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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe


This category includes articles about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), typically including donations to or other support for nonprofit organizations.

Ad Council’s 61st Annual Public Service Award Dinner to Honor FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith, Stephen Colbert to Host

Last year’s dinner raised an unprecedented $3.4 million to support the Ad Council and its 50 national public service campaigns

NEW YORK, July 29, 2014 – The Ad Council, the largest producer of public service advertisements (PSAs) in the U.S., announced today that its 61st Annual Public Service Award Dinner will honor FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith and Stephen Colbert will host. The event will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Mr. Smith will be presented with this year’s public service award in recognition of his personal and corporate commitment to philanthropy. He has been a global voice for environmental sustainability, disaster relief, education and road safety. Under his leadership last year, FedEx contributed over $46 million in cash and charitable shipping, along with thousands of volunteer hours through “FedEx Cares.” FedEx has also been instrumental in emergency response efforts both domestically and internationally, aiding in relief for disasters including Super Storm Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan. Also, FedEx leverages its sustainability-focused philanthropic giving to help rebuild communities and ecosystems affected by natural disasters. Globally, FedEx provides monetary and transportation support to help communities in need in remote parts of the world by distributing medications to over 1,200 health clinics.

FedEx also works closely on many issues that the Ad Council addresses with its campaigns, such as closing the achievement gap in education for African American and Hispanic youth by working with organizations such as the United Negro College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

“The annual dinner is the highlight of our year, and a way for us to celebrate the year’s successes and honor those who support the Ad Council and our more than 40 critical social issues,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council, “We’re thrilled to honor Fred Smith for his commitment to giving to those in need in communities throughout the world, and we’re very excited that Stephen Colbert will be our emcee. We are looking forward to a marvelous program.”

Stephen Colbert is currently the host and executive producer of Comedy Central’s award-winning program, The Colbert Report. In April 2014, it was announced that Colbert will succeed David Letterman on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman. Previous hosts of the Ad Council’s dinner include Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Seth Meyers, Conan O’Brien and Brian Williams.

Attended by more than 1,300 prominent executives from the media, advertising, and corporate communities, the Public Service Award Dinner recognizes the industries and individuals who support the Ad Council and its public service campaigns. The dinner will be chaired by Laura Desmond, Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Starcom MediaVest Group and the recently announced Chair of the Ad Council’s Board of Directors. Following the Ad Council’s annual tradition, last year’s honoree, Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL, will present the award to Mr. Smith. Platinum Sponsors include Clear Channel and FedEx Corporation.

The Ad Council has been honoring corporate leaders for their contributions to public service since 1953. The Public Service Award Dinner is the organization’s largest fundraising event. Last year’s benefit raised an unprecedented $3.4 million to support the Ad Council’s programs and was ranked by BizBash as one of the top 100 events in New York City and as one of the top three advertising events of the year.

The Ad Council

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action, and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or view our PSAs on YouTube.

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LSC: 40 Years of Championing Equal Access to Justice

Washington, DC – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the single largest funder of civil legal aid in the country, marks its 40th anniversary on July 25.

LSC will commemorate this milestone beginning with a three-day event bringing together a wide range of legal, government, corporate, and philanthropic leaders to shine a light on the challenges and opportunities facing civil legal aid in America. The 40th Anniversary Kick-Off will be held Sept. 14-16 at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, DC.

“Created in 1974 as one of the last acts of the Nixon administration, LSC’s mission is ‘to provide equal access to the system of justice in our nation’ and ‘to provide high quality legal assistance to those who would be otherwise unable to afford adequate legal counsel,’” said LSC Board Chairman John G. Levi. “We are grateful for four decades of bipartisan congressional support in pursuit of this mission. With the number of people now eligible for civil legal assistance at an all-time high—nearly 21% of Americans—we look forward to working with Congress to further expand its funding to help meet this unprecedented need.”

LSC provides federal funds through competitive grants to 134 independent nonprofit organizations with nearly 800 offices in every state, the District of Columbia and the territories of the United States. LSC is headed by an 11-member Board of Directors appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Board is bipartisan: no more than six members may be of the same political party.

LSC promotes technology innovation through its Technology Initiative Grants program which has funded more than 525 technology projects in the past decade. LSC also awards grants through its Pro Bono Innovation Fund to support new and innovative projects to promote and enhance pro bono efforts throughout the country.

“Every day across America, victims of domestic violence seeking protection, veterans trying to avoid homelessness, and consumers facing wrongful evictions or foreclosures are forced to navigate the legal system alone because they can’t afford a lawyer,” LSC President James J. Sandman said. “LSC’s funding of high-quality legal services for low-income people helps assure fairness in our legal system, and it’s never been more needed, or more important, than it is today.”

