That’s So Meta…

Charitocracy blog + website, two great tastes that taste great together

... a blog post about the blog!

Maybe you’ve noticed that the blog is now embedded within the main Charitocracy site? Goodbye, hello! (If you haven’t noticed, that’s a good sign it’s been a smooth transition.)

The blog predates the rest of the site by nearly a year, and was hosted on a separate server. My SEO gurus (hey, Dave & Tommy!) tell me that’s frowned upon by some search engine algorithms. Not to mention, it’s just a historical artifact that they were separate.

Build it and then what?

My “Build It And They Will Come” mentality is starting to show its naïveté. That saying only holds true for the ghosts of baseball legends when you transform a corn field into a baseball diamond. Or maybe putting up a Starbucks next to the research station in Antarctica. Charitocracy, without the same captive audience, will need to start taking marketing much more seriously in order to carry out our mission.

Organic growth has been humbling, in multiple senses of that word. On one hand, 100% year-to-year growth in donors on nothing more than word-of-mouth and the generosity of our friends and family fills my heart. You guys amaze me. On the other hand, we have ~200 donors today, while the site in its current form could easily serve 2000 or even 20,000 donors.

Expect to hear more about our new marketing efforts in the coming weeks, as we enter 2017’s Giving Season!

Let me get this straight, not only won't they come, but they won't even see what I built unless I boost it?

Spotlight on The Magic Yarn Project

The Magic Yarn Project

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have The Magic Yarn Project nominated by donor emily0153.

Our Mission

To create magic in the lives of children battling cancer and to inspire volunteerism to help make a difference.

Not so long ago, two moms started a project to make a few dozen princess yarn wigs for young girls battling cancer.

Chemotherapy treatments often leave young scalps too sensitive for traditional wigs. Our yarn wigs are comfy, soft, and warm. Magic yarn wigs are inspired by beloved Disney characters, and invite children back to the world of play and daydreaming. They are beacons of fun, laughter, and play, during scary times.

The Magic Yarn Project has received coverage by over a hundred internet media sources, magazines, and local news stories. The demand for magic wigs grows daily! Every year, roughly 83,000 young girls, ages 2-10, are diagnosed with cancer (5,000 in the US).

Due to the popularity of these wigs, The Magic Yarn Project was born, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Our growing organization is funded solely by donations and we are entirely volunteer based!

Visit The Magic Yarn Project's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this 4 minute video, and see for yourself that magic is something You can make:

Spotlight on Outer Banks SPCA

Outer Banks SPCA

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have Outer Banks SPCA nominated by donor bjstager.

Our Mission Statement:

Dare County Animal Services, operated by the Outer Banks SPCA, provides professional and progressive animal welfare assistance to our residents. Our focus is on providing quality care, rescue, reunification, and rehabilitation to all stray, homeless, and abandoned animals in Dare County. We maintain extraordinary standards and achieve exceptional results, making our organization a well respected resource for responsible pet adoption, ownership, education, and retention on the Outer Banks.

The Outer Banks SPCA is an open-admission animal shelter dedicated to caring for all the lost and homeless animals of Dare County. As such, we take in approximately 2,000 dogs and cats each year. We never turn away a Dare County fur resident, whether they be sick, injured, aggressive or behavior challenged. We receive owner give ups, lost, stolen or stray, but we never turn away.

We believe it is not the animal's fault for being at the shelter. We want every healthy, treatable and manageable animal to get a second chance at love. We are dedicated and determined to saving every life we can through responsible animal care practices. We strive to maintain good health and a sound temperament in all our animals. We practice humane education and employ proactive adoption programs to decrease our animals length of stay and optimize space.

Visit Outer Banks SPCA's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this video of Bear, their latest pet of the week!

Congrats to October winner, UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund

Charitocracy's 14th check: to UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund @ HF for $1453

First: a new video

Growth is our primary goal for this, our second year. To help out our kids recorded this new video discussing ways you can help:

Bottom line: invite your friends and family to like our Facebook page, or better yet, to join Charitocracy! Take the time to personally tell someone about Charitocracy, how low the "buy-in" is to get started ($13), and some of the cool causes that have won so far. Then follow up with an easy to generate email invitation.

October 2017 winner: UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund

Last night we voted in our 2nd cause of Charitocracy's 2nd year. Congratulations to UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund hosted by Hispanic Federation, and to donor TdotWING for nominating it! You have these next 7 days to further sweeten the pot with a special one-time donation of any amount, which we'll add straight to the check we write to Hispanic Federation next week. (And thanks to the pot-sweeteners that have already come in today!)

