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Stuff learned from our Vets and Military Families campaign

Posted: 08/30/11 01:03 PM ET

Okay, in July we did a first experiment helping the groups who support military families and veterans, trying conventional social media methods. We had some limited success, but want to do much better. Here's some of the results. A later posting will announce our next phase.

The campaign focused on four effective support groups, and a grant challenge to get them chunks of cash based on how many contributions they could stir up. I contributed $100,000, which is a lot for me. We did get over 800 contributions, and awarded each of the groups a chunk of cash:

Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America $40,000

Blue Star Families $30,000

Intrepid Museum Family of Foundations (eg Fisher House) $20,000

Bob Woodruff Foundation $15,000

Please note that this complements my efforts with DonorsChoose, a $25,000 matching campaign supporting schools that serve primarily military families. Some matching funds are still available, check here for more.

We also had over thirty guest posts here from vets and families groups, some of which never get attention. This increased social media attention to all such groups, though that's very difficult to monitor. All of this helped get attention for a group of Americans who are neglected in conventional media.

There was also great value in participating in groups that might have some real influence moving head the cause, and it's possible that this largely quiet diplomacy, enabled by the campaign, did a lot of good. This includes work with the Joining Forces effort, the Clinton Global Initiative - America, local Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, the San Francisco Vets' Resource Center, and other local groups with ideas for getting vets jobs.

I'd like to do better for vets and families, and for other groups doing vital work for our country. We're still thinking about that, like having simultaneous campaigns, and periodically throwing the spotlight on one effort, then another.

We'll be asking for a hand now and then.

Thanks!

 
 
 

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