These are tough economic times for progressive nonprofits and organizing money is especially difficult to raise. So Pepsi's ostentatious new marketing initiative pledging $1 million to the most popular nonprofit projects submitted can help fill a critical void.
The Pepsi Refresh Everything contest is offering $1,300,000 to nonprofit organizations for specific projects, which are detailed on the refresheverything site and then publicly voted on, and sixteen progressive groups have teamed up to compete for the prize money.
Many of the groups should be familiar to Nation readers and comprise some of the country's finest grassroots organizing shops, including USAction, Wellstone Action, the United States Student Association, the Center for Progressive Leadership and the League of Young Voters.
While most of these organizations don't normally participate in corporate-funded PR contests, progressives have a real shot at winning Pepsi's dough, which would go largely toward registering and mobilizing young voters, increasing access to affordable college, training community organizers and non-profit leaders and providing legal advocacy for inner city families.
For instance, USAction's simple, straightforward project to reduce unnecessary deaths due to lack of access to quality healthcare, to ensure that young adults know they can have access to life saving care, to reduce the number of the uninsured under the age of 26 and to educate parents about how the new healthcare law can help them is currently ranked Number 2 overall for a $250,000 grant. Another great project that is currently leading the race for a $50,000 grant is Wellstone Action's campaign to provide support for Native American leaders to work for social change. Meanwhile, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada is in second place in the running for $25,000 for grants to hire LGBT community organizers.
In fact, right now, every one of the groups in the Progressive Slate is in the top twenty on the leaderboard out of more than 1,200 groups competing, and it's easy to help keep them there by voting online. But there are only three days left to participate! To be a part of the effort, all you need to do is sign up to be a daily voter. As a daily voter, you'll receive a short e-mail each morning from now to the end of September with instructions and a link to vote each day. Anyone can vote, so take the opportunity before it's too late.