Members of Congress applauded LSC on its 40th anniversary:

Representative Frank Wolf (VA-10th), Chairman, House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Sub-Committee: “As chairman of the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations subcommittee from 2001-2006 and again since 2011, I have worked closely with the LSC leadership to support these programs and ensure that funding is spent efficiently and appropriately. I have also worked with my colleagues in Congress and LSC leadership to mitigate partisan issues that undermine support for this program. Through these efforts, we have been able to ensure that LSC funding is focused on supporting legitimate civil legal aid needs by those Americans who need it most.

Over the past several years, I have encouraged LSC to do more to engage law firms and bar associations to expand pro bono services in coordination with the corporation. In response, the LSC board created a Pro Bono Task Force in 2011 and produced a comprehensive report with innovative ideas to bolster national pro bono efforts. I want to credit LSC Board Chairman John Levi and LSC President Jim Sandman for their leadership on this project, which has the potential to further extend LSC’s support for low-income Americans.

Forty years after its creation, the LSC fills a critical gap by providing low-income Americans with legal assistance they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. I want to commend the Legal Services Corporation and the attorneys working in our communities for the work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel.”

Representative Chaka Fattah (PA-2nd), Ranking Member, House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Sub-Committee: “For millions of low-income Americans—including veterans, working families, and people with disabilities—Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is the only path to navigating the justice system and securing high-quality legal representation. As Ranking Member on the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I have led the effort in Congress to secure adequate funding to support LSC’s mission of ensuring that every individual who requires it has access to America’s courts. As demand continues to grow for civil legal aid in our country, it will remain our responsibility to continue to fight for increased funding. I applaud LSC’s four decades of success advocating for equal access to justice and look forward to remaining its champion.”

Representative Steve Cohen (TN-9th): “On this anniversary, I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel. Every day that a legal aid attorney protects the safety, security and health of our most vulnerable citizens, they bring this nation closer to living up to its commitment to equal justice for all.”

Representative Tom Cole (OK-4th): “Friday, July 25, marks the 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). LSC-funded legal aid programs make a crucial difference to millions of Americans by assisting with the most basic civil legal needs. On this anniversary, I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel.”

Representative John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13th): “On this 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation, we should recommit ourselves to the founding principle and continue to ensure that LSC can fulfill its critical mission through sufficient funding. I commend LSC and its grantee programs for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel and for continuing its mission of equal justice for all.”

Representative Mike Honda (CA-17th): “I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel. In my role as a senior member of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I’ve fought to increase LSC funding, and have sought to remove federal restrictions on how LSC can use state, local, and private funds to more efficiently use the resources it has available to serve low-income clients. I will continue to work to provide LSC with the resources and flexibility it needs to ensure equal access to justice.”

Representative Mike Quigley (IL-5th): “I rise today to honor the Legal Services Corporation, which for 40 years has played a vital role in ensuring all Americans, regardless of income, have proper representation in court. Thank you to the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel.”

Representative Adam Schiff (CA-28th): “On this anniversary, I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel, as well as the thousands of attorneys who contribute pro bono services to clients in need. In my district, LSC provides funding to Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, an organization which provided legal aid to over 4,600 clients last year and looks to increase that number this year.”

Representative Bobby Scott (VA-3rd): “I have long been a supporter of legal assistance for low-income Americans and of the LSC dating back to the 1970s, when I led the effort to establish the LSC-funded Virginia Peninsula Legal Aid Center, Inc. So I know from first-hand experience that LSC-funded legal aid programs make a critical difference to low-income Americans by assisting with their most basic civil legal needs. On this 40th anniversary, I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of millions of Americans who need qualified, competent legal counsel.”

Representative Chris Van Hollen (MD-8th): “I rise today to honor the achievements of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) on its 40th anniversary. While we reflect on the achievements of LSC over the last 40 years, Congress must also renew its commitment to providing LSC the critical resources it needs to assist our must vulnerable.”

Senator Roy Blunt (MO): “Congratulations to the Legal Services Corporation on their 40th anniversary. The important work they do on behalf of low-income citizens who need qualified counsel helps to make a difference in the lives of thousands of our most vulnerable Missourians each year.”

Senator Tom Harkin (IA): “I know firsthand the important work of the Legal Services Corporation. Before I was elected to Congress, I worked as a legal aid attorney in Polk County, IA. I experienced the challenges—and also the rewards—of representing people who otherwise would not have the legal assistance they deserve. And I developed a deep appreciation for the role that legal aid attorneys play within our system of justice. On this anniversary, I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel.”

