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January 2019 Newsletter

And, we’re off!!!  2019 is slated to be our best year yet as we continue to work toward our goal of “Changing the Arc of History…..Just a Little.”

This year we are focusing on building on our collaborative networks to enrich and secure sustainability for our Partner organizations by building ties with our Stardust grantees and assisting with growth initiatives.  

Our year starts with the launch of a major new project with our Independent Media grantee in Ukraine, a new ED search at Illinois Joining Forces, the conclusion of a successful fundraising campaign at Syria Direct, and the completion of our 10th annual youth leadership conference at the NPH home in Honduras.

In this newsletter, you’ll find our first 2019 edition of GPD’s monthly update to you, our friends and fellow supporters. As always, feel free to reach out directly if we can be a resource to you or if you would like to explore ways we can work together.

New Media Development Group NFP works to develop anti-Russian Propaganda Election App

GPD’s Partner organization, the New Media Development Group NFP worked in partnership with GPD Stardust grantee Democracy Council to develop a smartphone election monitoring app for the Ukraine Center for Social Data (UCSD), the «Спостерігач» (Observer). Спостерігач will help ensure an independent, accurate and timely vote count as well as document real-time polling place violations.

US and EU intelligence experts assess that Russia will use maximum efforts to delegitimize the upcoming Ukrainian Presidential and Parliamentary elections through propaganda intended to undermine the accuracy of vote counts and further polarize Ukraine’s Russian and Ukrainian speaking populations.

UCSD is now working to deploy the Спостерігач app to “Samopomich” party observers in all of Kyiv’s 1,103 precincts during the Presidential election. The Ukrainian Presidential election is scheduled for March 31, 2019 and Parliamentary elections will be held in July.

Given their founding missions focused on democracy, GPD, NFP, and UCSD are working to streamline Спостерігач’s real-time reporting to the Central Election Commission and international media outlets.

NPH Conducts 10th Anniversary Annual Youth Leadership Conference

This January, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) conducted its 10th annual Youth Leadership Conference at the NPH Home in Honduras with funding provided by GPD. 6 Young NPH leaders from eight different countries gathered for a 10 day conference designed to provide them with tools that challenge these young adults coming from difficult circumstances to rise beyond the soft bigotry of low expectations to achieve their fullest potential.

One of the highlights of the Annual Conference has been the attendance of world-renowned Psychologist, Dr. Michael Maccoby who first studied the work of NPH Founder, Father William Wasson when he arrived in Mexico in 1964.  Dr. Maccoby met with NPH youth leaders and encouraged them to develop and strengthen their own personal philosophy of life. Dr. Maccoby has been a longtime supporter of NPH and its mission to provide comprehensive education, healthcare and spiritual formation vulnerable children living in extreme conditions.

Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Emerging Leaders Program Opens Applications for 2020

In 2013, GPD’s Executive Director, John DeBlasio, was accepted into the prestigious Emerging Leaders Program, led by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The year-long program provides exclusive opportunities for a diverse group of Chicago’s best and brightest to engage directly with top international influencers and thinkers while expanding their global acumen and key professional skills.

This month, The Council began accepting applications for the 2020 Emerging Leaders Program. John added, “In addition to advocating for young leaders to consider the program, I have to be sure to thank my fellow alums for bringing their business, civic, and academic acumen to what would became an incredible year to be an Emerging Leader. Several years later, I remain a stronger businessman and philanthropist because of your contribution to advanced global thinking, insights, and connection.”

More information on how to apply to become an Emerging Leader, class of 2020, can be found here.

Illinois Joining Forces’ Jaime Martinez named Director of IDVA

Please join GPD Charitable Trust in congratulating Jaime Martinez, Executive Director of Illinois Joining Forces (IJF), for being named Director of Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) by Governor J.B. Pritzker.
Lt. Col (R) Martinez is a 26-year Army combat veteran and a respected policy adviser in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of the Vice President, United States Senate and the Office of the Under Secretary of the Army.

After medical retirement from the Fort Belvoir Wounded Warrior Battalion in 2010, he has served as a staff attorney for veteran legal aid clinics, general counsel to the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs, senior counsel to Student Veterans of America (National), supervising attorney to the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-
AFLAN), and as currently the Executive Director of the Illinois Joining Forces.

John DeBlasio weighed in “Jaime is a transformative leader who has dedicated his life's work to serving others. His commitment to our Veterans at the State and community level were — without a doubt — the key factors in Jaime’s success in leading ILF over the last few years. I know that he will go onto his IDVA Directorship with the same amount of momentum and force. On behalf of GPD and my fellow IJF Board Members, thank you and many congratulations to Jaime. We wish you all the best.”


GPD Invests Not-For-Profit Donor Technology

As part of GPD’s commitment to supporting and advocating for its Partner organizations and Stardust grantees, GPD recently invested in in boodleAI—the leading machine learning peer-to-peer platform that empowers nonprofits to connect and engage with new donors and supporters.

boodleAI uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to help individuals and organizations identify and connect with contacts in their network that match their strategic goals. Many nonprofits use boodleAI to better identify quality donors and reach out to them through an effective peer-to-peer ask. The platform has successfully helped organizations like Syria Direct tap into new parallel supporter networks and grow their overall donor base.

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