Join My Village channels the power of online communities to help real communities in Malawi. In this, the pilot year of a long-term intiative, General Mills will donate up to $500,000 to empower women and girls through CARE's work and consumer actions and donations will make it happen. $200,000 has been released to start the projects in Malawi. The remaining $300,000 is waiting to be unlocked by consumers.
Through national print and online media, public relations, outreach to national women's group partners, and employee engagement, consumers will be driven to the Join My Village online community where they can connect with real villages and real people in Malawi.
During the pilot year of Join My Village, consumers can ensure the $300,000 is released through simple actions and small donations:
- Join a Village: Consumers will be invited to align themselves with one of 10 villages in Malawi by joining an online village team. Through regular accounts of the village mzati (leader) and others in the village, consumers will build connections with women in Malawi and follow them as they form village savings and loans and develop educational opportunities for their children. Each village team will be challenged to raise $30,000 by 'unlocking' dollars committed by General Mills and making their own contributions. As all 10 village teams meet their goals, up to $300,000 will be released to Malawi.
- Learn and Share: Through the Join My Village web site, participants will learn about the challenges facing women in Malawi and will be encouraged to recruit additional women to join their village team. Through simple actions--taking an educational quiz or 'tell-a-friend' about Join My Village--consumers will unlock funds for their villages in Malawi.
- Donate: Through a dollar-for-dollar match, participants will be encouraged to make their own contributions to Join My Village. By leveraging their funds to motivate additional consumer giving, General Mills hopes to raise an additional $150,000 in the first year, bringing total program funding to $650,000.
General Mills takes a multi-pronged investment approach to its corporate social responsibility, involving company operations, the General Mills Foundation, and engaging employees at all levels. In addition to traditional philanthropy, hundreds of research and development staff volunteer their time to work with communities in Africa to address agriculture and food security issues. General Mills also has a history of going deep in one geographic area, applying myriad company resources to guarantee measurable and sustainable impact.
Since 2007, General Mills and CARE have partnered to address the underlying causes of poverty in rural Malawi. This partnership has already launched agriculture and economic development programs in Malawi that have shown positive impact in the lives of women and families. Join My Village takes this current work to the next level by inviting U.S. consumers to join us in connecting with the women and families of Malawi to make an even greater impact. General Mills and CARE are a powerful team in this endeavor, each with extensive reach into the hearts and homes of U.S. women and families.
SEEKING: financial assistance, media and marketing opportunities. General Mills is interested in conversations with non-competing corporations interested in learning about program participation. Also, social networking and viral media partners interested in contributing technology expertise and/or online marketing support.