurance, please visit

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‘Business In Society’ TV Links Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Teaching with Practice

NEW YORK, Aug. 27, 2013The new television series “Business In Society” today begins providing free issues-oriented programming for 10 U.S. universities and colleges teaching corporate social responsibility and sustainable development for classroom instruction, student assignments, research and other academic uses.

In the first initiative of its kind, five half-hour programs deliver practical insights on fast-evolving corporate social responsibility and sustainable development business models integrating environmental, social and governance commitments with traditional corporate objectives.

“Our Academic Engagement Program links corporate social responsibility and sustainable development theory with practice in an unprecedented manner,” said John Paluszek, executive producer of “Business In Society.” “Each program delivers expert reporting and analysis on best corporate practices, partnering with civil society and government, and progress and challenges.”

Program titles include “Worldwide Sustainable Development – U.N. Global Compact,” “What Women Want Now – And How They‘ll Get It,” “The Bangladesh Tragedy: The Tipping Point From Hell?,” “Business and Human Rights,” and “The CEO Water Mandate.”


For more information about “Business In Society,” visit



W.K. Kellogg Foundation announces family engagement investment to identify and expand promising efforts that support early childhood educational success

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) today announced a $5 million investment to identify and cultivate innovations in the growing field of family engagement that support children’s educational success from birth to 8 years old. Organizations that have developed effective family engagement models that address obstacles faced by low-income families are encouraged to send initial submissions for possible funding of up to $500,000 for one to three years.

WKKF defines family engagement as a shared responsibility of families, schools and communities for student learning and achievement. It is a continuous process from birth to third grade and beyond that occurs across multiple settings where children learn. The foundation seeks to support and expand on-the-ground family engagement efforts that include program design and implementation, service delivery and/or policy development and implementation.

Qualified organizations may submit one initial submission on which they are the lead applicant. Proposals that outline effective teaching strategies, work to align early childhood systems in their communities and focus on building family economic security as they connect to strong family engagement in education are strongly encouraged.

“Our goal is to shift the paradigm for people to see that families – particularly those that have been marginalized by racial inequities – possess numerous skills that must be recognized and supported to help children succeed,” said Carla D. Thompson, vice president – program strategy for WKKF. “We believe that supporting family leadership development and organizational capacity to act as partners between school and family can transform the early childhood education system.”

How to Apply

Public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and can demonstrate the fiscal capacity to manage the funds should apply online. Applications are due by Sept. 23, 2013If selected, applicants will be asked to provide a full proposal in October 2013, and will receive guidelines upon selection. Selected grantees will be notified of their awards in December 2013.


New Award Recognizes Most Effective, Efficient Nonprofits in Veteran Job Placement

Santa Monica, CA – August 26, 2013The Call of Duty Endowment today announced it has joined with Deloitte to create a unique annual Call of Duty Endowment ‘Seal of Distinction’ award program that will highlight nonprofit organizations that have proven to be the most effective and efficient at placing veterans into high quality careers.

The Call of Duty Endowment is a private nonprofit foundation that supports groups placing former service members into high quality careers and raises awareness of the value veterans bring to the civilian workplace.

Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment, said, “Our goal at the Endowment is to invest in groups that have demonstrated exceptional effectiveness at placing veterans into high quality careers.  Our new ‘Seal of Distinction’ opens the door to give the best organizations an opportunity to showcase their success and access more resources.” Recipients of the Call of Duty Endowment Seal of Distinction will receive an unrestricted grant of $30,000 with potential for more extensive restricted grants from the Call of Duty Endowment.

The call for submissions is now open and organizations may apply for the Call of Duty Endowment ‘Seal of Distinction’ through September 27, 2013 by completing the application at

While seeking applications from new organizations, the Endowment announced that several organizations would be designated as Original ‘Seal of Distinction’ recipients. The first of these organizations to be announced is the US Chamber Foundation in Washington, DC. The Chamber Foundation has already withstood a thorough analysis to certify their effective, efficient service to our veterans.

Eric Eversole, Executive Director of the Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program – one of the original Call of Duty Endowment ‘Seal of Distinction’ recipients – stated, “Since our inception in 2011, the U.S. Chamber has prudently spent our donors’ investments to create as many jobs as possible for our veterans. We are proud to receive The Call of Duty Endowment’s ‘Seal of Distinction’ as further proof that we stretch every dollar to make the biggest impact.”

