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 The mission of the "Your Mark on the World Center" is to solve the world's biggest problems before 2045 by identifying and championing the work of experts who have created credible plans and programs to end them once and for all.
Crowdfunding for Social Good
Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Interview

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This Bank Not Only Serves B Corps It Is a B Corp


BDC is the only bank in Canada focused entirely on serving entrepreneurs. The bank is so excited about serving social entrepreneurs that it has a wide-ranging program to support them and provide the same banking services they provide to other entrepreneurs.

They don’t stop there. Craig Rayan, Director of Social Entrepreneurship says, the bank became a certified B Corp five years ago.

Interview with Craig Ryan, Director, Social Entrepreneurship of BDC.

The following is the pre-interview with Craig Ryan. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Real economy entrepreneurs often have trouble finding the financial and advisory support they need.  We provide reliable, helpful and sophisticated support to Canadian entrepreneurs.

More about BDC:

Twitter: @bdc_ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BDC.ca/

Website: www.bdc.ca

BDC is the only bank in Canada dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs.  From 100 offices across the country, we offer loans, investments and advisory services.

For-profit/Nonprofit: For-profit

Revenue model: Revenue is generated by interest on loans and professional fees.

Scale: BDC has 50,000 clients across Canada.  To serve them, it has 2,000 employees and an asset base of $25 billion.

Craig Ryan

Craig Ryan’s bio:

Twitter: None

Linkedin: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/craigryan1

Craig is Director of Social Entrepreneurship at BDC, the only bank in Canada devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. He leads its efforts to promote social entrepreneurship by growing the B Corp movement, as well as corporate initiatives to support entrepreneurs in underserved parts of the Canadian population.

Craig has more than 20 years’ experience in the public, private and civil society sectors. He has worked in developing countries on poverty reduction and health care, as a senior policy advisor to federal ministers responsible for the environment and foreign aid and as a corporate responsibility advisor to large energy and pharma companies.

He holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School, is a guest lecturer at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management and in 2017 was named to Canada’s Clean 16, an award celebrating leadership in promoting clean capitalism.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility 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!

3rd Generation Deaf Person Well Suited To Lead 1,000-Employee Nonprofit Serving Deaf Community

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

Chris Soukup, 38, is a third-generation member of the deaf community. As a child, he remembers his paternal grandparents visiting each week with a list of phone calls to be made by his mother, who could hear. In those days, before the relay services offered by companies like Communication Service for the Deaf, or CSD, the nonprofit that Soukup now runs, members of the deaf community were effectively prevented from communicating by phone.

Soukup’s life was also influenced by injustice. His grandfather lost his farm when a banker explained he didn’t believe a deaf man could operate a farm.

There are approximately 1 million functionally deaf people in the United States. As many as 14% of adults are deaf or hard of hearing, many of them over the age of 65. About 8 million are hard of hearing, that is, they have difficulty hearing a normal conversation even when wearing a hearing aid. About 70% of deaf people are unemployed or underemployed.

For more insights, be sure to watch my interview with Soukup in the video player above.

About 40 years ago, CSD was founded by Soukup’s father, Ben Soukup, who was also deaf. While many people assumed that the younger Soukup would follow in his father’s footsteps at the helm of the organization, he did not, at least not until he got to college.

Chris Soukup, CEO of Communication Service for the Deaf

Soukup started working full time at CSD after finishing graduate school. He joined the executive management team in 2007 and was appointed President in 2011 and then named CEO in 2014. He now manages a $38 million operating budget, all major business units and over 1,000 employees across the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and New Zealand.

The organization is focused today on solving a single problem: unemployment the high unemployment rate among deaf people.

“We’re very focused on trying to combat that and to combat that in a multitude of ways by creating resources and programs and solutions that better position the deaf community to be successful in employment, to identify opportunities and to help match the supply of jobs to those who are actively looking for employment.”

CSD provides job training, resources and educational material in ASL to deaf and hard of hearing people through a Federal program. This effort is called CSD Neighborhood.

Early in 2017, CSD launched another program called CSD Works to place deaf people in career positions and help create deaf-owned businesses.

CSD recently partnered with Uber to help riders interact more effectively with deaf and hard of hearing drivers. The organization is also adapting training materials for those drivers to help them succeed as well.

Soukup acknowledged that the deaf community is becoming more diverse. Not only does it include people who are deaf from a young age along with people who lose their hearing, often as they age, there are those who have cochlear implants that allow them to hear well but who also identify with the deaf community. CSD is working to serve each member of this community.

About 95% of CSD revenue comes from providing revenue-generating services, including relay services, equipment distribution and interpreting. The organization also receives grants and donations and has investment income.

Hundreds of nonprofits learned to successfully use online fundraising to reach–or surpass–their goals with my crowdfunding training. Get my free guide to attracting media attention.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility 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!

