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The World Is Failing Syria: Help Us Help Them

Press Release – The situation in Syria is now more critical than ever. Since the beginning of the crisis over 300, 000 Syrians have lost their lives. More than 6.5 million people have been displaced inside the country and some 4.8 million have sought refuge in neighboring countries.

Over 500,000 children live in 16 besieged areas across the country, almost completely cut off from sustained humanitarian aid and basic services. And more than 2 million children are out of school.

It’s difficult to not feel helpless when watching images of Syrian children in desperate conditions. It seems like no number of terrified, shocked or hurt children is enough to make it stop.

So this holiday season Shivani Singh, one of the co-founders of PATHFINDER- a Canadian social enterprise, decided to do something about it. She will be visiting and bringing much needed supplies to the children in the refugee camps along the Western Syrian border. The children closest to the struggle are those who are most neglected, and PATHFINDER’s mission is to bring them a bit of holiday cheer.

Presents for these children are necessities like clothing, blankets and other winter basics. Along with these items, Singh will also be bringing the children gift-wrapped treats and holiday goodies.

PATHFINDER is a Canadian social enterprise with a mission to impact global development through innovative solutions to enable local social entrepreneurs, promote academia, and influence policy. This mission is a pro-bono, humanitarian relief effort and anyone who is interested in getting involved can find out more by visiting the campaign or PATHFINDER website.

NextGen Crowdfunding Announces Investor Commitments in Title III Equity Crowdfunding Pass $15 Million Milestone

NextGen Data Shows A 262% Quarterly Increase in Title III Investments Since New Rules Took Effect in May


December 16, 2016 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time: LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)-NextGen Crowdfunding, the leading company that helps people explore investment crowdfunding, announces that investor commitments into Title III equity crowdfunding campaigns have surpassed $15 million. NextGen is tracking Title III companies through the “NextGen Dashboard,” which displays progress of investor commitments since the new SEC crowdfunding regulations took effect last May.

According to NextGen data, there has been a 262% growth in investor commitments between the second quarter and fourth quarter of this year. NextGen research also shows that investor commitments have effectively doubled each quarter since the new regulations took effect last May:

  • Second Quarter (May-June): $2,204,733 total investor commitments
  • Third Quarter (July-September): $4,825,132 total investor commitments
  • Fourth Quarter (October-December): $7,985,497 total investor commitments

“As 2016 comes to a close, it’s very encouraging to see that the equity marketplace has found success in its first eight months and is growing at a steady pace,” said Aubrey Chernick, founder of NextGen Crowdfunding. “A continued increase in monthly investor commitments is a positive sign that both accredited and first-time investors are exploring equity crowdfunding with heightened enthusiasm as they become more familiar with the different offerings and opportunities.”

The new Title III rules – also known as “Regulation Crowdfunding” – enable even first-time investors to fund startups online with as little as a few hundred dollars of investments. Using Title III crowdfunding, companies are able to raise up to $1 million.

As the equity crowdfunding space continues to evolve, NextGen is creating new resources to track the growth of the industry. NextGen recently launched an Indiegogo equity crowdfunding tracker on http://nextgencrowdfunding.com/indiegogo after Indiegogo began offering equity investments. The “Indiegogo Crowdfunding Watch” dashboard will specifically monitor equity investments available on the Indiegogo platform.

Important information on NextGen Dashboard chart data and accuracy can be found here.

About NextGen Crowdfunding

NextGen Crowdfunding helps people explore the new era of crowdfunding. Through unique, online live events, NextGen enables individuals to discover, follow and support companies launching crowdfunding campaigns. NextGen’s unique Ignition™ Events give companies and emerging businesses a place to present their investment crowdfunding campaigns, and its Crowdfunding Video Awards program showcases the best videos to pitch crowdfunding campaigns. NextGen also provides educational content, including online webinars, boot camps and videos, to inform the public about crowdfunding as well as to provide education to, and visibility for, companies with crowdfunding campaigns. As a purpose-driven company, NextGen aims to encourage entrepreneurship and help spark a new economy. Visit www.nextgencrowdfunding.com.

