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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 stories about philanthropy, typically covering the generosity of individuals, families, groups of individuals and foundations (nonprofits primarily in the business of funding other nonprofits.

President Bill Clinton Awards USD 1M Hult Prize at United Nations Headquarters to Four College Students from the UK for Innovative Rice Farming Startup & Issues 10th Anniversary Youth Challenge

Press Release – September 18, 2018, New York, New York. The Hult Prize Foundation has announced the recipient of the 9th annual Hult Prize, the world’s largest startup program for student impact entrepreneurs. A four-person team of college students from University College London (UCL) received the prestigious award by creating a farming startup that radically improves rice yields, land turnover and ultimately farmer income with the goal of improving the livelihood of millions of people across Southeast Asia and beyond.

In partnership with the United Nations Office of Partnerships, more than 100,000 college and university students from 121 countries competed for this year’s edition of the Hult Prize. The year long program kicks off the UNGA each fall as college students around the world compete to answer the annual social impact startup challenge.

This year’s winning team, known as SunRice, was one of six finalists who presented their startup at the United Nations Headquarters after winning the semi-final summer stage of the Hult Prize, where they lived, worked, learned and played amongst 200 other student entrepreneurs in the former residence of Henry the VIII — a castle sprawling over 190 acres just north of London.

The difficult decision was made by a heavyweight lineup of judges which included a mix of celebrities, entrepreneurs, UN officials and corporate executives including Verizon CEO, Hans Vestberg, Arianna Huffington and Earthday President, Kathleen Rogers. Hult Prize Founder and CEO, Ahmad Ashkar said, “This business is going to radically change everything we think know about rice trade and I am excited about the potential impact their company will have on society and the prospect of building out the world’s first socially responsible rice brand.”

At the event, President Bill Clinton also announced the 10th Year Anniversary Hult Prize Challenge which will focus on youth unemployment and ask students around the world to create startups that can collectively create meaningful work opportunities for one-million young people. The best idea will receive one million dollars in startup capital.

Since inception the Hult Prize has engaged a global community of more 2.1 million college and university students world-wide and created more than 200,000 social enterprises. For more information about SunRice or The Hult Prize Foundation please visit

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Global Citizen, Good360, And All Hands And Hearts – Smart Response Launch Resilient Response Initiative

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2018 – Today, Global Citizen, Good360, and All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response announced Resilient Response, a coalition of nonprofits and corporations pledging to commit to a necessary shift in disaster giving and long-term relief initiatives to better support impacted communities after natural disasters.

“With the strength and frequency of natural disasters increasing around the world, it is urgent for us to call on companies to take immediate action towards ensuring a more Resilient Response to natural disasters,” said Petra Nemcova, co-founder of All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response. “We are thrilled to partner with Global Citizen, Good360 and global corporations as we proactively work towards building resilience beyond the focus of first response and protecting communities from future natural disasters.”

Launching on the heels of Hurricane Florence and on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, the Resilient Response Initiative sheds light on the crucial and immediate need to adjust disaster giving behaviors among corporations to better support response and long-term recovery.

According to recent studies, 70% of current giving occurs within the first two months after a natural disaster, while only 5% of giving is allocated to reconstruction and recovery. It can take communities an average of five years to recover, and the Resilient Response Initiative’s six-point pledge outlines actions corporate partners can take to ensure a more resilient response to natural disasters.

“The challenges we face in the disaster recovery field are bigger than any single one of us,” said Howard Sherman, CEO of Good360. “Collaboration around thoughtful giving is at the core of what we do every day at Good360, so we are very happy to partner with like-minded organizations in order to raise awareness around the gaps in long-term disaster recovery and to collectively spearhead better ways to bring communities back to resiliency post-disaster.”

Partners supporting the Resilient Response initiative include Airbnb,, TUMI, and members of the Good360 Disaster Recovery Council, such as CVS, Ecolab, RH (Restoration Hardware), United Airlines, UPS, Walmart, and Wrangler, among others.


