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WeFunder To Offer Investment In Recoup Cold Roller

24-year-old’s invention, used by slews of professional athletes, opens capital raise

Press Release – DENVER, CO, June 28, 2017 – 24-year-old entrepreneur Matt Hyder has partnered with WeFunder, the largest regulation crowdfunding portal connecting startups with investors online, for his company’s first capital raise. The crowdfunding service will help connect Hyder to a potential investment of $1.07 million in Recoup Fitness.

“It’s really exciting to give people the chance to join us and become a part of our journey at Recoup Fitness,” said Hyder. “I am confident in our team, our ability to scale and continue to innovate with new products in the pipeline. With the potential investors we will meet through WeFunder, we can be the leading name in injury and sports recovery.”

Hyder turned an $8 prototype into a multi-million-dollar company when he launched Recoup Fitness in 2015. Recoup’s flagship product, the Cold Roller, is a two-in-one recovery/massage tool for relief from bodily aches and paints. Roll the Recoup Cold Roller over sore, achy muscles for concentrated self-myofascial release, toss it in the freezer for up to six hours of cold massage, or combine the two for faster overall recovery. Hyder developed the device, after receiving a basketball injury.

Recoup Fitness is a company designed to help athletes and everyday individuals recover faster from injury, combining the benefits of cold massage therapy and foam rolling to reduce inflammation and aid in post-workout recovery. The cold, steel surface releases metabolic waste products and toxins, while relaxing the muscles. Since its inception, the product has been crucial for top-caliber athletes and trainers, in optimizing the recovery process, while minimizing recovery time.

Wefunder uses a provision in the 2012 JOBS Act which allows unaccredited investors to provide equity for entrepreneurial undertakings. The Recoup Fitness raise begins with an investment as low as $100.00.

For more information, please visit https://wefunder.com/recoup.fitness or https://recoupfitness.com.


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Kiva.org Reaches $1 Billion Milestone in Crowd-Funding Loans Disbursed Globally

Kiva announces new World Refugee Fund to support refugee communities

Press Release – June 26, 2017 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time: SAN FRANCISCO–Today Kiva.org, the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good, announced that it surpassed $1 billion USD in loans supporting borrowers around the world. More than 2.4 million entrepreneurs, farmers and students globally have been able to launch and expand viable businesses or pursue an education thanks to loan support from 1.6 million people, lending just $25 dollars at a time.

Kiva provides financial support to low-income borrowers, enabling individuals from all over the globe who have few other opportunities for financial assistance to receive a critically needed loan. Through lending, Kiva is alleviating poverty and addressing the critical social issues of our time, particularly the refugee crisis, climate change, and gender inequality. Specifically, Kiva has disbursed loans to 2,013,194 women borrowers; 19,082 to borrowers in green and clean energy spaces; and 4,544 to refugee borrowers. Kiva has also expanded to support social enterprises addressing community-wide issues such as access to clean water and sustainable farming.

“Kiva proves that when each of us takes small actions, our collective efforts can transform the world for millions of people in meaningful ways. Kiva started with a simple idea, to provide people with an easy and transparent way to support the people, places and causes they believe in,” said Premal Shah, President and Co-Founder of Kiva. “As we surpass $1 billion in loan support, we are looking at how to push open doors of economic opportunity in new ways. And with our continued growth and commitment to serve the most vulnerable, we are thrilled to announce Kiva’s new World Refugee Fund, providing a way for individuals, corporations and foundations to support refugees and host communities around the world.”

Recently on World Refugee Day (celebrated globally on June 20), Kiva launched a new World Refugee Fund, a $250K matching fund to be followed by a rotating fund of up to $9M in loan capital to provide support to refugees and host communities in countries including Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. While immediate and urgent humanitarian assistance is important for refugee and displaced communities, the reality is that the average length of displacement is 26 years, according to the United Nations. There is a growing and long-term need among refugees and host communities to access financial services and jobs. Yet, very few traditional financial service providers are serving refugees, leaving them with limited economic mobility and opportunities.