New ‘Impact Security’ Could Revolutionize Philanthropy

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

Catarina Schwab, 43, and Lindsay Beck have set out to completely revolutionize philanthropy. Their firm, NPX, Inc., has introduced a new security to Wall Street called the “Impact security,” which they hope will end the practice of funding nonprofits without impact.

Problems in philanthropy

Ted Williams, Managing Partner at Springbok Partners and an advisor to NPX, explained the problems in philanthropy today. “The nonprofit sector is woefully lacking creative destruction. Mediocre and weak organizations are still attracting funding and the best organizations are not accessing the funding they need to achieve real impact. The only way to get to a more efficient and robust nonprofit market is to reward good organizations and penalize bad ones. This will only occur when there are economic consequences tied to impact.”

For her part, Schwab says, “The nonprofit capital market is opaque and inefficient. It is a trillion-dollar industry and the money is being wasted. And it’s being wasted at the expense of human lives and the environment.”

Watch the interview with Schwab in the video player above.

Catarina Schwab

Impact Security

The impact security is intended to address this problem by inserting investors into the philanthropic capital market to better align the money with desired outcomes.

Nonprofits will issue impact securities in much the same way that corporations issue notes or bonds. The money will go to the nonprofit to fund a specific program with a measurable outcome or impact. The investors don’t get their return from the nonprofit but from a philanthropic guarantor instead. The guarantors are happy to take on this role because they want to give their money away but want it to go where it will have measurable impact.

Impact securities put the donors in a no-lose situation. If the program works and impact is verifiably measured according to the contract, the donors are happy to pay. They have funded something that actually did some good—no guessing, only measuring. On the other hand, if the project fails to achieve the intended results, the donors don’t pay and they keep their money to do good with it another day.

The nonprofit is happy with the arrangement. It gets the money for the program up front. This puts some new pressure to perform on nonprofits, but it is the sort of pressure that is already increasing in the philanthropic marketplace as donors increasingly look for measurable impact.

The investors are taking risk, but not as much as you might worry. The donors acting as guarantors will often put their money in a donor advised fund when the securities are issued so that the funds are already available to meet the guarantee if the outcomes are achieved.

Under longstanding Federal rules, nonprofit securities are not subject to SEC regulations, potentially making them less expensive to issue and allowing ordinary retail investors to participate, not such wealthy or “accredited” investors. This even opens the possibility of crowdfunding.

Measuring Impact

Measuring impact will be a challenge. Schwab says, “We can structure and execute an impact security for any nonprofit with measurable impact.” Still, it is often easier to measure intermediate outcomes than it is measure long-term impact.

Schwab says her model will increase the availability of measurement data and will thereby make measurement easier.

First Transaction: The Last Mile

The first transaction that NPX hopes to complete is an issuance for a nonprofit called The Last Mile that trains prisoners to code while in prison and even employs them to do it. The prisoners can earn $17 per hour, which compares favorably to the $0.94 per hour they earn from other work in prison. This allows them to leave prison with a nest egg, even though much of the money they earn goes to restitution and reimbursing the state for its costs. Some prisoners have even found six-figure jobs after being released from prison.

After working on the project for months, Schwab observed that people often say that prisoners deserve a second chance when they get out. She’s concluded that for many of them that isn’t fair. “This is their first chance; it’s not their second chance.” Some have simply never had an opportunity to get the education and training they need to survive as a contributing member of society. The Last Mile gives them this opportunity.

The impact security the nonprofit hopes to issue will fund a program at San Quentin. The impact that will be measured is straightforward: hours worked in the development shop. This output measure can be tracked easily and objectively. It does, however, ignore the question of whether the program achieves its stated, longer term objectives of helping with a successful reentry and reducing recidivism. Schwab notes that some of the prisoners will never leave but having a real job while in prison is still life-changing.

Prison statistics in the U.S. are staggering. While only 5% of the world’s population lives in the U.S., 25% of the world’s prisoners do. It costs five times as much to incarcerate someone as to educate them.

NPX hopes to help The Last Mile break the cycle and return productive people to society.

Schwab’s explains the premise of her work, “One simple change of linking money with impact changes everything.” Now she’s out to prove it.

Hundreds of nonprofits learned to successfully use online fundraising to reach–or surpass–their goals with my crowdfunding training. Get my free guide to attracting media attention.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility 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!

Why Diabetics Want Pockets in Their Knickers and Where to Get Them

Type 1 Diabetics, those who typically contract the disease as children and not as a result of a lack of diet or exercise, are entirely dependent upon insulin. Today’s insulin delivery and blood glucose monitoring use devices–insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors–that must be connected to them all the time. Finding a comfortable, invisible, convenient place to hold those devices is a relatively new challenge that Pocket Innerwear is helping to solve.

Interview with Laurel Bloomfield, the Co-Founder VP of Pocket Innerwear.

