Hey everyone – it’s Cameron with Revela. Today, I’m here with Jess to talk about one of our favorite programs: GameChangers! So Jess, can you start by telling us what the GameChangers program actually is, and what it consists of?
GameChangers is one of my absolute favorite programs that we offer here at Revela. It’s actually an award program geared specifically toward non-profit organizations in the Omaha metro. Each year, we open up nominations on our website where people can nominate organizations. From there, we choose three winners, and each of those organizations will receive an award at an Omaha Mavericks hockey game, they receive paid social media recognition through Revela and UNO athletics, and receive leadership training for four leaders within their organization.
So now that we have the general overview, maybe you could tell us why it started?
On our team, one of the things that we really, really value is giving back. If you visit our website, there’s a giving page that showcases a bunch of non-profit organizations that either we’ve worked with in the past or that we’ve just donated money to. But at the end of 2016, we sat down as a team and we thought, “How can we give back in a way that not only encompasses who we are and what we do, but in a way that is different?” Most non-profits, when given a financial donation, they actually put it toward things that touch the most lives or things that would help move their mission forward. They don’t always necessarily make time in the budget for training leaders within their organization. Or maybe they don’t make time in the budget for spreading their word through marketing campaigns. We know that when you strengthen those that lead in an organization, you actually strengthen the entire organization as a whole.
How many nominations do you receive each year?
So far, in the last two years that we’ve done it, we’ve received between 20 and 30 nominations each year. And we read every single one of them. The thing people don’t realize is that the organization only has to be nominated one time. I think it was this year we received 7 or 8 for a single organization. It doesn’t necessarily work that way. It’s not a voting of the general public. If you’re nominated once, our team will review what you’ve done and things like that and we’ll go from there.
With that many nominations, how do you choose a winner?
It’s really, really hard to choose a winner. Luckily though, we get to choose 3. Each member of our team reviews all of the nomination forms. Each of us reads every single one of them. And then from there we do our research. We’re looking for these organizations in the news and we’re talking to others in the community who may have worked with these organizations in the past or maybe they have a story about how this organization has helped them or someone that they know. We try to select organizations that are either 1) Going through a change of some sort whether it’s growing, maybe they had to downsize. Something internally that we can help with, 2) Maybe they’re doing something really, really great in the Omaha community that we want to get behind, or 3) Those organizations that are focusing their efforts on getting their word out to reach more people and need the resources to do so. As a team, we vote, and from there, we narrow it down to the top three winners.
Are there any certain criteria that a company has to qualify for to be nominated?
So really we don’t have any other qualification other than the fact that they have to be a 501(c)(3) organization. They don’t have to apply for anything. All they have to do is be nominated by someone. It could be a board member, it could be an employee of the organization, it could just be someone in the community that really loves that organization and what they do. That is literally the only criteria; that they’re nominated and they’re a 501(c)(3). From there if we decide to select them as a winner, we’ll call them and let them know, “hey you’ve been nominated and would you like to participate?”
So, who won the 2018 awards?
This year, we selected three awesome organization. We had so many great nominations that it took us quite a long conversation to actually pick just 3. We selected Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, College Possible, and the YMCA of Greater Omaha.
And when will they be presented with their awards?
All of our winners were actually selected and notified in September. In fact, they’ve already started their leadership class here at Revela, which goes through March of next year. We present our awards during the intermission at the UNO Mavericks hockey games. During each of these games, we provide tickets to the organizations so they can either invite their team, they can invite their supporters, or anyone that they think would be valuable in attending and watching this presentation. At those games they’ll also have their own booth so that they can give out information and help educate people a bit more about their cause. In addition to that, during the presentation they receive a video board spot for the entire audience to see. Some choose to do a video, some choose to do photos and there’s always usually a PA read going on in the background so it’s really great recognition for these folks.
Our first presentation this year is going to be at the game on Friday, November 30th, and we’ll be presenting to the YMCA of Greater Omaha.
The second will be Friday, January 18th and that’ll be to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands.
And the last will be on Friday, February 22nd and that’s going to be to College Possible.
And all of these games are held at the Baxter Arena in Omaha, next to Aksarben. We encourage all of you to attend these games and show your support for each of these amazing organizations!
Thanks and we hope to see you all at the hockey games!
To learn more about GameChangers and the program that we offer, click here.