The World Refugee Fund seeks to fill this lending gap and is being developed by Kiva and the Alight Fund, along with founding partners the Tent Foundation and USA for UNHCR. To date, Kiva has crowdfunded $4.3 million in loans to 4,544 refugee borrowers globally.

Visitors to Kiva.org can view stories and profiles of borrowers and choose who they want to support with a loan of $25 or more. Individual loans are collected until the borrower’s full loan request is crowdfunded. The average loan request on Kiva is $450 and Kiva funded borrowers have a 97% repayment rate.


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CleanCapital Closes Investment Round Led by FinTech Leaders and Pioneers

Funding to be used to implement technology roadmap and scale operations to broaden clean energy investing

Press Release – WASHINGTON, DC-— CleanCapital, an innovative online marketplace for clean energy investing, announced today the closing of the first round in Series A funding, as part of an ongoing capital raise. The new capital will allow CleanCapital to implement their technology roadmap and continue scaling operations, growing its team, and expanding opportunities for clean energy investing. CleanCapital’s proprietary platform has benefits that are two-fold, by creating opportunity for investment and increasing ease for project owners to exit their current portfolios. By reducing barriers both for the flow of capital and access to investments, CleanCapital is accelerating clean energy deployment.

This capital raise follows an exceptional first year for CleanCapital. To date, the team has financed over $40M of solar projects and more than 20 MW in operating solar assets. They have also received funding from industry leader John Hancock Life Insurance to finance numerous assets. CleanCapital has created a unique algorithm to efficiently scrub and value projects so that only the best investment opportunities are included in investment portfolios.

Investors include FinTech leaders and pioneers such as Ron Suber, President of Prosper Marketplace, Jon Barlow, Founder of Eaglewood Capital Management, and Bradley Pattelli, Former Chief Investment Officer of LendingClub. In addition, the company was recently selected to be featured on leading startup fundraising platform SeedInvest which historically has accepted just 1% of startups applicants.

“To accelerate clean energy we need a marketplace that provides all investors with access to this asset class. Our team is honored to be working with numerous FinTech pioneers to grow CleanCapital and clean energy more broadly,” said Thomas Byrne, Co-founder and CEO of CleanCapital. “CleanCapital is committed to attracting more investors to the space by providing a simple, understandable way to invest in clean energy.”

Ron Suber is at the center of San Francisco’s flourishing FinTech community. As of today, he’s invested in 16 FinTech companies, including high-profile players like DocuSign and SoFi, and serves as an official advisor to a half dozen companies.

“Clean energy is more important than ever before. I am excited to support CleanCapital as it provides retail and institutional investors with a simpler way to invest in clean energy. They have a strong team that can execute and a unique strategy to accelerate growth in the industry,” said Ron Suber, President of Prosper Marketplace.

Jon Barlow is the founder and former CEO of Eaglewood Capital Management, a leading P2P asset-management firm with approximately $2 billion of assets under management. He currently serves as a director and advisor to several FinTech companies, including Money360, eOriginal, VeriComply and Marketlend.

“I was initially attracted to CleanCapital because they are on the cutting edge of an emerging and highly scalable asset class, with an innovative platform that I believe helps create an attractive risk adjusted return profile for investors and accelerates clean energy at the same time,” Mr. Barlow said. “Furthermore, they have validated their market and I believe the company is poised to grow substantially as both institutional and retail investors discover the compelling merits of this platform.” Mr. Barlow’s investment was consummated following a multi-month due diligence process, and he will join CleanCapital as a board advisor.

Bradley Pattelli, the Founder of Troodon Advisors, is the former Chief Investment Officer of LendingClub. Prior to joining LendingClub, Pattelli was a partner at Angelo, Gordon & Co., a $26 billion alternative investments advisor, where he managed CDO portfolios and multiple non-investment grade portfolios while leading significant growth in assets and delivering solid returns. Pattelli, a Chartered Financial Analyst, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, where he was most notably trained by Jim Rogers, Chairman of Rogers Holdings. CleanCapital is excited to welcome Mr. Pattelli to the Board of Directors.