The following is the pre-interview with Laurel Bloomfield. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

We strive to make life with Diabetes easier.  While insulin pump therapy provides greater diabetes control, it also causes complications and questions.  Where do I put this thing? Can I wear my regular clothes? What if I drop it? What if I pull out my site too early? Can I run, jump and play?  What about night time? What is the PumpPocket by Pocket Innerwear?  This patented design was created so people who are insulin dependent would have a clever place to put their insulin pump.  There is an outlet to allow the pump’s tubing to safely be fed through the back and connect to the infusion site.  Your pump remains safe, secure and concealed while preventing your tubing from getting caught or tangled.  All of this in discreet layering undergarments!

More about Pocket Innerwear:

Twitter: @pocketinnerwear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pocketinnerwear.inc/?ref=br_rs

Website: www.pocketinnerwear.com

Pocket Innerwear is a for profit organization on a mission.  We strive to make life with diabetes easier by providing solutions in the form of clothing with specially designed pockets to keep one’s insulin pump safe, secure and discreet.  Pocket Innerwear was founded with the intention to give back from the start gate.  For every Pump Pocket we sell we give one to a child with Type 1 Diabetes.  We have given away thousands of Pump Pockets so far.

For-profit/Nonprofit: For-profit

Revenue model: We are primarily an e-commerce retail and wholesale apparel business

Scale: 3 Founders working full time on this project, we employ about 5 sub-contractors to help us scale this business.  We are a small start up at our tipping point, we are slated to launch in Wal Mart and are in talks with a few other retail majors.

Laurel Bloomfield

Laurel Bloomfield’s bio:

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/laurel-bloomfield-954a2670/

Laurel is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Pocket Innerwear.  She is a modern Ranch Wife, a Mother and a business woman.  Her husband and her have a beef cattle ranch in the North West U.S. they also have a Heavy Equipment construction company that specializes in Stream Restoration and Environmental projects.  Laurel and her husband have been married for 13 years.  They have 1 son 5 years whom they adopted at birth, he is the light and very purpose of their lives!  Laurel founded Pocket Innerwear with a couple other stay at home mom friends.  Laurel is creative and a serial entrepreneur so when her son was born and she was spending more time inside and less time on “Ranch Work”  she was on the look out for a way to channel her creative energy and latched onto this cause.  Having close friends with children with diabetes it quickly became not just a little business idea but a mission to really serve!


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility 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!

Hiroshima Survivor Has a Message for Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un: ‘No More Hiroshima’

Toshiharu Kano, 71, was born seven months after the United States dropped the bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Pregnant with Kano and living less than 1 kilometer or about half a mile from the center of the blast, his mother Shizzue Neomoto miraculously survived. She took her two children to a nearby military base. His brother, just 18 months old, died within 60 days of the bombing.

As a survivor, Kano endured a variety of physical challenges. His immune system was impaired and got mumps seven times. Labeled by society as defective, Kano and his family were spurned. By age ten, he felt so rejected that he seriously contemplated suicide. He was repeatedly told he was damaged goods.

Ultimately, Kano and his family immigrated to the United States. Here in the U.S., Kano thrived. He says he’s missed only 10 days of work or school in the past 47 years. He attended the University of Utah and earned a BS in mechanical engineering.

Kano married and had one son. His son was born healthy and at 6′ 1″, towers over his father. He recalls seeing an x-ray of his son just hours before he was delivered by cesarian section. He counted all of the fingers and toes and relaxed when he realized that they were all there.

Kano’s sister, never fully recovering from the jeers of her youth, chose never to marry or have children.

The picture was taken by Charles Levy from one of the B-29 Superfortresses used in the attack.

Kano notes that the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was a mere “toy” compared with modern nuclear weapons. Still, the “Little Boy” bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed about 100,000 people. The bomb packed the punch of 15 kilotons of TNT.

By comparison, the largest bomb ever detonated was built by the USSR and had the equivalent of 50,000 kilotons or 50 megatons of TNT, about 3,000 times more powerful than Little Boy.

In his book, Passport to Hiroshima, Kano says, “I have a message from God to tell all of the world leaders that we cannot use the nuclear weapons to settle their differences ever again.”

He told me, the message is simple. “No more Hiroshima. No more Nagasaki.”

Kano’s bio:

Toshiharu Kano was not yet born when the blast occurred high above Hiroshima. His sister, brother and mother (who was pregnant, still to give birth to him) were in town and within one half mile from the Hypocenter of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. As stated in his book, Passport to Hiroshima, “(they) miraculously survived the concussion force of the nuclear winds and the ensuing firestorm.” Toshiharu was born seven months later in March, 1946 at just over 3 lbs. Having survived the early immune deficiencies in childhood, he came to America, graduated from the University of Utah and made a successful career as a Civil Engineer. Tosh retired in 1999, but continues to work as a Civil Engineering Consultant to Holladay City, Taylorsville City and Cottonwood Heights City.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility 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!

