American Express and TakePart announced today the latest round of Members Project winners, chosen by the public through online voting. These five organizations will collectively receive $1 million in funding from American Express to advance their missions of serving communities around the country. In addition, American Express today kicked off its fourth voting round for Members Project and unveiled plans to expand the program with a new Facebook application.
"We are pleased to congratulate the five charities that will receive funding to support their efforts," said Pepper Evans Roukas, Vice President, Digital Brand & Social Media Development, American Express. "This program has garnered so many unique stories by the charities and volunteers out there rallying for their causes and giving back to their communities. It is because of this great momentum, we are announcing the Share My Story Facebook app to help make that easier."
Members Project is an innovative online initiative that provides everyone with the opportunity to take small steps to make a big difference by linking up with volunteer opportunities to earn Membership Rewards® bonus points, the ability to vote for their favorite charity to receive support from American Express or to contribute themselves to causes they care about. As American Express begins its fourth voting cycle, the Members Project Facebook page will feature the "Share My Story" application, inspiring Facebook fans to share their story of how they have made a difference, and get inspired by the stories of others. This application lives on the Members Project Fan page under the Share My Story tab.
The five charitable organizations to receive $200,000 each in funding from American Express are:
- Arts & Culture: Sundance Institute – With the help of the funding from American Express, the Sundance Institute will provide independent artists creative support, funding and a platform to share their work with audiences around the world. This crucial funding will go a long way for independent filmmakers, theatre artists, and audiences as we continue to discover and foster the stories, ideas, and artists that will define the coming year in culture.
- Community Development: KaBOOM! – The funds from American Express will assist KaBOOM! in helping make children happier, fitter, smarter and more socially adept and creative, now and in the future, by mobilizing individuals and communities to save play through building and improving playgrounds and advocating for local policies that increase opportunities to play.
- Education: FIRST - With this funding, FIRST® plans to further develop a lasting interest in science and technology in the world's young people, and give kids the opportunity to gain experience that will directly affect their future. FIRST provides an exceptional opportunity for motivated individuals, institutions, and corporations to get involved in the promise of tomorrow.
- Environment & Wildlife: Best Friends Animal Society – Best Friends Animal Society will use this funding toward furthering their grassroots effort to place dogs and cats who were considered "unadoptable" into good homes, and to reduce the number of unwanted pets through effective spay and neuter programs.
- Health & Wellness: American Heart Association - The American Heart Association will use these funds to continue its passionate and relentless fight against the nation's No. 1 and No. 3 killers – heart disease and stroke.
Now through February 20, 2011 the community can participate in the fourth Members Project voting cycle. To vote, participants must register for Members Project at Facebook.com/membersproject or MembersProject.com and can cast a vote once per week for their favorite charity from a diverse list of up to 50 organizations selected by American Express and TakePart. The qualified charities serve a wide range of categories, including Arts & Culture, Community Development, Environment & Wildlife, Education and Health & Wellness.
Through TakePart's engagement platform, Members Project helps millions of people across the country to drive positive change on issues they care about. The tools offered by TakePart that support ongoing advocacy efforts around diverse issues include social networking applications, viral videos and mobile outreach. Members of the TakePart community can learn more about issues they care about, take action for change and get involved through volunteerism and building social network communities.
About Members Project
Members Project, an innovative online initiative presented by American Express and TakePart, believes that everyone can help change the world for the better, one step at a time. Whether it's volunteering time, voting for a favorite charity to receive funding from American Express, donating or sharing stories with friends, Members Project enables people to log on and decide how they'd like to take action. Cardmember or not, anyone who is at least 18 is invited to register online at MembersProject.com in order to find out the many ways in which they can do good. Through Members Project, people can find volunteer opportunities that are right for them and get rewarded for their time by earning Membership Rewards® bonus points. Everyone is invited to join the conversation and share their Members Project experiences using Facebook and Twitter and #AmexMP to tag their tweets.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.
TakePart is a content-driven social action network of people, non-profit organizations, and businesses that are working together to drive positive change on big issues like clean water, education reform, nuclear non-proliferation, and environmental protection. TakePart is driven by the idea that a good story well told can inspire people to take small steps that drive big changes. TakePart is another step in the evolution of its parent company, Participant Media, whose mission is to present entertainment that inspires and compels social change.