CAF America today announced the two recipients of their Excellence in International Philanthropy Award, recognizing innovative philanthropists and organizations for their outstanding achievements in the past year. The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and Steele Family Foundation/WISE Scholarship Program have each been awarded this honor and will be recognized at the 2024 Celebration of International Philanthropy.
As the latest recipients of the CAF America Excellence in International Philanthropy Award, the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the Steele Family Foundation/WISE Scholarship Fund join past honorees as organizations that authentically uses their charitable initiatives to have a profound impact to better the lives of others on a global scale.
The Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) was founded in July 2011 by the Bocelli family after they were inspired by the love and positivity received from fans and partners around the world. The Foundation’s main mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, and suffering due to disease and social exclusion by promoting and supporting Italian and international projects that encourage people to overcome these barriers and express their full potential. ABF has raised over sixty million euros, thanks also to CAF America, which has led to the construction of ten schools in Italy and Haiti that offer access to world-class education to over 3,600 students every day. Also in Haiti, ABF has created welfare projects that provide access to drinking water and basic medical care to the more than 400,000 people who live in the most remote and impoverished areas of the country. The Foundation creates and promotes educational projects that use music as an additional tool for social inclusion and talent development, in line with Goal 4.7 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
“At the Foundation we work every day to bring out the potential of children and young people so that they may write the best possible story for their lives. The most effective way to work on someone’s potential is education, which Nelson Mandela called the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Through education, we change ourselves first and foremost and consequently our way of seeing things, our perspective. It changes the way we learn,” said Laura Biancalani, CEO of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation. “In a world that is constantly changing, at ABF we strongly believe that children and young people are not vessels to be filled, but rather flames to be kindled, as Plutarch famously said. Our hope is to equip them with the necessary tools to be able to continue to learn throughout our lives. In these thirteen years, it is incredible what we have been able to achieve – this is no small part thanks to the support of such an esteemed organization as CAF America that facilitated and consolidated our relations with US donors and partners.”
The Steele Family Foundation, established twelve years ago to support grassroots charitable causes, recently created the WISE Scholarship Program. This program, designed as a special purpose endowment, coexists with the existing Steele Family Foundation and aims to provide a sustainable education platform. Led by Michael Steele and Stacey Coote-Steele, the program offers substantial mentoring advantages and an integrated approach to post-secondary growth, addressing both academic and social aspects. The initiative is dedicated to assisting “Stranded Superstar” elementary and secondary-level students worldwide in becoming socially responsible, global citizens through post-secondary education platforms and scholarship partnerships.
“On behalf of our entire Steele Family Foundation and our global team members supporting the implementation of our WISE Scholarship Program in over five countries, we are deeply honored to be receiving this award from CAF America in conjunction with the acknowledgement and remarkable work being done by our close friends at the Andrea Bocelli Foundation,” said Michael Steele, President and Director of the Steele Family Foundation. “The Steele Family Foundation has built the world’s first ‘digitally driven social scholarship’ with a view to finding those seeking our help to develop their minds and talents to the next level through advancement in post-secondary education and learning the benefits of becoming a ‘Global Citizen.’”
CAF America is thrilled to honor the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the Steele Family Foundation/WISE Scholarship Fund with the Excellence in International Philanthropy Award.
About CAF America
Charities Aid Foundation America (CAF America) works with donors looking to support charitable organizations around the world by providing the infrastructure necessary for high-quality, regulatory- compliant grantmaking and maintaining a worldwide network of high-quality, fully vetted charity partners. For over 30 years, our core mission has been to streamline charitable giving through donor-advised giving, driven by our industry-leading organizational vetting and due diligence protocols. We enable our donors to make strategic, cost-effective and tax-advantaged grants while reducing the risk, reputational exposure, and administrative burden associated with regulatory-compliant grantmaking. CAF America’s worldwide reach translates into more than $4.6 billion in donor funds and over 1.8 million eligible organizations in 135 countries.