A Grant Scam in Buffalo Has Painful Consequences for Local Nonprofits

Nonprofit Quarterly | March 23, 2018

Christina Sanford Gordon had a thriving Buffalo-based business as a grantwriter and fundraiser extraordinaire at least for a while, says New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is prosecuting Gordon for scamming more than 30 community organizations and churches out of around $200,000. Not only did she take her fees, she also told the organizations that they had won the grants applied for a fine short-term strategy, perhaps, but one that was bound to run into a wall pretty quickly.It may not have been quickly enough; on the basis of communications with a fictitious state grant administrator named Sylvia Gregory saying they had won a $500,000 capital rehab award, one church actually began to tear off their roof only to find that there was no grant application or award. Another made $345,000 in expenditures to prepare for receiving a grant. “Gregory” would also communicate the steps that the grantees had to take to receive the grants and the reasons why those grants were inevitably delayed. Even Schneiderman was taken aback. “Who would think you’d make up a grant administrator?” he said. The attorney general acknowledged the remarkable depth and elaborate nature of the scam, complete with award letters including one from the attorney general’s office. “She was very, very adept at getting word out there,” he said, but “it was not a great long-term strategy. Sooner or later, people realized they’re not getting the money.”

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NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

MB2 Dental Launches Charitable Organization

MB2 Dental | July 15, 2022

The dental partnership organization, MB2 Dental, has launched its own charitable Foundation – The MB2 Family Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission to provide financial assistance to its 5,000 plus employees in the event they experience unforeseen, life-altering hardships such as natural disasters, extended illnesses, injuries, and more. Team members may nominate themselves or others for consideration for a monetary donation. The work of the Foundation will also include providing donations to local charities and organizations at the request of MB2 Dental's doctor partners and employees. The Foundation thrives through the generosity of its team members. Funding for the Foundation will come from MB2 Dental's doctor partners and team members through optional paycheck deductions and other fundraising events. "The number one priority of any family is to take care of each other; this is our dental family, With affiliated practices in over 35 states, supporting our doctor partners and their teams in any way possible is a top priority. The individuals who make up our MB2 family have always been ready to jump into action and help one another without hesitation. The Foundation allows us to streamline this." -Dr. Chris Steven Villanueva CEO and Founder, MB2 Dental. MB2 Dental's previous charitable initiatives include annual doctor-led mission trips and donating to local organizations such as the North Texas Food Bank, The Genesis Women's Shelter, and Salvation Army. MB2 Dental also annually conducts The Elves Initiative, a cause led by Dr. Villanueva encouraging MB2 Dental home office employees to nominate coworkers, family, friends, and neighbors for financial assistance around the holidays. The success and growth of the Elves Initiative served as inspiration for the MB2 Family Foundation. About MB2 Dental- Dallas, Texas-based MB2 Dental is a first-of-its-kind Dental Partnership Organization (DPO) founded and led by dentist and entrepreneur CEO Dr. Chris Steven Villanueva, with a mission to empower dentists to preserve their profession. Since its founding in 2007, MB2 has partnered with hundreds of dentists to help them stay in the driver's seat as they maximize their talents, connect as part of a community and build exceptional wealth. MB2 currently partners with dentists and specialists in more than 35 states.

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NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

Charles Schwab Recognized by Points of Light for Driving Social Impact in Communities

