See the #FacesofFounders Open Source Platform In Action

As part of the Case Foundation’s commitment to Open Source, we continue to share the code that powers the technology side of our efforts. Last year, we shared the code for our #FacesofFounders website so that others would benefit from the investment we had made into cutting edge technology. Today, we’re excited to share a new video demonstrating the capability this open source platform provides for those who use and build upon it.

Launched in 2016, #FacesofFounders was a campaign to attract entrepreneurs, particularly female founders and entrepreneurs of color, to share their photos and stories of entrepreneurship on After a review by a panel of 40 judges, who completed their work using this open source platform, FastCompany featured the winners of the campaign. The site has since evolved into a Medium publication that continues the work of showcasing diverse entrepreneurs driving innovation and job growth.

Open source, a medium for freely sharing and collaborating on technology, is yet another way that organizations can give back in the form of their technology. We believe it is particularly important in the philanthropic field as it is an opportunity for social innovators to accelerate their own missions by tapping into the work of the collective community. One gift of open source code can have unlimited beneficiaries, and we believe it to be a key component of the ongoing democratization of technology.


This open source platform contains several features from the #FacesofFounders campaign:

Social Media Profile Photo Filter

The photo upload feature allows visitors to upload a photo (or select a Facebook or Twitter profile photo) and place a campaign-themed filter on top of it. The filtered photo can then be turned into profile images on social media sites, and added to a shared photo wall on a homepage, which will continually display all new and past filtered photos. Administrators have the ability to remove inappropriate photos from the homepage.

Story Submission

In addition to—or instead of–uploading a photo, visitors can submit stories to the judging platform. This submission tool contains customizable forms and can be placed in a “closed” state once judging begins. All submissions entered through the form then go into a queue for a site administrator to assign to judges. Because the platform is built into WordPress, it is also possible to directly upload submissions via WordPress’s dashboard.

Story Review and Judging

The third and final component of this codebase is the judging platform. As visitors submit stories, they queue in the judging section on the backend. Once all submissions are final, assigned judges can log into the platform and request submissions to review. The judges score each submission on a numeric scale, and the platform uses those scores to begin ranking each submission. Site administrators can then log in and view the stories ranked by their aggregate scores to determine winners. The entire codebase comes packaged as a WordPress theme for easy deployment and visual customization using WordPress’s robust theme system.

How You Can Use This

While the Case Foundation used this to support the FacesofFounders campaign, we expect that it can be used in a wide variety of efforts and we can’t wait for you to take advantage of this great project! To help, we’ve created a detailed technical guide that you and your team can use to understand how to best utilize the open source code. To access that guide and more resources, visit the project’s GitHub page.

To show our commitment to the open source community and the importance we place on expanding involvement in open source from the philanthropic sector, we’ve published many of our projects online. To see more of our work, visit the Case Foundation’s GitHub page.

We look forward to seeing what you do with these tools and hope many others will join in this effort and share their open source projects.

#GivingTuesday: a Chance to Use Tech to Give Back

Some time ago, the idea of putting your credit card number on the internet seemed unthinkable, but today almost 80 percent of Americans shop online. And with the holidays coming up, online marketplaces are seeing an impressive spike in both traffic and orders. In fact, this year, more people are expected to shop online than in-store.

While e-commerce has forced traditional brick and mortar retail to evolve, the convenience of online shopping for consumers has been advantageous for online giving. This summer, we talked about how tech trends like the emergence of online payment platforms have made it that much easier for everyone to jump into philanthropy. Millennials are key players in that trend too; the Millennial Impact Report found that 80 percent of Millennials made donations last year, and 62 percent have expressed interest in using mobile as a giving platform.

In 2012, we helped support the first official #GivingTuesday campaign, founded by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. We were very excited to play a part in #GivingTuesday’s transformation from a campaign to a movement, both through our own donation matching campaigns and by supporting the overall tracking of fundraising activity each #GivingTuesday.

Five years later, it’s more convenient than ever to give. New platforms allow users to search for charities that match their interests, donate by shopping for things they’d already buy and use social media to donate and fundraise.

Here are some easy ways you can use tech to give on #GivingTuesday.

Donation Platforms

If you’re not sure where to start, there’s a variety of platforms that can help you find a cause you’re passionate about and verify the credibility of the organization behind it so you can donate with confidence.

If you shop online, you’re already familiar with PayPal, but did you know that you can also use the payment service for donations? The Paypal Giving Fund lets you browse charities and donate to them online through your PayPal account.

If you’re searching for a specific charity, or already know which issue you want to support, Network for Good* has an online database of over a million charities of all sizes and issue areas. You can also purchase Good Cards on the site if you want to give someone else a gift card that they can use to donate to the charity of their choice.

Interested in taking a more international approach to your giving?  Global Giving allows you to donate to vetted projects from around the world and will send you updates on how your money is being put to work.