“CleanCapital has the potential to profoundly transform clean energy by leveraging its proprietary technology to create a lower cost, more transparent flow of capital between projects and investors,” said Pattelli. “By streamlining the acquisition of high quality, clean energy projects, CleanCapital is able to pass through the benefits to its investors. I look forward to working with this talented team to help make CleanCapital a reliable provider of unique, tax efficient, impact investments to alternative fixed income investors.”

CleanCapital will be making a small portion of its Series A available to individual investors who are interested in clean energy through SeedInvest. For more information, potential investors may visit www.seedinvest.com/cleancapital.

About CleanCapital:

CleanCapital is a financial technology company that makes it easy to invest in clean energy. CleanCapital allows accredited investors—including institutional investors, family offices, and investment funds—to invest in secure and diversified clean energy projects. Investors can monitor investments in real-time using our seamless online platform. We were founded in 2015 and are headquartered in New York, NY. Stay up to date on the evolving market of clean energy finance by signing up on our website, following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting via LinkedIn.


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LENDonate Changes The Game Of Nonprofit Financing By Creating Swift Access To High Quality Loans

Online Platform Enables Nonprofits to Source Loans and Donations Simultaneously through a New, Innovative Process

Press Release – Oakland, CA, June 22, 2017 – LENDonate, a fintech company, today announced the launch of its distinct hybrid, online lending platform for 501(c)(3) nonprofits. The first-of-a-kind, hybrid platform uses an innovative process that lets nonprofits source loans and donations simultaneously. LENDonate unites nonprofits with lenders, including financial institutions, philanthropic organizations, and accredited investors for quick funding of high-quality, low cost loans. LENDonate is the only marketplace lending platform that enables nonprofits to effortlessly expand their donor base while financing major projects or smoothing out uneven cash flow.

LENDonate was founded by Vivienne Hsu, CEO, a seasoned investment professional and nonprofit fundraiser. She was motivated by a desire to improve nonprofits’ access to the low-cost funding, while providing high-quality, socially impactful investment opportunities for banks and philanthropists.

“LENDonate is creating a new ecosystem for nonprofit finances, one in which all sides win,” said Vivienne Hsu, founder and CEO of LENDonate. “The traditional loan experience for nonprofits tends to be long and arduous, generally accompanied by high costs. LENDonate brings all parties together to simplify and speed funding of high-quality loans, while empowering lenders to customize lending to meet their financial goals.”

Whether they are purchasing property or major equipment, hosting a large fundraiser, or waiting on a delayed grant, nonprofits occasionally need an immediate cash inflow. Turning to banks, foundations, or major donors for relief can be a complicated, time-consuming and expensive process as the nonprofit sorts through specialized funds, bank requirements and mounds of paperwork.

LENDonate streamlines this process by underwriting and structuring the loans on the marketplace where a large universe of banks, foundations, CDFIs, and accredited investors can tailor their financial support in forms of donations, loans, or a combination. Philanthropic lenders may offer rate reductions. LENDonate also assesses nonprofit borrowers for credit enhancement opportunities that lead to reduction of credit risk and borrowing rates.

For example, San Francisco-based Z Space is a nonprofit multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to producing and presenting innovative, genre-bending new works for the stage. In addition to their production work, Z Space runs two venues in the heart of the San Francisco Mission District. They turned to LENDonate after paying 13% on a bank credit line while waiting for a foundation grant approval. As a result, Z Space was able to replace that high interest bank loan with a 3.6% interest rate loan sourced through LENDonate’s marketplace.

“LENDonate helped us get a much lower rate, and was probably a 2-3 month time savings over the foundation,” said Lisa Steindler, Executive Artistic Director of Z Space. “By providing quick access to affordable money, LENDonate’s distinct loan-to-donation option enables us to think bigger and take more risk as we carry out our mission. It also lets new people get to know Z Space. The more we can put our name out there and have people become more familiar with Z Space, and support what we’re doing, the better.”

