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SOURCE: Chrysler Group LLCDESCRIPTION:
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 5, 2013 / 3BL Media /PRNewswire/ -- The Ram Truck brand, Chrysler Group LLC's Northeast Business Center and its local dealers are joining forces with the United Way of Ocean County, New Jersey to give back to a community that has endured many hardships over the last year.
"We recognize that the recovery from Superstorm Sandy is an on-going effort and the economy has been tough on people as well so we wanted to find a way to help the community of Ocean County, New Jersey," said Jeff Kommor, Director - Chrysler Group LLC's Northeast Business Center."Partnering with the United Way of Ocean County is the perfect way for us to make a difference in the lives of people who are less fortunate."
From now until December 31, the Ram brand and Jersey Shore Ram dealers will donate 25 dollars to United Way of Ocean County for every Ram test drive conducted at their dealerships. The money raised will go to the local food banks. Participating Ram dealers include: Sea View, Manahawkin, Lester Glenn, Buhler, Freehold, Route 18, World and Circle.
"We are excited about our new partnership with the Ram brand and we are thrilled that they will be assisting us in this year's community food drive," said Kim Potter, Development Associate, United Way of Ocean County. "This is the first time we have tried a partnership like this one and the test drive donations will make a positive impact on our community."
The Ram brand, the Chrysler Group LLC's Northeast Business Center and its Jersey Shore dealers are poised to raise thousands of dollars for United Way of Ocean County and the community it serves. The Ram test drive donation program is in full swing at Jersey Shore dealerships now and will continue until the end of the year.
About United Way of Ocean County
United Way of Ocean County provides the leadership and resources it takes to help people in the county become independent. We work with community leaders and experts to understand the issues in each of the communities we serve. Then we fund the network of programs that can best address those issues. Or we launch new initiatives that will. We hold ourselves and all of our partner programs accountable for delivering measurable, lasting results.
Copyright 2013 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.
KEYWORDS: Chrysler, Ram Truck, community, csr, United Way, Ocean County, New Jersey
To draw young employees to SAP CEO, Bill McDermott has been emphasizing community service opportunities at the company, allowing employees to dedicate one month of the year to such projects and sometimes sending them abroad to work on them. Since launching the month of service almost nine years ago, employee retention has grown 5 percent, he said.DESCRIPTION:
Tech companies should bet on leaders in their 20s or early 30s, who may be more in touch with emerging trends than their older counterparts, the co-chief executive of business software giant SAP recently urged a Northern Virginia technology group.
Speaking at the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s annual banquet Oct. 29, Bill McDermott said his own company is turning to so-called millenials because the technology world is changing fast.
“Eighty percent of the incremental revenue [today] we get is from businesses we were not in three years ago,” he said.
“Where is the world going? It’s going to be mobile — that’s the new desktop. All the data getting created in the Internet of Things will create a complete chaotic storm of ‘how do you manage this?’ ” he said.
McDermott said he recently required SAP’s executive board to engage in “reverse mentorships” with SAP employees usually in their 20’s, who he believes can expose executives to new technology and social networking practices.
Original post on The Washington Post.
KEYWORDS: SAP, Bill McDermott, The Washington Post, millenials, social sabbaticals, community service
SOURCE: The North FaceDESCRIPTION:
November 5, 2013 /3BL Media/ - While the new International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report confirmed recently that climate change is indisputable, it’s something that the winter sports community has been seeing first-hand for years. Protect Our Winters re-launched their “Hot Planet/Cool Athletes” program this week to take that first hand perspective into the classroom to explain climate change from an engaging new perspective and to inspire and empower students to become involved.
Presented by The North Face, and in association with Clif Bar, Mountain Equipment Co-Op and Teton Gravity Research, the Hot Planet /Cool Athletes program has been presented to more than 20,000 students at 41 schools nationwide since 2011. The new format for 2013 continues to educate students about climate change, combining engaging action sports footage and understandable climate science with first hand athlete’s perspectives and a call to action that truly breaks through to students and gives them the tools to be part of the solution.
Pro athletes such as Gretchen Bleiler, Jeremy Jones, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Ingrid Backstrom, Lucas Debari,
Danny Davis and Angel Collinson are featured in the video project, with many others scheduled for in-person
“Young people have the most to gain and the most to lose, by taking care of this earth and solving climate change right now,” The North Face Skier and POW advocate Sage Cattabriga-Alosa said. “They should be empowered to take care of their environment and see that they can actually influence adults, their parents, and the people around them.”
The program kicked off this school semester and will continue throughout the school year in places such as Vancouver BC, Seattle, Santa Barbara, Burlington, Boise, Salt Lake City, Denver and many others. To book a school assembly, please contact POW at: email@example.com
See the 2013 promotional video here: https://vimeo.com/78555952
An Urgent Call to Action: #ourtimeisnow
To take this educational platform to the next level, POW is launching the #ourtimeisnow campaign,
an urgent call to action that invites students to become “POW Student Climate Leaders”, empowering them to take meaningful action. By connecting with them in a relevant way, via their social media, POW will invite all students to use the hashtag #ourtimeisnow across their social media channels. POW can then track its use and provide meaningful climate actions directly back to each student. As students become more involved in the campaign by using the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, they will have opportunities to win great prizes from brands like The North Face and Clif Bar and the chance to spend time with professional athletes discussing climate change or joining POW representatives on Capitol Hill.
“We’ve got to create a social movement starting with young kids who will be the most affected, and we feel that this component of the program is a critical step in making a difference. By using social media as a backbone for it, we’re connecting with students on their terms and starting that movement with meaningful results,” said POW’s Executive Director, Chris Steinkamp
The new program also provides benefits to the students and their schools. The Shane McConkey Foundation is inviting student teams that host a Hot Planet / Cool Athletes assembly this fall to compete against each other by submitting cutting carbon ideas for their schools, for a chance to win $10,000 in total prize money to be awarded on Earth Day, 2014.
KEYWORDS: Climate Change / Global Warming, Environmental Policy, Event, Community, Social Change, Social Actions, Teen Action, Youth Action, Hot Planet Cool Athletes, HPCA, Protect our Winters, north face, climate change, high school, winter
How Do You Increase Participation in Your Employee Giving Program?
Read the free best practices article to find out!
Employee giving is growing at an astounding rate, and for good reason. The benefits are tangible and undeniable–both for the company and the employee alike. And the companies that excel at employee giving are those who are able to maximize participation in their programs. But how do the world’s best corporations increase participation? By following these best practices:
Offer more giving programs at the same time
Make giving easier with more methods of giving
Employee Giving Best Practices: Increasing Participation
Check out this free article and learn best practices for increasing participation in your employee giving programs.
