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A Wall Street Winner Aims to Make Giving More Transparent and Personal

A Wall Street Winner Aims to Make Giving More Transparent and Personal

Philadelphia native Scott Krase graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. Not long after, he joined Oak Hill Advisors, a leading alternative investment firm with approximately $32 billion under management. Krase was one of the firm’s first employees, which has now grown to a cohort of over 300. Like many other Wall Street donors we cover, Krase has refined his philanthropic interest areas through the years and eventually set up a foundation—though not an ordinary one.

In 2017, he launched one2one USA Foundation, whose mission is to transform the existing charity model by connecting individuals directly with those in need in a customizable, transparent and impactful way.

We’ve written before about other philanthropic models that aim to disrupt how giving is done—including in ways that bypass nonprofits and government agencies to better connect givers and receivers. Most notably, GiveDirectly has received tens of millions of dollars from the Open Philanthropy Project and other funders to fight poverty in Africa through direct cash transfers. Other ventures have sought to enable donors to get more closely involved in the causes they support, building relationships with nonprofits. Another thread of efforts aims to enable donors to track exactly how gifts are being used to boost confidence that their money is being used effectively.

The one2one USA Foundation is a good example of the movement to change philanthropy along these lines. Its website says it was founded “to create a charitable vehicle that facilitates grants to individuals in a manner that would be tax-deductible and completely transparent to the donor so they could follow their funds, witness the impact to their donee and know how each dollar was spent.”

“This is a very simple story,” Krase told me, explaining his motives for the venture. “I think philanthropy has a major problem right now. I don’t think it’s transparent enough.”

Getting Involved in Giving

Krase’s own formative experiences in philanthropy play heavily into the story of the creation of one2one. Before Krase went into business, he was a middle school math teacher. And through the years, he’s been a youth sports coach. Outside of education and youth, he also has a passion for veterans. “I feel we under-appreciate the sacrifices made by people on our behalf. And so even though I’m not one, I’ve been passionate about giving back to that group,” Krase explained to me.

Krase joined the board of Third Option Foundation, which he calls an amazing organization. “Third Option supports a very small group of our military that no one really understands called the CIA paramilitary,” Krase says. He also joined the board of Venture for America and New Castle Basketball Association in Westchester County, New York.

Early on, Krase, his wife Christie and their four kids focused the family’s philanthropy on writing checks to help primarily young people. “A computer here and there, a tutor, scholarship money, basic expense money. We also visited campuses, went to tutoring, and all those experiences were incredible. Our kids remain Facebook friends with some of these kids,” Krase explains.

Thinking about the value of these hands-on experiences, Krase and his family decided to launch one2one foundation. Behind the venture was a question that’s been getting a lot of attention across the charitable sector: “How do we make philanthropy more efficient, more transparent, and more impactful?” Krase asks.

For Krase, making sure both a donor and a donee have a strong experience that inspires more giving is key. “I believe the donor and donee experience is what drives philanthropy,” he says.

He goes back to his initial experiences with Third Option, and actually seeing firsthand the impact on military officers and families. “We saw it. We know who they are. We meet them.”

As we’ve often reported, many nonprofits make a point of connecting their donors to the people the organization is serving, knowing that these personal experiences and bonds can drive greater giving. Meanwhile, funding intermediaries like community foundations often serve as matchmakers to pair donors with the right nonprofits. What’s different about one2one is that it aims to systematize such relationship-building and the dividends that come with it.

How It Works

Early on, Krase tapped fellow Penn 1989 alum Wendy Prager, a longtime Wall Street lawyer, to serve as executive director of one2one. As it turns out, Prager was also becoming more fully engaged in the nonprofit world, and interested in cultivating more of these hands-on experiences. In a recent conversation in New York, Prager explained that she became an advocate for the new College Scholars Program of NJ SEEDS, mentoring academically successful high school juniors and assisting them in a structured college prep process.

When one2one was getting off the ground, Prager tapped NJ SEEDS as its first partner. To date, one2one has now partnered with some 70 organizations, including with Urban Word NYC, Arts Council of Princeton, A Step Ahead Prosthetics and Youth Shelter Program of Westchester.

In our conversation, Prager broke down one2one’s process, which begins when a donor approaches them. Donors sometimes come to one2one with a specific cause in mind, at which point the foundation immediately begins the search process and obtains a suitable pool of donees. The process includes applications containing personal statements and interviews.

