SAN FRANCISCO, July 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Veteran philanthropic leader and strategist Matt James is joining Vrge Strategies as a partner. James will create a new Strategic Philanthropy practice focused on developing innovative projects and campaigns that move the needle on social and economic issues. Serving non-profits, companies and individuals working on some of society's most pressing challenges, the practice will help them make meaningful progress by leveraging the resources of companies, non-profits and government in mutually beneficial ways.
James is a renowned expert in non-profit development and philanthropic strategy, having worked at the highest levels of philanthropy, government and business. He will utilize his experience and network to enable major foundations, philanthropists, companies and non-profits to achieve their goals on a wide array of issues including health, education, natural resources and climate change.
"Disruption is not limited to how we hail cabs or rent our houses. New approaches to many of our most vexing societal problems are needed," said James. "Government, non-profits and companies can forge valuable partnerships that can advance issues – from climate change to healthcare -- that cannot be addressed adequately by individual sectors. We see unique opportunities for advancing major issues through public-private partnerships to the benefit of all."
Vrge has already begun work with the Water Funder Initiative (WFI), a collaborative effort to identify and activate promising water solutions through strategic philanthropic investments. WFI supporters include the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Energy Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and Walton Family Foundation among others.
Under James' leadership, Vrge offers a suite of services for foundations, non-profits and other philanthropies to include philanthropic development, public affairs, coalition building, media relations, and digital strategy and execution. James will also oversee the firm's work in corporate social responsibility.
Jeff Stanger is also joining the team as a senior consultant with 20 years of experience helping non-profit, foundation, government and research clients re-imagine their data and information to engage target audiences through interactive, digital-native communications. He has crafted digital projects and strategies for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Ford Foundation, Pew Research Center, National Science Foundation, the Harvard School of Public Health and many others.
Prior to Vrge, James co-founded and was president of the non-profit Next Generation, which focused on climate change and children and family issues. Working with co-founders Tom and Jim Steyer, James built programs such as "Too Small to Fail," an initiative that has become a major public education component of the 0-to-3 education movement. He also led the development of the "Risky Business Project," which has helped the business community to engage in a thoughtful discussion about climate risk, and helped create Advanced Energy Economy, an association of businesses working to make energy secure, clean and affordable.
"Matt's extraordinary background and network provide Vrge Strategies with a unique opportunity to help develop projects and campaigns that can do good things for society while helping companies find effective ways to support their customers and communities that go beyond the bottom-line. Most importantly, Matt is a highly respected leader that we can all learn from," said Tom Galvin, Vrge partner.
James' career makes him uniquely qualified to bring government, organizations and corporations together. He began his career on Capitol Hill working as an advisor for Congressman Mo Udall and Senators Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Dale Bumpers. As Executive Vice President at the Kaiser Family Foundation he headed up the foundation's media and public education work which included partnerships with MTV, BET, Univision and many other media companies in Africa, India, Russia and elsewhere. At Cisco Systems he was Director of Strategic Partnerships and focused on corporate philanthropy initiatives.
Prior to joining Vrge, Stanger founded the Center for Digital Information to modernize the social sector's approach to digital publication and before that created NetCampaign, an award-winning digital production and consulting firm that pioneered the use of the internet in politics and public policy. Jeff also served as Washington Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center where he conducted research and polling on a range of public policy and media issues.
James and Stanger are based in Vrge's San Francisco office and will be developing a team with deep experience in public education, digital communication and public-private partnerships. Vrge also has offices in Seattle and Washington, DC.
Vrge was founded on the premise that companies and organizations large and small must navigate disruption that is redefining how companies operate, how society views technology and how transformation is reshaping our economy and society. Vrge has senior leaders in San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. In addition, Vrge operates Vrge Analytics, a research and polling firm that provides clients insights into how the public, businesses and policy leaders view the intersection of technology, business and society. Vrge is part of Next Fifteen, a global communications consultancy.
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SOURCE Vrge Strategies