Funds support groundbreaking studies on psilocybin, MDMA, and LSD
Press Release – NEW YORK, NY (PRWEB) MAY 09, 2017: Today, Fundamental announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign to support critical research into psychedelic-assisted therapies in mental health and cognition. This is the first large-scale fundraising campaign with an aim to secure funding for the most advanced US and UK research initiatives in the field.
With one in four Americans currently suffering from a mental health issue, new therapies that offer lasting benefits are needed now more than ever. Although new studies into psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy offer promising relief for a variety of mental illnesses, due to their classification as Schedule I drugs, the research currently depends on the support of a few private donors and institutions.
Fundamental’s first campaign plans to raise funds for ongoing studies on psilocybin & end of life distress, psilocybin & alcoholism, and MDMA & PTSD at a number of organizations, including the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) as well as future studies on LSD microdosing as part of the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme in London.
The Fundamental campaign is the brainchild of Rodrigo Niño, CEO of Prodigy and an accomplished real estate developer in New York. Known for crowdfunding commercial properties in Manhattan and democratizing access to investments for smaller investors from around the world, Niño is now taking a similar approach to philanthropy. He is also a cancer survivor who has experienced the positive effects of psychedelics firsthand.
“At 41, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Metastatic Melanoma, with survival odds about 1 in 3 over the next five years,” he said. “We are prepared to know that we will die, but we are never prepared to know when. That is essentially the sum of all fears; it creates a profound traumatic event.”
Like many patients with a terminal cancer diagnosis, Niño experienced severe “end-of-life anxiety.”
“That near death experience changed me in a number of ways. It opened the door for somebody like me—science driven, rational, numbers driven—to start looking for alternative treatments to ease my suffering when traditional medicine failed me,” Niño continued.
He traveled to the Peruvian jungle to partake in an ayahuasca ceremony. After spending a night with a curandero, his fear of dying was gone. Since then, he’s been on a mission to find scientific validation to determine what happened to him and has immersed himself into the research of psychedelics in treating mental illnesses.
Once back home in New York, he found Dr. Stephen Ross, Director of Addiction Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, who recently led an internationally acclaimed study on psilocybin treatment for end-of-life distress in patients with life-threatening cancer.
“After meeting Dr. Ross, I came across research from all over the world from the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme to MAPS, which showed even more potential for a host of other mental illnesses,” continued Niño. “I knew then as I know now that this is some of the most important scientific work I had ever come across. I’ve made it my mission to support scientific research into treatments that can offer real change in the lives of people suffering from mental illness and their families.”
Dr. Ross’s study found that, when administered under psychologically supportive, double-blind conditions, a single dose of psilocybin produced rapid, substantial and enduring improvements in cancer-related depression, anxiety and existential distress as well as improvements in quality of life.
“Dealing with the reality of cancer is a terrifying experience and it deeply affects patients and their families. Forty to fifty per cent of cancer patients will have diagnosable anxiety or depression,” said Ross. “Our initial studies into psilocybin are showing great promise for people suffering from end-of-life depression and anxiety. However, to bring these treatments to patients, it is necessary to conduct a multisite study in a larger and more diverse patient population.”
Another study led by Dr. Michael Bogenschutz, Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone, and Dr. Ross is investigating psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol addiction. The preliminary results have shown strikingly positive outcomes; wherein following the first psilocybin session, percent heavy drinking days and percent drinking days lowered significantly from the baseline level.
“Addiction to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs is the leading preventable cause of death and disability globally,” explained Bogenschutz. “Our proof-of-concept study has shown positive outcomes, but controlled trials will be necessary to evaluate the efficacy of these treatments and bring them to the public, which is why initiatives like Fundamental are so critical.”
In a pooled analysis of 103 participants across six Phase 2 studies on improvement in PTSD symptoms after MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, statistically significant differences were found. Twelve months after treatment with MDMA, 68% of participants experienced long-term improvement and did not meet criteria for PTSD. An international team of researchers led by MAPS Founder and Executive Director, Rick Doblin, Ph.D., have completed Phase 2 trials and are working with the FDA to prepare for Phase 3 trials.
