Are You Doing Good?
Calling all nonprofits seeking funding for community projects. (Are there any that aren't?) Tom's of Maine recently launched its 50 States for Good challenge in which it is seeking organizations from all 50 states to apply for sponsorship of community projects.
The application phase ends Aug. 30. Organizations are encouraged to visit the 50 States for Good Web site, download the application and submit it for community projects that need funding support. All applications received by the deadline will go through an initial screening by an external panel consisting of members of nonprofit organizations and nonprofit bloggers, where applications will be judged based on:
- Achievability (30 percent), i.e., is the project something that can be completed and measured within six months?
- Positive impact (35 percent). How will the program make a positive impact on the community? What enduring change will come from it?
- Community involvement (35 percent). How does the project engage and involve members of the community in which the organization operates?
The 50 applications that make it through the screening to phase two will then be featured on the Tom's of Maine Web site and voted on by the public. The top five winners will be announced in November, be featured on the Tom's of Maine Web site and be awarded $20,000 each toward their goals.
I had a chance to talk to Rob Robinson, common good partnership director for Tom's of Maine, and Susan Dewhirst, media and public relations manager for Tom's of Maine, about the program.
FundRaising Success: How did the 50 States for Good program come about?
Rob Robinson: We're always looking to policies and programs that are about doing good — doing good in the community, making sure that we're making a positive difference for people and for the environment. We've also had some policies in place that are really about, "How do you interact and engage with your consumers?" [We understand] that they're our most valuable resource and that we can really learn a lot from them. I think the benefit of when you're working with a company where you have the opportunity to interact with people that are out there doing good things, over time you come to realize, "Wow, there's really a lot of people out there that are doing these good things for their communities, really trying to make a difference."