  • Proactive: We will have plans in place before disaster strikes so we can respond effectively.
  • Needs-based: We will find out what a community needs as the key driver of our support, collaborating and learning from others who are also responding.
  • Immediate & Long-term: We will address immediate and long-term needs, staying in communities well after the cameras leavers.
  • Resilience focused: We will leave communities stronger than before disaster struck, helping them to better withstand future disasters.
  • Transparent: We will be transparent about our actions and hold ourselves accountable to deliver on promises.
  • Educational: We will educate our associates, colleagues, consumers and the public on how they can better respond to disasters.

“We know from our millions of Global Citizen’s that they want to help when disaster strikes, especially in the poorest parts of the world,” said Simon Moss, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Campaigns at Global Citizen. “But, they’re looking for advice on how make their efforts – whether it’s time, money or stuff – really count. They’re wanting to be a part of a resilient response that will help communities in the long term, which is why we are so excited to partner on this campaign.”

Take action at and show your support with the hashtag #ResilientResponse.

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Simon & Schuster To Publish Jean Case’s Be Fearless In January

Press Release – New York, NY, September 20, 2018 – Simon & Schuster announced today that it will publish Be Fearless: Five Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose by Jean Case. Mrs. Case is the first female Chairman of the National Geographic Society in its 130-year history and CEO of the Case Foundation. Be Fearless will be published in January 2019.

Be Fearless is a call to action to aspiring changemakers to overcome fear, take bold risks, and live lives of urgency. Weaving together real-world stories from dozens of ordinary people who ended up doing extraordinary things as well Jean’s own transformational life experiences, this deeply personal and inspiring book provides a clear roadmap for individuals and organizations to ignite change at work, in life and in communities.

Be Fearless is built around five principles that Jean and the Case Foundation have identified as being at the center of transformational change and innovation, past and present: (1) Make a Big Bet, (2) Be bold and take risks, (3) Make failure matter, (4) Reach beyond your bubble, and (5) Let urgency conquer fear. She vividly illustrates these principles with storytelling—from her own transformational experiences to John F. Kennedy’s history-making moonshot, to Jane Goodall’s remarkable breakthroughs in understanding and protecting chimpanzees and other endangered species, to AirBnB’s tale of starting from scratch to transform the hospitality industry, to Bryan Stevenson’s ambitious efforts to end incarceration inequities, to celebrity chef José Andrés’ decision to be a “first responder” and take his kitchen to the sites of devastating hurricanes to feed the hungry—and much more. In recounting these stories, Jean appeals to readers to ask themselves, “What can I do?” and she provides the tools to help them get started.

Be Fearless comes at a critical time of rapid societal shifts, technological innovation and political upheaval and provides the inspiration and guidance needed to make big changes, making it a must read for everyone from business leaders to entrepreneurs to individuals and non-profits—anyone looking for a spark to take audacious steps and to Be Fearless.

“Jean brought her fierce determination to the question of what makes an effective changemaker, and she found a surprising answer. As a result, her book has the power to change people’s lives,” said Priscilla Painton, Vice President and Executive Editor of the Simon & Schuster imprint.

Early impressions of the book have been overwhelmingly positive, with New York Times bestselling author Adam Grant calling it, “an inspiring book by an inspiring leader,” and philanthropist Melinda Gates raving, “if you need a dose of courage, I recommend this powerful collection of stories, evidence, and optimism.” Former Executive Chairman of Google and Alphabet Inc. Eric Schmidt notes that, “with legitimately surprising research and compelling stories, Be Fearless inspires us all to take risks we usually wouldn’t, conquer the fears that get in our way, and lead a fulfilling life of clear purpose and maximum impact.” And Designer and CEO Tory Burch observes that, “Be Fearless stresses one of the most critical components of successful entrepreneurship: discomfort. Her very useful roadmap shows budding entrepreneurs how to think independently and move beyond their comfort zone.”

