Thursday, February 24, 2011

4 Contests for Charity

And the Winner is ...
This is a guest post by Jennifer Williams.  She blogs at Techsplosive.com. And you can follow her on Twitter @JtotheWilliams.
Contests have the preternatural ability to arouse competitiveness in even the most timid of individuals. Combined with a possibility of winning something and plain good old fashioned fun, contests, be they watermelon seed-spitting or a game show, appeal to just about everyone.

While the law of the contest dictates there be one winner and many losers, the contest for charity is different. With charity, the participant’s acts are on behalf of another, and while one may win, very few will feel like losers.

Charities are dedicated to making positive impacts on the world and the people who inhabit it. Some charities host dinner parties, some marathons, while others, like Kars for Kids, utilize sales from car donations to support the needy. Sometimes charities need a little help, and what better way to rouse the forces than a contest?

Whether philanthropic participant or planner, these four types of charity contest should inspire you:

Charity Contest #1: The Charity Game Show

A classic nonprofit money raiser, game shows usually host special events where winnings are donated to charities of choice. While many participants are celebrities, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the fun. Host your own Jeopardy with friends and let the winner’s favorite charity reap the rewards—even if it is just twenty.

Charity Contest #2: Social Media for a Cause

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube—they’re already great vehicles for contests, so finding a contest at one of these or other social networking sites should be easy. The Kindness Challenge uses Twitter to raise charity awareness. Facebook is hosting an Of Charity, For Charity photo contest, with proceeds going to UNICEF. Do a little networking and you’ll find great contests, or you could start your own.

Charity Contest #3: The Sporting Event

Ever heard of the London Marathon? Besides being one of the biggest marathons in the world, since its inception in 1981, it has raised over 450 million for charity. Sporting events are contests you know, and major to minor, leagues all over the world hold rugby, football, soccer, and cricket games to benefit charities. Lace up your sneakers and participate in a local race to benefit breast cancer, or organize a community football game to help a favorite cause.

Charity Contest #4: The Foodie Fundraisers

Celeb chefs cook up a storm for charity and restaurants routinely donate to food banks, but what about those good old fashioned pie-eating contests? Communities and restaurants host pie-eating contests, chili cook-offs, and best brownie competitions with proceeds benefiting local or national nonprofit organizations or causes. Many states routinely hold an annual food event for charity; try searching online for one closest to you. Or, help organize an event for your community. That strawberry jam might be a big winner for your favorite charity.

A little newspaper perusing or online browsing will help you unearth a plethora of contests aimed at giving charities a hand. The great thing about contests is that they get people excited, and when people are excited about helping worthy causes, the whole world wins, one charity contest at a time.

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Help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"!
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