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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

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Tourism Cares Honors Brett Tollman, BARAKA, World Central Kitchen and Elevate Destinations at Hearts of Travel Awards in New York City

Press Release – Norwood, MA—December 12, 2018— The Tourism Cares Board of Directors and the selection committee proudly honor four 2018 Hearts of Travel Awards honorees tomorrow night at a reception preceding the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards in New York City. Tourism Cares works to advance the travel industry’s social impact to help people and places thrive and celebrate with the annual Hearts of Travel Awards to recognize individuals and companies committed to using their travel businesses as a powerful force for good.

The 2018 honorees are:

Brett Tollman, Chief Executive of The Travel Corporation is the Champion of Change, an individual who makes the work of change agents possible.

BARAKA Consulting and World Central Kitchen each receive the Agent of Change Award as organizations that work on behalf of communities to create a deep transformative positive impact through travel.

Elevate Destinations was selected as the Industry Innovator for strongly demonstrating the power of leadership by example by using business as a powerful force for good.

Industry Innovator Award finalists include AltruVistas, Bodhi Surf + Yoga, and GoPhilanthropic Travel.

Highlights among the honorees include:

Mr. Brett Tollman, Chief Executive of The Travel Corporation (TTC), has utilized his 30-award winning brands to help make travel matter across the industry by putting market capital to work. Through non-profit partner, The TreadRight Foundation, TTC supports sustainable projects around the world under their three pillars: people, wildlife, and the planet. “If tourism is to have a positive impact on the environment and communities,” said Brett, “the travel industry and travelers must make a conscious and careful effort to ensure that happens.” TTC has also made one of the most significant commitments in the tourism industry to our planet –phasing out all avoidable single-use plastics across all operations by 2022. This is an illustration of how a company of this caliber can change their footprint on this planet and make possible for any business of any size to follow suite.

BARAKA Consulting is a social enterprise based in Amman, Jordan, whose team of local and international accomplished professionals partner with clients to design, build, and implement tourism strategies that leave minimal impacts on the environment and maximum benefits for local communities through memorable and meaningful experiences. BARAKA has successfully developed innovative community-based tourism models and ecotourism master plans in Morocco, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, France, Italy and Jordan. BARAKA is providing access to the formal economy for enterprises and entrepreneurs in remote communities and helping preserve a region’s history, culture and environment through experiences that local communities share.

World Central Kitchen is tackling poverty and hunger by using food as an agent of change. After the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake, Chef José Andrés founded World Central Kitchen to develop a global network of chefs to empower people to be part of the solution. Their work in Puerto Rico helped touch all 78 municipalities and over 3.7 million meals were served after Hurricane Maria. Long-term recovery and resiliency programs have been set up through World Central Kitchen’s Plow to Plate program, that are creating a network of small shareholder farmers to boost food sovereignty and create a more resilient Puerto Rico. World Central Kitchen is creating stronger, more resilient communities that are better resourced to face future natural disasters. By developing social enterprises in tourism destinations, they also invest in long-term economic support and create meaningful jobs and diversified income.

Elevate Destinations continues to adopt innovative ideas to promote social responsibility in the travel industry. Every trip organized through Elevate Destinations allows a group of local children to visit tourist sites in their own country. “Travel in today’s world requires sensitivity,” said Dominique Callimanopulos, founder and president. “We are visiting our neighbors in their home countries. We cannot ignore their needs, dreams and wishes while we fulfill our own.” Elevate Destinations is pioneering the buy-one-give-one model for experiences. They partner with local NGOs and in-country travel suppliers to create outings for youth groups that otherwise would have no way of seeing some of the sights that draw thousands of tourists to their country every year.

Both the Champion of Change and Agents of Change Awards are chosen by the Tourism Cares Board of Directors; the Industry Innovator Award is selected by a committee made up of industry leaders:

  • Kristin Lamoureux, Virginia Tech
  • Melissa Snape Wisniewski, Key 360 Advisors
  • Keith Sproule, Abercrombie & Kent
  • Arnie Weissmann, Travel Weekly
  • Jennifer Wilson Buttigieg, Valerie Wilson Travel

Lead sponsors American Express Company and Amadeus and reception sponsors Allianz Partners, Collette, Enterprise Holdings, Inc., MaCher, Marriott International, NYC & Company, Travel + Leisure, Trip Mate and Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc. make the awards possible.

About Tourism Cares

Tourism Cares, Inc., a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit that advances the travel industry’s positive impact to help people and places thrive. We believe it’s in all our best interest to support the destinations our industry depends on so that communities, travelers and businesses can prosper. We mobilize the entire industry to use its business as a force for good by convening, educating and motivating all sectors to make a positive impact through travel. You can follow @TourismCares on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

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KKR Backs Energy Savings Solutions with Investment in Singapore’s BBP

Investment Made as Part of Firm’s Impact Strategy Focused on Addressing Global Societal Challenges

Press Release – SINGAPORE – December 13, 2018 – Leading global investment firm KKR today announced an investment in Barghest Building Performance (“BBP” or the “Company”), a Singapore-based provider of energy savings solutions to Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (“HVAC”) systems in commercial and industrial buildings. KKR will be investing up to S$45 million in the Company.