Case has spoken about the five Be Fearless principles at SXSW, the Aspen Ideas Festival, Fortune Most Powerful Women and numerous businesses, non-profits, universities and conferences. The Be Fearless Facebook Watch show has received more than 1 million views across 11 episodes and she has written columns for Forbes and Time. Her leadership as a philanthropist and investor have been praised and profiled in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNBC, Washington Post, Forbes Magazine, Fast Company, and Fortune Magazine with appearance on networks like CNN and CNBC.

Mrs. Case is a philanthropist, investor and internet and impact investing pioneer who advocates for the importance of embracing a more fearless approach to innovate and bring about transformational breakthroughs. Her career in the private sector spanned nearly two decades before co-founding the Case Foundation in 1997. Before the Case Foundation, she was a senior executive at America Online, Inc. where she directed marketing and branding as AOL brought the internet to the masses.

In addition to her role as CEO of the Case Foundation, Jean is Chairman of the Board of the National Geographic Society and currently serves on the boards of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), the White House Historical Association, and BrainScope Company, Inc., as well as on the advisory boards of the Brain Trust Accelerator Fund, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016 and has received honorary degrees from Indiana University and George Mason University. Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose is her first book.

Mrs. Case was represented by Robert B. Barnett of Williams & Connolly. Simon & Schuster acquired world rights and audio rights.

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Travel Professionals Connect New Orleans Nonprofits to the Travel Industry to Benefit Communities

Press Release – NEW ORLEANS, La. – Sept. 19, 2018 – Tourism Cares completes its year-long Uniting for Resilient Destinations program on Friday. The last of two in this series, Tourism Cares for New Orleans unites 200 travel professionals with local partners to support the vibrant communities that give life to New Orleans tourism.

“Investing time and labor in neighborhoods and with local organizations,” says Tourism Cares CEO Paula Vlamings, “is the immediate impact and it’s important. The lasting impact is the power of our collective industry: professionals from all sectors coming together to create social change through the tourism economy to support healthy, safe, and beautiful destinations through their businesses.”

In addition to volunteering, the program educates travel professionals about opportunities to incorporate social enterprises into their business, using the purchasing power of tourism to create positive change. Participants will experience Café Reconcile and New Orleans Jazz Market, two organizations Tourism Cares is supporting by investing in their services and connecting them to travel businesses who can direct additional visitors to them. The program also raises awareness of the environmental factors that affect the people and places of New Orleans.

Participants will split into groups to volunteer at—and learn about—the following six sites that serve the community and environment:

  • Apex Youth Community Center provides a safe space for teens and focuses on positive social interactions to resolve conflicts and create lasting relationships. The center is dedicated to helping youth succeed and inspiring them to view the world in a different way.
  • Audubon Nature Institute is dedicated to preserving and educating visitors on the beauty of the natural Louisianan environment and its wildlife.
  • Groundwork New Orleans is dedicated to changing the way the city interacts with nature through programs like rain gardens and an Earth Lab with green architecture. They believe that the city’s architecture should work with, instead of against, the environment.
  • Jericho Road is a community organization focused on transforming the city landscape one block at a time by building and providing affordable homes—as well as education and support even after the resident is in their new home.
  • Recirculating Farms Coalition focuses on eco-friendly community farms that use clean recycled water to grow local and accessible foods.
  • Woodlands Conservancy preserves and restores Louisiana’s remaining wetland forests while providing public opportunities for recreation, ecotourism and education in a natural and historic setting.

“By working with APEX, in the heart of Central City, New Orleans, Tourism Cares ensures that our culture bearers can remain strong and lead our community into a bright future,” said Lisa Fitzpatrick, Founder of APEX Youth Center. “Supporting what brings tourism to our unique city ensures that our rich heritage and culture is not just a history lesson but remains alive and vibrant for generations to come.”

Tourism Cares for New Orleans will contribute more than $50,000 through investments in the community and volunteer labor value.

Tourism Cares focused on resilient destinations in 2018 as climate change and natural disasters continue to impact people and places in our industry. This is the second and final event in the Uniting for Resilient Destinations series which began in May with Tourism Cares for South Florida.

