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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.

“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.

Charity Crowdfunding Pioneer, Razoo, Announces Management Buyout

Team led by current CEO acquires only fully-integrated platform in the online giving space

Press Release – Alexandria, VA – 15 May 2017 – Razoo Global Corporation (“Razoo”), a leading online fundraising platform with a pioneering legacy in charitable giving, today announced that its management has successfully concluded a buyout of the business from global investment firm and founder of Razoo, the Legatum Group (“Legatum”).

Since the company’s founding in 2006, Razoo has offered an online service for charities and has grown into the only fully-integrated cloud-services platform that empowers individuals, non-profit organizations, giving event hosts, and teams of people working together to fundraise for the causes they care most about.

“This is a very exciting time for Razoo. Online giving is thriving and, following major upgrades to our product, we’re here to empower philanthropic hearts and minds,“ said Tom Matthews, CEO of Razoo. “We’re greatly encouraged by recent product adoption and by all of the amazing feedback we’ve received from our users. We are committed to growing our community and building the very best online giving platform and experience for non-profits and the next generation of givers.”

Razoo has been a leader in the non-profit crowdfunding sector for more than ten years, enabling over US$550 Million in donations for causes globally.

Mark Stoleson, CEO of Legatum, said, “When we founded Razoo, our vision was to inspire a generation of donors to give directly to the people and causes they care about. We are delighted to see how the sector and personal giving has flourished over the past decade with Razoo mobilising over $550 million in donations.”

Stoleson added: “Tom and the team have created what we believe is the best product in the crowdfunding space today. Under his leadership, the company is well poised for growth and is configured to win in an increasingly competitive landscape. Razoo has a bright future in a sector that is delivering value to millions of givers around the world and we look forward to continuing to partner with its leadership and other shareholders to see the company fulfil its potential.”

Legatum will remain a significant but minority shareholder in the company and Razoo will continue to operate from its Alexandria, VA headquarters. No further terms of the transaction were disclosed.

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.

Real Estate Crowdfunding to Take Center Stage at Crowd Invest Summit

Real Estate Crowdfunding to be major focus at countries largest crowd investment conference.

Press Release – Los Angeles, CA – 5/3/17 – Crowd Invest Summit, the countries largest crowdfunding investment conference, taking place on September 6th and 7th at the Los Angeles Convention Center, has today announced that it will be expanding it’s focus on Real Estate crowdfunding.

Since the signing of the JOBS Act in 2012, Real Estate Investing has been the fastest growing segment of the new Crowdfunding Industry. According to Fundingtree.com, over $3 Billion Dollars has been raised so far.

“We expect over 3,000 attendees at Crowd Invest Summit this September, a significant portion being investors who are looking to learn about new opportunities,” said Alon Goren, co-founder of Crowd Invest Summit. “Real Estate investing has been a major focus at the summit, and because of overwhelming demand, this September we’re expanding on the topic.”

Crowd Invest Summit will feature the crowd investment industry’s top leaders, investors and firms covering real estate investing over the span of two days in September:

“As one of California’s preeminent real estate and business law firms, we are excited to partner with Crowd Invest Summit for its first-ever discussion on the emerging issues and opportunities presented by the ever-growing real estate crowdfunding market.” Said Chuck Jarrell, Partner, Allen Matkins. “Crowdfunding has become an integral part of real estate investing and a topic that will resonate well with conference attendees.”

“We are excited to be back at Crowd Invest Summit this September to discuss how we’ve quadrupled our investor base by combining technology and marketing with an institutional approach to real estate investing,” said Michael Episcope, Principal, Origin Investments.

“Commercial real estate is no longer reserved for the wealthy. Now, everyone has the ability to passively invest in multi-million dollar properties, all thanks to crowdfunding,” said Matt Schuberg, CEO, RealCap Investments. “We are very excited to come back to Crowd Invest Summit in September to bring these types of opportunities to the masses.”

“401(k) and IRA accounts provide access to 12 times more investment dollars than checking and savings accounts,” said Todd Yancey, CSO of IRA Services. “We are excited to teach real estate investors at Crowd Invest Summit how to easily access that capital.”

“Now more than ever real estate companies should focus on the fundamentals and principles in mitigating risks to investors capital. Crowd Invest Summit offers both Real Estate Companies and potential investors to engage first hand and learn more about the risks and rewards of investing in Commercial Real Estate,” said Rayaan Arif, CEO, FundingTree.

In addition to IRA Services, Origin Investments, Allen Matkins and RealCap Investments, Crowd Invest Summit is sponsored by OTC Markets Group, Computershare, iDisclose, Issuer Direct, dbbmckennon, Stradling, New Direction IRA, Krowdster, Crowdfunding Lawyers and FundingTree.

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