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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: March 2018

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#RaiseItForward: Water For People and Absolut Elyx Invite People Around The World To Raise A Glass To Help Solve The Global Water Crisis

Press Release – From World Water Day, March 22, 2018 through Earth Day, April 22, 2018, people around the world are invited to take part in a social media movement called Raise It Forward. Simply by raising a glass of anything, adding the hashtag #RaiseItForward, mentioning @WaterForPeople and @AbsolutElyx, Absolut Elyx will contribute one week of safe water to communities where Water For People works.

Throughout the month, consumers will be able to make an impact on the global water crisis in a fun and engaging way by posting a picture of their toast on their favorite social media channel. 2.1 billion people around the world don’t have access to safe water and 4.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation. Women and children spend more than four hours walking for water each day, and more than 840,000 people die each year from water-related diseases. By kicking off Raise It Forward on World Water Day, the campaign brings attention to this challenge while giving people a way to take action.

In 2015, Elyx joined forces with Water For People on a five-year partnership to bring access to safe water to more than 100,000 people worldwide. Both organizations share a commitment to integrity and sustainability, and together work to amplify the goals and urgency in solving the global water crisis. To date, over 30,000 people have been given access to safe drinking water through this partnership.

“Water For People is an amazing organization making a huge difference around the world,” said Absolut Elyx CEO, Jonas Tåhlin. “Integrity being a key value for Absolut Elyx, we are proud to support their global mission. Giving back is just part of our business model and #RaiseItForward is an easy way for the Elyx community to support our efforts and bring awareness to this cause.”

In 2017, there were over 4,800 posts across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter which led to 672,000 liters of water donated. Celebrities, influencers, philanthropists, beverage industry professionals, and individuals around the world raised a glass to make an impact.

“#RaiseItForward is a great campaign to bring awareness to the global water crisis, while making a real difference for people who live without safe water around the world,” said Water For People CEO, Eleanor Allen. “We are grateful for the long-term partnership with Absolut Elyx. This collaboration has made a real, long- term difference for thousands of people around the world, and continues to make a greater impact year over year.”

In addition to #RaiseItForward, Absolut Elyx contributes to Water For People through events, purchases of Elyx Bottles and Elyx Boutique copper products. For every purchase made from the Elyx Boutique, a week’s worth of safe water (140 liters) is donated to those who need it. Learn more at

To learn more about this partnership, please visit

About Water For People

Founded in 1991 in Denver, Colorado, Water For People is a global nonprofit working across nine countries in Latin America, Asia, 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 and on Instagram @waterforpeople.

About Absolut Elyx

Absolut Elyx is the Single Estate, Copper Crafted, Luxury expression of Absolut Vodka. Every bottle is made with soft winter wheat and the most pristine water in the world, drawn from the aquifer deep beneath the ground, in Åhus, Sweden. Elyx is distilled using sacrificial copper and further rectified by hand using a copper vintage still from 1921. Krister Asplund, Master Distiller, and his team are knowledgeable to oversee the century-old distillation process that has been passed down through generations of Swedish vodka- makers. Absolut Elyx has joined forces with Water For People to support and raise awareness for long-term solutions to the global water crisis. Discover more about Elyx at, and on Instagram @AbsolutElyx.

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INFINITI And NCAA® Kick Off Final Four Weekend With Coaches Vs. Cancer Hardwood Heroes Game

Press Release – San Antonio (March 30, 2018) – Today, two teams of cancer survivors — the Hardwood Heroes — kicked off the Final Four weekend by going head-to-head at the Alamodome to raise awareness for cancer research. This game returns for a third year as a part of INFINITI’s long-standing partnership with Coaches vs. Cancer®, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the NCAA®.

This year’s Hardwood Heroes teams were led by two NCAA® coaches: Coach Jim Calhoun along with Assistant Coach Shelley Smith and Coach Bo Ryan along with Assistant Coach Kayce Smith.

Team Calhoun, led by Coach Jim Calhoun, won by three points, but in this game, there were only winners.