Young Chicago Filmmaker Aims Lens At Difficult Issues

Interview with Dontell Antonio, the Director of Composite Media.

Dontello Antonio, 27, is a filmmaker who is bringing attention to taboo subjects, from drug abuse to sex trafficking in his new short film The Hopeless Journey. While not strictly autobiographical, the story incorporates personal life experiences.

The following is the pre-interview with Dontell Antonio. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What makes you a social entrepreneur?

Everything I do is to empower the people to be great at what they love and feel they should strive very hard at what they love.

More about Composite Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dontellantonio/
Website: http://www.dontellantonio.com/

Composite media is a media company that help people bring their visual to life. We specialize in image development of our clients to.

http://www.dontellantonio.com/

For-profit

Revenue model: We generate revenue on projects to project basis, Its normally depends on what the client needs done

We are still a small company, Our film we just did is still going and hope to be scaling 2018

Dontell Antonio

Dontell Antonio’s bio:

Twitter: @dontellantonio

Once a kid born in Chicago with a vision to impact the world, Dontell Antonio is now a man impacting the world with his creative visions in the form of films and music videos. In 2012, Dontell Antonio discovered his talent and passion for video while attending the Art Institute of Atlanta. He did not waste time to take his newly discovered talents to new levels. Within two years, Dontell Antonio has fined tuned his videographer skills, and he is providing services to some of the music industry’s mainstream and popular independent artists. However, it has not been an easy task for Dontell Antonio to get to this level. He has a formula for success that consists of ambition + determination + humbleness. Every project is another opportunity for him to grow and get better. Evidence of Dontell’s steady growth can be seen in all of his latest projects including his first short film “The Hopeless Journey” written, produced, and directed by Dontell himself. He never gets content with his achievements. He always feels there is room to grow and experiment with new ideas. With that being said, Dontell Antonio has his sights set on bringing the world even more high-end quality creative content that will continue to impact the world.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility 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!

Mission-Driven Leader Helps Nonprofits Raise $1.5B

Interview with Vivien Hoexter, the Principal of H2Growth Strategies LLC.

Vivien Hoexter said she had trouble getting up in the morning to sell consumer goods so she sought out an opportunity to lead a more mission-driven, fulfilling life. Along the way, she’s helped nonprofits raise $1.5 billion.

The following is the pre-interview with Vivien Hoexter. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Nonprofits, like businesses, need revenue to grow and thrive. With more than 1 million nonprofits in the United States, there is increasing competition for philanthropic dollars. We empower nonprofits to articulate their visions and goals in a compelling way, create plans to achieve those goals and generate the philanthropic revenue needed to implement the plans.

More about H2Growth Strategies LLC:

Twitter: @h2growth_
Website: www.h2growth.com

H2Growth Strategies, LLC provides counsel and services on planning, development and governance to mission-driven organizations–nonprofits, foundations and corporations–to improve performance, increase revenues and create lasting social impact for a more enlightened world. Through strategic planning, campaigns and board building they have partnered with over 100 nonprofits to raise more than $1.5 billion.

www.h2growth.com

For-profit

Revenue model: We sell primarily consulting services. The book is our first product.

$250,000-500,000 in revenue

Vivien Hoexter

Vivien Hoexter’s bio:

Twitter: @vhoexter

Vivien Hoexter, a principal of H2Growth Strategies LLC, advises nonprofits and foundations in developing and refining strategies, marketing more effectively, and increasing both contributed and earned revenues. She also coaches executives currently in leadership roles and/or transitioning to new ones.

She brings 20 years experience in nonprofit leadership roles. As CEO of Gilda’s Club Worldwide, Hoexter and her team created a vision and strategic plan for the organization as a leader in the field of emotional and social support for people with cancer, their families, and friends. The organization increased its income by 55% from 2005 to 2006 and by 40% from 2006 to 2007.

Hoexter has served as Vice President for Marketing and Development at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Vice President at AFS-USA, Inc. (the leading high school student exchange organization) and as Director of Development at The Hunger Project. She has also worked as a product manager at CPC International, Inc., a Fortune 100 multinational, and as an assistant buyer at Lord & Taylor.

Hoexter graduated magna cum laude with a BA in History from Yale University and has an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility 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!

Recovered Quadriplegic Devotes Life To Serving Children

Interview with Karli Sue VerHoef, the Director of Sunshine Heroes Foundation.

As a child, Karli Sue VerHoef was a quadriplegic. At the time, she was told she always would be. She came to appreciate how she depended on others for help. When she recovered, she considered it such a gift that she has devoted her life to serving children.

On January 15, 2018, VerHoef will be leading a community service project for the Children’s Justice Centers in both Salt Lake County and Utah County. The event includes the Utah Chapter of the Cornell Alumni Association and the All Ivy Plus community as well as the Your Mark on the World Center community (that means you if you’re reading this). Learn more and register here.

