One Million Reasons to Do Good

We’ve been inundated the past year or two with online/social media based contests. From the Jewish Federations of North America’s Community Hero Contest to Kohl’s Cares to all to many lesser organizations running questionable campaigns, our inbox overflows with announcements. Now, the social media contest craze has hit Israel. And behind this first ever event in the country is Bank Leumi, who will be donating 100 million Israeli shekels to fifty, small, local NGO’s.

The 1 Million Reasons project is a part of the “Leumi for the community” program. These charity groups will not only benefit from the donation money itself, but receive a rare shot at major media exposure that could greatly promote their cause. In addition, one of the bank’s major goals was to give the organizations social media skills (they were all invited to a four hour seminar with lectures from Google and YouTube staff), as well as giving them the tools to make a video they can utilize for even after the contest has concluded.

The voting process is underway and will conclude December 26th with the announcement of winners. All of the groups finishing in the first 50 places will receive a donation, ranging from 200,000 to 10,000 NIS (based on placement). The donations themselves will be given in January.

The project is being heavily promoted across digital media channels, including banners on the main YouTube and Facebook pages, and on Ynet – Israel’s most visited online news site.

Bank Leumi has been a pioneer in the Israeli social media arena for years. There’s a Leumi Digital Facebook page, which has 30,000 followers, The Leumi blog, and the bank’s twitter account which allows users to receive real time customer support. As such, it was only natural for them to go the next step in philanthropy as well. According to a Leumi spokesperson, “Since the social media is such a powerful way in reaching the general populace, our intention is to contribute to social responsibility in Israel through these tools. After all, the people who cast their votes on who will get the donations are regular internet users that aren’t from this background. This way, the community has the power to decide for itself on the causes it wishes to promote.”

The videos are all in Hebrew and are located on the 1 Million Reasons project YouTube channel.

So take a look. Remember, in the great tradition of Chicago (and with some history here in Israel, too), vote early and vote often. For while this is a plus for Bank Leumi, 50 Israeli amutot will benefit.