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The best source for news and information about crowdfunding for good.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: April 2017

The Campaign for SDSU Raises $800 Million

SDSU’s first-ever, university-wide fundraising campaign exceeds goals

Press Release – SAN DIEGO, Calif. (April 29, 2017) —The Campaign for SDSU has raised $800 million, exceeding its goal of $750 million, as the first-ever university-wide fundraising campaign comes to a close.

“On behalf of the entire university, I’m extraordinarily grateful to all of our donors,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. He spoke Saturday evening at an event with some of SDSU’s more than 70,000 campaign donors.

“The campaign has changed every corner of the SDSU campus and impacted our entire university community,” he said. “It has laid a stronger financial footing for the entire university and created a culture of philanthropy that is critical to the university’s success today and into the future.”

The university launched The Campaign for SDSU in July 2007 with a goal to raise $500 million to benefit students, faculty and staff. That goal was increased to $750 million in 2014.

“The Campanile Foundation (TCF) believed from the very start that The Campaign for SDSU would succeed,” said Mary Curran, chair of the all-volunteer TCF board, the university’s fundraising auxiliary. “We will continue to find new ways to build momentum and help the university become even more successful through sustained philanthropy.”

Campaign funding supports scholarships, endowed professorships, academic programs, new campus buildings, athletics and KPBS.

Approximately $185 million was donated to endowed scholarships, which will be available to students in perpetuity, including student-veterans, honors students and students studying abroad.

The campaign also raised funds to create or substantially support 20 endowed chairs and professorships that advance the university’s academic strength, including chairs to support programs in the life sciences, biomedical research, entrepreneurship, business, history and public relations.

SDSU received 138 gifts of $1 million or more. Among the most notable gifts of the campaign are a $25 million endowment from Ron and Alexis Fowler to support programs within the newly renamed Fowler College of Business and a $20 million scholarship endowment created by the late Conrad Prebys to support at least 200 students annually.

The Fowlers’ most recent gift was established as a matching gift, which challenges the university and its supporters to raise an additional $25 million for the Fowler College of Business.

While the Campaign for SDSU officially ends on June 30, 2017, the university’s need for philanthropic support is ongoing. State funding provides only 20 percent of annual operating expenses.

“Private giving will continue to be the bedrock of SDSU’s ambitions to advance academic excellence, hire and retain top-tier faculty and develop its research agenda,” said Mary Ruth Carleton, vice president for University Relations and Development, who led the 10-year campaign.

About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its more than 36,000 students. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 91 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, internships and mentoring, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit www.sdsu.edu.

“Coding Autism” Surpasses $50K Crowdfunding Goal to Help Train Adults with Autism How to Code

Program Aims to Combat Unemployment and Underemployment Rates Among People with Autism; Crowdfunding Campaign Launches to Help Fund Program and Provide Scholarships

Press Release – (Los Angeles, CA) – April 28, 2017 – Coding Autism, a full-service professional coaching and training company that trains adults on the autism spectrum in professional skills such as software engineering, quality assurance and web development, today announced that the company has surpassed its $50,000 crowdfunding goal. The contributions will help fund the program’s first web development bootcamp, and provide for scholarships so that the entire 15-person first class can attend tuition-free.

Every year, the number of people diagnosed with autism rises, however there are simply not enough quality programs designed towards training adults with autism with real-world career skills. As a result, too many are either unemployed or working in menial jobs below their skill level. To help adults with autism learn the fundamental skills necessary to secure an entry-level web developer job, Coding Autism has announced a new program to train those with autism how to code.

Coding Autism crowdfunding campaign can be seen at: https://startsomegood.com/coding-autism-training-adults-with-autism-in-code.

Coding Autism’s first web development boot camp is called the ASPIRE Web Development Immersive. This is a 15-week, full-time course where students will be learning the fundamental skills of coding. The first class will take place at Hub 101 in Thousand Oaks, CA (Greater Los Angeles Area) with online classes planned in 2018.

“We are proud to surpass our funding goal and are encouraged that supporters from coast to coast agree that it is completely unacceptable that our autistic community is experiencing an over 80% unemployment and underemployment rate,” said Oliver Thornton, CEO & co-founder of Coding Autism. “As passionate advocates who have either been diagnosed with autism ourselves or have family members affected with autism, we understand that with the right resources, training, coaching and environment that individuals with autism can thrive in the workforce.”

By founding Coding Autism and launching the ASPIRE Web Development Immersive, Mr. Thornton believes that they can create highly qualified, skilled, and eager to work autistic employees to fill job vacancies in the tech industry.

Research has shown that typical autistic characteristics such as attention to detail, affinity for repetitive tasks and introversion are all traits that lend themselves to becoming a successful employee within the tech industry. With the $50k+ average annual salary for entry-level, full-time web developers, tech is an attractive industry in which to pursue a career.

