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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: March 2017

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Matthew Hatchwell joins ZSL as Director of Conservation

Former WCS Europe CEO to oversee Zoological Society of London field projects in over 50 countries

Press Release – ZSL (Zoological Society of London) is delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Hatchwell as its new Director of Conservation.

In this role, Hatchwell – a former CEO for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Europe – will be responsible for driving ZSL’s field conservation programmes in more than 50 countries worldwide, working alongside governments, NGO partners and local communities to protect a wide range of species and habitats.

Alongside the Society’s many projects across the globe, he will also work with pioneering scientists from ZSL’s Institute of Zoology to ensure their research, along with insights gained through ZSL’s two world-class Zoos, continue to shape its cutting-edge approach to field conservation.

Commenting on his new role, due to commence from mid-June, Hatchwell, said: “ZSL is a unique organisation and one that I am excited to be part of. Tracing its roots all the way back to the foundation of the world’s first scientific zoo in 1826, it has evolved to become one of the world’s leading conservation organisations.

“Having worked alongside the Society’s conservationists on a range of collaborative projects during my time at WCS, I have witnessed their effectiveness first-hand and it’s a great honour to have the opportunity to steer this organisation going forward, and contribute to this vital work.”

Hatchwell joins ZSL following a 30-year career with WCS, where he most recently served as Director for International Policy and Programme Development. In this role, his priorities included increasing the engagement of conservation organisations in implementing the World Heritage Convention; overseeing forest policy; and mitigating impacts of the extractives industry on biodiversity.

Prior to this, Hatchwell served as Chief Executive for WCS Europe, having previously overseen in-country teams in Madagascar – where he was instrumental in the creation of Masoala and Sahamalaza/Iles Radama National Parks – and Congo, where he helped to establish Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park and co-managed a capacity-building programme for protected area staff. Hatchwell has also co-authored books on Masaola and the role of zoos and aquaria in in-situ wildlife conservation.

ZSL’s Director General Ralph Armond, said: “Promoting and achieving the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats is fundamental to ZSL’s charitable mission, so I’m delighted to welcome Matthew to the Board of Directors and am confident that his considerable experience will make a significant contribution to furthering this vital work.”

To find out more about ZSL’s international conservation work, visit:

National Poll Finds That Americans Support the Johnson Amendment to Protect Nonprofit Nonpartisanship

Majority of Trump and Clinton Voters Believe Johnson Amendment Should Remain Law

Press Release – (WASHINGTON, March 30, 2017) – A new national poll finds that 72 percent of American voters want to keep current rules prohibiting 501(c)(3) organizations from engaging in partisan political activity.

The poll, conducted from March 6-8 by TargetPoint Consulting, asked 800 registered voters whether the federal law, known as the Johnson Amendment, should be changed or kept in place. There was strong support across all political identifications, with 66 percent of Donald Trump voters and 78 percent of Hillary Clinton voters saying the ban on political activity should be kept.

In 1954, U.S. Sen. Lyndon Johnson introduced an amendment to the tax code to create a legal separation between 501(c)(3) organizations and electoral politics. The law prohibits charities, including religious organizations, from directly or indirectly supporting or opposing any candidate. If they do, they risk losing their tax-exempt status.

The Johnson Amendment is narrowly tailored to restrict charitable organizations’ ability to engage in direct political activity. It does not restrict their free speech or capacity to participate in public policy. Charitable organizations remain able to advocate around mission-driven issues that impact our communities and our nation.

“Charitable organizations are among the most trusted entities in the United States,” said Allison Grayson, director of policy development and analysis at Independent Sector. “That public trust demands that 501(c)(3) public charities remain above the political fray, advocating and informing policymakers but not engaging in partisan political activity.”

“Charities and religious organizations are rightly insulated from partisan manipulation under current law,” said Emily Peterson-Cassin, Bright Lines Project coordinator at Public Citizen. “Politicizing the charitable sector would harm the community trust that those organizations have worked over decades to build.”

Congressional leadership has indicated that the Johnson Amendment might be part of the tax reform debate set to begin soon in Washington, DC. Independent Sector, the Bright Lines project and other partner organizations will be advocating to protect the Johnson Amendment and the nonprofit community’s nonpartisanship.