TAKE THE LEAD Advances Women In All Levels Of Leadership And Launches Its First 24-Hour Online Fundraiser 12/20

New matching funds campaign urges women and those who support parity to pledge to be #PowHerfulTogether

Press Release – (New York, NY)Take The Lead, founded in 2013 by its President Gloria Feldt, an author and activist, and board chair Amy Litzenberger, will launch its first online fundraiser at noon on December 20th. In this 24-hour campaign the organization will bring attention to the most potent act now needed on behalf of women: create a viable and durable pipeline of women trained to lead in for-profit, non-profit and governmental arenas. Leadership expert Nancy O’Reilly and her foundation, WomenConnect4Good, have pledged to match dollar for dollar any contributions up to $300,000.

The numbers tell the story: women represent more than half the U.S. population. Women students outnumber male students in universities. Research shows that more women in leadership lead to higher profits. Women are the primary breadwinners in over 40% of American families and still make 21% less than men. Women occupy almost 50% of the workforce yet fewer than 20% of leadership positions. Women have been stalled at that leadership level across all sectors for almost two decades: Take The Lead has a uniquely effective program to break that logjam.

Take The Lead’s mission is to prepare, develop, inspire, and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025. It provides actionable tools for women to take to reduce the wage and leadership gap and improve workplace policies such as paid parental leave. Studies show that increasing the number of women in leadership reduces turnover and increases ROI. Take The Lead believes it is time to bring the U.S. more in line with other nations around the world to enjoy the benefits women in leadership bring to organizations and their bottom line—and because it is the right thing to do.

Feldt says: “This mission has never been more important. To achieve leadership parity and ensure positive change, we must mobilize, take risks and embrace the importance of community, of supporting one another, and of speaking up when something is not right. What we are doing is working. It gives women the resources, skills and community support to take the lead in their own lives. ”

In just under two years, Take The Lead has reached over one million worldwide offering trainings, online courses and free resources to increase the skills, knowledge, confidence and abilities among women at diverse stages in their career. Through its Leadership Ambassador trainings the organization creates dynamic workshop leaders who can spread Take The Lead’s curriculum throughout the country. In 2017, Take The Lead will also prioritize one of the most critical elements of women’s success: mentorships. In collaboration with Glassbreakers, Take The Lead aims to sign up one million mentors in a program that will link generations and skills to help women achieve their personal goals.

The 24-hour fund drive’s motto—we are #PowHerfulTogether— calls on all to support this vital work of leadership parity.

For more information on the founders and Take The Lead and its many programs please visit http://www.taketheleadwomen.com/

Himalaya Waste Projects Under Threat Of Closure


The waste management projects in Bhagsu and Triund mountain camp may soon be shut down due to lack of funds. Here’s how your CSR Funding can help.

This cause is featured on Fund My Project as part of CSRlive.in‘s collaboration with Ketto.org

This cause is featured on Fund My Project as part of CSRlive.in‘s collaboration with Ketto.org

Project by: Waste Warriors

Funding Required: INR 12 Lacs

Category: Eligible CSR activity as per Companies Act 2013, Schedule VII

(iv) ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, protection of flora and fauna, …conservation of natural resources and maintaining quality of soil, air and water;


Here’s what the Waste Warriors have to say about their project:

Waste Warriors has been working hard to keep the mountains clean since 2012 but the Dharamsala project will soon be stopped unless we raise enough funds to continue working there. Triund has become known as one of the cleanest hiking destinations in the country, despite being visited by approximately 10,000 people each month but sadly, due to lack of support and no financial assistance from the Government and the businesses there, we are now running at a huge deficit with the project and a decision has been made to close it down.

In addition to the Triund project we also provide a waste collection in Bhagsu and the majority of places we collect from have no vehicle access making our work extremely challenging. We host weekly clean’s drives at Bhagsu waterfall and out in the local community, provide dustbins for use by the general public, do awareness raising art projects, educational children’s events etc.

We have collected and processed over 980 tonnes of waste from Bhagsunag and Triund since August 2012 and if we cease to work in these areas, the results will be catastrophic!

Kids Dharamsala

Urgent Appeal

Please donate so that we can keep our projects going and continue to take care of the mountains. Everyone agrees that the work we are doing is essential but we cannot continue without funding. Please share this page with your friends, family and contacts so they too can support our cause.

About the NGO

Our Founder Jodie Underhill started the Triund project in 2009. She was so dismayed to see the garbage strewn around the mountain camp and down the mountainside, that she immediately started clean-up drives, a weekly waste collection service and set up a recycling station at Galu, the popular trekking crossroads. Waste Warriors was registered in 2012 and has been doing awesome work there ever since.

