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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Charitable Campaigns

Stories about charitable campaigns.

Carl’s Jr. And Hardee’s Salute Active Duty Military, Veterans & Families With Seventh Annual Nationwide Stars For Heroes Fundraising Campaign

Gary Sinise Foundation, Stand Up and Play Foundation, and USA Cares named national beneficiaries for 2017

Press Release – FRANKLIN, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”), parent company of Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s® restaurants, kicks off its seventh annual Stars for Heroes™ fundraising campaign this week at participating locations nationwide. The program, which has raised more than $6.5 million since its inception in 2011, promotes the compassion and generosity of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s customers, franchisees and employees to support our nation’s active-duty military, veterans and their families. Funds raised during this year’s campaign will support national charity partners, Gary Sinise Foundation, Stand Up and Play Foundation, and USA Cares as well as dozens of regional and local military-focused charities in the communities Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s serve.

The 2017 Stars for Heroes fundraising campaign begins today and runs through June 21. To participate, restaurant guests can donate any dollar amount of their choosing in support of military charities. For each donation, guests receive a commemorative “I support military veterans and families” patriotic star-shaped cut-out to personalize and display in the restaurant. They will also receive restaurant coupons valued at more than $10 to use toward future purchases.

“The entire Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s family—from executive to customer—has a long-standing tradition of giving back to, and supporting America’s military community; I’m incredibly proud to be able to continue that legacy with my first Stars for Heroes campaign as CEO,” said Jason Marker, chief executive officer for CKE. “In 2016, CKE raised over $1.5 million to aid in the vital work of our regional and national charitable partners, and this year, we’re hoping to push that total even higher. We invite everyone to honor our nation’s brave people in uniform this Memorial Day by visiting a nearby Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s location and making a donation to this outstanding cause.”

“The Gary Sinise Foundation values its great relationship with CKE,” said Gary Sinise, founder of Gary Sinise Foundation. “CKE is making a difference, and understands the importance of standing strong for those who serve and defend our great nation. While we can never do enough to support our veterans and first responders, we can always try to do more, and through the contributions from Stars for Heroes, we will continue to promote that message. My personal thanks goes out to everyone at CKE for their continuing support.”

“As founder of the Stand up and Play Foundation, I cannot put into words how grateful I am that our foundation will again be among the recipients of the funds raised by the Stars for Heroes campaign in 2017,” said Anthony Netto, founder of Stand Up and Play Foundation. “I am honored to have the support of the incredible individuals at all levels of Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and the entire CKE family. This campaign has impacted our foundation tremendously, year after year, allowing us to expand our programs across the country and touch the lives of numerous veterans. I am humbled by the generosity shown to us and excited to kick off this year’s campaign!”

“For seven years, CKE and USA Cares have joined forces to change the lives of post-9/11 veterans and their families,” said Hank Patton, executive director for USA Cares. “Families facing the threat of hunger, eviction, foreclosure and other hardships trust that USA Cares will be there to provide them with relief and an opportunity to recover. The tremendous support our organization has received from the Stars for Heroes campaign has strengthened our ability to help those who have given so much of themselves; we are humbled by this honor and thank CKE for making this possible.”

Since 2011, the Stars for Heroes program has supported more than 200 U.S. military charities nationwide. Stars for Heroes is made possible through generous contributions by CKE’s franchise community—The Independent Hardee’s Franchise Association (IHFA) and Star Franchise Association (SFA)—along with company employees and loyal customers. Private donations and in-kind support are provided by CKE partners and suppliers, including KDM POP Solutions Group. To learn more about the Stars for Heroes national beneficiaries, visit their websites at www.garysinisefoundation.org, www.standupandplayfoundation.org and www.usacares.org.

About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.

CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”) is a privately held company headquartered in Franklin, Tenn. CKE is not a franchisor and conducts substantially all of its restaurant activities and operations through its subsidiaries. Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants LLC own, operate and franchise the Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito® and Red Burrito® concepts. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s operate as one brand under two names, acknowledging the rich regional heritage of both banners. After recent international openings in Chile, Cambodia and Kenya, Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants LLC now have over 3,800 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 40 foreign countries and U.S. territories. Known for its one-of-a-kind premium menu items such as 100 percent Black Angus Thickburgers®, Made from Scratch™ Biscuits and Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™, as well as an award-winning marketing approach, the Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s brand continues to deliver substantial and consistent growth in the U.S. and overseas. The Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s system is now 94 percent franchised, with international restaurants representing 21 percent of the system. For more information about CKE, please visit www.ckr.com or its brand sites at www.carlsjr.com and www.hardees.com.