Hispanic Federation has provided an update on some of the actions they've taken to help Puerto Rico rebuild and heal. Now watch this CBS News clip of Lin-Manuel Miranda discussing Hurricane Maria recovery in PR, and his new song raising money for the UNIDOS Fund, and feel good about your part in our collective $1453+ grant to help make things better there!

Have a great November, and log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

Spotlight on Rapha House International

Rapha House International [Love Rescue Heal]

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have Rapha House International nominated by donor MADNK.

About Rapha House

Our mission is to end the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children through aftercare for survivors, prevention for the vulnerable, and awareness for all.

Our Values

Rapha House is a public benefit 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to ending the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. Founded in 2003, Rapha House continues to rescue and rehabilitate children, while bringing them to lasting freedom. Love • Rescue • Heal is more than a slogan to us. It’s a way of life at Rapha House.

We are Christians who take seriously the Scripture that reads: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18). And it is with compassion energized and sustained by love that we act on behalf of victimized children wherever we find them.

Though we are committed Christians, we offer aid without requiring those that we help to embrace our faith. When Jesus fed the 5,000, he did not withhold from those who refused to believe. He gave freely, and so do we.

Our Vision

No child deserves to be trafficked. No child deserves to be sexually exploited. Rapha House’s vision is to see children living safely in communities without the threats of trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Rapha House seeks to…

  • prevent the trafficking of children before it starts
  • rescue children who have already been trafficked
  • operate safe houses for the healing of these children
  • train and re-integrate children who come into their care

Visit Rapha House International's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this video about their mission to save these children.

Spotlight on UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund

Hispanic Federation's UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have the Hispanic Federation's UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund nominated by donor TdotWING.

On September 20th, 2017, everything changed for Puerto Rico. A hurricane of unprecedented strength destroyed much of the island, leaving a great majority of Puerto Ricans without power, access to food, water and communications. Anticipating the immense impact of Hurricane Maria, the Hispanic Federation convened government officials and community leaders in New York, Connecticut, Florida and Washington, DC to create the UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program.

The objective of the UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program is to meet hurricane-related needs and recovery in Puerto Rico. One hundred percent of contributions to the UNIDOS Fund goes to help the immediate and long-term recovery needs of children, families and communities in distress from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Thank you for your generosity!

Visit UNIDOS's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Almost Like Praying" music video in support of Hispanic Federation's hurricane relief efforts.

Spotlight on the Innocence Project

Innocence Project 25th Anniversary

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have the Innocence Project nominated by donor cperg814.

The Innocence Project's mission is to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated, and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.

  • Our Legal & Intake departments work to exonerate the innocent who have been wrongly convicted.
  • Our Strategic Litigation department works to improve case law through targeted legal work.
  • Our Policy department works to pass laws and implement policies that prevent wrongful conviction.
  • Our Social Work department supports exonerees as they rebuild their lives post-release.

Visit the Innocence Project's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this video about the Innocence Project's 25 years of helping reverse and prevent wrongful convictions and supporting exonerees.

Congrats September winner, Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund!

Charitocracy's 13th check: to Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund @ GHCF for $2571

My How You've Grown

Our two ongoing campaigns to grow Charitocracy have so far been successful. First, we placed an extra dollar in the pot for every new Facebook like and Twitter follow. We received 140, putting an extra $140 in the September pot and also putting us over 500 likes on Facebook! Second, we matched every new donor's initial annual donation as well as current donors' donation upgrades, dollar for dollar. This program has been running for only 6 days, but has already led to 16 new donors and 5 donation upgrades, for a total of $107 added to the September pot (and each of the next 11 pots, too!).

This flurry of donation and matching activity is responsible for the pot reaching over $1500 for the first time. But then this morning we received a super generous "pot sweetener" one-time donation of $1000. The donors, moved by recent natural disasters, hope not only to help Harvey victims. They wish to inspire other donors to dig deep, now and in coming months, to help those in desperate need. Whether a dollar a month or a thousand (!?!), you guys really fill us with hope, displaying so much generosity over and over.

Did I mention that we ended September with 203 donors? That's more than double the 100 donors we had at the end of September last year! And the pot has more than tripled from the $500 in that very first monthly pot.

September 2017 Winner: Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

Last night we voted in our 1st cause of Charitocracy's 2nd year. Congratulations to Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund hosted by Greater Houston Community Foundation, and to donor brun064 for nominating it! You have these next 7 days to further sweeten the pot with a special one-time donation of any amount, which we'll add straight to the check we write to GHCF next week.

