In an inventive effort to discover just where and how their customers want their company to lend philanthropic support, last year State Farm Insurance launched the community outreach initiative, “Cause An Effect.” The program asked community groups to propose an idea for bettering their neighborhood then, apply for a $25,000 to make it happen. If State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board chose the idea as one of the top 200, the group was then responsible for rallying to get the most “votes” possible via social media. The top 40 received grants.
The program was so successful that it’s back this year as the “Neighborhood Assist” program. “Our focus is on effecting change in the community through direct engagement, eliminating the barrier of turfs and neighborhoods and bringing resources together,” says Dave Phillips, the regional State Farm spokesman. As was seen last year, even the groups that didn’t win the challenge were able to seize the opportunity to make their causes known.