Climate-driven wildlife movements are creating health risks and economic threats to society, says landmark study

Press Release – Climate-driven changes to the distribution of species across the world are having increasingly profound implications across human society, according to a landmark study led by the University of Tasmania alongside over 40 international partner institutions including ZSL (Zoological Society of London).

Published in the journal Science, the study details how human lifestyles are already being impacted by climate-driven changes in the distribution of land, marine and freshwater species around the world. As their environment changes, many plants and animals are responding by, for example, moving higher altitudes, greater or lower depths in the oceans, or towards the poles.

These mass movements could have far-reaching implications for human society: creating health risks, posing economic threats, and impacting supply chains across commodities from coffee beans to commercial fisheries. Highlighting the far-reaching impacts these are likely to have, the report’s authors are calling on governments to make species movements a central pillar of their climate change adaptation plans, and this as a matter of urgency.

Commenting on the study, lead author Professor Gretta Pecl from the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) said: “Previous studies have shown that land-based species are moving polewards by an average of 17km per decade, and marine species by 72km per decade. Our study demonstrates how these changes are affecting ecosystems, human health and culture in the process.”

The study cites a wide range of examples to illustrate the growing extent to which climate-driven species movements are already impacting across human society and culture. In agriculture, the world’s principal coffee-growing regions are expected to shift to new territories, whilst less valuable, warmer climate timber species supplant the traditional likes of Norway spruce in commercial forestry plantations. Industries such as tourism are likely to suffer as coral reefs die and jellyfish swarms increasingly infest recreational waters. Meanwhile, in commercial fisheries the movement of species could lead to economic tensions between neighbouring states.

Rising global temperatures could also create serious new health threats. Malaria will become more prevalent as disease-carrying mosquitoes expand their range towards the poles, into regions with no previous exposure. Indigenous peoples could find their food security and traditional knowledge systems challenged by changing distributions of fish and reindeer.

Co-author Dr Nathalie Pettorelli from ZSL said: “Climate-driven species redistributions shouldn’t only be a concern for conservation biologists – they should worry everyone. Nations are far from being equally equipped to deal with the consequences of this redistribution of biodiversity, and the world as a whole isn’t adequately prepared to handle the range of issues emerging from species moving across local, national, and international jurisdictional boundaries. The development of effective solutions will require increased international cooperation, combined with the commitment of adequate resources.”

For more information on ZSL’s work for wildlife threatened by climate change, please visit:

Space Foundation Selects Chief Executive Officer

Press Release – COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 30, 2017) — The Space Foundation announced today that Thomas E. “Tom” Zelibor, retired Rear Admiral, USN, has been selected as its Chief Executive Officer, effective April 30, 2017.

Space Foundation Board of Directors Chairman James O. Ellis, Jr. said, “The Space Foundation team is very pleased to have Tom join the Space Foundation as the Chief Executive Officer. His impressive list of accomplishments in government, industry and operational space, along with his broad leadership and educational experience, will ensure that the Space Foundation continues to grow and evolve to serve our members and the global space industry.”

The Space Foundation Board of Directors worked with a national search firm to conduct a five-month search for a CEO.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected for this position. I really look forward to joining and working with the superb Space Foundation team,” said Zelibor. “Starting on day one, I am committed to listening, learning and collectively exploring how we can build on the great successes this world-renowned organization has achieved over many years.”

Zelibor most recently served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Lightwave Logic Inc., a Colorado-based publicly traded corporation conducting R&D and production of advanced electro-optic materials for use in optical devices for the telecommunications, data communications and data center markets.

He has a wide-ranging leadership and entrepreneurial background, having served as President and CEO of Flatiron’s Solutions, and as a Vice President for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), among other commercial affiliations.

Highlights of his extensive career in space-related positions include Director, eSpace Incubator at the Center for Space Entrepreneurship; Director of Global Operations, U.S. Strategic Command, Deputy for C4 Integration and Policy/Department of the Navy Deputy CIO; Director, Space Information Warfare, Command and Control Division, and as Commander, Naval Space Command.

