LifeWorks Launches 2020 Campaign to End Youth Homelessness in Austin

LifeWorks | January 20, 2020

LifeWorks, an Austin-based nonprofit organization that supports youth experiencing homelessness, has officially launched a fundraising campaign to end youth homelessness in Austin by the end of 2020. Their goal is to raise $4.9 million over the course of the year to create the housing and programming needed to immediately serve more than 250 youth identified as experiencing homelessness in Austin between the ages of 18-26, and to continue to scale programs and services to serve additional youth in 2021.


Not-for-profits who invest in their nonprofit overhead can reap benefits that far outweigh financial rewards.

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Aplos Joins ASG to Scale Up Industry-leading Nonprofit Software Platform

ASG | February 24, 2022

ASG, a portfolio company of Alpine Investors that buys and builds vertical SaaS companies, announced that it has acquired Aplos, an industry-leading platform for nonprofits of all kinds, including faith-based organizations, K-12 schools, arts and cultural associations and more. Aplos provides a full suite of SaaS and FinTech tools, including fund accounting, financial reporting, donation tracking and fundraising tools, and people management. Through one unified solution for nonprofit management, Aplos empowers nonprofits to advance their missions and serve their communities. Our goal from day one has always been to meet the software needs of the full nonprofit sector, but to get there we needed to find the right financial partner. I am excited to have found a partner in ASG that believes in the value of serving nonprofits as strongly as I do. This new partnership equips Aplos to ramp up our team, fuel our product development, and invest in the future of this incredible community.” Tim Goetz, Aplos founder Aplos was founded in 2009 in Fresno, Calif. after Goetz couldn’t find a simple, affordable fund accounting software for his church, where he served as executive pastor. Since then, Aplos has grown to a team of over 65 employees who are deeply committed to making an impact with nonprofit organizations. From its initial launch as a web-based fund accounting software, Aplos now includes solutions for church management, donor management, event registration, websites, and fundraising. Today, over 10,000 organizations utilize Aplos to engage over 5 million donors and supporters around the world. Aplos marks the 44th acquisition for ASG and its first in the nonprofit software industry. Aplos will also welcome Anush Vinod as CEO, who was most recently an executive at a high-growth e-commerce business and a member of Alpine Investor’s CEO Program. “Aplos is an exceptional platform, built by innovators who care deeply about serving nonprofits and churches,” said Vinod. “The team’s passion to innovate for their customer is a worthy and inspiring mission. Nowhere is this mission more apparent than in the products, which carry the spirit of this relentless commitment to delivering great technology. For these reasons – and many more – I’m excited to lead Aplos in its next phase of growth.” About Aplos Aplos is a cloud-based system designed specially to serve the needs of nonprofit and church organizations of all sizes. The Aplos all-in-one platform takes the stress out of finances and creating reports, streamline administrative tasks, and make giving faster and more effective. Users can fundraise with the use of online donation tools, custom communication, donor database reports and event registration. Aplos enables organizations to manage all of their financial, donation and donor information in one place. About ASG ASG, backed by Alpine Investors, is a unique and fast-growing software business that buys and builds market-leading vertical SaaS companies. ASG believes deeply in the power of people and data to grow great organizations, and that sharing knowledge, expertise, and resources across its community of businesses drives exponential growth. Founders of leading SaaS companies continue to trust ASG to grow their businesses and build even stronger legacies for the future. About Alpine Investors Alpine Investors is a people-driven private equity firm that is committed to building enduring companies by working with, learning from, and developing exceptional people. Alpine specializes in investments in middle-market companies in the software and services industries. Its PeopleFirst strategy includes a CEO-in-Residence program which allows Alpine to bring proven leadership to situations where additional or new management is needed post-transaction. Alpine is currently investing out of its $2.25 billion eighth fund.