Over the last decade, companies such as Microsoft and SAP have implemented autism hiring initiatives. This was done not to combat autistic unemployment, but because they have seen that adults with autism can be exceptional employees and drive innovation when provided the right structure, mentorship and on-boarding. Students that want to enroll can sign-up to receive more information at: www.CodingAutism.com

A video can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVybQJSNlS4

About Coding Autism:

Coding Autism is a full-service professional coaching and training company that trains adults on the autism spectrum in professional skills such as software engineering, quality assurance, and web development. We also assist our graduates in finding employment within the software and technology industries. We do so by providing services such as immersive programs and bootcamps, resume workshops, career counseling, interview preparation, and coaching/mentorship, all of which is designed around providing an environment where people on the spectrum can thrive. More information is available at http://www.CodingAutism.com.

Light of Day WinterFest Raises Over Half Million Dollars for Third Straight Year in Global Battle to Defeat Parkinson’s Disease Through Awesome Power of Music

Boxing and Voice Therapy Programs Top Light of Day’s 2017 ‘Boots on the Ground’ Agenda

Press Release – ASBURY PARK, NJ (April 25, 2017) − For the third year in a row, the Light of Day Foundation has raised over a half a million dollars through its annual WinterFest fundraiser, catapulting its 17-year cumulative total past the $4.5 million mark in the global battle to defeat Parkinson’s Disease and the Parkinsonisms, ALS and PSP, through the awesome power of music.

Though Light of Day WinterFest has gained international notoriety for surprise performances by Bruce Springsteen in 11 of its 17 years, fundraising momentum continues to flourish despite his absence at the two most recent festivals. Light of Day WinterFest 2017: The Beat Goes On, attracted 12,000 patrons from around the world to witness over 150 acts at more than 50 shows over a 10-day stretch in New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia. Light of Day WinterFest is the culmination of a worldwide series of shows that began as a one-day affair in Asbury Park, where it still is primarily based. Among the artists who performed in 2017 were Peter Asher, Albert Lee, Jake Clemons, Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers, Willie Nile, Chuck Prophet, Jesse Malin, Jeffrey Gaines, James Maddock, Joey Molland of Badfinger, and Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan.

The Light of Day Foundation regrants money to organizations which fund specific research initiatives, including, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, CurePSP, the Parkinson’s Foundation (formerly the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation), and the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. The Light of Day Foundation also supports “boots on the ground” programs designed to help people with these diseases live better lives on a daily basis, including Joan Dancy & PALS, with a mission to help New Jersey residents in nearby Monmouth and Ocean Counties afflicted with ALS by providing a better quality of life for them and their families.

“As Maya Angelou once said, ‘People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.’ I’ve always believed that at its essence Light of Day was a feeling,” said Tony Pallagrosi, executive director of the Light of Day Foundation. “Every year that we produce Light of Day WinterFest, we hope folks come away with a feeling of community, joy, participation in something bigger than themselves, and the anticipation of and hope for what is to come. We utilize the awesome power of music to that end, to help us feel better and bring us together in the way that only music can as we battle to defeat Parkinson’s, ALS and PSP in our lifetime.”

Leading the Light of Day Foundation’s 2017 agenda is the launch of a pair of new Parkinson’s therapy programs, Boxing for Bob and the Parkinson Voice Project. Boxing for Bob, already underway in Forked River, NJ, is named for Bob Benjamin, the artist manager and music industry veteran who has been living with Parkinson’s since 1996, two years before he co-founded Light of Day with Pallagrosi, whose mother, Dolores, died in 2002 from the effects of PSP.

The Light of Day Foundation subsidizes Boxing for Bob, modeled after the Rock Steady program founded in Indiana a decade ago, to enable Parkinson’s and PSP patients at the Jersey Shore to participate at no charge. The Foundation is looking to open at least two more locations by the fall.

The Parkinson Voice Project, based outside of Dallas, TX, preserves the voices of individuals with Parkinson’s and related neurological disorders through intensive speech therapy, follow-up support, research, education, and community awareness. Its use of music as one therapy to increase the volume and clarity of patients’ voices, which deteriorate as Parkinson’s progresses, is a natural fit for the Light of Day Foundation. As such, the Foundation is working toward bringing the Parkinson Voice Project to the Jersey Shore by the end of the 2017.

Also in the Light of Foundation’s sights is the establishment of a Light of Day storefront location as a resource center “to host seminars, boxing, lectures, films − all having to do with Parkinson’s and PSP,” says Pallagrosi. “We hope to have programs for caregivers, too, because they’re the unsung heroes. In their own way, they’ve suffered a great deal.” Additionally, the Light of Day Foundation is planning a “Park on the Beach,” modeled after JT’s Grommet Island Park in Virginia Beach, VA, an accessible beach playground and park for children and adults with disabilities that allows everyone to “have their day at the beach.”

The next scheduled fundraising event is the Light of Day Mini Golf Classic, Saturday, June 10 from 1pm-8pm at Barnacle Bill’s Amusements, Route 35 North, Ortley Beach, NJ (Rain Date: June 11).

The Light of Day Foundation also is presenting Happy Together 2017, starring The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, The Association, Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night, The Box Tops, The Cowsills, and The Archies starring Ron Dante, Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ, with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Foundation. Tickets are on sale now at www.countbasietheatre.org.

More fundraising events for 2017 will be announced.

Complete information on all Light of Day activity can be found at www.lightofday.org. Donations to the Light of Day Foundation can be made through the website as well.

