#GoodSpotting Returns!

This time of the year it’s easy for us all to get swept up in the swirl of holiday shopping, parties, and gifts. But as we saw most recently with the incredible success of #GivingTuesday – it truly is the “most wonderful time of the year,” when the spirit of generosity surrounds us. Every holiday season (and year round) at the Case Foundation, we celebrate the incredible acts of good, large and small, that take place every day in cities and towns all over the world, thanks to amazing individuals and organizations. This holiday season, we hope you’ll join us in sharing the spirit of generosity, community, and service as we go #GoodSpotting! All you have to do is remember these three simple instructions: Spot Good. Share Good. Do Good!

When we launched the first #GoodSpotting campaign last year, we knew we were on to something by asking people to join us in celebrating the spirit of the holiday season and share their pictures of the acts of good happening around them. But frankly, we weren’t quite sure what to expect…  so we were thrilled when within hours our gallery was filled with photos capturing acts of good from all around the world! Our favorite submissions included photos of people buying goods to support their favorite causes, images of families and friends volunteering together at food kitchens to help others in their community and local businesses supporting great causes. We saw thousands of tweets and Facebook posts tagged with #GoodSpotting well past the holidays, the end of the campaign, and into this year – you shared your acts of #GoodSpotting for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Make a Difference Day, 9/11 Day of Service, #GivingTuesday, and more. So of course, we knew we had to bring it back this year for the holiday season!

So what’s new in the 2012 edition of #GoodSpotting (or #GoodSpotting 2.0 as we’re affectionately calling it)? This year, in addition to sharing your photos, we are asking you to to share videos, articles, and your stories (in 140 characters) about moments of good that you’re spotting. We’ve also expanded our platform so now you can submit content on our Facebook app, online at GoodSpotting.org, or straight through your smartphone (in addition to your Tweets and other photo uploads tagged with #Goodspotting).

And, just like last year, there’s something in it for everyone…  this year, $25,000 in grants and prizes are at stake, so after you’ve gone #GoodSpotting, be sure to enter our sweepstakes – on January 2, 2013, we’ll randomly select four people to win $500 for yourself, and a $5,000 Network for Good card that you can use to donate to your favorite charity. And we’ll have lots of other fun prizes from the Case Foundation and our partners, so make sure you get in on all of the #GoodSpotting fun.

We can’t wait to see what you submit this year – we know the #GoodSpotting gallery will be full of inspiring and fun photos, videos, and articles about people, organizations, and businesses doing good this holiday season.

While you’re spotting and sharing acts of good, be sure to check out our official #GoodSpotting partners – A Billion + Change, Born This Way Foundation, City Year-DC, FotoWeek DC, HandsOn Network, Huffington Post Impact, Mobilize.org, MTV Act, NTEN, TOMS, The Washington Examiner, and Water for People – who are getting into the holiday spirit with their own acts of good.

Please be sure to check out the holiday greeting from the Case Foundation team below. We hope that after you watch our #GoodSpotting greeting, you’re encouraged to join us this year – whether you’re new to spotting and sharing good, or a seasoned expert. Let’s Go #GoodSpotting!


Some Reflections on Giving this Holiday Season

Giving – whether gifts for friends and family, giving back to your community by volunteering, or donating to the organizations you care about – is a central theme of the holiday season. Naturally, it’s a time of year when we at the Case Foundation take some time to reflect on what we’ve seen this year when it comes to giving. When 2009 began, we anticipated it would likely be a challenging year for giving – and the year has not been without its challenges: overall donations are down, even during this holiday season and the face of volunteerism and civic engagement is changing. However, both in our own work and across the sector, we’ve seen some extremely encouraging signs – America’s Giving Challenge garnered more than 105,000 donations, and raised $2.1 million for nonprofits in need; and online donations are expected to exceed $4 billion this holiday season. And of course, we’re seeing every day how technology continues to have a significant impact on how nonprofits think about individual giving strategies.
And while giving in other forms continues to gain significance, offline, neighbor-to-neighbor giving is still an important source of funds, particularly during the holiday season. Of course, nothing is more symbolic of this than the Salvation Army volunteers we see every holiday season with the red kettle and bells asking their neighbors to give what they can. That’s why the Foundation team took the opportunity recently to spend an afternoon ringing the Salvation Army bell outside of DC retailers, which was a truly inspiring experience. While we spend a lot of time thinking about online giving, we had a blast getting out of the office to spread holiday cheer while encouraging our neighbors to give back. One of the things that struck quite a few of us during our bell-ringing shifts was the number of people who turned around and thanked us back for the time we were spending volunteering. We also saw that volunteering can be contagious – one group of bell-ringers from the Foundation had someone approach them about volunteering, noting how much fun we were having. And, while singing carols, chatting with passersby and practicing one-on-one fundraising skills, bell ringing reminded us that volunteering can and should be fun. It gave us the opportunity to get to know colleagues in a different context and to take heart in the holiday spirit apparent in so many of the folks that dropped by the red kettle to give what they could, or just to hear more about the organization. It truly was a reminder of how uplifting giving back can be.

This holiday season, we thank you – friends and partners of the Case Foundation – for helping bring our work to life with your time, energy and passion. Happy Holidays!