The first annual Philadelphia DoGooder Awards is a unique program designed to raise $250,000 worth of skills for area nonprofit organizations. The awards not only bring much needed skills to local nonprofits, but also help publicize their good works. Sometimes doing good means contributing skills rather than cash.
I recently spoke with Dave Gloss, who co-founded Here’s My Chance along with Kevin Colahan. Here’s My Chance is running the Philadelphia DoGooders Awards, designed to help nonprofit organizations achieve their goals and bring attention to their causes.
The Philadelphia DoGooder Awards program pairs 25 local film makers with 25 local nonprofits to make short videos explaining the mission of the organizations. These videos were posted at the Philly in Focus website where people could vote on their favorites. The winners of the DoGooder Awards, who will be announced at an awards ceremony later this month, will receive $250,000 worth of volunteer skills from local Philadelphia businesses.
“We created the Philly DoGooder Awards to celebrate the best in Philadelphia storytelling, as a way to create a really compelling online campaign that generates great content in terms of video, helps activate film makers in the community to give back to the city, and gives the nonprofits a chance to learn what it takes to run a successful online campaign, activating their community,” explained Gloss.
Here’s My Chance held a video hackathon in November which matched the nonprofits with the film makers. “We wanted to insure that there were quality films competing in the challenge. They had 10 days to storyboard, shoot, edit and submit a film. All 25 got their videos submitted which was a real testament to the community,” said Gloss.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January, local corporations provided volunteers to assess the nonprofits’ needs for specific skills such as legal, accounting, marketing, and operations. Gloss pointed out, ”Even if they don’t win the competition, they still get a baseline of what skills they need. It gives them a clear path forward.”
Voting for the videos started December 17th and concluded January 31st. The $250,000 prize will be allocated among five different organizations ($50,000 each) for each of the following awards:
- Overall winner
- Hackathon winner
- 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for Viewer’s Choice
The film makers also gain publicity by their videos being shown at Xfinity on Demand and at the national DoGooder Awards website. “We wanted to celebrate the film makers. They should get something out of it, ” explained Gloss.
One of the videos tells the story of a New Leash on Life USA, an organization that matches shelter dogs with prison inmates. The inmates volunteer to help train shelter dogs to be adoptable by families, helping the inmates as much as the pups. If the New Leash on Life USA video doesn’t get you choked up, well then your nickname just might be “The Grinch.”
The Philadelphia DoGooder Awards is part of the national DoGooder Awards program, but the hackathon and skills audit are unique to Philadelphia. “According to the United Way, this is the single largest skill volunteer program in the City’s history,” said Gloss.
The Awards ceremony will be held on February 21st at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Here’s My Chance is running a contest to give away free tickets to the event. If you want to enter the contest, take a picture of yourself doing good works and post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #PhillyDoGooder. The best picture will win two free tickets to the awards show.
In the unlikely event that you don’t win the contest, you can purchase tickets to the event at the DoGooders website.
Have you heard of the DoGooder Awards? What do you think of this skills raising program? Would you like to have this program in your city? Let us know in the Comments section below!