amazon facebook_32 gplus_32 linkedin_32 pinterest_32 tumblr_32 twitter_32 website_32 youtube_32 email_32 rss_32

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

Impact Investing

This category includes articles about people, firms and foundations that invest in social good by investing in social entrepreneurs, social impact or pay-for-success bonds, etc.

CREDO Announces It Will Donate $200,000 to 3 Progressive Nonprofits in the Middle of Heated Battles

CREDO Empowers Customers to Support Progressive Nonprofits

San Francisco, CA – CREDO, America’s only progressive phone company, announced today that it is donating a total of $206,690.00 to Planned Parenthood, 350.org and the Mother Jones Investigative Fund to boost the nonprofits’ efforts as they fight back against attacks on women’s rights, the environment and fairness in news reporting.

Planned Parenthood, 350.org and the Mother Jones Investigative Fund were nominated by CREDO customers and chosen among hundreds of nonprofits to be featured as the three groups eligible in the month of January to receive funding. CREDO customers then helped decide how much money each nonprofit received by simply voting online or via phone or text.

Planned Parenthood received 39 percent, which added up to $80,609 in funding. Planned Parenthood is under constant attack from right-wing legislatures that are trying to defund Planned Parenthood and prevent women from accessing reproductive health care services. CREDO is Planned Parenthood’s largest corporate contributor.

“CREDO is Planned Parenthood’s largest corporate contributor, and we are incredibly grateful for its longstanding partnership,” said Eric Ferrero, Vice President, Communications, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “With women’s health coming under repeated and increasingly harsh assault in states across the country, CREDO’s support is now more important than ever. Recent efforts to restrict access to safe and legal abortion, as well as preventive care like birth control and cancer screenings, have a very real and devastating impact on women who already have the least access to health care. CREDO’s support makes it possible for Planned Parenthood to fight back against these attacks on every front to protect women’s health and rights.”

image

350.org received 32 percent, which added up to $66,140 in funding. 350.org has been working alongside CREDO to stop the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline and most recently launched a nationwide campaign to pressure universities and other institutions to divest of fossil fuels.

“CREDO has been an invaluable ally and leader in the climate fight, regularly pushing boundaries, moving nimbly, and taking a firm stance when others hesitate,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org. “350.org and CREDO are regular partners—just this week they teamed up with other partners to help organize more than 280 vigils to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.”

The Mother Jones Investigative Fund received 29 percent, which added up to $59,609 in funding. The Mother Jones Investigative Fund has been a critical force in exposing corporate and political corruption.

“CREDO is way more than a phone company. It’s a leader – working for a strong and independent press, for social and environmental justice, and for peace and democracy – and that is why Mother Jones is honored to be one of the organizations that CREDO’s community members can support through this one-of-a-kind grassroots funding process,” said Steve Katz, Publisher of Mother Jones.

Every month, three progressive nonprofits will be eligible for funding through CREDO’s donations program. CREDO has donated more than $76 million to organizations committed to social change since the company was founded in 1985. To read more about CREDO’s donations program, go here: http://www.credomobile.com/mission/nonprofit-donations-current.aspx

                                                                               ###

CONTACT:
Sarah Lane
sarahlane@credoaction.com

Prodigy Network Presents “Crowdsourcing And Crowdfunding: A Social Media Revolution In Real Estate” At Social Media Week

17John Creator Leads Discussion On The Future of Collaborative Real Estate With Harvard Business School, PSFK and LifeEdited

NEW YORK (February 5, 2014)Prodigy Network will lead the conversation, “Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding: A Social Media Revolution In Real Estate,” at Social Media Week New York on February 20. Prodigy Network will explore the impact social media has on the real estate industry through crowdfunding and crowdsourcing.

Prodigy Network’s current crowdfunding project 17John, is an extended stay “Cotel” next to the new Fulton Center, the third-largest transportation hub in Manhattan and one block away from the new World Trade Center. 17John is an extended stay “Cotel” designed to service the growth in the financial district and beyond. The term “Cotel” has been coined by Prodigy Network as “an innovative and unique hotel looking to the crowd, including on-the-go travelers, to be a part of a collaborative community where guests share ideas and foster likeminded connections.”

Individual accredited investors can purchase REPs (Real Estate Participations) of 17John for $100,000 each. Once completed, 17John will stand 23 stories high, and have 191 furnished units. Architects will combine the building’s existing classic architecture with the modernism of a glass tower to showcase 17John’s extensive views of Manhattan.

“We have learned that crowdfunding not only democratizes investments, it also makes projects viable that otherwise would not be possible,” said Rodrigo Nino, CEO and founder of Prodigy Network, who has dedicated his work to open these profitable ventures and to foster creativity. “With 17John we are providing real estate investment opportunities to the general public. Our presence at Social Media Week further defines the need for the conversation to continue, grow and inspire.”

On February 20 at 12:00pm EST, the panel titled, “Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding: A Social Media Revolution In Real Estate,” will present:

  • How society can address complex issues and impact fields like real estate through social media, for example 17John.
  • The definition of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, what they are and what they mean to the world at large.
  • How an interdisciplinary approach integrates crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, innovation, design and business thinking to put human issues at the core of problem solving and solutions.
  • How social media shapes our lives, our society, and our culture and how cutting-edge research from behavioral science, technology and economics can show how the crowd can collaborate for the collective good.
  • How world-renowned designers, researchers and strategists are shaping innovative approaches to address some of the most pressing economic challenges of our time.