“Even though my heart breaks for every year that goes by without a cure, I am humbled by the fact that we have been doing what we do for almost 20 years and that Light of Day keeps growing, raising more awareness and money for research and support programs every year,” adds Pallagrosi. “I want to thank our sponsors, the venues, the production teams, the great City of Asbury Park, the Light of Day Foundation Board, the wonderful musicians who ‘bring it on’ year after year after year, all of the amazing folks who attend and support our mission and I want to especially thank Bob Benjamin, our founder and guiding light, who when diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 38 had a feeling to try to do something about it, a feeling that I believe enriches us, energizes us and resides in all of us who participate.”

ABOUT THE LIGHT OF DAY FOUNDATION

The Light of Day Foundation, Inc., utilizes the awesome power of music to raise money and awareness in its continuing battle to defeat Parkinson’s disease and related neuro-degenerative diseases, specifically Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), within our lifetime. The Foundation’s mission is to fund research into possible cures, improved treatments and support for patients who suffer from those diseases, their families and their caregivers to help improve their quality of life. Gifts to the Light of Day Foundation, Inc. are tax-deductible to the full extent of the Internal Revenue Code. The Light of Day Foundation, Inc. is designated by the IRS as a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization. The Light of Day Foundation, Inc.’s Federal ID # is 20-1560386. Light of Day – the concerts and the organization – grew from a birthday party and fund-raiser held in 1998 at the Downtown Cafe in Red Bank to celebrate the 40th birthday of artist manager and music industry veteran Bob Benjamin, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1996.

JOBS Act Opens New Window For Small Company IPOs


You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

With the “dot com crash” in 2000, largely by regulatory design, small company IPOs all but disappeared from the American economic landscape.

A scarcely noticed part or title of the 2012 JOBS Act sought to address that directly by reinvigorating Regulation A, raising the cap from $5 million to $50 million and creating a path for a Reg A offering to be an effective IPO (initial public offering). The new rule is commonly called Reg A+.

In early 2016, Elio Motors went public using Regulation A.

The rules weren’t effective until mid-2015 and the market is just beginning to mature. Rod Turner is the founder and CEO of Manhattan Street Capital, one of the players in this nascent marketplace.

Turner says his firm has 18 clients preparing their Reg A+ offerings. Watch my discussion with Rod at the top of this article.

Rod is passionate about using capital for good, creating opportunities for women entrepreneurs and creating companies that will employ people at scale. He’s also a Forbes contributor who has written about these topics.

Rod says, “Mid-sized companies have very limited access to growth capital. Regulation A+ provides an excellent solution in that our companies can raise up to $50 mill per year from investors of any income level worldwide, and the shares can be publicly tradeable, making them more appealing to the investor and providing liquidity to the company founders.”

Allowing ordinary investors to participate in offerings of small companies, gives them the opportunity to participate in their growth. Back in the 1980s, Microsoft went public as a relatively small business and ordinary investors were able to participate in the growth of the company exceeding two orders of magnitude. On the other hand, Facebook didn’t go public or allow ordinary investors to participate until the company had reached a valuation of $100 billion–only wealthy investors participated in the creation of value.

The new marketplace is exciting. Watch the interview with Rod to learn how your organization can take advantage of Reg A+.

Rod Turner, courtesy of Manhattan Street Capital

Rod Turner, courtesy of Manhattan Street Capital

More about Manhattan Street Capital:

Twitter: @Manhattanstcap

Funding platform for mature startups and mid stage companies. using Regulation A+. We take companies through the whole Reg A+ offering process to achieve a successful Reg A+ offering. Our website technology integrates the necessary services so companies can make their offering work efficiently on Manhattan Street Capital.

We provide some services directly, others we provide by introducing our companies to specialized service providers: Specialized CrowdFunding Marketing agencies, Legal, Broker/Dealer, Investment Banks, Underwriters, Broker Dealer Syndicates, Market Makers, escrow, transfer agent and auditors.

Rod’s bio:

Twitter: @iamrodturner

High energy strategic thinker. Excellent leader. Engineer with skills in all areas. Experienced M&A expert. Crowdfunding expert.

M&A experience: At Symantec I led the takeovers of their first acquisition (TimeLine), and their most strategic acquisition, Norton. I drove the merger processes to ensure success and upside. The implementation of the Norton merger has been called “the best ever in Tech.” I also lead the successful acquisition of PCAnywhere and an AV technology company into the Norton Group. Mobile Automation was acquired by iPAS and Our Neighborhood Energy was acquired by CBD Energy Australia. Two informative experiences of being acquired.

Founder, CEO Manhattan Street Capital and FundAthena April 2015 – now

RegA+ growth capital marketplace for mid-sized companies. Adapting IPO business model to the Internet, using new SEC RegA+.

Advisor to startups and CEOs of large companies, 2004 to current. Chairman & cofounder CirrusLS SaaS, bank lending. Strategic Advisor AssistMyCase (SaaS Legal research). NetQuarry, a .NET app dev platform. Our Neighborhood Energy, electricity retailer in Australia. Workshops for Warriors, non-profit trains Veterans in advanced workshop skills free of charge. Numerous other startups.