And if you’re interested in helping educators in the U.S., Donors Choose can connect you to a public school in need. Teachers use the site to share the projects for which they need funds, and how much they need to reach their goals. You can use the site to donate to the classroom project of your choice.

Crowdfunding platforms

Donating to a crowdfunding campaign is a great way for people on a wide range of budgets to work with others in the online community to help someone in need, and there are several platforms you can use.

GoFundMe allows online donors to contribute to individuals or groups taking on a wide variety of projects and problems. And it’s making a real difference—more than $4 billion has already been raised through the site. If you’re looking to contribute to an individual or a new organization that hasn’t registered as a charity yet, GoFundMe provides that flexibility.

Crowdrise is a social fundraising tool that supports corporations, nonprofits and events. Nonprofits and individuals can set up fundraisers for their favorite cause with specific goals and timelines. Do you want to use your network to expand your impact on #GivingTuesday? Crowdrise can help you do that. The website also allows users to explore trending fundraisers and look for ones in the categories they’re interested in.

A different type of online crowdfunding source is Kiva. Kiva gives users a chance to lend as little as $25 to help people across the globe with everything from going to school to launching a business. Kiva donors get their loans repaid, and then can reuse the repayment for another loan, or withdraw it.

Purchase roundups

When checking out at a brick and mortar store, you’ve probably been given a chance to round-up your purchase to the nearest dollar or more and have that extra change go to charity. Now you can do that online, and you can choose which charity receives that extra money.

We micro give is an online platform that rounds your online and in-person purchases up to the nearest dollar and donates the change to the charity of your choice. The site allows you to set monthly maximums and provides users with an online dashboard to summarize their giving activity.

Similarly, Coin Up offers a website and an app that donors can use to have their credit and debit card purchases rounded up and donated. The site tracks your donations over time and sends a year-end donation total so you can see your yearlong impact.

Network for Good* recently launched Hippo Give, an app that also helps you make secure donations through purchase roundups. You can support multiple organizations with your spare change and see your donation activity tracked in real time. Hippo Give even makes a donation on your behalf when you get started. It should be noted that this is still in minimum viable product development stage (MVP), but it’s an exciting new platform that shows promise.

And finally, if you use, you can give back without spending an extra dime just by changing the URL. If you use, 0.5 percent of your purchase total will go to the charity of your choice.

#Donate Using Social Media

Organizations and individuals often use social media to give their fundraisers a promotional boost, but now there are ways to donate directly though the social media sites themselves.

Facebook has a donating platform that organizations can use year-round to give their followers an easy way to donate and share. And this #GivingTuesday, the site is stepping up its commitment to support online giving through an up-to-$2 million matching campaign in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

You can also donate instantly across social platforms with Goodworld. All you have to do is comment or reply #donate on a participating cause’s Facebook or Twitter post, and you’ll be sent a secure, one-time link you can use to apply your donation.

Last year, #GivingTuesday saw a record $168 million in charitable donations, and we expect to see similar results from today’s activity. Every year, online platforms like these make it that easier, more interactive and more fun for users to donate to causes close to their hearts. Charitable giving is truly just a click away. We hope you’ve been inspired to give to a cause you care this #GivingTuesday (November 28 this year) and throughout the year.


*Brian Sasscer is on the Board of Trustees for Network for Good

The Best Newsletters for Impact Investing News

There’s a lot happening in the world Impact Investing, and with the movement gaining traction and accelerating more and more every day, it can be hard to keep up with everything being talked about in these fields.

As the field hurdles towards its next phase, many are grappling with issues of measurement and data and ways we can solve the problems holding the industry back. We debuted our Impact Investing Network Map and kicked of a campaign to invite investors to share their data. The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance launched at the end of July to further catalyze the Impact Investing Movement. Momentum is building and the field is changing rapidly.

With all that’s going on in the movement, we get asked how we stay up-to-date on news from the sector. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of newsletters that fill our inboxes and will fill you in on all things Impact Investing.

  1. The Brief from Impact Alpha talks about trends, deals and long term plans in the world of Impact Investing. Sign up here.
  2. On Impact by Cathy Clark is a weekly roundup of global Impact Investing and social innovation news. Sign up here.
  3. Mission Throttle pulls news from around the web on social impact and Impact Investing initiatives. Sign up here.
  4. Green Money Journal has a monthly online journal that news in sustainable business helps people interested in Impact Investing get started. Sign up here.
  5. B The Change shares the top news in B Corps, Benefit Corporations and business for good. Sign up here.
  6. Impact Investing Monthly from SOCAP is a monthly digest of global Impact Investing news from investors, thought leaders and more. Sign up here.
  7. Breaking Good by the Case Foundation is our weekly curation of the top stories in Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing and social good. Sign up here.

Make your inbox do the work for you. With these great email newsletter options, you’ll be an Impact Investing expert in no time.