Nominees for the Call of Duty Endowment ‘Seal of Distinction’ must, as a minimum:

– Be a charitable, non-profit, with 501(c)(3) status

– Have a mission that incorporates directly assisting unemployed veterans in finding jobs

– Complete our application and, should they be selected as a finalist, submit to verification

Important criteria for selection include the number of veterans placed in jobs, average cost-per-placement, and a profile of typical veterans served, among other categories.

*Note: Rules for participation can be found at

The Call of Duty Endowment will select a slate of finalists, and will be assisted by Deloitte who is working with CODE on a pro bono basis.

“We are pleased to join with the Call of Duty Endowment in honoring these organizations that help our veterans translate their military skills and experiences into high quality careers,” said Kelvin Womack, lead client service principal for the Federal Health practice, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Deloitte values the dedication and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. Whether through collaboration with organizations like CODE, our recent pledge to support the President’s Joining Forces initiative, or through our IMPACT Survey research insights into job strategies for returning military veterans, Deloitte is committed to supporting the transition from military service back to civilian life.”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker Joins Kars4Kids to Give Away More Than 1,000 Backpacks to Newark Kids

NEWARK, N.J. (August 19, 2013) – Newark Mayor Cory Booker will join Kars4Kids (, a national car donation charity, on August 27 at 11 a.m., to give away more than 1,000 backpacks to neighborhood children at the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center on West Kinney Street in Newark.


The backpack giveaway comes at a time when many families could use help providing their children with new supplies for the upcoming school year. As the U.S. economy continues to struggle, the National Retail Federation has projected that spending on school supplies will drop by an average of almost $50 per family.


This event is the second one in which Kars4Kids will team up with Mayor Booker to help out the children of Newark. In December 2011, Mayor Booker joined Kars4Kids for a winter coat distribution at the same John F. Kennedy Recreation Center. The event was a great success with lines forming around the corner and around 1,000 coats distributed. The Mayor, known for his active Twitter account, responded to a Tweet from Kars4Kids requesting his help in arranging the event. Later, he called the event “a story of the power of Twitter” and proclaimed “[I] was thrilled that they wanted to come here to the city of Newark”.     


 “We’re proud to partner with Mayor Booker again, whose leadership has produced benefits for the city of Newark and, specifically, for the children of Newark,” said Steven Weldler, a Kars4Kids spokesman. “Kars4Kids shares Mayor Booker’s commitment to children and to education.”


“I am excited to welcome Kars4Kids back to Newark as a partner committed to advancing the well-being of our city’s children and families,” said Mayor Cory Booker, “My administration has focused on expanding educational opportunities and ensuring that our children can succeed in the classroom. As kids across our city prepare to head back to school, we appreciate Kars4Kids and their generous donation of backpacks and supplies.”


For more information about the event, and for other upcoming Kars4Kids events, followKars 4 Kids on Twitter.


WHO: Kars4Kids, a national car donation charity, along with Mayor Cory Booker of Newark


WHAT: Donate 1,000 brand new backpacks and school supplies to school aged children in the area


WHERE: John F. Kennedy Recreation Center (211 West Kinney St in Newark, NJ)


WHEN: Tuesday, August 27th from 11AM-2PM, with Mayor Booker attending from11-11:30 am.

Kars4Kids is a non-profit organization that works to give back to the community through a variety of education, youth development, family outreach, and faith-based programs. It provides an array of services to children and families including educational programming, school placement, tuition assistance, mentorship programs, cultural activities, religious instruction, recreation and guidance counseling.

Global Citizens Demand Company Involvement In Natural Disaster Relief

BOSTON (August 21, 2013) – As communities around the world continue to recover from natural disasters on epic scales, citizens look to companies – not just governments or aid organizations – to provide critical relief assistance. According to the 2013 Cone Communications Disaster Relief Trend Tracker, nearly nine-in-10 (87%) global consumers believe companies must play a role in natural disaster response – in part because the majority (69%) thinks corporations are better able to effectively respond.

Providing Aid Beyond the Check

Surveying more than 10,000 citizens in 10 countries, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, China, India and Japan, the 2013 Cone Communications Disaster Relief Trend Tracker reveals a near-universal demand for meaningful corporate aid beyond providing funds:

  • 89% of global citizens think companies should leverage their unique assets to lend support to affected communities (such as mobile response units, in-kind donations and employee volunteers)
  • 87% wants companies to play a long-term role in relief efforts, not just immediate recovery

“It can’t be a case of ‘if’ companies contribute to natural disaster recovery efforts; it must be a question of ‘how,’” says Craig Bida, executive vice president – Social Impact,Cone Communications. “Regardless of geography, citizens are looking to companies – even more so than government agencies – to create and implement real, on-the-ground solutions to acute and urgent needs. Consumers in communities have been burned by slow reaction times or inadequate resources in past relief efforts. What our research has documented is a citizen call for help that corporations simply cannot ignore.”