Financial Institutions Can Grow and Diversify Community-Driven Lending

Financial institutions have multiple goals: expand their business, diversify their loan portfolio, meet government CRA requirements, and prudently manage risk. LENDonate helps banks, credit unions, CDFIs, and foundations diversify by presenting a wide range of financially qualified borrowers, with a focus on high quality loans. In addition, LENDonate enables financial institutions to share risk by combining different capital streams into one loan package.

Robust Repayment Process Made Easy and Scalable

LENDonate facilitates co-lending of traditional and philanthropic lenders by uniquely blending different lender rates into one simple, aggregate borrowing rate. During repayment period, its one-of-a-kind process partitions a borrower’s repayment such that each lender receives repayment amounts based on their own lending rates.

Easy Loan-to-Donation Conversion

In addition to return-oriented loans and pure donations, LENDonate’s unique loan-to-donation conversion feature allows lenders to manage their own planned giving or to financially reward borrowers for meeting desired milestones, by converting a portion of the loan into donation or grant anytime during the repayment period.

Availability

LENDonate is initially available to nonprofits in California. To inquire or get started, please visit www.lendonate.com

About LENDonate

LENDonate is an open, online lending platform that unites qualified nonprofits with lenders for quick funding of high quality, low-cost loans. The platform enables nonprofits to secure financing from previously untapped sources, receiving attractive loan rates and donations. Uniquely, marketplace and philanthropic lenders join forces to fund major projects in ways that fulfill both their financial and charitable goals. The company is headquartered in Oakland, CA. For more information, visit www.lendonate.com.

This press release is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.


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NEW Website Donorsunite.org Offers a New Way for Charities to Obtain Funding

Converting Some of the Over $1 Trillion Spent Annually on Material Gifts to Charitable Gift Cards Benefiting Local Charities

Press Release – (New York . . .April, 2017) Announcing the launch of Donorsunite.org, a new charity gift card giving website. The innovative technology on the easy-to-use website is poised to forever change the way we give gifts. By harnessing the power of the ubiquitous gift card, Donors Unite provides an alternative to material gifts for any occasion – a charity gift card. The Donors Unite gift card is perfect for any occasion – Mother’s Day, major holidays, birthdays, weddings or even a thank you for a dinner invitation.

Putting Passion and Purpose Back into Gift Giving

Instead of giving the token gift, gift givers can present their friends and loved ones with something that truly matters—a tax deductible charity gift card that enables users to choose from the most comprehensive list of more than 1.5 million U.S. registered and IRS-approved charities on the website. And for those who are passionate about local charities, there’s a comprehensive search engine, which enables either the giver or receiver the ability to find and support a charity in their community. On a limited budget? Donors Unite is affordable, allowing gifts of as little as $10, thus only giving what you can afford to give.

Set to Revolutionalize the World of Nonprofit Fundraising

In 2015, over $1 trillion was spent in the United States by individuals and businesses to purchase gifts for all sorts of occasions. By tapping into this $1 trillion retail gift market and converting purchases of material gifts to charitable gift cards, this new source of funding for charities has the potential to substantially add to all not-for-profit organization’s bottom lines. Donors Unite removes the burden of the dreaded “ask” from charitable organizations and instead provides them with new revenue streams without having to solicit for funds. Not-for-profits who partner with Donors Unite receive the added benefits of a low transaction fee for donations, faster automatic deposit times, marketing materials and priority placement on the “Find a Charity” search engine. Donors Unite also removes all administrative responsibilities from the charitable organizations by providing all tax letters to donors. Annual membership to Donors Unite is only $25. Just one gift card designating a member charity will likely more than pay for the membership.