Senator Angus King (ME): “I salute the Legal Services Corporation and LSC-funded attorneys for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel. I began my career as one of these attorneys – beginning in 1969, I worked in Skowhegan, Maine for a legal services provider called Pine Tree Legal Assistance. Although my time predated LSC, today Pine Tree is funded by LSC and continues to provide high-quality legal services to those in most need. I learned first-hand during this period that the work of LSC attorneys is a critical element of making real the promise of our country to our disadvantaged and disenfranchised citizens.”

Senator Mary Landrieu (LA): “On this 40th anniversary, I congratulate and commend the Legal Services Corporation for the vital work they do every day on behalf of Americans who need qualified counsel. In my home state, more than 25% of the population is eligible for LSC-funded legal services. The three programs funded by LSC served nearly 40,000 Louisianians and closed nearly 16,000 cases last year. Every day that a legal aid attorney protects the safety, security, and health of our most vulnerable citizens, they bring this nation closer to living up to its commitment to equal justice for all.”

Senator Patty Murray (WA): “I applaud the efforts of LSC, the programs and services funded by the corporation, and ask that we commit ourselves to ensuring that Americans of all backgrounds have access to adequate legal services. We are a better nation for its 40 years of service and advocacy on their behalf. In my home state of Washington, LSC-backed programs have been helping survivors of the Oso mudslide get back up on their feet and rebuild their lives. LSC is essential to protecting the lives and liberty of the most vulnerable Americans.”

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was established by the Congress in 1974 to provide equal access to justice and to ensure the delivery of high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 134 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia and U.S.territories.

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Joan Garry Consulting Expands Services for Nonprofit Leaders, Hires Seth Rosen

Garry, Former Director of GLAAD, Provides Strategic Advice & Coaches Nonprofit CEOs and Board Chairs

New Senior Associate Seth Rosen Will Expand Firm’s Footprint to Development Directors

NEW YORK – Nonprofit consultant Joan Garry announced this morning an expansion of strategic advisory services at Joan Garry Consulting:

  1. Garry has hired accomplished development director Seth Rosen to join her team as a senior associate, marking her first senior staff hire and the firm’s expansion to support and provide strategic advice to development/fundraising directors.
  2. Garry also introduced two new online services on her blog The Couch, a new online tool which allows nonprofit leaders a new platform to anonymously “rant, cheer and vent” about their problems and their successes..1-on-1 with Joan allows prospective those who need a direct and confidential level of engagement with Joan about a current challenge they’re facing to schedule inexpensive, 50-minute videoconference sessions with Garry.

“Increasingly, successful not-for-profit CEOs, Executive Directors, Board Chairs and Development Directors are looking for strategic advice and support to enable them to better lead their organizations more effectively,” said Joan Garry, principal of Joan Garry Consulting. “But nonprofits are hardwired to be messy, creating unique leadership challenges for even the most capable professionals. Having been every one of my clients — a nonprofit ED, a board member, etc. – I help leaders use that “mess” to their organization’s great advantage. And I started my blog, and now The Couch, because there simply weren’t enough authentic, practical and funny resources for everyday nonprofit leaders to turn to for support.”

Garry has been consulting with leaders throughout the nonprofit sector since leaving her post at GLAAD — where she served for nearly a decade — in 2005. She launched her blog 18 months ago and is now read by thousands of nonprofit leaders every week.

“When I served on the board of an NYC nonprofit, I suggested that Joan be brought in to help that organization build a more effective management team. That was a home run,” said Kevin Jennings, Executive Director of the Arcus Foundation, which last year launched a major capacity-building initiative to provide grantees the ability to retain strategic consultants. “Today at Arcus, Joan’s blog is a go-to for me and my staff and for every single grantee we have. I often find myself sending links to her blog to ED’s struggling with the challenges of nonprofit management — it may be the single most practical resource for ED’s I have ever seen.”

“After spending over a decade for nonprofits, I know firsthand that there is a real thirst for strategic advice and coaching among nonprofit leaders who want to conquer the challenges in front of them,” said newly hired Senior Associate Seth Rosen. “That’s why I couldn’t be more thrilled to join Joan’s team and begin working with development directors around the country. Just like EDs and board chairs, development directors are critical to ensuring organizational success.”

“What impresses me about Seth and Joan’s business model is that it mirrors my own philosophy of generosity,” said philanthropist/nonprofit expert Jeffrey C. Walker, author of The Generosity Network and a longtime advocate for the professionalization of the nonprofit sector. “It’s not about asking for help. It’s about exploring how all of us can work together in pursuit of a common vision using the unique resources we each have to offer. And it’s about understanding that true generosity is rooted in relatedness. This is what Seth has always understood as a development professional. Clients can benefit greatly from Seth and Joan’s expertise, and the passion and joy they feel about meeting our society’s most difficult challenges.”

