Archive for the ‘Pepsi Refresh Project’ Category

Daily chronicle of our experiences in the Pepsi Refresh Project

Pepsi Refresh Project Changes Favor Smaller Organizations

Posted by ServeNext Staff on February 9, 2011

In 2010, ServeNext was honored to receive a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Project grant to help us kick off our Field Program in 10 communities across the nation. We worked hard to mobilize our supporters to vote for us and spread the word to their friends and families. We are grateful for all of the support we received and the positive impact the grant has had on field efforts, especially as we embark on the second year of the program which had a 50% increase in the number of applicants.

According to an article published last week in Philanthropy Today , Pepsi is restructuring this year’s competition to favor smaller nonprofits, specifically community and grassroots organizations. The company is eliminating the top award of $250,000 to create more $50,000 grants.  Pepsi hopes to make the voting process more democratic and encourage smaller organizations to participate.

As an organization that benefited immensely from this project, ServeNext hopes that this year’s Pepsi Refresh competition will be just as successful as last year and give members of smaller organizations the resources to expand their impact.


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Some nice coverage for ServeNext

Posted by Zach Maurin on August 24, 2010

ServeNext’s successful strategy in the Pepsi Refresh Project just got some great coverage — and that coverage earned us some more props in the Refresh Newsletter.  Thanks for all the voters who helped us win!  In fact, we just kicked off our project this past weekend when our 10 community organizers gathered in DC for 2.5 days of intense training about raising the voice and visibility of the service movement.  Pictures coming soon. Links below…

How to Win an Online Grant Contest

Association Bisnow interviewed 3 Pepsi Refresh winners for a recent article for their readers. Scott Beale of Atlas Corps, Zach Maurin of, and Alison Malmon of Active Minds, have together raised more than $500,000 from Pepsi Refresh and other online giving contests.

With many of our grantees now competing for a Refresh grant for the second and third times, it’s helpful to see what’s worked for some groups time and again. They mobilized a network of voting captains, set up voting booths amongst their college chapters, and even had a volunteer bike through downtown DC in his undies. From the conventional to the game-changing, see what it takes to win an online grant.

Click here to read the complete article.

And congrats to Scott, Zach, and Alison on the great coverage! Have a campaign story you’d like to share? Let us know!

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Finalists Announced for Pepsi Refresh Project

Posted by Zach Maurin on March 1, 2010

The finalists for the Pepsi Refresh Project were announced today: finished in 7th place in the $50,000 category! The top 10 each win $50,000 pending confirmation. Official announcements will be made in a few weeks.

In addition to ServeNext, four of our coalition members also finished in winning positions: APO, Atlas Corps, myImpact, and World Leadership Corps!

We will keep you updated as things progress and let you know when there are updates.

Thank you to everyone who voted, recruited others, and spread the word about this campaign!  It clearly made a difference and we’re so grateful!

In the meantime, check out this months entries including our friends at Music National Service who are working to build a corps of musicians to teach music to students in public schools:

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Today is the Day!

Posted by Evan Mackinder on February 28, 2010

Today is the last day to vote in Pepsi Refresh!  We’ve been working hard for four weeks now–voting daily, calling our friends, writing emails and spreading the word from every online channel possible.  And it all comes down to tonight.

We have a real chance to win a $50,000 grant.  Currently, is in sixth place in the $50,000 category–a rank good enough to win us the grant, if we can hang on.

It’s going to be an exciting day.  With every team in all-out sprint mode, there’s no time to lose and no vote to spare.  We’ll be monitoring the leaderboard all day for developments.  Stay tuned to our Facebook Page for up-to-the-minute results and updates on our coalition members.

Today is the final day to cast your vote for in the Pepsi Refresh Project.

Vote now for

This is it! We’ve been working hard for four weeks now and it all comes down to midnight tonight.

We really need your help during these last 12 hours to keep us in the money — the top 10. Please take a minute this morning to urge your friends and family to cast one last vote. Every team is in full sprint mode today, and the leaderboard is changing by the hour.

Please help us get every vote possible!

As always, please vote for the coalition: ServeNext.orgLIFTWorld Leadership CorpsAtlas CorpsAPOmyImpact

Thanks for all your support–lets bring it home!!

P.O. Box 51065
Washington, DC 20091
phone: 202-580-8639
fax: 202-729-8100
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2 Days Left!

Posted by Evan Mackinder on February 27, 2010

A note to our Pepsi Refreshers, with just 2 days to go in the contest.

Just 2 days to go now in the Pepsi Refresh contest–we’re almost there!

But we’ve still got a fight on our hands. Less than 48 hours remain, and the $50,000 category remains incredibly active– dropped to 6th place this morning, and we continue to fight alongside coalition member Atlas Corps to get back into the Top 5.

Vote for

Remember also to ask your friends and family to vote over the weekend. Remind them that the last 48 hours is the most important time in the contest. There is a tremendous amount of movement and uncertainly on the leaderboard as all the teams fight to the finish. We need every vote!

Here are the links to the coalition; a full update on rankings is also below. We’re so close now–thanks for all your support!

Vote for the coalition:, LIFT, World Leadership Corps, Atlas Corps, APO, myImpact


$50,000 (Top 10 win grants)

ServeNext: 6th Place

Atlas Corps: 5th Place

World Leadership Corps: 8th Place

$25,000 (Top 10 win grants)

myImpact: 4th Place

APO: 2nd Place

$250,000 (Top 3 win grants)

LIFT: 2nd Place

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72 Hours to go: Leaderboard Movement

Posted by Evan Mackinder on February 26, 2010

A Note to our Pepsi Refreshers, with 72 hours to go!

