Fund Your Social Cause With The Pepsi Refresh Project
Note: This project has been discontinued.
The Pepsi Refresh Project is an effort to change the world by providing funding to those who wish to make the world a better place. Through this project you could gain funding for your own social cause! Individuals, businesses and non-profits can participate.
What is the Pepsi Refresh Project?
The Pepsi Refresh Project is a year long campaign where money will be given to those individuals and groups that provide ideas for improving the world either on a local or more widespread level. Pepsi has pledged to put more than $20 million toward this project. The initial idea was to take money that could have been spent on Superbowl ads and instead re-channeling those funds to where they could do the most good. Seems like a goo idea to us!
How does it work?
The Pepsi Refresh Project is an online contest. Anyone who wishes to do so may enter their proposal online and a maximum of 1,000 such proposals are accepted every month. Assuming these proposals meet the given guidelines then they will be posted so that the public can vote on their favorites. This means that it is the public and not the folks at Pepsi who will decide which projects get the green light and the necessary funding. You could submit your own proposal and be in the running that easily.
This looks like a great opportunity for those who are looking to make a difference in the world. In one fell swoop you could come up with a concrete proposal for a project and possibly have it approved. You could instantly have the funding that you need to implement whatever changes you propose. Every month up to $1.3 million goes to the ideas that win in the categories of health, arts & culture, food & shelter, the planet, and neighborhoods & education.
Is it easy to win?
Your proposal will be competing with many others so winning is not easy. With a voting pool as large as those with internet access, you will need a large number of votes to win. You can work to get more votes by creating a proposal that people care about as much as you do and by using your social media accounts to spread the word.
We know, that’s easier said than done, but not impossible. Just look at the finalists from the past month at refresheverything.com. Plus, even if you lose you will probably have learned a whole lot about mobilizing social media and what works and what doesn’t.
What about transparency and fraud?
However, these kinds of contests also make their ways into the news when the companies behind them are being accused of fraud, like the Chase Community Project. You can also read about shady voting practices for the Pepsi Refresh Project on Beth’s Blog. If you want to hear it from an organization who actually participated in the Refresh Project click over to Modest Needs for their experience with this contest. (Select the September 2010 newsletter.)
Aside from all the bad press, these kinds of contests remain widely popular. Online charity contests are still relatively new and hopefully still improving! If you decide to give one of them a try, prepare to spend a lot of time getting people to vote and keep in mind what you are promoting: with the Pepsi Refresh Project you’d be promoting soda. You have to ask yourself if this aligns with your overall values.
What types of ideas are accepted?
While project proposals cannot contain profanity or advocate any one political party, they can be for any size project. Whether you want to create something as simple as a community garden or if you have a proposal concerning in-depth medical research, your ideas are welcome in this contest. Grants come in different sizes so all proposals are welcome.
The Pepsi Refresh Project may be a great opportunity to make your dream of a better world a reality. You can begin with the provided toolkit to help you present your idea.
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