Charles Schwab & Co. | June 17, 2022

For the sixth consecutive year, Points of Light, the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to accelerating people-powered change, recognized Charles Schwab among the 50 most community-minded companies in the U.S. For 10 years, The Civic 50 has provided a national standard for corporate citizenship and showcases how companies can use their time, skills, and resources to drive social impact in their communities and company. The Civic 50 honorees are companies with annual U.S. revenues of at least $1 billion and are selected based on four dimensions of their corporate citizenship and social impact programs – investment of resources, integration across business functions, institutionalization through policies and systems and impact measurement. Our commitment to giving back to our communities is entrenched in Schwab’s culture of service, and we are honored to be recognized again by Points of Light. Schwab is committed to meaningful community investments and partnerships that advance financial literacy and make lasting, positive change in communities across the country. The generous spirit of our employees is more important than ever as we strive to bring hope and opportunity to communities across the country.” Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation Schwab has a long-standing culture of strengthening its local communities through financial literacy, volunteerism and community support. Through its signature financial literacy program Moneywise America, Schwab aims to level the economic playing field by making free, high-quality financial education accessible to everyone, helping to close the financial education gap that most schools struggle to address. In addition to financial literacy, Schwab employees volunteer thousands of hours annually through Schwab Volunteer Week, skills-based volunteerism programs, and other employee-driven volunteer initiatives that benefit nonprofits, schools, students, teachers, parents and families nationwide. Schwab is committed to providing financial, people and intellectual resources that support social causes that are responsive to community needs and reflective of employees’ interests. In 2021 alone, Schwab and Charles Schwab Foundation provided $10.2 million in direct support to more than 3,500 nonprofit organizations, including nearly $2.5 million in matching funds to nonprofit organizations supported by Schwab employees. Also in 2021, 4,250 Schwabbies volunteered nearly 10,000 hours to benefit local communities. “Corporate leadership and commitment to civic engagement is critical for strengthening communities,” said Natalye Paquin, president & CEO of Points of Light. “Our most recent global research shows 86 percent of people say they expect companies to take action on a social issue. Companies like Schwab are leading the way and setting an example of how you can leverage your employee talent, business models and assets to create deep impact that drives transformational change.” The Civic 50 survey is administered by True Impact and consists of quantitative and multiple-choice questions that inform scoring process. The Civic 50 is the only survey and ranking system that exclusively measures corporate involvement in communities. About Charles Schwab & Co. The Charles Schwab Corporation is a leading provider of financial services, with 33.8 million active brokerage accounts, 2.3 million corporate retirement plan participants, 1.7 million banking accounts, and $7.30 trillion in client assets as of May 31, 2022. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of wealth management, securities brokerage, banking, asset management, custody, and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiaries, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., TD Ameritrade, Inc., and TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc., and their affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent, fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. Its primary banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank, SSB (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides banking and lending services and products. More information is available at https://www.aboutschwab.com. TD Ameritrade, Inc. and TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc. are separate but affiliated companies and subsidiaries of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. About Points of Light Points of Light is a nonpartisan, global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world. Points of Light envisions a world in which every individual discovers the power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies. Through 177 affiliates across 38 countries, and in partnership with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 16 million hours of service each year. Points of Light brings the power of people to bear where it’s needed most.

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NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGY

Engaging Networks Launches Powerful Nonprofit Texting Tools

Engaging Networks | August 17, 2022

Engaging Networks, a globally-trusted online fundraising and campaigning platform, will launch new texting capabilities, specifically designed for nonprofits and charities. The tools leverage a Twilio integration to support bulk sending of SMS and MMS messages to opted-in supporters and keyword management. "Many nonprofits can't afford the high cost to start a texting program or have to sparse data together in siloed systems to reach their supporters, Our new tools make texting more accessible and integrated for organizations to engage their supporters in seconds." -Dan Szymczak, Senior Director of Product at Engaging Networks. The new texting tools launch later this fall, just ahead of the 2022 year-end giving season. The tools build on innovative technology already available on the platform to enable features such as one-click donations and conditional content. In 2021, Twilio texting technology helped nonprofits send 17 billion messages across 195 countries. The addition of this important feature to Engaging Networks further positions the platform as the leading all-in-one digital engagement tool for nonprofits and charities. The launch is part of a larger redesign of the platform's email suite to allow for multi-channel messaging, with an easy-to-use interface across technical levels. The integrated texting and email tools come in response to the evolving digital landscape and growing power of text as a key nonprofit engagement channel. Layering rich data with advanced features, Engaging Networks' new messaging tools are designed to help nonprofits raise more money, win more campaigns, and instantly connect with their most loyal supporters. About Engaging Networks: Engaging Networks is an innovative digital engagement technology platform with the ability to fully adapt to a nonprofit's fundraising and advocacy needs. Engaging Networks proudly works with a variety of important organizations such as The Humane Society of the United States, National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Human Rights Campaign, PETA and Amnesty International.

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NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGY

American Water Charitable Foundation Announces Last Call for Water and Environment Grant Applications

American Water Charitable Foundation | June 13, 2022

The American Water Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization established by American Water, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announces last call for Water and Environment grant applications with a submission deadline of June 30, 2022. The Water and Environment grant opportunity, part of the Foundation’s Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program, supports projects or programs focused on clean water, conservation, environmental education, climate variability and water-based recreation projects, including splashpads. Eligible organizations can apply here. The American Water Charitable Foundation’s Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program supports impactful initiatives and programs throughout American Water’s national footprint. The Water and the Environment grant will fund efforts focused on our core passion – water – while engaging community members in learning how every drop counts.” Carrie Williams, president of the American Water Charitable Foundation The Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program focuses on three pillars of giving: Water, People and Communities. Within these pillars, three new grant opportunities will be available to eligible non-profit organizations throughout the year. Each grant cycle will be open for approximately 90 days. In addition to the Water and Environment grant, a Workforce Readiness grant opportunity will launch in July 2022 followed by STEM Education in October 2022. Since 2012, the American Water Charitable Foundation has invested more than $9 million in funding through grants and matching gifts that are important to our employees and positively impacting our communities. About American Water With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and regulated-like drinking water and wastewater services to more than 14 million people in 24 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to help keep their lives flowing. American Water Charitable Foundation The American Water Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides a formal way to demonstrate the company’s ongoing commitment to be a good neighbor, citizen, and contributor to the communities where American Water and its employees live, work and operate.

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