The community of Newtown, Connecticut has overcome major adversity since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in 2012.
The Newtown Foundation, a Newtown-based all volunteer organization, provides educational programs, community enrichment, and additional support resources to people and communities impacted by, “and living or growing up among or in the aftermath, of violence in American society.” A goal of the Newtown Foundation is to help teens in their community transform tragedy into positive activities, in an effort for the youth to become leaders in the journey for cultural change.
Last April 2013, the Newtown Foundation granted scholarships to ten Newtown high school students to attend the annual PeaceJam New England Spring Conference at the University of Connecticut.
PeaceJam is an international education organization, whose mission is to create young leaders to inspire positive change in themselves, their communities and the world through inspiration, as well as enable their peers to take action for positive change (PeaceJam Foundation, 2014).
This year, the Newtown Foundation is continuing to help Newtown teens, as well as teens from additional Connecticut communities, attend the 2014 PeaceJam event. This is a life changing opportunity for Newtown teens who wish to inspire others and who have a passion for action and social change.
The Newtown Foundation is raising funds to send change motivators and community dedicated teens to the 2014 PeaceJam March 15th-16th, 2014, with focused themes on protecting the Earth’s Environment and True Human Security. All funds raised through this campaign will provide scholarships to enable teens to attend this year’s PeaceJam event.
Help Newtown Youth transform tragedy and inspire change! The Youth are OUR Future.
At StartSomeGood, we’re dedicated to supporting changemakers in their efforts to do good and we’re proud to have played a part in helping get much-needed capital to over 250 social impact projects from more than 24 countries.
The StartSomeGood Impact Award recognises ventures who have gone on to create outstanding impact in the past twelve months, through the initiatives they funded on StartSomeGood. While it was a SUPER difficult task, we’ve selected six of our favorite ventures as finalists for the StartSomeGood Impact Award 2014.
Vote for the venture whose social change story you feel most inspired by and who you feel deserves to win the StartSomeGood Impact Award 2014.
The venture which receives the most votes will win:
- $1000 AUD kindly provided by Forming Circles
- They will be featured in an interview with Devin D. Thorpe for CrowdFund Beat
- A consultation session with one of StartSomeGood’s advisors
The finalists for the StartSomeGood Impact Award 2014 are…….
Tinker Tour (United States) raised over $50,000 to travel the country inspiring students to exercise free speech!
Tinker Tour are off on a road trip across the United States in “Gabby,” - their free speech bus, speaking with young people all along the way about the power and promise of youth voices.
This is something Mary Beth and Mike know something about. Mary Beth was a 13-year-old plaintiff in the landmark 1969 US Supreme Court case “Tinker v Des Moines,” which still protects students’ rights today. Mike is an award-winning attorney with the Student Press Law Center
So far, the Tinker Tour made 58 stops over 16,000 miles, talking with over 20,000 people at middle schools, high schools, a juvenile detention facility, colleges, churches, and even the Supreme Court. News crews followed, and the University of Oregon is working on a documentary.
Next stop? The West Coast and Southwest Tinker Tour kicks off in LA March 8, 2014…. Stay tuned!
Kinyei raised over $18,000 to empower locals through a social enterprise cafe in Battambang, Cambodia.
When the original Kinyei team setup Kinyei Cafe in Battambang, Cambodia, their goal was to be able to hand over management of the cafe and for it to provide jobs and skills development for enthusiastic Cambodian youth, who often don’t have opportunities to get entry level jobs which will serve them beyond basic financial support. With the funding from their StartSomeGood campaign, Kinyei volunteers have been mentoring local staff and the cafe is now run day to day by folks on the ground there, many of whom started with them with no work experience whatsoever.
Despite some stiff competition from much larger international coffee chains, the locally owned business is doing great. In fact, their baristas are stars in their own right. Their youngest staff member Sakana, put her hand up to go compete in the Cambodian Barista Competition against baristas from big names like Sofitel, Costa and Gloria Jeans. In the end she snuck through to the finals, completely re-worked her “signature drink” and took the gold the next day!
Afghanistan American Friendship Foundation raised over $12,000 to build wells and provide clean water for families in Afghanistan
Can you imagine life without clean water? In rural Afghanistan, 73% of the population lives with the reality of contaminated water every day.
Afghanistan American Friendship Foundation (AAFF) works to bring hope and health to the families of Afghanistan by drilling wells that will provide a safe source of water to as many communities as possible.
With the money they raised on StartSomeGood, AAFF completed five new wells in Afghanistan’s Balkh province, providing a safe water source for approximately 2,250 families. They also repaired four public wells which provided water for approximately 1,800 families and installed a water system for a school in the Balkh province, providing 3,000 students with clean drinking water
AAFF’s well-building projects also provide employment for local workers. With each project, four full-time local workers are brought on to oversee and complete the construction of the wells, alongside local villagers who are hired to assist in construction and concrete work.