The panel will include:

  • Rodrigo Nino, CEO and founder of Prodigy Network, who developed a crowdfunding business model as a safe and innovative way of giving smaller investors access to large real estate assets.
  • Graham Hill, CEO and founder of LifeEdited, creates ordinary spaces dedicated to microliving and efficiency.
  • Karim R. Lakhani, Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the Principal Investigator of the Harvard-NASA Tournament Lab at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, who specializes in the management of technological innovation in firms and communities.
  • Piers Fawkes, founder of PSFK, leads a daily news site that acts as the go-to source of new ideas and inspiration.

Prodigy Network will also invite Social Media Week participants to create a crowd-designed large-scale mural. The production of the mural will take place throughout the week and will engage the crowd to create a visual representation of the power of the collective mind. Acclaimed artist and visionary Rafael Esquer of Alfafa Studio will interact with visitors at Social Media Week in New York City, as well as engage the global community through social media. The crowd will be able to contribute and follow the mural’s progress through #smwprodigy.

For more information on Prodigy Network and its current portfolio: www.prodigynetwork.com

For more information and tickets to Social Media Week: www.socialmediaweek.org/newyork

About Prodigy Network

Founded in 2003, Prodigy Network specializes in connecting its international network of individual investors with opportunities to participate in institutional grade assets. With its proven crowdfunding model and use of a third party fiduciary, Prodigy Network has shifted real estate investment opportunities and returns – that once were solely accessible to large investors – to small investors. As the leader of the world’s largest crowdfunded skyscraper BD Bacata, Prodigy Network has led six international and U.S. based crowdfunded projects, raised over $200 million from 4,200 investors, and are currently developing projects with a projected value of $600 million. Prodigy Network’s vision is to advance crowdfunding as an innovative and dynamic way of doing business through democratizing real estate investments. Prodigy Network is headquartered in New York, New York. For more information visit: www.prodigynetwork.com/

China To Set Pace On Environmental Policy In 2014

Sustainable Insight Capital Management Reveals its Predictions for the Year

NEW YORK – February 4, 2014Sustainable Insight Capital Management (SICM), an investment management firm focused on companies with superior environmental, social, and governance practices, expects China will set the pace on global environmental policy this year. The company’s newly released “Sustainable Insights: 2014” report predicts trends in sustainability.

“Companies across all industries and governments throughout the world must realize the need to incorporate sustainable practices throughout their entire organization, in order to invest not only in their future but the future of the planet,” said Kevin Parker, Chief Executive Officer of SICM. “Our report reveals that in the year ahead certain industries will be making progress, but there still remains much work to be done.”

The persistent smog in many Chinese cities cannot be disguised and rising concerns over the long-term impacts will continue to worry many urbanites, according to the report. The firm predicts that there will more restrictions on vehicle registrations, financial penalties on the worst industrial emitters and development of new carbon trading schemes in the region.

In its report, SICM also predicts that:

  • Financial markets will become increasingly nervous about the issue of standard carbon assets
  • The Sustainable Accounting Standards Board will develop sustainable accounting standards for 10 sectors and over 80 industries
  • The conditions of the Earth’s oceans will receive significantly more publicity this year
  • The debate over genetically modified organisms will continue
  • Little progress will be made by politicians – both nationally and abroad – on climate change policy
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will garner more media attention, with important papers planned for release
  • Oil majors might open up the renewables investment tap, most likely in biofuels
  • Oil majors will also drop their objections to a carbon tax
  • The long-short hedge fund strategies will see the emergence of the first sustainable funds

“Carbon dioxide is increasing in the Earth’s atmosphere at an alarming rate,” Parker noted. “It is the responsibility of the greatest contributors to the problem to act swiftly, and while there are gaps that still need to be filled, we are generally pleased that our predictions indicate corporations and governments are taking this obligation seriously.”

To download the full report, please visit: http://www.sicm.com/docs/SICM%20Predictions-2014.pdf.

                                                                            ###

About Sustainable Insight Capital Management: Sustainable Insight Capital Management (SICM), a leading investment management firm, was founded to enable investors to benefit from the transition to a resource-constrained economy. The firm believes today’s most forward-thinking companies are responding to challenges and opportunities created by population growth, natural resource scarcity, climate change, urbanization and globalization. SICM’s research suggests that markets are inefficient and not accurately pricing securities to reflect these macro trends. Leaders who manage these sustainability risks have historically demonstrated superior performance, more stable cash flows, and higher dividend growth over time.

The above research materials are for informational purposes only. They are not an offer or solicitation for any security or investment product managed by SICM and should not be construed as investment advice. Investment strategies implemented by SICM on behalf of its clients may or may not trade or hold positions in the securities referred to above. Further, investment accounts managed by SICM may or may not employ strategies based on or related to the above research.

Baruch College Receives $312,500 Grant To Support Financial Women’s Association Mentoring Program

Baruch Student and Alumna Reap Benefits From Their Experiences

NEW YORK, NY-February 3, 2014 – Baruch College was awarded a $312,500 multi-year gift from the Financial Women’s Association in support of a mentoring program for female students at the College.

The multi-year gift was launched in fall 2012 and will be paid through fall 2016. Through the gift, every new mentee in the program will receive a $1,500 award and $10,000 is available each year for the mentees to use to study abroad.

