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  • 09/01/2023 2:06 PM | Anonymous

    UpMobility Foundation is proud to announce the success of our partner organization Civic Unplugged’s first ever in-person fellowship at Georgetown University. Held in June, the fellowship featured 75 high school students from 41 states and Puerto Rico. The fellows included students who serve on their states boards of education, as well as developers of apps that protect the I.D. of minors online, and members of Google’s AI advisory group. Attendees met with leading figures in government, participated in workshops led by leading CEOS, attended briefings given by heads of executive departments, and forged lifetime friendships. Thanks in part to UpMobility Foundation’s support, the program was 100% tuition free.

    Founded in 2019,  Civics Unplugged is a non-profit that empowers young leaders with the training, funding, and community they need to become civic innovators. Prior to support provided by organizations like UpMobility Foundation, Civics Unplugged was running its fellowship program virtually. While that iteration of the program has certainly made an impact—-in just under three years, Civics Unplugged has engaged 3,000 Fellows from all 50 States—having an in-person fellowship has taken Civic Unplugged’s mission to a new level. Among other opportunities, fellows had the chance to meet Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Congressman Maxwell Frost, and Senator Chris Murphy, who delivered talks based on the topics our fellows were researching over the course of the week. The fellows also attended briefings with deputy directors from the US Department of State, Treasury, Education and Transportation to discuss avenues for  innovation to help the American people. 

    UpMobility Foundation views philanthropy as a way to catalyze lasting change, which is also the ethos drivingCivics Unplugged. In addition to providing invaluable memories to attendees, 16 teams of fellows pitched their innovative plans to help solve current challenges faced by the Departments of State, Treasury, Education and Transportation before a board of funders. We are excited to continue our relationship with Civics Unplugged, which in its short life as an organization has already moved over $250,000 to support their alumni’s projects and professional development, resulting in over 4,000,000 people being impacted by their work. 

  • 08/18/2023 1:37 PM | Anonymous

    Mark your calendars: September 20 kicks off the second annual Mohawk Valley Gives, a 24-hour community-wide giving day hosted by the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida counties. Last year, the initiative raised over $630,000 for Mohawk Valley nonprofits. When the results were in, the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA) of Little Falls came in third out of over 150 organizations in terms of money raised. MVCA’s success with Mohawk Valley Gives came as a direct result of the efforts of its Executive Director, Mary Ellen McGillan. Raising money is nothing new to Mary Ellen, who has also served as Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations at Golden Gate University  in San Francisco, California, Vice President of the Oregon State University Foundation and the Assistant Vice President for Development at the University of Notre Dame. 

    Read on for Mary Ellen’s tips on how your organization can maximize its impact during Mohawk Valley Gives.

     Make A Match 

    While it might seem crucial to begin your Mohawk Valley Gives campaign by reaching out to as many potential donors as possible, it is equally important to build on the relationships your organization already has. According to Mary Ellen,  partnering with an organization to do a  match or challenge with your nonprofit for Mohawk Valley Gives incentivizes other donors to give even more. Last year, MVCA received a match from the UpMobility Foundation that Mary Ellen called instrumental in drumming up additional interest from other donors. 

    Embrace Social Media

    In addition to posting about your organization’s participation in Mohawk Valley Gives on social media, Mary Ellen advises that you broaden your reach by asking board members and friends of your organization to post about Mohawk Valley Gives on their own accounts. If you need extra help, the Community Foundation offers Mohawk Valley Gives participants a social media toolkit that includes templates (and email templates) to help solicit your board and other volunteers for support. Mary Ellen used these “really good” templates for MVCA’s campaign last year.

    Put Donors First

    One of the best ways to establish relationships with donors for Mohawk Valley Gives or any other fundraiser is to practice what Mary Ellen calls “stewardship for donors.” In addition to thanking your donors for contributing to your campaign, you should also provide them with detailed updates regarding how their support has made a difference to your organization. This attention makes donors feel more invested in the future of your organization and more likely to keep giving. 

    Looking for some extra support and community as your organization starts its Mohawk Valley Gives journey? MVCA and the Little Falls Library will be holding a Mohawk Valley Gives kickoff event at the Little Falls Library on September 19th from 4-7 pm. No advance sign-up is required. 