BBP’s energy efficiency solution applies a combination of proprietary software, customized engineering, and equipment to deliver the same cooling load to sites while consuming up to 40% less energy. The solution is applicable for all central chiller plant systems, regardless of brand or age. BBP also supports its clients with continuous commissioning technologies and comprehensive asset management services that sustain the level of savings over long periods of time. BBP offers the solution on a yearly subscription based on 3rd party verified energy savings, eliminating the need for upfront investment costs by customers. The Company prides itself on minimizing operational risk and maximizing system availability. BBP has helped customers across Asia Pacific in commercial office space, hotels, district cooling and large complex industrial facilities such as semiconductor fabrication sites. Further details on the Company’s projects and customers can be found here.

“We invested in BBP because we share the passion of this dynamic, entrepreneurial team to build BBP into a pan-Asian energy solutions leader. We’re excited to be investors, and we’re equally excited to be customers as we believe that many of KKR’s portfolio companies will also benefit from BBP’s solutions,” said Ashish Shastry, KKR Member & Head of Southeast Asia.

“When we first set out to design a solution to improve energy efficiency in existing systems throughout Asia, we knew the impact could be quite large. Now with KKR and their resources onboard, we are thrilled knowing how much greater that impact can be – well beyond Asia – and we are greatly looking forward to working with KKR in accomplishing our mission,” said Poyan Rajamand, BBP Co-Founder and CEO.

For KKR, the investment is part of the firm’s Impact strategy, which is focused on identifying and investing behind businesses with positive social or environmental impact that measurably contribute solutions to one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”).

“Our Global Impact team is focused on investing behind companies whose core commercial product or service addresses global environmental or social challenges. BBP contributes solutions to two of the United Nations SDGs – Affordable and Clean Energy, and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – with a business model meant to fundamentally change best practices for energy management. BBP’s motivation, as is ours, is to achieve meaningful and sustainable costs savings for customers directly alongside long-term and measurable environmental impacts for society,” said Robert Antablin and Ken Mehlman, Co-Heads of KKR Global Impact.

BBP currently operates across eight markets, including Southeast Asia, China, India and Taiwan, and is accredited by Singapore’s national government bodies such as the Infocomm Media Development Authority, National Environment Agency and Building and Construction Authority. Since its founding in 2012, the Company has received many accolades, most recently including recognition on The Peak’s Power List, ranked on the first-ever APAC 25 list, awarded IFMA Singapore’s FM Technology Provider of the Year, and honorable mention recipient for Best Practices at the 2017 and 2018 EENP Awards.

About KKR Impact

KKR’s Impact strategy focuses on identifying and investing behind global opportunities where financial performance and societal impact are intrinsically aligned – in other words, where there is no trade-off between impact outcomes and financial outcomes. Specifically, the strategy is focused on businesses providing commercial solutions that contribute measurable progress toward the SDGs.

Over the last decade, KKR has been a leader in driving and protecting value throughout the firm’s private markets portfolio through thoughtful Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) management, as well as measuring and reporting on performance to the public and investors. The firm also has a history of investing in businesses that promote sustainable solutions to societal challenges. This experience of responsible investment combined with a changing landscape of global challenges led to KKR’s decision to create a dedicated Global Impact business in 2018. KKR’s Impact strategy will build on this experience.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About BBP

Barghest Building Performance (“BBP”) provides energy savings solutions to Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in commercial and industrial buildings. BBP uses sensors, software algorithms, equipment controls, and customized engineering design to seek to reduce electricity consumption in chiller systems. BBP currently operates within Southeast Asia, China, India and Taiwan.

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One in Four Foundations Surveyed by Exponent Philanthropy Have Changed Giving Strategies Since 2016

Leanly-staffed foundations report increase in funding of advocacy efforts

Press Release – Washington, D.C. – A new survey of more than 450 leanly-staffed foundations found that one in four (25 percent) have made changes to their philanthropic giving as a result of the 2016 elections. Of the foundations that reported changes, more than half (54 percent) said they began to fund advocacy-related initiatives or increased their allocations to advocacy.

“While the pace of change is often slow in philanthropy, this survey shows that philanthropy, particularly those who operate with few or no staff, can be nimble in responding to current events and the changing needs of a community,” said Henry L. Berman, Exponent Philanthropy’s chief executive officer.

While foundations are legally not allowed to engage in lobbying, they are in a unique position to convene stakeholders; commission nonpartisan data; fund community coalitions and public awareness campaigns; and perform other important work that is crucial to influencing public policy and addressing the root causes of social issues.

Corey Oser, vice president programs for the Global Fund for Children, said that funding advocacy work is essential to its mission to advance rights and opportunities for children and youth.