Gifts that Keep on Giving

At launch, Donorsunite.org will include a “Wallet.” The Wallet is for individuals and businesses who have a budget for charitable giving, and prefer to deposit funds once and give year-round by purchasing gift cards as needed. This makes it super easy and can be done in virtually no time. Donors Unite will also introduce gift “claim codes” to allow purchasers, including businesses, wedding and party planners, to buy an unlimited number of codes that can be printed and delivered on their stationary of choice OR on Donors Unite pre-printed personalized cards. Claim codes may be purchased in any number. By purchasing the pre-printed cards to keep on hand, it makes it even easier to gift a Donors Unite charity gift card. This delivery method is perfect for businesses who want to communicate their commitment to social responsibility through client appreciation and employee recognition gifts. It’s also a unique idea for couples who want to follow the trend of replacing traditional wedding favors for a meaningful gift that their closest family and friends will never forget. Or for that matter, for any occasion where a printed greeting card is normally given.

Endorsement from Nation’s Third Largest Community Trust

One of the principal supporters of Donors Unite from the beginning is David Okorn, the Executive Director of the Long Island Community Foundation, which is the Long Island division of the New York Community Trust, the nation’s third largest community trust. Mr. Okorn is such a firm believer in Donors Unite that he became a director of the organization. “It is a simple and low-cost way to potentially raise additional funds, enabling nonprofits to stay focused on the activities required to carry out their mission, and hopefully less time on fundraising activities. Donors Unite really has something here that can be revolutionary for the world of nonprofit fundraising.”

For further information visit www.donorsunite.org.

Donors Unite Inc. is a 501 c (3) IRS approved Public Donor Advised Fund


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Community Service Project to Raise $40,000 for Abused Children in the Community

Press Release – Philadelphia, PA – Radical acts of kindness are occurring in the Philadelphia community. The Vision and Impact Program (VIP) of Next Level Trainings takes emotional intelligence and leadership to a whole new level with its impact on the community. As part of a three month training process, leaders take on a community service project to raise money and awareness for local causes. The current VIP group is committed to “crushing out child abuse” by supporting Turning Points for Children, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit impacting 10,000 people locally. The organization partners with caregivers to develop and strengthen protective qualities, offering afterschool programs, connecting kids aging out of the foster care system with families they had lost; supporting teen moms and dads, offering a community-based food pantry and more.

VIP leaders are campaigning through multi-faceted fundraising efforts for Turning Points for Children; online via social media fundraising efforts, collecting tangible goods, supporting the annual Dragon Boat Regatta Race, a family community event, and through “crush boards” in the community, where donations are accepted to create a unique piece of art using sneakers and washable paints. Next Level Trainings and VIP leaders are also rallying corporate sponsors and organizing restaurant benefit nights where a portion of the proceeds go to support Turning Points for Children.

The campaign has raised over $27,000 and is committed to “doing whatever it takes” to raise $40,000 and 5,000 tangible good items to support children who are abused and their families. Turning Points for Children’s Chief Financial Officer Dawn Holden Woods says, “Reducing child abuse and building strong families are complex issues that requires many people and organizations to support this work. We are thrilled to have Next Level engaged at such a high level and committed to this cause.”

Director of Next Level Trainings Philadelphia, Joseph Henderson, says of the campaign, “Next Level Philadelphia is committed to training emotionally intelligent leaders to make a difference in the world. Through our current community service project, we are supporting Turning Points for Children in reducing abuse and creating a bright future for children in the Philadelphia area. Turning Points for Children works tirelessly to strengthen families and the community and Next Level is grateful for the opportunity to serve and give back.”

Members of the media are encouraged to do a preview interview with Next Level Gives to hear about what inspired them to take on such a radical act of kindness and generosity in support of Turning Points. For more information, http://www.nextlevelgives.com/vip1phl.

Global Impact Partners with Charity Charge to Supercharge Growfund Giving Platform

Special Growfund Charity Charge credit card earns cashback rewards as tax-deductible charitable donations to cardholder’s Growfund Donor Advised Fund, allowing individual donors to incorporate saving, investing, and giving into their everyday purchases.