The organization’s next program will be Tourism Cares for Puerto Rico from May 8-10, 2019. Visit for more.

Tourism Cares for New Orleans is made possible by AIG, Delta Air Lines, Rovia, New Orleans & Company, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Louisiana Motor Coach, Aon Affinity I Travel Practice,, Carnival Cruise Line, Collette, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Goway Travel, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, Leisure Pass Group, National Tour Association (NTA), NYC & Company, Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA), Trip Mate, U.S. Travel Association, United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), Viking Cruises, Fieldstone Ventures and New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

About Tourism Cares

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

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Emelie Ekblad and Fiona Hazell left their corporate careers and went business backpacking, building and supporting social entrepreneurs from grassroot level across the world. They shared the same vision, a deep desire to Make A Difference. One year ago they launched their MAD vision and organisation.

Press Release – After having lived parallel lives on different continents unknowing each other – Fiona Hazell and Emelie Ekblad´s paths crossed. Seeing the need to explore alternative realities to be able to manifest a more prosperous future for everyone they started MAD.

In just one year MAD has grown, and today MAD entrepreneurs are operating in more than 30 countries, leading over 50 organisations and businesses across industries and sectors – collectively contributing to all of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Emelie and Fiona just got back from a month in Africa, having brought together a MAD team across continents and disciplines. The journey searched for MAD approaches from a societal perspective: playing with alternative ways of building communities.

Throughout the journey, they worked alongside Samuel Malinga, a MAD entrepreneur and UN’s global youth leader for SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation. In addition, they gathered local young leaders and social entrepreneurs to collectively catalyse what became known as the “model village”; finding ways to build alternative institutional ecosystems weaving together innovations for clean water, sanitation, education, farming, energy, health care and saving clubs into a new institutional fabric.

As we move into the fall, MAD delves deep into exploring alternative realities from a complementing angle driving equality and diversity with Gender as the entry point. Today, the ideations are taking place between some of the MAD entrepreneurs and members who have dedicated their lives to this question, from different angles and parts of the world:

Majd Ismail Mashharawi, who is re-building Gaza from within, turning demolished house rubble to brick, with a team of female engineers.

Elsa D’Silva who heat maps violence, to create safe mega cities in India and beyond.

Ahmed Ali Babar, who worked for the Pakistani Youth Parliament, and now builds schools subsidising girl child education.

Aleksey Fedorov a Russian activist for the LGBTQIA+ community, leading pride events across 17 countries and 40 cities.

The Fatta! social movement who were a pivotal force behind the recent law on sexual consent in Sweden.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale who is supporting women of domestic violence in Nigeria, through therapy and social entrepreneurial training.

Nelson Mandela said; “It all seems impossible until its done”. Emelie and Fiona believe that our biggest challenges are our biggest opportunities. That changing our mindset will be what is going to unlock our leap into a prosperous future. That conviction lies at the very heart of MAD. To stay tuned and explore how You can Make A Difference:

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Kool Smiles Announces Second Round of K-5 Classroom Grant Winners as a New School Year Begins

Press Release – ATLANTA – As a new school year begins, Kool Smiles, a leading children’s dental health provider, today announced the winners of its second My Kool Smiles Classroom Grant Program contest, which awards classroom grants to K-5 educators who go above and beyond in promoting dental health education in the classroom.

The five winners of the classroom grants are K-5 educators Minnie Sapp of Panama City, Fla.; Lynda Warren of Williams, S.C.; Rachel Cervantez of Lubbock, Texas; Georgia Duan of New York, N.Y.; and Diane Emiliano of El Paso, Texas. Kool Smiles will award each teacher a $1,000 classroom grant in recognition of their guidance and leadership as exceptional teachers who encourage their students to follow good dental health practices by making it a central part of their curriculum.