LearnToLive have run three campaigns on StartSomeGood and raised over $20,000 to bring healthcare services to rural Indonesia.
Imagine seeing your close relatives face severe illness, and even death, from sicknesses that are easily treatable. For Yanti Turang this was a reality for her family in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Yanti wanted to do something about this so she created LearnToLive, a traveling health care clinic which provides much-needed healthcare services for people in rural Indonesia. After raising over $6000 in their first campaign, to do a scouting trip, LearnToLive went on to run two more successful campaigns to expand the program even further.
Last year, LearnToLive saw, treated and educated over 1500 patients in five different communities across North Sulawesi. They also expanded their work to include water sanitation and implemented a rainwater catchment system into the primary school of Sapa village alongside a ‘Water for Life’ curriculum.
Going beyond the borders of Indonesia, LearnToLive lay the groundwork for their expansion into the country of Laos and the LTL crew recently touched down in Vientiane to run a 2 week program delivering reproductive health education to young women in communities in the Mok Mai district.
The Rhythm Hut raised over $25,000 to rescue their community music programs and set up at a new premise
The Rhythm Hut is an exciting community centre in the Australian coastal town of Gosford which hosts live music concerts, community drumming classes, fundraisers for passionate locals, charity events for the homeless, art exhibits and lots more. In a town that struggles with a large population of homeless, alcoholic, and drug addicted residents, the Rhythm Hut has had a positive impact on the town. Thousands of people have come through our doors and have been influenced to live a more peaceful, open, giving and productive life.
But all of this was under threat when the Rhythm Hut were handed an eviction notice. With their community music programs under threat, The Rhythm Hut turned to crowdfunding and raised the $25,000 needed to secure new premises.
Since then The Rhythm Hut has moved into a new location in central Gosford and completed the much-needed renovations to the new building including disabled access and soundproofing!
A grand reopening concert completely sold out and marked the largest event The Rhythm Hut has ever held. The Rhythm Hut is now compliant with council regulations, and are able to hold events, drumming classes, fundraisers, venue hire and much more.
Since the move the Rhythm Hut have held several fundraisers including an event for the local homeless shelter (raising over $2200) and the local no kill dog shelter (raising over $1000).
Jhatkaa raised over $20,000 to set up an online platform, helping to empower their fellow citizens and build a progressive India
Jhatkaa is the brainchild of a group of social innovators from India who wanted to build grassroots citizen power across India by developing platforms which would enable all citizens to have a say on important issues. After a kickass crowdfunding campaign, which exceeded its overall fundraising target of $20,000, Jhatkaa transformed from an idea to a reality.
Jhatkaa were able to set up their innovative online platform, set up a mobile engagement platform which allows engagement through text message and voice message communications and, finally, they were able to launch in October 2013.
This forward thinking organization is rapidly gaining traction, with a members base of around 14,000 in just four months. They have effectively campaigned on important issues such as evaluating the poverty line, fixing the Bangalore potholes, ending rape, the suspension sexist judge because of his comments about women and the repeal of Section 377 which criminalises homosexuality.
Voting closes 6pm January 31st United States Eastern Time/ 10am 1st February Australian Eastern Daylight Time
This Week in Social Entrepreneurship: Check out these exciting opportunities for social innovators with Clinton Global Initiative University and IDEO.org.
- Another super useful class for social entrepreneurs, brought to you by Be Social Change’s Makers Institute, come out on November 26th for the first class as part of a 3-Part series: Design Thinking for Social Good. Come learn how TYTHEdesign has implemented design thinking into their daily work and you’ll learn how to better connect with your community, maximize innovation, and increase your impact.
- Former President Clinton will host the seventh meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University from March 21st through the 23rd next year at Arizona State University. Applications for this prestigious event are now available, and the early decision deadline is today! Students who make this deadline will have the ability to apply for travel assistance. Of course, if you need more time, the final deadline isn’t until the middle of January.
- Social Spark’s flagship program, the Social Venture Challenge, selects and works with the most talented young minds in Canada to develop thriving social ventures. Over the course of the program, students will work on developing their own social enterprises and then present their ideas to a panel of investors in March 2014.
- Applications are now open for IDEO.org’s Global Fellowship Program 2014-2015. This program brings together talented leaders from the design, business, and social sectors to work together to make the world a better place. Learn more about the program here and see if you have what it takes to be a Fellow. Applications close on January 6th.
What good do you want to create? Visit our site to learn about how to start your own campaign.
Do you have a social entrepreneurship news story or an event you’d like to see on the StartSomeGood Blog? Email Nicole (Nicole @ StartSomeGood.com)
This Week in Social Entrepreneurship: Job creation, accelerator programs, and entrepreneurs awards—it’s all about youth and startups!