“In our Phase 2 pilot studies, we treated over 100 participants who had chronic PTSD and treatment-resistant symptoms. Neither prior medications nor long periods of psychotherapy had worked for them,” said Doblin. “If the results of Phase 3 trials, which we’re starting this year, are remotely comparable to our Phase 2 results, and if we receive the necessary funding, then we can expect FDA approval by 2021.”
Lastly, Fundamental aims to fund a new study focused on optimising LSD microdosing led by Amanda Feilding, Founder & Director of The Beckley Foundation, and Co-Director of the Beckley Imperial Research Programme.
“For decades, we have seen anecdotal evidence that microdosing improves mood and well-being, enhances cognition, increases productivity, and boosts creativity,” remarked Feilding. “Now we have the opportunity to undertake the first controlled scientific investigation, including the latest brain imaging technology, into the effects of microdosing LSD, thereby finally establishing whether the claims about its benefits are true.”
Fundamental’s campaign will be live on the Fundamental website on May 9, 2017. Supporters can choose which of the four studies they wish to donate to. For more information or to schedule an interview with Fundamental spokespersons, contact their PR Agent Borjana Slipicevic at +1.778.858.2595.
$1.7 million will fund environmental efforts across the U.S.
Press Release – Coral Gables, Fla. — Fifteen cities across the United States will receive more than $1.7 million for sustainability efforts as diverse as supporting urban agriculture and reforestation, providing green jobs for low-income workers, and ensuring all residents benefit from their community’s environmental progress.
The funding is through the Partners for Places matching grants program, which pairs city governments with philanthropy to support sustainability projects that promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being for all residents.
These sustainability efforts will take place in cities large and small, from South Florida to the Pacific Northwest, with most benefiting low-income neighborhoods. They include: Columbia, Mo., where an under-used 10-acre site in a low-income neighborhood will be turned into an urban farm and agriculture park; Newark, N.J., where efforts to promote healthier, more energy-efficient homes include a pilot program targeting 6-year-olds exposed to lead; and Boulder, Colo., which will work with Latino-owned landscaping businesses to convert to eco-friendly equipment and develop workforce training programs in renewable energy and efficiency.
“Climate issues are people issues,” said Darryl Young, director of Sustainable Cities at The Summit Foundation. “At the city scale, there’s meaningful work to be done jointly in the public and private sectors. These Partners for Places proposals are where people are rolling up their sleeves and building strong, sustainable towns that strengthen communities and improve lives.”
Partners for Places, led by the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, will provide $455,000 in funding to eight cities through its general grant program, which will be matched by local funders. The program is supported by six investor foundations: Bloomberg Philanthropies, The JPB Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, The New York Community Trust, The Summit Foundation, and Surdna Foundation.
Also today, seven additional cities received $405,000 in funding from the Partners for Places Equity Pilot Initiative, providing financial and technical support to a cohort of cities and their place-based foundation partners to develop local approaches for prioritizing equity in sustainability and/or climate action. They are also learning together and sharing their insights with each other to advance their work. This two-year pilot program is supported by the generosity of The Kendeda Fund and The Kresge Foundation.
“Low-income communities and people of color are disproportionately harmed by environmental hazards and the effects of climate change,” said Diane Ives, fund advisor for The Kendeda
Fund’s People, Place and Planet program. “We need to put equity at the heart of community-based sustainability efforts to ensure that everyone has a chance to live in a vibrant, healthy, resilient community regardless of their zip code.”
The latest Partners for Places general grant recipients and their matching funders are:
The latest Partners for Places Equity Pilot Initiative grant recipients and their matching funders are:
To date, Partners for Places has awarded more than $5 million across North America in this successful matching grant program, leading to more than $10 million in investments.