“Kool Smiles launched our classroom grants last year and is pleased to continue this annual program that recognizes and supports deserving teachers in communities nationwide for their significant role in the lives of children inside and outside of the classroom,” said Dr. Dale Mayfield, Chief Dental Officer for Kool Smiles. “Educators play a pivotal role in linking children and dental health. We hope that this program will inspire other teachers to make oral health lesson plans part of their classroom curriculum.”

Submissions for the grant program were accepted August 1 – August 31, 2018. Teachers who applied or were nominated submitted an example of a dental lesson plan or essay about how healthy dental habits are being promoted in their classroom. As a new school year begins, the grant money is to be used for classroom supplies or school needs.

“It is an honor to receive this support and recognition from Kool Smiles,” said Minnie Sapp, a teacher at Parker Elementary School in Panama City, Fla. “As children learn and grow, dental health is an important part of that process. The classroom grant will go a long way in helping us with school supplies for the new school year!”

“I am so grateful to be given this opportunity by Kool Smiles and plan on continuing to make dental health a key part of our school curriculum with this grant,” said Lynda Warren, a teacher at Richard Carroll Elementary School in Bamberg, S.C.

Submissions were carefully reviewed by a committee of Kool Smiles clinical leaders and Benevis team members. The winning applicants demonstrated originality, creativity, and passion for being teachers to children in their community.

“Being awarded the Kool Smiles classroom grant for dental health curriculum is great affirmation that including these lessons about the importance of dental health really matters.,” said Rachel Cervantez, a fourth-grade teacher at Bowie Elementary School in Lubbock, Texas.

“Teaching students about dental hygiene and healthy habits at a young age sets them up for success in the classroom and beyond. Thank you to Kool Smiles for supporting our students, their families and educators from coast to coast,” said Georgia Duan, a teacher at PS 333X The Longwood Academy of Discovery in Bronx, N.Y.

“Teaching is a rewarding profession and being recognized for our efforts in the classroom is very much appreciated. Kool Smiles just made my smile a little brighter!,” said Diane Emiliano, a teacher at Ysleta Elementary School in El Paso, Texas.

For more information about the grant program, please visit

The Kool Smiles classroom grant program is sponsored by the Benevis Foundation.

About Kool Smiles

Kool Smiles is dedicated to creating a world of happy, healthy smiles. As a leading dental health provider, Kool Smiles’ mission is to improve lives by providing high quality dental care in a fun, compassionate environment. Kool Smiles dentists are proud to offer care to kids and adults with almost any insurance plan, including Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP), Medicaid and Tricare. Kool Smiles also provides oral health education programs through partnerships with community schools and organizations. For more information, please visit

About the Benevis Foundation

The Benevis Foundation is committed to improving dental care access and outcomes for underserved communities in the United States through research, education and outreach. The foundation sponsors ongoing research on the role of Medicaid dental providers in improving access to preventative care, early intervention, and dental health education among traditionally underserved pediatric populations, as well as research on the cost savings associated with improving access to dental care among these patient populations in both federal and state healthcare systems. Through these research efforts, the Benevis Foundation hopes to provide data that informs and strengthens public policy related to dental access and affordability. For more information, visit

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Fidelity Charitable Study Finds Entrepreneurs Leading the Way in Philanthropy

Entrepreneurs donate 50 percent more than others, volunteer more Most entrepreneurs plan to give to charity when they exit their businesses

Press Release – BOSTON, September 19, 2018 – Entrepreneurs donate more to charity on average than non-business owners, according to a study released today by Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity and the nation’s second-largest grantmaker. The organization’s latest study focuses on the giving habits and priorities of entrepreneurs, like North Carolina residents and Fidelity Charitable donors Todd and Michelle Buelow, a group whose impact on philanthropy is growing exponentially.

“550,000 Americans become entrepreneurs every month,” [1] said Pamela Norley, president of Fidelity Charitable. “The sheer size of this group, coupled with an expressed interest in having a positive social impact, means they have a tremendous influence on the philanthropic sector.”

