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In It Together: Protecting Small Businesses During COVID-19 Crisis

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 8:12pm

In It Together: Protecting Small Businesses During COVID-19 Crisis

There are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, employing 58.9 million individuals, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. However, a 2016 study by JP Morgan Chase cites that half of all small businesses only have enough cash on hand to survive for 27 days without new money coming in the door. With “stay at home” and “shelter in place” orders increasing across the U.S. due to the continued spread of coronavirus, small businesses and their employees are particularly vulnerable today. Now, we’re seeing major brands step up to help smaller businesses get by, because after all, we’re all in this together.

  • This week, Unilever announced it will help its customers and suppliers by offering $540 million in cash-flow relief to suppliers and retail customers. According to a post on LinkedIn from CEO Alan Jope, it will do this by “extending credit to selected small-scale retail customers to help small businesses manage and protect jobs and offering early payment for our most vulnerable small and medium-sized suppliers.”

  • Facebook announced it will be giving out $100 million in cash grants to small businesses last week, a move that is projected to support 30,000 eligible small businesses. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg explained the impetus for the program in an interview with CBS This Morning, saying that 140 million small business use its platform therefore “supporting those small businesses supports the health of the entire business ecosystem.”

  • Intuit Quickbooks has pressed pause on its current ad campaign to quickly divert resources to supporting small businesses affected by coronavirus. The company has partnered with GoFundMe to launch the Small Business Relief Initiative, designed to get money in the hands of small businesses struggling to pay employees and business expenses due to coronavirus. Part of the initiative will include the GoFundMe.org Small Business Relief Fund where individuals can donate to support the overall initiative as well as a small business resources site powered by Intuit Quickbooks. A new 30-second spot will salute small businesses and urge individuals to donate to the fund.

A time of crisis like we are experiencing today only highlights the interconnectivity of our business ecosystem – and how critical it is to support the livelihood of small businesses as customers, suppliers and vital members of our communities. While certainly each business is experiencing its own challenges at this time, it is essential to open the aperture and determine how to best support the organizations we work with and depend on. 

Survey: 73% of Nonprofits Have Already Canceled Fundraising Events Due to Coronavirus, Losing $644 Million

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 5:12pm

Today, Community Health Charities (CHC) released the findings from its March survey of nonprofit partners, identifying the impact coronavirus has on their ability to fulfill their missions. Of the 331 nonprofits who responded, 73% had already canceled a fundraising event due to COVID-19. The cumulative financial loss to these nonprofit organizations over the next three months alone was $644 million, significantly impacting nearly every state, including:

  • $39.8 million lost in California

  • $95.6 million in Illinois

  • $22.5 million in Minnesota

  • $261.6 million in New York

  • $33.8 million in Pennsylvania

  • $20.5 million in Texas

  • $11.2 million in Wisconsin

In response, CHC has redoubled its efforts:

  • Raising awareness of these survey results with companies and funders to identify support for nonprofit organizations, plus sharing resources with the media.

  • Hosting a Q&A on the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act with congressional tax counsel to help nonprofits secure funding. Register for the April 9 webinar.

  • Providing virtual volunteer opportunities online and in a Volunteering on the Spot toolkit to engage companies and their employees while supporting nonprofit organizations.

  • Promoting mental wellbeing with “Color for a Cause to reduce anxiety and drive support to nonprofits.

  • Launching the Coronavirus Resiliency Fund to help vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19 by shoring up capacity and building the long-term resilience of our nearly 2,000 community nonprofit partners who ensure food, aid, shelter and medical supplies are delivered to those who need it most.

  • Partnering creatively with companies like Pie Five Pizza and proactively reaching out to companies to offer help and support for their business as well as ways to get engaged and give back to the community.

  • Keeping a running list of coronavirus resources and recognizing organizations that are stepping up.

  • Creating new tools, such as a one-pager of resources for companies looking for virtual volunteering, year-round employee engagement, health resources for those most at risk, and more.

For more information on any of these resources, contact info@healthcharities.org.

About Community Health Charities 

For more than 65 years, Community Health Charities (CHC) has been creating stronger, healthier communities. We build capacity for nonprofits by raising awareness, amplifying their message, and driving more funds and supporters to their cause; increase employee engagement and social impact for companies through giving, volunteering, health resources, engagement tools, community partnerships, and more; bring leaders together at the national, regional, and local levels to educate, elevate key issues, and improve overall social impact and community health; build community partnerships to harness collective efforts and coalitions; working together to tackle projects that improve community health and address root causes at scale. Visit https://healthcharities.org or @healthcharities. 


Changing Operations to Meet Coronavirus Demands

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 5:12pm

Changing Operations to Meet Coronavirus Demands

With every day bringing new and more complex coronavirus challenges, we are all still determining the best way to move forward. And while there is no clear roadmap to successful navigation, there are things business can do now to help, when our community and the world need it most. Here, we’ve rounded up examples of how companies are changing their business operations to provide products and services to help during this growing crisis:

  • Feeding Hospital Workers on the Front Lines: While restaurants may be empty, many have shifted operations to provide warm and nourishing food to those individuals on the front lines of the pandemic: hospital workers. Sweetgreen Outpost operations in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston will be delivering free salads and bowls to hospitals in those cities. Local restaurants in Seattle and San Diego are following suit, keeping staff employed while providing an invaluable service.