Partners for Places will open a new round of funding for the general grant program during the first week of June, with proposals due in late July 2017. To attract additional interest in urban sustainability projects, the program also houses an Idea Bank on the Funders’ Network website, which provides summaries of past project applications.
For more information on Partners for Places, visit the Funders’ Network website at http://www.fundersnetwork.org/partnersforplaces/. Funders interested in becoming a part of Partners for Places should contact Ann Wallace at the Funders’ Network.
About Partners for Places
A joint project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Urban Sustainability Network, Partners for Places is a successful matching grant program that improves U.S. and Canadian communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability leaders and place-based foundations. National funders invest in local projects developed through these partnerships to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy and well-being for all residents. Through these investments, Partners for Places fosters long-term relationships that make our communities more prosperous, livable and vibrant.
About the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
The Funders’ Network is a mission-driven network of grantmakers across North America, working to inspire, strengthen and expand funding and philanthropic leadership that yield environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and economically prosperous regions and communities.
About The Urban Sustainability Directors Network
The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is a peer-to-peer network of local government professionals from cities across the United States and Canada dedicated to creating a healthier environment, economic prosperity, and increased social equity. Our dynamic network enables sustainability directors and staff to share best practices and accelerate the application of good ideas across North America.
Salvador Briggman, author of Nonprofit Crowdfunding Explained, says he shares all you need to know to succeed with your nonprofit crowdfunding goals.
Salvador says his goal was to share the insights that for-profit crowdfunders are using so that nonprofits could get those benefits, too. He’s excited by the potential for crowdfunding to help nonprofits get the word out about their inspiring work.
He notes that peer-to-peer fundraising is a better model for crowdfunding than a traditional, centralized approach. By empowering supporters to do the fundraising for your organization, you let them reach their friends directly and expand your reach infinitely.
Salvador points out, “You can’t leave anything to chance.” You have to equip your team with tweets, posts and links that they can instantly share without work or thought so that coming up with something to say isn’t their responsibility.
In this way, he says, a small group of advocates can help you raise more money more quickly.
Salvador, who says his superpower is understanding emotions, points out that you can’t get people to do anything without tapping into their emotions. Your crowdfunding campaign needs to do that.
Salvador’s business, CrowdCrux, provides information about crowdfunding in a variety of forms, including a blog, a podcast and books. He says, “I am solving the problem of the need for education about crowdfunding. I solve it by providing original free content and premium products to get people to their goals faster.” Salvador offers a free course on crowdfunding.
More about CrowdCrux:
CrowdCrux is the #1 source online that will take you from a novice to crowdfunding pro. I put out a podcast, that has been downloaded more than 100,000 times, a blog, which had more than 1 million visits in 2015, and a YouTube channel that’s rapidly growing. I’ve also written four books on various topics related to crowdfunding. I started KickstaterForum.org, which now has over 7,000 members and co-own CrowdfundingForum.com.
Salvador Briggman founded the popular blog, CrowdCrux, which has been cited by the New York Times, The Wallstreet Journal, CNN, Forbes and more. He helps entrepreneurs raise money on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. He also covers new developments in the crowdfunding industry.
Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!
Devin is a journalist, author and crowdfunding 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!
Real Estate Crowdfunding to be major focus at countries largest crowd investment conference.
Press Release – Los Angeles, CA – 5/3/17 – Crowd Invest Summit, the countries largest crowdfunding investment conference, taking place on September 6th and 7th at the Los Angeles Convention Center, has today announced that it will be expanding it’s focus on Real Estate crowdfunding.
Since the signing of the JOBS Act in 2012, Real Estate Investing has been the fastest growing segment of the new Crowdfunding Industry. According to Fundingtree.com, over $3 Billion Dollars has been raised so far.
“We expect over 3,000 attendees at Crowd Invest Summit this September, a significant portion being investors who are looking to learn about new opportunities,” said Alon Goren, co-founder of Crowd Invest Summit. “Real Estate investing has been a major focus at the summit, and because of overwhelming demand, this September we’re expanding on the topic.”