The following is the pre-interview with Karlie Sue VerHoef. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

We partner with rural communities and development experts on the ground to assess local needs. Then evaluate programs that will lead to sustainable impact and positive change. Together we assess each project to improve existing programs and implement promising ideas. We pull together resources from our networks to fund the initial costs of high-impact projects. Communities take the lead and together we work to ensure each project is implemented.

More about Sunshine Heroes Foundation:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunshineheroesfoundation/
Website: www.spreadsunshine.org

Sunshine Heroes Foundation was established with the mission to improve the lives of children and their families locally and around the world. We believe that, even if we only help one, every child is worth empowering and deserving of a bright future.

www.spreadsunshine.org

501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: Sunshine Heroes is proud to offer several opportunities for individual and corporate involvement! And the best part about it? 100% of every donation made will directly fund our global projects and improve the lives of children. Sunshine generates revenue by implementing projects and collecting donations (monetary and in-kind), payroll deduction is offered through specific business partners who coordinate with Sunshine Heroes Foundation.

Revenue for 2016 $1,581,887.70 that means $1,581,887.70 acts of service performed in monetary or in-kind donations.

Karli Sue VerHoef

Karli Sue VerHoef’s bio:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karlisue-ludwig-verhoef-953973139/

Karli Sue VerHoef is the current Director of Impact for Tesani Companies and Director of Sunshine Heroes Foundation. As Director, Karli has assisted in the building and maintaining of ten children centers worldwide; additionally, she had lead the efforts of improving the lives of over 500k children through education, health, and clean water projects. Locally, Karli goes straight to the source to fix and implement strategies to help strengthen children and families. In 2017, Karli volunteered as the music teacher at local elementary schools who had lost funding for these programs.Her passion for making a difference is apparent in her daily activities. Whether at work or at home, Karli and her family can be found trying to make this world a better place.

When Karli joined Sunshine Heroes Foundation in 2017, she took their revenue from $448,793.83 to $1,581,887.70. She did this by taking the Foundation in a different direction, becoming project driven vs. revenue driven.

As a single mother of 5 children, Karli is constantly on the go. Before becoming Director of Sunshine, she put her efforts in starting a local preschool where lower income and refugee children could attend for free. With humble beginnings, her preschool has now grown into a self sustaining business.

Besides doing her best to make a positive impact on the world, Karli can be found: coaching crossfit, dancing in the kitchen with her kids, or reading a good book outdoors.. Passionate about people, traveling, and tacos, Karli is ready to change the world one child, one family at a time.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility 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!

Giving State Report Guides Better Philanthropy

Interview with Jacob Allen, the Managing Director of Cicero Social Impact.

For nearly a year, Jacob Allen has been working on a comprehensive report about philanthropy in the State of Utah. While some of the lessons are unique to Utah–the most philanthropically generous state in the nation–most of the insights are generally applicable to charitable giving and the operation of nonprofits anywhere.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

We help mission-driven individuals and organizations maximize their impact rather than simply providing funding or services. We leverage the best analytic, strategic, measurement, and performance practices from business and apply them to solving social needs.

Download the Giving State Report here: http://www.cicerosocialimpact.org/givingstate/

More about Cicero Social Impact:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CiceroImpact
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SocialImpactCicero/
Website: www.cicerosocialimpact.org

Cicero Social Impact is an advisor, resource, and thought partner for mission-driven funders and organizations who want to maximize their impact in the world. Like our clients, we are wholly committed to improving the society we share. We combine that passion with a conviction that simply providing services or increasing the number of beneficiaries is not enough. To maximize impact, we help our clients blend data-driven strategies, inspired leadership, and effective implementation to dramatically increase society’s ability to achieve greater, more sustainable performance.

www.cicerosocialimpact.org

For-profit

Revenue model: Our mission-driven clients pay consulting fees for our services.

Scale of the enterprise: Cicero Group will generate approximately $16 million in 2017.

Jacob Allen

Jacob Allen’s bio:

Twitter: @jacob_allen1
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacob-allen-28268b5

Jacob Allen is a Partner with Cicero Group and Managing Director of the Social Impact practice, partnering with leading foundations, nonprofits, and social enterprises to improve impact through strategy, performance monitoring and impact evaluation (M&E), performance management, and donor and beneficiary analytics.

Over the past 15 years, Jacob has worked with mission-driven organizations, including leading corporate philanthropies, international NGOs, and nonprofit providers. He has led the strategic design, measurement, and implementation of social impact programs run by Presidents Bush and Clinton, United Way, Goldman Sachs, Prudential, YouthBuild International, Junior Achievement, Church World Service, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Nature Conservancy, and many others.

