Using an Online Contest Platform for Philanthropic Problem-Solving

Not all online contests have to end with a monetary or in-kind prizes. Using an interactive contest platform, nonprofits can sponsor a challenge that evokes creative or intellectual thinking to foster education or find solutions for a cause. The meaningful experience itself can be the reward that every participant gets.

Online Challenge

One good example is the California Water Challenge, a brainchild of the nonprofit Next 10. The online contest allows participants to pick from a selection of ideas the best concept of how to improve the state’s water policy.

All the choices generally aim to solve the alarming drought problem, but they come with consequences or impacts, such as the costly implementation or the high energy use. It will be up to the contestant to pick the most worthwhile concepts or projects. Ben van der Meer, staff writer for the Sacramento Business Journal, describes the details and principles of the contest further:

Each option also is measured in terms of cost and environmental impacts, and the goal is to eliminate water deficits on both the urban and agricultural side, totaling at best 4.9 million acre-feet, or more in dry years.

Noel Perry, founder of nonprofit Next 10, said the idea behind the challenge is to give users a better sense of what options are out there, and the pros and cons of each.

If those who take the challenge understand become more informed, it’s better for public policy decisions such as the water bond on the November ballot and Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans for a pair of water tunnels in the Delta, Perry said. He added his organization is about information and doesn’t endorse or oppose any specific idea.

Your nonprofit can also make a similar problem-solving online challenge or one that’s uniquely yours. The most pressing issues that are relevant to your cause can be the theme of your contest, and individuals who want to take a stand with you, or support you, can contribute ideas. You can find an affordable competition app to fulfill this project.

An online contest management provider like Skild, Inc. that has in-depth experience working with nonprofits can support you in any kind of philanthropic prize. Skild can help you come up with ideas, or provide a sophisticated competition platform that can host your contest. You can supervise and monitor the progress of your challenge through the same platform to make sure you’re getting the results you envision.

(Source: Online challenge lets user set California water policy, Sacramento Business Journal, September 9, 2014)

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