Waste Warriors is a not for profit organization and a registered society committed to tackling India’s garbage problem. We do this through a combination of direct action, liaison and awareness raising, with an emphasis on civic pride and education. We have projects in Dharamsala, Dehradun and around the Corbett Tiger Reserve. We employ around 60 members of staff, the majority of those are Waste Workers from some of the poorest sectors of society. Our work has been praised across the country but fundraising remains our largest challenge.


The Current Situation

The project is managed by Project Assistants Vivek and Sanam, who recruit volunteers to help them clean the trail and segregate the waste from all of the chai shops and guest houses en-route to and at the mountain camp itself. The segregated, bagged up waste is then bought down to Bhagsunag by the mules that take the supplies up the mountain. Last year we spent nearly a lakh on mules alone to bring all of the waste down. Recyclable waste is then further segregated and sent for recycling and the non-recyclable waste goes to the official dumping ground in Lower Dharamsala.


Our Other Projects in Dharamsala

In addition to the Triund project, we also run a number of other projects in the Bhagsunag area. These projects are also at risk of closure as we do not have the funding to sustain them.

Door-to-Door Waste Collection

We run a door-to-door waste collection for businesses and households in Lower and Upper Bhagsunag and collect from over 200 places during the busy tourist season. Given that many of these places are inaccessible by road, our Green Workers have to carry waste for up to 2km’s. The terrain is steep meaning our workers have to be in prime physical shape to do their jobs. Providing a waste collection service has massively reduced the amount of burning and dumping in the forest and nullahs (streams). We receive monthly donations from the households and businesses but not enough to cover the costs of providing the service.


Maintaining the Cleanliness of Bhagsunag

This once sleepy village is now a mass of hotels, guesthouses and restaurants. During the main tourist season, Bhagsunag sees an average of 5000 tourists per day! The Municipality only employs 2 people to clean there, the same amount that they had 7 years ago despite the increase in tourism and population. Our workers maintain the cleanliness of the main square and taxi area, the main shopping hill and the two children’s playgrounds.


We are huge advocates of the importance of dustbins – we have installed dustbins all over Bhagsunag, and we empty them on a regular basis. We also empty dustbins that have been installed by the Vyipar Mandal, so in total we manage 42 dustbins. Dustbins are essential if cleanliness is to be achieved and people definitely use them if they are available.

Use dustbins

Bhagsu Waterfall

Every Thursday we host a clean-up at tourist hotspot, Bhagsu Waterfall. Not only is this place visited by thousands of tourists it is also used as a place for swimming and washing clothes by the locals. In addition to cleaning around the waterfall we also clean the trail that leads there from Bhagsu. We provide a waste collection service to the businesses in this area and have installed signage and dustbins there in order to mitigate littering.


Community Clean-Up Drives

We conduct regular community clean-ups in our local area, including the surrounding forests and hiking trails. We choose an area to clean, recruit volunteers to help us, many of them are tourists passing through and others are from various organizations. We work hard to involve community members but it’s not easy due to the social stigma attached to waste. We ensure that waste is collected segregated so that we can recycle as much as possible.

Educational Programmes

We truly understand the importance of educating the next generation about waste management so we run educational children’s events and conduct activities with schools. Local school children get involved in our clean-up drives and awareness raising activities too.


Please Support Us!

For all of you that can appreciate the beauty of the mountains, want a clean India or have seen first hand how important our work is please donate. Share this appeal on your social media, speak with family and friends and help us to raise enough funds to cover our basic expenses for the Dharamsala project for the year ahead. Thanks in advance for all your help.

Please take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to watch this video.

Want to Fund this Project?

Visit Ketto.org here and support the cause.

Looking for funding?

If you have a social project that’s high on innovation and impact, but running low on financial fuel, do write in to Nidhi Singh at nidhi@csrlive.in with your proposal, and we’ll feature it on FUND MY PROJECT.

Re-published here as part of Your Mark On The World’s collaboration with CSRlive.in


Johnson & Johnson’s CaringCrowd Offers Crowdfunding for Public Health Efforts

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

Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical behemoth, operates CaringCrowd, a crowdfunding site for global public health initiatives. The platform provides a way for nonprofits and others working in public health to seek funding for their projects.

