The More Than Me Foundation provides scholarships to girls in Liberia who would not otherwise be able to go to school.
This photo captures what More Than Me’s work means to those girls. It was also the Grand Prize and Africa region winner of GlobalGiving’s first Facebook photo contest. It appeared captioned as shown.
Last month, More Than Me’s founders, Katie Meyler and Stephanie Hood, stopped by a GlobalGiving staff meeting to talk about their work and give staff a glimpse of how GlobalGiving is serving its project partners well and where we can improve.
We were also curious about the strategy they used to win the photo contest. As part of efforts to strengthen the capacity of the non-profits we work with, we like to constantly be learning about best practices we can relay on to others competing in challenges in the future.
I have to admit, theirs was quite unexpected.
Stephanie and Katie explained that they were consistently in the running for first place, but that it was a tight race due to a highly competitive photo of a very cute little turtle.
So, on the final day of the challenge, they took their campaign to the streets. Or, to the circle, to be exact. Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C.
It wasn’t necessarily a pre-conceived plan. As Katie sat in the circle furiously emailing friends and family to ask them to vote for the photo, she found that people were curious about her efforts.
When she explained what she was doing and why, people started to, quite literally, line up to vote.
“I had this line at my laptop through Dupont Circle,” Katie explained to the staff.
And that, she thinks, is how they won.
At first, Katie and Stephanie weren’t sure they should tell us that. They wondered if it was fair.
Sure it is. Whether online or off, the spirit of GlobalGiving and these types of competitions is to foster awareness of and participation in making the world a better place through local efforts that address the direct needs of the people being served.
As you’ll see in the video below, raising awareness that leads to action is just what Katie and Stephanie are doing through More Than Me, and their story reveals how GlobalGiving can be a powerful part of that work.
People may not have come to Dupont Circle that day for an education in girls’ education, but if they went away a bit more curious about or committed to it, then the photo challenge–and Katie and Stephanie–had done their jobs.
Thanks, Katie and Stephanie, for sharing your story about how a global marketplace of concerned citizens helps you do more than any of us could do alone.
Lisa Kays is GlobalGiving’s Acting Communications Director.