The Case Foundation (full disclosure: I am currently working on a project with the Foundation) announced yesterday a new grant challenge aimed at catalyzing a large number of donors to give this holiday season. Beginning last year, Case has focused on providing opportunities to highlight and reward the power of individual giving and activism.
As the Washington Post reports (registration stupidly required here) this morning. Here’s the gist of the article:
The Case Foundation, the philanthropy of Steve and Jean Case, is promoting Americaâ€™s Giving Challenge, which aims to draw people who do not consider themselves to be philanthropists to donate as little as $10 to charities around the world. The foundation is working with Network for Good and GlobalGiving, nonprofit groups that allow donors to conduct online searches for charities to support.
The foundation has also begun a similar challenge on Facebook. Facebook users can donate to any of 1.5 million charities through the siteâ€™s â€œcausesâ€ section and have their donations and causes displayed as part of their personal profiles.
The Case Foundation is giving away $750,000 in the two online efforts, which start today and end January 31. People who recruit the most friends from their social networks will each receive $50,000 to donate to charity. The 100 charities that garner the highest number of online donations will each get $1,000.
There are many exciting aspects of this grant program. One in particular is recognizing the power of friends instead of just dollars to support causes. Young people in particular are not only not in a position to fund causes with large dollars, but don’t see the world through that lens alone. That’s the power behind the social networking sites; friends are their commerce and Case is recoginizing that and bringing that same passion to their causes.