Thursday, August 14, 2008

Corporate Good Deed of the Day: AMEX's Members Project

Your ideas. Your decision. Our money.

That is the tagline of American Express's Members Project, which lets its members (and non-members) vote for a project near and dear to their heart, and at the end of it all, the winning project gets $1.5 million funding. Right now you can choose from 478 projects in Arts & Culture, Community Development, Education, Environment & Wildlife, and Health. The top 25 vote-getting projects move onto Round 2 after 9/09, the 5 finalists are announced on 9/30 for Round 3, and 10/14 is when AMEX awards the top prize . It's a pretty cool thing.

Here's my plug while I'm at it; my vote is going to something that I work on everyday at work. Sesame Workshop is bringing back The Electric Company in January, aimed at helping to develop children's reading skills using media and pop culture. Bridging the Literacy Gap for Millions of Kids is the name of the Workshop's project, and currently votes have put it in the top 10. Through The Electric Company we're hoping to address the literacy crisis the US faces: 58% percent of Caucasian, 83% of Hispanic and 86% of African-American children cannot read at grade level. And of course, to do that, we need funding, through AMEX (hopefully) and lots of other corporate sponsors. Whether this particular project excites you or not, there must be something among the hundreds of projects that tugs at your heartstrings. Help AMEX help the cause you support, and you don't even need to open your wallet. Sounds pretty good to me.