Business Briefs February 2014

Travel And Bidding Married In New Deal

Mitch-Stuart Inc. (MSI) and GiveSmart US announced a strategic partnership to match fund­raising travel and experience packages with bidding technology used at special events, auctions and others venues. The firms will also introduce their products and services to each other’s clients.

MSI has helped nonprofits raise more than $1 billion through travel and experience packages, according to the firm. GiveSmart provides a comprehensive service that assists nonprofits in creating a simpler auction process through a variety of bidding and silent auction tools. The bidding technology allows auction attendees and guests to bid on items via their own mobile devices and/or through GiveSmart’s onsite “con­cierge” bidders.

“We’re excited to partner with GiveSmart and introduce our clients to their breakthrough technology,” said Stuart Paskow, CEO of MSI. “We’ve helped more than 10,000 nonprofits raise a collective $1 billion+ through the years…and with this potential added resource, our clients will benefit even more,” he said.

“This is truly a win-win” for everyone,” said Bob Treash GiveSmart’s key strategic relationships officer.

“One of the most important keys to our success as a travel and experiential resource has been our devotion to first-rate service,” said Michelle Cohen, president of Mitch-Stuart, Inc. “Give Smart has also committed itself to top client service — so it is indeed the perfect fit.”


Good360 Awarded $850K For Disaster Recovery Tool

Good360 in Alexandria, Va., was the only nonprofit to take a prize in the Verizon Powerful Answers Awards. The organization won in the sustainability category for its Disaster Recovery360 platform, an online portal that will help ensure that the long recovery process for disasters in the U.S. and abroad will be met with the right goods at the right time.

Good360, awarded $850,000 for its innovation, is creating a circle that includes companies, charities and individuals working together to make giving simpler, more efficient and more effective. The Disaster Recovery360 portal is the nonprofit’s latest push in that effort.

Nonprofits working in disaster areas will be able to request the right goods during different stages of a disaster, and enable donors — corporations and philanthropists — to fulfill these critical needs at the appropriate time.

“Sixty percent of goods donated during disasters end up in landfills because the majority of donations arrive in the first six weeks of a disaster. They are often items that are not needed at that time, but may be needed months or even years down the road to recovery,” said Good360 President and CEO Cindy Hallberlin. “Disaster Recovery360 is not just about environmental sustainability. It is about sustaining lives and communities long after the initial concern for a disaster is over.”

The mobile application can use Verizon’s 4G LTE network to connect to the portal, as well as be hosted on Verizon’s cloud solution. Good360 will use its existing logistical capabilities to deliver goods to designated nonprofits working to get affected communities back up and running. For more information about the finalists and judges, visit Verizon Powerful Answers web site.


YFU USA Moving To Historic Bread Factory

Youth For Understanding USA (YFU) will be returning its national headquarters to Washington, D.C., this fall after an 11-year absence. The new office space at the historic Wonder Bread Factory is centrally located and will play a pivotal role in a new era for the 62-year-old nonprofit.

During the past year, YFU has committed to developing and implementing a new vision, commencing with the creation of four YFU Centers of Excellence. This new physical space at Wonder Bread will promote strong collaboration amongst these units and allow increased opportunities for community engagement.

“YFU has a rich legacy built over more than six decades of excellence in cultural exchange, but we cannot simply rely on our past if we are to develop and expand our programs to provide the best possible experiences and opportunities,” said Michael E. Hill, YFU President and CEO. Occupying nearly 32,000 square feet, the new headquarters will provide YFU the opportunity to become a part of the local community, and offer an easily accessible location for visitors and staff.  NPT


YWCA USA Joins ‘Million Women Mentors’ Initiative

YWCA USA is partnering with the “Million Women Mentors” (MWM) initiative, which launched last month during National Mentoring Month, in Washington, D.C. The initiative will support the engagement of one million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mentors — male and female — to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women to pursue and succeed in STEM degrees and careers.

Million Women Mentors is a collective effort of more than 40 nonprofit, media, education and government industry partners and nine corporate sponsors. “The YWCA USA is pleased to collaborate with the Million Women Mentors initiative in order to strengthen STEM programming for girls and young women across the country,” said Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., CEO of the YWCA USA. “In 1997, we developed a program called TechGYRLS to address the evident and significant gender gap in girls’ interest and skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.”

During the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs has been three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs. While women comprise 48 percent of the U.S. workforce, just 24 percent are working in STEM fields — a statistic that has held constant for nearly the last decade, according to the YWCA. While 75 percent of all college students are women and students of color, they represent only 45 percent of STEM degrees earned each year.