SAN FRANCISCO--()--Causes.com, the largest online platform for charity fundraising and activism, recently announced a partnership with the University of California, San Francisco to raise funds for a new children’s hospital. As part of the 8-week competition, a team with the most donations as of Dec 16, 2010, will have the honor of naming the Children's Activity Space in the new UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. Because this privilege is usually reserved for wealthy donors, Causes and UCSF hope to democratize the fundraising process by prizing the team with the most individual donations, rather than the team with the highest totals.
“It will be exciting to watch how teams get creative to raise money and recruit new donors. This is the type of campaign that we at Causes.com are excited about because it gives us the opportunity to get people engaged online and off.”
To drive participation in the competition Causes and UCSF have created several fundraising incentives to award the teams who accrue the most donations in a week, or who lead in total donations. Any entrepreneur who enters the competition can win the chance to pitch their idea or startup to investor Ron Conway, if they can be the first one to raise 75 donations for their team.
An anonymous donation of $25,000 will be shared over the first 25 teams to recruit 25 individual donors. Other incentives include a chance to win a luxury box for 10 at a 49’s game, private MC Hammer dance lessons, and tickets to a private Salesforce concert with Neil Young. Additional incentives, including gifts of ipods and flip cameras for noteworthy video or story submissions, are detailed at ucsf.edu/challenge. Also, track the competition, donate, form a team and follow the fundraising leaderboard at causes.com/ucsfchallenge.
Through launching these ongoing fundraising incentives, Causes.com and UCSF hope to engage the community in Silicon Valley to rally behind a common mission: raising funds for the planned nonprofit children’s hospital. “We wanted to model a fundraising campaign on the idea of democratizing what was once a very insular privilege: naming a new hospital wing.” says Joe Green, Causes.com co-founder and president. “It will be exciting to watch how teams get creative to raise money and recruit new donors. This is the type of campaign that we at Causes.com are excited about because it gives us the opportunity to get people engaged online and off.”
Team leaders include Mike Arrington of Tech Crunch, blogger Om Malik, Ron Conway, Marc Benioff, MC Hammer, Ashton Kutcher, and many others. Anyone can start a team. At the groundbreaking ceremony on October 24 team lead Marc Benioff stated “It’s not just about who has the biggest checkbook, but about who has the most influence. And the way to do that is to use social networks.”
The team leads are using the tech innovation that percolates in Silicon Valley to drive fundraising. Ashton Kutcher, who has over 6 million Twitter followers, has tweeted to drive donors to his team. Ali and Hadi Partovi, the co-founders of iLike who are also twins, started dualing ‘Birthday Wishes’ via Causes.com. The Birthday Wish feature allows people to choose a cause for their birthday and solicit donations from their birthday well wishers. Ali chose to join Ashton Kutcher’s fundraising team and has to date raised over $13,000 for the cause, bringing Mr. Kutcher’s team is currently in the lead with more than $18,000 donated from 75 separate donors.
Causes.com is a mission-driven company dedicated to empowering anyone with passion for change to impact the world. By building tools for individuals to mobilize their network of friends to grow lasting social and political movements, Causes.com is currently the largest online platform for activism and one of the top ten Facebook applications. With 140 million registered users, and over $27 million raised for charities through the platform, Causes is just getting started. To find out more and get involved, go to www.causes.com.