- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
We're excited to share with you today the America's Giving Challenge Assessment and Reflection Report, authored by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine. When the Case Foundation team launched our first online Giving Challenge in December of 2007, to test a new way of giving online, I’ll be the first to admit we didn’t know what to expect with our online “experiment.” It was late in the year. The holiday season was in full swing. We didn’t have much lead time for traditional marketing. And at the time, an online philanthropic competition of this nature was relatively unprecedented.
As the 50 days of the Challenge went by, we would periodically gather around the computer in my office to watch the leaderboard. Would we see the large national nonprofits trump the little guys -- or would the smaller, more nimble organizations do a better job mobilizing their online networks? How were people using social media tools such as blogs and videos to spread the word and reach new audiences? Were the prize levels right, and would they provide enough incentive to drive people to action? In the end, we couldn’t have predicted a more fulfilling outcome. Together with our core partners -- Causes on Facebook, PARADE Magazine, Network for Good, and Global Giving -- we encouraged more than 71,000 individuals to donate. All told, we raised nearly $1.8 million for nonprofits at home and abroad. The participation level and results reflected a diverse set of causes, charities, and champions, with smaller and lesser-known groups actually having the greatest support and success.
Plus, the Challenge introduced emerging technologies to millions of people, and showed how these tools could be leveraged to democratize philanthropy, give new significance to small donors and help organizations – big and small – reach and activate new supporters. Indeed, the Challenge was an opportunity to unite people around causes they cared about, and deepen their civic engagement while increasing opportunities to give.
The research presented in this report reflects the attitudes and experiences of Giving Challenge participants, from cause champions to individual donors to nonprofit leaders. We think it helps paint a picture of what worked particularly well and what could be improved in future challenges -- both here at the Case Foundation and at other organizations experimenting with similar online competitions.
As we consider the possibility of launching another Giving Challenge later this year, we recognize how our world has changed. For one, our economy is in a much different place, and we know this will greatly impact individual giving.
But we’re also in a much different place in terms of technology. Social networking adoption has grown exponentially, tools have matured, and we see greater usage across all generations, not just tech-savvy Millennials. All these changes will impact the next Giving Challenge, and give us a fresh chance to educate and expose more people to online philanthropy.
I hope you will find a way to join us as we continue to experiment and take new risks that will empower more people to find their voice, connect with others, and take action on causes they care about.