A detailed, confidential summary of donees is then presented to the donor, who can choose one or more donees to fund. Once matched, one2one uses the funds to assist the donee directly, either by paying a service provider (say, a medical expense), or by making purchases for them (say, a prosthetic). Donees can then opt to stay connected with their donors through videos, reports and in-person meet-ups.

One2one recently brought in HBO as a corporate donor, helping the media company with work related to foster youth and those impacted by the California wildfires. In this realm, one2one works with organizations like Foster Pride. “This is a great organization we knew from early on. We’re looking for nonprofits who really know their constituents and view us as helping their mission. That makes a really good partner,” Prager explains.

One2one was recently chosen by the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show as a partner for its national Charity Auction and Sweepstakes campaign through the Charity Network, which is raising money for ALS awareness in honor of a longtime staffer. The foundation will use the funds raised from the project to provide support for people suffering from ALS, including helping with medical bills, medicine and transportation.

Powerful Connections

Prager tells me the story of Myleanna, a young athlete whose left leg was amputated from the knee down after a lawnmower accident in 2017. The initial prosthetic didn’t fit her well, and the family was on the hunt for a better option so that Myleanna could get back to playing the sports that she loved. The one2one USA Foundation and partner A Step Ahead Prosthetics eventually brought this powerful story to a donor, who stepped in.

A one2one donor couple, Oak Hill Partner Jason Serrano and his wife Aleta, had an interest in helping at-risk youth attend vocational school. Through partner My Brother’s Keeper in the Bronx (not be confused with the Obama outfit), the Serranos helped Luis attend school to become a certified electrician. Luis now has plans to join the MTA or Amtrak.

“The whole experience was very impactful. It motivated me to do more because you got to see the experiences behind the person and their change. Our goal is to form a friendship to support him as he faces other challenges in life,” Serrano says.

Krase’s biggest hope for one2one is that it continues to connect donors with these types of experiences and inspire greater generosity. A key way he sees the venture inspiring greater giving is by making it easier for donors to act on their charitable impulses in a way that’s streamlined and effective. “Now, they don’t have to go through all the stress of creating a charity, and within a couple of days can stand up their own customized charity. What an awesome product,” Krase says.

Student Meets Her University Donors

Student Meets Her University Donors

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By Robert Wirsing – September 5, 2019 

 Siga Diarra, the daughter of a Malawian immigrant and the oldest of three siblings being raised by a single mother, recently met the couple donating money towards her four year education at Tulane University. With the help of her donors Michael and Jillian Pohly and the one2one USA Foundation, Diarra is able to pursue her dream of becoming a neurosurgeon, inspired by her sibling’s battle with a neurological disorder. 

Meet Jimmy Kimmel at JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! And have him Draw your Portrait

Meet Jimmy Kimmel at JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! And have him Draw your Portrait

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A Note from Jimmy Kimmel: 

One of our longtime and most beloved staffers has been diagnosed with ALS (a progressive neurodegenerative disease). In support of him and the countless others affected by it, the team at “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” is raising money for ALS research to find a cure as well as help patients diagnosed with this devastating disease. 

Celebrities, athletes and musicians have all come together to offer rare experiences you can win to support the fight against ALS. Donate to this once-in-a-lifetime experience and, with any luck, I’ll be drawing you soon. Thanks for your support! 

– Jimmy Kimmel and the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” staff and crew 

NO DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Must be legal U.S. or Canada resident (excluding Quebec) 18 or older. Ends 12/15/19 at 12:00PM PT. Limit 10,000 entries (including bonus entries) per person, regardless of method of entry. Odds depend on number of entries. Enter by donating at www.prizeo.com/kimmel or see Official Rules on the site for instructions on how to 

enter without donating. Void in Quebec and where prohibited. Additional terms, conditions, & restrictions apply. Visit www.prizeo.com/kimmel for Official Rules & complete details. Sponsored by Project ALS, one2one USA Foundation, and ALS Association Golden West Chapter. 

ABOUT PROJECT ALS 

Project ALS identifies and funds the most promising scientific research that will lead to the first effective treatments and a cure for ALS. By recruiting the world’s best scientists and doctors to work together-rationally and aggressively-we can develop a better understanding of the ALS disease process and, in parallel, better therapeutic strategies. 

ABOUT ONE2ONE USA FOUNDATION 

one2one USA Foundation transforms the existing charity model by connecting individuals directly with those in need in a customizable, transparent and impactful way. Our hope is to create a community of active Donors who, by helping one person at a time, will collectively improve countless lives. 

