Opening Letter

It is our pleasure to submit this final report to the Case Foundation assessing the 2009 America’s Giving Challenge. Over the course of two Challenges in three years, the Foundation and its partners at PARADE Publications and Causes have inspired many other corporations and foundations to launch contests of their own and enhanced the capacity of nonprofit organizations and their champions to utilize social media to raise funds, supporters and awareness. Nonprofit organizations, philanthropies of all types, government agencies and the corporate community will all find value in the best practices and lessons learned contained in this report and the related case studies.

We believe the Case Foundation’s efforts as pioneers in charitable contests, challenges and open grantmaking have helped to catalyze the widespread proliferation of these approaches and associated best practices for promoting innovation and leveraging public participation. A number of survey respondents mentioned in the open-ended comments that Case Foundation played a significant leadership role in the prevalence of online giving contests. One respondent said, “Thanks so much for being the innovators of online giving contests. Because of your effort there [are] many more opportunities that rally non profit teams across the country. That's a win.”

But it’s not just a win for the Case Foundation and its partners. The general contest trend has contributed to the industry’s adoption of online fundraising via social media. It’s a testimony to the entire nonprofit sector’s growth in social media adoption and capacity to effectively use these tools to raise money and awareness for social change work.

Thank you to the contest participants who made both America’s Giving Challenges such successes. And thank you to the many individuals from multiple sectors who shared their insights and invested in online conversations about the report’s findings.

Beth Kanter and Allison Fine