Team Calhoun included Mike Thompson (Austin), Melissa Kovaleski (Phoenix), Harrison Guiol (San Antonio), Lexi Stephens (Houston), J. Dee Marinko (Oklahoma City), Devon Hinton (Dallas), Jared Ornoski (Phoenix), who are all returning Hardwood Heroes players from the 2016 or 2017 teams.

Team Ryan consisted of all new Hardwood Heroes players, including Deondre Logan (San Antonio), Hunter LaFave (Austin), Jacquelyn Harvey (Austin), Emilio Semas (Austin), Mark Moll (Boulder, CO), Krystal Lucero (Austin) and Paul Nelson (Austin).

In support of this initiative, Turner Sports will capture footage at the Hardwood Heroes team practices and game. . Highlights will air during the Bridge Show between the two Final Four semifinal games on Saturday, March 31, and during the pre-game show prior to tip-off on Championship Monday on CBS.

INFINITI will also host the Charity Stripe Challenge at Tailgate Plaza at the Alamodome, an on-site experience throughout the Final Four weekend where fans can participate in a free throw competition to raise funds for Coaches vs Cancer, enjoy music and get a closer look at the all-new 2019 INFINITI QX50. At the Challenge, INFINITI will make a donation to Coaches vs Cancer for every shot a fan makes.

Learn more about the Hardwood Heroes players and INFINITI’s support in the fight against cancer at


INFINITI Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with representations in 50 markets around the world. The INFINITI brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan, the United States, United Kingdom and China. INFINITI design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing. INFINITI is in the middle of a major product offensive. The brand has been widely acclaimed for its daring design and innovative driver-assistance technologies. From the 2016 season, INFINITI is a technical partner of the Renault Sport Formula One team, contributing its expertise in hybrid performance.

More information about INFINITI and its industry leading technologies can be found at You can also follow INFINITI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.

About the National Association of Basketball Coaches

Located in Kansas City, MO, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Phog Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game. The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men’s basketball coaches. All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today’s student-athletes. The four core values of being a Guardian of the Game are advocacy, leadership, service and education. Additional information about the NABC, its programs and membership, can be found at

About the NCAA

The NCAA is a diverse association of more than 1,100 member colleges and universities that prioritize academics, well-being and fairness to create greater opportunities for nearly half a million student-athletes each year. The NCAA provides a pathway to higher education and beyond for student-athletes pursuing academic goals and competing in NCAA sports. More than 54,000 student-athletes experience the pinnacle of intercollegiate athletics by competing in NCAA championships each year. Visit and for more details about the Association and the corporate partnerships that support the NCAA and its student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola as official corporate champions and the following elite companies as official corporate partners: Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Enterprise, Google Cloud, Indeed, INFINITI, Intel, Lowe’s, Marriott International, Nabisco, Northwestern Mutual, Pizza Hut, Reese’s, Unilever and Wendy’s.

About Coaches vs. Cancer

Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers coaches, their teams, and communities to join in saving more lives. The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs. For more information on the Coaches vs. Cancer program, visit

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SDSU Partners With San Diego Symphony for “SDSU Live Downtown”

More than 250 musicians, singers and dancers will perform onstage on April 8 for “SDSU Live Downtown.”

Press Release – SAN DIEGO, Calif. (April 5, 2018) – In an encore performance, San Diego State University is once again partnering with the San Diego Symphony to take the stage for “SDSU Live Downtown.”

In its debut performance in April 2016, the SDSU School of Music and Dance produced the largest off-campus, non-athletic event in university history. Hundreds of music students played to a sold-out audience, raising $40,000 for music education scholarships.

This year’s production will feature SDSU’s top orchestral and premier wind groups, a 120-voice concert choir, the Marching Aztecs, SDSU Musical Theatre, the acclaimed Great Wall Quartet, and for the first time a dance ensemble. More than 250 musicians, singers and dancers are set to perform in the spectacular mega-concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 8 at San Diego’s historic Copley Symphony Hall inside the Jacobs Music Center, home of the San Diego Symphony.