  • Shifting Gears to Create Respirators: The shortage of N95 respirators in hospitals is of top concern to hospitals and health workers – without which could endanger health workers and weaken the coronavirus response in the U.S. Now, there is a call for companies to shift operations to heed the demand. General Motors CEO Mary Barra is offering the automaker’s closed factories for the production of ventilators as the crisis persists and 3M is already increasing production of its current respirator manufacturing facilities – and has announced it is shifting production so “more of our production capacity [is] dedicated to supplying healthcare and government/emergency response.”

  • Changing Over Operations to Make Sanitizer: A number of diverse brands are stepping up to completely shift their production facilities over to address the shortage in critical items like hand sanitizer. Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, the parent company of Christian Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy, has announced it will shift all perfumes and cosmetics production facilities to produce hand sanitizer, and provide the final product for free. While local Portland, Oregon company Shine Distillery has started offering a house-made sanitizer free to customers and neighbors. Other distilleries from across the nation are joining in – including companies in Washington, D.C., Durham, NC and Atlanta, GA.

While the term “business as usual” may no longer be relevant, this is a time when business can still provide critical products and services. Companies must contemplate how they can be innovative, think fast and most importantly, bring humanity into decision-making. Businesses that take a community-first approach to fighting this crisis can provide life-saving solutions and step up in a way that will earn high marks from stakeholders across the globe.

Brands Leverage Marketing Budgets to Share COVID-19 Messages

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 5:12pm


Brands Leverage Marketing Budgets to Share COVID-19 Messages

As the coronavirus global pandemic continues to grow across the world – with half of humanity currently under “stay at home” orders –  it is critical that each and every person play their part to slow and stop the spread. And as many brands shift operations, make major donations and activate employees to help, there is one other major resource brands have to offer: marketing spend. Here we’ve seen a number of brands step up to spread public awareness messages in the time of COVID-19:

  • In an effort to educate on the importance of physical distancing while also promoting a sense of unity during a time of self-isolation, ViacomCBS Entertainment and Youth brands have launched the #AloneTogether campaign, in partnership with the Ad Council. The effort is intentionally media agnostic so different partners can tailor the message to various audiences and platforms. Look out for social-led efforts from ViacomCBS, audio versions from iHeartMedia and custom #AloneTogether filters on Snapchat. 

  • As consumers continue to stock up on staple items including toilet paper, many areas are continuing to be impacted by shortages. A new ad campaign from Kimberly-Clark toilet paper brand Cottonelle seeks to stomp out fear and instead spread kindness. The campaign, entitled #ShareASquare, discourages consumers from hoarding products with a call to action stating “instead of stockpiling toilet paper, let’s stock up on generosity.” To make a more substantive impact, Cottonelle is donating $1 million, along with 1 million rolls of toilet paper, to the United Way Worldwide COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund and for each post with the hashtag #ShareASquare, Cottonelle will make an additional dollar donation to the fund.

  • To create a rallying cry around the importance of staying indoors, Nike led with a simple yet impactful message, “If you have ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play indoors.” To amplify these important words, Nike recruited athletes including Sue Bird, Tiger Woods, Elena Delle Donne, Serena Williams and Saquon Barkley who have all shared this message over their social channels. And to make staying indoors a bit easier, Nike is giving consumers access to the premium features of the Nike Training Club app.

Marketers have long known the power of a message to influence – not only purchase intent but also action. Now more than ever, Purpose-driven marketers are harnessing the power of their channels to spread critical messages to change behavior and spur action at a time when each and every individuals’ actions are paramount to the health and safety of families, communities and the world at large.

Coronavirus Is Putting Corporate Social Responsibility to the Test

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 5:12pm


Coronavirus Is Putting Corporate Social Responsibility to the Test

For millions of Americans, the new relief law will be too little too late. FSG co-founder Mark Kramer offers new advice on Harvard Business Review about how companies can meet the test that the COVID-19 pandemic is posing to all of us.

Companies: Your key constituencies—your employees, your customers, your communities, and your partners—will long remember how you acted during this crisis.

Read the article on HBR >

About FSG
FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm supporting leaders in creating large-scale, lasting social change. Through customized consulting services, innovative thought leadership, and support for learning communities, we help foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and governments around the world accelerate progress by reimagining social change. Learn more at www.fsg.org.

America's Charities Coronavirus Response Fund

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 5:12pm

Who and How Your Donation Will Help:

With a single donation to America's Charities Coronavirus Response Fund, you can simultaneously help meet immediate needs of individuals affected by the coronavirus, along with long-term measures designed to combat COVID-19 and prevent and prepare for similar outbreaks in the future. All donations to the America's Charities Coronavirus Response Fund will be allocated evenly between the following two America's Charities' vetted nonprofits: Feeding America and PATH

Are you an employer? Make this fund available for your employees to support by holding a coronavirus response campaign through your workplace! Click here for more information and to get started

How Feeding America and PATH are responding and helping coronavirus-affected communities in the U.S. and globally:​

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, they provide meals to more than 40 million people each year.

School closures, job disruptions, lack of paid sick leave and the coronavirus’ disproportionate impact on adults age 60 and older and low-income families further contribute to the demands placed on food banks. Lost wages or sudden expenses due to illness will be increasingly burdensome for the millions of people in America who live paycheck to paycheck. In the face of these challenges, the Feeding America network of food banks is uniquely positioned to help people who need it most during this pandemic.