Consumers Ready to Lend Hands and Hearts

Consumers stand ready to work alongside companies toward relief efforts and will reward those caring companies with a strong brand halo. More than half (54%) of global citizens say they have already joined corporate disaster relief efforts, while nine-in-10 global citizens have a more favorable impression of a company after learning that it supports disaster recovery.

Country-Specific Insights

Corporate participation in disaster relief efforts is particularly critical in China, one of the most disaster-plagued areas in the world[1]. Citizens here express a near-unanimous desire for company involvement in relief efforts (96% vs. 87% global average). They are also exceptionally primed for participation efforts, with more than three-quarters reporting they have already contributed to corporate disaster relief activities (78% vs. 54% global average).

Similarly, citizens in both India and Japan are still recovering from recent natural disasters, such as flooding in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand and the massive Fukushima earthquake in Japan. Citizens in these countries were significantly more likely to perceive companies as better equipped than government to respond to disasters (85% and 80%, respectively, vs. 69% global average).

“As natural disasters seem to increase in intensity and frequency, company involvement in relief and recovery becomes even more crucial,” Bida says. “But companies must think strategically about how to leverage their resources for the greatest impact through taking stock of resources and vetting potential partners. When lives are at stake, every dollar counts.”

As companies work to develop both immediate and long-term relief programs, Cone Communications offers the following five tips to best support efforts:

1.     Look beyond the check: Although cash donations can give disaster nonprofits a much needed monetary injection to meet urgent needs, the most effective relief efforts don’t always come in the form of dollar contributions. Companies that leverage unique assets – such as products, technology or networks – can often make significant impact when it comes to recovery and restoration efforts. Companies can also work to secure an enduring NGO partnership to ensure relief supplies can be quickly delivered across the globe.

2.     Do your due diligence: In the age of crowdsourced donations and online giving, it’s even more vital to choose nonprofit partners wisely. When initially selecting a partner, make sure the nonprofit can also make a long-term commitment to relief and rebuilding efforts and that the organization is prepared to report and communicate on the progress and impact of programs.

3.     Engage your stakeholders: Company stakeholders, including employees and consumers, often want to take part in corporate relief efforts. Companies should not only provide channels for stakeholders to donate to relief efforts, but also make short- and long-term volunteer and giving opportunities available as appropriate.

4.     Communicate efforts externally and appropriately – and don’t forget about social:No company wants to appear exploitative during a disaster. At the same time, companies that fail to communicate may be criticized for neglecting to contribute. To ensure transparency, companies should issue brief, facts-only news releases and leverage social media as a way to disperse critical fundraising and relief information during disasters.

5.     Don’t give and run: Just because a disaster is no longer in the headlines, doesn’t mean recovery is over. Although immediate relief needs are real and pressing, long-term rebuilding is a critical component of disaster efforts. Companies should be prepared to be involved for the long-haul, offering essential support for reconstruction.

UCF’s Florida Angel Nexus Set to Invest $1 Million

(ORLANDO) — UCF’s burgeoning entrepreneurial support system has added a key component – an initiative dedicated to supporting qualified early stage companies with financial capital.

Over the last year the Florida Angel Nexus (FAN) network has been quietly lining up accredited investors and promising early-stage companies and has succeeded in closing three deals, on target to meet its goal of investing $1million in early stage companies in FY 2013.

Michael O’Donnell, executive director for the UCF Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and founder of the FAN, says the initiative not only fills a significant need at UCF, it has the potential to help bring additional investment into the state.                    

“This is a new and exciting era for job and wealth creation.  The number of growth companies and the amount of available resources are both on the rise,” O’Donnell said.  “There are many people working to close the known gaps.  The resulting opportunities that this creates for everyone involved will be substantial,” he added.

While FAN works with UCF’s entrepreneurial network to identify and cultivate promising companies, it is also a member of the Angel Capital Association Southeast Syndication Network, giving it the ability to connect its best investment opportunities to capital from South Florida to Tennessee.

The companies presented to investors are vetted by FAN advisors and are presented in a consistent format for individual evaluation.  Companies do not need to have a UCF connection; however many in the early pipeline have taken advantage of UCF’s suite of services for entrepreneurs, said Blaire Martin, FAN’s Coordinator.    