Press Release – ALEXANDRIA, VA, and AUSTIN, TX, June 6, 2017Global Impact, a world leader in growing global philanthropy, has joined forces with Charity Charge, a Public Benefit Corporation offering the first credit card with a rewards program that earns 1% cash back on purchases as charitable donations. Through this partnership, Charity Charge will make available a credit card with Growfund, Global Impact’s innovative charitable giving platform, that will enable the cashback rewards to be saved, invested, and granted to nearly one million charities of the cardholder’s choice.

The partnership between these two organizations occurs at the nexus of technology, finance and philanthropy, advancing a shared mission to transform the methods by which people can donate. Ann Canela, Vice President of Global Impact and an architect of the Growfund giving platform said, “Charity Charge shares our vision of leveraging technology to transform the systems of giving. We created Growfund to democratize philanthropy by offering individuals a chance to create their own personal foundation to engage with their causes more deeply.” She added, “Our partnership with Charity Charge will make it easier for individuals to integrate giving more seamlessly into their daily lives, as they can now transform their everyday purchases into everyday donations.”

Growfund is Global Impact’s charitable giving tool that democratizes philanthropy by allowing individuals to create their own personal foundation and experience the benefits of a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), with as little as $1 to start. Unlike other DAFs that require sizeable contributions before the funds are invested, Growfund contributions can be invested with the first $1. When ready to give, donors can make grants to nearly one million domestic and international charities through Growfund’s partnership with GuideStar. Operating like a money market or 401(k) investment platform, Growfund helps individual donors grow their contributions, plan for their giving, and then give with impact where they live, learn and work. The credit card rewards program will provide an additional way for Growfund owners to add funds automatically.

Said Stephen Garten, CEO and founder of Charity Charge, “We created Charity Charge to empower donors to do good every day through their regular purchases, at no cost to the recipient charities. We are proud to partner with Global Impact to help donors Charge It Forward to their Growfund. The Charity Charge World MasterCard will offer everyday donors a way to amplify their contributions and plan for their giving to the causes they care about, with every swipe.”

To apply for a Growfund Charity Charge World MasterCard, click here.

About Global Impact

Global Impact is a leader in growing global philanthropy. The organization builds partnerships and raises resources that help the world’s most vulnerable people by providing integrated, partner-specific advisory and backbone services; workplace fundraising and representation; campaign design, marketing and implementation for workplace and signature fundraising campaigns; and fiscal agency and technology services. Global Impact works with more than 300 public and private sector workplace giving campaigns to generate funding for an alliance of more than 100 international charities. Through strategic council and implementation support, Global Impact equips private sector and nonprofit organizations to achieve their philanthropic goals. The organization also served as administrator for four of the world’s largest workplace giving campaigns, including the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area (CFCNCA) and the Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas (CFC-O). Since 1956, Global Impact has generated more than $1.8 billion to help the world’s most vulnerable people.

Learn more at charity.org. Follow Global Impact on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook.

About Charity Charge

Charity Charge, PBC is an Austin-based startup that’s transforming the way people give to nonprofits. The Charity Charge World MasterCard, issued by Commerce Bank, is the first credit card to let users donate the 1% cash back they receive on all purchases for up to three charities of their choice. Through unique partnerships with GuideStar and Network for Good, Charity Charge has the ability to distribute donations to any nonprofit registered in the U.S. Founded by CEO Stephen Garten, the company’s goal is to leverage technology to bring philanthropy into the 21st Century.

To apply for a card or for nonprofit registration information, visit charitycharge.com​.

Follow Charity Charge on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, and YouTube@CharityCharge

Zoos, Aquariums Launch First of its Kind Kickstarter Campaign to Help Save Endangered African Penguins

“Invest In The Nest” will help build and place nests in Africa.

Press Release – May 17, 2017 (Silver Spring, MD) – African penguin populations have been declining for the past few decades. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), its members and partners are taking action to help reverse this trend. Today, they are launching the “Invest In The Nest” campaign on Kickstarter, the innovative crowdfunding platform. The campaign seeks to raise $150,000 to help build and place 1,500 artificial nests for African penguins in South Africa and Namibia.

“AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are conservation organizations dedicated to helping save species and generate awareness about what is impacting animals in the wild,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “We believe the Kickstarter community is a natural fit to ‘invest in the nest,’ and more importantly, play a direct role in helping to save this species.

A dedication to species conservation is the reason behind why AZA and its members created AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction®, a program that brings together the expertise and resources of AZA, its members, and partners to help save species from extinction. Establishing new artificial nests is a priority identified in the AZA SAFE African penguin conservation action plan, and necessary to help save African penguins.

“We’re always excited about campaigns that expand our worldview and actively contribute to innovation around the globe. Invest In The Nest is pushing boundaries in the practice of conservation and bringing optimism and direct action to the Kickstarter backer community,” says Clarissa Redwine, Kickstarter’s Design and Technology Outreach Lead for the West Coast. “This conservation effort takes backers through the process of designing, building, and installing habitat structures that will help save endangered African penguins, helping Kickstarter backers play a vital part in protecting wildlife.”

Supporters of the campaign won’t go away empty-handed. A variety of rewards is available for backing the Kickstarter campaign, including exclusive behind-the- scenes opportunities at some of the best aquariums and zoos in the country, as well as original penguin art, symbolic penguin adoption kits, t-shirts, totes, posters and more. Some additional, exclusive rewards will also be offered during the campaign.

In addition to the great rewards, Stonyfield, the country’s leading organic yogurt maker and a proud sponsor of AZA SAFE, is helping AZA reach its campaign goal by kicking in $30,000 toward the $150,000 goal. As part of Stonyfield’s year-long effort, they will not only be contributing funds to fieldwork, but will also aim to encourage kids and their families to see animals and conservation projects first hand at zoos and aquariums through an on-pack offer to get families out to visit AZA member zoos and aquariums in their communities. Now through the end of September, families who buy two YoKids® yogurt packs can visit azasafe.stonyfield.com to get a free kid’s admission to a participating AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket.

“It isn’t often a cow has an opportunity to help save a penguin, but our support of AZA SAFE and its Kickstarter campaign really allows us to make a difference for these endangered animals,” said Natalie Levine, Stonyfield Brand Director. “By making sure this campaign gets off to a strong start, we aim to not only support the recovery of endangered African penguins, but also inspire others to do the same.”

If fully funded, the nests will be constructed by hand in South Africa, helping to create jobs for residents.

Additional background about the project, including information on the engineering and testing that went into developing the nests, can be found on the “Invest In The Nest” Kickstarter campaign page at www.aza.org/kickstarter.

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.

About SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction®

SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction combines the power of zoo and aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and partners to save animals from extinction. Together we are working on saving the most vulnerable wildlife species from extinction and protecting them for future generations. To learn more, visit www.aza.org/aza-safe.

About Stonyfield

As the leading organic yogurt maker, Stonyfield takes care with everything it puts into its yogurts and everything it keeps out. By saying no to toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics and GMOs, Stonyfield has been saying yes to delicious, healthy food for more than 30 years. With their direct milk supply program, Stonyfield helps to grow the number of organic dairy farms in New England – and through their support of the Wolfe’s Neck Dairy Farmer training program, Stonyfield works to train the next generation of organic farmers. To learn more about all Stonyfield products and more, visit www.Stonyfield.com.

Platform To Connect Refugee Women And Girls At Heart Of Unique Crowdfunder

Press Release – NEW YORK — Wednesday 31 May, 2017: As the refugees crisis grows and borders close, a unique crowdfunding campaign aims to build an open platform for the voices and experiences of refugee and migrant girls and women around the world, inspiring compassion, connection and providing one solution to this humanitarian emergency.

#OpenPlatformSharedHumanity from Footage Foundation on Vimeo.

