ServeNext— the organization whose mission is to expand opportunities in voluntary service as a way to address social ills and strengthen democracy— is participating in this month’s Pepsi Refresh Project.
So is Atlas Corps, the international service corps with the online contest Midas Touch.
And you can vote for them both every day in February.
While online contests to benefit nonprofits have been questioned recently (especially the recent Chase Giving contest, which my organization Idealist took part in and won money from), the Pepsi contest is ostensibly trying to do something good. The soda pop company behind the contest decided not to run a Superbowl ad this year, and instead donate those $20 million advertising dollars to bright ideas, and advertise in a more charitable, grassroots kind of way. (How else would I be writing about the company on this blog?)
Each month, Pepsi is awarding grants (up to a total of $1.3 million) to the winning ideas in six categories: health, arts & culture, food & shelter, the planet, neighborhoods and education. They’ll take up to 1000 submissions each month, and then the voting begins.
Your job, if you want it, is to help make some decisions about where the money goes. Each day during the voting period (which lasts till February 28th), you can vote for up to ten ideas.
Right now ServeNext, which registered in the $50,000 category, is in 4th place. If ServeNext wins, their goals are the following:
- Engage 25K people about the value of AmeriCorps and citizen service
- Encourage more people to serve
- Help people realize the impact of their collective voices
- Educate dozens of key leaders in 10 cities about AmeriCorps’ impact
Atlas Corps, the international service fellowship that brings NGO professionals from the Global South to the States for a year of service in Washington, D.C., is also in the $50,000 category, and is currently in third place. These are their goals:
- Empower U.S. nonprofits with skilled professionals from overseas
- Address critical social issues by developing nonprofit leaders
- Double the number of Atlas Corps Fellows in the U.S.
- Expand Atlas Corps to new cities, such as New York and Seattle
Other service organizations that are participating include: Nevada Volunteers, Alpha Phi Omega, World Leadership Corps, My Impact, Teach For America, and LIFT.