Most members of FAN’s Investment Group are experienced entrepreneurs, investors or seasoned executives. “It is great to have such a diverse group of successful people, because members typically have area expertise that aligns directly with potential investment opportunities,” said Martin.  FAN is recruiting additional angels to enhance this strength. 

FAN’s largest investment to date was into AZZLY, a company based in Vero Beach, that delivers web-based patient care and revenue management services to small and mid-sized doctor’s offices and health providers.  AZZLY recently won best pitch at the Florida Venture Forum’s 2013 Early Stage Venture Capital Conference and was a client of UCF’s GrowFL economic gardening program.

“AZZLY was attractive to FAN because of the company’s market and user-friendly technology platform,” said Martin.  FAN helped the company to identify additional markets and develop a strong sales strategy. 

FlexReceipts, another FAN investment, participated in the Igniting Innovation Thorpe Capital Acceleration Network, as part of the 2012 Cleantech to Spacetech multi-showcase event, in partnership with the Florida Cleantech Acceleration Network (FL-CAN).  The company offers consumers and vendors an online receipt management system that eliminates the need for paper. Retailers are interested in the product because it also offers analytic data on customers’ buying patterns and targeted direct marketing options.

The latest FAN investment was with ConvergTV, a UCF Business Incubation Program client.  ConvergTV offer consumers the ability to choose customizable television content created by independent producers seeking to monetize their quality content through the company.  ConvergTV recently announced a partnership with Vidora, a mobile video aggregation service, to offer programming live and on-demand on mobile devices. 

Early-stage companies that have revenue and aggressive plans to scale can learn more and apply to FAN through the website.  Once a company begins the application process, they can potentially gain access to the UCF Mentor Network.  FAN’s advisors and community partners can also assist companies to research their markets, refine their plans, align pro forma financials, define their financial/intellectual capital needs and perfect their pitch, as well as to develop a cohesive presentation to potential investors and/or strategic partners. 

In addition to qualified scalable companies, FAN is seeking accredited investors, mentors, and investment groups.  For more information visit, email or call (407) 716-8563.

About Florida Angel Nexus (FAN): The Florida Angel Nexus (“FAN”) is a state-wide network of investors and investment groups. FAN’s mission is to connect qualified companies with aggressive growth plans to investors from the Florida community. FAN focuses on businesses that already have some proof of concept and revenues but assists all applicants with resources to eliminate obstacles for growth. The objective is to achieve higher returns with less risk than typical angel groups by combining Florida’s community resources, including the vast university systems, with the business acumen of FAN’s members and partners. The group strives to improve Florida’s funding environment to become a prominent investment corridor that attracts and retains the best talent and high paying jobs for our state.

Razoo Adds Peer-to-Peer Fundraising to its Crowdfunding Platform

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 20,, the fastest-growing crowdfunding site for causes, today expanded its online platform to allow people to give directly to other people for any good cause  – whether nonprofit or personal. Building on Razoo’s record-breaking platform for nonprofits, Razoo now empowers everyday philanthropists to show they care through peer-to-peer giving to personal fundraisers.  

Razoo’s distinct track record of helping nonprofits raise more than $165 million through online campaigns, including 24-hour “Giving Day” events to benefit specific communities, provides a foundation for Razoo’s individual fundraising platform. By broadening the crowdfunding website to support personal causes, Razoo provides a single destination for connected giving.

“Giving makes you feel good, especially when you can see benefits to real people,” said Lesley Mansford, CEO of Razoo. “The true perk of giving isn’t material – it’s the positive feeling you get when you help someone else. When you add the connective power of online tools to the mix, we believe that peer-to-peer benevolence will continue to augment nonprofit fundraising and become a significant category of giving in the future.”

Razoo anticipates medical, educational and disaster relief sectors will be the popular categories of individual fundraising on its platform. Personal campaigns on the site today range from parents raising money for children’s medical bills to a couple funding costs related to a dog rescue. Across all topic areas, Razoo’s technology delivers a real-time, online marketplace that facilitates fundraisers and donors to connect in the moment. The powerful reach of personal fundraising and nonprofit campaigns on the site allows people to connect with the people and causes most familiar and to them – which has been shown to increase the propensity to give.[1]

“Peer-to-peer sharing has a multiplier effect on giving to causes”, said Henry Timms, co-founder of #GivingTuesday™. “Crowdfunding has huge promise in enabling and inspiring a new generation of philanthropists.”