Founder, Chairman and CEO, START.ac: April 2011 – June 2013. Built business CrowdFunding marketplace with Mentors, advisers and unique innovations for scale.

Chairman, Artslant. Sept 2008 – current: CEO 2008 through 2010. Grew revenues 12.5%/month compound, and site page views by 700%.

Managing Partner, Irvine Ventures 1999-2003: Founded Irvine Ventures with Safi Qureshey, investing in tech startup companies, mentoring entrepreneurs. Raised $32million in angel and venture capital for, and built six startups.

Chairman & Founder, Mobile Automation 1996-2004. LAN & Internet software configuration, MSP and Enterprise IT market. Angel financing (Peter Norton), VC from Greylock (Dave Strohm). Sold the company to iPass (IPAS on NASDAQ) in 11/04.

President & CEO, Knowledge Adventure 1993-94. Grew revenues from $240k/month to $1.5m/month. Raised $12 million venture capital from Mayfield (Mike Levinthal).

Symantec 1985-1993. At startup, Executive VP for worldwide marketing, sales & product management. Promoted to division General Manager with P&L 5/87. Raised three rounds of venture capital, lead investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (John Doerr). In 1987 as GM, I ran the merger and accelerated the first company acquired by Symantec-Breakthrough Inc, TimeLine project management, and the Q&A database line. Trebled product group revenue in three years while generating 100% of Symantec’s profit. Grew Symantec revenues from zero to $250mil/year. IPO 1989.

In 1990 Symantec acquired Peter Norton Computing (maker of the Norton Utilities), and I was GM for the merger and the business. Introduced the Norton Antivirus in ‘91, the main profit generator for Symantec. In three years we grew Norton revenues from $20/mill/year to $200mill/year, taking the Norton group from 25% of Symantec’s revenue to 82%.

Acquired two companies into the Norton Group.

Chairman, Cofounder 1984-1990: Microport Software Inc. Startup ported UNIX System V to the 286.

Ashton Tate/dBASE 1981-1984: Startup microcomputer database software company, 12th employee. VP of US marketing and sales; GM of the International division. Grew sales from $2m to $150m/yr, IPO in ‘83. Made dBASE the market leading database on the PC by 1983.

Aston Univeristy 1975-1979: First Class Honors, Bachelor of Science in Energy Technology (Electrical & Mechanical Engineering) from Aston University, England. Stanford: Graduated Executive Institute 1983.

Interests: Married, with two sons. Boating. Racing cars. Public speaking. Altruism. Leadership. Innovation Born on a farm in the UK, moved to Silicon Valley to get into VC funded startups. My accent is gradually migrating across the Atlantic Ocean.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

 

This Entrepreneur Is Working To Address Affordable Housing Crisis With Shipping Containers


The country’s fascination with tiny homes has led to a nascent movement using shipping containers for low-income housing. With some tiny homes and apartments having fewer than 200 square feet, the 40-foot shipping container and its approximately 320 square feet could feel relatively spacious.

Wanona Satcher, the CEO and founder of ReJuve Corp based in Atlanta, is launching a new initiative to create “Plug-In Pods” using shipping containers. She hopes to create a flexible model for l0w-income housing that addresses need of a range of people, from millennial minimalists to seniors who may want or need to live backyard-close to family caregivers.

Be sure to watch my interview with Wanona at the top of this artice.

Two Plug-In-Pods, one home and one office, rendered side-by-side courtesy of ReJuve Corp

Two Plug-In-Pods, one home and one office, rendered side-by-side courtesy of ReJuve Corp

Recently, Wanona launched a crowdfunding campaign on the new ifundwomen crowdfunding site. She has already raised $11,920 toward her goal of $20,000 to construct a prototype dwelling in a container.

The costs for creating a dwelling begin with the $2,000 to $3,000 price for a container. Wanona hopes to keep the all-in cost between $20,000 and $40,000.

Wanona is seeking to use a land trust to create financial models that will keep the housing units affordable long into the future. For the prototype dwelling, Wanona has received a donated site.

Container homes could potentially have very long lives. Containers are designed to withstand weather when shipped across oceans, on trains or highways. The strength of a container could be an optimal space for a dwelling.

Wanona is working to acquire and equip a manufacturing a facility where the containers can be converted. This will create jobs and allow the completed homes to be shipped to a site for installation.

She hopes that the homes will contribute to solutions for poverty in America. By providing radically affordable housing, she hopes to enable people to find sustainably affordable lifestyles.

To learn more, visit Wanona’s crowdfunding page at ifundwomen.

Wanona Satcher, courtesy of ReJuve Corp

Wanona Satcher, courtesy of ReJuve Corp

More about ReJuve Corp:

ReJuve Corp is an Atlanta-based charitable urban design nonprofit for social good. Our team reuses and upcycles spaces and materials to develop permanent equitable communities and effective neighborhood services around the globe through cost-efficient and environmentally sound methodologies.