He also held the position of Dean, College of Operational and Strategic Leadership at the Naval War College in Newport, RI.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanography from the United States Naval Academy in 1976. He was a Naval Aviator early in his Navy career before branching out into space and information technology assignments. The highlight of his military career was as Commander, Task Force Fifty, where he led three U.S. carrier battle groups, two NATO carriers, nearly 60 other U.S. and coalition ships, 300 aircraft and thousands of personnel in the North Arabian Sea conducting combat operations in Afghanistan after the attacks of 9/11.

Zelibor will be based at Space Foundation headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo. The organization employs 53 team members at various locations, including a Washington, D.C. office, and field representatives in Houston, Los Angeles, Princeton, N.J., and the Florida Space Coast.

About the Space Foundation

Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is the foremost advocate for all sectors of space, and is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium, in support of its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” It publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, and through its Space CertificationTM and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, recognizes space-based innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth. Visit both of our websites – and – and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Flickr and YouTube, and read our e-newsletter Space Watch.

LA84 Foundation Awards Nearly $1.7 Million In Grants To Youth Sports Programs

The grants will fund 14 programs and reach more than 25,000 youth

Press Release – LOS ANGELES (March 30, 2017) – The impact of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games endures; today, the LA84 Foundation, a legacy of those games, awarded nearly $1.7 million in grants to 14 school-based and community youth sports organizations.

LA84 has been a game-changer in youth sports for over 30 years, investing over $230 million throughout Southern California’s communities. With these grant awards, an additional 25,000 young athletes will join the over 3 million youth impacted by LA84’s work and mission.

“In a time where we need to come together more than ever to keep our youth engaged, active and healthy, sports give us a common bond and a way to invest in our future leaders. LA84 is proud to support grantees that empower youth to accomplish anything they put their mind to, on and off the field,” LA84 Foundation President & CEO Renata Simril said.

So, where are LA84’s grantees changing lives?

Downtown, in Little Tokyo, a $125,000 grant completes a community project decades in the making. The Budokan of Los Angeles facility will offer two gymnasiums for martial arts, volleyball and basketball leagues for underserved youth in the surrounding neighborhoods. Through sport, the diverse communities of Downtown Los Angeles and beyond will converge as young athletes pursue their dreams.

In Downtown, South and Central Los Angeles, Street Soccer USA is creating a pilot program for a league for homeless youth. A $75,000 grant will help launch the program, bringing hope and a support system to the youth and their families who need it most.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Whittier will receive a $45,000 grant to give 12 elementary schools and their students a much-needed afterschool sports program. In a Service Planning Area where two-thirds of children are not obtaining the recommended amount of exercise, a new door of possibilities opens.

At the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena, hundreds of low-income third-graders will learn how to swim as part of their school curriculum thanks to a more than $60,000 grant. These young swimmers soak up invaluable skills and take home vital knowledge to share with their family and friends. Knowledge that can save lives.

LA84’s $39,000 grant to the Positive Coaching Alliance will train over 1,500 coaches in 2017. As the nation’s most significant Olympic legacy organization, LA84 has trained 80,000 coaches. The foundation also hosts the world’s premier sports library and digital resource center, at, with more than 4 million downloads in 2016.

LA84’s $500,000 grant to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond The Bell Program enables every single LAUSD middle school student to participate in team sports without paying a dime. Over 12,000 kids across LA can play any of nine sports – boys, girls or co-ed – ranging from basketball and soccer to rugby and flag football.

Because of LA’s BEST’s tireless work since 1988, 193 LAUSD elementary schools offer not only afterschool sports, but summer leagues. A $375,000 LA84 grant will help LA’s BEST put more than 12,500 kids on the right path. Play Rugby USA, recipients of an LA84 grant in excess of $77,000, will also continue to work with LAUSD schools and other partners to introduce youth across Los Angeles County to a sport they may have never discovered otherwise.

The Southern California Professional Golfers Association Junior Tour is making their sport more accessible for teenage girls in Riverside and San Bernardino County with an LA84 grant, while the Southern California Tennis Association develops youngsters’ love for the sport with a $150,000 award. The West Valley Eagles Youth Football Association serves youth in the San Fernando Valley, while the Long Beach YMCA, powered by a $75,000 grant, offers archery, skateboarding, cycling, surfing and kayaking programs. Students Run LA, recipients of a $75,000 award, trains students for the LA Marathon, while Catholic Charities of LA puts nearly 2,000 youth from underserved areas into organized soccer leagues thanks to a $25,000 grant.