Download the article (PDF) »
How can I learn more?
You can learn more about what AngelPoints Giving can do for you by visiting the MicroEdge website.
+1 (800) 899-0890
KEYWORDS: Human Resources, Marketing, Media & Communications, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Reporting, Ratings & Rankings, Technology. Innovation & Solutions, MicroEdge, angelpoints, angelpoints giving, AngelPoints Volunteering, csr, Corporate Social Responsibility, employee giving, Giving Programs, corporate giving
In continuation of Addison’s 50th Anniversary celebrations and commitment to giving back to our community, Addison completed its second volunteering event of the year. In October, two groups of 10 Addisonites each provided food service at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) in Manhattan.
The GMHC is a not-for-profit, community-based, volunteer-supported organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. Their mission is to reduce the spread of HIV, and help people living with the disease to maintain and improve their health and independence. Their center provides an array of facilities and programs to help its clients.
Addison volunteers worked hard to serve a hearty meal to the GMHC clients, as well as clear away trays, help elderly or disabled clients, and clean up after the food service was over. The GMHC clients and members were very appreciative of Addison’s efforts in helping to feed nearly 300 people.
Addison will round out the year with two more projects with New York Cares—transcribing Winter Wishes letters from children to fulfill holiday gift requests, and donating coats for the annual coat drive.
If you are an Addison alum and would like to participate in the future volunteering events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
KEYWORDS: Events, Conferences & Webinars, Food & Farming, Health and Wellness, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Volunteering, food service, Hunger, GMHC, new york cares, community
REDMOND, Wash., November 4, 2013 /3BL Media/ — The Microsoft Alumni Foundation announced the winners of its prestigious Integral Fellows Award program for 2013, and hundreds of Microsoft alumni were on hand to hear from several leading American philanthropists – Warren Buffett (Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.) and Microsoft alumni Bill and Melinda Gates (Co-chairs and Trustees, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). It all happened at the Foundation’s fifth annual celebration event Friday night, November 1, on the Microsoft campus.
The Integral Fellows Award program, also in its fifth year, honors Microsoft alumni who have made a meaningful difference in the daily lives of others through philanthropy and nonprofit work.
The winners are:
“As a member of the Microsoft alumni community, I witness firsthand the energy, business savvy, and creativity that my peers bring to the philanthropy world,” said Jeff Raikes, Chairman of the Board, Microsoft Alumni Foundation, and CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “This year’s Integral Fellows Award winners, Ida Cole of Seattle Theatre Group, and Hadi Partovi of Code.org, represent some of the best examples of Microsoft alumni tackling big problems and striving to make a difference in the world.”
The winners each will receive a $25,000 grant for their nonprofit organizations. They were chosen from among five finalists and 21 nominees considered for the awards.
Here is more information about each and their nonprofit organization:
Ida Cole is Founding Director of Seattle Theatre Group (Seattle, Wash.), originally known as Seattle Landmark Association. She created STG with the initial vision of saving a beloved historic theater from demolition, and eventually transformed it into the largest cultural institution in King County. From the acquisition of the Paramount Theater, to educational outreach at the Moore Theater, to diverse programming for the Neptune Theater, STG has become a model for cultural innovation that other cities now emulate. Ida believes in the common humanity we can discover through art is a cause worth saving—a cause that can unite communities and inspire every age and ethnic group. Ida served as Director of International Products and Marketing and Vice President of Applications while at Microsoft.
Hadi Partovi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Code.org (Seattle, Wash.), is leading the charge to create a strong, widely implemented computer science curriculum as a way for students to secure stable employment and solve discrepancies in social mobility. Hadi has identified 10,000 schools interested in a 21st century computer science curriculum and 25,000 software engineers who have volunteered to help create one. Hadi’s father was a co-founder of Iran’s primary technology university, and Hadi received his first computer at the age of 10. He started coding immediately thereafter, since his father said “learn to write your own,” instead of buying his son software or games. Now Hadi seeks to have all American students have the opportunity to write their own. Hadi was a General Manager while at Microsoft.
Judges for the Integral Fellows Award program included:
The Beacon Award, previously called the Member’s Choice award, was given to Suzi LeVine, Board Chair and Board Co-founder, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences Advisory Board (http://ilabs.washington.edu). The Award was renamed to honor the philanthropic impact of Bill Henningsgaard, last year’s inaugural Award winner. Prior to the event, alumni had the opportunity to vote for the nominee whose nonprofit would receive a $2,000 grant.
“Five years ago we introduced the Integral Fellows Award to recognize and support the alumni whose post-Microsoft pursuits are dedicated to improving their communities, whether on a local scale or global,” said Marylou Brannan, Microsoft Alumni Foundation Executive Director. “It is a joy to gather together at our annual ‘Reunion with a Purpose’ with the award winners and nominees, fellow alumni and friends to reaffirm our commitment to changing lives and making a positive difference in the world.”
Before the awards presentation, alumni had the opportunity to meet the Integral Fellows nominees, with each one using a Microsoft Surface Pro that was generously donated by the company.
Alumni also previewed upcoming technology, seeing up-close, the next-generation gaming console, Xbox One. Surface was also used as part of a photo booth allowing alumni to have their photos taken next to significant icons from Microsoft history.
Generous support for the 2013 Microsoft Alumni Foundation Celebration comes from Microsoft Corp., JeffreyM Consulting, Financial Reserve, Kisameet Glacial Clay, Microsoft Alumni Network, UVL Rx Therapeutics, and others.
About the Microsoft Alumni Foundation
The Microsoft Alumni Foundation was established to catalyze the collective power of the Microsoft Alumni family and leverage its resources to make a difference for others. Launched in 2007, the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit organization with its worldwide headquarters based in Bellevue, Wash., USA. Board members are Jeffrey Raikes (chair); Charles Hirsch (vice president); Akhtar Badshah (vice president); Craig Bruya (treasurer); Sharon Maghie (secretary), Tony Audino, Carla Lewis, Brad Smith and Dawn Trudeau. The Executive Director is alumna Marylou Brannan.
