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Incubator Preps Entrepreneurs To Solve 21st Century Problems

The Halcyon Incubator is working to solve 21st century challenges by helping social entrepreneurs. Through a competitive process, social entrepreneurs pitch Halcyon for a spot in the three-stage incubator program. 

The first stage is residency, where fellows live and work at Halcyon surrounded by like-minded innovators in a collaborative setting. In the second stage, the fellows move out, but continue work at the Incubator, accessing strategic, legal and PR resources. In the final stage called the “incentivized phase,” the fellows transition to the WeWork Wonder Bread Factory building in Washington, D.C. at reduced rates, while still being able to access Incubator events and programming as they scale their venture.

Halcyon is presently accepting applications for the next cohort.

On August 19, 2014 at 1:00 Eastern, Program Manager Ryan Ross will join me for a live discussion about the program. Tune in here then to watch the live interview.

More about the Halcyon Incubator program:

The Halcyon Incubator is committed to solving 21st century challenges throughout the nation and world. By helping social entrepreneurs transform audacious ideas into scalable and sustainable ventures, the Halcyon Incubator acts as a catalyst for measurable social outcomes.

Ryan’s bio:

Ryan is passionate about applying innovative ways of thinking to solve social problems. In his role as Program Manager, Ryan supports the development of the fellows’ ventures and establishes collaborative relationships and partnerships in support of the Incubator, contributing to the creation, growth and sustainability of the program.

Prior to joining the Halcyon Incubator, he was the Director of Business Development for, the first social platform for politics, connecting all candidates, political organizations, and voters at every level. Ryan’s past experience includes work at the Aspen Institute’s Impact Economy Initiative, Jefferson Government Relations, and Americans Elect, a national start-up with a mission of re-imagining the U.S. presidential primary system.

He holds a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and Bachelor degrees in Political Science and Economics from the University of Florida.

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New Comic Book Saves Children By Teaching Hygiene

Unliver’s Lifebuoy soap brand is working to save children in the developing world with an innovative approach: comic books.

Tapping renowned comic book artist Craig Yoe to create it, Lifebuoy is working to distribute 20 million copies of the book this year. The comic book is just part of a program targeting young children in the developing world with puzzles, stories and games to teach them and their parents about the importance of handwashing.

Unilever reports that 1.7 million children will die this year as a result of easily preventable diseases, one-third of whom could be saved with handwashing.

Lifebuoy’s efforts since 2010 have reached 183 million people in 16 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 

On Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 4:00 Eastern, Unilever’s Dr. Myriam Sidibe and Stacie June Shelton along with Craig Yoe will join me to discuss this remarkable program. Tune in then to watch the live interview.

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

Watch the short video mentioned in the interview here.

More about Lifebuoy:

As the world’s leading health soap, Lifebuoy aims to make a difference by creating accessible hygiene products (soap) and promoting healthy hygiene habits. With this in mind, Lifebuoy aims to change the hand washing behaviour of one billion people by 2020. Since 2010 Lifebuoy has taken hand washing behavior change programmes to 183 million people across 16 countries. For more information of Lifebuoy and its programmes, please visit

More about Unilever:

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. We work with 174,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2013). Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit

More about Yoe Studios:

Craig Yoe and Clizia Gussoni’s Yoe Studio is an award-winning agency specializing in cool, youthful marketing and design. Our clients include Unilever, Microsoft, DC Comics, Marvel, Hasbro, Mattel, Mad magazine, MTV, Crayola and many others. Craig is a former Creative Director for the Muppets, Nickelodeon and Disney.

Myriam’s bio:

Dr. Myriam Sidibe is one of the world’s leading experts of brands that drive health outcomes through behavioural change. From within Unilever, she has created a movement to change the handwashing behaviours of one billion people, the single biggest hygiene behaviour change programme in the world, and conceived and established the UN recognised Global Handwashing Day – now celebrated in 53 countries.

Myriam’s approach to pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo has been pivotal to leading a paradigm shift in the way public-private partnerships for health are managed and funded. Her foresight in establishing Lifebuoy soaps co-branded school and neo-natal handwashing have proven so effective they have received over €20 million in support from external funders including CIFF (Children’s Investment Fund Foundation), DFID (Department for International Development), the Dutch Water Fund and USAID. They have also been replicated across Unilever as best practice examples for other brands looking to positively impact the world while driving market share. 

As one of the world’s leading academics in the field of public health and behaviour change, Myriam represents Unilever with organisations such as Millennium Villages, the World Bank, PSI, WSUP, MCHIP and USAID to educate people about the importance of handwashing with soap, and create programmes that can help form healthy handwashing habits for life.