One player, one coach or one mentor at a time, LA84 and its grantees are supporting the next generation and will continue to cut a wide swath of positive impact.

‘Listen for Good’ Open Request for Proposals Released; Five New Funders Announced

Listen for Good 2017 Request for Proposals Posted

Press Release – Shared Insight is excited to announce that it is offering up to 75 Listen for Good (L4G) grants in 2017.

The goal of L4G is to help nonprofit organizations—across issue areas, populations served, geographies and budget levels—build the practice of high-quality feedback loops with those they serve. The L4G methodology is simple, yet systematic and rigorous. In order to engage more funders in supporting beneficiary feedback efforts and using the data to inform their work, L4G is structured as a co-funding opportunity.

To participate in L4G, a nonprofit must be nominated by a current funder (existing or new). If the nonprofit(s) a funder nominates is selected to participate, the nominating funder will contribute $15,000 of the $45,000 grant total for each nonprofit selected. Grantees will receive a grant of $45,000 over two years: $30,000 paid the first year and $15,000 the second year. Shared Insight will accept proposals from funder-nominated nonprofits through May 26, 2017.

For funders to learn more about how to nominate a grantee, click here. For nonprofits to learn more about how to apply for a L4G grant, click here.

In addition, Shared Insight will hold two informational webinars for potential nominating funders:

  • Friday, April 7, 9am Pacific/12pm Eastern Register here
  • Friday, April 21, 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern Register here

New Core Funders Join Fund for Shared Insight

Since July 2014, Shared Insight core funders have pooled financial and other resources to make grants to improve philanthropy. The initiative is delighted to announce four new core funders have joined this collaborative effort: the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

  • “The Einhorn Family Charitable Trust is thrilled to join Fund for Shared Insight and contribute to this vital work to improve philanthropic effectiveness,” says Jennifer Hoos Rothberg, Einhorn’s executive director. “Our relationship-based approach to philanthropy—when done well—is one of the chief factors in helping our partner grantees achieve impact, and we’re thrilled to work in partnership with such a talented group of colleagues from foundations we have long admired to help support and advance the field in this way.”
  • Don Howard, president and CEO of Irvine adds: “We are big believers in Fund for Shared Insight’s goal of improving services and impact by listening. We’re especially interested in advancing funders’ abilities to listen to the people we seek to support, and using that information to guide our decisions.” He continues, “Joining Fund for Shared Insight is a great opportunity for Irvine to partner with like-minded funders that are experimenting with incorporating community-level input into our work and the work of our grantees. We look forward to being part of these efforts and to sharing what we learn.”
  • “As a leader in philanthropic innovation for over a century, The Rockefeller Foundation is excited to become a core member of Fund for Shared Insight and further our ongoing commitment to strengthening both our own practices and the field of philanthropy writ large,” says Dr. Rajiv Shah, Rockefeller’s president. “Today, institutions like ours are more rigorous, analytical, and results-oriented than ever before, but there is still much we can learn—not only from each other, but also from researching and experimenting with new approaches. The more ways we can listen to and understand the perspectives of the people we seek to serve, the more effective our efforts will be.”

The original core funders of Shared Insight are the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The JPB Foundation, Liquidnet, the Rita Allen Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Omidyar Network Supports Shared Insight

Shared Insight is also delighted to welcome the Omidyar Network as its newest funding partner, supporting its efforts to improve philanthropy through a one-year grant. With this latest additional funder, there are now 39 funding organizations participating in Shared Insight either as core funders, additional funders, or Listen for Good co-funders.

Fall in Love with Santiago de Cuba with Fathom’s “Cultures of the Caribbean” Cruises

Travelers can enjoy two unique experiences on one voyage — the rich history and culture of Cuba’s second largest city and Amber Cove on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, one of the Caribbean’s newest destinations

Press Release – MIAMI, March 30, 2017Fathom, one of Carnival Corporation’s (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) 10 global cruise brands, offers one of the travel industry’s most unique experiences – a “Cultures of the Caribbean” cruise that visits the charming Cuban city of Santiago de Cuba and then travels to Amber Cove on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic for the Fathom brand’s highly rated social impact activities.