“Policy advocacy is critical component of our work to shift systems of poverty, injustice and discrimination that affect the lives of children,” Oser said. “Whether in the U.S. or abroad, funding work that includes a range of advocacy approaches is critical to creating this type of long-term change, particularly in a climate where civil society must remain resilient in the face of efforts to shrink its influence.”

Exponent Philanthropy’s Pulse Check Survey gauges the opinions of its members – foundations with few or no staff, philanthropic families, and individual donors – on important and timely topics. The most recent survey fielded just after the 2018 mid-term elections examined how changes in Washington, D.C., have influenced philanthropic behavior or could affect giving in the year ahead, both in terms of giving practices and investments. Other ways grantmakers said they had changed since 2016 included:

  • Changing their allocations to specific funding areas (32 percent).
  • Adding a new funding area (30 percent).
  • Giving more general operating grants (29 percent).
  • Giving more capacity building grants (23 percent).

Respondents were split on whether they expected philanthropy to play a more important role in society moving forward considering the outcome of the 2018 mid-term elections. A little more than 45 percent said they agreed or strongly agreed, while a little more than half (51 percent) said they expected no change. Most respondents (82 percent) said they would not make any changes to philanthropic giving in 2019 as a result of the 2018 midterms.

About the Pulse Check Survey

Exponent Philanthropy’s Pulse Check surveys are internal yardsticks used by the organization to gauge membership opinions on important and timely topics. Information is collected anonymously and the full surveys are neither published nor available for dissemination to the public. On occasion, Exponent Philanthropy will publically share findings from its surveys when the topics/findings are deemed relevant and useful to the philanthropy sector at large. Exponent Philanthropy is a non-partisan organization with nearly 2,000 members from across the United States, representing a wide spectrum of ideological and political viewpoints. As such, it was clearly stated in the body of the survey that Exponent “does not ask about or seek to draw conclusions around specific political ideologies.”

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. Its 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. Exponent Philanthropy provides high-quality and cost-effective programs, resources, and connections that maximize members’ dollars and time for the benefit of diverse communities and causes.

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Salk’s Janelle Ayres Awarded $1.8 Million By NOMIS Foundation For Novel Research On Mechanisms To Promote Health

Press Release – LA JOLLA—Associate Professor Janelle Ayres has been awarded $1.8 million over two years by the NOMIS Foundation to study health as an active process in which microbes—including the trillions of microorganisms that call the human body home—initiate interactions that promote the health of the host.

“Janelle’s thinking is both bold and unconventional, and it is already yielding new strategies to combat infectious disease,” says Salk President Rusty Gage. “We are very grateful for the NOMIS Foundation’s support, which will help ensure that the Ayres lab continues its groundbreaking research for the benefit of human health.”

NOMIS Foundation Managing Director Markus Reinhard added, “By supporting exceptional scientists like Janelle Ayres and partnering with pioneering institutions such as Salk—institutions that foster an environment conducive to the pursuit of high-risk high-impact research—we are, together, accelerating transformational insights and discoveries.”

As a member of Salk’s NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, which is also funded by the NOMIS Foundation, Ayres uses an approach grounded in mathematical and evolutionary predictions to understand how bacteria have evolved ways to promote our health. She asserts that the past 50 years of biomedical research has yielded valuable understanding of the mechanisms that cause disease, but very little clarity on mechanisms that promote health. In addition, though this time period has produced life-saving antibiotic drugs, it is also beginning to witness the rise of dangerous antibiotic resistance. Therefore, rather than asking how we can treat disease, Ayres avers, we need to ask, “How can we maintain health?”

Janelle Ayres
Credit: Salk Institute

She has published pivotal studies showing that in addition to the immune system, which kills pathogens, animals have what she calls the cooperative defense system, which protects them from infectious diseases by alleviating physiological damage without killing pathogens. By seeking to understand the underlying mechanisms behind this cooperative defense system, Ayres aims to tip the balance away from viewing host-microbe interactions as a zero-sum game in which one group must be destroyed for the other to survive toward a cooperative scenario of benign coexistence. Her work points to a new way to treat infectious and non-infectious diseases (such as pathologies associated with cancer and aging) without killing microbes—and therefore without relying on antibiotics, which drive dangerous microbial resistance.

Ayres has uncovered a number of discoveries in this area. In 2015, her lab found a strain of E. coli bacteria in mice that was capable of improving the animals’ tolerance to infections of the lungs and intestines by preventing wasting—a common and potentially deadly loss of muscle tissue that occurs in serious infections. In 2017, her team discovered that Salmonella bacteria can overcome a host’s natural aversion to food when sick, which results in more nutrients for the bacteria and a gentler infection for the host. Additionally, she recently published a paper in Cell that described how giving mice dietary iron supplements enabled them to survive a normally lethal bacterial infection and resulted in later generations of those bacteria being less virulent.

