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Moody’s Math Challenge Addresses Nutrition in Schools

The annual Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge took place last weekend, and perhaps more than ever, culminated in an event that encouraged students to apply math to real-world situations. Since 2006, the M3 Challenge has been a prominent national contest that fosters student leadership, scholarship, problem solving, and teamwork. Created by the Moody’s Foundation as a way to inspire high school students to pursue careers in math and science, the M3 Challenge has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship prizes to contest winners annually.  This year’s M3 Challenge charged high school students with the task of determining whether school lunches can be nutritious, delicious, and affordable, and asked them to use math to find an answer. According to the M3 Challenge Media Center,  “This year’s competition topic stems from concerns surrounding childhood nutrition and obesity, which have been in the spotlight since First Lady Michelle Obama announced her health and wellness platform for children,” of the relevant topic. This past February, the White House and USDA announced school wellness standards in accordance with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, making the M3 Challenge topic more appropriate than ever.   It’s commendable that the Moody’s Foundation not only challenged high school students to apply math to a relevant, real-life situation, but that the M3 Challenge also raised awareness about health and nutrition in schools in the process. Says Moody’s CEO Raymond McDaniel, “I don’t think enough is being done,” of the importance of fostering a love of math and science in young people, and why the Moody’s Foundation continues to up the ante with the M3 Challenge.   Explains McDaniel, a strong proponent of corporate philanthropy, “The acknowledgement that we have challenges in the sciences and in math with our young people and with our educational system is really just the first step in the process. We have a lot to do to make sure that we are as competitively positioned in the global economy in the future as we have been in the past.”  Learn more about the annual M3 Challenge and this year’s topic by visiting the Moody’s Foundation M3 Challenge page.
IMG: via Shutterstock

The annual Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge took place last weekend, and perhaps more than ever, culminated in an event that encouraged students to apply math to real-world situations. Since 2006, the M3 Challenge has been a prominent national contest that fosters student leadership, scholarship, problem solving, and teamwork. Created by the Moody’s Foundation as a way to inspire high school students to pursue careers in math and science, the M3 Challenge has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship prizes to contest winners annually.

This year’s M3 Challenge charged high school students with the task of determining whether school lunches can be nutritious, delicious, and affordable, and asked them to use math to find an answer. According to the M3 Challenge Media Center,  “This year’s competition topic stems from concerns surrounding childhood nutrition and obesity, which have been in the spotlight since First Lady Michelle Obama announced her health and wellness platform for children,” of the relevant topic. This past February, the White House and USDA announced school wellness standards in accordance with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, making the M3 Challenge topic more appropriate than ever.

Moody's Math ChallengeIt’s commendable that the Moody’s Foundation not only challenged high school students to apply math to a relevant, real-life situation, but that the M3 Challenge also raised awareness about health and nutrition in schools in the process. Says Moody’s CEO Raymond McDaniel, “I don’t think enough is being done,” of the importance of fostering a love of math and science in young people, and why the Moody’s Foundation continues to up the ante with the M3 Challenge.

Explains McDaniel, a strong proponent of corporate philanthropy, “The acknowledgement that we have challenges in the sciences and in math with our young people and with our educational system is really just the first step in the process. We have a lot to do to make sure that we are as competitively positioned in the global economy in the future as we have been in the past.”

Learn more about the annual M3 Challenge and this year’s topic by visiting the Moody’s Foundation M3 Challenge page.

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A Culture of Philanthropy, In Times of Tragedy and Always

Typhoon Haiyan
Typhoon Haiyan affected WAY too many people.
Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

The Wall Street Journal recently reported about the newest corporate organization stepping up to support victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Moody’s Corporation has announced that it has made a $50,000 donation to the American Red Cross through The Moody’s Foundation, its philanthropic branch. According to The Wall Street Journal, the American Red Cross is part of the world’s largest humanitarian network, and the donation from Moody’s will go towards Red Cross operations providing food, shelter, and emotional support in the Philippines.

The company is known for its dedication to philanthropy, both through The Moody’s Foundation, and on an individual employee level. Moody’s CEO Raymond McDaniel explains, Moody’s commitment to our communities encompasses our businesses, philanthropy activities and employee engagement programs, touching on all three components of the triple bottom line. They enrich the lives of the people of Moody’s, the people of the communities where we live and work and the people of the world. Employees are encouraged and rewarded for their personal philanthropy and volunteerism,” of the culture of humanitarianism fostered by the company.

Moody’s Corporation has a global reach, so its “community” spans 29 different countries where the company maintains a presence. Frances Laserson, President of The Moody’s Foundation, says, “Our thoughts are with the people of the Philippines and their families around the world as they begin to recover from this tragic event. We encourage everyone who is able to contribute to the relief and rebuilding effort,” of the ways in which the company culture inspires philanthropy in employees. It’s really heartening to witness a major corporation encouraging its employees to support important causes in any way they can. Moody’s has a long history of philanthropy and supporting disaster relief efforts; it isn’t the kind of company that only supports those in need when it becomes relevant to do so.