The FWA Mentoring Program was started in 2002. Since then, it has served 154 students and has been enhanced to include other opportunities for these students including the FWA/BMO Capital Markets Undergraduate Endowment Scholarship Program, the FWA Mentee Award, the FWA Clear Speech Program, the FWA Mentee Study Abroad Program, leadership conferences and the FWA of New York Graduate Scholarship in Business.

“Mentoring relationships are proven building blocks for advancing today’s young women on their path toward developing critical thinking skills, becoming confident in making wise choices and growing into tomorrow’s leaders,” said FWA President Kimberly Weinrick. “This partnership between Baruch College and the FWA provides students with access to the valuable experience and guidance of successful women mentors who share the insights and knowledge gained in their own careers.”

This year there are 32 mentors and 32 mentees participating in the program. Halina Karatayeva, a senior majoring in Finance, is a current FWA mentee and says she was motivated to enroll after learning about the opportunities offered through the program.

“What motivated me was the possibility to observe and learn from experts, who have already done a brilliant job and who are ready to share their experience with a younger generation,” Halina says. “It’s good to learn from your own mistakes, but even smarter to learn from experts who have learned from their own mistakes. I strongly recommend other students to participate in FWA”

For mentees like Halina, the Financial Women’s Association Mentoring Program provides one-on-one mentoring of high potential women and has become well integrated into the primary mission of the College. Participants receive a variety of benefits that include individual and professional leadership opportunities through mentoring, networking for members through connection to the broader Baruch Executives on Campus mentoring programs and other activities including Baruch conferences and cultural events.

During her experience, Halina says she has made three important observations: 1. Networking should be part of your daily routine. 2. Participants should not feel pressured to have an established career going into the FWA Program. It’s important to be an active participant and to recognize that a career takes time. 3. Conducting yourself in a professional manner and treating people with a friendly attitude will help you build an excellent reputation among other professionals.

Laura Del Rio is an alumna of the FWA Mentoring Program who is now working as a Partner Development Specialist, SAP FSI Partner Enablement Global Lead. Laura appreciated the opportunities that were offered through the FWA Mentoring Program and valued her experience with her mentor.

“My mentor was very supportive and always happy to provide guidance and answer questions that I could not ask anyone else (as nobody I am close to works in financial services),” says Laura, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Investments and a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, both from Baruch. “The luncheons covering a wide range of career and personal development topics and the networking events provided the opportunity to develop a skillset that I leverage in the work environment far more often that what I learned in my classes. What impacted me the most was to experience the passion from the mentors and the rest of the FWA community. [Especially the] women, who have a full-time job and family who make time to invest in the community, that was truly inspirational and I will never forget.”

The student participants in this program come from families typically without financial means or professional networks. The program has provided immeasurable value by providing both financial resources and the professional mentoring and educating students about careers in finance that their backgrounds and experience would not have otherwise have made possible. The program has also provided the individual encouragement and mentoring that are as transforming as mentee academic studies.

                                                                                 ###

About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 5 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.

About the Financial Women’s Association:

Founded in 1956, the Financial Women’s Association provides a forum to help advance the leadership of women in the financial community. The FWA provides opportunities for women to build their careers, meet industry leaders, earn the support of powerful women and major companies, and contribute to the next generation of female leaders. The FWA’s philanthropic activities include mentoring, scholarships and development programs for more than 6,000 young people. For more about the FWA, please visit: http://fwa.org/

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141 
manuel.romero@baruch.cuny.edu

Mercedes Sanchez, (646) 660-6112
mercedes.sanchez@baruch.cuny.edu

IC Patient Capital Collaborative Portfolio Company, Solmetric, Merges With Vivint Solar

DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 30, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Solmetric Corporation, a leading developer of solar installation tools and an Investors’ Circle / Patient Capital Collaborative portfolio company, announced its merger with Vivint Solar, Inc. last week, bringing together two industry leaders and generating a positive return for investors. Solmetric is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vivint Solar, in an all-cash transaction.

“We are excited to have a successful exit which provides a positive financial return while positioning the Solmetric team to stay together and scale their environmental impact as part of Vivint,” said Tom Balderston, Managing Principal of the Patient Capital Collaborative. “The PCC ’09 fund invested in Solmetric in 2010 because we were impressed with the management team and their suite of products to enable installers and solar project developers to more effectively quote, sell and build solar projects. They have maintained a key role in the growing solar industry and the sale of the company confirms their approach.”

Launched in 2006, Solmetric helps solar companies optimize the installation process. Their industry-dominant product line includes the award-winning Solmetric SunEye analysis tool, which provides expedited solar site evaluation; Solmetric PV designer software used for energy production estimates; and the leading Solmetric PV analyser, which verifies performance during system commissioning.

Solmetric’s key technology for solar installers will complement Vivint Solar’s offerings. “Further in-house, advanced development of Solmetric products will help strengthen our pre-installation site assessment and CAD design process even further at this crucial market expansion time for Vivint Solar,” said Greg Butterfield, CEO of Vivint Solar. Vivint Solar is a leading provider of cost-effective solar energy systems and has received acclaim for its award-winning service.

Solmetric CEO Willard MacDonald will join the Vivint Solar management team as vice president of Technology Development, and all Solmetric employees will remain based in Sebastopol, CA. Vivint Solar, Inc. is based in Provo, Utah.