Leaving nothing to chance

Program highlights will include Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome;” David Maslanka’s “In Memoriam;” Jim Bonney’s “Threnody” featuring original choreography by SDSU Dance; The Great Wall Quartet performing Louis Spohr’s “Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra;” “Make our Garden Grow” from Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide,” integrating SDSU’s renowned MFA Musical Theatre program; and Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms.” The production features the Bernstein selections as part of San Diego’s only concert performance during the Leonard Bernstein Centenary Celebration.

“SDSU Live Downtown” will provide student performers with the experience of performing at a premier professional venue backed by the San Diego Symphony’s professional house and stage crews. With only one full ensemble rehearsal on stage before the big performance, planning, timing, and precision are critical to its success.

“When I visited Copley Symphony Hall for the first time as a college freshman, I never imagined that I would be able to perform on that stage,” said Janie Hsiao, violinist and third-year music performance major. “SDSU gave me the opportunity to do just that in 2016, and now, two years later, I’m beyond excited to be able to perform on that stage again.”

Teaching music in San Diego

Almost 65 percent of all music teachers in San Diego County are SDSU music education alumni. Collectively, they impact more than 10,000 K-12 students each year. Proceeds from “SDSU Live Downtown” will support the San Diego Symphony/SDSU Fund for students studying music education at SDSU.

With the rise of arts curricula at regional schools, music educators are in high demand, added Joyce Gattas, dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts.

“At SDSU, we are in a race to prepare future music teachers to meet the growing demand,” she said. “Providing scholarship support for music education majors will help to meet the workforce needs of San Diego schools.”

But beyond the classroom, SDSU contributes much more to the culture of San Diego. School of Music and Dance Director Charles Friedrichs said the collaboration between SDSU and the San Diego Symphony is a great illustration of what the university brings to the community.

“This is a slice of San Diego culture and this is our (local) university and our community and that’s what we want it to be all about,” he said. “Our students are going to live here and this is what we are doing for our city.”

Tickets are available online starting at $23 and $10 for students.

You can make a donation to the SDSU School of Music and Dance Downtown Concert Fund at For more information, visit the SDSU School of Music and Dance website or call 619-594-1017.

About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its more than 36,000 students. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 95 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, internships and mentoring, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Of New York City Appoints Two Finance Leaders To Board Of Trustees

Press Release – NEW YORK, March 29, 2018Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (BBBS of NYC), the nation’s first and New York’s largest youth mentoring organization, has named three new members to its Board of Trustees: Jack Kopnisky, president and chief executive officer of Sterling Bancorp and its principal banking subsidiary Sterling National Bank and Abby Parsonnet, regional president of Metro New York area at Webster Bank.

“Jack and Abby are not only admired leaders in the finance and banking industries, but they are also passionate about our mission to enrich the lives of youth and help them reach their full potential,” said Hector Batista, chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC. “Each day we see the transformational impact that our organization and our mentors make on the community, and I am grateful for the continued support of our board members. As we look ahead to the future, I have great confidence in what our agency will continue to achieve for our city’s youth.”

Mr. Kopnisky brings more than three decades of experience in the banking and financial services industries to BBBS of NYC’s Board, with a successful history of growing organizations and achieving results. Prior to his role at Sterling, Mr. Kopnisky held top executive positions at SJB Escrow Corporation, Mercatus LLC, First Marblehead Corporation, KeyCorp, and other leading companies in the industry. He serves on the Board of Directors of Sterling Bancorp and Sterling National Bank, and the Board of Trustees of St. Thomas Aquinas College, Summer Search NYC, and the Westchester County Association. He has chaired and served on many non-profit boards throughout his career focused on inner-city development and youth services. Mr. Kopnisky received his undergraduate degree from Grove City College and also graduated from the Case Western Reserve Executive Program at Weatherhead School of Business and the University of Delaware’s Stonier Banking School.