Developing a fundraising campaign on Razoo is simple and free. Razoo offers a secure, straightforward payment system through its payment provider for personal fundraising,Stripe. The system allows payment to fundraisers every week, regardless of whether goals are achieved.

Beyond raising funds, Razoo encourages users to share and post about campaigns to their networks on sites like Facebook and Twitter to drive more giving.  Razoo has found that every Facebook share has the potential to help raise approximately $18 of donations for the nonprofit or individual campaign on In addition, donors and fundraisers can search or discover individual causes by visiting the site and searching by topic.

For more information on how to start or donate to a fundraising campaign, please

About Razoo

Razoo is crowdfunding for causes. Named for an Australian coin of little value on its own, until combined with many, Razoo powers small acts of giving that together change the world. From multimillion-dollar, community-led Giving Days to individuals collecting donations on behalf of the nonprofits or personal causes they support, Razoo has helped raise more than $165 million online – one small donation at a time. Razoo has offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and is seed funded by the Legatum Group. See how we’re creating a new generation of everyday philanthropists at Follow us on Twitter at @Razoo, or like us on Facebook at

Michelin To Continue Donating Its Advanced Tires to Yellowstone Park Through 2016

GREENVILLE, S.C. (Aug. 14, 2013) –  Michelin North America, Inc. today announced it will continue providing  tires to Yellowstone National Park by renewing its commitment to the Yellowstone Park Foundation (YPF).

Since 2008, Michelin has donated more than 1,400 tires to help equip Yellowstone National Park’s fleet of 800 vehicles, which includes everything from patrol cars and garbage trucks to giant earthmoving vehicles, rotary snow plows and large load-hauling tractor trailers.

YNP_truck1(1)Through the partnership Michelin is helping Yellowstone National Park reduce its operating expenses and lower the park’s consumption of raw materials.  The company is also helping the park lower its overall fuel consumption with the use of Michelin’s industry leading green tire technology that it has been developing and refining since 1992.  This focus on efficient tire performance, as it relates to improving the park’s sustainability, is significant given that, on average, Yellowstone vehicles collectively travel 3.75 million miles per year on the park’s more than 420 miles of roadways. 

“We began this partnership with the Yellowstone Park Foundation with the shared hope of boosting fuel economy to help the park reach its goal of reducing  greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent by 2016,” said Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America. “So far the results have been encouraging, and we are proud to renew our commitment to supply tires and expertise to the country’s most revered historical national park.”

Through its donations and work, Michelin North America has helped Yellowstone National Park save approximately $275,000 to $300,000 annually, which this year represents about a 12 percent reduction in the park’s fleet and road maintenance budget.

In addition to tire donations, Michelin regularly deploys its field engineers to consult with the park’s fleet managers on optimizing tire use for better fuel economy and performance. Additionally, they provide training on the mounting of very specialized tires, including oversized earthmovers and MICHELIN® XOne® wide base tires. This training has led to improved product performance, efficiency and safety, and a considerable reduction in maintenance costs.

 “National park budgets have been cut dramatically due to sequestration,” said Karen Bates Kress, Yellowstone Park Foundation president.  “By saving Yellowstone over a quarter million dollars each year, Michelin’s exceptional generosity allows the park to divert the funds it saves to other important projects, and maximize its resources.”

Other benefits from the Michelin partnership with the YPF include:

  • Donated MICHELIN X-One wide base tires that have reduced the number of tires needed on the park’s tractor trailers. This saves 800 pounds of weight, allowing the units to haul more materials and reduce the number of trips needed, which in turn saves fuel and reduces greenhouse emissions.
  • As a result of its experience on Yellowstone terrain, Michelin technicians and engineers were able to develop a new tread design that allowed the park year-round usage of just one tire for snow, ice, mud and bare pavements at the park while providing the extended wear of a Michelin product.
  • By providing training for National Park Service personnel on the mounting of giant earthmover tires, the park saves $1,200 per loader vehicle that uses these large tires.
  • Before Michelin’s involvement, Yellowstone National Park replaced tires on an annual basis. Since that time, MICHELIN® tires have been running approximately 2 to 3 years per unit doing the same work and thereby dramatically reducing the consumption of raw materials.
  • Along with the additional wear life of the tires, fuel economy for the fleet has improved by 2 percent from the years previous to the Michelin partnership.
  • In using MICHELIN tires, there has been a dramatic reduction (estimated at 60 percent) in tires that need to be “chained-up” in winter, saving tire wear, labor, and fleet down-time.