About Solmetric Corporation

Solmetric is a supplier of tools for solar installers. Its product offerings include the award winning Solmetric SunEye shade analysis tool for fast, professional solar site evaluation; the Solmetric PV Designer software for easy design and simulation of residential PV systems; and the Solmetric PV Analyzer for measuring I-V and power curves to verify performance at the time of system commissioning or for troubleshooting a failing system. Read more at www.solmetric.com

About Vivint Solar

Vivint Solar is a leading provider of simple, affordable solar solutions. As an early adopter of the power purchase agreement (PPA) model, Vivint Solar designs, installs, and maintains cost-effective solar energy systems. The company provides award-winning service and support while saving customers money and protecting the environment. For more information, visit www.vivintsolar.com

About Investors’ Circle

Investors’ Circle is the oldest, largest and most successful early-stage impact investing network. Together with hundreds of angels, venture capitalists, foundations and family offices, IC has propelled $175 million plus $4 billion in follow on investment into 275 enterprises dedicated to improving the environment, education, health and community. Learn more at www.investorscircle.net

About The Patient Capital Collaborative

The Patient Capital Collaborative (PCC) series of impact investing funds invest equity in early-stage, high-impact companies that are looking to provide meaningful social and/or environmental benefit to the world. The PCC generates its deal flow from the hundreds of companies that apply to Investors’ Circle each year. For more information, visit www.sustainvc.com

Contact:

Rena Avramidis
IC Marketing Coordinator
919-530-1177 X 405
ravramidis@investorscircle.net

MFX Solutions Supports $500 Million in Local Currency Loans to Micro-entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON, DC, January 29, 2014 – Today MFX Solutions announced that it has hedged the risk on over $500 million in microfinance loans to poor entrepreneurs in developing countries since 2010. These loans have been made in more than 30 currencies and have benefited over 800,000 entrepreneurs world-wide.

MFX was established in 2009 by a group of microfinance funds and foundations to fill a clear need for more local currency lending and better currency risk management in microfinance. A 2010 study sponsored by MFX revealed that microfinance institutions carried more than $6 billion of currency exposure, the result of borrowing in foreign currency to fund their local operations.

Brian Cox, MFX’s CEO said, “This milestone demonstrates that international microfinance lenders are indeed moving toward a safer, more equitable model of lending in local currency. We are proud to be part of this transformation, and we are convinced that better risk management is key to microfinance reaching its potential.”

Eliza Erikson, chair of the board at MFX and a director of investments at Omidyar Network, stated, “We could not be more pleased with the success of MFX. When Omidyar Network first invested in 2009, we predicted that MFX would transform the industry by solving the fundamental problem of currency mismatch, which puts microentrepreneurs at serious risk. MFX has since surpassed even our most optimistic expectations, and we see the microfinance sector as just the beginning. As impact investing begins to expand, it will need partners like MFX to reach its true potential.”

Rita van den Abbeel, Chief Risk Officer at Incofin IM, a Belgium-based microfinance fund, noted, “Our partnership with MFX is critical to how we do business. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) need funding in their own currencies in order to grow safely. On the other hand we also have to respect our investors risk appetite which limits the amount of currency exposure we can take. Thanks to MFX, we are able to meet the needs of the MFIs and their micro-entrepreneur clients while effectively managing our risk as required by our investors.”

About MFX:

MFX offers currency swaps and forward contracts to international MSME lenders to offset the risk they take when lending in the local currency of their borrowers. MFX receives support from US and Dutch government agencies OPIC and FMO and has a partnership with the Dutch exotic currency fund The Currency Exchange (TCX).

MFX’s clients are over 50 leading microfinance and SME loan funds. In addition to providing hedging services, MFX works with emerging microfinance institutions across Africa to help them understand, quantify and manage financial risk. With better risk management in place, these institutions are better able to access international funding and accelerate growth.

MFX’s investors are major microfinance lenders, investors, raters, networks, and foundations. MFX operates globally, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. and offices in Harare, Dakar and Kampala.

Additional information is available on MFX’s website at www.mfxsolutions.com.

Cherokee-McDonough Challenge Seeks Environmental Entrepreneurs

image

Accelerator Accepts Applications for Start-Ups to Receive Advisory Services and Funding

(Raleigh, NC) – January 30, 2014 – The Cherokee-McDonough Challenge, an accelerator designed to identify, fund and develop high impact environmental startups, has kicked off its fourth year of the program. The Challenge is seeking to support entrepreneurs who are addressing significant environmental challenges using viable, scalable business models. The application period is open now through April 15th. Information on the Challenge and how to apply can be found at www.cherokeechallenge.com

The group will select up to five ventures for the 2014 class. Entrepreneurs will participate in the three month accelerator program, which includes one-on-one and group advisory services, co-working space, start-up business services, and $20,000 in seed funding.

Participants that complete the program are typically well positioned for additional funding, have a working proto-type, are adept at communicating with potential investors, and have access to a strong network of investors, entrepreneurs, and advisors. Past participants have gone on to raise over $2 million in venture funding, including grants, debt and equity funding.

“We believe the environmental challenges that confront our society today will be solved by creative, determined entrepreneurs. Time has proven that a private sector, market-based approach is the best way to address such challenges,” said JT Vaughn, Director, Cherokee-McDonough Challenge. “Our role is to help develop and connect high quality start-ups so they can attract capital and get their ideas to market.”

image

In addition to facilitating the accelerator program, the Cherokee-McDonough Challenge will serve as a commercialization advisor for the recently announced Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute that is being led by NC State University.