Fathom’s Adonia departs from PortMiami on April 9, April 23 and May 7, and the voyage takes travelers to two beautiful and memorable destinations.

The first port of call is Santiago de Cuba, the country’s second-largest city, giving travelers a look at its colorful traditions, ranging from historic sceneries to remarkable memorials and a rare collection of cannons. Known for its legendary music scene and electric culture influenced by African, French and Spanish tradition and a bustling vibe, Santiago de Cuba is carving out a niche for itself as an “Alternative Cuba.” With an energy considered by many equal to or even exceeding Havana, travelers will quickly understand the difference between the two cities as they walk through the colorful streets populated with unique street vendors and a vibrant community.

Some of the key highlights of this Cuban gem include San Juan Hill, the site of a pivotal battle during the Spanish–American War; Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, a stone fortress perching high atop Bahía de Santiago de Cuba that took over 60 years to complete; and Cementerio de Santa Ifigenia, the final resting place of famed Cuban hero José Martí – the 19th century poet and political theorist – as he remains a figure central to Cuba’s national identity.

“One of my favorite things about Santiago de Cuba is witnessing the rare beauty and charm of the city — the people have great energy, the sights are captivating and the vibe is super cool. We want our travelers to walk away with lifelong memories, and Santiago de Cuba delivers,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation. “With Fathom’s people-to-people experiences, travelers have the opportunity to engage with the Cuban people and discover the sights and sounds of this magnetic country. The challenge won’t be falling in love with Cuba; the challenge will be not wanting to leave.”

After the visit to Santiago de Cuba, travelers head to Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic where they can be part of a bigger story while coming alongside new Dominican friends and communities. While there, travelers can participate in unforgettable impact activities alongside local residents and be a part of creating powerful and sustainable change.

Specific impact activities include building water filters for Dominican homes; helping a women’s cooperative produce artisan chocolates; improving homes and common areas in impoverished communities; assisting arts and crafts entrepreneurs; participating in community English-language retention activities; and supporting reforestation efforts.

The Cultures of Caribbean itinerary includes:

  • Sunday – Depart from Port Miami at 4:30 p.m. ET
  • Monday – At sea
  • Tuesday – In Santiago de Cuba from 9 a.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET
  • Wednesday – Arrive in the Dominican Republic at 7 p.m. ET
  • Thursday – In the Dominican Republic
  • Friday – Depart the Dominican Republic at 1 p.m. ET
  • Saturday – At sea
  • Sunday – Arrive in Port Miami at 7:30 a.m. ET

Pricing for Fathom’s seven-day “Cultures of Caribbean” itinerary to the Dominican Republic and Santiago de Cuba start at $399. The price includes all meals on the ship and lunch in Santiago de Cuba, lunch during Dominican Republic impact activities, onboard experiences and select on-the-ground activities. Taxes, fees, port expenses, gratuities and Cuban visa excluded. The required Cuban travel visa is $75 per person and gratuities are estimated at $80.50 per person.

To reserve a spot on future sailings, travelers may call Fathom toll-free at ‪1-855-932-8466 or work with a travel professional. Learn more at

About Fathom Travel

Fathom pioneered a new category of travel designed to give travelers meaningful, engaging experiences that take people deep into the heart of a destination, inviting rich human connections between travelers and local people. Fathom currently offers uniquely different round-trip voyages from Miami into the heart of two of the Caribbean’s most desired destinations – the Dominican Republic and Cuba – where travelers may explore the places and discover its people in unconventional ways and for longer amounts of time.

What sets Fathom apart is the deep human connections, along with the rich and playful onboard and onshore journey, that was created for travelers who want to engage deeply and experience new places in purposeful ways. Lighthearted localized and personal enrichment onboard activities are available for travelers of all ages, and prepare and inform them about the communities they will visit. Travelers will also find new ways to discover themselves through onboard activities such as “storytelling and curiosity workshops.”

On the ground, Fathom helps travelers disconnect from the usual, and connect with new people and places to explore the world in unexpected ways. For example, in the Dominican Republic travelers may spend time alongside locals participating in activities that support and amplify existing programs that matter to the local communities, including planting trees, making chocolate and creating water filters. In Cuba, travelers get an up-close and personal look at the rich fabric of Cuban society as they enjoy people to people connections with local artists, musicians, business owners and families in the cities of Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.

