Social responsibility can be difficult for companies to get quite right. Typically brands that do get it right see the value and do it again, refining the process and making it stronger than the year before.
To make these socially responsible marketing campaigns a success there needs to be an understanding of the importance of giving back, combined with both an authenticity and a transparency that makes people like us want to support the effort.
Now in its third year, State Farm Neighborhood Assist™ program is getting it right. Their effort plays on their longtime motto. You know the one. It starts with, “Like a good neighbor….”
You sang the rest in your head too, didn’t you?
Each year they give us the power to decide how $1 million in grants will be spent on local communities across the country. The total is divvied up so that 40 local causes will each receive a $25,000 grant from State Farm. Entries come from a wonderfully diverse group of people with creative ideas, from communities both large and small.
According to Kellie Clapper, the company’s head of Philanthropy, “In the first two years of the Neighborhood Assist program, we’ve learned how invested youth and millennials are in making a positive impact on their local communities. Last year, they drove more than half of the cause submissions. This not only inspires us at State Farm, but underscores the importance of engaging them online.”
It’s also inspiring to see the extent and diversity of the program’s reach over the past years. Examples of winning causes ranged from helping disabled kids experience waterskiing for the first time, to bringing a community together with home improvement and gardening tools at no charge. We’re excited to see what creative causes are submitted this year, and help these communities get to a better state.”
Last year’s top vote getter, Mike Smith, created a skate park as a place for the kids of Lincoln, NE, to pursue their passions, whether that be skateboarding, art, music, or whatever else fulfills them.
The 2014 Neighborhood Assist program launched on March 3rd and is now open to applicants. If you have an idea and a local cause that matters to you, head on over and submit it via the Facebook page.
Here’s how it works. Now through March 23rd, people across the United States and Canada can submit a cause through the Facebook page. When a maximum of 4,000 cause submissions are received, the State Farm Youth Advisory Board will review all submissions and identify the top 200. (The Youth Advisory Board is comprised of 30 students, ages 17-20, from across the United States and Canada.) The top 200 causes will be announced on April 28th.
Once the 200 finalists are announced, the voting process begins. Through May 16th, anyone can vote for their favorite cause via Facebook, with up to 10 votes per day. The top 40 vote-receiving causes will be announced via Facebook on May 27th, and will each receive a $25,000 grant to help complete their project.
Do you have an idea that would make your community a better place to live? If so, wouldn’t $25,000 help you make that idea a reality?
Learn more at www.statefarm.com/neighborhoodassist. Even if you don’t apply, why not check out the good work people are doing for their communities? Maybe you can be that good neighbor too!
Thanks to State Farm for sponsoring this post. As a fan of their social responsibility efforts I am proud to be working with them again this year.