About the Gary Sinise Foundation:

The Gary Sinise Foundation honors America’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need. Through its R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), specially adapted smart homes are being constructed for severely wounded veterans nationwide. Each one-of-a-kind home is customized to ease the everyday burdens of a wounded hero, their family and caregivers. Other programs include Relief & Resiliency Outreach, Invincible Spirit Festivals, Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band, Arts & Entertainment Outreach, Serving Heroes, and First Responders Outreach. Its latest program, Soaring Valor, is sending WWII veterans to The National WWII Museum and documenting their first-hand accounts of the war. For more information, please visit www.garysinisefoundation.org.

About Stand Up and Play Foundation

The mission of the Stand Up and Play Foundation is to provide wheelchair users and others with impaired mobility the opportunity to stand up and engage in recreational and everyday activities through access to paramobiles, clinics and recreational programs. Our organization introduces the paramobile and other adaptive equipment to wheelchair users through clinics and demonstrations where we reinforce the mental and physical therapeutic benefits of standing. Our goal is to make paramobiles available to as many support organizations, rehab centers, golf courses, veterans groups and individuals as possible. www.standupandplayfoundation.org

About USA Cares

USA Cares is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that addresses the critical and unmet needs of 9-11 service members, veterans and military families facing service-related hardships. The object is to reach families at the earliest stage of intervention to proactively prevent further financial distress, including foreclosure. When USA Cares is contacted to provide assistance, our goal is to respond to each family within 48 hours. Assistance programs include Combat Injured, Career Transition, Housing and Emergency Assistance. We have responded to more than 92,000 requests for emergency financial assistance, which are paid directly to the creditor in the form of a grant. USA Cares provides the critical support that our veterans and military families need to create a foundation for financial resilience. www.usacares.org

“Pledge It” Teams with 150+ Professional Athletes on Unique Crowdfunding Charitable Campaigns; On Record Pace with 15 MLB Campaigns

Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright, and Danny Duffy among Major Leaguers Running 2017 Campaigns, including Pujols’ Quest for Milestone 600th Home Run

Press Release – HARRISBURG, PA, May 23, 2017Pledge It, the nation’s first and only performance-based crowdfunding platform (money is raised based upon athletic performance), is on record pace, having already raised more than $300,000 for charitable causes through its 15 Major League Baseball (MLB) 2017 charitable campaigns just 50 days into the season – more than double the amount raised for charity in the entire 2016 MLB season.

During the 2017 MLB regular season, more than 15 players have partnered with Pledge It to convert their on-field statistics into financial support for charitable causes. MLB fans are encouraged to pledge a donation for every home run, hit, or strikeout recorded to help make an impact.

“Through our Pledge It campaigns, we’ve found that 7 of 10 fans choose performance pledging over a flat donation because the pledge is being earned. And our average pledge is nearly twice the national average for online donations” said Scott Shirley, PLEDGE IT CEO and former Penn State football and baseball player. “Our community of athletes are inspired to earn the change they want to see and we are thrilled at the early impact of the campaigns in raising funds for such compelling causes.”

“Working with PLEDGE IT has been awesome, because it has allowed me to connect my passion for the game with my passion for honoring Noah’s legacy and supporting Noah’s Bandage Project,” said Kansas City Royals’ Danny Duffy, who is dedicating his 2017 season to Noah’s Bandage Project to help fund targeted pediatric cancer research. “I love that it gives me the opportunity and ability to earn the fans’ support so we can make an impact together.”

Other MLB 2017 / PLEDGE IT campaigns include:

ABOUT PLEDGE IT

At Pledge It, we believe support for a cause is earned, not given. Our community of athletes are inspired to earn the change they want to see in the world! See how athletes and non-profits are harnessing the power and appeal of sports for social good – join the movement at www.pledgeit.org. See how PLEDGE IT is revolutionizing online crowdfunding and non-profit fundraising at Pledge It Video.