His recent work includes measuring the effectiveness and supporting the design and implementation of a national leadership development program sponsored by former Presidents Bush and Clinton, conducting a program evaluation in Guatemala and Nicaragua (including interviewing 600 program beneficiaries), and designing and managing a robust performance monitoring system for a corporate philanthropy’s multi-year efforts to train thousands of entrepreneurs in 20+ countries.

He co-wrote “The Giving State,” a comprehensive report on philanthropy in Utah, and “Stop Starving Scale: Unlocking the Potential of Global NGOs,” which outlines how funders have fueled the growth of global NGOs in recent years but imposed restrictions that thwart organizations’ ability to truly achieve impact at scale. He serves on the global board of directors for Mary’s Meals, which feeds a daily meal in school to 1.2 million children living in desperate poverty.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility 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!

Global Health Challenges Offer Social Entrepreneurs Opportunity

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

“We have grown far too tolerant of businesses not acting in alignment with the public good,” said Derek Fetzer, director of Johnson and Johnson’s CaringCrowd crowdfunding site for global health. “Shouldn’t all business, all entrepreneurship be for the public good? ”

“The spirit of social entrepreneurs is crucial in solving global health challenges, and has been a driving force in uncovering innovative solutions to tackle the ever-changing global health landscape,” Carol Pandak, PolioPlus director for Rotary International, said. (I am a member of Rotary and once wrote an article for the Rotarian Magazine.)

Pandak noted that global health issues hold a unique space on the plant. “It could be easy to diagnose many global health challenges as problems of individual regions and nations.” After all, it has been decades since anyone in the Americas got polio.

She pointed out that the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number 3 targets healthy lives and well-being for all. “When it comes to global health, there really is no issue from which any group, any nation is immune.” Even with only 15 cases reported so far in 2017, polio is just a plane ride away.

To get a better perspective on global health opportunities for social entrepreneurs, I invited 12 experts and practitioners to join me for a roundtable discussion. You can watch the entire 90-minute discussion in the video player above. Pandak participated only in writing. In a wide-ranging discussion, we covered challenges and opportunities in global health along with specific examples and some key lessons learned.

Leslie Calman, Engineering World Health

Leslie Calman, CEO of Engineering World Health, extended Pandak’s idea. “The answer must be broadly systemic, not singular: a combination of broad public health measures; an educated and paid healthcare workforce including doctors, nurses and technicians; support from governments and NGOs for public hospitals and clinics that serve low-income people; [and] the education of women and girls.”

Entrepreneurs have many roles to play in global health, said Deepak Kapur, the Chairman, India National PolioPlus Committee. He highlights needs assessment, monitoring, cutting red-tape for rapid response to emergent needs, special perspectives of business and industry and piloting new programs.

Challenges in Global Health:

There are no shortages of challenges in global health for social entrepreneurs to pursue as opportunities.

Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, CEO and director of scientific affairs for the Cancer Research Institute, argues that fundamental research is the key to disease eradication. “Ultimately, I believe it comes down to research, and that means funding and time.” She added, “And without that, I feel we don’t get to deliver anything.”

She responded with a hint of irritation to a question about how long will it take to cure cancer, noting she is frequently asked how much money it will take, “Science doesn’t work that way.”

Calman put disease eradication into a broader perspective. “There is much more to health than the eradication of diseases. It is one benefit of a reduction in poverty and war. Health requires good nutrition, education (especially of women and girls), stable governments, public investment, peace. ”

UNICEF’s Stefan Peterson, who has spent most of his career working in or for resource-constrained countries, did take issue with the idea that scientific research should be the priority. “I think we need systems innovation more than product innovation. When two out of three kids and mothers die on necessarily because we have the technology and the knowledge and it doesn’t reach them. We need market research. We need delivery science and systems innovation.”

Contemplating that disagreement, I couldn’t help but wonder if they weren’t just looking at opposite sides of the same $20 bill. Without research, there would be nothing to implement in the field; without distribution, the research has no value.

Social entrepreneur Dean Ornish, the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, has focused his career on lifestyle’s contribution to health. He concludes that good global health requires attention to both lifestyle and cell biology.

Bruce Aylward, Senior Advisor to the Director-General, of the World Health Organization or WHO, noted that Ornish’s work is important because of what is coming. “The escalating rates of non-communicable diseases are the great epidemic in front of us and not just in industrialized but in middle-income countries and low-income countries as well.”

Agreeing, Ornish noted, “More people are dying today in most countries in the world including much of Africa from heart disease and type 2 diabetes than AIDS, TB [tuberculosis] and malaria combined.”

Highlighting the challenges of dealing with the coming epidemic, Calman noted, “We work in hospitals that don’t have blood pressure cuffs.” Her organization works to train local technicians to service and repair hospital equipment. There are people around the world who have no way of knowing they have high blood pressure.