Derek Fetzer, the Director of the program, notes that public health initiatives are chronically underfunded. “A considerable portion of the world does not have access to health care and many local organizations are ideally positioned to help. They possess unique knowledge of the communities they work with, thus understanding which interventions will truly make an impact on the lives of vulnerable populations. However, these organizations face a critical challenge: funding.”

Derek explains that the goal isn’t just to scale up what’s already working, but to drive innovation. “We developed CaringCrowd, a crowdfunding platform, to enable collaboration on global public health challenges, foster innovation, and support funding that can help get needed resources to people faster and more efficiently.”

The J&J team screens the projects to ensure that they align with corporate values. “All submitted projects are reviewed by a team of advisors to ensure they fall within our definition of public health. CaringCrowd is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and does not charge a fee.”

As the effort is relatively new, the challenge they face is building the critical mass needed have the intended impact, Derek says. “The platform has recently launched and we are diligently building awareness of the platform. Towards this end, we are active on social media and get involved in events (e.g., we were present at the Global Citizen Festival in September 2016).”

Derek Fetzer, courtesy of CaringCrowd

Derek Fetzer, courtesy of CaringCrowd

This means that at least for the present, project funding will be relative modest, Derek adds. “For the immediate future, most projects will be of a smaller size, generally less than $30,000. As crowdfunding grows and consolidates, I would expect that larger scale projects take place. However, the impact of even small projects can be huge – a little can go so very far in many parts of the world!”

Derek has a grand vision for CaringCrowd. “Our mission is to provide a trusted platform for helping global public health projects get the funding they need. Imagine how we could positively affect the lives of so many neglected populations if we achieved the size of some of the other major crowdfunding platforms!”

On Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Derek will join me here for a live discussion about CaringCrowd’s efforts to improve public health through crowdfunding. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about CaringCrowd:

Twitter: @caringcrowd

CaringCrowd(R) is a crowdfunding site 100% dedicated to global public health. Individuals who want to support public health can browse projects that need funding and make a pledge to help. Any 501(c)(3) non-profit can submit a project and funding goal for consideration on the platform. Then, submitted projects are reviewed by a team of advisors to ensure they fall within our definition of public health. This platform was created by Johnson & Johnson as a driver for collaboration on global public health, and as a new way to bring funding to organizations tackling key public health challenges on the ground.

Derek’s bio:

Twitter: @derekfetzer

Co-founder and Team Leader of CARINGCROWD®. Originally an industrial engineer from Peru and from Purdue University, Derek has over 23 years of strategy, consulting, and business analytics experience across different industries, spanning the US, EU, and Latin America. For the last 10 years, Derek has worked in the area of infectious diseases, collaborating on key product launches in HIV/AIDS, HCV, and tuberculosis. His career interest is in improving access to healthcare around the world by empowering the “crowd.”

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

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


HomeAid Concludes Successful Homelessness Awareness Month

National Awareness Week Becomes a Month-long Drive to Address Critical Issue

Press Release – NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Dec. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — HomeAid America, a building industry charity and one of the nation’s largest builders of housing for the homeless, spent the entire month of November holding events and undertaking activities to highlight and help to end hunger and homelessness in this country. The annual event was called HomeAid’s Homelessness Awareness Month.

“We were very glad to bring special attention to and take substantive steps to address homelessness during HomeAid’s Homelessness Awareness Month (HHAM) in November,” said Peter Simons, CEO of HomeAid America. “Homelessness remains a major problem in this country and its causes are numerous and diverse, including job loss, medical crisis, domestic abuse, alcohol or drug addiction, and post-traumatic stress syndrome in veterans.” It is estimated that 80% of the homeless are only situational and can be moved back to self-sufficiency, and HomeAid builds housing and conducts community outreach for charities helping these people in need.

“Homelessness Awareness Month is a time for us at HomeAid, which has dedicated itself to this cause for 27 years now, to focus people’s attention on this problem, have a genuine discussion about solutions, and take concrete action to get this societal problem solved once and for all.”

