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Foundation Fridays

RachelWortmann's picture

B Corp Re-Certification: Still Measuring What Matters Most

on Fri, 08/21/2015 - 09:41
Untours Staff Holiday Card

It’s no secret that we’re proud to be the first certified B Corporation. The B Corp mission aligns perfectly with the values we hold most dear here at Untours and being certified is our way to say to the world: we care. People, planet, and profit have always held equal ground here as we send people all around the planet (while maintaining a profit). Cross-cultural understanding is at the core of what we do. We have shaped our lives around offering truly local and immersive experiences for our clients, and we have now for over 40 years.

Untours has received its fair share of awards including

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: And the Winner is...........

on Fri, 11/14/2014 - 10:47
Wash Cycle Laundry receives another important award
Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman (left) presided over judging and participated in the award ceremony. Gabriel is second from the right.

..........Wash Cycle Laundry yet again! This time it has won first place and a $25,000 prize in a business competition sponsored by the Blackstone Group.

We met Wash Cycle Laundry founder and CEO Gabriel Mandujano when he spoke at a conference three years ago about how difficult it is for young businesses to attract capital. We provided a loan soon thereafter, which in turn attracted the equity that the company needed to grow.

Here’s a short video with the

shannon's picture

Support a foundation loan recipient with your vote!

on Fri, 09/19/2014 - 10:57
Ecozoom cookstoves benefit women and children

The Untours Foundation loan recipient, EcoZoom, has been nominated by Smithsonian and Cooper Hewitt for the People’s Design Choice Awards.  People’s Design means that we, the people, get to vote! If you’re already on board, please do vote for them right here, every day!

The dirty story of cookstoves

As I've gotten to know EcoZoom and their products, I decided to dig a little deeper into the background of cookstoves, and I was shocked to learn about the terrible state of affairs for many people in the world who cook for their families.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: By The Book & Buy The Book

on Fri, 07/11/2014 - 10:07
Here I am (looking a bit bug eyed) with Judy at the sneak preview of the trailer for "Dog Feed Dog." You'll get to see this hilarious and captivating trailer in a few weeks!

In recent years, Hal has been mentioned in a variety of books. The newest inclusion is in GOOD MORNING, BEAUTIFUL BUSINESS: The Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer by Hal’s friend, Judy Wicks. Read what happened in the late ‘90’s when Hal and Judy traveled with fellow business people to Chiapas, Mexico to purchase Fair Trade coffee and came face to face with the military! (That didn’t dissuade them from repeating the trip the following year only to have a run-in with para-military forces. Hal thought their numbers were up!)

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Is Three A Crowd?

on Fri, 06/27/2014 - 11:45
Untours Foundation manager, Elizabeth Killough, and Cora founder, Molly Hayward

Apparently not! At least not when it comes to “crowdfunding,” which is the practice of funding a business or project by raising small amounts of money from large numbers of people. We think of it as a new idea, but the base for the Statue of Liberty is the result of crowdfunding, and I’m sure there are examples from across time.

Modern crowdfunding sets a financial goal and a period of time. If the goal is not met in that time, then no one puts in any money. It’s an all or nothing proposition.

Some of the businesses our foundation invests in have used crowdfunding, and one business we are

shannon's picture

Foundation Fridays: Empowering women with Cora

on Fri, 05/02/2014 - 09:47

Elizabeth and I had a wonderful visit this week from Molly Hayward, founder of Cora. Molly is a passionate young entrepreneur from the Philadelphia area who really believes in changing how capitalism works. As Elizabeth remarked to Molly, “Hal will love you!”

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: No Coin Toss Necessary

on Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:55
Call it: heads or tails?

Untours and its foundation are two sides of the same coin – even when I am out of the loop.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Soap Suds and New Duds

on Fri, 03/28/2014 - 16:44
Untours founder, Hal Taussig, and Untours Foundation manager, Elizabeth Killough, sporting new hoodies from Wash Cycle Laundry

While Hal and I may promote simple living, I realize that he and I have never turned down gifts of new clothing, including florescent, personalized ones! We are now prepared to join the Wash Cycle Laundry bike fleet and pick up and deliver laundry.

shannon's picture

Foundation Fridays: A Rind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

on Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:30
Here's Lee Meinecke with her composter. She is the founder of Philly Compost, an Untours Foundation loan recipient

As most avid gardeners know, composting can turn food waste into “black gold”—a powerful additive that boosts the soil with nutrients and reduces or eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Here at Untours, we have a worm composter in the kitchen, in which earthworms break down food scraps into castings, another form of treasured compost. In an urban setting, the need for composting is even greater, as a higher percentage of urban waste ends up in landfills.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Meet Shannon Davidson!

on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 09:32
Here's Shannon Davidson, Untours Foundation Communications Director, with her gorgeous children!

Shannon was a gift to me from my board, which saw better than I that I was drowning in work after Hal retired. Shannon was hired to be my amazing colleague, which she is indeed! A film editor by training, Shannon worked on several of Ken Burns’ film projects. You can see some of her handiwork through our lovely new website, which she designed.

Here’s Shannon…..