Ms. Parsonnet joined Webster Bank in 2013 to oversee the company’s middle market banking activity and community affairs in the New York metropolitan area. Earlier in her career, she served as senior vice president and regional manager in a variety of roles at JP Morgan Chase. Ms. Parsonnet is an executive board member, officer and founding member of Fashion Delivers, a member of the Fashion Service Network, and is active in the ORT American Accounting, Banking and Attorneys Chapter, where she is a past recipient of the Community Achievement Award. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and an MBA from Boston University. She also earned her certificate in financial planning from the New York University School of Continuing Education.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC (BBBS of NYC), the nation’s first and NYC’s largest youth mentoring organization, has served the changing needs of New York City’s most at-risk youth since 1904. The volunteer- and donor-based organization offers a variety of specialized mentoring programs to help children facing more complex challenges – including immigrant youth, children of incarcerated parents and those in foster care – as well as the Workplace Mentoring Program, which helps businesses throughout New York City positively impact the lives of young people and build a foundation for professional success. Additionally, since 1992 BBBS of NYC has worked through its Center for Training and Professional Development to equip non-profit professionals throughout New York City to develop and enhance their own mentor-based programs and organizations.

Through the support of individuals, foundations and corporations, this not-for-profit agency has been able to change the lives of the city’s most disadvantaged children, matching them with caring adult role models – dependable friends who can help to expand their horizons, realize their potential and enrich their futures. All contributions enable BBBS of NYC to continue to foster current match relationships and also provide more New York City children with life-changing mentors. Approximately $3,500 funds the establishment of a new one-on-one match relationship for one year. To learn more, become a mentor, donate and/or offer support, please visit

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Empowering LGBTQ Employees to Rate Their Employers

Press Release – SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla., March 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — OutBüro ( launches filling a void in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer working and professional community by offering a service in where LGBTQ employees may rate their employers on not only general employee related areas but those specific to the employer’s LGBTQ polices, benefits, culture, work-life balance, job security, CEO performance and more. Rating includes a free-form text review along with prompting for pros and cons as well as a message to the CEO. Registered members’ ratings are displayed anonymously. Ratings must adhere to our Community and Company Rating Guidelines. Other members may indicate a rating as helpful as well as flag inappropriate content for community self-governance. OutBüro’s founder, Dennis Velco, built and moderates LinkedIn’s largest LGBT professional group with 47k global members now as a service of OutBüro.

OutBüro empowers every LGBTQ person to add their current and past employers, if not already present. OutBüro is open to all company sizes from the small local business to Fortune 100. OutBüro’s Company Rating directory is worldwide. No matter where an LGBTQ person lives and works they can have a voice in praising their employer or offering constructive feedback to be a catalyst for change.

Companies may claim their listing to gain additional features and ensure their information is correctly represented including the required responses to the presence of the following policies and practices:

  • Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Policy
  • Gender Identity Non-Discrimination
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Supports LGBTQ Equality Globally (if operates in more than one country)
  • LGBT Inclusion Competency
  • Public Commitment to LGBTQ Equality
  • Requires Similar Policies in Contractors and Vendors

Add your employer and rate them today.

OutBüro ( is a start-up company providing the LGBTQ workforce and professionals a voice in improving our future. Our platform provides the ability to connect and dialog with others one on one and via topically focused groups at all levels of career phase from entry level, professionals through entrepreneurs. OutBüro’s Job Portal enables employers to attract quality LGBTQ candidates while demonstrating their commitment to the LGBTQ community. Job seekers may add their resume/CV to the growing search-able repository in an active and passive job search.


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National Comprehensive Cancer Network Honors Key Contributors to the Improvement of Global Cancer Care and Dedication to the NCCN Mission

NCCN presented awards during the NCCN 23rd Annual Conference to Crystal Denlinger, MD, Abdul-Rahman Jazieh, MD, MPH, Warren Smedley, MSHA, Ronald Walters, MD, MBA, MHA, MS, and Kristin Kline Hasson.

Press Release – FORT WASHINGTON, PA [March 29, 2018] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) announced the recipients of 2018 awards for service to patients and contributions to the alliance, during the NCCN 23rd Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. The awards were presented by NCCN Chief Executive Officer Robert W. Carlson, MD, and honored those who served NCCN’s mission with distinction over the past years.

