At their best, communities offer support to those most vulnerable in society, provide resilience in the face of crises, and inspire collective action in combating issues. Our future, and that of our children and their children, depends on how we shape our communities today.
The Good, the Bunny and the Money is our monthly take on the latest impactful success stories from across the U.S. and around the World.
'🌱 The Good' looks at nonprofits leading the way in impactful change;
'💰 The Money' takes a dive into the private-sector champions driving financial inclusion & economic development; and
'🐰 The Bunny' showcases the most promising collaborations between nonprofits and businesses working hand in hand for the People and the Planet.
In an increasingly complex world where we face the challenges of climate change, globalisation, and increased urbanisation, communities have never been more important. At their best, communities offer support to those most vulnerable in society, provide resilience in the face of crises, and inspire collective action in combating issues. Our future, and that of our children and their children, depends on how we shape our communities today. In this edition, we take a look at some of the non-profits, private sector and cross-sector collaborations making an impact.
🌱 The Good: Empowering youth through art
The challenge: In 2019, more people experienced homelessness in California than in any other state. Cost of housing, a lack of skills desired by employers and inadequate support systems are all factors that make today’s youth particularly vulnerable to becoming homeless as they transition into adulthood.
The opportunity: Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA) is a training program located in Berkeley, California which is committed to empowering homeless and at-risk youth. YSA does this by helping them develop vocational skills related to commercial arts and entrepreneurship. They upskill across three programmes:
- Fine Art Program: involves youth in creating original artwork made of recycled materials
- Community Art Program: engaging young people in neighbourhood revitalization through the creation of public art
- Art Entrepreneurship and Sales: help youth participate in the marketing and sales of art.
Attendees receive valuable experience to help find full-time employment, are taught the importance of healthy community relationships and are given the self-confidence needed to meet their full potential.
Better yet, they are one of our partners!
💰 The Money: Visa supports female and minority-owned small businesses
The Problem: Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities - with America’s minority-owned small businesses employing over 8.7 million workers. Minority-owned businesses are also more likely to offer support to their local communities. The pandemic has impacted all small businesses, yet those run by women and minorities have been disproportionately affected. A McKinsey study highlighted that limited access to credit is a key factor.
The Solution: Visa is launching a new initiative that will provide $1 million to support Black and women-owned businesses in cities across the US. The initiative will focus on helping small businesses improve their technology offering to streamline company operations - improving efficiency, reducing overhead costs and the need for credit. The initiative will also include a “multi-million dollar” marketing campaign, with ads encouraging consumers to shop from minority and female entrepreneurs and support from local business experts.
A hyperlocal focus: Visa’s initiative will be focused on 6 major US-cities: Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington D.C. Visa aims to target some of the hardest-hit cities and make a meaningful difference, quickly, for the communities and business owners needing it the most.
🐰 The Bunny: The Warriors on top of the volunteering game
The Golden Gate Warriors have been awarded the “Corporate Philanthropy Beyond the Check” award by the San Francisco Business Times, for engaging in volunteerism efforts and partnering with non-profit organisations to undertake various initiatives supporting Bay Area communities:
- Hoops4Kids Program: supporting non-profits across the San-Francisco bay area to provide opportunities for youths - like the East Oakland Youth Development Centre that develops social and leadership capabilities in children.
- Makin’ Hoops Program: Working with community all-stars the Good Tidings Foundation to support the refurbishment of basketball courts in underserved communities.
- Local Warriors: Warriors employees come together with organisations and community leaders to enhance public spaces, school grounds and parks in high-need communities.
Making an impact: Over the last year, the Warriors have invested over $3 million in donations, grants, and the Hoop4Kids and Makin’ Hoops programme.
🥕 What else we’re munching:
- Charity fundraising platform Omaze is auctioning two seats for one of Virgin Galactic’s next space flights
- Nonprofits get a new type of donation: cryptocurrency
- A nonprofit from Queens, NY looks to tackle gun violence through human connection
- A new nonprofit organisation looks to promote the remarkable stories of forgotten women of science
Image Credits: Cover Photo by Tim Mosholder via Unsplash; Youth Spirit Artworks; McKinsey; Golden State Warriors