Note to editors: For more information about the Microsoft Alumni Foundation, please visit http://www.microsoftalumni.org/
Director of Marketing
KEYWORDS: Community, Engagement, Positive Change, Social Development, Volunteerism
SOURCE: L'Oreal ParisDESCRIPTION:
NEW YORK, Nov. 4, 2013 / 3BL Media /PRNewswire/ -- L'Oreal Paris today unveils the 2013 Women of Worth honorees, celebrating 10 women who are pursuing their passions to accomplish the extraordinary. Bound by a deep sense of purpose and appetite for change, this group of women will join the community of 70 esteemed Women of Worth honorees from the past eight years. Tackling society's most pressing issues, from helping victims in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, to enabling terminally ill seniors accomplish their bucket lists, to building a nonprofit restaurant that helps at-risk youth learn life skills, the 2013 Women of Worth honorees are united in their quest to fuel the future.
With causes that align with issues close to the hearts of women today, each Women of Worth honoree's story is poignant and inspirational. Now through Nov. 20, L'Oreal Paris invites everyone nationwide to vote for their favorite Woman of Worth. Votes drive awareness for these important causes and help select one National Honoree to be awarded an additional $25,000 for her cause. Cast your vote daily through:
"Society's focus on women leadership and female empowerment has reached a fever pitch, and the L'Oreal Paris family is proud to amplify this dialogue as we celebrate this year's incredible Women of Worth honorees, who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to serve others and accelerate change in their communities," said L'Oreal Paris President, Karen T. Fondu. "With passionate vision and ambition, these women are truly emblematic of our brand heritage and philosophy, 'Because You're Worth It,' and we are honored to share their stories as they inspire us all to make a beautiful difference."
RECOGNITION & VOTING
Rewarding their outstanding accomplishments, the 2013 Women of Worth honorees, selected by an esteemed panel of judges, each receives $10,000 for her charitable cause and will be acknowledged at a distinguished celebration hosted by L'Oreal Paris on Dec. 3 in New York. Selected through consumer voting, the National Honoree will be announced at the event.
Setting the bar for extraordinary philanthropic efforts, this year's honorees support a variety of admirable causes, from technology and education to aiding at-risk youth, and everything in between.
WOMEN OF WORTH PROGRAM
Celebrating its eighth year,
Women of Worth
is inspired by L'Oreal Paris' iconic brand philosophy, "
." Since its inception, the program recognized 80 women for embodying the spirit of the L'Oreal Paris brand, through commitment to their communities, selflessness and drive to make a difference in the world.
ABOUT L'OREAL PARIS
The L'Oreal Paris division of L'Oreal USA, Inc. is a total beauty care company that combines the latest technology with the highest in quality for the ultimate in luxury beauty at mass. The L'Oreal Paris brand encompasses the four major beauty categories – hair color, hair care, skincare and cosmetics – and includes such well-known brands as Preference, Excellence, Feria and Healthy Look hair color; Elnett Satin Hairspray, EverPure, EverStrong, EverSleek, EverCreme, EverStyle, VIVE Pro, Studio Line and L'Oreal Kids hair care; Youth Code, Revitalift, Age Perfect, Go 360 Clean, Sublime Bronze, Sublime Sun and Men's Expert skincare; and the Colour Riche, True Match, Infallible, and Studio Secrets Professional cosmetics collections, along with a portfolio of mascara including Voluminous, Double Extend and Telescopic among many others. For more information on L'Oreal Paris and its brands, and to get comprehensive, personalized beauty information from the experts, visit www.lorealparis.com for access to unique content and dynamic interactive features, including the exclusive "Can I Help You" diagnostic tool.
Copyright 2013 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.
KEYWORDS: L'Oreal Paris, women of worth, National Honoree, women leadership, female empowerment
SOURCE: RSF Social FinanceDESCRIPTION:
SAN FRANCISCO, November 4, 2013 /3BL Media/ - General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret), Chairman of Eisenhower Fellowships, announced recently that the organization will send eight US citizens abroad in 2014 as USA Eisenhower Fellows. “This group of Fellows will join a network of outstanding leaders throughout the world and bring with them their own approach and creativity to contribute to a better world. Their impact will be enhanced by their experiences meeting with leaders in their respective fields abroad,” he said.
Among the eight Fellows is Ted Levinson, Director of Lending at RSF Social Finance (RSF).
Mr. Levinson manages RSF’s $75 million social enterprise loan portfolio which is composed of 90 borrowers throughout the US and Canada, and who operate in the areas of Food & Agriculture, Education & the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship. Mr. Levinson’s professional objective and passion is centered on developing the field of social finance, in part by knitting together US and international organizations to create a global social finance network. On his fellowship to Indonesia and India Mr. Levinson will explore social finance and social enterprise in the region and the possibility of integrating social finance into mainstream financial systems and infrastructure. He hopes to lay the groundwork for co-investment between US social finance groups and Asian entities.
Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Eisenhower Fellowships, commended the Fellowship awardees, saying “We live in a globalized world. An Eisenhower Fellowship will allow these outstanding men and women to bring new insights from world experts back to their communities and to form a network of lasting relationships that will make them global leaders in their fields.”
2014 USA Eisenhower Fellows
Rhonda Broussard, President, St. Louis Language Immersion Schools, St. Louis, MO
David Callaway, Founder & CEO, Operational Medicine International, LLC, Charlotte, NC
Adam Grossman, Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Brand Development, Boston Red Sox and Fenway Sports Management, Boston, MA
Michael Horn, Co-founder and Executive Director, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, San Mateo, CA
Welby Leaman, Trade Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, Washington, DC
Ted Levinson, Director, Lending, RSF Social Finance, San Francisco, CA
Timothy Nowak, Executive Director, World Trade Center St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Cristal Thomas, Deputy Governor, State of Illinois, Chicago, IL
About Eisenhower Fellowships
Eisenhower Fellowships is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization seeking to foster international understanding and leadership through the exchange of information, ideas, and perspectives among leaders throughout the world. Established in 1953 as a birthday tribute to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the organization has sponsored more than 2,000 Fellows from 108 countries. For more information, please visit: www.efworld.org
About RSF Social Finance
Located in San Francisco, CA, RSF Social Finance (RSF) is a financial services organization dedicated to transforming the way the world works with money. Since 1984, the organization has made over $275 million in loans and $100 million in grants to non-profit and for-profit social enterprises working in the areas of Food & Agriculture, Education & the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship To learn more, visit www.rsfsocialfinance.org.
Jillian McCoy, Senior Associate Communications
KEYWORDS: Finance & Investment, RSF Social Finance, Eisenhower Fellowships, ted levinson
On September 21st we celebrated the annual UN recognized International Day of Peace. People around the world came together in the name of peace to demonstrate how dialogue is a more powerful tool for resolving conflict than resorting to violence.