For the last 14 years, she has worked in more than 20 countries for NGOs (including the International Rescue Committee, Unicef and the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Programme) and the private sector arguing for a more transparent relationship between the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, advocating the need for businesses to gain growth and profits from engagement in social and health issues in order to build more sustainable, effective interventions, and is a regular commentator in the media on this.

Myriam has presented the results of her research and work at events ranging from the Water Engineering and Development Center in Dhaka, Bangladesh (Sanitation and hygiene education in conflict-affected areas: A Burundian case study) and the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Forum in Washington, USA (School Sanitation and Hygiene in Uganda: The challenges) to the Health Lions in Cannes, France (The Lifebuoy Story: How Simple Creative Thinking Has Been Saving Lives for 120 Years).

Myriam is one of the only people in the world with a doctorate in public health focused on handwashing with soap (completed in 2006 through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). She also has a degree in environmental engineering from McGill University, Canada, a Masters in water and environmental management from Loughborough University, UK and combines her academic pedigree with a serious understanding of driving brands forward to create change and positively impact in the world.

Craig’s bio:

Craig is an author, editor, art director, graphic designer, cartoonist and comic’s historian who has worked with clients like MTV, Microsoft and Mad magazine. He’s best known for his Yoe Studio creative marketing solutions. Today he has a major emphasis creating Yoe Books (with IDW), and Books by Yoe (with various publishers) about the history of comics, cartoonists and pop culture. USA Today called Yoe “the Comic Book genre’s master archeologist!”, ABC TV hails him as “America’s foremost comics historian” and Vice magazine says he’s “the Indiana Jones of comics history!” Yoe has been an adjunct professor at Syracuse University and a popular speaker at conventions, conferences and colleges on creative marketing and on the history of comics. Yoe Studio is located in upstate New York, where Craig works and lives in an old stone castle on 4 wooded acres with his wife and business partner, the editor-designer Clizia Gussoni and their two children, a cat and way too many old mouldy comic books.

Stacie’s bio:

Stacie studied Public Health with an emphasis in Health Behavior, studying changing behaviors. Her work experience and expertise is around School & Adolescent health in both the US and Internationally for the past 14 years. For the Oregon state government Stacie was Co-Coordinator for “Healthy Kids, Learn Better” (HKLB) A Center’s for Disease Control (CDC) funded project integrating and implementing a coordinated school health model with Department of Health and Department of Education. Stacie has worked with 25 countries across Africa, Asia & Latin America while living in India, Nigeria and she currently resides in Nairobi, Kenya.
In 2011 Stacie joined forces with the Lifebuoy Team and the School of 5 superheroes with a focus on implementation across schools in Lifebuoy’s markets and a specific focus in 8 out of 10 of the countries with the largest number of children dying from diarrhea-related disease. She originally hails from Oklahoma in the USA & loves playing Ultimate Frisbee around the world in her free time!

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Remodeling Healthcare

This is a guest post from Uchenna Onyekwere, a healthcare professional who aims improve the performance of large healthcare organizations through strategy and operations consulting.

It is no secret that the United States is one of the top health spenders in the world. Annual spending has climbed to $3.8 trillion representing 17.9% of GDP. With up to 75% of our cost burden coming from the management of chronic disease, cheaper, more effective primary care models that address chronic disease management are critical to cost reduction. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) addresses this by expanding coverage to millions of previously uninsured patients. In an ideal world, this would lead to greater access to primary care, earlier intervention, and ultimately cost reductions. Like any system; this has some flaws that need to be ironed out. For example, a July 2014 study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine described an unintentional racial disparity in insurance reimbursement for emergency room physician services at a single tertiary center (Link: This suggests that there could be unexplored financial burdens in our health systems that remain undiscovered.

There are two models that I think can reduce costs by bypassing traditional healthcare institutions and increasing access to primary care. One is a new model being explored by Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart, in partnership with QuadMed, is launching primary care clinics in South Carolina in areas of low access. Rates for walk-ins are priced at $40 and $4 for employees. Wal-Mart clinic hours are also longer than traditional clinic hours and are staffed by Nurse Practitioners and Physician assistants, a lower cost option for potentially equivalent services. I foresee this being a favorable option among consumers because of the convenience but it does raise some important questions.

Uchenna Onyekwere

Studies should be done to determine how this model affects certain metrics of healthcare service usage such emergency room visits, admission rates, and length of stay. Additionally, with the cost of a visit being so inexpensive and assuming that consumers will be accepting of non-physician primary care services, I can imagine that many would fail to see the need for traditional health insurance. It would make sense to discard medical insurance while keeping a plan for prescriptions and a wraparound catastrophic medical policy to cover medical emergencies. This is similar to another growing model that provides concierge physician services. This is where a patient pays a monthly or yearly retainer fee directly to an individual primary care physician who offers enhanced care services, which can include house calls and unlimited access. Interestingly, there is a clause in the ACA that allows for direct primary care i.e. concierge medicine to count as health insurance provided that it is packaged with a high deductible wraparound policy for medical emergencies. Can the Wal-Mart model be considered a form of Direct Primary Care and will it fall under the provisions of this clause?