While the media has reported greater at-risk factors for COVID-19 among the general population, such as age and pre-existing health conditions, many may not realize food-insecure households are likely more susceptible to the virus. This is believed to be due to lesser access to adequate health care, lower resistance or compromised immune systems, stigma or bias, or lack of information about proper prevention and care. Click here to learn more about Feeding America's coronavirus response and ongoing initiatives to this pandemic.

Long before the rise of COVID-19, PATH was already working with its partners to strengthen health systems and support safer, more secure communities in the face of health emergencies. Your support will help to ensure that the PATH team can strengthen epidemic preparedness, global health security, and improve health equity around the world.

The current coronavirus pandemic isn’t the first epidemic the world has seen, and it won’t be the last. That’s why PATH partners with healthcare leaders in more than 28 countries to fortify global health security. Our shared mission: strengthen health systems, identify disease threats, and prevent outbreaks from reaching a critical state.

As COVID-19 spreads around the world, we are working to lessen its impact. Our experts are partnering with governments to establish emergency operations centers; advise on testing, treating, and managing the outbreak; and stand up digital and data systems that support real-time disease surveillance. Click here to learn more about PATH's COVID-19 response and ongoing initiatives for similar outbreaks.

>> Click here to donate to America's Charities Coronavirus Response Fund no

Sysco Announces Take Out to Give Back Social Media Campaign

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 5:12pm

Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) today announced that it will kick off a month-long social media campaign, Take Out To Give Back, in conjunction with No Kid Hungry in order to provide healthy and nutritious meals in underserved communities while promoting the restaurant industry during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The campaign encourages the public to:

  • Order food to-go, for delivery, or through a gift card purchase;

  • Post photos of their purchases on social media;

  • Use the hashtags #takeouttogiveback and #nokidhungry;

  • Tag the restaurant in the post.

For every post, Sysco will donate 50 cents up to $150,000 to No Kid Hungry, a campaign run by Share Our Strength, a non-profit working to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world.

“Food is our business and our passion and given the current environment, it’s our best opportunity to not only make a meaningful difference in the communities where we operate and live, but also help drive traffic to our customers’ businesses in a safe manner,” said Neil Russell, Sysco’s vice president of corporate affairs. “Given the rapidly changing environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sysco is actively working to identify ways to support our customers, communities and business partners during this challenging time.”

With global engagement across social media platforms over the month-long period, Sysco hopes to drive business at restaurants across the country while feeding those in need.

About Sysco

Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries. With more than 69,000 associates, the company operates more than 320 distribution facilities worldwide and serves more than 650,000 customer locations. For fiscal 2019 that ended June 29, 2019, the company generated sales of more than $60 billion. Information about our CSR program, including Sysco’s 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, can be found at www.sysco.com/csr2019report.

Alexandra Cousteau’s Oceans 2050 Announces Landmark Study Concluding That Marine Life Can Be Rebuilt By 2050

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 5:12pm

Alexandra Cousteau, Founder of Oceans 2050, the campaign and action platform dedicated to restoring abundance to the oceans by 2050, announces that the science that underpinned the establishment of Oceans 2050 has now been made public. The international study, led by Oceans 2050 Chief Scientist Professor Carlos Duarte, demonstrates that recovery of marine life by 2050 is attainable if a key set of actions is employed at scale.

“Professor Duarte's evidence inspired the creation of Oceans 2050 as a platform to mobilize multisector alliances under the vision that the world’s oceans can be restored in one human generation by catalyzing regenerative markets while mitigating climate change,” said Cousteau.

Published on 1 April 2020 in the scientific journal Nature1, the research documents the recovery of marine populations, habitats and ecosystems following past conservation interventions and provides specific, evidence-based recommendations to scale proven solutions globally.

Key findings range from spectacular cases of marine megafauna rebounds such as that of humpback whales and northern elephant seals, to the recovery of fish stocks, pollution reduction and mangrove forest restoration. Importantly, the study noted that recovery time to rebuild key components of marine life can be accelerated to within two to three decades from today if climate change is tackled and a combination of six complementary “recovery wedges” are deployed.

 “2050 is an achievable goal,” said Cousteau, “and one that will deliver transformative benefits to both ecosystems and economies. By scaling-up critical interventions such as seaweed aquaculture for example, we will restore ocean health, establish an ocean-based economy and take substantive climate action.”

One of Oceans 2050 primary strategies is to advance the science required to demonstrate sequestration rates for seaweed farms globally and develop a voluntary carbon protocol to allow for the issuance of carbon credits by seaweed farms.

Per the study, the ocean currently contributes 2.5% of global GDP and provides employment to 1.5% of the global workforce with an estimated output of US$1.5 trillion in 2010, expected to double by 2030 – with increased attention on the ocean as a source of food and water, clean energy, and as a means to mitigate climate change.

“Success will depend on the collective realization that 21st century challenges demand a new operating system to feed and power the world in a regenerative way. We have to move beyond conservation to restoration and from sustainability to a core principal of abundance. With concerted effort, we can take this omni-win solution to scale,” said Cousteau.

“Humanity is at an inflection point when we can choose between a legacy of a resilient and vibrant ocean or an irreversibly disrupted ocean for the generations to follow,” Professor Duarte concluded.

# # #


Cindy-Ann Hersom, Communications Officer – Oceans 2050/Global Water Challenge - GETF

Email: ca.hersom@globalwaterchallenge.org 

Mob: +1 941 404 9087

About Oceans 2050


Established in 2018, Ocean’s 2050 mission is to mobilize a global alliance to restore the world’s oceans to abundance by 2050, in the span of one human generation. Founded and lead by Alexandra Cousteau, the platform identifies and develops solutions that harness the power of markets to reshape an ocean strategy fit for current and future challenges by producing impact at a scale that is meaningful for the oceans, the climate and the millions of people that depend on them.  

