Help me OBX, you’re my only hope

Like us, follow, & share:

Benj is not in his Wright mind, trying to spin OBX version of Charitocracy before October

OBX gets its own Charitocracy spin-off!

In hopes of harnessing the impressive engagement from the Outer Banks community of North Carolina, while at the same time calming the nerves of donors everywhere else who see only OBX causes winning lately, I'm busily working on a solution. The Outer Banks will have its own Charitocracy soon. Its own nominees, its own monthly pot, its own winners.

My goal is to finish by the end of September, and make October a dry run. Only OBX charities can be nominated in the new spin-off site, whereas the original national version of Charitocracy will proceed as normal, except without the OBX-specific charities. Current donors can choose to switch over, or with a minimum donation of $1/month per pot, they can participate (nominate, discuss, vote) in both!

Other future spin-offs?

And maybe in the future there will be more than two?? Contact us if you think a local spin-off would be successful in your area. In addition to geographical spin-offs, we could also host topic-specific spin-offs. Imagine a Charitocracy of all environmental causes, or natural disaster responses, or animal rescues, or social justice initiatives? The key is to start off with a critical mass of 100+ donors contributing an average of $5/month each, so we hit the ground running with a $500+ prize every month.

Challenge: make OBX Charitocracy bigger than the original!

The OBX monthly pot will naturally start out smaller with its new donor base. But I suspect it will grow more quickly than the national donor base and monthly pot did, thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication already demonstrated by OBX donors so far this year. Big question: will it outgrow the original national pot? Consider the challenge extended, OBX. There's no speed limit here at Charitocracy.

Now I need to get back to work! Just because I'm talking about it doesn't mean it exists yet. But I've started. And I'm no stranger to all-nighters. You all have me energized. Let's do this!

Send coffee you must

Hijack in progress

Like us, follow, & share:

Lilliputians hijack Gulliver

Under attack from OBX

My fellow Charitocracy donors: There is a hijack in progress.

We are under attack by a local band of generous micro-philanthropists armed with dollar bills and a common goal. And that goal is to raise funds for their favorite local charities in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Those charities feed their hungry, house their homeless, and strengthen ties with their minority communities. And your monthly contributions are aiding and abetting this flagrant benevolence.

Coordinated series of ambushes

On February 4, 2020, Sea Change OBX was nominated by a fermented vegetable peddler from whom I purchased delicious kombucha and kimchi at a farmer's market 4 months prior. (That is the only direct connection Jessica and I have to these hijack attempts, believe it or not!) Then one of the founders of Sea Change, seeing the potential of our platform, conscripted friends, family, and other Sea Change supporters to join Charitocracy and vote. She even handed out flyers to spread the word. February saw Sea Change OBX slowly rise through the ranks and squeak out a victory in its first month, a check for $1262, while recruiting some 3 dozen new Charitocracy donors.

Fast forward to July 1, 2020, when a board member nominated Food for Thought. Same community, same steady rise in votes and almost 20 new Charitocracy donors. They surpassed 2nd place Feeding America, a national charity with similar mission, by a healthy margin. They took home $1447.

And now in August, OBX Room in the Inn had attracted over a dozen more new Charitocracy donors and had risen to 1st place even before the Top 10 were selected. They're only a couple votes away from beating the all-time record of 48.39 votes, set in September 2017 by Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at GHCF. Local charities in OBX seem virtually unstoppable!

How to hijack it back

Is this a marauding gang of do-gooders? A cartel of caring? A bevy of benefaction? And will this madness never end?

That's partly up to you! Do you know how to win friends and influence people? Can you help build your own cabal of like-minded altruists?

Here's a mission outline borrowed straight from the hijackers' playbooks:

  1. Establish objective
  2. Choose a charity. During the 1st week of the month you can nominate a new one. But if you can rally around one that's already nominated, go for it! No need to spread votes even thinner if the charity of your dreams is already on our list. And remember, causes that address needs at a national level may be more attractive to more voters, unless you knock this next one out of the park...

  3. Recruit squad
  4. Have friends already on Charitocracy? Reach out to them with your plan, and friend each other on Charitocracy. But then go further and invite every one of your close friends and family members to join Charitocracy and vote for your cause. Inviting them to like Charitocracy on Facebook or follow us on Instragram/Twitter/LinkedIn doesn't hurt, either. We throw $1 extra in the pot for each new like/follow!

  5. Publish propaganda
  6. Keep your crew informed on progress as you rise through the ranks from obscurity into the Top 10 and beyond. Push out materials promoting your Charitocracy campaign over all media: social, email, face-to-face (sorry, mask-to-mask) conversations, leaflets dropped from planes, whatever it takes! And don't let up until you're victorious.

  7. Call in reinforcements
  8. If you need that extra push over the line, e.g. right before the Top 10, or Top 3, or final vote on the last day of the month, dig deeper into your intel network. Maybe one of your close friend recruits has a friend or 2 of their own they could tap. There's plenty of glory to go around. Just find a way to git 'er done!

  9. World Domination Victory
  10. You won! Clearly you have what it takes. Your charity of choice will reap the spoils. Time to plan your next charitable conquest...