Wow! What a crazy start to the day! There is movement all over the leaderboard today–more than we’ve seen sine the first week!

New teams have taken over the top spots in all three categories, and two of our coalition members–Atlas Corps and myImpact–have dropped from positions they previously held for almost a week straight.

In the $50K category, three new teams are leading the pack. is still hanging tough in fourth place, but it’s clear things are tightening up as we near the end of the contest.

Please cast your votes today!, LIFT, World Leadership Corps, Atlas Corps, APO, myImpact

With only three days to go and clearly a VERY close race, this is the perfect time to email some friends and remind them to vote.

A full update on coalition rankings are below — thanks for your support!


$50,000 (Top 10 win grants) (Currently ranked #4)

Atlas Corps: (Currently ranked #6)

World Leadership Corps: (Currently ranked #8)

$25,000 (Top 10 win grants)

myImpact: (Currently ranked #4)

APO: (Currently ranked #2)

$250,000 (Top 3 win grants)

LIFT: (Currently ranked #5)
P.O. Box 51065
Washington, DC 20091
phone: 202-580-8639
fax: 202-729-8100
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4 Days to go: The Final Sprint!

Posted by Evan Mackinder on February 25, 2010

A Note for our Pepsi Refreshers, with 4 days to go:
Team–This contest has been a true marathon.

For 25 days now, we’ve voted. We’ve worked hard to spread the word about the contest to our family and friends, and watched our progress as and the Refresh Service Coalition earned great rankings.

Now, with just four days remaining, we can see the finish line. And it’s straight ahead.

We’re incredibly excited to be so close–but we’re also focused. This contest isn’t over yet by any means: Four days is a lot of time, and there’s a lot at stake. We have to finish strong!

Vote now:, World Leadership Corps, LIFT, Atlas Corps, APO, myImpact.

Please continue to vote each day and to remind your family and friends, particularly on Saturday and Sunday. Weekends have been the most challenging time in this contest–people naturally forget, and other teams have used the time to regain ground.

We will continue to send out emails daily to keep you updated, and depending on the urgency, we may also send alerts if there is movement on the leaderboard.

As always, thanks for working so hard–and we hope you’re excited!

P.O. Box 51065
Washington, DC 20091
phone: 202-580-8639
fax: 202-729-8100
Add to your email address book.
This email was sent to: email
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5 Days Left!

Posted by Evan Mackinder on February 24, 2010

With just 5 more days in the contest, we’re ramping up our get-out-the-vote efforts.

We’ll be over at GW again today, where all week long we’ve been tabling and spreading the word about the contest and the Refresh Service coalition.  It’s been absolutely inspiring to see all the interest from all the students and faculty–enough so to keep us coming back!  If you’re at George Washington University, make sure to come by the Marvin Center tonight between 4-7 PM.

Today and Tomorrow, we’ll be putting some extra energy into our social networks, which have given us a lot of support.  With Pepsi’s Facebook voting app, it’s pretty simple to vote right from your procrastination-station on Facebook; and we’ve got a cool idea to use the traffic-measuring tool to see how many votes we can collect in a single day.  Watch for our status updates–and our tweets, too!

Meanwhile, stories continue to pour in from our members as they get excited for the final few days. Yesterday we wrote an email to our supporters to tell them of just a few outreach ideas some folks have shared with us, and the trend continues–just this morning we got a note from a supporter relating that she’d sent out emails to 27 of her friends!  With those kinds of numbers, we can’t go wrong.

5 days left!  Those links again:

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6 Days Left!

Posted by Evan Mackinder on February 23, 2010

Just 6 days left now in the Pepsi Refresh Project.  Things were quiet today on the leaderboard, at least as far as the coalition is concerned.  There were a few changes in the 5-10 range of the $25,000 category, but APO and MyImpact are still holding the #2 and #3 positions (respectively); and there were  no changes at all in the $50,000 or $250,000 categories.

By the Numbers:

$25,000 (Top 10 win grants)
APO : – 2nd place
MyImpact: – 3rd place

$50,000 (Top 10 win grants) : place
Atlas Corps: – 2nd place
World Leadership Corps: – 8th place

$250,000 (Top 2 win grants)
LIFT: – 5th place

So what do you think? Can we shake it up a bit?

Follow those links–let’s do some voting tonight!

Posted in Pepsi Refresh Project | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

The Final Countdown: 7 Days to Go!

Posted by Evan Mackinder on February 22, 2010

There’s only 7 days left to vote for and the Refresh Service Coalition!

We’re starting the final push today with renewed urgency. Over the weekend, ServeNext dropped out of the Top 3 in the $50K category for the first time in over two weeks. We’re still hanging tough at #4, but the whole Top 10 has been getting pretty wild: We’ve been bouncing in between 4th and 5th for a few days now, while our coalition partner Atlas Corps is fighting to hang on to 3rd. And meanwhile, World Leadership Corps is do-si-do’ing with at least four partners in the 7th-11th range.

All told: Things are close.  The movement across the leaderboard–which is still changing by the hour–suggests that the margin of votes each team holds over the next is shrinking, and with new teams elbowing their way to the top of the pack the last few days, it’s clear that a lot of folks used the weekend to close the gap in votes.

But despite the recent movement, we’re incredibly excited. We’ve been at this for there weeks now, and results have been great thanks to some hard-working folks from all across the country.  As we speak our members and Campaign Captains are staking out territory all across the web as they reach out to their networks via email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other methods, to spread the word about the contest.

We’ll be publishing some of the more creative outreach stories tomorrow on the blog, so stay tuned for that.  In the meantime–did you vote yet?

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