Whatever people may say about Lady Gaga, she has been a positive influence in the philanthropic world. And now she has partnered with the Robin Hood Foundation to launch two Facebook contests to support the New York-based charity, which benefits the poor and homeless.
One contest is designed to increase Robin Hood‘s Likes on Facebook while the other asks Facebook fans to help decide how Gaga should divide a $1 million donation to the charity.
Both contests stem from Robin Hood’s annual May 9 fundraising gala where Gaga will be performing. The Robin Hood sweepstakes is giving away two tickets every weekday to attend the concert. Fans are entered into the lottery by liking the page and inviting friends to join.
It’s a huge chance for Robin Hood to boost its social media presence thanks to Gaga’s millions of fans, says Mark Bezos, Robin Hood’s senior VP of development and communications.
“The exposure that comes from someone who has 32 million Facebook fans is a great opportunity for us, but at the end of the day this promotion, this contest, is about helping people who need it and doing it in a way that is not superficial,” he says
The second contest, hosted on Gaga’s Facebook page, will feature five different charities tackling local issues around poverty and homelessness. Fans can vote for which charity most deserves Gaga’s money. The results will be tiered, with the winner receiving $500,000, the person at second place receiving $250,000 and so on. Gaga will donate $1 million in total to the five charities. Basically, it’s a crowdsourced way for Gaga’s fans to tell her where she should donate.
Crowdsourced giving campaigns are definitely new ground for Robin Hood. Even though the foundation hands out approximately $130 million in grants annually, it has kept a relatively low profile. Bezos hopes the pairing with Gaga will bring greater awareness to the foundation’s mission. “At Robin Hood, we don’t give grants by popular vote, it’s by results,” Bezos said. “We don’t want to go down this path just because it seems like it would a really fun way to engage a lot of people. What we promise our donors is that every dollar is going to work as hard as it can to improve the lives of poor people in New York.”
To that end, each of the five charities in the contest have been vetted and approved by the foundation. The tiered system ensures that none of the non-profits will walk away empty-handed.
Lady Gaga has proven herself to be quite the activist. She donated proceeds of a New York concert to rebuilding efforts in Haiti, she has been selling bracelets to support Japan and she is also an active supporter of LGBT rights. Bezos says the idea to collaborate with Robin Hood actually came from Gaga’s camp. “We don’t trade in celebrity a whole lot, it’s not something that we seek out so when the opportunity comes to us, we just make sure, first and foremost from our point of view, that it’s going to do the most good to the people who need it,” he says.
Robin Hood has found a way to include Gaga without sacrificing its core message or best practices. It’s not an easy feat, but it puts the cause first. Other partners in the campaign include Network For Good, Partnerships for Purpose, Causes and Buddy Media.
What do you think of celebrities supporting non-profits? Is the collaboration a good match? What could they have done better? Sound off in the comments.
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