- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
My colleagues, Michael Smith and Kari Saratovsky, and I are presently at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in New York City (along with over 5,000 other attendees!). There is so much great information coming from this conference that we want to bring as much of what we’re learning to you as soon as possible!
I just participated in panel that Michael moderated: Crowdsourcing Success: How Philanthropy Can Make the Most of Prizes and Challenges. This is clearly a topic we are passionate about and focused on, as you can see from our programs like America’s Giving Challenge, events like Promoting Innovation with the White House, and all of the content and resources we share our blog. It’s really exciting to see a packed room of lively attendees who are interested in this topic as well, and to hear from the great lineup of panelists:
- Jose Zamora, Journalism Program Associate, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
- Claire Lyons, Manager, Global Grant Portfolios, PepsiCo Foundation
- Dalila Wilson-Scott, CFO/COO, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase
The three have such great perspectives from their challenge programs that leverage crowdsourcing – Knight News Challenge, Pepsi Refresh Project, Chase Community Giving – and of course, Michael's perspective from our work and involvement in the space.
Prior to the session, I was able to ask each of the panelists the same question, in order to share with you thoughts directly from them on video. Below are their responses to the question: Why should institutions continue to invest in this model of crowdsourcing and challenges?
And, for some key points from the session, here are a few highlights –
- Institutions need to recognize they don’t have all the answers, or even all the questions sometimes. They also need to be comfortable with knowing they don’t know it all.
- Crowdsourcing in these ways, whether it be for ideas or to decide who wins a challenge, is about democracy – it’s saying, “We trust you.”
- For organizations that don’t win the online challenges, going through the application process is valuable in and of itself. It helps you understand what you can do to improve and which strategies to employ for next time.
- You can start with data to drive why you set up programs like these, but in the end, you have to take risks.
- Although choosing one type of platform limits some users, is that where most people are? Go where people are, otherwise, why create something in the woods?
- You need to be targeted on where you can be most successful.
- Donor fatigue is very real, so you need to be strategic and be targeted in your messages to them. One audience member suggested asking them how often they want to hear from you.
- Don’t be fooled, it takes real assets and resources to activate an audience to win challenges.
- Alliance building is key. You need a lot of friends/supporters to win a challenge. How can you work with others to help your cause?