  • 08/08/2023 4:15 AM | Anonymous

    When it comes to giving back, UpMobility Foundation believes that real change is not just made through writing checks. Whenever possible, we incorporate Catalytic Philanthropy into our giving. Coined by Mark Kramer in a 2009 article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Catalytic Philanthropy has funders take a hands-on approach as they share their knowledge and experience as well as personal networks. A prime example of UpMobility Foundation’s commitment to Catalytic Philanthropy is our work with Right to Start. 

    Founded in 2020 by Victor Hwang, who The Atlantic called “the guide to the next America,” Right to Start is a 501(c)3 organization that works to expand entrepreneurial opportunities for everyone, regardless of race, place or background. To this end, Right to Start promotes entrepreneurship through grassroots organizing and mobilizing, policy advocacy and engagement, as well as media and storytelling. Right to Start’s principles are a perfect match for the ethos of the UpMobility Foundation, as we strive to help people reach their full potential, including through entrepreneurship. 

    Like Right to Start, UpMobility Foundation believes that entrepreneurship can transform local and regional economies. In addition to being the entrepreneur behind TriNet, a publicly-traded human resources outsourcing company, our founder Martin Babinec has launched other organizations designed to empower entrepreneurs, including Entrepreneurs Across Borders (EAB) and Upstate Venture Connect (UVC). Like Victor Hwang, Martin recognizes the importance of  influencing public policy to make lasting change in society—he is also the founder of Unite New York (UNY), an organization that invests in reforms and political candidates who seek to create a fairer, more open State government. We see the UpMobility Foundation as well as EAB, UVC, and UNY coming together as a force to catalyze Right to Start’s efforts to advance entrepreneurship.  

    UpMobility Foundation believes that philanthropic giving combined with the power of  leveraging relationships and knowledge causes more good things to happen faster. With our work with Right to Start, we not only funded a grant request, we engaged in working on a long term strategy and invested in a relationship where we can share resources and introductions. We look forward to  helping Right to Start influence society through the creation of homegrown jobs, higher incomes, stronger communities, lower inequality and less poverty.

  • 08/03/2023 3:42 PM | Anonymous

    When The Leatherstocking Council of the Boy Scouts of America reached out to UpMobility Foundation in Fall 2022, they let us know that technology was the key to continuing to grow their impact. As the Council stated in their grant application: “Many of our Scouts come to us from underrepresented populations… their parents often do not have smartphones to download BSA's app and register immediately online.” This, in turn, contributed to a slow down at recruitment events: “Our recruiters were seeing long lines of parents or guardians waiting to learn more about Scouting,” they told us. “Many would give up before they reached our table because they did not want to continue waiting and then have to spend more time filling out a paper membership application.”

    UpMobility Foundation’s approval of The Leatherstocking Council’s grant request proved to be a game-changer for the organization, which serves eight Upstate New York counties. According to The Leatherstocking Council in a follow-up survey, the impact of the grant: “…can best be summarized by the elevation of our national rank for new member recruitment, year-to-year comparison, from one of the worst performing councils nationwide, to the second-best performing council so far this year - out of 250 councils!” As of June 22, 2023, The Leatherstocking Council is already 60% of the way to reaching its goal of recruiting 1,000 new Scouts by December 31, 2023. 

    UpMobility Foundation is proud to be a supporter of the Boy Scouts, an organization that truly encapsulates our Advancing Education grant making theme. The Boy Scouts have made a difference in the lives of countless men—including our founder, Martin Babinec. Martin achieved the rank of Eagle Scout as a high school student and feels that he continues to benefit from the experience. “Going up through the ranks of the Boy Scouts was my first opportunity to develop leadership skills that proved to be crucial building blocks for everything I did after,” Martin told us, also noting that the bonds he formed with his fellow Boy Scouts remain important to him to this day.

  • 11/07/2022 7:05 PM | Admin (Administrator)

    UpMobility Foundation partner Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA) came out big in the inaugural Mohawk Valley Gives campaign. By the end of the 24-hour campaign, MVCA raised the third highest amount out of more than 150 participating nonprofit organizations. UpMobility Foundation provided a match for the funds MVCA raised during Mohawk Valley Gives. 