All of HomeAid’s 17 chapters participated in the effort during November, with the five calendar weeks in November focused on 1) homeless youth, 2) veterans, 3) homeless families, 4) hunger, and 5) chronic homelessness. A major social media campaign was held on Facebook and on Twitter, and some of the specific events and activities that were held included:

  • HA Orange County and HA San Diego each held a month long “30 ways in 30 days” campaigns
  • HA Houston held a “Picture This” display of photos taken by homeless kids at Angel Reach
  • HA Southern Nevada ran a 2-week food drive to benefit US Vets and Serving Hope LV
  • HA Washington DC conducted a month long Care Kit distribution
  • HA Sacramento held a month long blanket drive
  • HA Atlanta participated in the Health and Housing Innovation Forum held by United Way
  • HA Inland Empire served Thanksgiving Dinner at the Corona Norco Rescue Mission, in addition to conducting Care Kits Days with Pardee (TRI Pointe) Homes and CalAtlantic Homes
  • HA Puget Sound and HA Twin Cities conducted Care Kits Days with Bank of America volunteers
  • HA Northern Virginia conducted its annual toy drive for homeless kids
  • HA Colorado spent 4 days assembling and delivering Care Kits to local shelters
  • HA Northern California conducted a toy drive with BIA Bay Area PASS
  • HA Portland had an event sponsored by ProBuild to collect hygiene items for local shelters
  • HA Hawaii participated in Giving Tuesday as part of its weekly calendar of events
  • HA Los Angeles, our brand new chapter, held an activity at the Brookfield Residential retreat
  • HA Southeastern Michigan conducted a Care Kits Day with Stearns Lending

The SE Michigan event was part of a national campaign that Stearns Lending held with HomeAid and called “HomeAid for the Holidays.” In this effort, Stearns—a national partner and Board member of HomeAid America—held Care Kits Days benefiting six different chapters and created and delivered over 5,000 Care Kits to homeless shelters around the country.

For a complete listing of the HomeAid HHAW events held, visit: http://www.homeaid.org/hham2016


HomeAid is a leading national non-profit provider of housing for homeless families and individuals, founded in Southern California in 1989. Through the generosity of builders, their trades and their suppliers, HomeAid has completed 450 multi-unit housing projects nationwide at a value of more than $210 million, of which nearly 50 percent—over $100 million—has been donated by the building industry. HomeAid currently has 60 additional projects in development across the country. HomeAid has added over 8,500 beds in facilities helping the homeless through HomeAid’s network of 17 active chapters in 12 states across the country. These beds have been used by over 250,000 previously homeless people over HomeAid’s history. For more information about HomeAid, call 1-888-3HOMEAID or visit www.homeaid.org.

$30K-Plus Surge of Pledges In Final Hours of Crowdfunding Campaign Thrusts Veteran Awareness Recording Project Beyond Goal More Than 24 Hours Prior To Deadline

‘CARRY YOU ON,’ The Benefit ‘Album For Action’ To Bridge The Gap Between Veterans And Civilians Through Music, Is Fully Funded By Surpassing $66k Kickstarter Goal


“Marcus Goldhaber’s passion for uniting veterans and civilians is vividly apparent. …  His soul and honesty shine through when he sings, and brought tears to my eyes.” — Kathy Kraeck, Vice President, Veterans Square Foundation, Creators of Veterans Square Monument, VeteransSquare.org.

Press Release – NEW YORK (Dec. 11, 2016) – More than $30,000 in crowdfunding pledges poured in yesterday to surpass the Kickstarter campaign goal a full day ahead of deadline and successfully fund CARRY YOU ON, the benefit “Album for Action” to help bridge the disconnect between civilians and military veterans through music from 2016 MAC Award nominee MARCUS GOLDHABER.

Yesterday’s tidal wave of crowdfunding pledges rolled toward midnight with over $67,000, to exceed the $66,000 Kickstarter goal with a full day left until the official deadline of midnight EST tonight (Sunday).

Now that it’s fullly funded, the project will help Goldhaber make sure the needs of veterans are constantly a part of the national conversation.

Goldhaber, the acclaimed NYC jazz singer-songwriter, has himself pledged a whopping 50% of all album sale proceeds to IAVA (Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America), which strives to build the “New Greatest Generation” as the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

With yesterrday’s incredible surge – half of the entire Kickstarter goal – Goldhaber’s faith in the public to complete this phase of his mission on behalf of America’s veterans has been handilly rewarded. The average pledge to back the campaign – officially declard by Kickstarter as a “Project We Love” – has jumped to over $400.

