Craigconnects launches major campaign to support military families
A while back I interviewed Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, about his new venture craigconnects. He mentioned that craigconnects would soon launch a major initiative involving non-profits that were “getting the job done” in relation to Veterans and their families.
Last night was the culmination of a three day fundraising challenge between four organizations that are at the forefront of Veterans issues; Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, The Intrepid Air and Space Museum, The Bob Woodruff Foundation and BlueStar Families. The challenge was tied with an extensive social media outreach effort to build awareness and involvement.
“These guys really get the job done, effectively providing services and advocacy where they’re needed,” said Newmark.
Newmark said he will donate a total of $100,000 to the four organizations based on the number of donations they receive during the challenge, rather than the amount of money they raise. “What I want to do with craigconnects is help build involvement, not just raise money. All non-profits need money, but what they really need are supporters who will be there long term. I hope everybody will come to our site, check out these groups, and decide which they want to support.”
He added that he is also using social and traditional media to support government agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs and local VA medical centers. All month long there will be blogging, guest blogging, tweeting and outreach through social media that will focus on Veteran and military family organizations and the issues they face. “They’re starting to use social media to provide better customer service and outreach to our veterans,” he said. “I want people to know about the good stuff they’re getting done.”
Additionally, the non-profit organizations will participate in craigconnects’ extensive social media effort through Twitter, Facebook, and the craigconnects website. Guest authors on the site will include several individuals prominent in the field of veterans support, including NASCAR CEO Brian France and entertainer Eddie Money. Newmark said guest authors will write about the organizations and issues they support.
craigconnects is Newmark’s personal, Web-based initiative aimed at helping people work together for the common good using the Internet. In addition to veterans’ organizations, the initiative spotlights many other organizations and agencies working in the areas of community building, connectivity, journalism integrity, open government, service and volunteering, and technology for social good. To find out more or participate, visit www.craigconnects.org
Craig volunteered to answer a few more questions about the challenge.
BBB: Congratulations on a wonderful initiative. As you are aware, your challenge grant will assist these organizations in the support of Veterans and their families and the issues they face. IAVA has just launched a campaign to battle the staggering Veterans unemployment statistics; the Intrepid’s Fallen Heroes Fund, the Fisher House and Intrepid Relief Fund directly assist Veterans and their families in need; BlueStar Families just released initiatives on preventing military suicides; and ReMind, the Bob Woodruff Foundation is assisting in the healing of the psychological and physical wounds of war.
Could you touch on your experience and choice of each organization?
coworker to take a good look at the Intrepid and BlueStar. In all four cases,
these are groups which get the job done, that’s what works for me.
BBB: Did you have a secret favorite or one that you thought would raise the most based on their past fundraising efforts?
[I don't have a] favorite, and no clue as to what would work.
BBB: Now that the challenge has completed, it looks like the Bob Woodruff Foundation is the top fundraiser? Would you like to announce it as the recipient of the $40K First Prize?
Not sure, but will announce in the blog, and soon. [Announcement]
BBB: You connect regularly with people via social media outlets like Facebook. Were you able to observe the outcome that you hoped for – more interaction between those organizations, craigconnects.org and supporters?
Hard to say at this point, but the feedback from each group has been really great; I’ve heard from each group.
BBB: What’s next for craigconnects.org?
More for veterans and military families, then more regarding networks for fact-checking, and more focused on the Mideast, and the West Bank in particular.
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