The NOMIS-supported project, called “Harnessing Physiological Health to Treat Disease,” will integrate concepts from evolutionary biology, physiology, host-microbe interaction and ecology to establish a new conceptual framework and approaches in which scientists can mechanistically understand what it means to be healthy and ultimately understand how to apply this knowledge to treat diseases.

Ayres earned her PhD in microbiology and immunology from Stanford University School of Medicine. In addition to recently being awarded an NIH Pioneer grant for $3.5 million for her creativity in pursuing new research directions, Ayres, who holds the Helen McLoraine Developmental Chair at Salk, also received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, a Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists, a Searle Scholars Program award and a Ray Thomas Edward Foundation award.

About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:

Every cure has a starting point. The Salk Institute embodies Jonas Salk’s mission to dare to make dreams into reality. Its internationally renowned and award-winning scientists explore the very foundations of life, seeking new understandings in neuroscience, genetics, immunology, plant biology and more. The Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark: small by choice, intimate by nature and fearless in the face of any challenge. Be it cancer or Alzheimer’s, aging or diabetes, Salk is where cures begin.

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New World Symphony Receives $2.5 Million Investment From Knight Foundation

Press Release – MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA (December 12, 2018) — The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a $2.5 million commitment over the next five years to the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS), to push the boundaries of expression by commissioning new works; using technology to engage with students, teachers and audiences; and taking a leadership position in diversifying classical music through programs and partnerships.

The support is part of Knight Foundation’s Dec. 3 announcement of $37 million in new funding to further strengthen the Miami arts and cultural ecosystem, bringing its total funding of the city’s arts sector to $165 million since 2005. New World Symphony is one of 22 arts organizations that received Knight support.

“Knight Foundation has been a constant friend of the arts in Miami and of the mission of the New World Symphony,” said NWS Co-Founder and Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas. “We could not imagine a better partner and are extraordinarily grateful for their trust in us, and in the future of our art form. I especially want to salute Alberto Ibargüen for his focused vision and for leadership which has inspired us all to give back to our community and to search for opportunities for connecting technology and the arts.”

“The New World Symphony has established a reputation for pioneering work in the integration of digital media with music performance and education,” said NWS President and CEO Howard Herring. “Knight Foundation has been a strong partner in these efforts. Without its support, WALLCAST® concerts would not be bringing sophisticated classical music presentations to thousands of Miami citizens each year; MUSAIC would not be providing online musical training to thousands of music students around the world; and NWS would not be as well equipped to create new genres of multi-disciplinary artistic expression, particularly using digital technology. Such experiments at New World provide artists, concert producers and audiences with new models for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, and support from Knight Foundation has been key to enabling these activities.”

Digital expression and learning come together in the Knight New Media Center, established at the New World Center through Knight Foundation support in 2008. The facility is a laboratory and workshop for MTT-led Fellows, staff and alumni to re-imagine the future of classical music in a digital world. Thanks to Knight Foundation’s continued support, the New World Symphony can further grow and develop this mission.

“Art and culture bind people to place and to each other. A dozen years ago, we saw an arts community that could be leveraged to make art general in Miami,” said Alberto Ibargüen, President of Knight Foundation. “One hundred and sixty-five million dollars over a decade says we’re serious about this. The latest $37 million says we’re delighted with the impact and are shifting focus more toward the middle-level arts organizations and with a much greater emphasis on the creation of art in the city.”

Knight Foundation’s $37 million in new funding complements and expands the two-tier funding strategy that it has used to support the growth of the arts in South Florida for more than a decade. Close to two-thirds of Knight Foundation’s investments have gone to anchor arts institutions, often to help them engage the public, and the rest has gone to bring 384 arts ideas to life through the Knight Arts Challenge, which is open to all, including individual artists.

About the New World Symphony

The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. In the 30 years since its co-founding by Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Lin and Ted Arison, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,100 alumni worldwide. A laboratory for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, the New World Symphony consists of 87 young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years. The fellowship program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, professional development training and personalized experiences working with leading guest conductors, soloists and visiting faculty. Relationships with these artists are extended through NWS’s extensive distance learning via the internet. NWS Fellows take advantage of the innovative performance facilities and state-of-the art practice and ensemble rooms of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center, the campus of the New World Symphony. Learn more about the New World Symphony at

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

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Nationwide Program Brings Hope Home to Lung Cancer Patients During the Holidays

Volunteers sing carols, provide holiday decorations, clean homes and provide emotional support to lung cancer patients

Press Release – (SAN CARLOS, Calif. and RIDGEFIELD, Conn.) — For the second consecutive year, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., have come together to brighten lung cancer patients’ holiday season through the “Bring Hope Home for the Holidays” partnership. This program is helping lung cancer patients make holiday memories across the nation through December 20, 2018.

With the support of ALCF, Boehringer Ingelheim volunteers are visiting lung cancer patients’ homes and bringing good deeds to families. To help raise their spirits during the holidays, the volunteers will help lung cancer patients with holiday activities, such as trimming the tree, wrapping gifts, writing cards or hanging lights outside of the house.