“The question is what’s available within the first mile the first-mile health system from your house,” she continued. “And chances are that it won’t be a hospital.” These frontline health workers may be at the nearby pharmacy.

Women and Children:

In the global health sphere, there is little that is more important than helping women and children. Peterson cleverly explained, “The best advice to an unborn child is to pick your mother well and make sure that she’s healthy and has a good pregnancy.”

More soberly, he said, “If we are serious about achieving the SDG goals, we need to focus on building strong health systems that deliver quality of care for every woman and every child, everywhere.”

When thinking about women’s health, it is important not to limit the discussion too narrowly. Discouraging girls from becoming parents or getting married as teenagers and staying in school are also public health issues but they don’t happen in hospitals, Calman noted. Organizations and entrepreneurs need to pay special attention to keeping girls in school during menstruation by ensuring they have access to feminine hygiene products and education along with adequate facilities. “Women do in fact hold up half the sky.”

Examples of Social Entrepreneurship in Global Health

Mellanie True Hills, the founder and CEO of StopAfib.org, who participated in the discussion is a great example of a global health social entrepreneur. “We’ve educated people not only in the US but around the globe around this whole issue of atrial fibrillation which for those who are not familiar with that is an irregular heartbeat that leads to strokes.”

Mellanie True Hills

Founded in 2001 by two University of Memphis professors, Bob Malkin and Mohammad Kiani, Engineering World Health set out to train technicians to service medical equipment. Calman notes that if you show up to a hospital with a broken x-ray machine it isn’t any different for the patient than showing up and finding the hospital doesn’t have one.

Calman added, “We encounter over and over again folks who are willing to train or retrain doctors and nurses and as vital as that is if they’re 21st-century doctors and they’re working with 18th-century equipment it’s a waste of resources.” Training technicians should be just as high a priority.

There are opportunities in cancer research as well. O’Donnell-Tormey notes that a revolution in immunology began about five years ago. “I think the medical community believes now that the immune system can be used to treat and control cancer.”

Innovation in cancer treatment doesn’t end there. Acknowledging that some cancers are caused by lifestyle choices, others are caused by viruses, meaning that they can be prevented with vaccines.

Ornish, a consummate social entrepreneur, has spent 40 years working on treating public health with lifestyle changes, focusing on helping people move to a whole foods, plant-based diet.

WHO’s Aylward, noted, “And this is what makes the kind of work that Dean’s doing and others are looking at so exciting when you look at those and say lifestyle choices and changes may actually not only reduce risk but reverse disease that gets really exciting and that starts to eliminate some of the excuses we frequently find when we’re trying to look at how do you tackle this big epidemic in front of us.”

Ornish remarkably reported, “We found that in just three months over 500 genes were changed turning on the good genes turning off the bad genes and particularly the what are called the oncogene to promote prostate, breast, and colon cancer just turned off within just a few months.”

“We found that we could actually lengthen telomeres, in a sense reverse aging at a cellular level,” he added. The length telomeres at the end of each strand of DNA have been shown to correlate with a person’s remaining lifespan; the longer the telomeres, the longer the remaining lifespan.

Dr. Dean Ornish, Preventive Medicine Research Institute

In the context of the discussion on global health, Ornish noted the irony that the diet he advocates is the traditional diet of many low-income countries. As countries become richer, they get KFC and McDonalds, changing the traditional healthier diet.

“You know the natural foods and organic foods and healthy foods market is exploding whereas the soft drink sales are down 50% the last few years,” he added, emphasizing the entrepreneurial opportunities in this arena.

Curt LaBelle, president of Global Health Investment Fund, is a venture capitalist whose limited partners are committed to balancing impact and financial returns. He shared some of his strategy.

“Every investment that we make we have to evaluate not only is it an innovative product that can serve a need in the developing world but is there a way to actually get it to the people who need it,” he said.

The range of possible investments is wide. “But our goal is to take innovative products–and these can be vaccines; these can be pharmaceutical products; these can be medical devices or medical diagnostics–and get them to the people who can benefit the most while generating positive returns for investors.” The firm does exclude medical devices that require substantial capital investments as they are not a fit for resource-constrained markets.

One example of the investments the firm has made is in a cataract treatment company called IanTech that make an affordable, handheld device that doctors can use to treat cataracts with results comparable to the current standard of care. He notes that doctors can learn to use it in just a few days so when the trainers leave, they leave the skill set in country with the device.

Another portfolio company, Path, produces a drug to treat hookworms and roundworms. This is a huge market; LaBelle notes that in terms of people impacted by their products, this has the potential to help the most people.

What happens if a disease is successfully eradicated by one of the portfolio companies? “We want to get rid of the disease and we want to make some money along the way but if we get rid of it and no longer make any money that’s actually fantastic. All of our investors would be thrilled.”

