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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: February 2017

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Win $30K in the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge

All high school students in Utah ages 14-18 are welcome to participate; Submit your idea by March 1 for the 2017 competition

Press Release – Jan. 31, 2017 – The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah is excited to announce that the 2017 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (HS UEC) competition registration is now open. All students throughout Utah, ages 14-18, are welcome to compete for a chance to win $30,000 in cash and scholarships. The competition is sponsored by Zions Bank.

Students can enter the competition by submitting their ideas online. Submissions are due by March 1, and the awards ceremony will be held at the U in the new Lassonde Studios building on April 15.

“Simply by recognizing a problem and coming up with a creative solution, competitors in the High School Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge will gain a hands-on experience in entrepreneurship and be introduced to a nationally ranked program. It’s a valuable experience for anyone wanting to make an impact for the better,” said Eden Renee Wairepo, a student leader on the HS UEC team.

HS UEC is designed to be a fun way for high school students to explore innovation and entrepreneurship. The competition focuses on problem-solving and the first steps in developing a business idea.

Students who already have a product or business idea are encouraged to compete, but this competition is not just for them. High school students across the state are challenged to think of a solution to any problem they may see globally, locally or individually, and then propose the solution in the form of a business idea. Students are encouraged to be as creative as possible.

To participate, students form teams, develop an innovative idea and submit a presentation online to be judged for the first round. Twenty-four finalist teams will be announced on March 16. Those teams will be invited to the final HS UEC event alongside with the collegiate Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge for presentations and judging. HS UEC is the high school counterpart to the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, which is also managed by the Lassonde Institute and one of the largest collegiate business plan competitions in the country.

HS UEC is part of the continued growth of programs and opportunities provided by the Lassonde Institute to support student entrepreneurs.

Learn more about the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at

About the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge

The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (HS UEC) is designed to encourage high school students to explore innovation and entrepreneurship and offers over $30,000 in cash and scholarship prizes. HS UEC is the high school version of the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, one of the largest collegiate competitions in the country. Utah is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, and we believe some of the best ideas come from teens across the state. All high school students (or those ages 14-18) throughout Utah are encouraged to compete. Students ages 14-18 who have graduated high school or are enrolled full-time in college courses (9 credit hours or above) are not eligible to participate in the competition. These students are encouraged to participate in the collegiate Opportunity Quest and Utah Entrepreneur Challenge also hosted by the Lassonde Institute. Learn more at

About the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute also manages the Lassonde Studios, a new $45 million innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at

New Report Details Shifts in Foundation Operations & Grantmaking

Press Release – (Washington, DC) More foundations that operate with few or no staff are engaging in activities that expand beyond traditional grantmaking, according to Exponent Philanthropy’s 2017 Foundation Operations and Management Report. Exponent Philanthropy is the nation’s largest philanthropic member association, composed of nearly 2,000 individual and organizational members across the country.

“Foundations with lean operations do so much more than just write checks to their grantees,” said Henry L. Berman, Exponent Philanthropy’s chief executive officer. “Our members are making a conscientious effort to have an ‘outsized impact,’ allowing each dollar granted to result in more than just the monetary value of their giving.”

The report highlights numerous activities beyond grantmaking that lead to outsized impact among member foundations, including:

  • 79% send board members on site visits
  • 63% collaborate with other funders
  • 43% convene grantees

The 2017 Foundation Operations and Management Report also includes the following findings:

  • Foundation members collectively awarded an estimated $4 billion, 5.2% of their assets.
  • Succession and the need for greater focus/impact in their grantmaking are  top concerns
  • Women outnumber men in all the staff roles in the survey with just 44% of CEO/top administrators identifying as male.
  • Women CEOs or executive directors earn, on average, 85 cents for every $1 paid to men, regardless of employee experience or foundation asset size.

“Funders who work with few or no staff make up the vast majority of the philanthropy sector,” said Berman. “On average, our member foundations give nearly $1.98 million per year across 45 grants but spend just 14 cents per dollar in operating costs.”