“While the holidays are a wonderful and magical time for families, I personally recognize the hardships face by lung cancer patients this time of year,” said Bonnie J. Addario, lung cancer survivor and founder and chair of the ALCF. “I was diagnosed with lung cancer during the holidays, and because of this, we have committed to making the season a little brighter for lung cancer patients and their families. The work that Boehringer Ingelheim and their amazing employees do through this program has a profound impact for these patients and their families.”

“Bring Hope Home for the Holidays is a unique effort to give back to the lung cancer community and deliver cheer and joy to their homes during this special time of year,” said Kelli Moran, senior vice president, specialty care, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “With the support of caring volunteers from Boehringer Ingelheim, we hope to make a positive difference in their lives and demonstrate the personal connection we feel with these remarkable people.”

Despite being the most deadly form of cancer, the stigma of lung cancer leads to underfunding. In fact, according to The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute, lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of men and women in every ethnic group in the U.S., taking more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. However, lung cancer research receives less funding than any other cancer, so it’s important to understand that eight in 10 lung cancer patients never smoked or quit smoking decades ago.

To learn more about “Bring Hope Home for the Holidays,” visit

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Cribs For Kids® Day Proclaimed In Pittsburgh Alongside Milestone Partnership Announcement

Cribs for Kids partners with the Aaron Matthew SIDS Research Guild to fund data driven research into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Press Release – PITTSBURGH, Dec. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/Cribs for Kids and the Aaron Matthew SIDS Research Guild of Seattle Children’s Hospital (“The Guild”) officially announced today the launch of The Aaron Matthew Research Foundation of Cribs for Kids. In honor of the announcement, Allegheny County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald has proclaimed Wednesday, December 12, 2018 Cribs for Kids Day in Pittsburgh.

The new Foundation will support research of sudden unexpected or unexplained infant deaths, with contributions to The Guild’s current research produced by some of the world’s top medical researchers and data scientists.

“We’ve long admired Cribs for Kids’ unique approach to infant sleep safety, and it’s a privilege for us to join with them to ensure that no parent should experience the pain of losing a child to SIDS,” said John Kahan, President of the Aaron Matthew SIDS Research Guild. The Foundation is named after John and Heather Kahan’s son who died of SIDS 15 years ago.

Kahan works at Microsoft, where he is Chief Data Analytics Officer for Corporate, External and Legal Affairs. His world-class team of data scientists have volunteered thousands of hours to Seattle Children’s Integrative Brain Research Institute developing technology tools to aid in SIDS research.

In order to fund the research that is being conducted at Seattle Children’s Hospital and throughout the country, Cribs for Kids will give a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their Cribette, a safety-approved play-yard style unit.

“This new foundation expands our mission of eliminating deaths due to SIDS and sleep-related infant deaths,” said Judy Bannon, Executive Director and Founder of Cribs for Kids. “As we grow our organization and celebrate our 20 years of providing safe sleep education, safety-approved cribs, and support services to families in need throughout the country, adding a research component is the clear next step.”

The Foundation will be overseen by an advisory board consisting of Michael H. Goodstein, M.D., F.A.A.P., who sits on the board of Cribs for Kids and is a member of the SIDS Taskforce of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Nino Ramirez, M.D., who leads the Integrative Brain Research Institute at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and John Kahan.

The Foundation’s research will help to solve a medical mystery that has vexed researchers for decades: what causes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and what can be done to prevent it? According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are approximately 3,600 deaths annually attributed to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, of which SIDS is a subcategory.

“Considering the U.S. has one of the highest infant mortality rates among developed nations, there is an urgent need for funding and dedicated scientific study of SIDS to address this serious health issue among young children,” said Kahan.

To support the initiatives of the Aaron Matthew Research Foundation of Cribs for Kids, please purchase a Cribette here or donate at

About Cribs for Kids

Founded in 1998 by Judith A. Bannon, Cribs for Kids is a national infant safe-sleep education program that helps to reduce the risk of injury and death of infants due to accidental suffocation, asphyxia, or undetermined causes in unsafe sleeping environments. Over the past 20 years, Cribs for Kids evolved from a local nonprofit with a few members to a national organization with over 1,100 partners that have provided over 600,000 cribs to families in need. Cribs for Kids has developed multiple educational initiatives that have been implemented in communities across the nation, including the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program, the Managed Care Organization Prenatal Incentive Program, the National Public Safety Initiative, the Safe Sleep Ambassador Program, and the Safe Sleep Academy Website. Cribs for Kids has advocated for state and federal policies that will research infant sleep-related deaths and improve safe sleep prevention efforts. Cribs for Kids helped pass the Pennsylvania Act 73 of 2010 and recently endorsed the Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act. Visit:

About Aaron Matthew SIDS Research Guild at Seattle Children’s Hospital

The Aaron Matthew SIDS Research Guild was established to fund much-needed research in this field at Seattle Children’s Hospital Integrative Brain Research Institute (Seattle Children’s). Researchers from Seattle Children’s, New York University, Langone Medical Center, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Virginia, University of Auckland and University of Bristol England are working on this terrible mystery. The guild was formed in 2017 and includes leaders from Accenture, Adobe, Marriott Hotels, Tata Consulting, Microsoft and Seattle Children’s. Donations to the Guild are matched up to 4 to 1. John and Heather Kahan will match donations up to $100,000. Their pledged gift will be matched with another $100,000 by the Jack R. MacDonald Research Fund at Seattle Children’s Hospital. In addition, Microsoft matches up to $15,000, per employee, for each employee who contributes.


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Tribeca Film Institute and Pond5 Announce Partnership to Provide Exclusive Opportunities for Emerging Filmmakers

Comprehensive new program providing grants, mentorship, content, and education to selected filmmakers is dedicated to breaking barriers of access

Press Release – [New York, NY – December 12, 2018]Tribeca Film Institute®(TFI) and Pond5 today announced a partnership to launch a forward-thinking filmmaking fund and ongoing industry program aimed at promoting sustainable careers for independent storytellers.

TFI worked closely with Pond5, the world’s largest stock video marketplace, to develop a program that speaks to the needs of filmmakers who lack resources during “in-between” phases such as research, creative collaboration, festival travel, content, community screenings, outside-the-box mentorship, and extra release support.

TFI and Pond5 designed this unique program to ensure that filmmakers with diverse backgrounds and a wide range of perspectives are provided an array of support to improve visibility in an often-inaccessible, difficult-to-break-into industry. Support available through the program includes funding, targeted networking events, access to Pond5 content and mentorship programs, all designed to facilitate a sense of community for independent storytellers.

The program is funded by tax-deductible donations, allowing anyone to pledge their support at Additionally, Pond5 is matching donations. TFI alumnae and Pond5 artists can apply for micro-grants through the program three times a year, offering multiple opportunities to receive funding. Applicants outline their needs during the application process so that the program can provide more targeted and flexible support.

Today, TFI and Pond5 hosted a Producers Networking event, bringing together emerging filmmakers and established producers to meet and discuss future projects, as well as announcing the first 6 grant recipients for 2019 at an event in Manhattan, following the networking event. (See below for winners.)

“TFI’s mission is to break barriers in access, exposure, and sustainability,” said Amy Hobby, Executive Director of TFI. “We have assessed that there is a period of time in a project cycle when filmmakers need support not only financially, but also from peers and veterans of the industry. Partnering with Pond5, we’ve been able to create a very flexible fund and program that can meet those needs.”

“Pond5 prides itself on being the world’s most filmmaker-friendly creative marketplace. Helping filmmakers succeed in their craft is what we’re all about. As filmmakers ourselves, we know how hard it can be to secure the finances, resources, and footage necessary to tell your story. If we can play a small role in helping filmmakers tell an even better story, we feel like we’ve done our job,” said Pond5 CEO Jason Teichman. “Through the Tribeca Film Institute Pond5 Program, we’re honored to further that goal and help more storytellers achieve and share their visions.”

TFI and Pond5 Filmmaker Fund Grantees:

499 AÑOS (499 YEARS)
Creative Documentary Feature
Directed by: Rodrigo Reyes
Producers: Inti Cordera and Andrew Houchens
499 Years examines the brutal legacy of colonialism nearly five centuries after Cortez arrived in the Aztec Empire. Bold, unique, and strikingly cinematic, the film uses magical realism, combining documentary and fiction to show how past traumas continue to affect contemporary reality while challenging us to overcome our histories of violence.

Scripted Feature
Directed by: Raya Martin
Writer/Producer: Valerie Castillo Martinez
Executive Producer: Whitaker Lader
Co-Producers: Jeremy Chua, Nikolo Juban
Set in 90’s suburban Manila, the story takes us into the colorful pop-culture world of four 13-year old friends, back in the days when video games were still a novelty. Mimaw and her friends Paolo, Kachi, and Gilligan go on a journey of self-discovery together as they play games and wrestle with new dilemmas – puppy love, circumcision and other horror stories.

Documentary Short
Directed by: Pawel Nazaruk & Tomasz Adamski
Producer: Pawel Nazaruk
The Cold War race to dig the deepest into the Earth reveals an entrance to Hell in arctic Russia. Forty years later, Yuri Smirnoff is the last man standing.

Scripted Short
Director: Myna Joseph
Producers: Amy Lo, Lucy Owen, Lizzie Shapiro
Executive Producer: Lana Yang
Following a near-fatal car accident, Lu wrestles with creeping invisibility as she approaches the second half of her life. On this long winter day, she finds her physical identity fractured, ignored, misunderstood, and judged – but with wry humor and stubborn resilience, she’s determined to be seen.