After four years of bringing his veterans awareness project to live stages in clubs, concert halls, arenas, festivals and other veteran-related events from New York to Philadelphia, Goldhaber will now be bringing his 10 new original songs to the recording studio. CARRY YOU ON will include “Come Home America,” the original Goldhaber anthem released on Veterans Day 2013.

The reaction Goldhaber has been receiving along the way became the impetus to write and record enough songs for a full album. All lyrics are inspired by conversations he’s had with civilians, active-duty service members, veterans and their families. They are the driving force behind his movement to #bridgethegap.

“I’m humbled that my friends, family and fans have rallied to crowd-fund the production and distribution of this album,” says Goldhaber, :“so this message can reach as many people as possible.”

Help Raise Money For “Torchbearer Collection” to Support the Hardworking Oysterman

The Torchbearers Collection is a tribute to the Gulf Coast oyster and the hard-working men and women who bring it from the ocean to our plates. They are raising money on Kickstarter. Recently I caught up with Ashley Porter to learn more about the effort; here’s what she told me:

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

Our project has four main social objectives:

  1. To raise awareness about the plight facing Gulf Coast oyster fisheries
  2. To preserve the traditional craft of oyster tong making, a piece of maritime culture that is fading
  3. To provide direct economic support to craftsmen like Rodney, by sourcing materials from them
  4. To raise money for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper organization


How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

We’ve set a goal of $25,000. This money will go to producing the first batch of jewelry, building our supply chain and establishing our brand and marketing materials.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

The Torchbearers Collection aims to help traditional fisher people in Apalachicola, Florida.

The Apalachicola River Basin is among the most ecologically diverse natural systems in the Southeast — sustaining a staggering array of rare and endemic species and supporting a $7 billion seafood industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

Perhaps nowhere along the Gulf Coast is the tradition of oystering so ingrained with the culture as in Apalachicola, a tiny fishing village perched on Florida’s Panhandle. The town has traditionally produced about 10 percent of the oysters consumed in the United States and 90 percent of those consumed in Florida.

Generations of oystermen have hauled their living from the bottom of the town’s namesake bay, using specialized tools called “tongs.” The task of making these tools has traditionally been the purview of craftsmen like Rodney Richards, who learned the trade from his father — a legendary tong-maker named “Corky.”

Rodney’s ancestral trade — and the way of life it supports — is in peril. Apalachicola’s oyster industry has all but collapsed over the last several years — brought to its knees by drought, the 2010 oil spill and a tri-state water war that is now before the Supreme Court.

Our project would provide direct support to Rodney, giving him a reason to continue plying his trade. It would also support the larger community by raising awareness and providing funding to the Apalachicola Riverkeeper, an organization with a long track record of conserving the Apalachicola River System.

Torchbearers Collection from Paprika Studios on Vimeo.

What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?

  • Level 1 $5
    Handwritten thank you letter on a vintage oyster tong postcard
  • Level 2 $25
    5 Postcards with antique oyster tong Image
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 3 $95
    Men’s long pendant necklace (Retails $125)
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 4 $95
    Long labradorite pendant necklace (Retails $125)
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 5 $150
    Horizontal pendant tong necklace (Retails $175)
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 6 $250
    His and her necklace set (horizontal for her) (Retail $300)
    2 tickets to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 7 $ 2,500.00
    Limited edition solid 14K gold tong pendant
    4 tickets to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
    (First person to pledge receives a two-night stay for two in French Quarter)

Check out the campaign:

Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter: @PorterLyonsLLC

Your Support to “Beyond the Backpack” Project Helps Animal Conservation and Saves Endangered Wildlife

“Beyond the Backpack” project produces tank tops from sustainable and ocean cleaning fabric and a part of the profits will be donated to animal conservation and the fight to save endangered wildlife. He is raising money on Kickstarter. Recently I caught up with Micah Teixeira to learn more about the effort; here’s what he told me:

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

Beyond the Backpack. It’s way of living. It’s the hope to inspire others to live well and do as much good as we can.Backing our project funds the production of our tank tops. Doing so also supports animal conservation, sustainable and ocean cleaning fabric, ethical supply chains and transparent giving.

We need to be more than just tourists. More than just travellers. We need to go Beyond the Backpack.

50% of the profits from every sale will be donated to animal conservation and the fight to save endangered wildlife.

This innovative material is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and ocean plastic. rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) uses less water and energy, its carbon footprint is smaller than most fabrics. It cleans up our earth and oceans. Reducing the risks of hurting animals. And it’s insanely soft!

