November 18, 2009

Giving to charity goes local

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Beth KanterLately I’ve been noticing a social media spin on making charitable donations in your community, region or state.  

Here are three recent examples.

I Live Here, I Give Here

I Live HereThe site I Live Here, I Give Here is designed to draw attention to giving to local nonprofits in Austin, Texas. According to the site:

“Austin is no doubt a caring community. But we don’t act on our values by giving more to charitable organizations. National studies consistently find that Austinites give far less to charitable causes than people in other cities. In fact, Austin is ranked 48th out of the 50 largest cities in the nation in per capita giving.”

The mission of the I Live Here, I Give Here campaign is to change that. The partners are a mix of local foundations and corporations. The site lists local nonprofits and links to a donation page.


GiveMNGiveMN is a new online resource that hopes to encourage more Minnesotans to give and help create a stronger nonprofit community for Minnesota. It is designed for both individuals and organizations. Individuals can browse the site and find local nonprofits and make a donation online. Or, if they want, they can launch their own fundraiser for an organization. For nonprofits, GiveMN offers simple, secure tools to achieve their goals. The site is powered by Razoo, a giving platform.

Tuesday was Give To the Max Day, where any donation to a nonprofit was matched. (There will be similar matching-grant days in the weeks ahead.) This might even inspire a few out of state donors to give to nonprofits in the land of 10,000 lakes where the men are strong, women are good looking and children above average.

3.) Chase’s Your Communities Your Vote

Your Communities Facebook users will be able to choose from more than 500,000 small and local charities to decide which community organizations they want to receive donations totaling millions of dollars from Chase corporate philanthropy fund. The Facebook application encourages Facebook users to vote for which small and local non profits will receive donations totaling $5 million. The eligible charity receiving the most votes will be awarded $1 million, the top five runners-up will receive $100,000 each and the 100 finalists, including the top winners, will be awarded $25,000 each.

You type in your zip code or name of a local charity and then vote. You get 20 votes. They’ll be using a tiered voting system. I tried to find some of my favorites, but upon reading the fine print noticed that only particular types of charities were listed.

This is similar in contest design and implementation as the Target Challenge that focused on ten large nonprofit organizations six months ago. What I like this about this approach is that they are targeting smaller nonprofits and local charities.

Have you seen other examples of local or regional giving hubs? Do you think regional/local giving campaigns will make a difference in a difficult economy or just add to the noise?

This post originally appeared at Beth’s Blog.Beth Kanter is CEO of Zoetica, a consultancy for nonprofits. See her profile, visit her blog, contact Beth or leave a comment.

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