How Great HEART Give Makes an Impact

great heart give

Currently and in the upcoming months, Heart Technologies will be promoting our seventh annual Great HEART Give competition. This contest gives local 501(c)3 organizations the opportunity to go head-to-head to rally supporters and gain votes, as the top-voted nonprofit receives a $10,000 technology grant.

Does this contest really make a difference? Sure, $10,000 sounds like a decent chunk of change, but how far can you really go with this? We asked Michael Peifer, Executive Director of LifeLine Pilots, our 2015 winner, to share his experience with us.

Peifer used local events as his platform, bringing mini-flyers with information about voting and the Great HEART Give. This competition served as an outreach tool for LifeLine Pilots. Now, instead of asking for monetary donations, which some may not be able to expense, he was asking for texts and tweets, which for most, won’t cost anything additional and is easy to do. If at all, it was a fresh way for the LifeLine Pilots team to get into the community and share their message.

Through Great HEART Give, the LifeLine Pilots team has been able to increase the community’s knowledge of their organization. In our interview with Peifer, he shared that many people do not know this organization exists in Peoria, calling themselves a “hidden gem” of the area. Peifer said that the Great HEART Give helped get the word out about LifeLine Pilots through Heart’s promotion of the event as well. Because our Great HEART Give team pushes this competition through social media and local chambers, our hundreds of followers are getting exposure to these nonprofits.

Because we want high participation in this event, we like to inform our audiences about the finalists. From a competition standpoint, this is our way of enticing people that may want to contribute to the community but are unaware of the missions of the finalists. We promote each finalists’ missions and motives for joining the Great HEART Give to provide our followers with the opportunity to make an educated decision upon who they would like to vote for in this contest.

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From the nonprofit side, our promotion of their organizations is free publicity. We are publicizing their stories and their purpose to the local community at no financial cost. Heart’s only intent in doing so is to increase awareness of their organization, increase the number of votes all finalists receive, and help one of our finalists earn a $10,000 technology grant. We are helping you spread your mission and helping you earn a grant that can improve your organization.

As we’ve stated in posts before and on our Great HEART Give website, we are making some changes this year. Each contest is modified year after year based on feedback from voters, finalists, and our Great HEART Give team to make the experience easy, fun, and enjoyable for all. In our feedback from 2015’s contest, we realized that while social media, email lists, and other posts are cost-efficient ways for nonprofits to promote, the ability to do so is not always there. These organizations are often stretched thin for money (hence why they are trying to win a grant), and taking the time to make images, write emails, and so on costs time, money, and man power. To help, we are giving marketing packets to all finalists this year. These packets will include sample images, sample letters to be sent via email or snail mail, sample social media posts, and more to make the process a bit simpler on nonprofits. With simple additions or edits, these materials are ready for posting and broadcast.

We have also brought back in-person voting this year. Last year’s feedback revealed that many who benefit from the nonprofits may not have the means to text, tweet, or use a computer to vote. By giving each area Heart serves a free opportunity to come vote in person, we are leveling the playing field amongst nonprofits and giving incentive to come see Heart Technologies and cast make your selection, which will count for 20 votes.

If your 501(c)3 nonprofit organization is interested in being in the running for Great HEART Give 2016, visit our website for more information.

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