Millennial Philanthropists Raise $240,000 At New York Cares’ Rising Leaders Council Annual Soirée

Press Release – (May 19, 2017, New York, NY) – More than 500 New York City young professionals and philanthropists came together to raise over $240,000 at the annual Rising Leaders Council (RLC) New York Cares Soirée to support volunteer endeavors the city. The Rising Leaders Council engages young professionals in New York Cares’ philanthropic efforts by spearheading projects as team leaders, painting murals in NYC schools at New York Cares Day Fall, and raising donations at their own fundraiser, the annual Soirée. Now in its 13th year, the 2017 Soirée raised more funds than ever before, and surpassed the original fundraising goal of $175,000.

Scott Silverstein, Leasing Manager of Equity Office, was the philanthropic honoree at the evening’s festivities. The masquerade-themed event featured Tarot Card readers, The Haiku Guys, and a masseuse, and included local New York treats from OddFellows Ice Cream Co., Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Li-Lac Chocolates, a paella bar, and wine and cheese tastings.

New York Cares is celebrating 30 years of service to New York City. Since 1987, New York Cares has facilitated approximately six million hours of volunteer work in New York City, collected and distributed nearly two million winter coats to those in need, and served nearly three million meals to New Yorkers in need. From granting children’s Winter Wishes, to planting local gardens, to providing SAT prep for college-bound students, New York Cares and its volunteers have spent 30 years working hard to brighten the lives of all New Yorkers.

“Our Rising Leaders Council epitomizes the millennial spirit of philanthropy; they don’t just give, they do!” Said New York Cares Executive Director Gary Bagley, “We are so grateful to the Rising Leaders Council, and the many young philanthropists who have raised funds and donated their time to help New York Cares continue its 30 year legacy of service to the City and people of New York.”

The money raised by the Rising Leaders Council Soirée will go to New York Cares to help the organization continue its volunteer services within the five boroughs, making New York a better City for all its residents.

About New York Cares

New York Cares is the largest volunteer network in the city. Last year, more than 64,000 New Yorkers made the city a better place by volunteering in New York Cares programs at over 1,300 nonprofits and schools – improving education, meeting immediate needs, and revitalizing public spaces. For more information, visit newyorkcares.org.

Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation March To Kick Off MuttNation Foundation Adoption Drive At CMA Music Festival On June 8

Meet Adoptable Dogs At Music City Center And Enter To Win A Trip To Make-Over A Shelter With Miranda

Press Release – Nashville, TN – Vanner Records/RCA Records Nashville GRAMMY Award-winner and 13 time CMA Award winner, Miranda Lambert announces details surrounding her MuttNation events to take place during CMA Music Festival in Nashville, TN, June 8th through the 11th.

To kick off the MuttNation festivities, Lambert will host the inaugural MuttNation March on the morning of June 8, where Lambert and her rescue dogs will get their “paws” marching from Nissan Stadium, over the Nashville Pedestrian Bridge, and ending in downtown Nashville. “So many shelter pets need a home, so we are going to march to raise awareness,” says Lambert. “Country music has the best fans in the world and together we can help so many animals find amazing homes.” Fans and their mutts are encouraged to join in on the celebration and help spread awareness for shelter pets. Registration for the inaugural MuttNation March begins TODAY at MuttNationFoundation.com. The cost to register is $15 per person and includes an event t-shirt to wear during the MuttNation March.

Miranda’s MuttNation March concludes just steps away from the Music City Center where the MuttNation Foundation Adoption Drive will take place inside CMA Fan Fair X. The drive will take place throughout CMA Fest. The MuttNation Foundation Adoption Drive will feature a photo booth, the MuttNation mobile unit and the family favorite, “Puppy Corral”, but as always the goal is to find shelter dogs forever homes. The MuttNation Fueled by Miranda Lambert Pet Collection will be available to purchase, with a portion of those proceeds benefitting MuttNation Foundation.

If you cannot physically be in Nashville for the March, don’t worry, you can still participate! Starting today and running through June 19, fans can visit MuttNationFoundation.com and enter the MuttNation Shelter Day Sweepstakes, where you and a guest have a chance to win a day with Miranda Lambert making over an animal shelter in need. Fans are rewarded at higher donation levels with a handful of unique incentives including exclusive merchandise, meet & greets and more.