Late in 2016, Fathom began expanding and evolving to better serve the broader audience of travelers that sail with Carnival Corporation annually. Beginning in November 2016, the Fathom experiences on the ground in the Dominican Republic were made available as experiential excursions in the Dominican Republic aboard six other Carnival Corporation brands that call on Amber Cove, including AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises UK. Additionally, Fathom experiences will soon be offered onboard its sister brands, and in new and exciting ways in other parts of the world.

For more information about Fathom or to book a voyage, contact your travel professional, call Fathom toll-free at 1-855-932-8466 or visit

Water For People CEO, Eleanor Allen, Named Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of The Year

Global Entrepreneurs Recognized for Work Benefiting Vulnerable Populations

Eleanor Allen

Press Release – DENVER (March 29, 2017) – Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water For People, was honored today as a 2017 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Allen, along with fifteen other international professionals, was chosen by the board of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. The prestigious program acknowledges entrepreneurs’ innovative approaches and potential for impact in solving global social issues.

Allen and Water For People were selected for their ability to create lasting social change by shifting the systems that supply water and sanitation services to be more reliable. Through Water for People’s Everyone Forever impact model, the organization helps promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all, and sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments.

To achieve this, Water For People partners with local leaders, governments and entrepreneurs to effectively build infrastructure, and create, own and operate their own water and sanitation utilities/service providers. This enables communities to be self-sufficient and accelerates their social progress. The organization currently works in nine countries.

With Allen at the helm, Water For People is working to solve one of the world’s most pervasive challenges, the global water crisis. More than 1.8 billion people around the world lack access to safe water and more than 2.4 billion people lack sanitation services; more than 840,000 people die each year from water-related diseases.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Schwab Foundation and alongside inspiring social entrepreneurs who are working so hard to change the world we live in,” said Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water For People. “Water changes everything. In every community, water lays the foundation for health, education and economic prosperity. Those are the ingredients for social progress.”

Allen looks forward to the opportunity to collaborate with global leaders and further Water For People’s mission to ensure that every person has access to reliable and safe water and sanitation services for generations to come. This year’s Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year honorees join a prestigious network of more than 300 social entrepreneurs from 60 countries.

“Social entrepreneurs are crucial to the global conversation about inclusive growth; they are innovators who use market forces and business discipline to provide solutions for local problems and improve the lives of low-income and marginalized people,” said Katherine Milligan, Head of the Schwab Foundation.

According to the Schwab Foundation, a social entrepreneur is a leader, or organization, that achieves large scale, systemic and sustainable social change through a new invention, a different approach, a more rigorous application of known technologies or strategies, or a combination of these. Social progress is defined as the improvement of social, political and economic structures.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was founded in 1998 by Hilde and Klaus Schwab and is known as the sister organization of the World Economic Forum. Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs are fully integrated into the events and initiatives of the World Economic Forum. They contribute to and benefit from peer-to-peer exchanges with other social entrepreneurs as well as interactions with leaders in business, government, civil society and the media.

To learn more about Water For People or the communities it works in, visit

About Water For People

Founded in 1991, Denver, CO based Water For People is a global nonprofit working across 9 countries in Latin America, India, and Africa to achieve lasting quality water and sanitation services. Water For People brings together communities, local entrepreneurs, and governments, to build, operate and maintain their own reliable water and sanitation systems and services.

Currently working in 30 districts with 4 million people, Water For People is growing to deliver services to over 7 million people in 50 districts globally over the next 10 years. Water For People is also working at the national level in Rwanda, Uganda, Bolivia and Honduras. Learn more at

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer Receives Wally Russell Mentoring Award at USITT 2017

Press Release – Director of Opera Studies and Associate Professor at University of South Carolina School of Music Ellen Douglas Schlaefer received USITT’s 2017 Wally Russell Professional Mentor Award at USITT 2017 in St. Louis.

“Receiving the Wally Russell Award was very unexpected,” Schlaefer said. “To say it was a humbling experience only begins to capture my feelings…such an honor!”