Teresa Younger, the new ED of the Ms. Foundation for Women, one of the nation’s leading feminist organizations, had this to say about why she has hired Joan: “Running the Ms. Foundation for Women is my dream job – it’s like making the finals at Wimbledon. Would Billie Jean King have ever walked onto that grass court without a strategic coach by her side? Why would I walk solo? I plan to succeed fabulously and several women I trusted pointed me to Joan. She has sat in every seat at the conference table – board, CEO, donor, fundraiser – and has begun working with me with intelligence, humor, authenticity and a deep commitment to both my personal success and that of the success of the Ms. Foundation.”

To learn more about Joan Garry Consulting’s services, visit her blog at

About Joan Garry

For nearly a decade, Joan Garry served as the Executive Director of GLAAD, one of the largest gay rights organizations in the country, where she launched many successful media campaigns, including GLAAD’s successful campaign to lobby the New York Times to include same sex wedding announcements in its Style section. She later served as co-chair of Barack Obama’s LGBT Finance Committee during his 2008 presidential campaign. Today she works with nonprofit leaders, assisting executive directors, CEOs and Board Chairs with crisis management, executive coaching and the building of strong management teams. She also teaches nonprofit media strategy as an Adjunct Professor at the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. Her nonprofit work followed 14 years in executive positions in corporate entertainment, including as a member of the management team that launched MTV in 1981.

About Seth Rosen

Seth is a seasoned nonprofit executive with over ten years of experience raising significant funds for a variety of domestic and international nonprofit organizations. Most recently, Seth served as Managing Director of Development, Communications and Marketing at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the world’s first HIV/AIDS organization. Before that he was the Assistant Vice President of Development at New York Law School where he oversaw all aspects of the Law School’s fundraising activities, including the management of the Law School’s $100 million endowment campaign. Seth also served as the first Director of Development of two sister organizations, Millennium Promise and Malaria No More, and was the Director of Major Gifts at Amnesty International USA and Manager of Fundraising for International Direct Service Programs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

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Kokua Hospitality Helps Celebrate the Start of summer with a Toy Donation to Nebraska Children’s Home Society

Chicago-based hotel management firm donates sand buckets for Sand in the City event

CHICAGO (July 22, 2014) – Last month, Kokua Hospitality, LLC, a hotel management firm based in Chicago, supported Nebraska Children’s Home Society (NCHS) by donating sand pails to the charity’s 11th annual Sand in the City benefit event. Kicking off summer with the ultimate beach party in Omaha, Neb., the event helps raise awareness and funds for Nebraska Children’s Home Society, an organization that provides safe and loving care to children of all ages through statewide Pregnancy, Parenting, Adoption, Foster Care, Community and Neighborhood Based Services and Early Childhood Programs. With one of their managed hotels located on the beach, Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach, Kokua Hospitality provided more than 1,000 sand buckets for the event.

“The donation meant so much to the kids and they couldn’t wait to dig into the huge sand pile with their new buckets and toys,” said Lindsay Hofbauer, donor relations specialist at Nebraska Children’s Home Society. “The donation of sand buckets from Kokua Hospitality meant one less expense for us, and, as a result, more funds for the organization to benefit the children.”

Kokua Hospitality continues to exemplify the Hawaiian definition of Kokua – giving to others for their benefit – through supporting foundations like the Nebraska Children’s Home Society. NCHS has been building loving homes for more than 120 years by providing support for unplanned pregnancy, parenting and adoption services, early childhood education, in-home services, foster care, and community outreach. For the Sand in the City event, attendees came to support the corporate and community groups as they build 15-ton sand sculptures of various sizes and themes. Thanks to the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach sand buckets, the children were able to create their own sand castle building memories with their friends and family.

“The mission of our company’s philanthropic program, No Reservations Giving, is to leverage our hospitality management expertise by supporting nonprofits that provide food, shelter, and education to enhance the well-being of those in need,” said Vice President of Sales and Marketing Karen Wiley. “From our work with Habitat for Humanity to supporting the Nebraska Children’s Home Society, Kokua Hospitality understands the importance of helping others.”

Kokua Hospitality, LLC, is a hotel management firm founded by its parent, The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC, with the mandate to become the operator of choice for strategic institutional and select private lodging investors by producing superior results as turnaround specialists. Created by veteran lodging investment and management experts to appeal to an investor’s sensibility, Kokua Hospitality blends best-in-class operating practices with an owner’s DNA. Kokua Hospitality manages a growing portfolio of hotels and resorts nationwide. For more information on Kokua Hospitality, please visit and follow us on Twitter @kokuahotels and

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Cookies for Kids’ Cancer: Leveraging Ecommerce to Expand its Non-Profit Mission

Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has harnessed the power of volunteer led grassroots events to expand awareness and raise money to fund research for new, less toxic therapies for childhood cancer. As a national non-profit organization, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has inspired over 5,000 grassroots events in all 50 states and 15 countries around the world, hosted by “Good Cookies” of all age groups.