2018 honorees:

Warren Smedley and Dr. Ron Walters were both honored with Board of Producers awards, presented to individuals who have made major contributions to NCCN over the years. They are unsung heroes who have provided exemplary service in helping NCCN achieve its mission through their passion to improve the care of people with cancer.

“Warren brings important insights and thoughtful perspectives to the Board and to Committee discussions. His innovative ideas for structuring meetings and projects helps to maximize their value,” said Dr. Carlson. “Ron goes above and beyond when sharing his expertise on quality measurements. His insights on policy are invaluable, and he’s never hesitant to pose challenging questions.”

Dr. Jazieh received the Partners in Cancer Care award for his work unifying oncologists across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and helping to create the MENA adaptations of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®). Dr. Jazieh recognized the economic diversity in the region and spearheaded efforts to provide appropriate guidelines for both high- and low-resource communities. He worked with the Ministries of Health in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia to secure funding for ongoing work and opened an office in Riyadh to support those efforts.

Dr. Denlinger was this year’s recipient of the Rodger Winn Award, named in memory of the first leader of the NCCN Guidelines Program who was instrumental in its creation. Dr. Denlinger is the first and only NCCN Panel chair who began her relationship with NCCN as a participant in the NCCN Fellows Program. The one-time NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Award recipient now sits on two NCCN Panels, including serving as Chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Survivorship.

“Crystal is an excellent consensus-builder,” said Dr. Carlson. “She shares Rodger’s curiosity, dedication to medicine, ability to juggle multiple tasks, and talent for melding a variety of personalities into a highly productive panel.”

Hasson was named this year’s Pat Daulerio Employee of the Year by her peers at NCCN. The award name comes from a longtime employee who helped build the NCCN Meetings department, before losing her own battle with cancer. Hasson had worked with Daulerio and was moved to receive an honor in her name. Addressing the NCCN Board of Directors, Hasson said, “Thank you all for the large role you play helping people who mean the world to others, in the way that Pat meant the world to me.”

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Online Course Launches, Outlines New Approach for Email Fundraising

New email fundraising course based on 218 email experiments outlines new ways to connect with donors, grow online revenue.

Press Release – Frisco, TX, March 28, 2018 – Yesterday, nonprofit online fundraising research lab NextAfter announced the release of a brand new online course on email fundraising. Over 6 sessions and 5 hours of video lessons, the course outlines a new way to approach email fundraising – like a real person.

“The idea of personal and one-to-one communication isn’t ground breaking in and of itself,” said Jon Powell, Senior Director of Research and Education for NextAfter. “What is different about this approach is that we’re using mass communication tools to develop a one-to-one conversation, rather than blasting donors with emails that are clearly just organizational-focused marketing.”

Each session of the course comes with resources, templates, and guides to help understand exactly how to apply this new methodology. And each part of the course is backed by hard data and real results from NextAfter’s ongoing research with top nonprofit organizations including CaringBridge, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Buckner International, and more.

In addition to the research driven and data-backed ideas, what makes this course substantially different from anything else like it is that it’s completely free.

Tim Kachuriak, founder of NextAfter said, “When we were preparing to launch our first online course, we had a realization that if we truly wanted to help the largest number of fundraisers as possible to unleash greater generosity, we had to give these courses away for free.”

NextAfter released their first online course, Turning Facebook Likes Into Donors, at their Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Summit in September 2017. Since then, they have helped train over 2000 fundraisers to use Facebook to acquire new donors and revenue for their organizations.

Their new course, Email Fundraising Optimization, is the second in a suite of courses focused on helping nonprofits learn to use testing and optimization across all of their fundraising channels in order to acquire more emails, grow their donor files, and increase their revenue. Through these courses, NextAfter hopes to equip fundraisers to fund the causes they care about most, and unleash greater generosity.

