And The Winner Is…

Surprise, surprise, the post $500 For Your Nonprofit won, no… absolutely dominated, the One Post Challenge. Regarding whether the post actually furthered the online philanthropy conversation, I will note that a number of people who were drawn to Tactical Philanthropy to vote for their charity stuck around and commented on other posts.

Without further ado here is the victory speech from the author of $500 For Your Nonprofit, the anonymous author of the blog Don’t Tell The Donor.

By “a fundraiser”

When I submitted my entry to Sean’s “One Post Challenge”, it wasn’t my intention to hijack the contest.

Fourteen months ago when I started my Don’t Tell the Donor blog, it was one of only a handful of fundraising blogs. Over the past year, I was initially excited to see so many more bloggers add to the online conversation.

Unfortunately, the proliferation of websites has all too often produced an incestuous conversation. For this medium to reach its strongest potential and serve as a true benefit to the nonprofits we serve, we must find a way to reach out beyond a limited number of fundraisers and foundation staffers to engage directly with individual donors.

As I wrote in my initial post, “blogging is not about talking AT PEOPLE, it’s about making readers part of the story and giving them a reason to be engaged.”

Engaged was a bit of an understatement. Within the first 24 hours, my post generated 57 comments, which by itself would have been enough to win the contest.

Sean himself noted that the deluge of hopeful supporters leaving comments for their cause generated more traffic to the website than his mentions in both the Chronicle of Philanthropy and the New York Times. That single comment proved my point more than the huge number of posts that came in.

…oh, but by the way… there were a heckuva a lot of comments. As I write this now, it looks like there are 683 total comments. I will leave it to Sean to see if he thinks there was any cheating with multiple votes coming from the same IP address (Sean’s note: The voting seems to be valid. Some duplicate voting on both sides, but nothing that would change the outcome)… but here is how I saw the horserace unfold:

A total of ten nonprofits tried to lobby for votes. The early leader, Pride at Work after generating more than 60 votes within the first 36 hours. Thanks to one dedicated activist who was able to use his own site to reach out to more people, Pride at Work built a commanding lead… so much of a lead, they stopped thinking about the contest.

Then, on November 26th, someone who went by the name “Kjerstin” posted comment #75 – the first vote for Forge. That was followed by more than 50 more votes for Forge within the next couple hours… and the battle lines were drawn.

For the last week, votes poured in from both charities. It wasn’t until late on December 3rd when Pride at Work must have thought the voting was over when Forge moved in for their final push. The refugee assistance group poured on more than 250 votes in the final day and won the contest by a final vote (through 683 total votes) by a score of 423-231.

Truth be told, I had never heard of either group when this contest started, but I have learned a lot about them in the past couple weeks… I hope others have. Both groups did an excellent outreach marketing job… and I would suggest that even though I will donate the $500 gift card (Sean’s note: the prize increased to $750 during the contest) I won to Forge, I would like to suggest that Sean award his second $250 award to the second place group in this contest, Pride at Work.

My work here is done. This “fundraiser” is off to run a couple victory laps around the blogosphere. Congratulations to Sean and to Forge (who apparently live about an hour away from each hour). I would encourage other bloggers to organize these challenges… it seems much more effective than those bland carnivals.

Thanks again for letting me be a part.


  1. Maya Norton says:

    It was a great battle and certainly turned into a model example.

    Maya Norton

    The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy

  2. Jo says:

    It was a good competition. What was most exciting for us at Pride At Work was reading the wonderful things that folks said about us. Like many organizations that do advocacy and education, we don’t always know if our message is getting out there. Receiving such warm and supportive responses from hundreds of people, many of whom we do not know, was the best reward ever.

    Thanks for the experience.

    Jo Kenny
    Pride At Work

  3. Jo, Thanks for participating. Pride at Work got the ball rolling on what turned out to be a great competition.

    If you ever want to submit your own guest post, I’d love to publish it.