The Story of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

As this successful non-profit focuses on a future of changing lives, its beginning stemmed from a cancer diagnosis of a little boy named Liam. It began on a late night in February 2007, when Larry and Gretchen Witt learned that their son Liam had cancer. Prior to the diagnosis, Liam’s parents had no idea of that in the United States, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children. A key reason for this sobering statistic is the surprising lack of funding. In fact, the National Cancer Institute allocates less than 4% of its multi-billion dollar budget toward childhood cancer research.

Fast Facts

  • Childhood cancer is the US’ leading cause of death by disease in children 
  • Over 40,000 children are actively battling cancer today in the US 
  • Of the children who survive the initial disease, 2 out of 3 suffer from long-term side effects from the treatments that helped save their lives 
  • The National Cancer Institute allocates less than 4% of its budget to childhood cancer research 
  • There are dozens of different types of childhood cancer impacting children today 
  • The types of cancers children battle are different than those of adults

While Larry and Gretchen supported their young son as he underwent months of chemotherapy, radiation and major surgeries, they realized a desire to make a difference for all children battling cancer. After Liam was cancer free, Gretchen decided to hold a fundraiser that no one could resist – what better way than cookies?

With this idea in mind, Gretchen began rallying support and getting volunteers to help. Together during the 2007 holiday season, they baked and sold over 96,000 cookies to individuals nationwide. 72 hours after launching their free e commerce site through Volusion’s Stores to Change the World program, they sold all 96,000 cookies, raising more than $420,000 to donate directly to a research hospital. The money was designed to help physicians develop a promising new childhood cancer therapy.

In this moment, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer struck a chord of success. Unfortunately for young Liam, his cancer returned and after multiple relapses, he ran out of treatment options. Sadly, he lost his battle in January 2011, and even more tragically, the initial treatment they funded back in 2007 became available just 7 months after Liam’s passing.

Since then, the non-profit team has placed extra emphasis in working as hard and fast as possible to raise money to fund more treatments and create opportunities for kids to not only survive cancer, but live healthy, fulfilling lives.

Enabling Growth through E Commerce

As the organization experienced rapid growth, Gretchen and Larry had to strike a balance between expanding Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and maintaining their daily lives, including full-time jobs. Since they couldn’t bake cookies around the clock for a living, they decided to flip the business model around: instead of baking the cookies themselves, why not activate people to host bake sales and other grassroots events in their own communities and send in the donations? This approach would allow the husband and wife duo to focus on working with the best researchers in the country to ensure each dollar goes directly into funding the most promising research.

Championing their call to action for supporters to “Be a Good Cookie,” the non-profit organization leveraged their ecommerce site to make a bigger impact – they didn’t want to simply open their hands to donations, instead they wanted to give supporters something in return.

With their Volusion store, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was able to provide an online service by becoming a retail shop, meaning they could sell cookies, offer merchandise and directly accept donations 365 days a year.

Key tactics that have driven their online growth and can be implemented by other non-profits include:

  • Merchandising: Having the ability to showcase products with multiple images helps increase conversion by fully demonstrating what shoppers will receive with their order.
  • Paid Search: Google Grants gives Cookies for Kids’ Cancer advertising dollars every day to bid on certain keywords, which drives new visits directly to their e commerce page.
  • Custom Event Pages: Using a tool called RallyBound, the organization empowers supporters to create personalized landing pages that help drive significant donations.

Their ecommerce site alone represents 15% of the organization’s annual revenue, but more importantly, it allows Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to not just educate supporters, but give them the option to make a difference by taking action. By selling their t-shirts and event starter kits, their website also reinforces branding and makes it easy for those wanting to host an event to plan and execute a successful bake sale

Creating Hope in the World of Children’s Cancer

As Cookies for Kids’ Cancer continues to receive worldwide publicity in top magazines, newspapers and TV programs, they’re also aligning with large corporate partners to extend their mission and raise critically needed funds. Their focus on ecommerce remains strong, as they look to further optimize their site and grow revenue contributions from custom event pages, which also currently stands at 15% of their yearly revenue.

Overall, the heart and soul of the team’s efforts is to reach more people, connect with large groups and tell their story. They also look forward to working with a new generation of supporters in their early twenties – with an audience that’s ripe with enthusiasm to give back and make a difference, the future of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer serves as a bright beacon of hope in the fight against childhood cancer.

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The Warren Buffett Effect: Investing in Our World

When a mystery bidder from Singapore paid $2.2 million at a charity auction to have lunch with Warren Buffett, few thought he was getting a bargain. But after introducing “the Oracle of Omaha” to attendees at Forbes 2014 Summit on Philanthropy last month, I’m not so sure.

