Heather Box is going crazy. She’s jumping and shouting, her hands are shaking, her inbox is exploding. There are only a few minutes left, then just a minute, and finally, it’s over, with Heather whooping and shouting for joy. Her organization—The League of Young Voters Education Fund—had just won the $1,000 daily prize as part of Causes Giving Challenge.
"The Challenge inspired us to jumpstart our Facebook presence. The intensity of the Challenge, and because it was a high profile activity, powered our first successful foray into social networking and fundraising." – Heather Box, The League of Young Voters Education Fund
Launched December 13, 2007, and ending on January 31, 2008, the 50-day Giving Challenge was actually two events: America’s Giving Challenge (AGC) in conjunction with PARADE Magazine; and Causes Giving Challenge(CGC) which occurred on Facebook, the online social networking website. The Case Foundation matched both Challenges with a total contribution of $750,000.
NOTE: For the purposes of this report, the overall effort is referred to as the Challenge, inpiduals who spearheaded fundraising efforts are cause champions, and causes that received awards from the Case Foundation for their successful efforts are award recipients. (Please see the glossary for additional definitions. Defined words are noted in bold on first mention.)
Here's how each event worked:
The purpose of this assessment is to describe the key elements of the Challenge and recommend improvements for any future Giving Challenges. This paper is based on a review of all relevant documentation and data, as well as 27 interviews with a mix of cause champions (successful and not) during the Challenge.
Additional interviews were conducted with the staff of the Case Foundation and its partner organizations, which include: PARADE Magazine; Global Giving and Network for Good (who processed donations and certified the tax-exempt status of the individual causes); and Causes on Facebook (which also hosted causes and processed donations).
Two separate surveys were implemented—one for all cause champions, and another for the donors to IDEA League, Students Helping Honduras, and Love Without Boundaries. Each are included as case studies. The complete list of award recipients, interview protocol and names of the interviewees, survey instruments, and complete survey results are in the Appendix.
Also, in the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that report co-author Beth Kanter participated in America’s Giving Challenge as a volunteer for The Sharing Foundation, which was an award recipient.