For more information on MuttNation events visit www.muttnationfoundation.com

GameStop Collects Nearly $1.2 Million in Donations During World Autism Month

For the second year, GameStop and its family of retail brands show their passion for autism awareness while raising funds for Autism Speaks®

Press Release – Grapevine, Texas, (May 16, 2017) – GameStop, a family of specialty retail brands that makes the most popular technologies affordable and simple, announced today that it collected nearly $1.2 million as part of its World Autism Month in-store donation campaign. In its second year supporting autism awareness, GameStop, along with its Spring Mobile AT&T, Simply Mac, Think Geek, Kongregate and Game Informer brands, invited customers and associates to donate to this important cause through an in-store and online donation campaign. All donations received directly benefit Autism Speaks.

“Our guests and associates never cease to amaze us with their passion and generosity for helping raise understanding and acceptance of people with autism,” said Matt Hodges, vice president of corporate communications for GameStop. “We were touched by the numerous stories of our guests who made donations in honor of a family member or friend impacted by autism. Plus, we were inspired to see our store associates from California to New Jersey going the extra mile in providing inclusive gaming days and special needs fairs for families impacted by autism locally.”

Some GameStop associates experience autism first hand. Christopher Hutton, GameStop district leader in Dallas-Fort Worth area, has worked for GameStop for more than seven years and is personally impacted by Asperger’s, a high functioning form of autism. He believes that a little education and communication can go a long way in increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism.

“Early on I decided to be frank with my colleagues about how Asperger’s affects me. When you’re straightforward about who you are, there are a lot of ‘aha’ moments for others,” said Hutton. “I also help my staff learn to interact with our customers who have autism. Interacting with them is a huge deal to them. I see their patience level go up when they realize that the customer is really happy to be here. The moment you start to identify with someone, you uncover things that can help you with your personal growth. You never know what you’ll say to someone that will change your perspective, or inspire them.”

A portion of the donations raised through the GameStop campaign will help fund Autism Speaks’ specially trained Autism Response Team, which provides information, tools and resources to help people with autism and their families make informed decisions.

In addition, the money raised will fund Autism Speaks’ science programs that are advancing innovative research into causes and better treatments for autism and its related conditions.

“What an amazing example GameStop and its customers have set by raising more than $2.4 million in the last two years. With their donations, GameStop and its customers are helping to enhance lives across the autism spectrum,” said Angela Geiger, Autism Speaks president and CEO. “We’re thrilled that this donation can help us reach even more individuals and families who are affected by autism.”

ABOUT AUTISM

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences. An estimated 1 in 68 children is on the autism spectrum.

ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. We empower people with autism and their families with resources, online tools and information covering the life span. To find resources, join a fundraising walk or make a donation, go to www.AutismSpeaks.org.

ABOUT GAMESTOP CORP.

GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, is a global, multichannel video game, consumer electronics and wireless services retailer. GameStop operates more than 7,500 stores across 14 countries. The company’s consumer product network also includes www.gamestop.com; www.Kongregate.com, a leading browser-based game site; Game Informer® magazine, the world’s leading print and digital video game publication; and ThinkGeek, www.thinkgeek.com, the premier retailer for the global geek community featuring exclusive and unique video game and pop culture products. Our Technology Brands segment includes 1,522 Simply Mac, Spring Mobile AT&T and Cricket stores. Simply Mac, www.simplymac.com, sells the full line of Apple products, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones and offers Apple certified warranty and repair services. Spring Mobile, www.springmobile.com, sells all of AT&T’s products and services, including DIRECTV and offers pre-paid wireless services, devices and related accessories through its Cricket branded stores in select markets in the U.S. General information about GameStop Corp. can be obtained at the company’s corporate website. Follow @GameStop and @GameStopCorp. on Twitter and find GameStop on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GameStop.

Fundamental Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for Mental Health and Cognition Research with Psychedelics

Funds support groundbreaking studies on psilocybin, MDMA, and LSD

Fundamental Crowdfunding Campaign from FUNDAMENTAL on Vimeo.

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.

Rodrigo Niño, CEO of Prodigy, known for crowdfunding commercial properties in Manhattan

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.