You can register for the free email fundraising course, as well as Turning Facebook Likes Into Donors, at

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Fidelity Charitable® Donors Recommend $1 Billion In Grants In Record Time

Fidelity Charitable grants see 42% increase year over year, highlighting impact and increased popularity of donor-advised funds

More than 62,000 charities beneficiaries of grants

Granting outpaces year-over-year account growth

Press Release – BOSTON, March 28, 2018 – Charities have received a record-breaking $1 billion across more than 221,000 donor-recommended grants made by Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity and the nation’s second-largest grantmaker. The $1 billion in grants represents a 42 percent increase in dollars granted compared to the same period in 2017.

The grants in 2018 benefited more than 62,000 charities. In total, Fidelity Charitable has made more than $30 billion in donor-recommended grants to nonprofits since its inception in 1991, including $4.5 billion in 2017.

“The extraordinary generosity of our donors, old and new, continues to humble us at Fidelity Charitable,” said Elaine Martyn, Vice President and Managing Director, Private Donor Group, Fidelity Charitable. “Our mission is to grow philanthropy by making giving accessible, simple and effective, and this exceptional benchmark helps us know that we are on the right track in meeting it.”

Fidelity Charitable donors are on pace to drive another record-breaking year in charitable giving. After experiencing a 20 percent increase in new Giving Accounts in 2017, Fidelity Charitable’s granting is outpacing this growth. Additionally, grant volumes are also up, with a 25 percent increase in the total number of grants issued compared to a year ago.

“Donor-advised funds allow donors to plan strategically and efficiently create the greatest impact for the causes they care most about. This milestone illustrates that Americans are increasingly aware of the vehicle’s benefits to support those causes,” said Martyn.

As Fidelity Charitable’s donor base continues to grow, it increasingly reflects the giving priorities of the broader American public. As with years past, education and religious nonprofits received the most grant dollars, while religious and human services charities received the largest number of grants.

About Fidelity Charitable

Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 255,000 nonprofit organizations with $30 billion in grants. Established in 1991, Fidelity Charitable launched the first national donor-advised fund program. The mission of the organization is to grow the American tradition of philanthropy by providing programs that make charitable giving accessible, simple and effective. For more information about Fidelity Charitable, visit

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Education Above All and UNHCR High-Level Forum In Geneva Shines Light On Barriers In Delivering Quality Education Amid Highest Levels Of Displacement On Record

Press Release – Geneva, 28 March 2018 – Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation and UN SDG Advocate, joined the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, at a high-level forum today to urge the international community to facilitate access to quality education for displaced children.

The forum, organized by EAA in cooperation with UNHCR, highlighted the worsening displacement crisis and the issues in delivering education to refugees and internally displaced children. Global leaders discussed the devastating effects of conflict on the educational opportunities of millions of children.

There are more than 65.6 million people forcibly displaced by conflict and persecution. [1] Of the more than 22 million refugees, more than half are under the age of 18 with only 61 per cent of refugee children attending primary school, compared to a global average of 91 per cent. [2]

During the panel discussion, Sheikha Moza spoke about the barriers disrupting learning for refugees and internally displaced children, and preventing them from contributing to their communities, saying “We must prioritize education… Education is a tool that can equip children for their future and for the present as well… We need to mobilize for a global approach to remove all institutional barriers for validating and recognizing education of refugees.”

She continued: “Unfortunately, today armed conflicts are increasingly targeting what we are all doing and destroying what we are building… We should have one voice to stop any enablers of armed conflict,” especially through stricter enforcement of UN sanctions.

During his remarks, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, outlined the particular challenges that refugees and internally displaced children face in accessing quality primary education, saying: “Access to education is a fundamental human right, and one that no child should be denied,” Grandi noted.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure that displaced children can access quality education which allows them to develop skills and pursue opportunities. Barriers to primary education must be overcome, and comprehensive, practical and sustainable solutions found.” Grandi added.

The high-level panel included interventions by Her Highness Sheikha Moza; Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Honourable Nansubuga Rosemary Seninde, Minister of State for Primary Education, Uganda; Kate Gilmore, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, and George Srour, the Founder and Chief Dreamer of Building Tomorrow, Inc.