If these models become more popular, insurance companies should consider creating packages with Wal-Mart that fill the need for high deductible emergency medical insurance coupled with DPC providers. At the end of the day healthcare is a unique industry where the bottom line is often about more than just cost. Therefore, the big question remains: how will these models affect health care outcomes and are they worth the cost savings? Only time will tell.


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Money Yields Cost Savings, Healthcare For Vulernable, Seniors

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

An entirely new wave of health care reform is coming to rural America with financing from Vital Healthcare Capital, a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI). V-Cap, as Vital Healthcare Capital is known, just made its first social impact investment, $10 million dollars, into Commonwealth Care Alliance, which serves vulnerable populations, including frail seniors and adults with disabilities.

Many of the folks served by Commonwealth are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare but often fall between the cracks in the system if only because they lack the resources to take advantage of the healthcare available to them.

Commonwealth reports that it has also proven the ability to reduce costs by helping patients to avoid unnecessary hospital stays and to live healthier lives. Those eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid represent just 15 percent of the Medicade population, but use 40 percent of the resources. Managing their care therefore presents a huge fiscal as well as social opportunity.

On Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 1:00 Eastern, Steve Weingarten, CEO of V-Cap, and Robert J. Master, MD, CEO of Commonwealth, will join me for a live discussion about the investment and the programs that it expands. Tune in here then to watch the interview.

More about Vital Healthcare:

Vital Healthcare Capital (V-Cap) is a nonprofit community development financial institution founded on the dual mission of supporting quality healthcare and good healthcare jobs in low-income communities. Over the next five years, Vital Healthcare Capital will establish a $100 million revolving loan fund, leveraging $500 million of total capital, to support projects that show particular promise in improving healthcare and health employment for vulnerable populations in communities that have traditionally lacked resources. V-Cap’s first transaction, made in partnership with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, involved a $10 million loan to scale the integrated care plan of Commonwealth Care Alliance in Massachusetts. V-Cap is led by an experienced management team with backgrounds in finance, healthcare, labor and community development.


Steve Weingarten

Weingarten’s bio:

Steve provided the vision and leadership to create Vital Healthcare Capital. He formerly led the SEIU Capital Development Group, which developed double bottom line investment vehicles across multiple asset classes with a focus on healthcare and workforce impact; and provided financial and social impact analysis to U.S. and global institutional investors. He was Industrial Development Director for the trade union UNITE, where he led a range of industrial development initiatives, pioneered strategic partnerships on high performance work systems, and supported a range of social enterprises. Earlier in his career he led a community organization based in a neighborhood health clinic which advocated on environmental health, housing, and employment issues. Steve received an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a BA from Yale University.

More about the Commonwealth Care Alliance:

Commonwealth Care Alliance is a nonprofit care delivery system committed to providing integrated healthcare and related social support services. Created in 2003, Commonwealth Care Alliance is a consumer-governed organization offering a full spectrum of medical and social services for people with complex needs covered under Medicaid and for those dually eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. Commonwealth Care Alliance offers the Senior Care Options Program (HMO SNP) for individuals ages 65 and older, who have Medicare and MassHealth Standard or just MassHealth Standard alone, and One Care: MassHealth plus Medicare, for dual eligible individuals ages 21 to 64. These comprehensive health plans provide all the services covered under Medicare and MassHealth, and other benefits as determined necessary by an interdisciplinary primary care team. Services are coordinated by the primary care team and are accessed through Commonwealth Care Alliance’s preferred provider network.


Bob Master

Master’s bio:

Robert J. Master, MD, is Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Care Alliance. Master is also a practicing physician, board-certified in Internal Medicine, with over 30 years of experience in the clinical management of patients with advanced chronic illness and disability. In 2009, Dr. Master was recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) with a National Health Quality Award for his leadership in improving the quality of care for vulnerable populations.

Prior to his role at Commonwealth Care Alliance, Dr. Master served as the Medical Director of the Massachusetts Medicaid program in the Dukakis administration where he was responsible for all programs, policies, and external relations of the Medicaid Program, as well as directing a staff of 300 people.

Until 1985, Dr. Master was the first physician and medical director at the Upham’s Corner Health Center, and founder of the Urban Medical Group in Boston, where new approaches to nursing home and home medical care using nurse practitioners were defined; approaches that transferred hospital level services to the home and the community.