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Rachael Ray's Philanthropic Initiatives Hit $1 Million in Support for National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Scholarships

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation | January 27, 2022

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) recognized Rachael Ray's affiliated philanthropies, including The Rachael Ray Foundation and the Yum-o! organization, for crossing the $1 million threshold of support for NRAEF scholarships that fund students pursuing higher education in the restaurant, hospitality, and foodservice industry. The $1 million milestone is the culmination of 15 years of support for NRAEF scholarships from Rachael Ray's charitable organizations. The latest gift of $50,000 will provide 10 scholarships to deserving students in the 2022-2023 academic year. To-date, support from the Rachael Ray Foundation and the Yum-o! organization has enabled 285 scholars to pursue careers in the restaurant, hospitality, and foodservice industry. It's hard to overstate the impact that support from Rachael Ray's organizations has had on the NRAEF's ability to offer financial help to deserving students who are pursuing careers in our industry. For 15 years, her organizations have remained some of our most charitable partners, enabling 285 scholars to pursue higher education and building ProStart programs at over 30 schools through Grow Grants. We look forward to our future partnership with her as we develop the next generation of culinary talent." Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF Rachael Ray scholars have gone on to work in top restaurants and hotel kitchens, while others have launched their own businesses or pursued graduate degrees. Thanks to the partnership with Rachael Ray's philanthropies, NRAEF has also facilitated scholarship awards to deserving students featured on the Rachael Ray Show, including the winners of the Cook your Way to Culinary School competition and contest. "My first job was a dish machine operator in a restaurant. I know first-hand the importance of being involved in the restaurant and food service community and how it can impact your life," said Rachael Ray. "For a waitress from upstate New York, to be able to help deserving kids pursue an education in the hospitality industry makes me extremely happy. The NRAEF has been an incredible partner over the years, and I look forward to building upon the first $1 million awarded." In addition to funding NRAEF undergraduate scholarships, Rachael Ray's organizations have supported ProStart students and communities through the Rachael Ray ProStart Grow Grants, providing a total of $590,000 in grant funding to 35 deserving ProStart schools across the country since 2020. Selected schools received grants to build or upgrade their programs to help students learn career-building skills in the restaurant, hospitality, and foodservice industry. The NRAEF's Scholarships & Grants Program awards $1 million annually to high school and undergraduate students pursuing restaurant and foodservice related degrees, and educators committed to furthering their education or professional development in culinary education and restaurant or foodservice management. The restaurant and foodservice industry is one of the largest employers in the U.S. with 12.8 million employees, and an additional 2 million positions will be added over the next decade. The NRAEF's programs have proven successful at recruiting and training the workforce needed to meet the industry's growth – 3 out of 4 students who have received an NRAEF scholarship are still studying and/or working in the industry. About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry's training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today's and tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide "opportunity youth" with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. About the Yum-o! Organization Yum-o! is Rachael Ray's nonprofit organization that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. By providing the tools to create easy, affordable and delicious meals, Yum-o! is changing the way America eats. Yum-o!'s three work areas include educating kids and their families about cooking, feeding hungry American kids and funding cooking education and scholarships. About Rachael Ray Rachael Ray is a television personality, businesswoman, celebrity cook, philanthropist, and author. She hosts the Emmy-award winning daytime talk show, Rachael Ray, and the Food Network series 30 Minute Meals. In 2007, Ms. Ray launched a nonprofit organization, Yum-o! that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. In 2010, she launched the pet food line Rachael Ray Nutrish, which fully funds The Rachael Ray Foundation whose goal is to support causes that help animals in need, and Yum-o! Related initiatives. Ms. Ray also has a line of kitchen items as well as home furnishings.

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Community Brands Collects 7 TrustRadius Top Rated Awards