About Cherokee

The Challenge is sponsored by Cherokee, an environmentally focused investment company. Cherokee has raised over $2 billion in private equity funds focused on brownfield remediation and, separately, founded a number of environmental businesses and invested in over 80 startups and venture funds in the past 30 years. Through the Challenge, Cherokee hopes to lend experience and expertise to other environmental entrepreneurs. For more information or to submit an application, visit www.cherokeechallenge.com.

About William McDonough

William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable development. A pioneer architect of the green building movement, McDonough’s interests and influence range widely, and he works at scales from the global to the molecular. Time magazine recognized him in 1999 as a “Hero for the Planet,” stating that “his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that-in demonstrable and practical ways-is changing the design of the world.” In 1996, McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation’s highest environmental honor, and in 2003 he earned the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work with Shaw Industries, the carpet division of Berkshire Hathaway. In 2004, he received the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design. McDonough advises major enterprises including commercial and governmental leaders worldwide through McDonough Advisors. McDonough also co-founded Make It Right (2006) with Brad Pitt to bring affordable, Cradle to Cradle-inspired homes to the New Orleans Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina. He is co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002) and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability — Designing for Abundance (2013).

Massachusetts Launches Landmark Initiative to Reduce Recidivism Among At-Risk Youth

$27 million Initiative is Largest Financial Investment in a Pay for Success Contract in the Country

Chelsea – Wednesday – January 29, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced the launch of the nation’s largest financial investment in a Pay for Success (PFS) initiative, which is designed to improve outcomes for hundreds of at-risk young men in the probation system or leaving the juvenile justice system. The Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Pay for Success Initiative will not only improve the lives of young people, but also reduce crime, promote safer and stronger communities and save taxpayer dollars.

This initiative, in partnership with Roca, Inc., Third Sector Capital Partners and commercial and philanthropic funders, is the largest PFS financial investment in the country and is designed to encourage innovative solutions to chronic social problems and improve outcomes for individuals in Massachusetts. PFS contracts allow governments with limited resources to expand innovative social programs and only pay for those that actually make a difference.

“By working with our partners at Roca, the Pay for Success initiative will allow us to marry smart financial solutions with programs proven successful in helping high-risk youth become employed, stay employed, and break the cycle of violence,” said Governor Deval Patrick.

The Commonwealth’s PFS initiative is part of an ongoing commitment by the Patrick Administration to reform the juvenile justice system and provide tools to keep youth on the right track to achieve future success. The program will allow Roca, a nonprofit service provider, to serve 929 young men in Boston, Cambridge, Chicopee, Everett, Holyoke, Ludlow, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Revere, Somerville, Springfield, West Springfield, Westfield and Winthrop by providing intensive outreach, life skills and employment training that will reduce recidivism and help these young men become assets and resources in their community.

PFS contracts, also called Social Impact Bonds, combine nonprofit expertise, private sector funding and rigorous evaluation to transform the way government and society respond to chronic social problems. In a PFS initiative, funders assume up-front financial risk, and taxpayers pay for a program only if a third party evaluator and validator determine that the initiative has achieved specific outcomes that both create benefits to society and generate savings for government.

“The Massachusetts Pay for Success Initiative is about changing the odds,” said Molly Baldwin, founder and executive director of Roca, In. “It’s about confronting the stubborn trends of incarceration and poverty among justice-system-involved young men, and standing in solidarity to say to these young men, ‘We will not leave you behind, you deserve more than jail or prison, and we will give you our time and support to help you make a better future for yourself and your community.”

The program’s success will be determined based on reductions in the number of days young men served by Roca spend in jail, and improvements in their employment and job readiness. The Commonwealth will repay funders if Roca’s services are proven to produce positive societal outcomes and savings for the Commonwealth. Roca was chosen because of their historical and ongoing commitment to intensive data and outcomes tracking that have proven the organization is well-equipped for a rigorous and long-term evaluation of its programming through the PFS initiative. To reduce incarceration rates among high-risk young men, Roca’s intervention model combines relentless outreach; intensive case management; life skills, educational, pre-vocational and employment training; and work opportunities with community partners.

Success payments will come from the Commonwealth, which has committed up to $27 million for this seven-year project, and from the U.S. Department of Labor, which awarded the Commonwealth a first-of-its-kind PFS grant of $11.7 million in September 2013. The additional funding for success payments from the Department of Labor will enable the Commonwealth to extend the project, should it prove successful, to an additional 391 young men, thereby serving a total of up to 1,320 young men over nine years.

Third Sector Capital Partners, a nonprofit advisory firm serving as project intermediary for this initiative, secured the $18 million in private financing for the project: $9 million in loan financing from the Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund; $1.5 million in loan financing from The Kresge Foundation; $1.5 million in loan financing from Living Cities; and $6 million total in grants from Laura and John Arnold Foundation, New Profit, and The Boston Foundation. Remaining grant funds will be re-cycled into future projects at the conclusion of this initiative.

