Christian Help chosen as finalist to address job crisis


On Inauguration Day, when politicians return to Washington to face the same jobs crisis, 74 organizations will begin a crowd funding competition to demonstrate who has the most promising, scalable employment solutions. They are finalists in the JobRaising Challenge, an innovative competition to help job-creating nonprofits raise money and publicity. The Skoll Foundation, The Huffington Post, and knowledge partner McKinsey & Company have selected the most innovative, feasible, and scalable candidates of the 210 applicants representing 31 states and 110 cities across America. Starting on Monday, January 21st, the American people can choose to donate to one or more of these organizations.  Top fundraisers will be eligible for $250,000 in prizes by The Skoll Foundation.

The finalists represent innovative ideas to help fight the jobs crisis. Central Florida's own Christian Help, located in Casselberry, fights to prevent homelessness by helping people learn skills to find jobs. Other examples include New York’s Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Inc., who has been building a “jobs pipeline” to transition our returning servicemen and women back into the workforce and gain critical work and life skills. Another finalist, Women’s Bean Project, based in Denver, gives short-term jobs to chronically unemployed women.  The Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington and CrowdRise co-founder and actor Edward Norton recently explained the JobRaising Challenge and the finalist phase on HuffPost Live.

Beginning January 21st, anyone can participate in the JobRaising Challenge at by donating to or fundraising for one or more organizations they believe can best solve the jobs crisis. In addition, McKinsey & Company will select one organization to offer pro-bono mentoring services.  The nonprofit that raises the most money will get $150k, the second will get $50k, and the third $30k from the Skoll Foundation.  The remaining $20k will be used for shorter-term incentives along the way. The JobRaising Challenge intensively leverages these dollars with additional donations though social media-driven crowdfunding.

The effort is also enabled by The Huffington Post’s platform and its 50 million unique visitors in the U.S.  per month (comScore, November 2012). HuffPost will provide exposure throughout the contest to participating organizations by inviting them to blog, and will tap its community — currently commenting at a rate of 9 million per month — to engage in the JobRaising Challenge.

“It’s been just terrific to see the positive impact so many outstanding non-profit organizations are having on the U.S. jobs market,” said Sally Osberg, president of the Skoll Foundation.  “The entrepreneurial finalists for this landmark competition are generating jobs, vitalizing communities, and transforming lives.”

“We wanted to do something constructive during this crisis, which has left more than 25 million Americans unemployed or underemployed,” said Arianna Huffington, chair, president, and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. “We also wanted to change the narrative, go beyond the fatalistic acceptance that nothing can be done and tap into the ingenuity and resilience that have always defined our country. So I’m delighted to be partnering with the Skoll Foundation, CrowdRise, and McKinsey & Company to raise money, raise awareness and help put Americans back to work.”

“It’s so cool to see The Skoll Foundation and The Huffington Post embrace such an innovative approach to helping job creation in America,” said Edward Norton, cofounder of CrowdRise. “We’re psyched that so many organizations get to participate and drive lots of dollars and awareness to their causes.”

The Skoll Foundation, The Huffington Post, CrowdRise, and McKinsey & Company, announced the JobRaising Challenge at the Republican and Democratic conventions. It is a new kind of philanthropic initiative to help job-creating nonprofits raise money, raise awareness and help put Americans back to work through highly engaged, cost-efficient incentive fundraising.