Now watch this video showing the extent of the flooding in Houston, and feel good about your part in our collective $2571+ grant to help make things better there!

Have a great October, and log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

I Double Dare You To Double Our Donors

Double Dare Charitocracy Edition

You've proven that you can accept a challenge and deliver results. We had 384 Facebook Likes, we asked you to invite your friends to like us, and 4 days later we had 500. That number continues to grow, and as a result September's winning cause will get an extra $132... or more!

Double the Donors

This week we have a new challenge: bring our donor count from 186 to 200. That's a net of 14 donors in the next 5 days. Doable, right? After all, last year we signed up 59 new donors in the last 5 days of September! You just need to pick a few of your raddest friends and invite them to join Charitocracy. Or if you haven't already joined yet yourself, then you qualify to be the raddest: simply click here, and for as little as $13/year you'll become Charitocracy's newest donor!

Hitting an even 200 would effectively double our donors from September 30, 2016 to September 30, 2017. 100% growth in a year. That's all we need. If we double in size each year, the monthly pot will exceed $1 million just 10 years from now! Think about it, that means each donor has to simply convince one friend to join each year. Not so far-fetched! Especially considering the busy bees going over quota. You know who you are. <3

Double the Fun

We know extra incentives help motivate prospective donors to seal the deal. That's why we're matching all new donor sign-ups, dollar for dollar. When a new donor donates $13, we'll double that by throwing an extra $1 into the coming year's monthly pots. A $130 donation will go twice as far when we throw an extra $10 into the monthly pots. If you give Charitocracy to a friend, that same doubling will apply.

And because we not only want to increase the donor base, but also the $ per donor ratio, we're matching the new donation amount for all donation increases as well! Let's say you were giving $5/month and you double your donation to $10/month. We'll throw in an extra $10/month just as if you were a new donor!

By my calculations, if we hit this goal and end up with at least 200 donors come October 1st, the September pot could break $1500!

Accept Benj's double dare... or take the physical challenge! I do not recommend taking the physical challenge.

How do I love thee? Let me count the Likes.

They Like Me

You've heard the news that we've been up and running for a whole year now, right? We have things pretty well dialed in at this point. Deserving causes, nominated and voted in by you guys, win ever-increasing pots of cash each month. Now we need to turn our attention to growth of our donor base. And for starters, that means we need more Likes... from the likes of you and your friends.

The Plan: $1 added to the pot per Like

We have some great ideas on how to attract more donors, but we need to get the word out to as many people as we can. We're primarily "preaching to the converted" at the moment: those of you reading this are by and large our friends and family. You're already donors, or if not, you at least get what we're trying to do and are patiently waiting for the perfect day to join us. (We're ready when you are.) But to reach those other deadbeats out there who've never heard of us, we need lots and lots of Likes!

Instead of paying Facebook/Twitter/Google for advertisements drumming up more followers, we're going to pay ourselves. We received some large matching donations earlier this year, not yet tied to any monthly pots. We'd like to use those funds to catalyze growth at Charitocracy. Before we roll out other incentives, we'd like to grow the audience who'll hear about them. So the first incentive: $1 added to the pot for every new Like.

Right now we're at 384 Likes on Facebook, and 31 Followers on Twitter. So on the night of September 30, we'll take the current Like count, subtract 384, and add that many dollars to September's pot. If our Like count is up to 500, we'd throw an extra $116 in. Same goes for Twitter followers. Now that's what I call sweetening the pot! And we'd repeat with our new baselines in October.

The Ask: Invite all your friends to Like us

Here's what we'd... like... you to do:

  1. On Facebook, go to Charitocracy's page.How to Invite Friends' Likes - Charitocracy Page
  2. Click on the ... button, then on Invite Friends:How to Invite Friends' Likes - Invite Friends
  3. Click the little blue page icon and write a one-liner personal note like this:How to Invite Friends' Likes - Personal invitation
  4. Most important step: Click every Invite button in your list of friends!
  5. Head on over to our Twitter page and Follow us!How to Invite Friends' Likes - Twitter Follow
  6. I don't know if there's a way to invite Twitter followers to follow Charitocracy, but let me know if there is and I'll pass it along!

Remember, you and your friends Like us, but we LOVE you. <3

  • For a limited time, while supplies last, void where prohibited, batteries not included. We should have more than enough matching funds to cover us through 1000 Likes and well beyond, so please get busy!