Rebecca Powell Doherty in collaboration with Drs. Ralph Hall and Stephen Eubank, have developed a targeted project to address the issue of clean water access and sanitation. They are raising money on gofundme. Recently, I caught up with Rebecca Powell Doherty to learn more about the effort; here’s what she told me:
What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?
The Roma people in Eastern Europe disproportionately face substandard living conditions and unreliable housing. This leads to extreme difficulties maintaining access to clean water and, as such, the Roma face illness from water-borne disease at much higher rates than non-Roma throughout Europe. In collaboration with Drs. Ralph Hall and Stephen Eubank at Virginia Tech University, I have developed a targeted project to address the issue of clean water access and sanitation. Dr. Hall has extensive experience in multiple use water systems throughout the globe and has generously shared a validated survey used previously in other countries to determine the level of need and satisfaction in target communities in regard to water access, cleanliness, and disease prevention. Dr. Eubank is a computer modeling expert and has developed a program that allows researchers to model the effects of a given public health intervention on a target population or region. I am an experienced research scientist with a background in immunology, with an emphasis on infectious diseases and immunology, currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health degree and certificate in global planning and international development at Virginia Tech.
I am interested in conducting a survey within the Roma population, based on Dr. Hall’s validated survey in conjunction with a World Health Organization (WHO) survey, in order to address the connection between clean water and the spread of communicable diseases in Roma settlements and camps. A great deal of research exists in the literature about these two concepts independently, but very little has been done in terms of combining the two and identifying the connection. In addition to demographic, educational, and housing information, my survey covers a range of topics related to clean water access, including perceived need, satisfaction, belief in government support, and questions addressing illness and the spread of disease. Following the survey data collection, Dr. Eubanks’ modeling system will allow us to leverage the data from the survey questions to evaluate the cost/benefit and cost/effectiveness of any proposed intervention to address the cross-over issues of water, sanitation, and the spread of disease. These data and subsequent analysis can then be utilized by ERTF, ERRC, or other collaborators to inform public policy, aid advocacy initiatives, and enhance the published literature.
The modeling system that we propose will allow us to identify development interventions that may be most useful in improving the water quality and access in targeted regions, and it can be readily updated as circumstances and populations change or progress. Again, our results will be used by our partner organizations to advocate for the implementation of the interventions we identify as most beneficial.
How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?
The proposal for the pilot initiative, which targets five villages in Romania, has a budget of $10,000. As of February 4, 2016, we have raised $6,020 of that total! The entire sum will be used to cover the cost of survey implementation, data collection, analysis, and advocacy. This includes travel by the research team, participatory incentives for study participants (no more than $5 USD), as well as the cost of running the models and simulations. Any remaining funds will be donated to the partner non-profit organizations, European Roma Rights Centre and European Roma and Traveller’s Forum (ERRC and ERTF), to use for advocacy initiatives.
Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?
The Roma, often known as Gypsies, are the single most disenfranchised group of people in Europe. In countries that most would classify as developed and wealthy, they live in substandard housing and are frequently segregated and denied access to primary health care, education, and the legal protections to which they are entitled as EU citizens. They are often evicted from their homes without notice, and the EU countries engage in illegal deportation, trading these individuals from country to country as if they were livestock. They are denied access to personal documentation, which would allow them to secure jobs and improve the lives of their families. Given all this, the rates of water borne illness and diarrheal disease are 5-10 times higher in this population than in non-Roma of similar geographical location. As it is not politically astute to aid this group of individuals, it is up to civil society to make a difference.
What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?
All backers receive communication (postcards) from Romania if they provide contact info and will be invited to a cocktail hour upon our return from Romania, in which we will update everyone on our activities and the results of the work. Access to the cocktail hour will be available virtually. Backers at the $20 and up range enter the raffle for yoga classes, thai massage, and life coaching sessions.
Check out the campaign:
Richmond, Va., Feb. 2, 2016 — Allegiancy, a specialist in active asset management of commercial real estate, will hold a webcast on Feb. 17, 2016, at 4 p.m. EST to discuss its $30 million new Reg A+ initial public offering.
Allegiancy CEO Steve Sadler, whose enterprising capitalization on the new Reg A+ rules adopted by the SEC last year was featured in the Wall Street Journal, will discuss how the firm intends to use the proceeds to attack inefficiencies in the $15 trillion commercial real estate industry. The announcement of the second webinar comes on the heels of the success and large turnout of the first webinar held on December 13.