Wanona’s bio:

Wanona Satcher is an urban designer, landscape architectural designer, city planner, economic developer and has produced children’s theatre. Wanona holds Masters degrees in landscape architecture and community planning from Auburn University as well as Economic Development and Finance Professional Certification from the National Development Council in small business development and real estate development. She’s been featured in the Huffington Post, GOOD Magazine and was a Next City Vanguard. Wanona is currently working on a crowdfunding campaign to rapidly build affordable housing and entrepreneurial spaces in low-wealth communities.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

 

Miracle Foundation Launches Unique Mother’s Day Campaign to Benefit Orphaned Children

Non-Profit Hopes to Raise Money to Support Children Who Don’t Have a Mom

Press Release – AUSTIN, TX – There are millions of orphaned children in the developing world, many of whom languish in sub-standard institutions with deplorable conditions, where even their most basic needs are not met. That’s why Miracle Foundation, a non-profit organization that empowers orphans to reach their full potential, is launching its unique Mother’s Day campaign. The 501(c)(3) charity, which brings life-changing care to the world’s orphans, hopes to raise funds by May 14th to provide clean water, nutritious food, healthcare and a quality education for mother-less children—all in a stable, loving, nurturing environment.

“This Mother’s Day, we invite you to honor your mom in a very meaningful way, by participating in our campaign,” said Caroline Boudreaux, Founder of Miracle Foundation. “Doing so will engage both you and your mom in the lives of less fortunate children in the developing world. What better way to pay tribute to your mother than by giving to children who don’t have one?”

To honor a mom, gift-givers simply visit www.MiracleFoundation.org/mothers. There, they can make a tax-deductible donation in the name of their mother—or other special woman in their lives. Supporters at all donation levels will receive a beautiful certificate they can share with their honoree for Mother’s Day.

In addition to the special Mother’s Day certificate, donors at two levels will receive additional perks:

  • $60 & up: eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store (electronic code sent to donors via email, within 1 business day after donation)
  • $125 & up: Gourmet chocolates from Maggie Louise Confections (chocolates sent to honorees via mail, within 2 business days after donation)

“We believe in quality over quantity, in supporting the whole child and breaking the cycle of poverty. Our Mother’s Day campaign represents a meaningful new way that every person can make miracles for orphans and honor their mother at the same time,” added Boudreaux. “Helping children go from hopeless and head-down, to empowered and standing tall, with bright futures ahead of them, is one of the most fulfilling endeavors in the world.”

Launched on Mother’s Day in 2000, Miracle Foundation turns struggling, institutional orphanages into stable, loving, nurturing homes where children thrive. The Austin, TX-based organization partners with existing orphanages to implement its proven and systematic method for providing a home where the fundamental needs and rights of growing children are met, from the day they arrive until the day they graduate into adulthood.

“While our goal is to find a loving family for every orphaned child, that isn’t always possible. For orphans with nowhere else to go, we ensure that orphanages are in line with international standards and guidelines. And we provide excellent training for caregivers, a top-notch education for the children, nutritious food and plenty of love,” added Boudreaux.

Currently, Miracle Foundation supports 24 orphanages in the developing world (starting with India), and offers its wide range of capacity-building training—focused on child protection, child rights, caregivers, life skills education, governance and more—to anyone running or donating to an orphanage around the world. With an increasingly global focus, Miracle Foundation is also partnering with organizations in Egypt, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and more to redefine the role of orphanages and bring life-changing care to the world’s orphans.

Miracle Foundation is unique in that its metric-driven method is measurable, scalable and transparent, guarding against corruption and ensuring that all donations go directly into nurturing and transforming the lives of orphaned children. Through its work, Miracle Foundation has given thousands of children without parental care a childhood that would have otherwise been impossible.

“Miracle Foundation proves that one person can make a difference,” said Shelley Seale, donor. “I have witnessed first-hand what my monthly donation can do to change the lives of many. I’ve traveled to India and visited the orphanages and have seen the difference my investment makes in orphans’ lives. We are empowering children to be the best that they can be.”

Miracle Foundation has been honored with the highest possible rating of four stars by Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates U.S. charities’ effectiveness and financial transparency: http://bit.ly/1nJC7wq

About Miracle Foundation

Miracle Foundation is an Austin, TX-based non-profit organization that brings life-changing care to the world’s orphans. The ultimate goal of the Miracle Foundation is to find a loving family for every orphaned child. That means we explore every possible avenue to reunite children with a parent or relative, if possible. In fact, we have reunited approximately 25% of our children with their families. We do this by allocating resources to more efficiently support alternative care options and ensuring that excellent family support services are in place. And, for orphans who have nowhere else to go, we ensure that orphanages are in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and international standards and guidelines. We provide excellent training for caregivers, a top-notch education for the children, nutritious food and plenty of love for them to thrive.

Together with our supporters, we work toward a common goal of providing a loving home, a quality education and a promising future to each and every orphan. Because when you bring together those who have, with those who have not—miracles happen.

For more information, please visit www.MiracleFoundation.org.

About Maggie Louise Confections

Maggie Louise Confections is a creative confections company that brings haute couture designs to the world of chocolate by combining handcrafted creations with nostalgic flavors, modern design, and meaningful bespoke details. Made in Austin and packed with personality, MLC chocolates and candies are gifting perfection.