Non-profit Footage Foundation launched the #OpenBordersSharedHumanity campaign, which uses the science of storytelling, connection, and economic empowerment to “raise voices and elevates lives” through its Her{Connect}Her program.

Footage Foundation’s Executive Director, Dr Kristen Ali Eglinton, explained that since the refugee crisis exploded, Footage Foundation has spent considerable time researching and listening to the experiences of displaced girls and women across the world.

“Due to the unique needs of displaced girls and women, and their high risk of experiencing violence and isolation, there is great urgency for gender-specific programming — the Her{connect}Her program is one such program,” she said.

If successful, the fundraising campaign would allow Footage to build an online digital network of isolated girls and women and offer a safe space for global understanding and compassion. Secondly, the campaign would fund a transformative, evidence-based program through which girls and women communicate their experiences with the goal of together, understanding their strengths, needs, hopes, and perspectives.

Footage’s 2016 fundraising campaign allowed the program to be implemented in Sweden, the U.K., and France. It is already making a measurable impact. If the 2017 campaign can successfully reach its $30,000 goal, the digital platform can be designed and built and the program can be expanded to Greece, the United States and France this summer, reaching up to 30 girls and women. The ultimate goal is to reach 120 young women migrants and refugees across the USA, Europe, and the Middle East by Summer 2018.

“By sharing their experiences and assessing their needs, girls and women foster agency and self-determination, elevating their roles as leaders in their lives and communities,” Dr Eglinton said. “What they share provides the public, NGOs, and policy makers insights for effective responses to refugee crises and immigration issues.”

For more information, visit the crowdfunder page; visit the Her{Connect}Her program website.

The crowdfunder will run until the end of June.

About Footage Foundation: Footage designs impactful, sustainable programs that use local technology and expressive multimedia tools to bring the underrepresented voices and experiences of young people, particularly young women, into conversations on the world’s most challenging issues.

Groundbreaking Virtual Reality Treatment Against Smoking Addiction Launches Kickstarter Campaign

MindCotine’s first round of crowdsourcing launches on May 31 – World Health Organization’s World No Tobacco Day

Press Release – Redwood City, CA. May 31, 2017 – MindCotine, the first-ever Virtual Reality (VR) program combining mindfulness practices, psychological therapies and community engagement to combat nicotine addiction, has announced its first crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign.

Responding to the need of more than 1 billion smokers worldwide looking for a non-invasive and inexpensive method to quit smoking, MindCotine marks the launch of its crowdfunding campaign on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World No Tobacco Day on May 31. The campaign aims to engage as many people as possible to join the MindCotine community, continue funding the development and worldwide distribution of the groundbreaking app.

MindCotine’s creators realized that the needs for smokers looking to quit for good were not being met. With the premise that smokers do not have convenient tools nor programs handy to treat the actual root of their addiction, the team combined their diverse expertise in the medical and virtual reality fields to engineer an easily accessible mobile application.

The product works as users are guided through a mindfulness process, a mental state achieved by focusing on awareness on the present moment, and a biofeedback monitoring system that trains users to control bodily processes. By becoming conscious of what the habit represents for each user, they are then able to better identify and take charge of their impulses and behavior. The program also provides users with the tools necessary to overcome the cravings and discomforts associated with tobacco withdrawal through a strong community platform with an AI component. Users are welcome to join and practice the skills acquired, as well as support other peers to overcome the source of the addiction.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), smoking causes approximately 6 million deaths per year, and is responsible for over $1 trillion in healthcare costs worldwide. Governments and other entities around the world have taken measures on this problem, proposing a broad variety of solutions, from taxation and banning, to awareness campaigns, to nicotine-related therapies, such as nicotine patches and prescription medications.

For more information, visit MindCotine’s Kickstarter page to learn more about the revolutionary product that will help end the global and life-threatening tobacco epidemic.

This unique solution is currently undergoing validation and trials by a wide array of focus groups at universities around the world, including Menlo College in California, Universidad Siglo 21 in Argentina and Universidad de la Comunicación in Mexico City.

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