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100,000 US Children Are Victims of Trafficking Annually

Every year in the United States 100,000 children are victims of sex trafficking.

Everyone’s Kids is a nationwide campaign to raise money and awareness about the plight of these kids. Razoo will host a nationwide, one-day crowdfunding giving day to raise money to bring an end to this tragic practice on September 16, 2014.

On Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM Eastern, Lesley Mansford will join me for a live discussion about the campaign. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about Everyone’s Kids:

On September 16, 2014, individuals, fundraisers, and nonprofit organization will unite for Everyone’s Kids, Everyone Gives Day, a national, 24-hour giving day that will mobilize hundreds of organizations and thousands of people on a single day across the country to help fight child trafficking in the United States.

At TED 2013, a group of influencers were challenged to tackle the issue of domestic child sex trafficking. On March 17th, 2014—one year later—the Everyone’s Kids, Everyone Gives campaign was launched to raise much needed funds for the nonprofits who work to combat trafficking every day. The campaign includes a Razoo Day of Giving, a national public relations campaign, and powerful public service announcement that will raise awareness of this important issue, and inform the public about the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline.

Everyone’s Kids, Everyone Gives is a national initiative that includes partners from the technology and media industries who have joined forces with leading nonprofit organizations such as Polaris Project and Walk Free (among several others) in order to fight the illegal enslavement of an estimated 100,000 children annually who are trapped in the U.S. commercial sex trade.


Lesley’s bio:

Lesley Mansford is the co-founder of Everyone’s Kids and the former CEO of Razoo, the fastest growing crowdfunding platform for causes, with over $230M raised for nonprofits. She is a seasoned CEO, marketer and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in interactive entertainment with companies like Electronic Arts. She was co-founder and COO of, the largest online casual games community acquired by EA in 2001. In the same year she received the Superstar award from Ad Age.

Lesley speaks regularly on the power of online to democratize philanthropy. She is a powerful advocate around issues like women’s entrepreneurship and child sex trafficking in the US. Her board positions have included The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The Leadership Institute for the Ecology and the Economy and Women’s Initiative for Self Employment.

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BYU Professor Provides 5 Point Plan To End Poverty

Paul Godfrey, a professor at Brigham Young University, is part of a growing movement that says we can end poverty, that it is not a necessary part of of a global economy.

His book, More than Money, was just published by Stanford Business Books. In the book he lays out specific plans for enabling and empowering people to rise above their circumstances, helping them to develop five different forms of capital:institutional, human, social, organizational, and physical.

Paul will also be speaking at GoodCrowd14, the Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference at Snowbird, Utah on September 26, 2014.

On Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 6:00 PM Eastern, Paul will join me here for a live discussion about his work. Tune in here then to watch the interview.

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

More about More than Money:

This book presents a novel framework that shows how five types of interrelated capital—institutional, human, social, organizational, and physical—enable development and sustainable growth. In addition to a widely-applicable model, Godfrey provides principles to guide application. Core chapters articulate each specific form of capital and provide examples of how it contributes to the triple bottom line. Not just a theoretical examination of poverty, More than Money delivers timely advice to organizations that produce goods and services, implement policies, and create meaningful change on the ground. This book will guide social innovators and entrepreneurs in business, government, and civil society settings as they create a vision, assemble a team of strong partners, and effectively measure social innovation.


Paul’s bio:

Paul C. Godfrey is a Professor of Strategic Management, Senior Research Fellow and Associate Academic Director of the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance.  His work on Corporate Social Responsibility as insurance continues to be cited and used by other scholars and practitioners.  His work has appeared in the top management and strategy journals, the Academy of Management Reviewand the Strategic Management Journal.  His current research focuses on self-reliance and eliminating global poverty in the lives of individuals and families.  Paul currently has a book in production on the subject with the Stanford University Press, and his article on the informal economy was the most downloaded article from the Annals of the Annals of the Academy of Management for 2011. 

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Are Americans Hardwired to Give?

This is a guest post from Ronn Torossian, CEO and Founder of 5WPR. He is a Public Relations Executive and Author of the Best-Selling PR Book For Immediate Release.

Founder of 5W Public Relations, Ronn Torossian, reveals how American independence leads to increased generosity.

Americans have been recognized for their intense individual generosity for a long time, but the reason for that generosity may not be what people assume. Successful charity organizations understand WHY Americans give, because they study HOW Americans give.

When you ask a group of people why they give, personal altruism and religion are often credited as foundational motivations. But, would you believe that a new theory suggests Americans are more generous on an individual basis because they are more intensely and intrinsically independent?