Scripted Feature
Directed by: Tchaiko Omawale
Producers: Hope Olaide Wilson, Maya Emelle, Sophia Solomon
Co-Producers: Sabine Hoffman, Sascha Brown Rice
A 17 year-old orphan is shipped off to her estranged grandmother and she plots her escape while navigating a foreign environment, new friendships and a hidden eating disorder.

AR Experience and Installation
Lead Artist & Executive Producer: Tani Ikeda
Lead Artist & Creative Director: Jess X. Snow
Additional Lead Artist: Layqa Nuna Yawar
Producer: Kevin Tsukii
Through a network of augmented reality murals centering Survivors of sexual assault, Survivor Love Letter presents a galaxy where survivors are not only believed and supported, but also loved unconditionally. Using our AR app, users can watch the mural and the love letter come to life through animation and read a library of love letters from survivors and allies all over the world, and ultimately have the option to add to the galaxy by writing their own.

For more information on the Tribeca Film Institute Pond5 Program, visit

About Tribeca Film Institute

TFI partners with storytellers and joins them in breaking barriers of access, exposure, and sustainability in the media landscape. The Institute prioritizes creators whose points of view have been marginalized due to race, gender, sexuality, class, and/or politics. Through grants, mentorship, industry connections, and professional development, TFI helps to ensure that storytellers from a multitude of backgrounds have access to the resources and tools they need to tell their stories, connect with audiences, and thrive in their careers. The Institute’s educational programming leverages an extensive film community network to cultivate the next generation of storytellers. Through customized mentorships and curriculum-aligned film screening workshops, TFI provides New York City public school students with media literacy skills necessary to be creative and thoughtful global citizens. TFI was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in the wake of September 11, 2001 and is a 501(c)(3) year-round nonprofit arts organization.

About Pond5

Pond5 is the world’s largest, most vibrant video-first content marketplace, providing filmmakers, creators, and producers of all kinds with the content, inspiration, and tools they need to improve their projects. As the only content marketplace that meaningfully shares licensing revenue with its contributing artists, Pond5 is driven by a commitment to its passionate and growing global community of more than 60,000 professional visual and audio creators, providing a platform where their creative work can flourish, and helping them to make a sustainable living. With groundbreaking features like visual search for video and integrations into all major video-editing software, Pond5 is innovating daily, making it easier to find and use the content that creatives need to bring their vision to life. Pond5 is a venture-backed company funded by Accel Partners and Stripes Group with offices in New York, Dublin, Prague, London, and LA. For more information, please visit

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Joy in Childhood Foundation® Unleashes “Dogs for Joy”

Pediatric in-residence dog program to increase the number of full-time service dogs in children’s hospitals

This first-of-its-scale program will bring joy to children in hospitals through service dogs specially trained to work full-time in pediatric hospitals

Press Release – CANTON, Mass. (December 12, 2018) – For children in hospitals, sometimes the best medicine and moments of joy can come with four paws, a wet nose, and a wagging tail. Today, the Joy in Childhood Foundation, the independent charitable foundation powered by Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, is launching its “Dogs for Joy” program to bring in-residence dogs to children’s hospitals nationwide. Dogs in this program are bred and trained as service dogs but “work” full-time in children’s hospitals. Through more than $2M in initial grants the program will dramatically increase the number of in-residence dog programs in pediatric healthcare settings around the country and the prevalence of animal-assisted therapy as part of treatment.

In-residence dogs, also known as facility dogs, offer distraction, motivation and joy to patients and families. They can help lower stress and anxiety for pediatric patients and encourage them to complete their health care goals. In-residence dogs can be trained to do incredible things like keep kids calm during medical interventions, teach them how to take a pill or model how to put on a hospital gown. Despite their tremendous potential, in-residence dog programs are relatively new and out of more than 220 children’s hospitals in the United States, few have in-residence dog programs. This initiative, the first of its scale, will provide grants to children’s hospitals across the country to launch a new in-residence dog program or expand an existing program.

At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in Atlanta, GA, 16 full-time facility dogs serve as part of the Canines For Kids program, which aids the clinical teams in their daily mission to serve patients and provides unconditional love and acceptance to everyone in the hospital. The Canines For Kids program at Children’s was the first of its kind and has been replicated in more than 20 other pediatric or medical institutions across the U.S. to date.

Jana Stockwell, MD, a pediatric critical care physician at Children’s, knows firsthand the importance of facility dog programs and the joy they can bring patients, families and staff. Stockwell has been a handler for Tidings, a goldendoodle that works in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, since September 2016.

“I could never have predicted the immense positive impact of Tidings, not only for patients and families but also for our staff,” says Stockwell. “When Tidings lies in bed with a patient or nuzzles up next to a parent, smiles and tail wags follow. Our Children’s dogs are full-time employees with a meaningful job to do, and on a daily basis, Tidings helps children be more engaged, encourages them to get out of bed, and even inspires them to tell us about a pet at home that they’re missing. Our facility dogs never fail to lift the spirits of kids and adults alike.”