Entrepreneurs Give More Time and Money than Non-Business Owners

Philanthropy is a major focus for entrepreneurs—79 percent say that charitable giving is a critical part of who they are, and 47 percent consider themselves philanthropists. Entrepreneurs tend to give more than others, with the median annual donation for an entrepreneur being 50 percent higher—$3,577 compared with $2,383.

Entrepreneurs approach giving differently—nearly six in 10 say their experience as business owners reflect how they approach their giving. Entrepreneurs prioritize aspects of giving that align with a more hands-on approach: 61 percent appreciate the ability to be personally involved in a cause or organization, and 62 percent value the opportunity to demonstrate leadership in their community through charitable giving, compared to about half of non-business owners.

As further evidence of entrepreneurs’ commitment to giving back, the study found they also spend more time volunteering, with 66 percent volunteering three or more hours per month, compared with 55 percent by other donors. They are also more likely to contribute skills relevant to their expertise in business, such as professional services, helping with fundraising, and serving on boards or committees.

How the Buelows Give and Maximize Impact

This hands-on approach to giving is exemplified by entrepreneurs Todd and Michelle Buelow. Todd, who founded the custom software company Dualboot Partners, and Michelle, who founded Bella Tunno, a company that makes baby products and accessories, maintain a busy schedule volunteering for local charities, including serving on boards and helping with fundraisers.

Their involvement with organizations like the Charlotte Rescue Mission, a residential program for substance abuse recovery, has helped to jumpstart projects such as expanding a men’s dormitory for recovering addicts to include new bedrooms, a bathroom, and a full gym. In addition to their time, the Buelows also give actively through their Fidelity Charitable donor-advised fund, the Matt Tunno Make A Difference Fund. In fact, for every purchase from Bella Tunno, the couple recommends a grant to Feeding America, resulting in more than 1.5 million meals donated. The fund is named for Michelle’s brother Matt, a doctoral candidate who died at the age of 30 following long struggles with addiction, several years before the launch of Bella Tunno. Making grants in his memory, particularly around areas related to addiction, was a catalyst for them to increase their focus on giving back in conjunction with growing their businesses.

“As entrepreneurs, you really have to be clever and creative to spread every dollar six different ways,” said Michelle Buelow. “That’s the lens that we bring to our philanthropy and volunteer work as well. How can we find ways to make funds go further, whether it is by leveraging our network or bringing a new idea to the table for the nonprofits we support?”

Entrepreneurs Use Business Exits as Opportunities to Give Back

Philanthropy is particularly top-of-mind when business owners are making plans to sell their business. Three out of 10 current business owners intend to sell or pass the business down to a family member within the next five years, and of those, nearly 68 percent have plans to donate to charity in conjunction with that transition. Just 14 percent of business owners have no plans in place to give to charity during the time of a business exit.

“With a significant number of individuals who have both a clear commitment to philanthropy and an in-depth understanding of charitable giving strategies planning to sell or pass down their business within the next five years, the philanthropic sector is likely to benefit substantially,” said Karla Valas, managing director of Fidelity Charitable’s Complex Assets Group.

Specifically, 31 percent plan to make a donation to charity with the proceeds, 27 percent plan to set up an ongoing way to make charitable donations via a donor-advised fund or foundation, and 26 percent plan to donate shares of the business prior to the sale, which can help increase the amount they can give.

Highlights from the Study Include:

  • The median household donation of an entrepreneur is 50 percent higher than others surveyed.
  • Seventy-nine percent of entrepreneurs say that charitable giving is a critical part of who they are, and 47 percent consider themselves philanthropists.
  • Entrepreneurs are twice as likely to prefer new, innovative nonprofits.
  • Sixty-six percent of entrepreneurs volunteer three or more hours per month, compared with 55 percent of other donors.
  • Of current business owners who plan to sell or pass down their business, 69 percent plan to make charitable giving a part of their exit strategy, with 31 percent planning to make a donation to charity with sale proceeds, and 27 percent planning to set up an ongoing way to make charitable donations via a donor-advised fund or foundation.

