Last week, we told you that Couchange, a local startup bent on helping charities raise funds using social media, won the first-ever MIT $100K “Twitch” (Twitter pitch) competition. Today, Couchange updated us, explaining that they raised $20k for the Dream Corps, a nonprofit organization that supports education in rural China, as a result of the buzz created by the award.
“We are pleased to support Dream Corps efforts to bring additional educational resources to rural China,” wrote Couchange CEO, Jia Ji in an Email to BostInnovation. “We encourage people worldwide to support their local schools, which is why our next major initiative going forward is rolling out a nationwide campaign for public, private, and charter schools across the US to assist schools with fundraising.”
Couchanged touched over 60,000 Twitter users with the campaign behind the Dream Corps promotion, which was enough to earn the company the MIT $100K award.
So how’d they hit so many people?After deciding the Twitch competition was a prime opportunity to raise awareness for their nonprofit partners the, Couchange team launched a competition within the competition and asked people to vote for their favorite charity in their retweets of the Couchange pitch. Couchange pledged that they would donate the entire amount to the nonprofit organization that won the most votes through the twitch campaign.
That organization ended up being Dream Corps.
According to the company, the team’s Twitch campaign really took off when Couchange and Dream Corps volunteers translated their Twitch campaign into Chinese, as Dream Corps promotes education in rural China. By posting information about the Twitch competition on Chinese social networking websites and personally contacting the Chinese twitter community, Couchange and Dream Corps were able to successfully raise awareness about their Dream Libraries program and reach over 25K followers through 66 retweets in just three days.
The MIT $100K award meant $500 for the charity, which Jia promised to match. Then, keynote speaker Paul Fireman raised the contribution to $20K.
According to their website, Couchange develops innovative fundraising technologies to help nonprofits access over $8 billion dollars annually in abandoned assets such as leftover giftcards, frequent flier miles, and other reward point currencies. Their online donation platform helps non-profits meet their fundraising goals by converting abandoned digital assets into cash donations, running mobile “text to donate” campaigns, and designing analytics-enhanced fundraising strategies.
Editor’s Note: In the interest of full disclosure, we should mention that BostInnovation contributor Luisa Groher is on the Couchange team. Congrats go out to her and the rest of the Couchange team on this resounding success for their unique platform!