- A total of €200,000 in financial support and tailored mentoring will be awarded to the seven most impressive young entrepreneurs (aged 30 or under) for the Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards. Partnering with University of Cambridge, Unilever is calling for entries by November 1st, so submit your project today.
- In London on September 13th, UnLtd is hosting their inaugural International Youth Job Creation Summit 2013. This summit is aimed at creating a billion job opportunities for young people over the next decade. Take part this September and you can influence international policy with UnLtd.
- You can’t fake social good. “Social good isn’t about doing something to just get attention.”—here, Forbes outlines three best practices for social good startups. Sarah Schupp, CEO and founder of UniversityParent.com defines these three points: Clearly define and communicate your social impact, Make it part of your company’s culture, and Be authentic about your impact. Heed this great advice as you look at shaping how your company will give back.
- The Points of Light Civic Accelerator invests in and supports seed stage social ventures that solve pressing social and environment issues by engaging people. This is first startup accelerator program focused on civic ventures. The program includes mentoring, entrepreneur education, peer support and networking. Apply now for their 3rd cohort—they are accepting applications through the end of today.
- Greenpeace is calling all designers, tinkerers, inventors, students, and anyone interested in joining forces and taking on the challenge of creating a clean, sustainable, affordable water pump for farmers in India. The pump designed must be portable, robust, and cheap, with sufficient pumping performance to water a typical small plot of land. With €30,000 up for grabs, tighten your designs and enter before the November 15th deadline.
Shawn D. Ross
I am a Northwest Native living in Washington State. A graduate of Washington State University and University of Phoenix with degrees in Architecture and Education I write about social, cultural, and personal improvement on the StartSomeGood Blog and SDRinspire. I am also a filmmaker and owner of Giraffe and Penguin Productions, a single daddy of two beautiful children, avid reader, writer, and hat wearer (Not in that picture but believe me, I wear ‘em). I am currently at work on my first feature length documentary. Follow me @shawndross and visit my websites: sdrinspire.tumblr.com and giraffeandpenguinproductions.tumblr.com.
What good do you want to create? Visit our site to learn about how to start your own campaign.
Do you have a social entrepreneurship news story or an event you’d like to see on the StartSomeGood Blog? Email Nicole (Nicole @ StartSomeGood.com)
With 100 projects (and counting) now successfully funded on StartSomeGood, it’s pretty safe to say we know a thing or two about crowdfunding. We are passionate about helping social entrepreneurs and changemakers succeed and because of this we’re excited to share what we’ve learned over the past year about what it takes to succeed on StartSomeGood.
Therefore, we are hosting a series of three FREE Crowdfund Some Good! webinars between December 5th and December 7th where Tom will share important crowdfunding lessons and walk participants through the decisions they will need to make before launching a fundraising campaign, including the fundraising goal, the benefits of different fundraising platforms, what rewards to provide, and who to focus on in their outreach.
We know there are so many great ideas out there with the potential to make a positive social impact and we want to ensure they are all in the best position to succeed. We will teach you how to share your idea with the world, raise the funds, and rally the community you need to make a difference.
Those who have succeeded in crowdfunding know that it’s not a “build it and they will come” exercise. Like any form of fundraising it takes hard work and perseverance. In these webinars you will work through the key steps to develop a StartSomeGood campaign, including:
- Developing a realistic financial target for your campaign
- Understanding how StartSomeGood’s unique Tipping Point dynamic works, and how to use it to your advantage
- Identifying your community and understanding how to target them
- Developing rewards people will value
- Developing a video with no budget
- Using social media to support your campaign
- Identifying the stories which will inspire support
We hope you can join us! Please visit the Crowdfund Some Good Eventbrite site for specific dates and times and to RSVP today!
Tom and Alex, co-founders, StartSomeGood
By Brooke Parker
StartSomeGood’s SocEnt Book Club is pleased to host Deborah Frieze, co-author of Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey Into Communities Daring to Live in the Future Now on our monthly book club conference call. Our call will be held next Wednesday, March 7th at 2 pm PST/5 pm EST.
Are you interested in creating social good in your community, but you’re concerned about how or if you can actually make lasting changes? Join the call to hear Deborah discuss how you already possess everything you need to start some good! You will have the opportunity to ask Deborah questions about her book and about the incredible change that happens when you stop feeling limited by your financial situation, lack of power, and few connections to outside aid, and make the choice to embrace the resources you have and your community to take action immediately. Walk Out Walk On affirms Margaret Mead’s quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” After the call you will feel inspired and empowered, and you will recognize that you are an agent of social change just as you are. Her book, written with Margaret Wheatley, was announced on our blog earlier this month.
