Facebook Grant Giveaway: An Experiment in Crowdsourced Grantmaking

During the last week of April we tried a social media experiment—we encouraged our Facebook audience to be grantmakers.  We asked the 650 people who ‘liked’ the Community Foundation on Facebook to name their favorite nonprofit in Kent County.  We promised that the nonprofit that was mentioned most often would receive a $1,000 Community Foundation grant.

People enthusiastically cast their votes for the organization they were most passionate about and they encouraged their friends to do the same.  Nonprofits used social media to mobilize their followers to take action as well.  In one week’s time 1,500 new people ‘liked’ the Community Foundation and well over 1,000 votes were cast for 66 different Kent County nonprofits.  We are excited to welcome these new people to the Community Foundation and appreciate the work the nonprofits did to bring them to us.  We hope the relationship will continue.

Votes were tallied, duplicates removed (rules stated only one vote per person) and numbers confirmed by Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s finance staff.  In the end, Carols Ferals came out victorious receiving 272 votes! 

Here’s a look at the top 10 vote getters:

  1. Carols Ferals – 272 votes, $1,000 grant winner
  2. Greater Hopes Adoption & Family Services – 248 votes
  3. Kids Food Basket – 109 votes
  4. Humane Society of West Michigan – 60 votes
  5. Boy & Girls Club of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth – 38 votes
  6. Children’s Assessment Center – 26 votes
  7. Grand Rapids Oral Deaf Program– 23 votes
  8. Kent County Girls on the Run – 20 votes
  9. MomsBloom, Inc. – 20 votes
  10. WGVU – 20 votes  

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Grant Giveaway.  It was exciting to see the enthusiasm that people have for nonprofits in our community.  We consider this to be a very successful crowdsourced grantmaking experiment and we are pleased to tell you that similar opportunities are on the horizon.  Stay tuned for more information later this summer.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the Facebook Grant Giveaway, please contact Roberta King at rking@grfoundation.org or Amanda St. Pierre at astpierre@grfoundation.org.  You may also call 616.454.1751.