Kickstarter is Brilliant: Leebre

I wanted to highlight some of the great companies blooming at Kickstarter:

Leebre.org, independent online publishing needs $407 to get their project launched:
Leebre.org is a nonprofit that supplies book lovers with free alternative novels and short stories, and provides authors an independent way to find audiences and support the causes that they love.

From the Founder, Michael Bethencourt:

We need your help to get Leebre off the ground. Check out the Leebre Kickstarter page for more information on Leebre, and a video that showcases a few of Leebre’s coolest features.We only have 4 days left to reach our Kickstarter goal. We’ve almost reached our goal, but we also don’t have much time left, so these last 4 days are crucial to the project. Please keep on spreading the word!
We’re counting on you guys. The most important aspect in getting a
community project off the ground is, well, the community. The most
important aspect of getting the word out is simply building a
community of readers and writers, so it’ll be an active website even
during the initial beta.

Kickstarter: http://kck.st/tVio5Q
Twitter: @LeebreTeam
Project blog: http://leebre.blogspot.com/

Second, the Leebre Beta. Do you want an exact date? I’d give you one,
but there’s a chance I’d be wrong. Instead, I’ll answer: very soon! If
the Kickstarter is successful, the private beta will launch in
February, as promised, and you’ll get to play around with the first
version of the site within a month.

The One for One Movement

I’ve started a discussion group on LinkedIn around a topic near to my passions- The early One for One movement. I believe we owe the birth of this idea to TOMS shoes but since then I’ve seen several other companies rise to the occasion in all different categories.

Come on over to the LinkedIn group and share your thoughts!

One for One Philanthropy

Reinventing a Company Toy Drive with Social Media

Learnings from my latest cause marketing program at WellPoint December 2011

I’m very proud of the success and fun we had with our WellPoint holiday toy drive providing happiness to the families at the RAIN center in Camarillo, Ca. This was the first year we used social media for our internal Blue Crew programs. I designed the social media strategy using Yammer to seed our message to company employees. Using an Amazon Wish List helped make the wishes more real and provided reporting and tracking on the gifts that were received or needed.

Outreach was driven through Yammer (facebook for companies) where we created a new group for the Blue Crew and enlisted our colleagues to join and spread the word about the online forum. Building this group created an opt-in audience for our future campaigns too. Employees who provided toys or furthered our cause were awarded badges and called out on the news feed. Every day we would highlight a special wish reminding everyone how little it costs to make a difference. And with the Amazon wish list we eliminated the hassle of shipping so all employees from New York to San Diego could participate- and heavier toys (like a skateboard for Angela that came from a colleague in Maine) were not left out.

The program also acted as a Yammer sign up campaign though I don’t have the stats on that. Because the conversations we hosted were engaging and viral, we saw daily new sign-ups to the Yammer site that had been online for over a year.

Our Intranet editor posted this out to the company:

The Blue Crew had another great success with its holiday toy drive for RAIN transitional living facility located in Camarillo, California. WellPoint associates from across the country heard about the toy drive and donated 64 gifts for the children and families, far exceeding the wish list of 27 items. Many thanks go to Vicki Karayan, Marketing Coordinator, Sr. who organized the drive while Suzanne Appel, Internet Marketing Manager, drove internal awareness for the drive. “Day by day the Amazon boxes arrived and we saw the kids’ wish list fill up. It was so exciting to feel that kind of generosity from these amazing WellPoint Associates,” said Suzanne. RAIN supports families in our community trying to get back on their feet in this tough economy. Way to go!!

Amazon Wish List for Rain

RAIN supports families in our community trying to get back on their feet with in this tough economy. The RAIN Transitional Living Center has provided housing and services to families and single adults in Ventura County, California, to help with the transition from homelessness to permanent housing. You can learn more about them at http://www.raincommunities.org

Learnings:

  • Make it easy to donate, and make it real to know where the money is going
  • By removing the shipping issues we were able to make great gains on a short 2 week campaign at the holiday time
  • Technology isn’t for everyone so make sure to provide tips for people who prefer offline channels
  • Creating a universal, up-to-date wish list allows you to see your progress daily, add to the inventory, make adjustments as the prices change and delete items when someone notifies you they bought an item offline
  • Having the audience is critical, having the right message will help you grow that audience
  • When you love what you’re doing you’ll thrive to innovate