Voting for a Cause – Rallying the Digital Community

Grow St. Louis

If you’re a St. Louis Area Foodbank supporter, chances are we’ve hit you up to vote for us in some sort of campaign. Or maybe a friend of ours asked on our behalf.

You might be thinking, which time?

In almost every aspect of our lives, we are asked to cast votes. We write names on a dotted line, fill in bubbles, poke holes next to a name, push buttons on a touch screen, raise our hands and say yea or nay.

We vote in local, state and national elections. We vote at PTA meetings and in board rooms.

We vote spontaneously with our friends and family. What type of pizza should be order? Which movie should we see? Such questions are often resolved by someone suddenly declaring let’s take a vote.

A new form of voting has emerged in recent years in which corporations ask the public to decide where grant money should go. I’m sure you’re familiar with the idea. You vote with just the click of a mouse.

On May 13, 2011, St. Louis Area Foodbank competed in a contest conducted by Toyota called 100 Cars for Good. The public voted via Facebook for which nonprofit organization should be awarded a new car. Our supporters rallied for us, and we were fortunate to win a new Highlander Hybrid.

Our Agency Relations staff uses the vehicle to visit our more than 500 partner agencies in the bi-state region. With over 14,000 square miles in our service territory, the Highlander has been a great resource for us. Our Product Sourcing department also uses the vehicle to drop off and pick up materials for community Food & Funds Drives.

100 Cars for Good was a fun contest.

These days, more and more companies are turning to these voting campaigns to award grants and prizes to nonprofits. So much so, that it is difficult for a nonprofit to avoid these campaigns.

Last month, we entered another voting contest – Walmart’s Fighting Hunger Together. Over 300 hunger relief organizations across the country competed for $45,000 and $20,000 grants.

There were four hunger-relief organizations in the bi-state area that competed inWalmart’s Fighting Hunger Together:

  • St. Louis Area Foodbank
  • TWIGS (Granite City, Ill.)
  • Victory Dream Center (Carbondale, Ill.)
  • Loving Hearts Outreach (Washington, Mo.)

All four organizations won an award thanks to the tireless efforts of supporters who voted and promoted the campaign online.

Posting or sharing a link to your Facebook wall is the new-age digital version of canvassing door to door, and we’d like to thank everyone who marched around in the digital world in support of our mission.

We understand that you are asked to “vote” one way or another quite often, so please accept our deepest gratitude for taking the time to vote. We know that it can sometimes feel tedious, but your vote really does make a difference.

We just entered a new voting contest – Monsanto’s Grow St. Louis.

Votes can be cast once per day on the Grow St. Louis Facebook page starting on May 6 and ending May 19. Five nonprofits organizations with the most votes will win a $20,000 award.

During a political voting campaign, a candidate attempts to educate the public on his or her position. The candidate also tries to register as many voters as possible – citizens who may not have voted before or perhaps moved to a new address.

The best way to “register” for our voting campaigns is to connect with us on social media. We will keep you informed about our work in the community, and every once in awhile, we will ask for your vote.

Bethany Prange
Patrick-Delhougne is the Development Associate at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.


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