Baby2Baby | May 31, 2022
Baby2Baby, the national organization that has been at the forefront of providing relief to vulnerable families dealing with the U.S.’ baby formula shortage, announced it will distribute 12,000 cans of formula to the greater Pittsburgh region by the end of this week. Distribution to hospitals, diaper banks, childcare centers and family resource centers across the area began yesterday, and was made possible through a donation from local Pittsburgh resident Thomas Tull and his wife Alba through their philanthropic organization, the Tull Family Foundation.
The formula shortage is still an absolute emergency for the families we serve. Our mission at Baby2Baby is to provide families with diapers, formula and other essentials that every child deserves, and that mission has become even more critical during this crisis. It has been horrible for every parent, but even more devastating for families living in poverty who don’t have the luxury of switching to a more expensive brand or access to multiple stores to find anything in stock. We are so grateful to Thomas and Alba Tull, and the Tull Family Foundation, for their extremely generous gift which is enabling us to provide hundreds of thousands of bottles of lifesaving formula to families in need across Pittsburgh."
Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer Patricof,Baby2Baby Co-CEOs
“Like many other essential items, the baby formula shortage in this country has become a major crisis since the onset of COVID. It is unimaginable what parents, especially those living below the poverty line, are having to deal with,” said Cathy Battle, Executive Director of the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank. “We are seeing this heart wrenching crisis unfold every day and are incredibly grateful for Baby2Baby’s work and support. This distribution will help provide relief to many babies and families in need in the greater Pittsburgh areas.”
Baby2Baby distributes to foster care agencies, hospitals, clinics, homeless and domestic violence shelters and resource centers. Since the pandemic began, it has delivered more than 300,000 cans. At the start of 2022, even before the recalls, they had requests for over 8.8 million cans. The organization has been using all of the resources at its disposal to support families impacted by the current shortage – including working directly with their wholesale partners to have formula made for a fraction of the retail cost and distributing donations from formula companies that weren’t impacted by the recalls. They have already sent formula to Pennsylvania, California, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Alabama and South Dakota, and have more on the way to communities in need across the country.
Baby2Baby, a non-profit organization led by Co-CEOs Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein that was named #1 nonprofit on Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies List for 2022, provides children living in poverty with diapers, clothing and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. In the last 11 years, Baby2Baby has distributed more than 240 million items – more than any organization of its kind – to children in homeless shelters, domestic violence programs, foster care, hospitals and underserved schools as well as to children who have lost everything in the wake of disaster. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, Baby2Baby has distributed more than 150 million items to families in need, serving over one million children across the country impacted by the pandemic.
Warm Up America! | June 21, 2022
Warm Up America! (WUA!), a national nonprofit that collects hand knitted and crochet items like hats, scarves, and gloves, has long been known for its charitable contributions around both the United States and the world. Founded in 1991 by Evie Rosen, a knitting instructor and philanthropist endorsed by TIME Magazine and Oprah Winfrey, WUA! has since donated over 1.4 million items to people in need made by over 30,000 volunteers.
Warm Up America!'s 30th anniversary was in 2021 and to celebrate, the organization raised money all year long to continue its mission of providing warmth to people in need. Volunteers who donated $30 or more to the organization were given access to 90 knit and crochet patterns for 7" by 9" blanket sections - WUA!'s prime need. Since its anniversary in 2021, Warm Up America! has raised over $80,000.
We are truly speechless at the generous monetary and material donations we've received from our volunteers and corporate partners. We couldn't sustain our organization without their support and we look forward to their continued partnership in helping us fulfill our mission."
Jenny Bessonette, executive director of Warm Up America!
WUA!'s ambitious volunteers, who set a goal of making 199,130 sections (1991 + 30) by the end of May, exceeded their target by over 10,000 sections. The 210,956 sections they donated are the most ever collected in one year. This number of sections amounts to over 4,300 adult blankets. The blankets made from these sections are going directly into the hands of people who need a dose of warmth and love.