Deborah succeeded Margaret Wheately as the co-president of The Berkana Institute (http://www.berkana.org/). However, in 2009, The Berkana Institute was declared a self-organizing system, so now she serves as a board member. The fundamental premise behind the Berkana Institute is “whatever the problem, community is the answer”. Deborah is currently leading numerous projects for The Berkana Institute, including, Feeding Ourselves Sustainably, Swaraj University, and several Sharing Our Learning projects. Deborah is an advocate of trans-local learning, a concept that encourages sharing solutions around the world, but modifying them based on the culture and experiences of a particular community. Learn more about Deborah at: www.deborahfrieze.com.
To RSVP and for information on joining Wednesday’s free conference call, please email Aaron(at)startsomegood.com
We are excited to announce the December installment of our book, Shift and Reset: Strategies for Addressing Serious Issues in a Connected Society by Brian Reich. Shift and Reset is a guide to navigating our rapidly changing communication tools to affect meaningful social change.
Reich’s book is a must for anyone who is interested in social entrepreneurship. He points out that many of the most successful social good ventures are organized by individuals or small teams. The way you use social media and other new forms of communication can determine the degree of success for your venture, and Reich’s book will help you use them.
Reich uses interviews and examples to teach you about using social media. The book contains interviews from twenty-five experts who have valuable insight about using social media.
About the author: Brian Reich is currently the senior vice president-global editor at Edelman, a global public relations firm. He is also the chairman of the board of Investigate West, a nonprofit that encourages investigative journalism. Reich was briefing director for Vice-President Gore for two years and worked on his presidential campaign. Besides Shift and Reset, Reich also authored Media Rules!: Mastering Today’s Technology to Connect with and Keep your Audience.
Want to win a free copy of Shift and Reset? Visit our facebook page and respond to this question on our wall: Why do you think individuals and small organizations were often more effective in organizing charity ventures after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti than large corporations?
If you are reading along with us use #socentbc on Twitter to share your thoughts. If you are interesting in joining our team of reviewers or in having your book featured please contact Aaron at Aaron(at)startsomegood.com.
Editor’s Note: below is a review of the Social Enterprise Book Club book for October, We First: How brands & consumers use social media to build a better world by Simon Mainwaring. We’re excited to by hosting Mr. Mainwaring for an open conference call on November 8 to discuss his book. Stay tuned for more information and your opportunity to RSVP.
By Aaron Lesser
Which side of the Occupy Wall Street Protests are you on? Are you for the movement? Against it? Are you part of the 99%? The 1%? How about the 53%? Do you support the inertia behind the movement but not its expression? Do you think those people should just get a job?
Simon Mainwaring’s book, We First: How Brands & Consumers Use Social Media To Build a Better World, offers a way forward in the debate about our future. It’s not about separating people into opposing groups or blaming sections of society—it’s an examination of where our society is and how we can steer it towards where we want it to be.
The book opens with a simple question: Is this the world you want? Regardless of where we are in relation to the past, chronic food shortages, disease, poverty, and inequality are still powerful negative forces in modern society. We First outlines what Mainwaring calls The New Capitalist Manifesto. It is not a revolution against our system, but an evolution into an economic system that takes its impacts on society into account.
The movement, We First, is in opposition to the thought process historically associated with capitalism, Me First. Although capitalism is motivated by self-interest, Mainwaring argues that its true strength is not its ability to serve the individual, but in its ability to make individual self-interest benefit society. By changing the standards by which corporations judge success, from purely bottom line profit and loss to social impact, we can use the engine of capitalism to create the world we want.
But why, after hundreds of years of Me First capitalism, would the whole system change? The answer, for Mainwaring, lies in social media. Social media allows corporations and consumers to interact in a new way. Consumers can give instant feedback on products or marketing campaigns and corporations can interact with consumers at all times. Consumers can let corporations know what they want, what causes they are interested in, or in what direction they want the company to go. This allows corporations to engage in social good endeavors without affecting their bottom line. They can find causes their consumers are interested in and build a loyal base of followers by pursuing actions that benefit that cause. This interaction is the innovation in this book: with the rise of social networks, the social capital a company can generate by being environmentally friendly or starting social ventures is just as valuable in the long term as traditional capital.
A few forward thinking companies are already implementing Mainwaring’s vision. The Pepsi Refresh project is the best example of the budding We First movement. Pepsi selects 1,000 social good ventures, initiated by individuals or organizations, to compete for funding from Pepsi. These ventures are posted on Pepsi Refresh’s website and anybody can vote for them. The top vote getters receive funding. PepsiCo not only gets goodwill and brand loyalty, but according to Mainwaring the Pepsi Refresh website now gets more visitors than many of the sites Pepsi advertises on. In other words, the cost of giving money to the social ventures is offset by the social capital PepsiCo is earning.
We First is the kind of philosophy we need in a time of division, in a time where the only thing most people can agree upon is that this is not the world we want. We First is about eliminating the barriers between us and using our human qualities in capitalism to create the world we want.