It is estimated that more than 600 million people around the world were aware of Peace Day this year. I’m so honored and grateful to have witnessed such a profound expression of people uniting worldwide. In the Netherlands, Peace One Day held an Annual Day of Peace event at The Peace Palace in The Hague, where attendees of all ages and nationalities took a moment to share what peace means to them in the Skype Video Messaging Booth:
This year, Peace One Day launched a new educational initiative aimed at getting youth around the world to participate in conversations about peace. Each of these “Peace Talks” introduced two culturally different classrooms from across the globe via Skype, in order to enable them to meet and share their stories. During these talks, they discussed how – as a generation – they could come together to create a less violent world. While culturally varied, the students found that they were more alike than different and they possessed a shared passion for creating a brighter future for all people around the globe.
Going into 2014, led by founder Jeremy Gilley, Peace One Day will support more of these conversations and encourage youth to not only generate a buzz, but also to take active steps toward creating world peace. There is a great opportunity for teachers to get their students involved through the Skype in the classroom community. Educators from around the world are using Skype to introduce their students to new cultures and inspiring them to become good global citizens.
As an actress, I get to tell stories that impact people’s lives and I love it. As an Education Ambassador for Peace One Day, I get to help real people shape their personal story and re-imagine their world more peacefully. This is by far my greatest “role”. I’ve traveled the world to speak to children and adults about where we are with peace in the world. I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in the ceremonial ringing of the Peace Bell on the United Nations’ Peace Day, during which I felt a calming sense of solidarity and assurance. I’ve heard and shared positive words of hope and optimism from able-bodied, economically-stable youth. I’ve also seen the anxiety and despair in the eyes of those faced with extreme poverty and circumstances such as trafficking and abuse. My sincere hope is that more people decide to stand up for peace instead of fighting for it.
With the help of Peace One Day, we will continue to mobilize our millennials. By using technology and resources such as Skype, we will expose them to the realities of young people just like themselves who are living in war-torn countries in regions like the Middle East and Africa. We will make them aware of the divide, as well as the direct correlation, between poverty and war. To solve the larger problem, you must first get to the root and our youth have the power to do it!
KEYWORDS: People, Social Action & Community Engagement
New York, November 4, 2013 /3BL Media/ – The Asset Building Policy Network (ABPN), a coalition of the nation’s leading advocacy, policy and civil rights organizations and Citi (NYSE: C), has launched five new groundbreaking asset building programs funded by the Citi Foundation and designed to build pathways to long-term economic security and expand equal opportunity for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities of color.
“Savings, access to responsible credit and financial education are the basic building blocks that enable families to build assets like attaining a college education or starting a business,” said Sandy Fernandez, Senior Vice President at Citi Community Development. “The goal of these initiatives is to equip hard-working low-income families of color with the tools and access to financial products and services to build assets and long term wealth.”
“Through these programs, the ABPN can develop innovative and scalable solutions to ensure that low-income communities of color participate in an economic recovery that benefits everyone,” said Martin Eakes, CEO of Self-Help. “I commend the ABPN for these promising programs and look forward to learning the outcomes of these important initiatives.”
According to the Pew Research Center, household wealth declined 66% for Hispanic households, 54% for Asian households, 53% for black households and 16% for white households between 2005 and 2009 - exacerbating pre-existing wealth gaps and reducing the potential for broad economic mobility. Similarly, according to a 2012 report by the Center for American Progress, despite a widely-held cautious optimism about the ongoing economic recovery, communities of color continue to lag behind the nation in terms of access to asset building opportunities like entrepreneurship, naturalization, or ongoing education.
“The programs launched today by the ABPN will provide the blueprints to support economic mobility and sustainable asset building that is so desperately needed in communities across the country,” said Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, a founding member of the ABPN. “It is in everyone’s interest that these innovative programs succeed and get to scale.”
The ABPN is a national coalition that collectively advances savings and asset building policy at the federal level, builds national capacity of the network’s members, and bolsters long-term financial security for low- and moderate-income communities of color. Citi Community Development and the Citi Foundation helped found the ABPN along with seven of the nation’s preeminent civil rights, advocacy and policy organizations.
With $1.8 million in funding from the Citi Foundation, five founding members of the ABPN will pilot innovative solutions to a range of challenges facing low-income communities of color ranging from improving college success rates among underserved/low-income African American youth to rethinking capital access and technical assistance to Latino small businesses looking to grow and create jobs.
“Financial savings and asset building provide greater economic security, upward mobility and opportunities for growth, especially for low-income families and communities of color,” said Pam Flaherty, President & CEO of the Citi Foundation. “Consistent with the goals of the Asset Building Policy Network, these organizations are developing innovative approaches that will close the wealth gap by including more people in the financial system and enabling them to move from making ends meet to planning for their future.”
The Citi Foundation awarded grants to the following ABPN members:
National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders will develop a small business development model that will seek to address the barriers to market entry and access to capital experienced by low-income Latino entrepreneurs. NALCAB will implement a three market pilot project to measure the asset building impact of expanding access to credit, capital and culturally-relevant technical assistance resources for small businesses. Based on this pilot as well as best practices from its network of organizations, NALCAB will publish an evidence-based model and tool kit for culturally-relevant, small business development services that build assets for low- and moderate-income Latino entrepreneurs, families and communities.
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development and National Council of La Raza will use their separate grants to focus on the economic integration of low income legal permanent residents. Access to better paying jobs and education opportunities are just two of the many advantages of naturalization. But for many of the country’s 8 million eligible legal permanent residents, the $680 naturalization fee is an insurmountable financial barrier. Both organizations will provide citizenship education, financial education and coaching, and credit building programs to build new financial and national identities to support long-term economic success.
National Urban League will seek to increase college enrollment and completion rates by enhancing Project Ready, its college preparatory program, with a robust set of services that will increase students’ understanding of the costs of college, provide access to financial aid, interpret and compare financial aid awards, and prepare incoming college students to manage their personal finances. Research by the Education Trust shows that the six year graduation rates of black students is 39.9%, compared with a graduation rate for Hispanic students of 51% and a rate of 62.1% for white students.
PolicyLink will identify and integrate best-in-class asset building strategies into Promise Neighborhoods, a federally funded initiative to improve educational opportunities and college success rates in high poverty communities. According to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, of people who were born into families in the lowest income quintile, 44% remain in that group as adults.