After conducting an extensive assessment within pediatric hospitals around the country, the Joy in Childhood Foundation recognized facility dogs as one of the most impactful programs for both the mental and physical dispositions of children. The Dogs for Joy program aims to fill this unmet need in hospitals around the country, and will help further the Foundation’s mission to bring joy to kids battling illness or hunger.

In launching Dogs for Joy, the Joy in Childhood Foundation has adopted its own facility dog, Cooper, who serves as the Foundation’s Chief Joy Officer and the Dogs for Joy program ambassador. In this dual role, Cooper will bring joy to kids through special appearances, including visits to children’s hospitals nationwide.

“Our mission is to bring joy to kids in truly meaningful ways. We are proud to launch Dogs for Joy to bring the important benefits of in-residence dogs to more doctors, nurses, child life specialists, and most importantly parents and kids,” said Kari McHugh, Executive Director of the Joy in Childhood Foundation. “As a mother who has cared for a child with cancer, my family and I know well the happiness these dogs create on even the worst days, and the powerful, positive impact a relationship with a dog can make. I’m thrilled we can bring that joy to as many facilities and families as possible.”

Funds awarded through the Dogs for Joy program cover costs for launching and maintaining a facility dog program at a hospital which includes adoption of the dog, training of select staff, dog food, dog grooming needs, dog toys, and more. The first Dogs for Joy grantee is Cleveland Clinic Children’s in Cleveland, OH, which is receiving $150,000 from the Joy in Childhood Foundation to launch an in-residence dog program. The grant will fund two dogs over the course of three years.

The Joy in Childhood Foundation invites children’s hospitals nationwide to apply for a Dogs for Joy grant if they are interested in launching a new in-residence dog program or expanding an existing program. Applicants can submit via until March 31, 2019.

To learn more about the Joy in Childhood Foundation, visit or follow us on Facebook at and on Instagram at

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Clean Impact Rankings Announces the Top Five Low Carbon Mutual Funds Investing in Climate Solutions

Forward-looking analysis identifies low carbon mutual funds that provide positive carbon impact

Press Release – (NEW YORK — December 12, 2018) — Clean Impact Rankings, an initiative to assess investment vehicles based on carbon savings, announced the results of its first mutual fund assessment. Capital allocated to the top five funds is projected to have up to 50 times more positive carbon impact—carbon savings delivered by climate solutions—than peers. To understand how funds with low carbon risk can also drive carbon savings, Clean Impact Rankings looked at mutual funds designated as Low Carbon Medalists by Morningstar in six diversified equity categories.

The top five ranking mutual funds include American Funds New Economy, American Funds New Perspective, Fidelity® Growth Company, PRIMECAP Odyssey Growth and Vanguard Capital Opportunity. More information on the rankings and methodology can be found at

“Key to our transition to a low carbon future is the increased funding for clean energy and climate change solutions. Investments in more effective companies and technologies will not only lead to greater long-term carbon abatement—they also have the potential to outperform peers. To do this, investors need to understand both the financial return and the climate change impact of solutions-oriented investments,” stated Joy Williams, Chair of New York State’s Decarbonization Advisory Panel and former in-house climate change expert at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Canetic Advisors, a data analytics company specializing in forecasting the performance and carbon impact of renewable and cleantech companies, established Clean Impact Rankings and conducted the underlying analysis. The firm leveraged aggregated insights from cleantech and renewable energy experts on the segmented value chain attribution for carbon reduction and projected efficiency gains for specific technologies.

“These rankings will inform individual investors looking to increase the positive impact of their low carbon investments. By investing in the most effective publicly-traded climate solutions we all can drive the low carbon economy. This is crucial more than ever given the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announcement,” said Tony Altmann founder of Canetic Advisors.

Additional Clean Impact Rankings will be released in 2019 to aid institutional and retail investors who wish to understand the positive climate impact of their investments.

About Clean Impact Rankings

The Clean Impact Rankings assess investment vehicles on their positive carbon impact. The results provide forward-looking snapshots for investors seeking a positive tilt towards climate solutions. The rankings can be found at, a digital resource established by Canetic Advisors to share industry assessments and insights on carbon abatement with investors.

About Canetic Advisors

Canetic Advisors is a data analytics company developing forward-looking actionable insights including on ‘alpha adjusted’ climate impact potential that enable public and private market investors to simultaneously optimize returns and climate impact. We measure and quantify climate impact potential for funds, family offices, investment managers and advisors in ESG and impact investing.

Leveraging the industry experience of experts who know renewables and cleantech inside and out, Canetic has built proprietary models with forecasts that are easy-to-use and apply. Canetic evaluates and monitors a global database of public companies and private projects that are focused on carbon abatement optimized for returns. The firm’s deep operating insights and rigorously developed algorithms are applied to pure play companies, projects, and real assets. More information can be found at

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