While science is still out on this theory, the reality is, that sense of personal independence that most Americans hold dear could indeed translate into kind acts of purposed charity. While we are, as individuals, intensely focused on our personal liberties, rights, and inalienable freedoms, when push comes to shove and someone is in need, we rise up en masse to meet that need, and we do so most often with well-administrated individual acts of kindness. Whether it is a neighborhood coming together to organize a food donation to a family in mourning, or a community of civic and church groups joining forces to help victims of a natural disaster, Americans do giving right.

We may be laser focused on preserving our personal liberty, but we drop everything to lend a hand when we can, even if we persist on doing it in our own fiercely independent manner.

Ronn Torossian

More and more people are coming on board with this way of thinking, realizing the merit in this theory and working that reality into their donation campaigns and marketing programs.

Here’s the bottom line for charities interested in tapping into America’s unique brand of charity: Honor its time-tested stubborn independent streak. Ask people to connect on their own terms, and give in ways that suit their perspectives and you will set yourself up for increased success. Fail to do so, and you are artificially limiting your operational budget.


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Corporate Citizenship – An Added Risk to Non-Profits?

This is a guest post from William Brown, SocioEconomic Business Coach, Advocate and “Business Fracker,” helping businesses and business professionals “drill down” to identify and maximize their unique Corporate Citizenship business model.

There is no question as to the growth of cause-branding, social entrepreneurship and Corporate Citizenship (I prefer this to Corporate Social Responsibility) but what is in question is the influence that these social impact initiatives will have on the traditional non-profit organizations and philanthropic ideals.

A recent article in The Atlantic titled Is For-Profit the Future of Non-Profit? presents some thought provoking perspectives from respected leaders in the camps of “pure” philanthropy right through what some people call “consumption” philanthropy. While some valid and insightful positions are taken I can’t see this as an either/or proposition and while none of us have that crystal ball I think that there is a place and need for all manners of impacting social outcomes. Yes, I firmly believe that there will be some adjustments to methods and practices but in reality, are not all of us who wish to influence social impact looking for improved outcomes? While we may not all be on the same page are we not in the same chapter or book or at least in the same section of the library?

I firmly believe that pure philanthropy is a critical component of a giving culture, that humanitarian organizations serve a vital role in society and that there is absolutely a need for Corporate Citizenship. There is a role for a non-profit business community but I also believe that not all non-profits provide the best possible solution to social problems and taking it even further, many should not be non-profits at all (a topic for another time)!

Yes, I am in the Corporate Citizenship camp and am passionate about instilling a “giving back” culture in for-profit entities but I also believe that we (for-profit, non-profit, cause brands, philanthropists, impact investors, …) could do a better job of joining forces and with our respective competencies and passion, have a greater impact on outcomes. After all, aren’t outcomes what are really important?

W.H. Brown
ARC Impact

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Ebola Crisis: How You Can Help

This post was originally produced for

The following is taken from a release from Global Giving:

West Africa is in the midst of the most lethal Ebola epidemic in history.

The Ebola virus disease is highly contagious, has no known treatment or cure, and is fatal within days or weeks in most cases. More than 1,200 people have been infected in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and now Nigeria. The World Health Organization reports that 672 people have died so far as a result of this outbreak.

This is the first major outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa and communities in the region are struggling to contain the epidemic. We’ve set up the Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund so that local organizations in West Africa have immediate access to the resources they need to stop the spread of Ebola and care for the people already infected.

There are two organizations raising money on Global Giving for ebola relief, Develop Africa and IMANI House.

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 4:00 Eastern, Britt Lake of Global Giving, Sylvester Renner of Develop Africa and Bisi Ideraabdullah of IMANI House, will join me here for a live interview to discussion the outbreak and how we can all help to alleviate it. Tune in to watch right here.

More about Global Giving:

GlobalGiving begins with the dedicated, tenacious individuals who are driving change in their communities. From running orphanages and schools, to helping survivors of natural disasters, these people are do-gooders to the core. We connect these “good idea people” with the “generous giver people” and help projects of all sizes receive donations of all sizes.

Britt’s bio:

As Director of Programs, Britt oversees relationships with over 2,000 nonprofits, including managing all of GlobalGiving’s impact measurement, capacity building work, and disaster relief grantmaking. In addition to her six years at GlobalGiving, Britt has worked at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and with a variety of non-profits in Sierra Leone, South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. Britt holds a B.A. in International Studies from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. 

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New Company Offers ‘No-Skim’ Fundraising Tools To Nonprofits

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Social venture CommitChange has developed a new fundraising platform for nonprofits that doesn’t rely on collecting a percentage of funds raised, potentially netting nonprofits with a higher percentage of total donations.