Alexandra Cousteau


Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, is an award-winning ocean activist and advocate for ocean restoration and abundance. As head of Oceans 2050, and as a senior advisor to ocean conservation organization Oceana, Cousteau collaborates with world leaders across sectors to influence, convene and mobilize action to achieve measurable outcomes that will make the oceans more biodiverse and abundant. 

Professor Carlos M. Duarte

Dr. Duarte is an international leader in multiple branches of biological oceanography and marine ecology and a leading authority on the ecology of seagrass meadows and coastal ecosystems. He is published on all aspects of seagrass ecology, from population biology to genetics, from depth and geographical distribution patterns to their role in biogeochemical cycles, and from conservation strategies to their sensitivity towards climate change. Many of his synthesis papers have set the stage for the field and his research is characterized by versatility, addressing marine ecosystems from the tropics to polar ecosystems, from macrophytes to microbes, and from coastal systems to open ocean gyres using a broad range of approaches. Duarte is Professor of Marine Science and Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology at KAUST.

Captions and copyright:

Photo 1:

Alexandra Cousteau on a scientific expedition with ocean conservation organization Oceana – examining rebounding coral reefs in El Nido, Philippines that were previously damaged by dynamite fishing. Photo credit: Danny Ocampo

Photo 2:

Seaweed farmer near Bali, Indonesia. Seaweed aquaculture is a scalable, revenue-generating opportunity for ocean farmers and farms of all capacities in all geographies to sequester carbon while providing regenerative ecosystem services to the oceans and significant economic impacts to communities. Photo credit: Carol Da Riva @caroldariva.photos

1Duarte, C.M., Agusti, S., Barbier, E. et al. Rebuilding marine life.Nature 580, 39–51 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2146-7

MENTOR and iCouldBe Launch Virtual Mentoring Portal

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 2:12pm

To ensure physical distancing does not mean social disconnection, MENTOR and iCouldBe launched the Virtual Mentoring Portal, a safe and monitored mentoring platform for mentors and mentees to continue their relationships while they may be separated due to COVID-19. 

MENTOR has partnered with iCouldBe, one of the leading experts on virtual mentoring in the U.S. since 2000, to develop this free and supported tool. iCouldBe is a long-time national partner of MENTOR’s presenting regularly at the National Mentoring Summit and serving as an advisor on the E-Mentoring Supplement to the Elements of Effective Practice, the cornerstone publication for quality mentoring. The Virtual Mentoring Portal leverages an existing platform developed by iCouldBe to support teens with a structured, evidence-backed curriculum focused on academic success, post-secondary education, work experience, exploring future careers, and developing webs of support.

The Virtual Mentoring Portal provides two distinct options to mentoring programs (1) unstructured communications in the form of monitored email, or (2) structured communications in the form of a research-backed curriculum.  The Portal provides virtual mentoring access for existing mentees ages 13 and older, and their mentors – it has been constructed with respect to best practices, safety, and data privacy and is a direct response to the needs of youth-serving organizations nationwide while they navigate COVID-19 repercussions.

In a MENTOR survey of mentoring programs conducted in mid-March, more than 90 percent of respondents said a virtual mentoring tool would benefit them and the young people they serve.  For programs that had not yet made the transition to virtual mentoring, three of the common barriers included liability, access to a safe virtual platform, and funding for technology. The Virtual Mentoring Portal is designed to address those three key concerns. MENTOR is actively fundraising to ensure the Virtual Mentoring Portal remains a no-cost tool while organizations face extraordinary circumstances.

“In this time of physical distancing, relationships matter now more than ever to drive belonging, connection, and stability. We must ensure that physical distance does not lead to disconnection and disorientation,” said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. “Whether they are facing inconvenience or instability, young people need us to show up for them, and partnering with a long-time ally and proven expert iCouldBe to launch the Virtual Mentoring Portal provides a way for mentoring programs to support mentors and mentees in continuing to show up for each other.”

“The entire iCouldBe community was inspired to rally around our extended family of mentoring organizations when we saw they were looking for new ways to connect their mentees and mentors to avoid in-person meetings during this time of physical distancing.  My first thought was to reach out to MENTOR to collaborate on quick, scalable solutions,” said Kate Schrauth, Executive Director of iCouldBe. “MENTOR has the vision to provide real solutions in extraordinary times, the trust of the mentoring community and the relationships with the people who deliver amazing mentoring programs across the country every day. iCouldBe has the safe and monitored e-mentoring platform and online, evidence-based curriculum that we could quickly and efficiently make available to thousands of mentees and their existing mentors. Together, we are ready to do all we can to support mentees.”

At the time of launch, the Virtual Mentoring Portal saw interest from mentoring programs nationwide serving a collective 20,000 youth. Learn more about the Virtual Mentoring Portal at www.mentoring.org/VMP


MENTOR is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. Our mission is to expand the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships nationwide. Potential is equally distributed; opportunity is not. A major driver of healthy development and opportunity is who you know and who’s in your corner. 30 years ago, MENTOR was created to expand that opportunity for young people by building a youth mentoring field and movement, serving as the expert and go-to resource on quality mentoring. The result is a more than 10-time increase in young people in structured mentoring relationships, from hundreds of thousands to millions. Today, we activate a movement across sectors that is diverse and broad and seeps into every aspect of daily life. We are connecting and fueling opportunity for young people everywhere they are from schools to workplaces and beyond.