Quite a few of the guests at the Forbes Summit lunch (held at the New York Public Library) had signed up for Bill Gates and Buffett’s Giving Pledge, a commitment by billionaires to give at least half their wealth to charity – during their lifetimes or upon their death. That’s at least $500+ million a pop. Now that’s an expensive lunch.

On the one hand, the popularity of the Forbes Summit and the response to the Giving Pledge (as of May 2014, 127 billionaires have signed the pledge) may simply demonstrate that beyond a certain point, privately accumulated wealth loses its utility value. As Buffett put it, “Nothing I am giving away will change my life, materially, in any way.” Joking about the billionaires who had turned down the invitation to join his Giving Pledge, Buffett remarked, “What they’re really saying is that they can’t make ends meet on $500 million.”

But that’s not all that’s going on. There are growing indications that for high net worth individuals, leaving a legacy is about more than just passing core values like honesty and integrity on to the next generation; it’s about harnessing financial success to help make the community and the world a better place.

According to the World Wealth Report 2014, released in mid-June by RBC Wealth Management and Capgemini, the vast majority of global high net worth investors (92 percent) said they feel it is important that they give their time, money or expertise to causes and activities that make a positive social impact – a sentiment that is strongest among investors under the age of 40.

People of wealth have always volunteered on boards of not-for-profit organizations, or have given their money to charity. (The New York Public Library’s main branch is now named the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building following a $100 million commitment by the private equity maven to the city’s library system.) But today, the percentage of philanthropists giving in traditional ways is equaled by the percentage who are “making investment choices with a clearly defined social objective.”

The World Wealth Report 2014 indicates that “high net worth individuals are venturing beyond traditional means of fulfilling their social impact goals.”

Social impact investing enables investors to align their investment strategies with their values. Those values can range from supporting healthy environments, sustaining communities or promoting diverse workforces and humane working environments.

Unlike traditional financial investments, the returns in impact investing aren’t measured solely in dollars. They are measured by changes in social or environmental policies and outcomes. While the degree of change can be difficult to measure, there are signs that the increasing flows of investment dollars into impact investing are indeed making a difference.

Take for example the increased transparency and accountability at publicly traded companies around the topic of sustainability.

In early June, the Governance & Accountability Institute reported that 72 percent of companies listed on the S&P 500 index now publish corporate sustainability reports. That’s not only an overwhelming majority, but a stark improvement over the mere 19 percent of S&P 500 companies that did so in 2011.

Sustainability reports highlight the economic, environmental and social impacts of companies’ everyday activities. The reports also showcase an organization’s values and demonstrate the link between its strategy and those values.

It’s not a stretch to think that these sustainability reports cater, at least in part, to social impact investors/shareholders, who have become an increasingly important constituency to corporate management.

Corporate responsibility is no longer about how you give money away; it’s about the way you make money – about the culture and the values that inform your operating practices.

A company that gives millions to organizations that preserve and protect the environment yet pays no mind to the impact its own operations have on natural resources isn’t practicing true corporate responsibility.

Clearly, something important is going on. Behind the growing interest in corporate responsibility and “investments of purpose” is, I believe, recognition that we are all members of a global community whose future is our individual and collective responsibility. In a world with seven billion people living in it, a world in which all economies are interconnected and interdependent, no longer can it be argued that any action by a private party doesn’t impact somebody else, somewhere in the world, in some way. That’s why philanthropy and stewardship and community are closely related.

When we see ourselves as members of a community – whether local, regional, national or even global – it is a short step to feeling responsible for others in that community, to viewing our actions in terms of the effect they have on others, and to converting privately accumulated wealth with a personal utility value of zero to socially impactful giving and investing strategies that can help create a future that is better than today.

John G. Taft is CEO of RBC Wealth Management – U.S., and author of Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street (Wiley, 2012). RBC Wealth Management-U.S. is a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, a member of NYSE/FINRA/SIPC.

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Southwest Airlines Launches LUV Seat: Repurpose With Purpose

Upcycling Project Will Transform 43 Acres of Used Leather Seats

Pilot Program Begins in Nairobi, Kenya, Additional Partners in Malawi and United States

DALLAS—July 15, 2014 Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) announced today the launch of LUV Seat: Repurpose with Purpose, a global sustainability initiative to upcycle 43 acres of used leather seat coverings into new products that will benefit communities by providing employment, skills training, and donated products. For more information on the project, visit or visit Nuts About Southwest to read the blog post here.