The venture has garnered investments from power investors Mark Cuban, Tim Draper, Adam Draper and 500 Startups. Chris Sinton, founder of Network for Good and StartOut, has also invested and joined the board.

“We’ve decided to make all of our core technology available for free to help bolster charitable giving in the United States. We are also eliminating donation skimming as a business model and we will never profit by taking a percentage of donations,” said Roderick Campbell, CEO and Co-Founder of CommitChange.

Tim Draper, founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, said “a non-profit without CommitChange risks becoming a dinosaur.”

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 7:00 Eastern, Sinton and Campbell will join me for a live conversation about serving the nonprofit fundraising community. Tune in here then to watch the live interview.

More about CommitChange:

CommitChange provides nonprofits with a full suite of integrated fundraising tools, which can be managed from a single platform. This tightly integrated solution eliminates the need for data consolidation, significantly reduces labor costs, and can provide an unprecedented level of understanding about a nonprofit’s supporters. CommitChange significantly reduces the time it takes to perform common tasks and eliminates the 2-3 weeks of training required to operate competing systems. CommitChange also requires no setup or customization, and can be deployed in minutes.

More about Network for Good:

Network for Good is an online fundraising platform for charities and non-profit organizations. The company was founded in 2001 by America Online, Cisco Systems and Yahoo! and has processed over $1 billion in donations since inception.

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Airline Upcycles Seats To Benefit Kenyan Kids, Environment

Southwest Airlines has launched a sustainability initiative called “LUV Seat: Repurpose with Purpose” to upcycle leather seat coverings, keeping them out of landfills, so as to create opportunities for people in Kenya.

The pilot project began with 43 acres of leather seating materials and works in partnership with local nonprofits. Readers can comment on Facebook with the hashtag #LUVSeat,

Marilee McInnis, a Southwest Airlines Spokesperson, noted:

In Nairobi, Kenya (the project’s pilot location), SOS Children’s Villages Kenya, the primary non-profit partner that serves orphaned children and families in need, along with Alive & Kicking, Masaai Treads, and Life Beads Kenya, will use the leather to produce goods for distribution to local community groups.

Through the partnership, SOS youth will receive paid apprenticeships and training to make shoes and soccer balls from the leather. When completed, the shoes will be distributed as part of an anti-jigger campaign. The upcycled soccer balls will be donated to support education programs that use sports to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and Malaria prevention.

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at noon Eastern, Marilee, along with Scott Hamlin, CEO of Looptworks; Amanda Eisen, Director of Corporate Partnerships for SOS Children’s Villages; and Silvia Tonui, Programme Director at What’s Good Studios will join me for a live discussion about the impact of their work on people and the environment.

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

More about Looptworks:

Creativity is everywhere. We transform neglected excess into fresh products that outfit your gadgets to take on life, giving you freedom to #CreateWhereYouWant.

Looptworks is an innovative design brand that creates remarkable products, like bags, digital carrying devices and clothing, using premium excess materials. By pioneering progressive design and manufacturing methods, rescuing unused textiles, and by producing quality products, Looptworks has saved over 40 million gallons of water. Paving the path for a more sustainable production industry, Looptworks is committed to using only materials that already exist, and is partnering with major retailers and brands, to transform excess into excellence.


Scott’s bio:

Scott Hamlin, a passionate conservationist, is the co-founder of LOOPTWORKS, a Portland, Oregon based design brand that creates premium apparel, bags and mobile device accessories from high quality, upcycled materials.
LOOPTWORKS has partnered with Fortune 500 companies, such as Southwest Airlines, to apply forward thinking design to their excess materials and brand marketing tools. Its products are currently being sold into Apple, Apple specialty retailers, Patagonia stores, Colleges and Universities nationwide, with distribution in Japan, Canada and Australia. You can see their full product offering at
LOOPTWORKS has been featured on Oprah’s O list, the Today Show, NBC National News, The Guardian, Entrepreneur Magazine, Shape magazine, Fast Company Magazine, Real Simple, and many other blogs and websites. LOOPTWORKS has been named one of Entrepreneur Magazines top 100 Brilliant Companies and has won the Innovations in Supply Chain Sustainability by Sustainable Business Oregon.
Recognized as a thought leader in the emerging Circular Economy and sustainable capitalism, Hamlin has joined former Vice President and Nobel Peace Laureate, Al Gore on a panel as a pioneer of sustainable industries. He has served as the key note speaker at Temple University’s Social Entrepreneurship Conference, as well as speaking engagements at Harvard University, The Green Biz Forum, and many other Universities and Business Conferences in the US, Japan, and Brazil.
Hamlin and the Looptworks Team have been working with experts in textile recycling and textile science to work towards Looptworks’ ultimate goal, closed loop manufacturing.
In addition to running a growing company, Scott spends his free time with his wife and two kids enjoying surfing, biking, running, rock climbing, hiking and playing outdoors.