For more information about The Moody’s Foundation, visit www.philanthropy.moodys.com.

 

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Resources

Applying for a Grant

grant
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Grants can be a great way to fund new or existing projects and research that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. For organizations, grants can help them afford to carry out a new project or pay for the staff to complete it. New equipment could be bought with grant money, initiatives carried out. Not all projects require capital, but many do—and grants can be a great resource, especially since it’s money that won’t need to be paid back.

But the application process is often time-consuming and strenuous, and takes some practice. Those considering applying for a grant should allow ample time to 1) Decide if a grant is the right course of action; 2) Find the right grant for the project; and 3) Prepare and write a grant proposal.

There are three main sources when it comes to who offers grant. These sources include the following:

1)   The government—local, state, and federal

2)   Businesses and corporations

3)   Foundations

Federal grants are often available, and depending on the grant can be quite large as well. For example, each year thousands of students receive Pell Grants, which pay for part or all of a student’s college tuition. Many students wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford move on to higher education if it wasn’t for this federal assistance.

Businesses and corporations are also a great resource when searching for grants. Large corporations like Moody’s Corporation have a multitude of grants available in several different categories. Moody’s CEO Raymond McDaniel has actively cultivated a spirit of giving within the corporation.

Perhaps the largest source of grants are foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Each year, foundations provide millions of dollars to community groups and organizations. For example, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded over $25 billion since its inception, and continues to grant more each year.

Once an appropriate grant has been located, the application process can begin. This generally consists of paperwork, usually including a short proposal and possibly credentials. Every organization has different guidelines to follow, which should be clearly outlined on their website or grant documents. Those applying for a grant should follow instructions as closely as possible or risk their proposal being thrown out.

 

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Corporations Can Compete for Best CSR Practices

microsoft
IMG: Peteri / Shutterstock.com

We’re seeing more and more corporations these days encouraging and becoming more involved in philanthropy. Corporate Social Responsibility is growing in the business world as the American public has come to expect companies to do their part and give back to the community.

Each year, the Ethical Corporation awards the Responsible Business Awards to corporations that are at the top of the CSR game. By receiving one of their many awards, corporations not only gain recognition as a leader in CSR, they also get the acknowledgment they deserve for their responsible business practices and have the chance to network with other like-minded responsible corporations.

Considering how many corporations have developed outstanding CSR programs in the past few years, awards like this are both competitive and inspiring. CEOs for companies like Microsoft, Moody’s, Starbucks, and Goldman Sachs have strongly encouraged philanthropic activity among employees through gift matching and promoting volunteer opportunities.

For example, one of the most innovative scholarship programs is Moody’s Mega Math Challenge, or M3. The competition is put on by Moody’s, which is run by CEO Raymond McDaniel. Any high school junior or senior can participate in the challenge, which asks students to use applied mathematics to solve real-world problems. Teams of 3 to 5 students work together for fourteen hours to solve the problem, using only publicly available resources and data. A total of $115,000 in scholarships will be awarded this year.

Companies competing for the Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Awards can be considered for several categories of CSR, including Best Employee Engagement, Best B2B Partnership, Lifetime Achievement Award, and more. The judging panel includes a variety of personalities and backgrounds, such as Daniel Franklin of The Economist and Mike Barry from Marks and Spencer. Last year’s winners include the likes of Heathrow, Timberland, Marks and Spencer, and Coca-Cola.

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Organizations Profiles

Moody’s Supports Women’s World Banking (WWB) Program

WWB
IMG: via WWB

Becoming an expert in microfinance is no easy feat, even if an individual has the resources to cover his or her education and training. Without resources, this task is extremely difficult. The Women’s World Banking Program (WWB) recognizes the obstacles women in difficult situations face in order to accomplish their goals. Microfinance is a career path that aims to help poor and near-poor households become self-sustaining and successful.The WWB provides micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses without access to banking services the financial support they need to succeed. Moody’s Corporation and CEO Ray McDaniel recognize the value that the WWB contributes to society and supports the organization.

To read more about the Women’s World Banking Program (WWB), click here!

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Profiles

Prominent People in Philanthropy: Raymond McDaniel

Moody's CEO Raymond McDaniel
IMG: via moodys.com

Raymond McDaniel is a heavy hitter in the world of philanthropy, if only because as CEO of Moody’s Corporation he is responsible for many of the decisions that the company makes in its corporate social philanthropy program.  However, he is quick to assure people who ask that,  while he may be in charge of the company, much of the support for the programs that Moody’s Corporation leads comes from the employees themselves.

“The apparatus that we have here for creating visibility around our programs, and that encourages employees to participate in the programs, works very well,” Raymond McDaniel explained to Leaders Online Magazine in an interview. “Our employees know that Moody’s is involved in it and that it’s a good thing to do. The participation levels are strong. So I very much support what we’re doing, but I don’t think I need to drive momentum behind this. We’ve already got momentum behind this.”

Read the rest of his profile here.