Never Underestimate the Power of Enthusiasm

Keith Eldred of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, doesn’t want to cure AIDS or feed the hungry.

He just wants $5,000 to fund an 8-foot-tall inflatable mascot named HAT HAT to promote his local library.

As crazy as that sounds, he just might get it, because Eldred’s proposal is currently ranked No. 6 among social causes seeking $5K funding through the Pepsi Refresh Project, which opened for voting today.

Eldred’s proposal to Pepsi features a homespun video, drawings of HAT HAT, photos and articles, and a credible pitch that he just wants to do everything he can to help his local library (and his wife, Janet, the library director) succeed.

What really makes Eldred’s proposal stand out, however, is its simplicity, sincerity and enthusiasm—the real keys to raising charitable donations from increasingly tapped-out contributors. And, for that, my HAT HAT is off to him.

(Pepsi Refresh resembles Chase’s Community Giving project in many ways. I hope the beverage giant also learned from Chase’s stumbles, as outlined in this terrific article by Beth Kanter, whose blog is a must read for anyone employing social media for nonprofit causes.)