More about Southwest Air:

In its 44th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 45,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Based on the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Southwest is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2013 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at


Marilee’s bio:

Marilee McInnis is a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, the nation’s largest airline in terms of passengers carried. In addition to her reputation management and corporate communication duties, Marilee directs the airline’s Green initiatives, leads the “Green Team,” helps the Company put a Green filter on business decisions, and communicates and fosters sustainability for the Company. Marilee developed and spearheads the Company’s annual integrated reporting effort, the Southwest Airlines One Report™, which makes Southwest one of only a handful of U.S. companies publishing an integrated report and the subject of Harvard’s first case study on integrated reporting. Marilee was named by Fortune magazine as one of eight rising green stars at the world’s most admired companies.

Marilee is an honors journalism graduate of the University of North Texas.

More about SOS Children’s Villages:

SOS Children’s Villages creates stable, loving families for orphaned and abandoned children. We provide mothers who give individual attention and guidance to each child until they become an independent adult. We are raising over 82,000 children in over 500 villages across 133 countries, including the US. Through our outreach programs we impact the lives of over 1 million people each year.


Amanda’s bio:

Amanda Eisen is the Director, Corporate Partnerships for SOS Children’s Villages-USA, where she is responsible for managing mutually beneficial partnerships that support SOS Children’s Villages around the world while helping companies meet their CSR goals. Prior to joining SOS Children’s Villages in 2013, Amanda was Foundation and Corporate Relations Officer at The Wilderness Society, a national organization that worked to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Previously, she served as Director of Foundation and Corporate Giving for the Prospect Park Alliance in Brooklyn, NY. Amanda earned her B.A. in English from Vassar College. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys yoga, cooking, and knitting. Amanda lives in Hyattsville, MD with her husband, six-year-old daughter, and two cats.

More about What’s Good Studios:

What’s Good Studios is a creative hub kicking out innovative content for young, modern, urban Kenyans and for the rest of the world to enjoy. What’s Good Studios is the production partner for the Southwest Leather project: Repurpose with Purpose: Luv Seat


Silvia’s bio:

Silvia is the Kenyan Programme Co-ordinator on the ground. She is a marketer with over 6 years experience in Consumer and Trade Marketing in both South Africa and Kenya. She is part of the marketing team for What’s Good Studios. She is excited to be part of the Southwest Leather Programme and especially looking forward to transforming the lives of young women and men through the programme.

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New Program For Rooftop Solar Projects

This story was originally produced for

Mosiac, the leader in crowdfunding solar power projects, recently announced a program that provides homeowners with crowdfunded loans with operations and maintenance service contracts, giving them all the benefits of a lease with a simple to understand loan.

The loans can go for up to 20 years with no prepayment penalty and require no down payment.

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 6:00 Eastern, Mosaic CEO Daniel Rosen will join me for a live discussion about the new program. Tune in here then to watch live.

More about Mosaic:

Mosaic is America’s first peer-to-peer solar finance company and is enabling thousands of American people to profit from clean energy. Mosaic provides home solar loans to cover the up-front cost of solar ownership for homeowners and finances these loans by crowdsourcing investments from the public. 

Mosaic has been honored by Fast Company as a top ten most innovative company in energy for two consecutive years, by the Department of Energy as a SunShot Grant recipient, The Sierra Club as the Trailblazer Company of the Year, and Verizon Wireless as the top environmental winner for their Powerful Answers Awards. 

Dan’s bio:

Dan Rosen - Mosaic Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer 
Dan is a serial entrepreneur with 10 years of experience leading clean energy, green building and energy efficiency companies in rural Native American communities and Israel. He is an Unreasonable Institute fellow and Brower Youth Award winner. Dan has been been on Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 Energy List two times in recognition of his leadership on innovative ways of financing clean energy.

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Devin D. Thorpe

New Site Helps Small Businesses Raise Money In Local Communities

This story was originally produced for

Kevin Hitchen’s left J.P. Morgan to help launch Localstake, a crowdfunding site that facilitates investments in local businesses. The platform has successfully raised over $3 million for entrepreneurs in its first year of operation.

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Kevin will join me for a live discussion about the company and its focus on local investment crowdfunding. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.


More about LocalStake:

Localstake is an online investment crowdfunding platform that enables startup and small businesses to raise up to $1 million in funding from individual investors in the community. Our platform allows business owners to efficiently connect with and raise funding from local investors. Individual investors of all wealth backgrounds are able to access, review, and invest in local businesses with as little as $250,something many have never really been allowed to do before. After a business has achieved funding, they are then able to utilize our Localstake to keep investors updated and engaged with helping them grow and make an impact. Since our official launch in June of 2013, we have helped companies raise over $3MM from investors.


