- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
Along with our partners at Causes and PARADE Publications, we're pleased today to officially announce the winners of the 2009 America's Giving Challenge. We're truly pleased with the results - more than 105,000 donations that helped to raise $2.1 million for nonprofits. It's a true testament to the power of individual giving that in challenging economic times, the Challenge raised more money and drove more donations in a shorter period of time than our first America's Giving Challenge in 2007.
When we kicked off the campaign we were unsure of what to expect this year - but we believed strongly that the need for a citizen-driven effort like the Giving Challenge had never been greater - that nonprofits needed a boost during these difficult economic times. We believe that the results are truly a sign that despite the economic downturn, combining social media with person-to-person networking and micro-donations, has emerged as a smart and successful strategy for nonprofits to raise dollars and recruit new friends. We know we benefited from the "episodic" nature of the Giving Challenge, and we recognize that these giving levels are probably emblematic of a focused effort, but nonetheless, we think the potential for all nonprofits to leverage social media to raise awareness and grow the number of donors to their causes remains high.
While we're committed to conducting research about the 2009 Giving Challenge to better understand its impact and implications for the nonprofit sector, I wanted to share with you today some initial thoughts and reflections. We saw that as with the first Giving Challenge, smaller nonprofits experienced the most success - while we expected some of the larger nonprofits to play a bigger role in this year's Challenge, that dynamic didn't emerge. This may be because smaller groups have more readily embraced the decentralized strategy required in online giving contests; or that these groups were more motivated by the award money. Whatever the reason, we again saw that a competition like America's Giving Challenge can really level the playing field when it comes to online fundraising. We were also inspired by the huge numbers of individuals and nonprofits who participated in the training and resources we made available both as part of our Gear Up for Giving efforts as well as during the Challenge. It's clear that there is a huge appetite for continuing to learn more about how social media can be used in a more strategic manner in the nonprofit sector.
In addition to the tremendous number of donations generated, one of the most exciting points in the Giving Challenge came just a week before the close, when we announced that the W.K. Kellogg Foundation was partnering with us to help raise the stakes for the last seven days. Their $75,000 grant created twelve new prizes for nonprofits competing in the Challenge. The Kellogg grant undoubtedly inspired increased action and activity among cause champions, encouraged more nonprofits to get involved, and added strength to the important message that nonprofits must learn how to leverage new technologies and social media to ignite civic engagement. And, while all of these things are true, what really inspired me about Kellogg’s commitment is their desire to collaborate on a foundation program that they did not create, that benefits organizations beyond their grantees and their lack of concern for credit or ownership. This is still a rare thing in the funding sector and we are enormously grateful to Kellogg for joining us in partnership as they did.
You can read more about the results, including the official list of overall award winners in our press release, and in the coming days and weeks we'll highlight stories of our impressive winners. In the meantime, I thank you for your part in making the 2009 America's Giving Challenge a success.