ABOUT ALS ASSOCIATION GOLDEN WEST CHAPTER 

The ALS Association Golden West Chapter is dedicated to the fight against ALS in many ways, including funding global research efforts, supporting scientific and clinical collaboration, connecting people with ALS to clinical trials, partnering with multidisciplinary ALS clinics and centers, educating the public about ALS, providing professional care management services to families facing ALS, pursuing important public policy initiatives, and bringing the ALS community together. 

Windsor girl receives new prosthetic

Windsor girl receives new prosthetic

By Dylan Kuhn – WIVT-TV
August 5, 2019

WATCH IT HERE

WINDSOR, N.Y. – A Windsor girl was given some help so she can do more of what she loves. 9-year-old Myleanna Seidlecky participated in her final fitting for her prosthetic blade at A Step Ahead Prosthetics in Hicksville on Long Island. 

A lawn mower accident led to Myleanna having her left leg below her knee amputated. A Step Ahead was able to gift her a new prosthetic blade thanks to the One2One USA Foundation. Myleanna is an active runner and dancer, and this lighter prosthetic blade will help her run faster and perform better. 

She tried on her blade and tested it out for the final time before bringing it home where she will now be able to incorporate it into her everyday life. 

The blade is not covered by insurance so without the help of One2One this would not have been possible for Myleanna.

Stepping Out

Stepping Out

Hicksville facility fits 9 year old with prosthetic leg

By Allison Eichler – Hicksville News August 6, 2019

“It happened so fast, a split second, but from day one she was strong as can be. An absolute rockstar.” These words come from 9-year-old Myleanna Siedlecky’s mother, Jessica, as she told the story of why her daughter needed a below-the-knee amputation on her left leg.

It was a late April day in 2017, and Myleanna was just 7 years old as she was helping out with mowing the lawn. Riding around on a zero turn mower, the youngster fell while trying to retrieve her shoe that was slipping off. Last Friday, the pair, along with Myleanna’s grandmother, traveled four hours by car from their countryside home to A Step Ahead Prosthetics in Hicksville, where the fourth grader was fitted for a prosthetic blade. 

Citing colors and patterns such as pink, ocean, mermaid and “glittery titanium,” Myleanna had previously worn seven different prosthetic legs for her below-the-knee amputation, but this marks the first blade, and eighth prosthetic, she’s worn. Better suited for athletic activities, the blade will allow Myleanna to perform better at what she loves most: running, soccer and basketball. 

“We live in the country and [riding the lawn mower] was something that I always did growing up, I never once even thought about the possibility of [falling off] happening,” said Jessica, who is just as athletic and energized as her free-spirited daughter. The pair cartwheeled and ran down the hall together in the prosthetics office as Myleanna tested out her blade. Presenting the blade to Myleanna were Gardenia Cucci, executive director at one2one USA Foundation, and Erik Schaffer, owner of A Step Ahead Prosthetics since he opened the facility in 2001.

Myleanna’s new leg came to her as a donation through one2one, an organization that pairs donors looking to make a meaningful contribution with individuals in need. In this case, a one2one donor was matched with A Step Ahead to provide a grant to a youth in need. Myleanna was selected as the grant recipient and was gifted her blade. “She’s grown as a little person coming out of her shell and hitting all her little milestones, I don’t think this little girl has got any limitations in her life,” said Schaffer, who has worked with Myleanna from the start in designing and fitting prosthetics for her, training her and working with her to overcome her adversities. “[The blade] is going to take it to the next level for her. Just like [Myleanna] and others, it’s why I get up in the morning. It’s very satisfying and gratifying knowing that you’re able to change lives.” 

Over the course of what Jessica has called an extremely long journey, she’s been swept through a whirlwind of emotions. “A ton of different emotions throughout the entire process, from never thinking that I was going to be happy ever again to seeing how [Myleanna] responded has been truly amazing, and she just sets her heart to something and she makes it happen,” Jessica mused. “Nothing holds her back.” Since Myleanna’s accident, the Siedlecky’s have become advocates for lawn mower safety. But above all, Myleanna has learned how to make the best out of her situation. 

“Since day one, I’ve told her people are not staring to be mean, they stare because they’re curious, they don’t understand,” explained the youngster’s mother. “She makes positively of every situation. At first, it was ‘I can’t,’ but then once she realized ‘wait a second, I can,’ she’s just truly grasped that and ran with it.” 

At the moment, the family is saving money to bring Myleanna to Florida so she can meet Winter and Hope, a dolphin with a prosthetic tail and a dolphin rescued as a calf, respectively, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.