Yesterday, GSA Network won $20,000 through the Chase Community Giving Challenge on Facebook! We did it with your help. Thank you!
The 2nd annual contest invited smaller organizations (with annual budgets under $1 million) to garner votes through the third-party Community Giving application. This year the first place winner, HP Alliance, won $250,000, four runners-up each won $100,000, and the rest of the Top 200 charities each won $20,000. Thanks to your votes and your support, GSA Network finished in 75th place, our highest point during the entire challenge!
This year was the first year GSA Network participated in the challenge. A GSA advisor in Southern California, Pin Chen, signed us up and cast the first vote for us. It was such a pleasant surprise! As we explored the Community Giving application, it really struck home that this was an entirely new avenue of corporate giving. In order to make it and stay in the Top 200, we had to enlist all of our friends on Facebook, and ask them to enlist THEIR friends. It was all about social networking! Apparently, all of that time we've spent adding friends on Facebook has finally paid off.
The online challenge both raised awareness about GSA Network and brought us together. GSA leaders spread the news about GSA Network's positive impact on their lives, GSA Network donors reposted the contest on their wall to their friends, and random people who've never interacted with us started voting for us because they believed in our cause. Additionally, the contest galvanized the GSA Network staff. The leaderboard showing our rankings was updated twice daily, at 6 AM and 6 PM EST. Every afternoon at 3:00 (Frisco time) the GSA Network staff would begin our ritual of frantically refreshing our screens and watching as the updated scores propagated, way too slowly for us, through the leaderboard. When we finally saw our ranking change, almost always for the better, there were outbreaks of fist-pumping and jubilant cheers. I know it's cliché, but it's true that these daily triumphs brought us together.
One of the main beauties of the Chase Community Giving Challenge, in my opinion, was the fact that we were getting thousands of people involved in fundraising without asking anyone for money. As a recent college graduate, none of my friends are ballers, so it was great to be able to ask them to support GSA Network in a way that didn't cost them any money.
Again, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It was amazing to see all the votes, positive comments, and repostings! The $20,000 we won will help us reach even more students and help them create change in their schools and their communities.
P.S.! If you want to stay connected with us on Facebook, you should join our Cause , be our fans in the Central Valley  and Southern California , and be our friend in Northern California . Are you a GSA Network Alumni? We've got a page for that, too .