Sustainability Projects in 15 Cities Get a Boost with New Funding from Partners for Places

$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:

  • Boulder, Colo. ($50,000): To build stronger and deeper representation of underserved communities in climate and energy decisions by facilitating dialogues with diverse stakeholders on community-defined priorities; piloting a renewable energy and energy efficiency workforce development program; supporting regional coordination on climate and equity, and generating metrics to guide data collection and evaluate progress. (Matching funder: Philanthropiece Foundation)
  • Broward County, Fla. ($25,000): To support a sustainability education and youth leadership afterschool program in a distressed portion of the county that will teach high school students STEM skills, empowering them to become climate sustainability stewards and advocates to address their own neighborhood’s environmental challenges. (Matching funder: Community Foundation of Broward)
  • Chicago, Ill. ($75,000): To better connect low- and moderate-income residents more easily to all of the “green” programs offered by the city, such as recycling, transportation, and energy efficiency, ensuring they can take advantage of the many tools and resources available to make their lifestyles more sustainable and help their household budgets go farther. (Matching funder: Chicago Community Trust)
  • Columbia, Mo. ($100,000): To turn an under-used, 10-acre site in a low-income neighborhood into a multi-use agricultural park that will feature a farmers market, urban farm, outdoor classroom and green space. (Matching funder: Boone County Community Trust)
  • Lincoln, Neb. ($75,000): To implement sustainability elements of a multi-year neighborhood planning process in a low-income neighborhood, such as improving walkability and pedestrian safety and providing green infrastructure, landscaping and urban reforestation, as well as increasing the size, number and potential of community gardens. (Matching funder: Lincoln Community Foundation)
  • Newark, N.J. ($60,000): To develop and implement scalable strategies for promoting healthier, more energy-efficient homes in two target neighborhoods through a pilot program, targeting children under 6 years old exposed to lead. (Matching funders: Victoria Foundation; Greater Newark LISC; United Way of Essex and Hudson Counties; Essex Equities; PSEG Foundation)
  • Syracuse, N.Y. ($25,000): To design and implement a comprehensive and inclusive outreach campaign that creates a unified vision for protecting and growing Syracuse’s urban forest. (Matching funder: The Gifford Foundation)
  • Tacoma, Wash. ($45,000): To create an equitable and healthy food system that promotes healthy communities and people, supporting community members’ research and giving them the tools and resources to implement resilient food system ideas and projects. (Matching funder: The Russell Family Foundation)

The latest Partners for Places Equity Pilot Initiative grant recipients and their matching funders are:

  • Berkeley, Calif. ($30,000): To develop a “racial equity lens” tool that will include a set of questions that guide city policies and programs. The tool would be first used to incorporate racial equity into a community land-use planning process, and ultimately be applied to a broad range of programs and services. (Matching funders: The San Francisco Foundation; The East Bay Community Foundation)
  • Charlotte, N.C. ($75,000): To create an accessible “smart city” platform where residents and government can kick-start collaboration on meaningful projects in categories that include healthy communities, neighborhood transportation, technology training programs, and smart homes and neighborhoods. (Matching funders: Knight Foundation; OrthoCarolina Foundation)
  • Cleveland, Ohio ($60,000): To help improve outcomes in health, access to green jobs, and resiliency through equitable climate action planning and implementation, including workshops in 10 neighborhoods previously under-represented in sustainability efforts. (Matching funders: George Gund Foundation; Cleveland Foundation)
  • Dubuque, Iowa ($50,000): To ensure city departments and partners learn strategies and have the tools needed to put climate-vulnerable communities at the center of decision-making and planning. The project will engage partners throughout the Washington Neighborhood to build non-profit capacity and social resiliency. (Matching funder: Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque)
  • Minneapolis, Minn. ($75,000): To work with community members and organizations to implement a Green Zone pilot project that will address racial equity, improve health, and support economic development using environmentally conscious efforts in a community that faces the cumulative effects of environmental pollution and social, political and economic vulnerability. (Matching funder: McKnight Foundation)
  • Providence, R.I. ($55,000): To incorporate racial equity as a core pillar of the city’s sustainability efforts, including additional training and tools that will support long-term goals specific to environmental and racial justice. (Matching funder: Rhode Island Foundation)
  • Washington, D.C. ($60,000): To establish an equity advisory group of community residents from the Watts Branch neighborhood in order to bring equity and social cohesion into planning and implementation of the District’s climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives through a community-driven process. The project will produce a replicable model for authentic community engagement to be used in future planning efforts. (Matching funders: The Prince Charitable Trusts; Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation)

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.

Infosys Foundation USA Commits Funding to Train 1,000 Teachers in Computer Science

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

Honor Mom this Mother’s Day with a Gift That Truly ‘HELPS’

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.

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.

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