In addition to providing tires, Michelin, which has a 113-year history of creating maps and travel guides, publishes “The Yellowstone Park Foundation’s Official Guide to Yellowstone National Park.” This 106-page book represents one of the most in-depth guides to the park that includes tours, itineraries, insider tips from park experts and reliable recommendations for sightseeing. Proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Yellowstone Park Foundation. It is sold at Yellowstone and is also available on and

About Michelin

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America ( employs more than 22,000 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

BigLeap Launches First Crowd-Funding Challenge Platform for Social Good

San Francisco, CA – August 20, 2013 – BigLeap, the world’s first crowd-funding prize and reward network that allows passionate advocates to drive social change via competition-based challenges, today launched its first challenge: to make education more accessible.

BigLeap’s first challenge is championed by Professor Silvia Bunge, a neuroscience and childhood learning expert at U.C. Berkeley, and Bill Ritchie, the CEO of ThinkFun games. The challenge will give children everywhere access to free games designed to improve their brain power by helping to develop their reasoning and logic skills via simple, interactive gameplay.

“There are millions of underprivileged students out there who don’t have access to the best learning environments or tools in their schools today, and because of this gap these children are at a significant disadvantage: their reasoning and logic skills are lacking, they test lower on IQ and standardized tests and they don’t master STEM basics – all of which are key to future job success,” says Bunge. “Several years ago my team at Berkeley ran a small study that incorporated ThinkFun games into a training program for a set group of students. The study showed that playing fun, off-the-shelf reasoning and logic games in a social group for 2-3 hours a week boosted these critical skills by over 30% and even boosted IQ scores by 10 or more points. That’s huge!”

As exciting as the results of the study were, Bunge and Ritchie knew that in order to duplicate this type of after-school game program, schools would incur significant costs. Country-wide budget cuts eliminated programs like this as a viable option.

“We were fortunate to be introduced to Charlie and Victor’s new platform, BigLeap. For a school to duplicate the gameplay from the study, the cost would have been prohibitive at $200 to $300 or more for a couple of sets of games,” says Ritchie. “BigLeap will help us make these games accessible to kids across the U.S., no matter what their financial situation is. Silvia and I plan to raise $25,000 to fund a competition that will bring innovators from across the country together to develop the best game-based learning programs that can be made for free, using common household items and art supplies. We’re excited to have a platform that can help us champion this challenge.”

Challenges Create Change

“When Victor asked me to start BigLeap with him, I immediately said yes—it’s a clear opportunity to help people change the world. Incentive challenges and competitions with significant rewards or prizes have historically proven to inspire people to solve a problem and effect change,” said Charlie Crystle, Co-Founder and CEO of BigLeap. “Unfortunately raising the money for rewards has been an obstacle, so only large organizations have used incentive challenges. But by crowd-funding the prize, change-makers don’t need major sponsors anymore, just friends, family, and their social networks. Our platform will give them a powerful set of tools to get the brightest minds around the world solving important problems.”

Each challenge posted on the BigLeap platform goes through five stages:

  • Set The Target: Anyone with a passion for solving a problem (the “Champion”) kicks off a Challenge to solve the problem.
  • Raise Money: The Champion appeals to his or her network and BigLeap community members to crowd-fund a prize or reward for the Challenge.
  • Mobilize Teams: Teams from around the world or around the corner come together to solve the problem.
  • Compete: Many different teams working on a problem means increased innovation, creativity, and resources decked against it.
  • Celebrate: Breakthrough! The problem is solved, the winning team(s) are rewarded, and the world is a better place.

“We’re excited to help people around the world improve the lives of others,” said Victor Cho, co-founder, BigLeap. “Whether it’s bettering the lives of one person or one billion, we’re confident that the BigLeap platform will significantly improve the way we as a society work to improve social issues.”

Challenges of all sizes will be accepted as long as they bring meaningful improvement to someone’s life. For more information on BigLeap please visit:

About BigLeap

BigLeap is the world’s first crowd-funding prize and reward network that allows anyone with a passion to drive social change do so through competition-based challenges. The BigLeap platform connects passionate advocates of social issues with the funding and resources needed to solve them in innovative new ways. Unlike other crowd-funding sites or traditional charities, BigLeap only distributes a reward or prize when a challenge has been successfully solved. Because contributors can opt to get their money back if a challenge isn’t solve they are effectively guaranteed that their support dollars will have an impact.

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