Sadler will highlight how Allegiancy is disrupting the commercial real estate industry and how its proceeds from the $30 million offering will allow the firm to invest in its proprietary technology platform, make new contract acquisitions and to grow its operations organically, as well as add new employees to support its triple-digit growth.
Dennis Irvin, former CEO of Rockefeller Group Investment Management and a Board Advisor to Allegiancy, said investors benefit from Allegiancy’s focus on disruptive technology and transforming the industry. “The radical specialization of this company stands out and I am very enthusiastic about the results their expertise, leveraged by technology, delivers for investors,” Irvin said.
Allegiancy has engaged WR Hambrecht + Co to lead the placement of the $30 million IPO offering. WR Hambrecht + Co has been at the forefront of the development and implementation of the new Regulation A+ rules that Allegiancy is capitalizing on to propel its company growth.
Allegiancy is among the first companies in the U.S. to capitalize on the new Reg A+ rules. Last year, under the previous Regulation A rules, Allegiancy raised $5 million in capital that spurred 400 percent growth for the company.
With the injection of capital, Allegiancy doubled in size, tripled the number of its employees and then doubled its assets under management again in June when it closed its first asset management portfolio acquisition.
Allegiancy’s tremendous growth earned the company a place in the top half of the Inc. 5000 list in 2015.
For information on Allegiancy’s $30 million IPO, go here: allegiancyipo.com.
To register for the webcast, go here: http://rega.investornetwork.com/allegiancy-company/
Allegiancy is changing the business of asset management for commercial real estate owners and investors with radical specialization. With a technology-enabled operating platform and singular focus on serving as the owners’ advocate, the company brings fresh vigor and unparalleled discipline to a poorly understood business. Combining its proactive Value Assurance operational rigor with an intense focus on cash flow and profitability, Allegiancy is leveraging the experience of its principals of more than four decades of success.
One of the nation’s largest single-day crowdfunding events is returning May 3 and is on track to be better than ever.
AUSTIN, TX (Feb 3, 2016) — Give Local America’s 2016 event is just three months away, and time is running out for community foundations to get involved. With over 100 communities signed on, the event is well on its way to reaching its goal of raising $100 million for local nonprofits across the nation.
In just its first year, Give Local America raised an impressive $53 million for 7,000 nonprofits – a record-breaking program that benefitted communities all over the country. In 2015, the community-driven giving day once again set a new standard for crowdfunding, raising $68 million for 9,000 nonprofits.
With this year’s new media partnership with Gannett Co., Inc bringing unparalleled local to national reach to its over 100 million consumers a month, plus new community partners signing on, including The Big Give Houston and Pittsburgh Gives, Give Local America is setting the stage to make its biggest impact yet on May 3.
“We can’t believe the enthusiasm and participation we have already received for 2016,” said Lori Finch, vice president of community giving, “We are just three months away, and we invite every person and every nonprofit to join us to improve the long-term outlook of our communities and ultimately, our country.”
Kimbia and Give Local America are also excited to see returning communities like Columbia (SC), Greater New Haven (CT) and the San Antonio (TX) region grow their local events. For example, San Antonio raised $2 million in 2014 and then doubled that last year, raising over $4 million.
“Give Local America wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of the communities that have participated since year one,” said Finch. “We love seeing the difference that this program can make across the country year after year.”
It’s not too late for communities to join in the fun and design a right-sized event for them. Community partners wanting to participate in Give Local America’s best year yet of community giving are encouraged to register by March 1st.
For more information, visit GiveLocalAmerica.org. For details regarding advertising and sponsorship opportunities or for organizations seeking to participate, please visit GiveLocalAmerica.org/partners.
About Give Local America
Give Local America is a 24-hour national crowdfunding event that empowers individuals to give back to their local communities by supporting the organizations they trust to tackle today’s most critical issues. The campaign is driven by the idea that every person and company has the ability to “be a philanthropist for a day,” and contribute toward the improvement of their community. It’s a grassroots effort that connects local community partners, community foundations, businesses and donors with the power of social media to multiply the impact of every donation.
Give Local America is an initiative of Kimbia, the industry leader in providing trusted online fundraising technology and services to make it easier and faster for charities to find, convert and retain donors and supporters. Through the combined power of community partners, corporate sponsors, media partners and the donor community, Give Local America has raised more than $120 million dollars in just two years through the Kimbia platform.