The social and financial costs related to recidivism for the Commonwealth are enormous. Currently in Massachusetts, 64 percent of young male ex-offenders reoffend within five years, and only 35 percent of these young men gain employment within a year of release. Roca’s groundbreaking approach to positive youth development aims to interrupt the cycle of recidivism by filling a gap in services for high-risk populations. Through this project, Roca will aim to reduce the number of days that young men in the program are incarcerated by 40 percent. If this goal is met, the project would generate millions of dollars in savings to the Commonwealth that fully offset the cost of delivering services.

“Pay for Success has the potential to transform how government procures some of its most important social services, and to redirect vast resources towards the social interventions that are best able to deliver the results our communities need,” said George Overholser, Third Sector Capital Partner’s CEO and Co-Founder.

“This partnership is a creative way to test new approaches to solving deeply rooted social problems,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor. “We are focused on government paying for demonstrated results, rather than simply the hope for success.”

“We are pleased to work with Governor Patrick, Roca and all of our partners to help high-risk youth in Massachusetts secure access to life skills training and employment opportunities,” said E. Gerald Corrigan, Managing Director and Chairman of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. “We are proud to be an investor in projects such as this that rely on public sector-private sector cooperation to better achieve social and economic public policy goals.”

“This is a promising program with the potential to improve public safety, save taxpayers money, and directly impact the lives of hundreds of young people who are at high-risk of incarceration,” Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) Vice President of Public Accountability Josh McGee explained. “Yet, the people of Massachusetts don’t have to invest millions of dollars into the program and just hope that it will work. The unique Pay for Success funding model means the Commonwealth will only pay for the program if it is proven to be successful. LJAF supports social innovation financing as part of our overall effort to promote evidence-based decision making. By rigorously evaluating programs, we are better able to determine what works and then scale those programs that actually make a difference.”

“We applaud the Commonwealth’s leadership on this program and we have high confidence that Roca will improve many lives and help transform communities through it,” said Tripp Jones, Managing Director of New Profit. “The Pay for Success approach is a promising way to mobilize critical private sector resources and ingenuity to drive greater impact in local programs, while also saving taxpayer money. It’s rare to be able to achieve both, and we are looking forward to working on this and other similar initiatives in the future.”

“While much of the attention for this project will be based on its game-changing model for addressing major social issues in a cost-effective and socially responsive way, that is but one part of the reason the Boston Foundation is supporting it. This effort also takes on a major challenge for the Commonwealth by attacking the problem of juvenile re-incarceration, using a proven model, on a scale that would have been unimaginable in traditional scenarios. The potential social benefit for the Commonwealth is immense,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation.

“The Kresge Foundation has a long history with Roca. We’re pleased that, as we’ve expanded our social investing footprint, we’re able to support Roca’s outstanding work in a new way and to partner with these other funders,” said Kimberlee Cornett, director of Kresge’s Social Investment Practice. “CEO Molly Baldwin has been recognized as one of the most innovative service providers in the country for rigorous data intensive approach. We think the impact here is going to be tremendous.”

“The payoff for this transaction goes above and beyond the almost 1,000 lives we hope to positively impact. The ultimate success will be inspiring a new way for government, philanthropy and the private sector to collaborate that funds outcomes, not outputs. That’s how we’ll expand opportunities and make a dent in inequality,” said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities.

PARTICIPANTS IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE PAY FOR SUCCESS INITIATIVE

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts: PFS stemmed from Governor Patrick’s dedication to reducing recidivism rates and a vision of a government that improves lives, is driven by results and in which principles of performance management and accountability thrive. The Commonwealth’s work in the PFS project spans multiple governmental branches and agencies. The Office of the Commissioner of Probation, and the Department of Youth Services, a juvenile justice agency within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, are responsible for referring the high-risk young men they serve to Roca. The Department of Criminal Justice Information Services in the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security is providing data required to execute the project. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development is helping measure employment outcomes and performing fiscal management for the U.S. Department of Labor grant. The Executive Office for Administration and Finance is managing the disbursement of success payments.

Roca, Inc.: Roca’s mission is to help disengaged, disenfranchised young people move out of violence and poverty. Founded in 1988, Roca is an outcomes-driven organization committed to serving the highest risk 17-24 year olds in the Massachusetts communities of Chelsea, Boston, Malden, Everett and Springfield. Roca’s cognitive-behavioral Intervention Model re-engages young people in society—moving them out of violence, poverty, and incarceration into educational, employment, and life skills programming. Since its inception, Roca has helped more than 20,000 young people make positive, profound changes in their lives, creating a nationally-acclaimed model for violence intervention and youth development (transformational relationships), pioneering effective local, regional and national relationships with government, state, religious, health and community partners.

Third Sector Capital Partners: Third Sector Capital Partners (Third Sector) is a nonprofit advisory services firm whose mission is to accelerate America’s transition to a performance-driven social sector. Third Sector works with government, service providers and funders to develop and launch PFS projects. Third Sector is currently developing multiple projects with federal, state and local partners. Third Sector received pro bono legal assistance from Ropes & Gray, LLP throughout the establishment, structuring and negotiation of the Pay for Success initiative.

Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund: In 2013, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (UIG) launched the Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund, a first of its kind direct impact-investing vehicle, and manages the strategy on behalf of Goldman Sachs clients. Established in 2001, the Urban Investment Group deploys capital to help transform distressed communities into sustainable and vibrant neighborhoods of choice and opportunity. UIG seeks double bottom line returns by providing flexible financing for community projects that respond to the needs of low- and moderate-income communities and support public sector priorities. Through its comprehensive platform, UIG has committed more than $3 billion of Goldman Sachs capital, catalyzing development across dozens of residential, mixed-use and commercial projects, and financing job creation and neighborhood revitalization strategies as well as social services, through the nation’s first social impact bonds.