Crowd Invest Summit will feature the crowd investment industry’s top leaders, investors and firms covering real estate investing over the span of two days in September:
“As one of California’s preeminent real estate and business law firms, we are excited to partner with Crowd Invest Summit for its first-ever discussion on the emerging issues and opportunities presented by the ever-growing real estate crowdfunding market.” Said Chuck Jarrell, Partner, Allen Matkins. “Crowdfunding has become an integral part of real estate investing and a topic that will resonate well with conference attendees.”
“We are excited to be back at Crowd Invest Summit this September to discuss how we’ve quadrupled our investor base by combining technology and marketing with an institutional approach to real estate investing,” said Michael Episcope, Principal, Origin Investments.
“Commercial real estate is no longer reserved for the wealthy. Now, everyone has the ability to passively invest in multi-million dollar properties, all thanks to crowdfunding,” said Matt Schuberg, CEO, RealCap Investments. “We are very excited to come back to Crowd Invest Summit in September to bring these types of opportunities to the masses.”
“401(k) and IRA accounts provide access to 12 times more investment dollars than checking and savings accounts,” said Todd Yancey, CSO of IRA Services. “We are excited to teach real estate investors at Crowd Invest Summit how to easily access that capital.”
“Now more than ever real estate companies should focus on the fundamentals and principles in mitigating risks to investors capital. Crowd Invest Summit offers both Real Estate Companies and potential investors to engage first hand and learn more about the risks and rewards of investing in Commercial Real Estate,” said Rayaan Arif, CEO, FundingTree.
In addition to IRA Services, Origin Investments, Allen Matkins and RealCap Investments, Crowd Invest Summit is sponsored by OTC Markets Group, Computershare, iDisclose, Issuer Direct, dbbmckennon, Stradling, New Direction IRA, Krowdster, Crowdfunding Lawyers and FundingTree.
Press Release – Palo Alto CA – May 02, 2017: Infosys Foundation USA is pleased to announce the funding of Computer Science (CS) professional development for over 1,000 public school teachers in the summer of 2017. Including teachers supported in previous years, this will bring the total number of elementary and secondary school teachers trained to over 2,100, to benefit more than a million students over the next several years.
“The future is being written in code, and there is a critical need to invest in computer science education today. To prepare children for 21st century jobs it is vital that students can identify and solve complex problems, develop critical thinking skills and learn the computational thinking that is pervasive in a digital economy,” said Vandana Sikka, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation USA. “Teachers are the heart and soul of our children’s education and their role is even more significant in our digital world. One CS teacher alone can help hundreds, or even thousands, of students. Multiply that body of teachers by the thousands, and now you are able to achieve scale to get closer to our dream of making computer science accessible to every child in the United States.”
Inspired by the success of the 2016 CS PD Week, the Foundation is making investments in a variety of computer science teacher training workshops. These workshops make it easier for teachers from rural areas and smaller districts to attend at no cost in July 2017. Participating programs include Exploring Computer Science and Bootstrap at CS PD Week 2017 in Golden, CO; and Beauty and Joy of Computing, UTeach CS Principles, and Mobile CS Principles at various cities throughout the US. The latter three programs will make it possible for teachers to offer the new College Board endorsed Advance Placement CS Principles course to students in their high schools.
In addition, Infosys Foundation USA is continuing its funding of Code.org to train several hundred teachers in their high school CS Principles course, as well as in courses designed for elementary school students. Through its partnership with education crowdfunding leader DonorsChoose.org, the Foundation continues to provide CS training opportunities to teachers across America. By focusing on such evidence-based curricula, the Foundation is working to ensure that students benefit from a high quality computing education.