A message to the "enemy"

Congratulations to our neighbors in OBX. I hope you're not offended by my hijacking analogy. You've raised money for the causes dearest and nearest to your hearts. You've boosted Charitocracy's donor count to never before reached levels. And you've done it through no small amount of effort. This is how you conduct a Charitocracy campaign!

However, there is a risk here. Having OBX causes win month after month may (or, almost certainly, will) disenfranchise the majority of Charitocracy donors from all around the country who wish to support causes that help Americans nationwide. Some of them give much more than a dollar per month, and losing their interest and support would reverse Charitocracy's growth and send monthly pot sizes crashing.

So maybe space out your campaigns over time? Or target some national or more geographically diverse causes? Let me be clear: Nothing you're doing is against the rules. Frankly, I'm impressed and super pumped by your enthusiasm. But I'd hate to see the other shoe drop where all we're left with is an OBX skeleton crew competing for a $400 monthly pot.

Any brilliant ideas?

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any potential solutions to this hijacking dilemma. I have some longer term plans that will mesh nicely with this OBX phenomenon, but I'm all ears for your thoughts. And OBX folks, we could discuss in person over coffee at my "office." (Outdoors, 6' apart, with masks on in between sips?!)

Charitocracy needs more hijackers. Change my mind.

Where to send coronavirus donations?

Like us, follow, & share:

coronavirus donations

The speed of spread of coronavirus snuck up on us in the United States. So did the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and that it afflicts young and old, healthy and sick. We're only starting to feel the economic impacts that the critically needed social distancing and home isolation will have. During the first week of March, our last open nomination period, we had no idea what was coming. So you may be wondering how Charitocracy can help channel coronavirus donations right now.

It just so happens that the March 2020 front runner is well aligned with today's needs: RIP Medical Debt. Coronavirus tests may be freely available (rationed for those with symptoms). But the care required for patients with positive test results is not free. And for those without health insurance coverage, it's just one more hardship at an already bad time. RIP Medical Debt empower donors to forgive the billions in oppressive medical debt at pennies on the dollar, so far almost $1.4 billion for ~650,000 Americans. Quite relevant right now!

Pandemic-related charity nominations

On April 1st the floodgates will reopen at Charitocracy for new nominations! There are already some great nominees at Charitocracy that are helping with the crisis. Also peruse the resources listed below for more ideas. Then during the first week of the month, feel free to nominate a new charity that's well positioned to help stop the spread of coronavirus, expedite the treatment of COVID-19, or somehow lessen the emotional, financial, or other suffering of the most vulnerable among us.

Need to pause your Charitocracy donation?

Speaking of which, if you feel like you're being hit from all sides these days, don't let us add to your burden. Charitocracy donations automatically recur annually for most of us. (There are monthly options for those who prefer!) But if your renewal comes at a bad time in the middle of this mess, I get it! Reach out and I can hit the pause button for you, or you could cancel future donations for now and resume them when you're rolling in cash again. Soon I hope! 🤞

You can find the date and amount of your next recurring donation in the "Me and My Votes" widget on the Dashboard once you're logged in. It's in the sidebar if you're on a big screen, or scroll way down on your device. Here's an example:

Charitocracy nominees worthy of your coronavirus donations

While some are recent winners and not yet eligible to receive votes again, consider donating directly to these highly relevant charities during the pandemic crisis:

  • American Red Cross: They recently won for Hurricane Dorian relief in September 2019. Now, more than anything, they need blood donations for the record number of COVID-19 patients.
  • Feeding America: Food security is more problematic than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic while more folks are out of work and children are out of school. Feeding America has launched a Coronavirus Response Fund to redouble their efforts of providing meals safely through their network of regional food banks and local food pantries.
  • Heart to Heart International: nominated on the very day Charitocracy opened shop back in September 2016, this cause hasn't won the prize yet. But they're helping slow the spread of coronavirus by distributing thousands of Hygiene Kits to local shelters, healthcare facilities, school districts, faith-based programs, food pantries, and public safety organizations. Sponsor a $10 Hygiene Kit here!
  • No Kid Hungry: This is an easy one, and our December 2019 winner. A billion kids worldwide are now out of school, where many of them usually receive meals. For some it's their only meals. No Kid Hungry is helping feed as many as possible during this pandemic. Since they just won, they won't be eligible again until next December, but you can make a donation here.
  • UNICEF: This is another long-time nominee that hasn't yet won. To date UNICEF has delivered almost 1.5 million protective items to health workers. Learn more about how they're looking out for children during this crisis.
  • World Central Kitchen: July 2019 winner, this organization responds to just about every crisis in the world, and coronavirus in no exception. They're a group of chefs creating smart solutions to hunger and poverty. You can find out how they're responding to the pandemic in the US and make a donation here.

Additional resources to discover more coronavirus charities

Whether you're looking to volunteer, donate, or nominate a cause at Charitocracy, here are sites with great ideas on how you can help:

I'll update this post as more worthy recipients crop up for your coronavirus donations, or more useful resources become available. In the meantime, stay well, stay safe, and take care of each other! ❤️