The EAA-UNHCR partnership has reached almost 770,000 vulnerable out of school children in countries across Asia and Africa. Quality education helps develop critical thinking, problem solving and analytical skills that are applicable in daily life. It can also foster social cohesion, provide life-saving knowledge and address psychosocial needs for displaced children.

To address barriers to education, the partnership has worked to improve access and retention of children in primary school through cash grants and vouchers, capacity building for teachers, expansion of safe learning spaces and strengthening partnerships with key education partners.

In the 12 countries where Educate A Child operates, UNHCR’s partnership delivered tangible, life-changing results in the form of:

  • An initiative in Uganda called “Boda Boda Talk Talk,” motorbike which broadcast school information messages in several languages to raise awareness on education.
  • Electronic tablets in data collection and management distributed across refugee sites and urban areas in Chad improving education information.
  • A non-formal Home Based Girls’ Schools programme which is improving access of girls to education who would otherwise be excluded in Pakistan
  • A wide network of 500 community outreach volunteers, hotlines and 30 community centers in Syria which informs displaced students where they can access education.
  • Income generating projects in Sudan which are helping schools to meet recurrent administrative costs and improve the learning environment, through Parent Teacher Associations
  • EBooks provided both for teachers and students in Ethiopia to help provide better access to reading and resource materials in Ethiopia.

[1] Source:

[2] Source:

[3] Source:

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Getty Images Transforms Iconic Watermark Into Support for Global Water Issues on World Water Day

Press Release – New York, March 22, 2018 – Getty Images, a world leader in visual communication, today released a unique collection of images – Watermarks for Water – kicking off an initiative that aims to help raise awareness and funds for the global water crisis by transforming the iconic Getty Images watermark.

When a collection image is licensed at, the watermark that highlights the global water crisis is removed and 10% of proceeds go directly to charity: water, an organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.

Getty Images worked with the Chicago office of FCB, a global ad agency, to launch Watermarks for Water. The agency’s parent company, Interpublic Group has made a commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goal #6 and helped Getty Images identify charity: water as the NGO partner for the initiative. In 2015, Getty Images was a founding partner of the United Nations’ Global Goals campaign, a set of 17 ambitious targets with the aim of ending poverty, fighting inequality and tackling climate change by 2030.

“At Getty Images, we believe in moving the world with images. Water is one of the most essential elements in our lives so on World Water Day this year, we’re kicking off a movement to help bring awareness and raise funds for the global water crisis,” said Getty Images Chief Operating Officer Craig Peters.

The Watermarks for Water collection is comprised of more than 300 images shot by some of the world’s best photographers that highlight the plight of clean drinking water. While the majority of images are from the Getty Images’ celebrated creative collections, select editorial photographers such as Brent Stirton and Tom Stoddart have contributed images to the cause. On March 22, World Water Day, to kick off Watermarks for Water, 25 images from the collection will be on display for purchase at the Watermarks for Water Exhibition at 45 Lispenard Street in New York City, with all proceeds benefitting charity: water.

“One of the things that struck us the most when working with Getty Images on this campaign is that more people die from drinking impure water than from war,” said Liz Taylor, Chief Creative Officer of FCB Chicago. That insight led us to take one of Getty Images’ most recognizable assets, the watermark, and flip the idea on its head – what if, by removing watermarks, we could start a global movement to bring clean water to those around the world who lack it.”

From the Watermarks for Water microsite, people will have the option to either license an image or share it on social media. Each image shared socially will retain its watermark along with a compelling fact about challenges surrounding clean drinking water. There will also be a homepage takeover, a first for the brand, on the Getty Images website that will place Watermarks for Water on the homepage for the day.

“Every person on this planet should have access to clean drinking water,” said Bilal Zaidi, Director of Brand Partnerships at charity: water. “We’re excited that Getty Images is joining us to provide clean and safe drinking water to people in need, and helping to raise awareness around the world water crisis.”

Getty Images is encouraging people to visit to learn more about the water issues we face, purchase an image or share on social using the hashtag #watermarksforwater.

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