    MVCA Executive Director Mary Ellen McGillan called Mohawk Valley Gives as well as the UpMobility Foundation match “game changers” for her organization. UpMobility Foundation looks forward to how we can continue to impact our partner organizations through programs like Mohawk Valley Gives.

  • 10/10/2022 3:05 PM | Admin (Administrator)

    On September 20, UpMobility Foundation participated in the inaugural Mohawk Valley Gives, a day of giving sponsored by the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. The campaign, which was designed to encourage financial support for partner nonprofit organizations in the Mohawk Valley, raised over $600,000 for 137 organizations. UpMobility Foundation matched money raised by some of our local nonprofit partners, including Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts and On Point for College. We were pleased to learn that the  Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts raised the third largest amount in the campaign.  

    UpMobility Foundation recognizes the incredible work that our nonprofit partner organizations have done and we look forward to being part of an effort to harness the community’s energy for the greatest possible impact.

  • 10/03/2022 7:00 PM | Admin (Administrator)

    The Bluegrass, Brews & BBQ Festival was held on September 17 in Little Falls, New York, drawing  a crowd of more than 1,600 people.  UpMobility Foundation is proud to be a supporter of the festival, which included noted bluegrass band Dirty Blanket as the headliner.  Several local craft  breweries and distilleries were represented at the event, including the Rock Valley Brewing Company, the DikinDurt Distillery, and the Erie Canal Distillers of Fort Plain. Performer Fran Piccininni of The Delaney Brothers described the Bluegrass, Brews & BBQ Festival as “Just a tremendous crowd of people with amazing energy…I doubt anyone will forget it anytime soon..”

    UpMobility Foundation is committed to lifting up Central New York through community development and tourism. We look forward to the continued evolution of  The Bluegrass, Brews & BBQ Festival and the ways  it will continue to enrich our community. 

  • 09/26/2022 3:36 PM | Admin (Administrator)

    UpMobility Foundation is pleased to announce our collaboration with the Little Falls Pop Warner program in helping to provide their participants with new uniforms. The Pop Warner program, which was founded in 1929, provides four levels of tackle football, flag football and spirit squads for boys and girls aged 5 to 13.  It is unique among youth sports programs in that it requires its members to maintain academic standards to participate.

     UpMobility Foundation recognizes the positive impact of programs like Pop Warner on the youth in our community. We are committed to continuing to lift up our youth in Central New York.

  • 09/26/2022 3:19 PM | Admin (Administrator)

    Since 1993, the Young Scholars Liberty Partnerships Program has helped thousands of talented students in Utica, New York graduate from high school and attend college. With support from the UpMobility Foundation, the Young Scholars were recently able to launch the Young Scholars Alumni Society, an online platform designed to connect their many alumni. Within two months of its launch, the Young Scholars were able to bring on nearly three quarters of their graduated classes to the platform. 

    UpMobility Foundation recognizes the importance that building a network plays in achieving success. We look forward to seeing how the Young Scholars Alumni Society will impact its users. In the words of Asia Rosa, a 2014 alumnus of the Young Scholars program, “This Alumni Society platform is the perfect networking opportunity for all Young Scholars at different stages in our careers to support, reconnect and meet others.”

  • 09/26/2022 2:20 PM | Admin (Administrator)

    UpMobility Foundation has partnered with nonprofit organization Water Mission to help restore  safe drinking water to Ukraine, as Russian forces continue to decimate the country’s infrastructure. At this time, more than 6 million people in Ukraine are without safe drinking water, a life-threatening situation that is especially dangerous for children. According to a 2019 UNICEF report, polluted water and unsanitary living conditions kill children more than 20 times more frequently than violence in countries experiencing an extended conflict. Continuing our focus on supporting long-term solutions, UpMobility Foundation has committed to help Water Mission install four reverse osmosis water treatment systems in one of Ukraine’s major cities.

    Founded in North Charleston, South Carolina in 2001, Water Mission has served more than 7 million people in 57 countries. Using a comprehensive approach that includes a focus on water, sanitation, and hygiene and is customized for each community they serve, Water Mission has created 2,800 safe water and sanitation solutions. UpMobility Foundation is proud to help Water Mission restore some of Ukraine’s infrastructure. 

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