For the complete report and additional insights, visit:

Entrepreneurs as Philanthropists surveyed 3,000 total respondents who give to charity and itemized deductions on their taxes last year. 708 are entrepreneurs, including 559 who currently own a business and 149 who previously owned a business and hold assets deriving from its sale while 2,292 are non-entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs were defined by having founded a business or owning a business directly through stock or direct ownership. Those who owned stock in public companies were excluded unless that ownership gave them a controlling interest.

About Fidelity Charitable

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

[1] The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship Series, 2016.

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Chicago’s Largest Literacy Non-Profit Expands Footprint

Added 10 CPS elementary schools to network, handful of corporate sponsors & hundreds of teacher volunteers for 2018-2019 school year

Press Release – Working in the Schools (WITS), Chicago’s largest literacy nonprofit, continues to lead a movement in the city as it expands work within Chicago Public Schools. The city’s literacy leader for 27 years, WITS is now serving 90 schools (compared to 80 last year), training 150 teachers and enlisting 70 corporate partners. WITS has developed and continues to maintain the largest corps of volunteer mentors working with CPS, aligning in the belief that literacy leads to equity.

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, students who cannot read at grade level by third grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school by age 19 than a child who reads proficiently by third grade. This is exactly where WITS CEO Brenda Langstraat places her team’s focus by honing-in on the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”, which occurs at the third or fourth grade level. WITS arms students with critical literacy skills and sets them up for success for modern day opportunities, particularly in STEM fields. Through its unparalleled network of staff, teachers and volunteers across 90 CPS schools, WITS has left the largest footprint of any literacy organization in Chicago.

While working in conjunction with Chicago Public Schools and the CPS Literacy Department, WITS receives no funding from school or city budgets. Remaining committed to the value of consistency, WITS maintains an active presence with their students through the school year and over the summer. They rely heavily on fundraising to cover 100 percent of their work and are able to fund their programs thanks to their over 70 corporate sponsors and private donors.

Every year, WITS hosts The Blackboard Affair in an effort to raise money to support their yearlong programs. This year’s Blackboard Affair will take place on Saturday, November 3 at Revel Fulton Market. The event, which will run from 5:30 to 11:30pm, is being sponsored by well-known organizations such as AON, Deloitte and BP and proceeds will go towards activating 1,600 volunteers as WITS literacy mentors and training 200 teachers across 90 Chicago public schools. Last year’s Blackboard Affair hosted over 600 attendees, and with investments from 40 prominent Chicagoland corporations, was able to raise $700,000 in support of the WITS mission.

Hernandez, Donald J. Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation. Baltimore: Annie E. Casey Foundation, April 2011.

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Loyola University New Orleans Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development Celebrates $1.5 Million Gift

Anonymous gift puts Loyola’s Faith in the Future capital campaign at $91 million

Press Release – (New Orleans – Sept. 18, 2018) Loyola University New Orleans celebrates this week a generous $1.5 million gift that will expand the scope of the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development, now under the direction of Kate McCrery.

Bestowed by an anonymous donor, the gift will transform and expand opportunities available to all Loyola students aiming to pursue their interests in entrepreneurship.

“Entrepreneurship has the potential to solve large-scale, complex problems that impact communities in any town or city,” said McCrery, who took over leadership of the Center this month. “Through the generosity of this gift, every Loyola student from every major can now gain access to this potential, which empowers an entire generation to introduce new ideas and create better communities for us all.”

According to the Data Center, 72% of the net new jobs created in New Orleans last year came from 1% of new businesses, McCrery said. As a university, Loyola is working to expand and develop entrepreneurial talent as well as to support community partners. This effort will grow local business and employment and spur economic growth.

Specifically, the gift will allow the CECD to hire and train additional staff, further develop experiential programming for students, bring entrepreneurs and mentors to campus, and launch a new consulting venture that will allow Loyola entrepreneurship majors and MBA students to gain professional experience while providing local businesses operational support. Furthermore, this gift will allow the CECD to develop a new scholarship program for its Certificate in Software Development, which provides coding skills to many students who would otherwise be unable to access crucial career connections that this program creates.