When you purchase an item, you’ll actually be given the option of where you want the donation to go towards. Fully transparent and track-able giving. So you see that your money goes to where it’s needed most.

Animals and humans alike should never have to face exploitation. Production takes place in the USA, an ethical factory where workers are treated with respect, and paid properly for their work. Human and animal cruelty free.

Beyond the Backpack is meant to be a full process of giving back. We hope we’ve achieved that goal!

How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

Our goal is $10,000 although we’re really hoping to far surpass that. The funds will be used for the initial order of tank tops. However the special fabric is very expensive, and is being made specially for our order. On top of this it is being produced in the USA, so labour costs are much higher than what it would be overseas. Our actual startup costs are $30,000 and we’ll need to secure funding on top of our Kickstarter campaign as well. This doesn’t include any of the money I’ve already put in from my pocket which included product development, video shoot, etc.

50% of the profits for all the sales will be donated towards an animal conservation charity. We’re affiliated with 3 and the buyer will choose where they want the donation to go.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

We’re trying to help everyone in a full circle of giving! 50% of the profits will be directed towards animal conservation organizations. This will help not only the animals (which is the main goal), but also the amazing people which work and volunteer their lives there.

The other main group we hope to benefit is the people who are making our clothing. Right now it is being made in the USA, where are able to see fair and ethical sourcing. However we are planning on shifting the production to Guatemala. It would be with the same company, who have their main production centre there. The costs are essentially the same for us, however it checks another pillar which hoped to have right from the start. Being able to support developing cultures and nations and not exploiting them.

Lastly, the actual fabric which is made from recycled plastic bottles and ocean plastic provides work to the actual people who are collecting and cleaning the earth of the plastic. This not only has a significant impact on the earth and animals, but also us who ingest plastic in almost all the food we eat.

What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?

The rewards are the tank tops themselves! Super cool designs with out logo which we’re very proud of. Made of the innovative, super soft and amazing material which is derived from 100% recycled plastic!

For some of the bigger backers, we’re offering custom designs for them, as well as as trip with us to one of our animal conservation partners!

Check out the campaign:

Visit the website.
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Tobacco Road Marathon And The V Foundation For Cancer Research Announce Charitable Fund Raising Collaboration

Press Release – CARY, N.C., Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Tobacco Road Marathon (TRM) and the V Foundation announced today that Team V, the foundation’s charity endurance fundraising platform, has made TRM their spring 2017 featured race. Team V enables runners of all levels to turn their love of running into an opportunity to raise funds for the V Foundation to pursue their goal of declaring victory over cancer.

“We are excited to join a passionate group of runners in partnership with Tobacco Road Marathon,” said Norm Bowling, V Foundation Chief Revenue Officer. “We’re pleased to offer this popular community event to Team V participants, and we look forward to helping them achieve their fitness and fundraising goals.”

The collaboration provides Team V the ability to develop their dedicated TRM running team to drive fundraising for cancer research through the V Foundation. Team V supports both local and national runners with training options. Locals have the option of training with fee-based Fleet Feet training programs. Team V will reimburse the program fees if the runners meet their individual fund raising goals. All runners have access to a training program and certified coaches.


Team V provides runners comprehensive fundraising support, including an on-line toolkit with a handbook, communication templates and more. Runners also receive a technical training shirt and additional swag, and a Team V tent will be at the start-finish. Runners can join Team V at www.jimmyv.org/get-involved.

“We believe our commitment to charity attracts top level associations like the V Foundation,” said Mark Dill, TRM marketing director. “TRM achieved record charitable contributions in 2016, at $127,500 and reached $631,500 in cumulative giving since 2010. We are on target for $1,000,000 by 2019. ‘

The Tobacco Road Marathon and its companion half marathon will take place March 19, 2017 in Cary, North Carolina on the pine-lined American Tobacco Trail (ATT). Runners start from the USA Baseball & Thomas Brooks Park.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research is dedicated to declaring victory over cancer. It was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $170 million in cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs. Due to generous donors, the Foundation has an endowment that covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process vetted by a Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information on the V Foundation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.

The Tobacco Road Marathon Association is a non-profit organization dedicated with its sponsors to providing financial assistance to its partner charities by channeling the passions of the North Carolina Triangle area’s running community into a powerful force for good.

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