The Asset Building Policy Network includes the Center for American Progress, Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), Citi, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Council of La Raza, National Urban League, and PolicyLink.
Citi’s collaboration with fellow ABPN members is led by Citi Community Development, which is leading Citi's commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Citi Community Development’s focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. For more information, please visit www.citigroup.com/community.
# # #
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi
About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation is committed to the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of low- to moderate-income individuals and families in the communities where we work so that they can improve their standard of living. Globally, the Citi Foundation targets its strategic giving to priority focus areas: Microfinance, Enterprise Development, College Success, and Financial Capability and Asset Building. In the United States, the Citi Foundation also supports Neighborhood Revitalization programs. The Citi Foundation works with its partners in Microfinance, Enterprise Development, and Neighborhood Revitalization to support environmental programs and innovations. Additional information can be found at www.citifoundation.com.
KEYWORDS: People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Community, Positive Change, Social Development
After learning that Glyn Boone had won a Weyerhaeuser President’s Award, Lana Bru, financial manager for Weyerhaeuser’s oriented strand board business line, sent an email to the “Haiti Homebuilding Alumni.” She passed on the news and offered warmest congratulations to Boone, a senior engineer for Weyerhaeuser’s engineered lumber products.
The Alumni group, which includes 22 Weyerhaeuser volunteers and 5 family members, spent two weeks last year constructing buildings near Port-Au-Prince following Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.
The five wood-frame structures, designed by Boone and Weyerhaeuser’s engineered lumber products (ELP) engineering team to withstand high winds and earthquakes, were completed this past February with the help of 30 more volunteers.
“These buildings would not exist,” says Gary Schweizer, director of engineering and award nominator, “without the perseverance, patience and exceptional leadership of Glyn Boone.”
It all started when Weyerhaeuser pledged $250,000 to help Haiti rebuild following the quake. Initially, the company sent $120,000 to Habitat for Humanity to meet immediate needs. With ELP as stewards of the donation, Schweizer and Boone believed the remaining money could be better used to construct permanent and long-lasting buildings.
“We could’ve handed out a check for emergency housing,” says Schweizer, “but we had limited ability to influence construction or ensure the safety of the Haitian people. We wanted to take a different direction, to be more engaged. We wanted a more noble cause.”
What they didn’t know was how complicated carrying out that idea would be. Issues ranging from property ownership to lack of infrastructure and basic materials faced the project team, which was led by Boone, who volunteered for the effort.
But that turned out to be a boon, so to speak. Despite numerous obstacles, Boone remained focused on the goal. He identified Nehemiah Vision Ministries, a local and reputable agency, as a building partner. He researched and designed the buildings, worked with architects, coordinated products and materials, and managed shipments to Haiti.
He also spent five weeks on the island making sure construction ran smoothly, and hosted two volunteer groups who worked with Haitians to build the five structures.
“Glyn persuaded everyone to work toward a common purpose,” says Carlos Guilherme, vice president of Weyerhaeuser’s engineered lumber products business line. “He is driven by his values. His strength of character and resolve made this happen.”
To Boone, the greatest satisfaction was the hands-on participation and interaction.
“It’s a sacrifice to be there,” he says. “But seeing how everyone was affected by the experience was incredible. We came to serve and in turn were served by the people of Haiti. It was humbling.”
“What makes me so excited about Glyn’s award,” Schweizer says, “is the jubilation from the Haiti volunteer team. These folks have a common bond that will last forever. In fact, Glyn and the project created a special bond among all the associates involved in the effort.”
Learn more about Weyerhaeuser’s employee involvement efforts.
Tweet me: #Weyerhaeuser honors #employee for #Haiti rebuilding efforts http://3bl.me/hmcxm2 Contact Info:
+1 (253) 924-7148
KEYWORDS: Weyerhaeuser, Volunteers, Haiti, employees
SOURCE: KEEN Inc.DESCRIPTION:
PORTLAND, Ore., Nov. 4, 2013 / 3BL Media /PRNewswire/ -- KEEN is unveiling The KEEN Effect, a fan-activated grants program designed to support projects that fuel people's passion for protecting the environment and promoting responsible outdoor participation.
"At KEEN, we believe spending time outdoors is a key element to build strong communities and a healthier planet. We also know we have incredibly caring, creative and connected fans. We designed The KEEN Effect with that in mind, to give KEEN fans the opportunity to help fund the hard-working non-profits that enable them and others to enjoy the outdoors," said Chris Enlow, corporate social responsibility manager at KEEN.
History of Giving Back
KEEN has strived to be a company with a conscience since it was founded ten years ago. KEEN believes in the power of a brand to inspire others to create positive change. This belief reflects the foundation of its corporate giving program, Hybrid.Care.
Through Hybrid.Care, KEEN dedicates time and financial resources to social and environmental organizations actively working towards the greater good. The company honors its employees' commitment to volunteerism, supports its local community, and embraces corporate responsibility. Since 2004, KEEN has distributed more than $7 million in cash and resources to non-profit organizations around the globe.
"KEEN is a brand rooted in the outdoors and in doing the right thing, - we make hybrid products that enable people to get outside and play," added Enlow. "The KEEN Effect takes our commitment to the outdoors a step further by funding programs that enable even more people to enjoy nature's playgrounds."
Powered and Empowered by Fans
This new chapter in KEEN's commitment to give back is unique in that it puts the brand's fans at the center of the funding process. Fans and customers are being asked to nominate organizations in their communities who are doing great work providing ways for people to get outdoors with the goal that the regional Nonprofit organizations receiving funding through the KEEN Effect will multiply this passion for the outdoors though their work inspiring thousands more to get outside and responsibly enjoy our outdoor spaces.
KEEN will award $100,000 in grants to 25 organizations around the world. The KEEN Effect grant application is available until December 6, 2013. Grants will be awarded in early 2014.
Grantees nominated by fans must clearly define how their organization or specific program inspires responsible outdoor participation as a way to work towards building a stronger community. KEEN will give special consideration to projects that introduce new audiences to the outdoors through responsible outdoor participation. The grants are eligible to tax exempt, not-for-profit organizations; 501(c)3 or international equivalents.
"We encourage people to spread the word about this great new program and urge eligible non-profits to apply," added Enlow. "Hopefully our dollars will inspire more people to get outside while helping to protect natural playgrounds. We're excited to see the effects of The KEEN Effect in the months and years to come."