Launched in 2013, Maggie Louise Confections has reinvented the classic sampler box with color, personality and a unique customization platform making each box of chocolate a fun and memorable experience to both create and gift. The collection is designed seasonally and takes cues from the fashion and entertaining worlds to create a collection that feels fresh, fun and spirited.

For more information, please visit http://www.maggielouiseconfections.com/

Social Bluebook Invites The Crowd To Invest Alongside Top Content Creators

Company Seeks Growth Capital; Launches Reg A+ “mini-IPO”

Press Release – LOS ANGELES, Calif. — April 18th, 2017 — Today Social Bluebook, the social media technology company that provides the tools for content creators to make social media their full-time business, announced a Regulation A+ initial public offering. In line with Social Bluebook’s democratic values, the offering is open to both accredited and unaccredited investors. Investing in Social Bluebook is an investment in the creative community as well as the future of creator-led marketing.

Started in 2014 by creators for creators, Social Bluebook simplifies and streamlines the process of executing influencer marketing, connecting thousands of online content creators and advertisers on their platform. Their proprietary algorithm produces a dollar value that can be used as a starting point for negotiating branded deals.

Per their “for creators by creators” mantra, Social Bluebook’s Reg A+ offering is intended to open the door for creators to invest in their own careers. Notable creators investing include Eh Bee family, Shaytards, Furious Pete, Ellie and Jared, and more. The funding will accelerate Social Bluebook’s expansion via strategic acquisitions and marketing. This strategy is aimed to cement their platform as the leading space for advertisers and creators to connect, negotiate deals, and build together.

“Marketing professionals, including Fortune 500 companies using Social Bluebook, are now realizing there is a tremendous value to teaming up with online video personalities who are drawing millions of viewers with the content they post on platforms like YouTube and Instagram,” said Chad Sahley, CEO of Social Bluebook.

“We are very excited to share this investment opportunity with creators and other like-minded individuals,” said Sahley. “While early stage offerings before an IPO would generally allow only accredited investors to invest at this stage, we are taking advantage of new SEC regulations and opening up the door to the crowd in an effort to level the playing field for all creators.”

Social Bluebook was the first to introduce patent-pending valuation formulas for YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and blogs, with more on the way. As of June 2016, over 33,000 social media platforms with an audience reach of over 2.87 billion people and over 400 brands have registered with Social Bluebook and growing daily.

The company seeks to raise up to $12 million in its “mini IPO” under Regulation A+. Individuals interested in learning more about the Social Bluebook Regulation A+ investment opportunity can visit http://invest.socialbluebook.com.

About Social Bluebook

Social Bluebook was started by creators for creators in order to bring transparency to influencer marketing and specifically the content creator community. It was designed to simplify and streamline the process of executing influencer marketing for online content creators and advertisers with the goal to help creators make the money they deserve so they can do what they love.

SEC Disclaimer

An offering statement regarding this offering has been filed with the SEC. The SEC has qualified that offering statement which only means that Social Bluebook may make sales of the securities described by that offering statement. It does not mean that the SEC has approved, passed upon the merits or passed upon the accuracy or completeness of the information in the offering statement. You may obtain a copy of the offering circular that is part of that offering statement HERE. You should read the offering circular before making any investment.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements regarding projected business performance, operating results, financial condition and other aspects of the company, expressed by such language as “expected,” “anticipated,” “projected” and “forecasted.” Please be advised that such statements are estimates only and there is no assurance that the results stated or implied by forward-looking statements will actually be realized by the company. Forward-looking statements may be based on management assumptions that prove to be wrong. The company and its business are subject to substantial risks and potential events beyond its control that would cause material differences between predicted results and actual results, including the company incurring operating losses and experiencing unexpected material adverse events. Please see the Offering Circular for the discussion of these risks.

Student Entrepreneurs Launch New Round of Ventures through Suffolk Crowdfunding Course

Press Release – BOSTON — Savory waffles sold from a food cart, a cinch-locking bag that deters theft of package deliveries and a children’s book about a guppy who tries too hard to fit in are three of the latest Suffolk University student-run ventures that launched crowdfunding campaigns April 7.

Suffolk’s Sawyer Business School introduced one of the nation’s first experiential courses on crowdfunding in fall 2016, where students launched campaigns to fund their own startup companies through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The acclaimed course is now in its second semester with a new group of student entrepreneurs launching campaigns to fund their businesses. Campaigns will conclude with the end of National Small Business Week on May 6.

“Crowdfunding is shaping up to be an important factor for startup success,” said Sawyer Entrepreneurship Professor Chaim Letwin. “To run a successful campaign one must be passionate about their venture. That is why it is important to not only teach our students why some campaigns are successful while others are not, but also to give them the opportunity to dig in, get their hands dirty and run a campaign of their own.”

The concept for the crowdfunding course came out of conversations between Letwin and Professor Jenni Dinger, a colleague in the Sawyer Business School’s Management and Entrepreneurship department. Dinger and Letwin co-teach the course and both study crowdfunding and how campaign components relate to people’s decisions to contribute money to a particular project.

“This course is still quite young, only the second time through, so we are continuously adjusting and learning as a group,” Dinger said. “It’s very exciting to see how this group of students has built on what was accomplished last year.”