ABOUT iCouldBe

iCouldBe is an e-mentoring program that leverages technology to connect mentees and mentors from any geographic location across the United States. With equity as our core value, iCouldBe serves young people who can thrive when they are surrounded by a web of adult support. Mentees and mentors engage weekly in online, evidence-backed activities that strengthen relationship-building skills and expand mentee support networks. Mentees learn to actively engage these new networks to support their efforts to map academic and career pathways and identify tactical steps to achieve their short and long-term goals. Since 2000, iCouldBe has served young people from our most underserved communities to ensure opportunities for success in school and life are universally available.

These Organizations Were in the Community, Helping to Address Nutritional Needs in Baltimore

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 2:12pm

At a ceremony at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2000 to celebrate what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 71st birthday, the late Coretta Scott King said, "The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members."  

That spirit of a compassionate community helped several organizations dedicated to address food insecurity, among other needs, in Baltimore as the pandemic upended service models.    

Our northern neighbors in Canada, call it ‘caremongering,’ the antithesis of ‘fearmongering.’ In both countries, local citizens are coming together without fear through social media to do what is needed – organizing volunteers, distributing food and critical supplies and running errands for vulnerable populations – all while maintaining appropriate social distancing.

This is the second in a series that aims to spread awareness of innovation at a local level and often on a small scale at some of Legg Mason’s partner organizations under the hashtag #InspireAction.  These organizations are:

The Maryland Food Bank
For 40 years, the Maryland Food Bank and its statewide network of community partners have served as second responders. Together, they’re uniquely positioned to provide food assistance to those who need it most, especially during emergency disruptions like natural disasters or government shutdowns – and now, COVID-19.

With COVID-19 spreading throughout the U.S. and Maryland schools closed, the food bank is buying food by the truckload to stock its own shelves as well as those of their community partners. They are adapting their distribution methods to ensure safe delivery and/or pickup of the food, especially for schoolchildren and seniors. They’re also building Back Up Boxes for situations where their programs and regular distribution channels are not available. Find out more here.

Restaurant Associates at Harbor East: Ensuring No Food Waste in a Time of Food Insecurity
The cafeteria at the Legg Mason building in Harbor East had an inventory of perishable food – from juice to yogurt to fresh fruit – that was clearly going to go to waste given the recent stay at home order issued by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.  At the same time, area organizations that are focused on food security have an ever-increasing need driven by the abrupt economic slowdown.  Those with inventories of perishable food have an opportunity to close the gap in the short term. 

The Franciscan Center of Baltimore recognized that with schools, stores, and transportation on pause for the foreseeable future, it will put further strain on Baltimore families.  The team at the Center is continuing to deliver approximately 1,000 homecooked meals a day, and donations such as this boost their inventory.  Likewise, Moveable Feast of Baltimore serves meals to some of the most vulnerable populations in Baltimore – those with HIV/AIDs, cancer and other long-term diseases.  Dietitians will check-in with clients regularly by phone and meals will be delivered via safe distance drop-offs. Both organizations were able to use the food from the cafeteria in their meal planning. 

To learn more about The Franciscan Center, click here.  For more information on Moveable Feast, please follow this link. 

About Legg Mason
Guided by a mission of Investing to Improve Lives™, Legg Mason helps investors globally achieve better financial outcomes by expanding choice across investment strategies, vehicles and investor access through independent investment managers with diverse expertise in equity, fixed income, alternative and liquidity investments. Legg Mason’s assets under management are $790 billion as of Feb. 29, 2020. To learn more, visit our website, our newsroom, or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook

Recycling Tips During COVID-19

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 2:12pm

Regulations may be shifting in communities due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and CDC guidelines. Many communities have temporarily suspended recycling programs because of worker safety and other limitations. As always — look up what you can recycle locally.

Keep America Beautiful® is not advising the general public to use PPE to pick up litter or manage their recyclables or waste in their homes given they are in short supply and desperately needed by the medical community.

When you take out the trash, make sure it all goes in the can and the lid is tight.

Click here to read COVID-19 recycling tips.

Larry Kaufman +1 (203) 659-3014 lkaufman@kab.org Keep America Beautiful http://www.kab.org http://www.twitter.com/kabtweet http://www.facebook.com/keepamericabeautiful http://www.instagram.com/keepamericabeautiful http://www.youtube.com/kabnetwork

EVP Global Inclusion & Diversity Leader, Porter Novelli's Soon Mee Kim to Host ColorComm Office Hours on Coming Together in the Age of COVID-19: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 2:12pm


EVP Global Inclusion & Diversity Leader, Porter Novelli's Soon Mee Kim to Host ColorComm Office Hours

Soon Mee Kim, EVP Global Inclusion & Diversity Leader at Porter Novelli and member of the ColorComm Board of Advisors, will host this week's Office Hours on 'Coming Together in the Age of COVID-19'. Don't miss this candid discussion about her personal experiences and actions we can take during this difficult time.

Friday, April 3, 2020 at 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST.

Free for ColorComm Members.

$15 for Non-Members.

RSVP now to receive the dial-in number.