Inspired by a love of the outdoors, KEEN Inc. manufacturer of hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, bags and socks, is dedicated to creating quality products that support the lifestyles and outdoor adventures of active people around the world. KEEN products can be found online and through more than 5,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries, as well as in KEEN Garage retail stores in Portland, Palo Alto, Tokyo, Prague and Toronto, where fans can enjoy the branded experience. The company operations and culture reflect a stand-out commitment to building a strong community and a healthier planet so that all can create, play, and care. Learn more at www.keenfootwear.com.
Video with caption: "The KEEN Effect is a new corporate giving program which is providing grants to non-profits around the world who are inspiring responsible outdoor participation. www.keeneffect.com." Video available at:http://youtu.be/8fEmVAo0ulE
Image with caption: "KEEN Inc. Logo." Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/SF72660LOGO-b
Copyright 2013 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.
KEYWORDS: KEEN Corporate Giving Program, Hybrid.Care, csr, KEEN, environment, community, grant program, outdoor participation
On the heels of SAP Africa's recent announcement of an agreement with the World Bank to consolidate skills development efforts in Africa, SAP Africa today announced that the first group of students, from Kenya, have successfully graduated from the Skills for Africa training certification.
The training that has been conducted in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, incorporating Kenyan ICT authorities and Nairobi's Multi Media University, is aimed at enhancing employability for graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The six-week certification training that was hosted at Multi Media University, in Ongata Rongai, covered technology, business, finance, logistics as well as critical soft business skills. Graduates from the course have been matched with job internships with SAP customers and partners, including some of Kenya's leading companies, like Bidco, Mumias Sugar Company and other leading SAP partners in the region.
This initiative comes against the backdrop of the pressing demand for technology solutions, as well as the need for the right talent to be developed in Africa specifically with a view to employability. The Skills for Africa programme, part of a larger effort focusing on five countries that was officially launched by SAP in May, began pilot preparation in Kenya in September 2012. The East Africa chapter targeted 75 students, of which 66 are graduating as fully certified consultants who are now highly competent and trained in a variety of business and ICT skills key to success in today's competitive job environment, including SAP certification.
Original post on iTWeb.
KEYWORDS: SAP, Sustainable, csr, africa, Skills for Africa, Kenya
REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 4, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a new program to provide software development training and testing to U.S. active duty service members transitioning out of the military. The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy aims to offer America’s veterans the opportunity for new careers in the growing technology field.
“American service members possess the drive, self-discipline and problem-solving skills that are essential for the technology industry,” said Microsoft Executive Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith. “The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy is a bridge between one great career — serving in the U.S. military — and another, creating technologies that improve lives.”
The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy consists of a 16-week course to prepare U.S. service members to obtain the certification required for technology careers such as a developer, applications engineer and IT project manager.
Beginning as a pilot program with Saint Martin’s University at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state — the largest military installation west of the Mississippi — the program will be available later this year on key bases in California and Texas, with additional locations to be announced in coming months. Active duty service members transitioning from all branches of the military as well as members of the National Guard and Reserves returning to their civilian jobs are eligible for the academy.
In addition to receiving a Microsoft IT Academy-powered curriculum provided by Saint Martin’s University, service members who complete the pilot program will be hired into entry-level roles as software testers by either Microsoft or Launch Consulting, the technology consulting firm administering the program.
The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy was inspired by the “VOW to Hire Heroes Act,” legislation that was signed into law in 2011. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., allows service members to begin the employment process before their separation from the military to facilitate a seamless transition from the military to other jobs.
“Providing on-the-job training for transitioning service members into high-tech jobs is exactly what our legislation was written to accomplish,” said Sen. Murray. “Our veterans have the talent and training to succeed in any workplace, and the technology industry is a particularly great fit. This new program demonstrates that more employers see the value of what veterans offer, especially in jobs that require hard work and collaboration.”
The program is run on the base, allowing active-duty service members to easily receive training during the final stage of their military service. In December, the first group of 22 participants will complete the program.
“Unemployment rates are higher among veterans because it’s not always easy for service members to understand where their skills apply outside the military,” said Joint Base Lewis-McChord commander H. Charles Hodges Jr. “This program cuts through the uncertainty and helps service members transition into their next missions in the civilian workforce.”
The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy is part of the company’s broader efforts, through programs such as Microsoft YouthSpark, to help young people gain the critical technology skills required for today’s jobs. Further, the company’s commitment to supporting veterans is longstanding, and includes the following:
The creation of Elevate America for Veterans, a two-year program in which Microsoft invested more than $12 million in cash, software and related support that enabled veterans and their spouses to take advantage of technology skills training, certification, job placement, career counseling and other support services.
Development of Microsoft’s We Still Serve site, which provides translation of military skills to Microsoft job opportunities and connections with Microsoft employees who have served.
Microsoft’s broad support for the military community also includes active participation in many programs and organizations, including 100,000 Jobs Mission, the Student Veterans of America Success Corps and Hire America’s Heroes.
About Launch Consulting Group
Launch CG, is a division of Direct Technology — a leading Veteran-owned and operated technology consulting firm that fulfills the promise of technology. Launch designs and builds cutting edge new technological solutions that fuel individual & organizational growth.
About Saint Martin’s University
Saint Martin’s University is a Catholic Benedictine institution of higher education with a mission to empower students to pursue a lifetime of learning and accomplishment in all arenas of human endeavor. Saint Martin’s began offering programs at Joint Base Lewis McChord in 1972 and is currently one of 7 on-base schools providing education programs for the military community.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.
KEYWORDS: Jobs, Community, Engagement, Positive Change, People, Social Development, Veterans, Education
Earlier this year, Staff Sgt. Adam Citterbart, a member of the elite U.S. Green Berets, found himself in the most intense firefight of his career. His unit, a Special Forces mountaineering team, faced an 11-hour engagement in Afghanistan. During the battle, Citterbart, a sniper, maintained communications with five aircraft and the four truck-based communications systems on which his unit depended, all while tactically positioning Afghanistan National Army soldiers on the battlefield.
During the engagement, Citterbart was forced to repair a truck antenna that had been shot in half, while maintaining accurate suppressive fire. The battle was a success, reducing attacks on coalition forces in the area by 95 percent. And fortunately, no one in his unit was injured.
Citterbart has had extensive training, including the Special Forces Qualification Course, which involves classes in Korean Language and Culture; “Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE)”; and Radio with Computer Communications Systems. He has attended two military schools for advanced training. As a result, he’s a leader with technical and problem-solving skills – the type of profile sought by employers in the technology field.