This semester’s ventures include:

  • Waffleholics, founded by Suffolk junior Carmen Reddick and senior Max Taylor, aims to create the most delicious sweet and savory waffles, starting with a Boston food cart business. Reddick graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an associate in science degree. Both students are from Boston.
  • Beyond Borders is a full-length documentary film by David Apostolides and John Moran. The film seeks to incorporate the perspectives of those living outside of the U.S. in the current American political conversation.
  • Baggabox prevents package theft by securing deliveries to your door in a cut-resistant and waterproof cinch-locking bag. Baggabox was founded by Jamie Manning, a Suffolk MBA alumnus, and is being supported by seniors Faisal Janahi and Alonso Villarreal. Janahi is from Manama, Bahrain, and Villarreal is from San Antonio, Texas.
  • Goliath Gallon, founded by Suffolk senior Zack Smith of Methuen, Mass., makes a reusable, BPA-free and easily cleaned gallon bottle for ice, fruits, amino acids, etc.
  • Cosmic Eye, founded by Ashton Viqueras-LaRochelle, utilizes augmented reality technology to bridge the gap between what you see through a telescope and what actually exists in the cosmos. Viqueras-LaRochelle, a Suffolk junior, is from Portsmouth, N.H.
  • Kwapis Can’t Hang is a children’s book about a guppy that enters a new bowl and pretends to be someone she is not in a misguided attempt to fit in. The book is authored and edited by Dana Prandato, a Suffolk junior and Marketing major from Sandpoint, Idaho.
  • Claude and the Magic Garden is a children’s book that tells a magical story of two brothers living in a foreign land and trying to fit in. Their community helps uncover the magic of true friendship. The book is authored and edited by Suffolk junior Christopher Hassapis. He is from North Reading, Mass.
  • Pup Picnic, founded by Joe Tassinari, is a 2-in-1 dog bowl with a water bottle attachment. This allows any disposable water bottle to attach to the bowl and act as a feeder. Tassinari is a Suffolk senior from East Boston, Mass.

More information on the student startup businesses and crowdfunding campaigns may be found at www.suffolk.edu/business/undergraduate/71487.php.

Big Life Journal Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Help Children on the Path to Success

The first of its kind journal for children looks to investors to help spread word and increase distribution

Press Release – APRIL 12, 2017: Big Life Journal – the world’s first journal designed to inspire entrepreneurship, creativity and positivity for children – has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to enhance the lives of children across the USA.

The journal has been created by storywriters, poets, illustrators and graphic designers and is looking for funding to increase distribution and fulfill its mission of helping children on the path to success.

Created and curated by husband and wife duo, Alexandra and Scott Eidens from New York, the journal aims to help parents tackle the changing face of the workforce environment and teach children the importance of qualities such as: persistence, gratitude and mindfulness.

The 52 page, 26 week hardback journal seeks to develop a growth mindset and guide children ages 6-11 through topics such as ‘why it is important to help others’ and ‘be persistent.’ Poems, quotes and writing aim to teach children the qualities that will help them be successful adults such as: optimism, persistence, embracing failure, taking action and dreaming big.

Alexandra comments: “Big Life Journal is much more than another children’s book or diary, this is a book that can and will shape the future of children. When compiling the book we wanted to draw on qualities that inspirational people possess, such as Richard Branson, Sara Blakely, Tim Ferris and Sheryl Sandberg. Big Life Journal identified qualities that got them where they are today, such as courage and empathy.”

Scott adds: “It is important for children to understand there are many components to being a successful adult and one of those is mindfulness. Mindfulness is not just associated hippie culture and instead is identified as an important aspect of dealing with the stresses and pressures of adult life. Alongside thought-provoking poems and stories, journaling itself has been proven to evoke mindfulness and improve communication skills.”

To help Big Life Journal on their mission, visit the Kickstarter page where backers can pledge to shape the children of the future and receive special discounted rates on Big Life Journals for their own little ones.

The Big Life Journal Kickstarter campaign will run from 12th April – 12th May 2017.

Star Wars: Force For Change Celebrates 40 Years Of Star Wars With Epic Fundraising Event

Prizes Include A Visit To A Star Wars Movie Set, Tickets To The Premiere Of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, An Overnight Stay At Skywalker Ranch, And More!

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Apr. 11, 2017) – Star Wars: Force For Change in collaboration with Omaze will launch the Star Wars “Past, Present and Future” fundraising campaign to benefit UNICEF and Starlight Children’s Foundation. The campaign is themed around the timeless appeal of Star Wars, with experiences inspired by the saga’s past, present, and future. Lucky winners will receive prizes, like the chance to appear in the upcoming Han Solo movie, tickets to the world premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, or, an overnight stay at the fabled Skywalker Ranch.

Over the course of four weeks between April 11th and May 11th, 2017, fans may enter at Omaze.com/StarWars for a chance to win these once-in-a-lifetime Star Wars experiences, with each week bringing a new prize to be awarded to a randomly-selected winner. Additionally, at the end of the campaign, one randomly-selected grand prize winner will be awarded all three amazing experiences.

