Microsoft Bing and DonorsChoose.org’s Partnership to Better Education
Bing.com is a search engine; you've probably heard of it. What you probably haven't heard is that they are really into helping education. Big time. And you'd probably be impressed at the innovative methods they're using to raise awareness of many schools' need. We at Mom It Forward have facilitated their generosity, in partnership with TodaysMama, by featuring giveaways and education-related content through advertising, eNewsletters, dedicated eBlasts, and other campaigns. Bing has also connected with our communities by sponsoring six #gno Twitter parties to raise awareness of and appreciation for teachers, education, and volunteerism in schools since June. Bing even brought Josh Groban into a school in New York City to inspire students!
What's most interesting is their current campaign with DonorsChoose.org to raise $100,000 for one lucky school, using the internet and a unique voting methodology that involves you. Over 700 schools compiled their list of needs, made videos of their schools and themselves, and submitted them to http://ourschoolneeds.discoverbing.com. Over two days, October 25th and 26th, their entries were available for anyone to rate. The 15 top-rated videos (5 in each category: K-6, 7-9, 10-12), together with an additional 15 entries selected by the Bing editorial committee, will automatically advance to the judges' panel. The judges will review the entries and select 15 finalists, which will be announced on October 29. Those 15 schools' entries will then be open for voting again, and the entry that receives the most overall votes will win $100,000. The three schools that receive the most votes in their categories (K-6, 7-9, 10-12) will each receive $50,000. The voting period is open from October 29 until November 7 (Yes! That's tomorrow! Hurry and vote today.). The winners will be announced on November 9. It's American Idol with a mission!
Many corporations pick causes; not many use their might and the unique paths that social media offers to actually accomplish goals for their causes. Bing has a platform, a position of prominence that provides a good opportunity for doing something. And they're doing something big. Imagine what a school could do with $100,000! Imagine the children that emerge from such a school, edified not only by the gift of a generous organization, but also by the knowledge that people they didn't know took the time to be involved in the process. Imagine what children who have learned well and received much might do as they grow up and join the ranks we adults now inhabit. Bing is a corporation that not only makes money by facilitating organized access to information, but also gives money by facilitating the meeting of schools and everyday people in the unique space of social media. This is the kind of innovation that moves the world forward—one school at a time.