Halfway into Citterbart’s most recent deployment, a member of his Special Forces team told him about a new pilot program run out of Joint Base Lewis-McCord (JBLM) in Washington state, the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA). Since he was deployed in Afghanistan, he applied over the phone. This summer, he was granted permission to return home for the birth of his daughter. While home, he applied in person to the MSSA. He was accepted and afforded the opportunity by his unit to begin his new journey while still on active service.
Now, we are officially announcing this new program. The Microsoft Software & Services Academy is an intense 16-week course that builds on the unique work experience and training that service members have, and helps them obtain the certification required for information technology careers such as a developer, applications engineer and IT project manager. The pilot program is already up and running at JBLM, and it will expand to bases in California and Texas next month, with other states to follow.
“To get into this career, you couldn't ask for a better offer,” said Citterbart. “The best thing about this program is that it’s 16 weeks training for a new job rather than searching for one, as service members usually need to do.”
Any career transition is difficult, but as service members approach the end of their military careers, they face a particular challenge. It’s not always clear to them how their skills apply to jobs in the private sector. This causes stress to both service members and their families. But today, thanks to legislation sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray, service members may begin the employment process before their separation from the military. That’s what inspired our program, which is especially important as our military draws down after two major military operations overseas. Over the next three years, JBLM alone will release an average of 8,000 service members a year.
In addition to receiving a Microsoft IT Academy-powered curriculum provided by Saint Martin’s University, service members who complete the pilot program will be hired into entry-level roles as Software Testers by either Microsoft or Launch Consulting, the technology consulting firm administering the program. As the program reaches additional bases, we will offer job interviews to all of those who complete the program. We’re confident they’ll do well. They will be well prepared to compete for jobs in a vibrant, growing sector of the economy. Active-duty service members transitioning from all branches of the military, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve returning to their civilian jobs, are eligible.
Microsoft has a long history of working with veterans, through programs such as Elevate America, and we know that service members possess drive, creativity, problem-solving and analytical skills essential for successful careers in the technology industry. Adam’s story helps illustrate why.
The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy is a bridge between one great career – serving in the U.S. military – and another, creating technologies that improve lives.
KEYWORDS: Community, Engagement, Positive Change, People, Technology. Innovation & Solutions, Education, Veterans
SOURCE: SiMPACT Strategy GroupDESCRIPTION:
After listening to an episode of This American Life (#503 – I was Just Trying to Help, originally aired August 16, 2013), I was compelled to reflect upon the importance of data in philanthropy.
The episode depicts an organization with a radical idea about charity. The idea was born out of research and data. The organization’s founders wanted to give their money to the charity that would do the most with their money, that would make the biggest impact. As founder Michael Faye says “There are two questions that we wanted to answer about charities that we found hard. One is, where does my dollar go exactly? …. And two is, what's the evidence of impact? Not the anecdote, not the story, but real, scientific evidence…”
Faye’s questions are ones a lot of people who want to give are asking. This is an important shift in philanthropy. As episode’s author David Kestenbaum says “there does seem to be this shift that's happening, a shift away from glossy brochures and smiling children and happy anecdotes, a shift toward data. Philanthropy is getting nerdier.”
Just like it is important for charities and non-profits to be able to demonstrate the impact of their work, so to is it important for those investing in the community (in the very same organizations) to be able to demonstrate the impact of their investments. In both cases, the way to do this is through keeping clear and thorough data.
I would go further than this story did. Though I agree that data is the key to demonstrating your value, the door that that key opens is to a framework for comparison. This framework is something that the SiMPACT Strategy Group offers not only to those with Community Investment portfolios and budgets through LBG Canada, but also to the organizations in which they invest through an analysis on Social Return on Investment (SROI).
These tools are great for demonstrating a portfolio or community organization’s true value, but they would be useless without reliable data as a means of comparison. The current is quickly changing, which means it is no longer those organizations that have the happiest children on the cover of their brochures that are necessarily the biggest winners when it comes to funding. It is no longer the biggest portfolios that get noticed and lauded. It is what you DO and how you SHOW it that is important.
No one wants to throw money into the dark and hope that it’s doing good. Investors want to know that their investment will make a positive impact. Clear and thorough data along with the tools offered by the SiMPACT Strategy Group will help investors and community organizations alike realize those goals.
SiMPACT was established in 2005 with a vision to support management systems and skill development in the areas of strategic community investment and social return on investment (SROI).
SiMPACT is the facilitator of LBG Canada, a growing group of companies using the LBG Model as a management framework to maximize the value of community investment programs – for the community and for the business. Companies involved in LBG Canada are achieving a higher quality standard in program design, resource allocation and evaluation of the community investments. The increasing use of the LBG Canada logo in public reporting symbolizes a commitment to quality and good governance of the community investment portfolio.
KEYWORDS: philanthropy, SiMPACT, This American Life, data, LBG Canada
SOURCE: Yum! BrandsDESCRIPTION:
A local elementary school received a big honor Tuesday afternoon.
A grant check was presented to Cane Run Elementary School in the amount of $20,000 due to their participation in Yum! Brands', parent company of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, Hunger to Hope Global Volunteerism initiative.
The program was launched last year as a way to give back to local communities.
To view full article posted on WHAS11.com click here.
*Original article published by WHAS11 on October 29, 2013.
KEYWORDS: Environment, Food & Farming, Human Resources, hunger to hope, Hunger to Hope Volunteer Challenge, volunteer, Yum! Brands, Peace Garden, csr
SOURCE: Eli Lilly and CompanyDESCRIPTION:
Our guest blog comes from Lilly's Vice President of Global Health Programs and Access, Dr. Evan Lee.
This week, Lilly is joining delegates from 125 countries at the 44th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Paris. We are discussing the latest scientific developments and program successes in the global fight against TB and other lung diseases.
It is an important moment for TB in particular. The World Health Organization’s new Global TB Report found that while encouraging progress is being made, an unacceptably high 8.6 million TB cases occurred in 2012. About three million of these cases were undiagnosed or undetected by national treatment programs. This is increasing the risk of severe illness and the development of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), which WHO has declared a public health crisis in many high-burden countries.
Improving TB treatment outcomes in the hardest hit countries takes collective efforts from individuals, communities, governments and donors. A powerful article in the New England Journal of Medicine brings this point home through the story of a South African patient who was recently cured of XDR-TB.