The $1.5 million gift also puts Loyola’s Faith in the Future campaign at $91 million of its $100 million goal, or 91 percent attainment. Following six record-setting years, the Faith in the Future campaign is the most ambitious and successful fundraising campaign in university history.

“At Loyola University New Orleans, we encourage our students to use their creativity and critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and problem-solving skills, to find ways to improve the world around them,” said Loyola University New Orleans President Tania Tetlow. “With this gift, the CECD will expand and grow opportunities for both our students and local businesses throughout New Orleans. Our entire community is grateful to our benevolent donor for this generosity and support.”

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Thomson Reuters Foundation Launches ‘Openly’, Global LGBT+ News Platform

Digital platform fills critical gap in current news landscape

Press Release – (London – September 18, 2018) The Thomson Reuters Foundation – the charitable arm of the world’s largest news and information provider – announces today the expansion of its under-reported human rights news coverage with the launch of a dedicated LGBT+ digital news platform.

Launching on September 27, Openly ( will serve a global audience looking for authoritative, impartial and trustworthy news reporting on the many issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the world.

Openly will cover topics ranging from crucial legislative change, to health-related matters, business and economics. The digital platform will also shed light on the personal accounts of those discriminated against or attacked because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, and will give visibility to the work of those people, businesses and institutions advancing LGBT+ rights.

Edited by Hugo Greenhalgh – previously editor of the Financial Times’ Wealth Magazine – Openly’s original news content will be sourced by the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global editorial team, supported by a network of more than 250 freelancers spanning all continents.

Original news content from Openly will additionally be distributed via the Reuters wire service, reaching a daily audience of one billion readers worldwide. News will also be available on a dedicated section of the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s news site:, through Apple News, Google News and Facebook Instant News.

“LGBT+ rights are human rights,” said Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “This initiative recognises the importance of shedding light on the many issues affecting LGBT+ people around the world with impartial and accurate news. Openly is about trusted news, and is not an advocacy platform.”

Openly aims to be the ultimate source of information for everyone with an interest in LGBT+ issues,” said Antonio Zappulla, COO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “When it comes to LGBT+ content, the current news landscape is often fragmented, insular and lacks credibility. Openly’s authoritative and trusted LGBT+ news will cater for the LGBT+ community and beyond.”

In line with the aim of becoming a ‘one-stop-shop’ for anyone seeking trusted LGBT+ content, Openly will also aggregate news and information from third-party sources, including articles, news reports, research and upcoming events from around the world.

To mark the launch of Openly, the Thomson Reuters Foundation will be hosting an evening event at its New York offices at 3 Times Square on September 27th. Held in partnership with the United Nations LGBTI Core Group and the UN Free & Equal campaign of the UN Human Rights Office, the launch will include a panel discussion examining how the media reports on LGBT+ issues. The discussion will be moderated by Don Lemon, host of CNN Tonight. Panellists will include Kasha Nabagesera, Executive Director of Freedom & Roam Uganda, Amir Ashour, Founder and Executive Director of IraQueer, Landon Wilson, a transgender US Navy Veteran, Maria Fontenelle, of the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality, and Lyosha Gorshkov, Co-President of RUSA LGBT.

The launch event will be livestreamed at 7:00 pm EST (00:00 am BST) on the Openly website, as well as the Openly, Thomson Reuters Foundation News, and Thomson Reuters Foundation Facebook pages.

Openly is a Thomson Reuters Foundation service, with support from Barilla. In-kind pro bono support has been provided by Omnicom agencies FleishmanHillard and TBWA in developing the Openly brand identity and launch campaign.

Displayed in Times Square, New York, and in Canary Wharf, London, the Openly launch campaign features real headlines previously used by the media in reporting on LGBT+ people, and calls for impartial and fair reporting.

Openly goes live on September 27th at 12:00 pm BST, 7:00 am EST.

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