Thursday, December 13, 2007

America's Giving Challenge

Okay, this is pretty big news. Parade Magazine, in conjunction with the Case Foundation, has created a challenge to see just how much viral marketing and social networking can do for nonprofits, the America's Giving Challenge. The idea is that through the use of charity badges, the eight nonprofit champions who manage to attract the largest number of unique donors (as in not the same donor over and over and over again) will win $50,000 for their cause. Wow. All told the Challenge will donate $500,000. No wonder this is being mentioned in the news and in blogs as well!

NY Times
Washington Post
Chronicle of Philanthropy
Katya's Non-Profit Marketing Blog
Beth's Blog

As we recently saw through the Tactical Philanthropy One Post Challenge when over 600 comments were left on the winning post all from people voting for their favorite nonprofit, people can be very motivated when they know that their cause can benefit.

I should also mention that you can get involved either directly through the Challenge website, or through the Facebook Causes App and that GlobalGiving and Network for Good are the donation processing partners.

I am especially excited about this challenge because I am very curious to see the results, both in terms of the immediate results and the longer-term results. Challenges and prizes are very popular right now, but what happens when the fanfare has died and the prizes have all been awarded? I've spent the past more than a year researching online giving as a viable strategy for nonprofits and the interesting thing seems to be that e-philanthropy has taken off in many areas of the nonprofit sector, but far less so in the museum world. I wonder how this very public, very mainstream challenge may change that, if at all.

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