For more information contact: membership@colorcommnetwork.com.

eBay to Match $1 Million in Funds Raised by Sellers Who Donate to COVID-19 Response

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 2:12pm


eBay news

The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting every one of us. One simple way you can make an impact is to sell for good. If you’re looking to declutter while social distancing, you can clear out and help make a difference. Now through April 14, eBay will match up to $1 million in contributions made by U.S. customers1 who donate a portion of sales to Feeding AmericaDirect Relief and Opportunity Fund. Funds raised will help support each charity’s relief response including providing meals to children out of school, providing essential medical supplies to health workers and supporting small businesses who are impacted. 

Sell. Donate. Do Good.

Have unused items at home? U.S. sellers can choose to donate between 10-100% of a sale to one of three partner charity organizations supporting the COVID-19 relief efforts: Feeding AmericaDirect Relief and The Opportunity Fund. When you donate a portion of your sales to charity, you will receive discounted seller fees, equal to your donation percentage.2

Other ways to make an impact through eBay:

Gifts That Give Back: U.S. shoppers can buy a Gifts That Gives Back (a direct charitable donation) from one of the charities helping with the relief efforts. These donations range in value, from $5 to $100, and have been set up in partnership with Feeding America, Direct Relief, The Opportunity Fund and more.

Give @ Checkout: Buyers paying via PayPal can donate between $1 and $25 during checkout every time they buy. Each week we’ll feature a different charity working on the relief efforts.

Beyond these efforts rolled out by eBay for Charity, the eBay Foundation also announced a $2 million grant investment in organizations supporting small businesses and COVID-19 relief efforts, including Alice, the Opportunity FundSmall Business Majority, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund and Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund. The eBay Foundation is also encouraging eBay employees to donate to relevant charities and launched a $1 million bonus matching gifts program for employees who are interested in donating to organizations responding to or impacted by COVID-19.

Start selling, and help make an impact. Head to our eBay for Charity page for more resources and details. For more eBay news and updates related to COVID-19, please visit our seller community center. For information on government support for small businesses, visit eBay’s Government Relations site at eBayMainStreet.com/Covid19.

1 eBay will match up to $1million in contributions from US users (excluding users in AL, MA, MI, SC, HI and IL) who donate to the partner charities between March 31 - April 14. Donations will be processed via PayPal Giving Fund.

2 Seller fees, including insertion and final value fees will be discounted, at a rate that is equal to the percentage of the donation.

IWBI to Lower WELL AP Exam Registration Fees Through 2020 to Help Build the Knowledge and Capacity the Market Will Need When We Go Back to Our Places of Business

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 2:12pm

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announced today that through 2020, it is lowering the cost of registration to pursue its popular WELL AP credential by over 50 percent, to $299US.  Students as well as individuals who are out of work or who have lost their jobs and are looking for a way to differentiate themselves as they re-enter the job market, will be charged only $99US, with IWBI covering the difference.

“There are more than 10,000 people from 80+ countries who are committed to the WELL movement who have already earned their credentials or are in the process to obtain them,” said Rick Fedrizzi, chairman and CEO, IWBI.  “These weeks when so many of us are responding to the stay-at-home edicts that are part of the virus defense present a unique opportunity to invest in yourself through education. We know that, on the other side of this, buildings, organizations and communities will need people who have deep knowledge and practical skills about how to turn spaces into places where people can be confident that they can thrive. This is one way we can help.”

Fedrizzi noted that IWBI has also launched the Task Force on COVID-19:  Prevention and Preparedness, Resilience and Recovery to identify and develop a set of signature deliverables and resources, including guidelines for individuals, organizations and communities to help make the massive amount of current health research and data amassed and integrated since the launch of the WELL Building Standard in late 2014, more readily available. The Task Force will also assess ways in which the WELL Building Standard (WELL) itself can be further strengthened so the system, which touches more than a half-billion square feet of space across 58 countries, can incorporate additional strategies to advance the role of buildings as part of the public health toolkit.  More information about the Task Force can be found here

“To deliver this at scale we need more knowledgeable people in the market,” said Rachel Gutter, president of IWBI, ”and the WELL AP is a signal of mastery of a new way of approaching design, construction, operations and maintenance with people’s health at the center.  The WELL AP is a leadership designation. It shows you have the discipline and the passion to deeply understand the holistic approach WELL demands. There’s never been a better time to get educated on WELL as a way to invest in your career and advance evidence-based solutions that benefit your organizations and communities.” Register to begin the journey towards the WELL AP here.

Gutter noted you can also take advantage of a free five-part virtual training series that will arm you with the knowledge and tools you need to pass the WELL AP exam with confidence and enthusiasm. Taught by one of IWBI’s most popular WELL Faculty members, Alex Spilger, of Cushman and Wakefield, course content will focus on the WELL Building Standard and each feature in its seven WELL v1 concepts. The course will also include breakout sessions and project scenarios to help you contextualize and apply knowledge. Upon completion of the training series, learners will receive a practice exam that accurately reflects the types of questions on the WELL AP exam.  Register for the exam prep series, sponsored by Delos, here. 

“WELL AP accreditation is overseen by third-party Green Business Certification Inc., which uses Prometric, a leading provider of technology-enabled testing and assessment solutions, to administer WELL AP exams,” said Gutter.  “Like so many organizations, Prometric has been impacted by COVID-19, and most of its global testing centers have been temporarily closed. As they begin to open and individuals can once again schedule their exams, we’ll be offering recorded exam prep sessions and we’ll schedule a refresher with Alex so candidates can feel up-to-the-minute confident and equipped for the day of the test.”