Derek Fetzer, CaringCrowd

Big pharma is sometimes accused of serving the market to treat a disease rather than the business of curing it. Johnson and Johnson’s Fetzer responded:

There is a powerful financial incentive to find and produce a cure, particularly if you think (which is the case) that other companies are also trying to find the cure anyway (and quite possibly not participating in the treatment market). So better you find the cure than someone else.

A great example of this is the hepatitis C market, which commanded huge premiums. The prior standard of care was expensive and had a low cure rate, less than 50%. Gilead with no prior hepatitis C treatment business came in with shorter treatment and a high cure rate, in the neighborhood of 80%, and produced record breaking profits for a single drug.

Fetzer’s argument suggests opportunities for entrepreneurs and researchers.

Opportunities in Global Health:

UNICEF’s Peterson suggests that one overriding reason for business to pursue global health initiatives is that all the people they save are potential customers.

Jack Andraka, who invented a new diagnostic tool for pancreatic cancer as a teenager and now studies at Stanford, says the big data movement presents an especially interesting opportunity. “I think one of the most important things are happening right now is this kind of big data movement that’s going on in cancer with machine learning as well as all these interesting biomarker discovery processes”

“And if you can’t prevent the cancer you can detect it early when treatment is, first, less expensive but also way more effective,” he continued. “And we could really see that with pancreatic cancer where if you’re diagnosed early enough you have a 100 percent chance of survival and you don’t have to do things like the Whipple resection which have huge mortality rates”

Similarly, he thinks the opportunity in the gut is interesting. “Looking at your microbiome inside your gut and looking at these unconventional ways are beginning of treating cancer.”

The Cancer Research Institute, under O’Donnell-Tormey’s leadership, raised a venture philanthropy fund to de-risk promising research and make it more appealing to investors. Of course, this means that some of the projects the Institute funds don’t succeed, but knowing another path that didn’t work is almost as important as knowing what does work.

“So, if we can as, a not-for-profit, create a mechanism where we help to de-risk early, do hard core correlative and translational science to understand mechanistically even when things fail why they fail.” This helps prevent research projects proceeding to phase three clinical trials they would likely have failed, allowing more funds to go to projects with greater promise.

Deepak Kapur, India National PolioPlus

In another vein of opportunity, Kapur noted that “In India, we have already begun leveraging the infrastructure and the experience of polio to routine immunizations against all diseases for which vaccines are available.” The lessons and infrastructure are significant. The Journal of Infectious Diseases recently published an article by John L. Sever and others about the lessons and legacy of polio eradication.

Aylward noted one example. “You can’t eradicate a disease if you can’t see it if you can’t find it. And the polio program has got incredible experience putting in place a disease surveillance infrastructure globally where we often do very little else.”

Innovation in polio eradication did not end with Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin and their respective polio vaccines, Aylward said. “Contrary to conventional wisdom, many of the greatest innovations in the eradication of the poliovirus were not those that took place to get us to the starting line of the global eradication initiative, but those that were conceived and taken to scale as we got closer to the finish line.”

The opportunities in global health for social entrepreneurs are as rich today as ever.

Lessons from Global Health:

Global health efforts over the past decades, especially polio eradication, provide lessons for social entrepreneurs hoping to operate in the field.

Long-term opportunity: Despite all the energy we put into disease eradication and lifestyle improvements, the need for health care is not going away. “People may think when somebody arrives at a hospital that public health ventures have already failed. But, you know, people do have motorcycle accidents; they do have pregnancies; they do need maternal care; they do need neonatal care,” Calman said.

Measurement and improvement: “We must build in, from the start, mechanisms to track progress and impact, and to make course adjustments when needed,” Peterson said. “Contexts change, often unexpectedly, and programming needs to adjust accordingly, and rapidly, if impact is to be sustained.” This approach is called “implementation research” and it dovetails nicely with lean startup models that emphasize execution, feedback and improvement cycles.

Quick returns: Ornish asked rhetorically, “Why should I spend my money today for some future benefit that some other company whether it’s another corporation or another insurance company is going to get?” The answer is that with his lifestyle changes, the benefits begin to accrue almost immediately. “We did a demonstration project with Mutual of Omaha and they found that over that they saved almost $30,000 per patient in the first year because under their doctor’s care most of these patients were able to avoid having the bypass surgery angioplasty or stent that they were told that they otherwise would have needed.”

Social transformation: Not all social entrepreneurs begin as social entrepreneurs. LaBelle said, “One of the things that has been really rewarding to me is to really open the eyes of entrepreneurs who otherwise wouldn’t think about these developing markets around the world.” He notes that products like IanTech’s cataract surgical device that has broad application in low-resource countries around the world is just as appealing in developed countries where it can deliver comparable results at a fraction of the price of the standard of care. He calls these “dual market opportunities.”

Global health is ripe for social entrepreneurs to improve the lives of people around the world at the same time they create profit opportunities.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility 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!

 

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