LUV Seat: Repurpose with Purpose was developed following the Company’s Evolve program, a large-scale redesign of all 737-700 aircraft, a portion of its 737-300 fleet, and is now standard on all new planes. The Evolve program replaced the leather seat covers and other interior elements with environmentally friendly materials. Through this redesign, Southwest reduced the weight of each aircraft by more than 600 pounds.

LUV Seat is an innovative upcycling project born from the Evolve program. By donating the used leather for social impact and keeping it out of landfills, Southwest Airlines is reinforcing its commitment to long-term global sustainable business operations and positioning itself as a leader in corporate responsibility.

“The Evolve redesign was a major milestone in supporting our sustainability goals,” said Bill Tiffany, Vice President Supply Chain Management at Southwest Airlines. “But we didn’t want to stop there—with the pilot of LUV Seat in Nairobi, Malawi, and the United States, we’re embarking on a new vision of social impact through training, job creation, and ultimately product donation. We look forward to identifying additional partners through a call to action, using the hashtag #LUVSEAT, for our Employees, Customers, and the general public to share their ideas of how we should upcycle the remaining leather.”

These initiatives are the first phase of a multi-year campaign to re-use Southwest’s leather through upcycling projects around the world. The project partners aim to better people’s lives and raise industry standards for the environment and communities in which they operate.

In Nairobi, Kenya (the project’s pilot location), SOS Children’s Villages Kenya, the primary non-profit partner that serves orphaned children and families in need, along with Alive & Kicking, Masaai Treads, and Life Beads Kenya, will use the leather to produce goods for distribution to local community groups.

“We are pleased to join with Southwest Airlines and thank them for launching the LUV Seat: Repurpose with Purpose program to benefit SOS Children’s Villages in Kenya,” said Lynn Croneberger, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages – USA. “It’s a fantastic, innovative program that will help make a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable women and children and the local community.”

Through the partnership, SOS youth will receive paid apprenticeships and training to make shoes and soccer balls from the leather. When completed, the shoes will be distributed as part of an anti-jigger campaign. The upcycled soccer balls will be donated to support education programs that use sports to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and Malaria prevention.

One recipient of the donated products is Cura Orphanage, a residence for children who have lost their parents to AIDS. Cura Orphanage is sponsored by Creative Visions Foundation, a non-profit that supports media and the arts to affect change in the world. Local partners Gina Din Foundation and GoodMaker Films worked with Southwest to develop the on-the-ground partnerships.

Other partners include, TeamLift, Inc. a U.S.-based nonprofit whose mission is to transform the lives of women and children in Sub-Saharan Africa. At a boarding school facility currently under construction in Malawi, TeamLift will develop a leather works training program that will teach important entrepreneurial skills while generating proceeds that will support the school.

In the United States, Looptworks, a Portland, Ore., based design company that rescues premium excess materials to design and produce sustainable goods will upcycle LUV Seat leather into limited edition, high-quality merchandise as part of Southwest’s celebration of the end of the Wright Amendment in Dallas. Through partnering with Looptworks, Southwest will create needed jobs in a region that has been hard hit by the downturn in the economy.

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MHA-NYC Gala Recognizes Corporate Leaders Committed to Hiring Veterans

Honoring Longtime Advocate for Veterans and their Families Gregory J. Fleming, President, Morgan Stanley Wealth and Investment Management, and Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta

ABC News Correspondent Bob Woodruff, and Lee Woodruff to Host Gala

Gregory J. Fleming, Salvatore A. Giunta, Lee & Bob Woodruff

NEW YORK, NY – July 16, 2014: On October 1, the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) will host its annual gala, themed “Working for Wellness: Invest in America’s Veterans,” at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The benefit will recognize companies committed to supporting of hundreds of thousands of America’s Armed Forces service members who have returned to civilian life with significant reintegration challenges, specifically those related to mental health and unemployment in hopes that other companies will follow their leadership example.

  • Gregory J. Fleming, President of Morgan Stanley Wealth and Investment Management, will be honored for his longtime advocacy for veterans and their families, and for the company’s leadership and commitment to employing veterans.
  • The event will also pay tribute to Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta, Medal of Honor Recipient, and the first living person since the Vietnam War to receive the honor.
  • Award winning ABC news correspondent, Bob Woodruff and his wife, Lee Woodruff, will serve as Masters of Ceremony of the gala. The Woodruffs are also founders of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which works to ensure injured veterans thrive long after they return home.

“MHA-NYC’s annual benefit shines the spotlight on pressing mental health issues while raising funds that allow us to continue to provide essential services,” said Giselle Stolper, President and CEO of MHA-NYC. “We know how important meaningful work is to the emotional wellbeing of veterans, their families, and their communities. Yet, getting a job is one of the greatest challenges facing men and women today as they leave active duty. This is why we are dedicating our gala to this urgent issue,” she said.