Kevin’s bio:

Kevin Hitchen is co-founder of the investment crowdfunding platform Localstake. Prior to founding Localstake, Kevin worked in investment management at the Indiana Public Retirement System and at J.P. Morgan It was at J.P. Morgan where he and a colleague first developed the idea for Localstake.
Kevin received his Bachelors of Science in Finance from Butler University. He holds the Series 7, 24, 79, and 66 securities licenses and is a CFA charterholder.

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Lumos Ends Teacher Technology Pain

This story was originally produced for

Lumos is an EdTech startup that has created a wireless hub to connect disparate classroom technologies of various vintages.

Not only is Lumos funding its launch through crowdfunding on Indiegogo, it has created a model that allows teachers to conduct their own micro-campaigns to raise the money to get a device in their classrooms.

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 3:00 Eastern, Lumos Founder Shane Cox will join me for a live discussion about the technology and the campaigns. Tune in here then.

This video provides a quick overview of Lumos for your reference.

More about Lumos:

At Lumos, we believe that technology can be a key to unlocking the natural curiosity that drives both educators and students, and fuels the desire to learn. A key that should be within reach of every school and district, not just the wealthy. We believe that teachers deserve more than hand-me-downs from the world of consumer electronics. Our team of educators and entrepreneurs are committed to creating simple and cost effective solutions to integrate technology in the classroom; beginning with our SmartHub, the world’s first Android powered wireless presentation system.


Shane’s bio:

Shane is a principal founder and CEO of LUMOS Technologies. He has established himself as a competent innovator and entrepreneur in the field of wireless technology and has been working in the field of education for over 5 years. Shane has built multiple successful businesses over the past decade. A few of these businesses include a regional wireless internet service, call tracking and marketing analytics software, and a hosted pbx phone system.

Prior to LUMOS, Shane was a principal founder and COO at Skywire Technologies, a technology integration firm servicing the charter school industry. His primary responsibilities were to design and oversee the installation of advanced technology systems in charter schools across the U.S. This technology includes wired and wireless networks, classroom A/V, paging, phone, and surveillance systems. He experienced firsthand the frustrations that educators and school administrators face in implementing technology. This experience is what drove Shane to create LUMOS. He wanted to give schools simple and cost ­effective solutions to incorporate technology in the classroom. As a father of three children with various learning needs, Shane’s passion is in creating tools that give educators the power to engage and interact with each student using the power of technology.

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CHOICE Claims Solution To Ending Poverty

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Dr. James Mayfield has spent much of his life working to end poverty and he thinks he’s got it figured out.

“Go to the people, live among the people, learn from the people, plan with the people, work with the people, start with what the people know, and build on what the people have,” he says.

In 1982, after years as an academic and a consultant, he helped found CHOICE Humanitarian, a nonprofit organization, to work actively to end poverty. CHOICE is working now in Nepal, Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia and Kenya.

The CHOICE model has three distinct phases:

  1. Organizing: All projects are village based and begin by having the village identify leaders and key community resources to build upon; this process can take up to one year.
  2. Mobilizing: The village, over the course of two to three years, develops and completes discrete projects with the help of local government leaders, NGOs and CHOICE resources; the key is what the village learns about completing projects and making change happen.
  3. Institution Building: After three or four years, the village begins to develop a stronger local economy and greater independence with better connections to the national government and national economy, allowing the village to carry on the work of lifting itself out of poverty.

In February 2015, I will be traveling with CHOICE on an expedition to Nepal to further the work of poverty eradication there. I’m excited to get see the work in action and to actually be a part of the solution to poverty.

On July 23, 2014 at 6:00 Eastern, Dr. Mayfield will join me for a live discussion about ending extreme poverty and the work of CHOICE Humanitarian. Tune in right here then to watch the interview live.

[At the time of the interview, I will insert a video player here. Bookmark this page and come back then to watch the interview live. Replays will be available here thereafter.]

More about Choice Humanitarian:

CHOICE Humanitarian believes in the value and dignity of all human beings. We are a nonprofit organization with more than 30 years experience working to end poverty in Bolivia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, and Nepal. We do this by empowering villagers to determine their own path for self-reliance, by building village leadership and by uniquely leveraging local and international investments. Working side-by-side, together we end poverty.

Dr. James Mayfield

Mayfield’s bio:

  • Co-founder, CHOICE Humanitarian
  • Author
  • Professor Emeritus ESC +0.44%, Public Administration & Middle East Studies, University of Utah
  • Consultant to governments in 15 Countries

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