We’re also working to underscore the importance of partnership, including through a Lilly-sponsored symposium at the Union conference, “Putting the Puzzle Together: Meeting the MDR-TB Challenge.” During this session, we’ll examine the complexities of MDR-TB and identify successful models to guide future efforts. Various perspectives will be highlighted by panelists from high-burden countries – India, China, Russia and South Africa – as well as Lesotho, which is heavily affected by the HIV-TB co-epidemic. These include a young woman who survived MDR-TB, a community-based organization that is training pharmacists as a first point of contact, government perspectives, and a funder addressing health systems strengthening.
KEYWORDS: Health and Wellness, Corporate Responsibility, Union Conference, MDR-TB, tb, tuberculosis, Eli Lilly, lung health
SOURCE: Taproot FoundationDESCRIPTION:
Small businesses are the leading driver of job creation in the U.S. While this is an impressive fact, many entrepreneurs with plans to grow their businesses struggle to access the resources they need to expand and add new jobs to their payroll. What if businesses like these had access to pro bono services?
Pro bono has become a dependable way for nonprofit organizations to build their capacity and to go deeper and further in achieving their intended impact. Pro bono consultants provide nonprofits with a wide range of support – including marketing, technology, design, finance, human resources, and strategy. These talented professionals give their expertise at no cost because they know that their investment supports a good cause. By building these organizations, they’re making their communities stronger.
What if this same kind of pro bono support was available to small businesses?
Think about it: small businesses deal with many of the same challenges that nonprofits face. It’s not hard to imagine the small business owner who’s struggling to build an IT plan to support her growing operations, or who needs help thinking through the financial realities of expanding to a new location.
Does the same impact equation that we apply to nonprofit organizations (pro bono service + organizational challenge = stronger organization and stronger community) apply to small businesses as well?
Consider this potential scenario: Imagine that a pro bono consultant is helping a small immigrant-owned restaurant in a low-income neighborhood develop a marketing plan. Could this pro bono consultant be doing something good for her community? What if the increased revenue from this new marketing plan was enough to justify hiring a few new employees from the neighborhood? Suddenly, this is not just a marketing plan that’s good for business – it’s looking pretty good for the neighborhood too.
But, wait: Businesses aren’t charities. Shouldn’t they rise and fall with market demand? When a pro bono consultant works with a small business on solving a key issue, is that diverting resources that the business would have otherwise spent buying professional services from another business? Perhaps even another small businessthat also needs the support?
This is a complex question. I was often asked a similar question in a previous role I held within the Bloomberg Administration, where I was responsible for directing a set of no-cost capacity-building services for small businesses. As the government, what was the value of offering free assistance to small businesses that were starting, operating, and expanding in the city? Were we interfering with the market?
Indeed we were. Or, rather, per our justification, we were addressing a problem with the market. After all, the market isn’t always fair. There are many entrepreneurs who do not have access to the financing, education, network, and other resources they need to thrive. By making these offerings available to all businesses – including the ones that but for us might not have grown and thrived – we believed that our intervention was justified. Our job wasn’t to pick the winners; it was to create the conditions in which the winners could win. We were helping to level the playing field.
I think of things in much the same way when I consider whether pro bono services should be made available to small businesses. I don’t advocate that every small business should receive pro bono support -- many entrepreneurs can and should buy the professional services they need on the market because they can afford them. But what about those small businesses that have the potential to grow their revenues, add jobs to the economy, and deliver more tax revenue to their communities, but lack access or resources to reach their next level of growth? I argue that it’s those small businesses that we need to support. To do this, we must build out the criteria that would qualify which businesses should – and shouldn’t – be eligible for pro bono support. And then we need to create the marketplace where this work can happen.
What do you think?
Catherine is a Senior Consultant in Taproot’s Advisory Services practice. She serves on the Microenterprise Advisory Council at Volunteers of Legal Service, where she helps to ensure that small businesses in need have access to pro bono legal assistance. Previously, she was the Director of NYC Business Solutions within the City of New York’s Department of Small Business Services.
KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Education, Events, Conferences & Webinars, Human Resources, Marketing, Media & Communications, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Technology. Innovation & Solutions, Taproot Foundation, small business, pro bono
SOURCE: Taproot FoundationDESCRIPTION:
In honor of Pro bono Week 2013 everyone at Stone Soup Films rallied and in short order did what we do best: harness the power of our awesome skilled volunteers to produce and donate a film to a worthy organization. In this case, though, we made a pro bono film about Pro bono Week highlighting the range of pro bono services that benefit local nonprofits. How meta is that.
Here's how it got done: first we filmed an interview with Max Skolnik (ED of Taproot here in DC) and then impulsively Max turned the tables on Stone Soup ED and film producer Liz Norton by interviewing her. We then ingested that footage back at the office, put up the interviews on our transcription website and two volunteers typed them up word for word. Highlights were then selected and the film was on its way.
Monday morning a crew of five filmed the workshop for several nonprofit groups at Winston & Strawn on how best to utilize pro bono resources. Afterwards we went outside and stopped random people on the street to do brief interviews on what they knew about pro bono. At one point a crew member went to drop off some equipment in my car and when they came back, one of the women being interviewed was sobbing! The crew member was only gone a few minutes so after the woman walked away they asked "what the heck happened?" Turns out she was so moved by the survival of one of her friends through the work of a local organization that she has been moved to donate her skills as an accountant there ever since!
Pro bono is a powerful thing.
The next day, we arrived at the Taproot Campfire in the shadow of the US Capitol. The room was filled to capacity with consultants donating their time and nonprofit groups soaking up the constructive attention. The energy was fantastic! After filming for several hours we got back to the office where our editor was working on piecing together all of the elements so far. More footage was ingested. Dum de dum (that takes a while). In the meantime, we emailed the logo for Pro bono Week to a volunteer graphics guy - he animated it and sent the file over a few hours later.
More editing ensued. A rough cut was screened. Changes were made, then music and titles were added. People fought over whether or not to include the man-on-the-street interviews. Those who wanted them in the cut lost the argument. There was just too much good stuff at the campfire, so that became the focus. By Wednesday afternoon at 4pm we locked the picture, dumped it onto a thumb drive and raced over to the Uproot Party to screen the finished piece.
9 skilled people+3 cameras+2 mics +1 edit suite=Pro bono happiness all around
KEYWORDS: Education, Energy, Events, Conferences & Webinars, Human Resources, Marketing, Media & Communications, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Technology. Innovation & Solutions, stone soup films, probonodc, washington, DC, Pro Bono Service, Taproot Foundation, pro bono week 2013