MHA-NYC has long worked in partnership with veteran service organizations and other key stakeholders, including the Veterans Administration, to address the myriad of emotional and social challenges veterans face after leaving the battlefield. MHA-NYC operates the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), which has answered more than 1 million calls since 2007, and established the Veterans Mental Health Coalition of New York City, and the National TBI and Emotional Wellness Alliance. The VCL provides access to life saving resources for veterans and the coalitions promote policy and practice changes to improve access to quality mental health care and supportive services for veterans and their families.

While a majority of veterans make the transition smoothly, a large number need help and support. “Employment is one of the key areas of need for veterans upon their return, but they need more than just a job,” said Kimberly Williams, Vice President of MHA-NYC’s Center for Policy, Advocacy and Education. “They need broad support to achieve total wellness for self and family,” she said. Never before has such a comprehensive vision for our nation’s veterans captured the interest of so many CEOs and Fortune 500 companies.

MHA-NYC intends to harness the good will of both the private and public sectors and commit its expertise and resources to working with other organizations to launch a groundbreaking initiative to create a hyper-local coordinated network of services, supports, and resources for veterans and their families. “By using advanced technology, our vision is to build supportive communities for men and women as they transition to their new home base and seek on-the-ground services in key areas of need: education, employment, health and emotional wellness, and family support,” said Gala Dinner Chair Duncan Niederauer.

More than 400 business leaders, government officials, veterans, service members, and their families are expected to attend the event. Dinner Chairs include Frank J. Branchini, Chairman and CEO of EmblemHealth; Ric Clark, Chairman and CEO of Brookfield Property Group; Kevin Dunleavy, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley; Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock; and Duncan Niederauer, Former CEO of the NYSE.

Learn more about the event and ticket purchases at

The Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) is a not-for-profit organization that addresses mental health needs in New York City and across the nation. Through our three-part mission of service, advocacy and education, we identify unmet needs and develop culturally sensitive programs to improve the lives of individuals and families impacted by mental illness while promoting the importance of mental health.

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How A Pile of Books Can End Poverty

“Let’s End Poverty clothing and book drives will boost the local economy and support CHOICE Humanitarian’s efforts to end poverty around the globe”

WEST JORDAN, Utah – CHOICE Humanitarian today announced its new Let’s End Poverty program that will help companies and schools partner with CHOICE Humanitarian to end poverty through clothing and book drives.

“We can end poverty by using our surplus,” said Chris Johnson, Program Director at CHOICE.

Already thousands of pounds of clothing, books, corporate idle assets, and household items have been donated and recycled locally to benefit our own community and to support CHOICE’s efforts to end poverty in Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, Nepal, and Kenya.

Let’s End Poverty Regional Directors Kaiti Millard and Alexa Ramsey love books!

Recycling locally stimulates the local economy and eliminates waste that contributes to the nearly 50 percent of clothing that ends up in landfills. The funds generated from this transfer go directly to support business and literacy training, clean water systems, and filling other needs in rural villages living in extreme poverty.

If you are interested in hosting a clothing and book drive at your company or in your neighborhood, please contact Let’s End Poverty Regional Directors Kaiti Millard at (385) 202-4061 or Alexa Ramsey at (385) 985-3937.

About CHOICE Humanitarian

CHOICE Humanitarian ( believes in the value and dignity of all human beings. We are a nonprofit organization with more than 30 years experience working to end poverty in Bolivia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, and Nepal.

We do this by empowering villagers to determine their own path for self-reliance, by building village leadership, and by uniquely leveraging local and international investments. We call on all members of the global family to choose to end poverty by sharing, contributing and participating. Working side-by-side, together we end poverty.

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Los Angeles Business Journal Selects Mending Kids as Organization of the Year

Non-Profit and Corporate Citizenship Awards Also Honor MK Executive Director Marchelle Sellers with Award

Burbank, CA (July 8, 2014) – Mending Kids is proud to announce the commendations it received for its non-profit work from the Los Angeles Business Journal. During the 2014 Non-Profit & Corporate Citizenship Awards ceremony, MK was lauded as Organization of the Year (Medium Size) and Marchelle Sellers, executive director, was praised for her work guiding the charity.

Mending Kids is responsible for providing over 1,600 pediatric surgeries in 54 countries, including the United States, since 2006. It will host its second hometown mission next month at Specialty Surgical Center with volunteer doctors from local prestigious pediatric surgical centers performing orthopedic, reconstructive, urological and general surgeries for up to 20 children. Slots are still open for those in need. They can apply by going to for more information.

In addition to surgical missions to perform surgeries, the goal is to assist the doctors and facilities in developing countries to become self-sustaining over no more than five years. Funds for Mending Kids come from private and corporate donations and fundraising events.

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