Community Brands | May 16, 2022

Community Brands, the leading provider of cloud-based software and payment solutions for associations, nonprofits, and K-12 schools, earned seven 2022 Top Rated Awards from TrustRadius with multiple accolades for both its GiveSmart and MIP Fund Accounting brands. GiveSmart, the leading fundraising management system for nonprofits and schools, earned four Top Rated Awards, receiving acclaim in the Nonprofit Fundraising, Event Management, Virtual Event, and Donor Management categories. The recognition for its Event Management and Virtual Event solutions marked GiveSmart's second consecutive year with Top Awards in the two categories. GiveSmart's Top Rated Award for Donor Management came before the full implementation of SimplyFundraisingCRM, which it acquired in March to further strengthen its powerful platform. These awards are based directly on feedback from their customers. TrustRadius reviewers highlight GiveSmart's ease of use and scalability for larger events, as well as their helpful support staff."  Megan Headley, VP of Research at TrustRadius MIP Fund Accounting, the nation's leading nonprofit cloud-based, SaaS fund accounting software, took a trio of Top Rated Awards for Nonprofit Accounting, Accounts Payable, and Expense Management. After earning the 2022 Most Loved Award earlier this year, MIP repeated its 2021 Top Rated awards in the Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable and Expense Management categories. MIP, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, continues to build on a history of excellence. In 2021, it garnered three Best of Awards for Feature Set, Support, and Usability attributes. "MIP reviewers on TrustRadius value the custom reporting that improves their organization's flexibility and experience with external audits, along with reliable customer support," added Headley. Since 2016, the TrustRadius Top Rated Awards have become the B2B's industry standard for unbiased recognition of technology products. Based entirely on customer feedback, the awards have never been influenced by analyst opinion or status as a TrustRadius customer. This year's Top Rated Awards program assessed 60,000+ customer reviews and chose software product winners across 501 technology categories. GiveSmart and MIP Fund Accounting by Community Brands are proud to create products that inspire such gracious feedback in our user communities. About Community Brands  Community Brands is the leading provider of cloud-based software and payment solutions to associations, nonprofits, and K-12 schools powering organizations to engage the people they serve through programs and events, raise funds to enable their mission, and manage their financial operations. The Community Brands portfolio provides the industry's most complete set of software solutions for nonprofits and K-12 schools of all sizes with purpose-built award-winning solutions. Community Brands' products are bound by a common purpose to serve the organizations that make communities a better place to live. About GiveSmart  GiveSmart is a mobile bidding, fundraising, event management, and donor management software. Our mission is to help nonprofits, schools, and foundations reach their fundraising goals while creating an engaging, exciting, and easy giving experience for their donors. All. Year. Round. GiveSmart has helped our partners raise over $5.4 billion. About MIP Fund Accounting  MIP Fund Accounting is accounting for your nonprofit's future. Designed to track unlimited funds and manage your financial books with ease, MIP is the nation's leading cloud-based, SaaS fund accounting solution for nonprofits, K-12 schools, healthcare organizations, and government organizations across the country. Our software handles the intricate financial process in a streamlined, user-friendly system. Manage your nonprofit's finances, track every fund, and follow every dollar. About TrustRadius TrustRadius is the most trusted research and review platform for business leaders to find and select the right software for their needs. Decision-makers across industries rely on verified, peer-based guidance and research from TrustRadius. Vendors engage and convert high-intent buyers by telling their unique stories through rich reviews. Over 12 million visitors a year create and engage with high-quality review content and data on Headquartered in Austin, Texas, TrustRadius was founded by successful entrepreneurs and is backed by Mayfield Fund, LiveOak Venture Partners, and Next Coast Ventures.

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Venterra Realty Donates $75,000 to Save the Children to Support Children in Ukraine

Venterra Realty | April 13, 2022

Venterra Realty recently contributed $75,000 to global humanitarian organization Save the Children. The donation is in support of children in Ukraine and the surrounding region who may be caught in the middle of armed conflict, forced to flee their homes, and exposed to injury, hunger, and winter weather. Venterra itself contributed $50,000. In addition, the company matched dollar for dollar, any additional donations made by employees. Venterra employees made numerous generous donations, which helped the overall contribution to reach over $75,000. Save the Children has been working in Ukraine since the start of this escalating conflict in 2014. The organization is now scaling up their operations to support children and families impacted by this devastating crisis, distributing critical emergency supplies and establishing safe spaces for children where possible. Save the Children staff and volunteers are distributing food, water, and hygiene kits to refugees arriving at the Romania-Ukraine border and in reception centers. Up to six million children trapped inside Ukraine are in imminent danger as an increasing number of hospitals and schools come under attack. The situation is changing by the hour, with all children in Ukraine now at grave risk of physical harm and severe emotional distress. At least 1.5 million children have left the country. "As a company that provides housing options for families, the thought of this many people suddenly being without a home, food or security is hard for us to imagine. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected," said Venterra CEO, John Foresi. We are very grateful for the outpouring of care and concern about this crisis by Venterra team members. The response was clearly represented in the number of generous contributions our employees made to raise funds for Save the Children. While we cannot deliver help personally, we trust this donation will support those who are already on the ground delivering aid to children and families directly impacted by this devastating conflict." Andrew Stewart, Venterra Chairman About Venterra Founded in 2001, Venterra Realty owns and manages 66 communities and more than 19,000 apartment units across 13 major US cities that provide housing to over 38,000 people and 12,000 pets. The organization has completed $7.4 billion in real estate transactions and currently manages a portfolio of multi-family real estate assets valued at approximately $4.0 billion. Venterra is committed to improving the lives of its residents by delivering industry-leading customer experience. About Save the Children Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we've changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

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