“As part of our efforts to do our part in the face of the COVID-19 impacts around the globe,” said Fedrizzi, “we will donate 20% of our 2020 WELL AP registration fees to Doctors Without Borders, as a way to support first responders everywhere.  We are deeply grateful to everyone who is on the front lines fighting to combat the very human effects of this terrible disease.” 

About the International WELL Building Institute
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive. The WELL v2 pilot is the latest version of its popular WELL Building Standard (WELL), and the WELL Community Standard pilot is a district scale rating system that sets a new global benchmark for healthy communities. WELL is focused exclusively on the ways that buildings and communities, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. IWBI convenes and mobilizes the wellness community through management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellness everywhere. IWBI is a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative, and helps companies advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the use of WELL. More information about IWBI can be found here. 

International WELL Building Institute, IWBI, the WELL Building Standard, WELL v2, WELL Certified, WELL AP, WELL, The WELL Conference, We Are WELL, the WELL Community Standard and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute pbc in the United States and other countries.

A Hero’s Story: How a Student Saved a Life with a Simple Swab

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 2:12pm

For high school students, junior year can be one of the most important and informative of their high school experience. They are taking their SATs, beginning to take electives, and generally preparing themselves for life in a world outside of the straightforward path of secondary education. For many students it is a time to explore their interests and contemplate how they want to make an impact on society. For Stanley Reynolds however, there was one unique qualifier to his resume that made him stand distinctly apart from his peers: lifesaver.

It was and still is one of my proudest accomplishments and is on my resume. It is painless and DKMS coordinates the entire process so it’s stress free. There’s really no reason not to do it.

 - STANLEY, bone marrow donor

In the spring of 2014 Stanley, then a junior at Rockhurst High School, saw what he believed to be a blood drive being held at his school and decided to stop by. He was told that, in addition to the blood drive they were also registering potential bone marrow donors with DKMS, an international nonprofit. Knowing little about the process, other than that it was incredibly rare to match a patient, Stanley decided to join in the off chance that he could potentially help someone in need.

A year later Stanley’s decision had faded in his mind and he was focused on his upcoming graduation and going to the state championship with his school’s lacrosse team...until he received a call from DKMS. “I really have no memory of when I got the call but I remember being surprised as well as thinking how cool it was I was matched,” says Stanley. “I felt special that I was matched with someone else over the hundred of thousands of options.”

Stanley knew little about his recipient, other than the fact that he was a man in his 40’s with a rare blood disorder. That and the fact that Stanley was his only match and his best chance at life. Despite originally fearing that donation would be a painful and scary experience, Stanley found the reality to be surprisingly simple. “Completely inconsequential,” Stanley remarked. “I had brought my laptop and watched some movies. Fell asleep several times.”

For Stanley, a seemingly small decision to register with DKMS at his high school in 2014 led to a man receiving a life-saving transplant a year later. Stanley is currently studying for his undergraduate’s degree and quite a bit busier than he was in high school, but when asked if he would donate again he replied yes without hesitation. “This is the potential to save a life,” Stanley pointed out. “How many chances like that do you get?


With the knowledge that young donors provide the highest chance of success for a transplant, the DKMS high school program is rallying students from around the country to register and turn a small moment in their lives into a lifetime for patients in need.

MetLife Foundation Donates $100,000 to Tampa Food Bank to Help Those Impacted by Coronavirus

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 2:12pm

MetLife Foundation announced today that it is donating $100,000 to Feeding Tampa Bay to help deal with increased demand for their services as a result of coronavirus.

Food banks face the challenge of getting shelf-stable food into people’s homes as quickly as possible, especially now that vulnerable populations such as the elderly have been advised to practice social distancing. In addition, food banks face greater need from families with children who no longer have access to meals at schools.

“We want to help those impacted by coronavirus,” said Mike Zarcone, head of Corporate Affairs for MetLife and Chairman of MetLife Foundation. “That includes the communities in the Tampa area where we work and live. We know that children out of school and seniors face food insecurity as a result of COVID-19, and we are committed to help.”

Feeding Tampa Bay serves communities across a 10-county area in west-central Florida that has been affected by the outbreak.

“Families who are already on a strained budget are facing even more challenging circumstances,” said Feeding Tampa Bay President and CEO Thomas Mantz. “To have partners like MetLife Foundation who lean into our response efforts with their generous support allows us to provide crucial food, supplies and resources to seniors who are isolated, children affected by school closures, and families who have lost paychecks.”


Media Contact: Liz Harish, 929-343-7473

About MetLife Foundation
At MetLife Foundation, we believe financial health belongs to everyone. We bring together bold solutions, deep financial expertise and meaningful grants to build financial health for people and communities that are underserved and aspire for more. We partner with organizations around the world to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help drive impact. MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2019, MetLife Foundation provided more than $860 million in grants and $85 million in program-related investments to make a positive impact in the communities where MetLife operates. To date, our financial health work has reached 9.9 million low-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit www.metlife.org.

About MetLife
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 markets globally and holds leading positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

Scaling Regenerative Agriculture: What We Can Learn From Innovative Beverage Companies

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 2:12pm


Scaling Regenerative Agriculture: What We Can Learn from Innovative Beverage Companies

Grow smarter, not harder. That’s regenerative agriculture in a nutshell. It’s a back-to-nature approach to growing that not only aims to do no environmental harm but also progressively improve ecosystems.

For beverage companies, regenerative agriculture represents one of the greatest business and sustainability opportunities today, tomorrow, and beyond.