All money raised for WUA! goes directly toward operating costs. The biggest expense is shipping - WUA! sends hundreds of boxes a year containing items made by volunteers to organizations helping people in need. As WUA! continues to grow, so do its shipping costs. Monetary donations are the best way to support Warm Up America! in its mission of providing warmth to people in need.
About Warm Up America!
Started in a small Wisconsin town with neighbors knitting and crocheting afghans for people in need, Warm Up America! is a charity that has warmed people's lives since 1991. Founder Evie Rosen came up with the idea of having volunteers knit or crochet small sections and others joining them together into blankets, which quickly caught on. Thanks to the generosity of knitters and crocheters around the country, today Warm Up America! distributes warm blankets, hats and other items to tens of thousands of people in need.
Classy | June 15, 2022
Classy, an online fundraising platform whose mission is mobilize and empower the world for good, announced the 2022 Classy Award winners. The 13 award winners were selected from a competitive pool of over 1,700 programs that participated in the application process.
Now proudly in its ninth year, the Classy Awards is one of the largest social impact awards in the country. This year's 2022 Classy Award winners include a diverse array of organizations, from internationally recognized nonprofits tackling global issues such as food scarcity and access to healthcare to local programs that are creating equitable opportunities for workforce development and education. In 2021, the winning organizations collectively operated programs in 22 countries, reached more than seven million people, supported 70,000 students, and have dedicated a total of 186 years to their causes and missions.
This year's class of winners includes 10 organizations awarded for their achievement in social innovation, one nonprofit awarded for its resilience in the face of ongoing challenges, a People's Choice winner, presented by LinkedIn for Nonprofits, which was determined by public vote, and a Lifetime Achievement Award, given to a nonprofit professional who has demonstrated excellence over the course of their career in the social sector
These 13 winners include:
Social Innovation: The following 10 Classy Award Winners are recognized for providing the most innovative solutions to the world's toughest social and environmental issues.
Sanku - Project Healthy Children
Trees for the Future
Green Bronx Machine
Games for Change
World Telehealth Initiative
Adapt and Overcome: NY Sun Works serves 65,000 students in 200 New York City and urban New Jersey schools and provides STEM-based lessons around subject areas like climate change and energy and water management. When the remote learning environment became necessary during the pandemic, NY Sun Works acted quickly to ensure students and teachers alike did not miss a beat. The result was the introduction of Home Hydroponic STEM Kits, which were distributed to 12,500 students in 79 schools with a remote-ready curriculum and online teacher training.
People's Choice Award: Presented by LinkedIn for Nonprofits, America Needs You was selected by the public for its Fellows Program that helps first-generation college students complete internships, graduate, and secure employment after graduation. 260 Fellows are anticipated to graduate in 2022—the organization's largest class yet.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Kailee Scales has been named the winner of the Lifetime Achievement award, honoring an individual for a lifetime of service to the social sector. Scales began her career as a fundraiser and organizer for Barry Ford, a Congressional candidate in Brooklyn, New York. She has collaborated with the WHO, UN, global CEOs and heads of state including Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, in developing solutions to the world's most complex problems. In June 2021, Scales was tapped by Adam Braun to serve as the CEO of Pencils of Promise. Pencils of Promise has built more than 580 schools that currently serve over 110,00 students across Ghana, Guatemala, and Laos.
The 2022 Classy Award winners were carefully selected from an appointed Leadership Council of distinguished social sector leaders and executives. The Leadership Council determined the winners by reviewing a proprietary profile built by Classy designed to elevate and standardize programmatic innovation and direct community impact..
Classy Award nominees set the bar for ambitious, innovative, and impactful work in service of the greater good. These groundbreaking nonprofit organizations work tirelessly, often with too little resourcing and recongition, to drive change in their communities. We started the Classy Awards in 2009 as a way to phonor this incredible cohort of organizations that give so much to the world. Congratulations to this incredible group of Classy Award winners, and a deep thank you for the work that you do."