Exponent Philanthropy members support many issues, including education (75%), human services (60%), health (55%), arts & culture (52%), and environment and animals (33%). They are funding locally (83%), at the state level (40%), regionally (23%), nationally (35%), and internationally (21%).

About the Report

The 2017 Foundation Operations and Management Report is based on the 16th operations and management survey of members of Exponent Philanthropy that was fielded in the summer of 2016. The report details trends in foundation grantmaking, operations, investments, and governance.

About Exponent Philanthropy

Exponent Philanthropy is the country’s largest association of funders—nearly 2,000 members strong—and the only one dedicated to serving foundations with few or no staff, philanthropic families, and individual donors. Our vibrant network has in common lean operations and a style of philanthropy motivated by personal passion, community needs, and the strong desire for better outcomes. We provide high-quality and cost-effective programs, resources, and connections that maximize our members’ dollars and time for the benefit of diverse communities and causes.

Mellon Foundation Awards $2.532M To Fund Instrumental Classical Music Education In Philadelphia

Goal: Remove barriers to music mastery for young instrumental musicians from underrepresented communities

Press Release – Philadelphia, PA (February 1, 2017) – The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has made an unprecedented grant to a cohort of ten music education organizations in Philadelphia, with the end goal of increasing diversity in the professional classical music field. This multi-year, $2.532 million grant will identify and support the region’s most committed young musicians to ensure they are college ready and that they have the skills necessary to excel in conservatory, college, or university as music majors. The investment, granted to organizations within the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth (PMAY), builds upon Philadelphia’s robust music education ecosystem, enhancing opportunities for collaboration to ensure that promising students can access the teaching and learning opportunities necessary to remove barriers to achieving the highest level of mastery.

Participating organizations from the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth (PMAY), a collaborative of music education organizations serving elementary through high school students across Greater Philadelphia, include: Musicopia, Philadelphia Sinfonia, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Play On, Philly!, Project 440, School District of Philadelphia Office of Music Education, Settlement Music School, Temple University Music Preparatory Division, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and The Primavera Fund. Each organization serves an essential role in the region’s music education community and enhances student talent in a unique way.

“Working together with the participants in the PMAY collaborative has been incredibly enriching for all of us,” says Settlement Music School CEO Helen S. Eaton. “Our collaborations over the past five years have shown that each of the member organizations, aligned to a common goal, are much more than the sum of our parts. With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we can work to strengthen the supports that each organization already provides to students from underrepresented communities. Becoming a professional classical musician requires incredible dedication, sacrifice, devoted teachers and mentors, instruments, a myriad of learning opportunities, and much more that can be daunting without the necessary support. By working collectively to make sure our promising musicians can succeed, the PMAY collaborative can give them matchless opportunities for individual instrumental study, ensemble and chamber music study, summer study, audition assistance, and college preparation.” Settlement Music School will serve as the lead partner and act as the re-granting entity.

Maud Lyon, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, heralds the spirit of collaboration exhibited by the PMAY coalition. “This is a tremendous example of how our arts organizations make Philadelphia unique. Settlement and the PMAY coalition are breaking new ground in music education, creating an unprecedented collaboration that will have profound impact upon the careers of emerging musicians. This transformative grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a strategic long-term investment that ensures that talented young musicians, regardless of their resources or background, will have access to the incredible array of arts education opportunities that these organizations provide.”

The Mellon-funded program, titled “PMAY Artists’ Initiative,” will commence with musician recruitment in spring 2017. Approximately 75 students from throughout the Philadelphia region will be identified in the first cohort of students by summer 2017. Students will benefit from individualized plans especially tailored to help nurture the students’ abilities and improve their strengths to set them up for success.

A national search for a program manager, who will have expertise in collaborations, the orchestral field, and in music education, is underway.

Philadelphia is the first city in the nation to receive funding at this level from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the future of young musicians.

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