Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Best of: Pepsi Refresh Project

Again this week, I'm taking a look back at one of my best entries since I started my blog in March 2010. Today, I'm going back to August 10, 2010 and my first post about the Pepsi Refresh Project.

Now in its second year, Pepsi has made some changes to the grant process. The 2011 edits include fewer nomination categories, more grants awarded, and help for submitters to promote their ideas to garner votes. The application process has also been altered, hopefully making it easier for applicants to apply for funding.

I'm still a huge fan of this innovative idea, and would love to read your thoughts about this program.

In December 2009, PepsiCo made a rather controversial decision when it decided to skip Super Bowl advertising to focus on cause marketing. Since the start of 2010, the company has "refreshed everything," launching the Pepsi Refresh Project, giving away millions of dollars in grants to build individuals and communities.

Here's how it works:

  • People, businesses, and non-profit organizations submit ideas that they believe will have a positive impact on their communities. Anyone can submit an idea, and the company accepts up to 1,000 applications each month.
  • Consumers are asked to vote for causes they like. They can vote for up to 10 ideas every day.
  • At the end of the month, the chosen applicants to receive grants are announced. Applicants not chosen are encouraged to apply again, and the whole process starts over again.
Each month, the Pepsi Refresh Project awards numerous grants of different sizes. Up to 10 individual awardees are selected every month to receive $5,000 to unleash their inspired ideas. Another group of up to 10 individuals and small groups receive $25,000 to implement their initiatives within the community. $50,000 is awarded to up to 10 companies and organizations that can make a difference with their proposal. Finally, up to two organizations are granted $250,000 to dedicate a large amount of time and resources to their plan.

For the month of August, the Pepsi Refresh Project committed an additional $1.3 million to its $20 million campaign to "do good" for the Gulf and fund ideas that will support the communities hit hardest by the BP oil spill.

PepsiCo has teamed with the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and The Today Show to spread the word and subsidize ideas that make the world a better place.

So far, grant recipients include The American Legion of Indianapolis, Indiana, who are using their $250,000 grant to provide comfort items for U.S. military troops recovering from wounds; The Economic Empowerment Initiative of Atlanta, Georgia, which received a $50,000 grant to provide financial literacy seminars for high school and college students; and Because We Are Sisters of Richmond, Virginia, that will use their $5,000 grant to support seven families in need as they prepare for the arrival of a baby, among others in the past months. Check out these videos featuring inspirational grant recipients:

Along with partners GOOD,, City Year, and GlobalGiving, the Pepsi Refresh Project is making a difference in communities across the country.

Every Pepsi refreshes the world. Drink your Pepsi and vote for your favorite project at!

Do you love this campaign as much as I do? Leave me a message with your thoughts (good or bad!) and definitely let me know if your community has been "refreshed" by this innovative campaign.

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