Dave Chase, Managing Partner of Healthfundr, an investment crowdfunding site for healthcare companies is well positioned to offer insights for investing in the industry for impact. He’s provided three keys for investors, employers and the healthcare companies and their patients:
On Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 2:00 Eastern, Dave will join me here for a live discussion about his observations regarding impact investing in healthcare. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Healthfundr:
What is healthfundr? Healthfundr is a virtual venture investing platform that enables large scale investing in the innovative software and services companies that are fixing the deeply-flawed U.S. healthcare system. We combine an online platform with broad tech-enabled expert networks to more effectively source, evaluate, and invest in healthcare’s transformation.
Chase was named one of the most influential people in Digital Health due to his entrepreneurial success and writing along with luminaries such as Eric Topol, Patrick Soon-Shiong, & Vinod Khosla. He speaks to and consults with new ventures inside of established companies & high growth startups. Chase is widely published. The book Chase co-authored won the healthcare Book of the Year in in 2014.
Chase has a penchant for making connections between previously disconnected trends and making them understandable and actionable. Chase is in the development stage of a documentary that seeks to make the indecipherable understandable and demonstrate that there is reason for great optimism that a partnership between doc-entrepreneurs and forward-looking clinicians with individuals (fka “patients”) can dramatically out-perform against Quadruple Aim* objectives compared to traditional healthcare orgs. *The Quadruple Aim is the Triple Aim (improved outcomes & patient experience with lower costs) plus the overlooked 4th Aim — clinician satisfaction critical to improving the current condition where an alarming number of clinicians are overburdened & burnt-out which negatively impacts their lives as well as the individuals they care for.
Chase was the CEO & Co-founder of Avado, which was acquired by and integrated into WebMD and the most widely used healthcare professional site – Medscape.
Before Avado, Chase spent several years outside of healthcare in startups as founder or consulting roles with LiveRez.com, MarketLeader, & WhatCounts. He also played founding & leadership roles in launching two new $1B+ businesses within Microsoft.
Chase is a father, husband & oxygen-fueled mt athlete. His 2014 team placed 3rd in their division & 24th overall (out of 500 teams) in America’s oldest adventure race where Dave took on the Nordic ski leg. Dave was a former PAC-10 800 Meter competitor.
What if a fashion brand spent its advertising budget on solving social problems? David Eros and Atila Uri, founders of ch8se, believe that the answer to the question is that such a brand could change the world. The key, they say, is for you to choose ch8se.
David explains, “ch8se wants to fight some of the most pressing social and environmental problems, such as deforestation, child hunger, unemployment, low education rates and lack of access to clean water, with our primary focus being on the developing countries, where the need for help is the most pronounced. Considering the monstrosity of these problems, we have no illusions of being able to solve any of them, we just want to provide people with a new way of contributing to a global solution.”
Atila notes, “We are basically trying to create a novel structure in the fashion industry that isn’t just a sustainable, environmentally friendly enterprise, but one that will have and active role in reversing the harm that our global consumer economy has made to the planet. We want to do it in a way that is really transparent, and more intuitive than most of the current solutions on the market.”
He explains how they are working toward this objective. “We developed an ethically sourced, high-quality product line that supports various causes without an increased price compared to the rest of the premium fashion brands in the industry. This way ch8se enables its customers to contribute to a better world without any additional costs, simply by opting for a ch8se product instead of the product of a traditional fashion brand.” The key step, he says, was to virtually eliminate the advertising budget.
David shares their vision for the future. “We believe that the most efficient way to make a change in a consumer society is by using consumer choices. Primarily, ch8se wants to contribute to a better world through the donations it makes and through its highly ethical and responsible production processes. But we think that ch8se’s impact can have a resonance beyond what is immediately observed. If it turns out to be a viable model in the fashion industry, it could expand its activity to other fields as well, and ultimately to serve as a source of inspiration or as a connective platform for multiple enterprises.”
The company is a planning a crowdfunding campaign in the near future.
On Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 5:00 Eastern, David and Atila will join me here for a live discussion about ch8se. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about ch8se:
ch8se is a grassroots movement materialized in the form of an inclusive apparel startup that goes beyond being sustainable. It aims to serve as a platform that enables people to become activists through their consumer choices in a radically intuitive and transparent way. It is the first fashion brand ever to ditch traditional advertising in favor of supporting various social and environmental causes. Instead of spending on ads, ch8se plants trees, feeds children and provides access to clean water in drought-stricken areas. As ch8se donates away its advertising budget to selected charities, the main drive of its marketing is word of mouth and social media buzz fueled by good will. This way its products can have a really significant impact. A single ch8se hoodie can plant as many as 93 trees, a t-shirt can provide 46 months of clean water, or feed a child for 20 days.
David Eros is a co-founder of ch8se, an experimental fashion startup that uses the power of conscious consumer choices for supporting various social and environmental causes.
David studies applied mathematics and engineering in financial mathematics with a special interest in the mathematical modeling of moral evaluation systems.
He is a founding member of PromoArt and PromoNature, two non-profit organizations devoted to promoting cultural values and environmental consciousness. Since 2014. he is the vice president of PromoArt. He also has many years of experience as a radio program host. David regularly volunteers for various humanitarian and cultural initiatives and has a passion for mountain biking, he co-founded the local bike club “Bikers On The Storm”. When not in the office, you’ll probably find him in the mountains in pursuit of clarity, as a relief from the urban buzz.
Atila Uri, co-founder of ch8se, is an industrial engineer of automation with 10 years of experience in medical infusion and tele-medical systems. He implemented and connected the first Telestroke systems in Southeast Europe enabling hospitals to provide improved stroke care to patients in underserved areas. Atila was the lead assistant for donations to the adviser of the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See (Vatican City) under the leadership of Archbishop Eugenio Sbarbaro for 4 years. These donations were mainly consisted of medical equipment and supplies for covering the basic needs of vulnerable target groups and environmental disaster victims. On weekends he loves hiking in the mountains and motorcycling. His personal motto is: Feed your head.
TUCSON, Ariz. – February 1, 2016 – This past Friday, January 29, forms allowing new ventures to register their intent to seek equity crowdfunding with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) opened. In October 2015, the SEC adopted final rules to allow companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding.
While equity crowdfunding holds great promise for capital access and business growth, there is a lack of empirical research establishing and quantifying its impact. Mingfeng Lin, assistant professor of MIS at the UA Eller College of Management, has been awarded a Kauffman Foundation grant to begin that work.
“The JOBS Act of 2012 legalized equity crowdfunding in principle,” said Lin. “Since then, many states have developed their own policies, but now the SEC has formalized its rules, which will facilitate intrastate and regional securities offerings. It’s great news for businesses, but for investors, it’s still a novelty.”
Equity crowdfunding will offer rich data to uncover investment phenomena that were previously unavailable for study, as most startups rely on funding through venture capital firms or other private parties, and they are not required to disclose details about their investments.
“Equity crowdfunding is essentially a mini IPO in that it gives away shares or equity in a startup,” Lin explained. “There’s typically a high threshold for retail investors investing in a traditional IPO – it’s for high net worth individuals.”
In 2012, the UK launched equity crowdfunding platforms that allowed investors to invest as little as ten pounds in a startup. “These investors won’t necessarily make money on everything, with .001 percent of a company,” Lin said. “But since 75 percent of new businesses fail, the SEC wants to protect small investors with its regulations.”
An IPO requires extensive disclosures that many investors on the crowdfunding scale would lack the knowledge to interpret. Equity crowdfunding lowers the disclosure bar for businesses, but the onus is still on the investor to properly screen investment opportunities. The companies investors choose to back – coupled with the rich data in the disclosures – offer the opportunity to reveal market dynamics that have been invisible until now.
Lin’s Kauffman Foundation grant, for example, is focused on studying gender issues in equity crowdfunding. “We will be looking at whether equity crowdfunding expands access to capital for women entrepreneurs, whether women entrepreneurs funded by the crowd are more likely to be successful, and whether there is systematic difference in investment behavior between female investors and male investors, especially in their decision to back women entrepreneurs,” he said.
The literature has long documented that when trying to obtain financial capital, women entrepreneurs face more challenges than men even though women founders are in fact more likely to be successful. Women are also more successful at crowdfunding through platforms such as Kickstarter.
“That kind of reward-based crowdfunding campaign is typically designed around a one-off project,” said Lin. “Businesses require sustainable sources of funds. Although equity crowdfunding has a lot of potential to provide better access to capital, it’s not clear whether it can become a long-term solution to the financial challenge of women entrepreneurs.”