Living Cities: Founded in 1991, Living Cities is an innovative philanthropic collaborative that harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Living Cities’ grants, investments, research, networks and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of our learning to accelerate adoption in more places.

Kresge Foundation: The Kresge Foundation works to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities through grant making and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit. Kresge’s Human Services Program seeks to strengthen multiservice human services organizations that improve the quality of life and economic security of low-income people. Its Social Investment Practice uses loans, loan guarantees and deposits in support of Kresge program goals.

Laura and John Arnold Foundation: Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) is a private foundation that currently focuses its strategic investments on criminal justice, education, public accountability, and research integrity. LJAF has offices in Houston and New York City.

The Boston Foundation: The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of close to $900 million. The Foundation is a partner in philanthropy, with some 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives that address the region’s most pressing challenges.

New Profit Inc.: Founded in 1998, New Profit is a nonprofit social innovation organization and venture philanthropy fund seeking to increase social mobility by strengthening, connecting and amplifying the best ideas across the nation. With its signature partners and a network of philanthropists, New Profit invests in a portfolio of social entrepreneurs, grows their impact, and drives systemic change in education, workforce development, public health, community development/poverty alleviation, and other levers of opportunity. Through its annual Gathering of Leaders and cross-portfolio forums, New Profit connects social entrepreneurs with cross-sector leaders and builds communities that amplify bold visions and systems-changing agendas that fuel social innovation. Through America Forward, its public policy platform, these communities drive policy agendas that forge public/private partnerships to accelerate their impact.

Sibalytics LLC: Led by Dr. Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Sibalytics is an independent evaluation firm that has been selected to run the Randomized Control Trial (RCT) for the project. Sibalytics will take the young men referred to the project and divide them into a group to be referred to Roca for programming and a control group that is not referred to Roca. Sibalytics will track the outcomes of the young men in both groups and report on whether those participating in Roca services are incarcerated for less time and are more likely to be employed than the group of young men not participating in Roca.

Public Consulting Group: The Public Consulting Group (PCG) is the independent validator and will be responsible for assessing the proposed evaluation methodology and verifying whether outcome targets are met. PCG was selected by Massachusetts through a formal procurement.

Harvard Kennedy School Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab (SIB Lab): The SIB Lab provides pro bono technical assistance to state and local governments implementing PFS contracts using Social Impact Bonds. The SIB Lab assisted Massachusetts in developing the procurement and designing the data analysis strategy for this project.

The American Cancer Society and Stand Up To Cancer Announce Collaborative Research Effort

First Joint Project Involves a $20 Million Dream Team Grant for Lung Cancer Research To Be Awarded in 2015

Bristol-Myers Squibb Becomes SU2C Donor in Support of SU2C-ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team

LOS ANGELES – January 29, 2014 — The American Cancer Society, the largest voluntary health organization in the world dedicated to eliminating cancer, and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), the charitable initiative supporting groundbreaking research aimed at getting new treatments to patients in an accelerated timeframe, announced today an historic collaboration in the fight against cancer, which takes more than 585,000 lives in the U.S. each year and nearly 8 million worldwide.

“SU2C was started by the entertainment community and has had tremendous success in heightening the public’s awareness of the great promise of today’s cancer research,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “This alliance marries the Society’s comprehensive cancer-fighting mission with SU2C’s high-impact funding model. Collectively, the Society and SU2C can push ahead more quickly with cutting-edge research on some of the most deadly cancers, all for the benefit of patients.”

“The American Cancer Society has been on the forefront of the battle against this insidious disease for more than 100 years; its millions of volunteers are literally the boots on the ground in this fight. We’re honored to collaborate with an organization with such a rich history in the research, education and advocacy arenas,” said Lisa Paulsen, an SU2C co-founder and president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), the 501(c)(3) that serves as the fiduciary behind Stand Up To Cancer.

Stand Up To Cancer was launched in 2008. The initiative draws on the resources of the entire entertainment industry to encourage the public to support research conducted by teams of scientists, as well as by young, individual investigators. To date, more than 700 researchers from over 100 institutions have collaborated through SU2C.

The first project of the collaboration will be a $20 million research “Dream Team” focused on lung cancer, the leading cancer killer of men and women in the United States. The Society and SU2C together will fund the Dream Team over a three-year period to develop new therapies for lung cancer, with each group providing half the funding. Bristol-Myers Squibb will provide funding in the amount of $5 million to Stand Up To Cancer that will support the SU2C-ACS Lung Cancer Dream Team.

Later this year, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Stand Up To Cancer’s scientific partner, will issue a call for research proposals. The selection process will be conducted by a Joint Scientific Advisory Committee, composed of an equal number of experts nominated by SU2C and the Society. The team itself will be announced in 2015.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States,” said Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate and Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, who is chairman of SU2C’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). “More work is urgently needed to address the many unanswered questions about lung cancer and guide new directions in treatment.”

“By combining forces with SU2C, the Society looks forward to leveraging our combined resources with the extraordinary collaboration made possible by the Dream Team research model to transform the field of lung cancer research,” said Otis W. Brawley, M.D., F.A.C.P., chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. “We believe this translational research will enhance and further diversify our research portfolio.”

Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, claiming the lives of approximately 160,000 people annually in the U.S. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 224,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed annually in the U.S. Overall, among both smokers and non-smokers, the chance that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about 1 in 13; for a woman, the risk is about 1 in 16, although for smokers, the risk is much higher.

“There continues to be a high unmet medical need in patients with lung cancer, which is a difficult disease to treat,” said Joseph Leveque, M.D., vice president, U.S. medical, oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to improving patient outcomes in lung cancer and we are proud to support this collaborative approach to research with Stand Up to Cancer to find innovative ways to treat this disease.”

The overarching collaboration also includes an advocacy component led by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, and SU2C (a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation). “ACS CAN is thrilled to bring its public policy expertise and nationwide network of advocacy volunteers to this collaboration to support increasing critical federal funding for lifesaving cancer research and prevention programs,” said Christopher W. Hansen, president of ACS CAN.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we mark our 100th birthday in 2013, we’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. We’re finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org/fight

About Stand Up To Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.

Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric; Sherry Lansing, Chairperson of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Board of Directors and Founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation; EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen; EIF Senior Vice President Kathleen Lobb; Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz of the Robertson Schwartz Agency; Pamela Oas Williams, President of Laura Ziskin Productions and Executive Producer of Stand Up To Cancer’s In-house Production Team, and Nonprofit Executive Ellen Ziffren. All current members of the CFA were co-producers of the 2012 televised special. The late co-founder Laura Ziskin executive produced both the Sept. 5, 2008, and Sept. 10, 2010, broadcasts. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., has served as SU2C’s president and CEO since 2011.

Major SU2C donors include founding donor Major League Baseball; Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Sidney Kimmel, the country’s largest individual contributor to cancer research; MasterCard; Genentech; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Cancer Research Institute; Melanoma Research Alliance; Prostate Cancer Foundation; The Safeway Foundation; Sean Parker Foundation; St. Baldrick’s Foundation; The Lustgarten Foundation: KWF; Wallis Annenberg & The Annenberg Foundation; Amgen; GlaxoSmithKline; Pfizer; Oakland A’s Owner/Managing Partner Lew Wolff; Comcast; The Island Def Jam Music Group and others.

Prior to the January 29, 2014 announcement, more than $260 million had been pledged to Stand Up To Cancer.

For more information on Stand Up To Cancer visit www.standup2cancer.org.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Applauds President’s Call For Investments In Job Preparedness And Access To Quality Education For America’s Working Families

Carla D. Thompson, vice president – program strategy, issued the following statement around President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address:

In tonight’s State of the Union, President Barack Obama demonstrated his administration’s commitment to helping families achieve economic security, while increasing investments and opportunities for high quality education for all Americans, efforts that will help children and families reach their full potential now and in our nation’s future.

President Obama said he’s seeking across-the-board reform of America’s job training programs to, “train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life.”

The president’s vision for connecting the dots between education and employment, transforming high schools to be STEM-ready and expanding partnerships between business, industry and community colleges to prepare youth to enter the workforce with much needed skills is right on target.

These proposed investments at all levels of the education continuum are made even stronger when connected with efforts that build the economic stability of families. The foundation is pleased with the president’s call for increasing the minimum wage, expanding apprenticeships and workforce skills development, and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), because if families achieve greater access onto and up the ladder of economic and social mobility, they can gain opportunities that will help both themselves and their children succeed in school, work and life. By helping two generations simultaneously (children and their parents), we can break the cycle of poverty and create a brighter future for children.

American families need every available resource to help them achieve economic stability by building skills for better-paying and more secure jobs. President Obama’s discussions on college affordability, job-driven training efforts at community colleges and launching retirement investments for all workers are welcome news. Too many families are out of work or only able to take jobs that barely get them by month to month. Building the assets of families now can create economic security for generations to come.

The president also reaffirmed his commitment to high-quality early childhood education for all students, saying, “Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education.”

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) unequivocally supports stronger investments in early childhood education at the local, state and national levels. We know that these investments work – especially for children from birth to age 8 who face barriers based on race or income. Smart, targeted investments in early childhood education are proven to fight poverty by delivering strong educational, social and economic outcomes not just for children, but for their families and communities where they live. We are thrilled that the president recognizes the value in such investments that will give every child a fair chance at success in school and life and save communities money in the long run by increasing independence and self-sufficiency.

The president also touched on the specific need to support young males of color and set them on the path to success. WKKF has pledged to work nationally with a number of other leading foundations on a new initiative that the president said will “help more young men of color facing tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential.” The foundation is already working with 25 community organizations in its priority place Mississippi to change the conditions that young males of color in that state face, by creating an environment and a comprehensive network of support from birth into adulthood that enables racial healing and eliminates barriers to opportunity.

Tonight, we heard strategies for moving our country forward. We hope these efforts will build on what’s currently working in communities across the country and ensure that our youngest Americans and their families can learn and thrive economically together.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to help break the cycle of poverty by removing barriers based on race or income that hold back children, so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

                                                              ###

Contact:

Wade Nelson, 269-969-2166
Wade.Nelson@wkkf.org

Don't miss any Good News!
Subscribe to news from MySocialGoodNews.com!
* = required field
Content I want:



Find Us On

amazon facebook_32 gplus_32 linkedin_32 pinterest_32 tumblr_32 twitter_32 website_32 youtube_32 email_32 rss_32