Schlaefer served as production manager for The Santa Fe Opera from 1987 to 2000 and for the Washington Opera from 1986 to 1994 before her position at USC. Additional stage managing credits include productions with Seattle Opera, San Diego Opera, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, The Washington Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Pacific, and the Merry Go Round Playhouse.

She is the third person to receive the award created in memory of Russell, a beloved figure in lighting and theatre technology who helped many people get their start in the industry.

The Wally Russell Award honors someone who embodies the guiding hand that Wally Russell provided to many young professionals.

“Ellen leads by example and therefore is a wonderful mentor and teacher,” said Paul Horpedahl, Production & Facilities Director at the Santa Fe Opera. “She instills in her assistants, production assistants, and interns her own devotion to care about their stage management process and concern for the final product.”

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer

Schlaefer is the founding and General Director of FBN Productions, Inc., Opera for Kids, a professional touring company established in 1994 that takes operas into schools, libraries, and other venues throughout the Southeast.

“There are now generations of opera administrators, stage managers, directors, and singers who have graduated from the Schlaefer school of creativity, wit, and preparedness through planning, tenacity, and respect of an art form we are honored to serve,” said Ian Derrer, General Director of Kentucky Opera.

Schlaefer has assisted many directors including, but not limited to, Francesca Zambello, Gian Carlo Menotti, Julius Rudel, and Sonja Frissell with productions taking place at The Washington Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Colorado, and more.

Schlaefer also shared the stage with the Distinguished Achievers Award Winners panel and discussed her career amongst someone of USITT’s most notable members.

“Mr. Russell was loved and honored by his friends and peers and gave freely of his time and advice,” Schlaefer said. “It was a blast seeing so many of my friends at the St. louis Conference and to share the stage with the celebrated panel for the discussion.”

In the spring of 2004, Schlaefer was appointed Director of Opera Studies for University of South Carolina School of Music, where she has directed numerous productions and teaches undergraduate and graduate opera workshop courses, production classes, and student-designed independent studies in opera history and vocal literature.

“Ellen is one of the more committed faculty with whom I have ever worked-committed in equal balance to her art, her students, and her responsibilities,” said Tayloe Harding, Dean of University of South Carolina School of Music. “These commitments are the characteristics of a great mentor, and as Ellen possesses them in an inordinate supply, she emerges as a simply superb mentor.”

USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, is a national non-profit association for the live entertainment production industry. It provides hands-on learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities for emerging and working professionals in the backstage arts. Its Annual Conference and Stage Expo is the only complete production event in North America, featuring over 250 training sessions and 280 exhibitors of the latest tools and resources for creating live entertainment. More information is available at

JetSmarter Gives Immunocompromised Newborns a Safer Way Home

Members Send Private Jets to Bring Babies Home for the First Time

Press Release – NEW YORK (March 29, 2017) – Starting today, members of JetSmarter, the world’s largest private air travel community, are providing a safer way home for America’s most vulnerable newborns and their families. The company is launching a charitable initiative called #CharterHope that allows members to send private charters to bring immunocompromised infants home for the first time.

America’s most vulnerable babies are often born at specialty hospitals thousands of miles from their homes. And due to complications or medical conditions, even the common cold could be life-threatening. This makes a crowded commercial flight home a real reason for worry.

Through the #CharterHope initiative, JetSmarter members can donate flight credit towards the creation of private charters. These private flights allow families and their immunocompromised newborns to avoid crowded commercial airports and fly home worry-free.

“As a father, I hold this initiative close to my heart. Over the years, JetSmarter has become a tight knit community, and I’m thrilled to encourage our members to come together and donate to help new families across the country,” said Sergey Petrossov, CEO of JetSmarter. “Many families are faced with the risk of traveling through commercial airports, exposing their newborns to busy airport terminals and crowded airplanes, post-surgery. We are committed to providing them with a better way to get back home.”

About JetSmarter

JetSmarter is the world’s largest private aviation marketplace. Our members-only community commands a global fleet of private jets, enjoys a low-price guarantee on private charters anywhere in the world, and can step aboard complimentary flights they share with other members. They can also book luxury homes and other lifestyle amenities right from our app. We’ve connected three continents, and we’re rapidly expanding across the globe. |

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