Starlight Children’s Foundation is joining Star Wars: Force for Change as the initiative’s newest charity beneficiary in 2017. Through a $1 million grant, Star Wars: Force for Change supports the foundation’s core programs which are designed to bring comfort and joy and comfort to hospitalized kids through Starlight’s network of more than 700 children’s hospitals, clinics, camps and other partners across the US. Star Wars: Force for Change and fan donations through this campaign will also provide new Starlight programs, like fun, comfortable Star Wars-themed Starlight Brave Gowns, to tens of thousands of hospitalized children across the country.

Since 2014, Star Wars: Force for Change and UNICEF have joined together to help improve the lives of children around the world. With the support of Star Wars fans, the collaboration has raised more than $9 million to help the world’s most vulnerable children. To date, Star Wars: Force for Change has helped UNICEF save the lives of over 30,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition through the distribution of over 4 million packets of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food Packets (RUTF) around the world.

“In a year that we celebrate 40 years of the Star Wars saga, I continue to be inspired by the incredible generosity and charitable efforts of our fans,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “We are so proud of their tireless dedication to positively impact the lives of children and others around the world, and hope this year’s Force For Change campaign will offer a few of those wonderful fans an experience they will never forget.”

Star Wars “Past, Present, and Future” Winner Experiences:

  • Past – Stay at Skywalker Inn, tour of the archives & the Ranch, and a screening of Star Wars: A New Hope
  • Present – Join the cast and attend the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere and exclusive after party
  • Future – Visit the set, meet the directors and have the chance to appear in the untitled Han Solo movie
  • Grand Prize – One winner will receive the Past, Present AND Future prizes!

Fans are encouraged to follow the campaign at Omaze.com/StarWars for exclusive updates each week.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Void where prohibited. Promotion begins 12:01 AM Pacific Time (PT) on April 11, 2017 and ends at 11:59 PM PT on May 11, 2017. Must be at least eighteen (18) years old and a resident of an eligible domicile to enter and win prizes. Residents of of Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Malta, North Korea, Singapore, Sudan, Syria, or Thailand are not eligible to enter. Sweepstakes consists of four (4) prize drawings; odds of winning a prize depend on number of entries received for each drawing. For free entry: (i) send postcard to Sponsor at P.O. Box 866, 9942 Culver Blvd, Culver City, California 90232 and write the following statement: “I have read and agree to the Star Wars: Force For Change Official Rules” and send by applicable mail date; or (ii) visit www.omaze.com/starwars. Prizes that include being filmed in a movie scene do not guarantee that such footage will be included in the final movie. Travel and accommodations are at Sponsor’s discretion and subject to availability and change. Winner and guest may be required to pass a background screening or security check to receive a prize and/or reward. Visa conditions may apply. All taxes are winner’s responsibility.

Rewards are separate from sweepstakes prizes. Some rewards are limited in quantity. Not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook®. Residents of certain territories may be required to successfully complete a trivia question to qualify. For full sweepstakes entry requirements, methods & entry periods, prize details, list of rewards and all limitations & restrictions, see Official rules at www.omaze.com/starwars. Sole Sponsor: Omaze, Inc., P.O. Box 866, 9942 Culver Blvd, Culver City, California 90232.

ABOUT STAR WARS: FORCE FOR CHANGE

Star Wars: Force for Change, a charitable initiative from Lucasfilm and Disney, harnesses the strength of Star Wars to empower and improve the lives of children around the world. Born in 2014, it was inspired by Star Wars fans, and the countless hours they have dedicated to
philanthropy over the past four decades. To date, over $13 million has been raised for charitable causes around the world on behalf of Star Wars: Force for Change, including $9 million towards UNICEF’s programs to put children first. This year, Force for Change is proud to announce Starlight Children’s Foundation as its newest charitable beneficiary. As a founding sponsor of Starlight Children’s Foundation’s VR program, Force for Change will continue to empower and improve the lives of children around the world. With a bright future ahead, and new Star Wars stories to be told, Force for Change aims to continue collaborating with causes and encouraging others to be forces for change in their own community. To learn more, please visit ForceForChange.com.

ABOUT LUCASFILM LTD.

Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production. In addition to its motion-picture and television production, the company’s activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment software, and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties including the legendary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES franchises. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.

ABOUT STARLIGHT CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION

Starlight creates moments of comfort and joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families. For 35 years, Starlight’s programs have positively impacted more than 60 million critically, chronically and terminally ill or injured children in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. With your help, kids and their families will enjoy Starlight VR, Starlight Brave Gowns, Starlight Fun Centers and other Starlight programs at a children’s hospital or facility near you. Support Starlight’s work by visiting www.starlight.org and by following Starlight on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org. Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook.

ABOUT OMAZE

Omaze is an online fundraising platform that offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences and exclusive merchandise to support nonprofits around the world. Omaze is disrupting the charitable giving space by offering creative opportunities that make it fun and easy for anyone to give. Each of our fundraising and awareness campaigns brings together influencers, nonprofits and people across the globe and enables real, lasting impact. Since launching, Omaze has impacted more than 200 charities and received donations from over 175 countries.

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