Lessons Learned: Using Instagram Video in Your Nonprofit Campaign

To celebrate the start of the Back to School season, the Case Foundation teamed up with the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) to honor fearless role models through a community engagement campaign built around Instagram video. We approached this campaign as an experiment in online community engagement and chose the Instagram video platform because of the relatively new integration of the video tool in 2013, its large membership base of more than 150 million users, and popularity among our target audiences. While researching this campaign however, we found relatively little in terms of past examples with a report out of outcomes—especially in the nonprofit sector.

We learned a tremendous amount about the campaign integration during our program review and aim to share those tips and tricks with our community. This post is intended to provide a top line overview of the campaign and general recommendations based on our own experience. Details such as staff time, budget, and other factors unique to the execution of any program certainly impacted the outcome and should be taken into consideration when designing your own program.

Campaign Components

From August 16 to September 13, 2013, the Foundation invited individuals to honor inspirational figures by using Instagram video to share their own stories that answered our prompt: “Who taught you what it means to Be Fearless?” Did your best friend inspire you to take risks; your high school principal encourage you to be bold; or your basketball coach help you to bounce back from failure?

To participate, users simply completed the brief entry form on the Case Foundation’s custom Facebook tab, and then used Instagram video to share their story with the hashtags #BeFearless and/or #NSHSS. The platform included a special video gallery where select submissions were housed for public viewing.

Measuring Our Results

Ultimately, the campaign proved to be an informative experiment in community engagement with the achievement of significant reach, impressions and learnings. In addition, the high quality content of the videos we received also showcased positive engagement and provided tremendous value to the overall campaign. Despite these highlights, the actual number of entries (255 sweepstakes entries) and (37 unique) video submissions fell far short of our target (500) based on our earlier research of other campaigns.

Tips for Using Instagram Video in Your Next Campaign

After crunching the numbers and talking with stakeholders involved with the campaign, we surfaced a number of learnings – from the platform design to the promotional aspects of the campaign. We hope you find these tips useful as your nonprofits works to design your Instagram campaigns in the future.

Do Your Homework: Two other campaign we looked at during our evaluation for comparison purposes included Daily Candy’s “Fashion in Film” contest and Swarovski’s #InstaSparkle contest.
Seek Critical Mass: Critical mass on the organizer’s Instagram profile may be a necessary factor in success when it comes to leveraging that platform for a sweepstakes.
Consider Subject Matter: In reviewing previous current campaigns, we realized that almost none of the video entries for those contests featured the entrant or a person. Rather the prompt only required the recording of something, not someone as our campaign required. We speculate that asking participants to feature themselves in a video may have been a significant barrier to entry.
Find the People: We chose to build our own sweepstakes page to host the content, but found that several other successful campaigns employed a third party host or website with a built in audience primed for sweepstakes.
Note Privacy Issues: The vast majority of video submissions came from high school aged individuals—as was to be expected given our target audience, context and partner. What we did not anticipate though, was that many of the participants would have their Instagram settings turned to “Private” (we do not know definitively, but assume this was due to parental restrictions or permissions). While we prepared for this possibility by troubleshooting from the beginning and encouraging entrants to check their settings, the outcome was that we could not see or find many of the entrants’ videos.

Would we do it again? Of course! Our passion at the Case Foundation is to experiment with online tools to promote social good—no matter what the outcome. Have you tried Instagram video or any other platforms in your social good campaign? If so, we invite you to share your learnings with us and the community as well in the comments section or via Twitter @CaseFoundation!

How Your Nonprofit Can Get More Out of LinkedIn

Chances are your LinkedIn profile is focused on your resume and headshot, but if you’re reading this and love social good as much as we do, then you may want to check out LinkedIn’s new social good capabilities. The site has become a gathering place for influencers to discuss, learn and connect with old friends, trusted colleagues and new business connections. In the past year, LinkedIn has rolled out a number of new features that make the site a useful platform for nonprofits to engage their current supporters and identify new ones.

The first new feature is a “Volunteers & Causes” section of a member’s profile. This allows users to showcase what causes they have volunteered for and the ways that they would be interested in getting more involved (i.e. offering pro bono work and serving on boards). Not only does this allow your connections to see what you are passionate about, it shows future employers that you are an engaged citizen and well-rounded candidate – setting you apart from others. In fact, one out of five hiring managers has hired a candidate because of their volunteer experiences. The graphic below (provided by LinkedIn) shows how easy it is to add this information to your profile.
VC Field One pager

As we near the end of Pro Bono Week 2013, take the opportunity to update your LinkedIn profile with your recent service, just like over a million members have already done.

In addition, nonprofits can capitalize on the opportunity to set up a LinkedIn Board Member Connect profile (BMC) – a method to help you find talented people that are passionate about your cause and want to take their involvement to the next level. BMC exists to seamlessly bring nonprofits and individuals together not only to find potential board members, but to share best practices in governance, and ideas for running effective nonprofit boards.
Board Member Connect overview

So if you haven’t already, be sure to take a fresh look at LinkedIn for these new opportunities to connect with potential supporters and engage in new ways.