Infosys Foundation USA has already made multiple investments in previous years towards this goal of reducing the digital divide. The Foundation is the leading sponsor of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), the professional association for 23,000 CS teachers worldwide, and supports CSTA’s Continuing Professional Development Pipeline project and Teaching Excellence awards, along with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). Besides supporting CS PD Week 2016, the Foundation has provided funding for CS training for hundreds of teachers with various partners.
Infosys Foundation USA’s long standing commitment to this cause is demonstrated by its systemic approach to supporting a variety of CS education programs over the past several years. These include funding directed towards curriculum development, afterschool programs, mentoring opportunities, research, evaluation, and boot camps and hackathons.
About Infosys Foundation USA
Infosys Foundation USA is focused on bridging the digital divide in America by supporting high quality computer science education and coding skills with a particular focus on underrepresented communities. It aims to give children and young adults the skills they need to become creators, not just consumers, of technology. In pursuit of this mission, the Foundation has partnered with internationally acclaimed non-profits and institutions like Code.org, New York Academy of Sciences, DonorsChoose.org, and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, Infosys Foundation USA committed a million dollars to the Infy Maker Awards to inspire makers across the U.S. to demonstrate creative excellence in making projects with genuine impact. Learn more at http://www.infosys.org/usa/ follow on Twitter @InfyFoundation or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/InfosysFoundationUSA
HELPS International Offers Gifts of Empowerment to Guatemalan Women
Press Release – ADDISON, Texas (May 1, 2017) – This Mother’s Day, Dallas nonprofit HELPS International is asking people to celebrate the women who shaped them by donating a tax-deductible, life-changing gift designed to empower the women of Guatemala. The HELPS100 Campaign was created to help 100 Guatemalan women obtain fuel-efficient cook stoves and high-quality water filters.
“This campaign to celebrate and empower women is such a worthy cause and donations can be made on behalf of the women in our own lives who inspire us,” stated Bill McMillan, executive director of HELPS International. “For as little as $50, we can honor our mothers, sisters and friends while changing the lives of women in some of Guatemala’s most underserved communities.”
Millions of women in rural Guatemala must spend hours each day kneeling on dirt floors to cook over open fires in their homes in order to feed their families. This results in many small children suffering severe burns from the flames of the open pits in their homes. In addition to the risk of burns, smoke from the open fires builds up quickly and causes respiratory issues from poor ventilation. And very few of these same homes are equipped with clean sources of water that are safe for drinking.
To solve these issues, former HELPS medical team leader Don O’Neal, a retired mechanical engineer, invented a simple stove from locally sourced materials. The concrete-block base, Plancha-top (Spanish for “iron”) ONIL stove replaces traditional ground-based, in-home cooking fire pits and is vented through the dwelling’s rooftop to eliminate both respiratory problems and the risk of severe burns. It also reduces wood consumption by 70 percent, allowing increased time for activities once spent gathering wood. To facilitate a clean drinking water source, the ONIL Gravity Water Filters now eliminate 100 percent of parasites and 99.9 percent of pathogenic bacteria.
As a part of this year’s campaign, HELPS International is on a mission to raise crucial funds to help 100 Guatemalan women stand up, save money and keep their families healthy and safe by donating fuel-efficient cook stoves and high-quality water filters. Donations will go to purchase the ONIL stoves and water filters, which will be installed by volunteers from the HELPS Women Helping Women initiative alongside the recipients, who have paid a portion of the cost. To donate, please visit the HELPS100 Campaign donation page.
To date, HELPS’ volunteers and supporters have worked alongside the people of Guatemala to provide more than 250,000 homes with clean air and water, more than 4,000 farming families with the skills and resources to boost crop production, and nearly 475 students with a high-quality education.
About HELPS International
Since 1984, HELPS International’s growing community of volunteers and sponsors has been changing lives in Guatemala with extraordinary dedication. HELPS’ mission is to provide enduring programs of practical, social and spiritual value to people in the developing world through a system of partnership and mutual responsibility. To learn more, please visit https://helpsintl.org or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.