Soraya Alexander, Classy's COO
About the Classy Awards
The Classy Awards is one of the largest award programs of its kind, recognizing excellence in social innovation. The year-long initiative identifies and evaluates organizations addressing hundreds of social problems around the world. The winners are determined by the Classy Awards Leadership Council, an honorary board of leaders and experts whose unique perspective and valuable insight establish this recognition as one of the highest honors in the social sector.
Classy, an affiliate of GoFundMe, is a Public Benefit Corporation and giving platform that enables nonprofits to connect supporters with the causes they care about. Classy's platform provides powerful and intuitive fundraising tools to convert and retain donors. Since 2011, Classy has helped nonprofits mobilize and empower the world for good by helping them raise nearly $4 billion. Classy also hosts the Collaborative conference and the Classy Awards to spotlight the innovative work nonprofits are implementing around the globe.
Nonprofit Finance Fund | June 30, 2022
Nonprofit Finance Fund is thrilled to announce Aisha Benson as its next CEO and President.
Benson, a leader with a substantial track record advancing racial equity in community development finance, was selected after an extensive nationwide search and brings exceptional industry expertise, deep networks, and a passion for social justice to the position. She will be NFF's third permanent CEO and President in its 42-year history.
Aisha is the right leader at the right time to support NFF's efforts to help mission-driven organizations achieve communities' aspirations. Her vision, experience and relationships are an exciting match as NFF continues its tremendous growth."
Henry A. J. Ramos, NFF Board Chair
Benson will start on August 8, and will be based in New York. She joins NFF from TruFund Financial Services, where as Executive Vice President and COO she was instrumental in developing strategy, securing new business, fundraising, and overseeing lending and tax credit services.
Benson serves on several key industry boards, including the Opportunity Finance Network, NMTC Coalition (Board Chair) and New York CDFI Coalition (founding member and Vice President). She also serves on the advisory boards of the Community Development Entities of US Bank and Coastal Enterprises.
"NFF has earned a reputation for challenging status-quo finance and philanthropy and advocating for the nonprofits we rely on for so much," said Benson. "I look forward to leveraging my industry expertise and lived experience to further hone NFF's strategy and approach to integrating the flow of capital and advisory services in ways that maximize community collaboration and create transformational, sustainable outcomes for communities of color."
Benson takes the helm from NFF interim CEO and President Trella Walker, who along with Executive Transition Team colleagues Kristin Giantris and Andrea Briscoe has been leading NFF since June 2021 when longtime CEO Antony Bugg-Levine announced his planned departure.
Over the past ten years, NFF has increased its loan portfolio by 400 percent, built a diverse team with a broad range of expertise, and accrued $54 million in net assets without donor restrictions (as of Dec. 2021) to invest in its mission. Recent initiatives including the Strategic Innovation Fund, COVID-19 recovery zero-interest loan funds, the State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey, and Rising Together exemplify NFF's commitment to using its assets and resources in service of community-based nonprofits, particularly those led by and serving people of color.
As Walker moves on from NFF she will continue her longstanding consulting practice focused on strategy and impact, organizational change management, and DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) and belonging—all areas of deep expertise she drew on to help NFF navigate a season of transition.
"It has been a true honor to help move NFF forward by strengthening our ability to serve communities of color with staff and resources aligned with our strategy and now Aisha can advance our commitment with great fervor and fortitude," said Walker. "I am excited to see NFF's next chapter."
"We are deeply grateful to Trella and the Executive Transition Team for skillfully guiding NFF in bold pursuit of its strategy, and know that other mission-driven organizations will benefit from her sage counsel," said Ramos. "To be in such a strong position, especially amid more global changes in our field and in the world, is a testament to the skill and determination of this team in service of NFF's mission."
Benson was selected as part of a comprehensive, nationwide search led by NPAG in partnership with NFF's board.
About Nonprofit Finance Fund
Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is a nonprofit lender, consultant, and advocate. For more than 40 years, we've worked to strengthen nonprofit organizations and improve the way money flows to social good. We believe that alongside others we must build a more equitable and just social sector, and are committed to helping community-centered organizations led by and serving people of color access the money and resources they need to realize their communities' aspirations.