United Way Launches OneUp The VoteTM Campaign

United Way Launches OneUp The VoteTM Campaign, Giving Away $100,000 to Competing Social Entrepreneurs

DALLAS, TX (September 27, 2017) – United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is launching its second annual OneUp the Vote digital campaign, encouraging North Texans to ‘Click for Social Good.’ OneUp the Vote, made possible by AT&T, is an online contest in support of United Way’s GroundFloor program designed to reach new audiences and support local and emerging innovators. In collaboration with Accenture, GroundFloor provides local startups with funding and resources to fight the community’s biggest social problems. Qualifying participants (or Fellows) win a chance to compete in the OneUp the Vote competition each year.

This year, seven social entrepreneurs will compete for a total of $100,000 between September 27 and October 26. The public is encouraged to watch the short videos at OneUpTheVote.org to learn more about the competing organizations, vote for the one they support, and share information about the competition, challenging others to participate.  Anyone can vote once per day, every day, for four weeks.  Voters also have the option to share their votes on social media, tripling their impact.

Each Thursday from October 5 – 26, United Way will award $12,500 to that week’s winning Fellow. One grand prize of $50,000, made possible by Sara and Gary Ahr, will be announced Friday, October 27 via Facebook LIVE to the organization with the most overall votes. In addition to the infusion of cash, the Fellow with the most votes also wins a slot in the OneUp the Pitch event on April 12, 2018, generously underwritten by The Kleinert Family. The “Shark Tank with a Heart” pitch-style event provides an opportunity for social entrepreneurs to secure an additional $100,000 in funding.

“Newer generations are looking for creative ways to engage in causes they care about in an authentic way,” said Mike Peterson, Regional Vice President, AT&T External Affairs. “We are proud to work with United Way to showcase and support innovators striving toward impactful social change, while offering all North Texans a way to lend their personal vote of support.”

Through a series of surprises and video storytelling content to get people in the competitive spirit, last year’s inaugural campaign garnered more than 80,000 votes, added 57% new users to online audiences, engaged 22 corporations, and generated more than $170,000 in sponsorship dollars. Bonton Farms won last year’s grand prize, using the funds to further its work to provide healthy food and stable jobs in urban Dallas.

Qualifying Fellows this year comprise startups creating a voice for “invisible” babies, turning dropouts into degrees, teaching teens to learn to earn, and guiding former inmates from prison to paychecks.

“OneUp the Vote contenders are designing promising ways to produce career-ready teens, improve the odds for infants in the child welfare system, and break the incarceration cycle,” said Jorge Corral, Dallas Office Managing Director, Accenture, whose volunteer mentors have been helping prepare the Fellows over the last few months. “By voting for social good, we can all get behind United Way’s mission of treating 360 degrees of need.”

2017 OneUp the Vote competitors include:

Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute has a decade-long track record of helping at risk students succeed with its high-touch tutoring program and state-approved curriculum. BHPI is launching a new technology solution to more efficiently and effectively evaluate students by tracking and measuring their progress in real time.

Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) is an evidence-based prison re-entry program designed to help recently released, formerly incarcerated men and women successfully rejoin the workforce. CEO is working to launch its employment services for people with criminal records in the Dallas area.

Education Opens Doors wants to package its program offering “college and career knowledge” and soft skills not usually taught in schools in a digital format to reach more middle and high school students.

First3Years’ Safe Babies program aims to improve the odds for infants and toddlers in the child welfare system. By adjusting foster care protocols and ensuring that policies are child-development centered, Safe Babies can reduce the impact of abuse and neglect and increase the likelihood of reunifying families.

ScholarShot is dedicated to helping at-risk students complete career-ready vocational, associate, and undergraduate degrees with its proven formula of one-on-one coaching, accountability and financial support. In Texas, 9 out of 10 at-risk students who enroll in college find themselves unprepared, underfunded and wind up dropping out. Since 2009, more than 85% of ScholarShot Scholars have earned degrees.

Skratch is a mobile app that gives teens a way back into the workforce. Skratch has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County to adapt its app to provide work experience opportunities to below-median-income teens in a unique pilot program.

Youth with Faces works to break the incarceration cycle by providing career exploration programs to young men and women in the juvenile justice system. Madskills Kitchen, its newest venture, offers paid internships paired with food service and hospitality training to help these kids reinvent their future.

“We know innovation is critical to continuing to engage and support the communities we serve,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “As the culture around giving evolves with the millennial generation, we must offer new and fresh investment opportunities that make a meaningful difference for the people of North Texas.”

To register to become a OneUp the Vote voter or to learn more, please visit OneUpTheVote.org.

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About United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based non-profit organization that Treats 360 degrees of Need™unite. For over 90 years, we have brought people and resources together to fight complex social problems by surrounding North Texas with efficient, impactful solutions. Since 2011, we’ve invested more than $147M in 200+ local programs that tackle issues across health, education and income; the essential components of a thriving community. We encourage North Texans to get involved by giving, volunteering or advocating and helping lift up those in need now and in the future. United, we help those who want to do good, do great. Learn more at UnitedWayDallas.org.

About GroundFloor
Launched in 2013, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ GroundFloor brings critical resources—funding, mentorship, and community connections—to entrepreneurs who tackle challenges in education, income and health in North Texas by accelerating the growth and stability of promising and innovative ventures. The entrepreneurs behind these ideas recognize opportunity, identify what isn’t working, and design new ways to solve problems. Learn more at TheGroundFloor.org.