This year's project in review
Another year of the Vivint Gives Back Project has come and gone, and this year the results were more impressive than ever. The CURED Foundation, Light and Love Home – Vancouver, the Team Sanfilippo Foundation, the Utah Prader-Willi Syndrome Association, and the Whittemore Peterson Institute became our five regional winners and each won $100,000. Gracehaven and CHERUBS became our two wildcard charities and each won $25,000. And best of all, the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST) became the Vivint Gives Back Project grand prize winner and received $250,000. FAST has great plans for this money, which they will be investing in an FDA-approved drug trial that could eventually cure Angelman Syndrome.
After hosting this competition for two years, it’s amazing to look back and see how much the Gives Back Project has progressed. The biggest change we’ve seen is bigger numbers. More employees donating more money this year meant more dollars and bigger prizes. Last year Vivint was able to give away $250,000 total to the grand prize winner; this year we gave away $1.2 million dollars to 84 different charities. Instead of one big prize for a single charity, we were able to share the wealth and give away big prizes to the six winners and medium prizes to dozens of other charities.
Aside from the dollar amounts, the number of people participating exploded this year. Last year there were 340,000 votes and endorsements for the project; this year there were 1,661,611. Last year, 136 charities were nominated for the competition; this year, 2,382 were nominated. Last year Vivint had 44,000 facebook fans, and now the number has expanded to more than 328,500. The exposure this project has offered both the charities and Vivint has been huge, and we can now do so much more to help those in need. This enhanced visibility into the causes these charities support and into our company has helped everyone involved in the project.
Another huge difference between this year and last year is the amount of networking and awareness that the project has fostered. This competition has given charities a chance to meet each other, build social networks, and support each other’s causes. After participating in the Gives Back Project, the Dallas branch of YWAM, a charity dedicated to promoting volunteer work and service around the world, made connections and started their own facebook page. They have now raised enough money on their own to send their Dallas volunteers to a service camp. This is just one example of charity that has used the Gives Back Project as a springboard to greater exposure and financial success in its cause.
The number of celebrity endorsements and overall glamour of the project increased this year too, and Vivint’s methods of giving are starting to get on the radar. I’ve heard people talk about Vivint not as a home automation provider but as a company that exists just to raise awareness about charities and give away money. That may not be the only thing we do, but if that’s what we’re known for, that’s okay with us. After all, what’s wrong with our name being synonymous with service and giving?
As far as next year’s Gives Back Project goes, right now we have one goal: make it bigger and better than this year. We’ll definitely be doing the same contest, and once again we’ll do everything we can to top our records and encourage others to serve.