“Essentially, we’re giving back what we’re taking,” Carine Christophe, Group Environmental Manager at Pernod Ricard, says. “We’re preserving, protecting, and nurturing the earth to ensure its resilience so we can produce quality ingredients for our beverages now and for generations to come.”

But here’s the thing: There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to regenerative agriculture. Crops vary. Growing sites and conditions range drastically across the globe. Business models and supply chain partnerships differ wildly from smallholder farmers to commercial-scale producers. And this means questions around scalability are top of mind and complex to navigate.

The good news? Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) members believe best practice sharing is key to helping organizations answer scalability questions for themselves.

From one-crop-shops to co-ops, read on to learn how a range of beverage brands are tackling regenerative agriculture.

Building a Sustainable Mung Bean Farming System in Bangladesh

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 11:12am

Japanese company euglena Co. has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to contract more than 10,000 farmers in Bangladesh through Grameen euglena, a joint venture with the Grameen Krishi Foundation in Bangladesh headed by Dr Muhammad Yunus. In collaboration with the World Food Programme, euglena Co. also aims to provide mung beans for 21,000 Rohingya people living in Cox’s Bazar. 

Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

In Bangladesh, 48 percent of the total workforce is engaged in agriculture. About 70 percent of the country’s population lives in rural areas and faces poverty. Moreover, about 60 percent of households in rural areas do not have access to a sufficient area of land to maintain their subsistence. In many cases, farmers work on land they do not own at very low pay. As a result, they often fall into extreme poverty. 

Mung beans are needed to produce bean sprouts, one of the most consumed vegetables in Japan. However, almost all the supplies of mung beans in Japan are imported and about 77 percent are from China while 22 percent are supplied by Myanmar according to 2018 trade statistics. On the other hand, mung bean prices have been increasing in the last 13 years ($660 per ton in 2004, and $2,380 per ton in 2017).  For this reason, it would be beneficial for Japan to have another source of mung beans to secure the sustainable production of bean sprouts.

Mung beans have long been produced and eaten by locals in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, a trial -harvest of mung beans started in 2010. After the implementation of a feasibility study on the contribution of a “development import plan demonstration project” supported by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in 2010,  large-scale harvest and exports to Japan began in 2012. 

Grameen euglena employs contract farmers and teaches them how to produce mung beans with better yield and quality. Harvested mung beans are purchased by Grameen euglena at higher than market price. Adequate-sized mung beans for producing bean sprouts (more than 3.5mm) are selected, exported to Japan and supplied to Japanese bean sprout producers. The rest of the mung beans are sold at cost in Bangladesh. This contributes to the improvement of nutrition in Bangladesh because mung beans contain proteins, minerals and vitamins.

Grameen euglena also opens multiple channels for farmers to sell their mung beans. According to their report, the income of local farmers has increased since they joined euglena Co.’s mung bean project. Along with this, euglena Co. has also initiated several training programs for farmers and provided a mobile app for them to measure their field land area for more efficient land management. 

Since 2018, the number of farmers involved in the project has exceeded 8,600. Furthermore, women were actively involved in this project, participating in the harvesting, dust removal and sorting process.

The company contributes by selling mung beans to a World Food Programme (WFP) project funded by the Government of Japan, which distributes mung beans to Rohingya refugees via e-vouchers given by WFP. 

Eliminating malnutrition and poverty has been the goal of the company since its foundation. “I realized, that the most serious problem when it comes to food security is not starvation, but malnutrition. That’s why I decided to found a company to solve nutritional deficiency problems in Bangladesh and improve the income of farmers in the country,” says Mitsuru Izumo, founder and CEO of euglena Co.

“This initiative by euglena Co. and Grameen euglena contribute to improving the lives of low-income people in Bangladesh through generating job opportunities for farmers, increasing their income and enhancing nutrition with the cultivation of technology for better crop yield and quality of mung beans. The company thus engages low-income people both as customers and producers and contributes to several Sustainable Development Goals through its business model” says Luciana Aguiar, the head of Business Call to Action.

For further information: 

BCtA: bcta@undp.org 
euglena Co.: https://www.euglena.jp/contact
BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.

About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID), and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org

About euglena Co., Ltd.: euglena Co., Ltd. is the first biotechnology venture company in the world that succeeded in outdoor mass cultivation of microalgae Euglena in 2005. The company strives to solve the global food and environmental issues through its business activities such as the research and development, production and sale of Euglena. The scope of business of the company leveraged on the technology stretches from healthcare (food and cosmetics) to energy and environment (bio diesel fuel and bio aviation fuel). The company established a joint venture, Grameen euglena, with Grameen Group in 2014.

What Can We Learn from Early Corporate Responses to COVID-19?

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 11:12am


What Can We Learn from Early Corporate Responses to COVID-19?

On March 30,  business leaders from 3M, Truist Foundation, and Walmart shared with FSG co-CEO Greg Hills what they are learning as they lead their organizations in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Our latest blog, by associate director Lakshmi Iyer, shares five practical lessons gained during the webinar.

  • Respond to immediate needs first
  • Dig into your core expertise
  • Be creative in your partnerships
  • Proactively address the impact on the most marginalized
  • Stay real, be nimble, and keep learning

Read the full blog >

About FSG
FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm supporting leaders in creating large-scale, lasting social change. Through customized consulting services, innovative thought leadership, and support for learning communities, we help foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and governments around the world accelerate progress by reimagining social change. Learn more at www.fsg.org.