About Project HOPE
Today, we’re speaking with the Peer-to-Peer and Community Giving Manger at Project HOPE, Maggie Mattson. Maggie has worked at nonprofits for five years and fundraising for eight years. Previously, she was a Twitch and YouTube influencer and art content creator before entering the nonprofit world.
Maggie shares, “It’s been wonderful. I have a lot of experience on the influencer side and nonprofits, so I try to bridge the two as much as possible. ”
What is Project HOPE?
Project HOPE was founded in 1958 as a global health and humanitarian relief organization. Project HOPE’s lifesaving work addresses global public health challenges, improving lives and uplifting communities worldwide. Some of the world’s most significant issues today include a growing shortage of healthcare workers, which threatens global health. Project HOPE addresses this by supporting global communities of healthcare workers practicing novel solutions for their communities.
Maggie explains, “The focus is to bring power to the people that need it the most. Project HOPE’s goal is to put power in the medical worker’s hands, into the people’s hands, wherever they are. Unlike other charities that send people to a location and then [they] leave when the crisis is finished, Project HOPE goes to the location and educates and empowers local folks.”
For example, in the Dominican Republic, Project HOPE helped people get the necessary degrees and access to medical supplies to continue addressing health issues even when the crisis was over. Another exciting example of their work is the Children’s Hospital, built in Moldova, Ukraine.
Maggie adds, “We have to get permission obviously from the governments, make sure like every charity does, that they want the help. We don’t want just to go in and violate the trust and culture of the area. For the most part, we are in 33 countries, and I think we have established Project HOPE staff in almost all of them.”
Working with Content Creators
Maggie shares that Project HOPE has recently started working with content creators, especially since the nonprofit brought her into the mix in February.
“Part of my passion is to create more of a community around what Project HOPE does… we in the past have partnered with celebrities, like Ricky Martin and Avril Lavigne.”
Project HOPE has also partnered with other organizations and companies to spread awareness. However, this year they began working with content creators and live streamers on social media platforms to bring more awareness about their mission to the world.
She adds, “My goal is to be able to ignite a passion in them, the same passion that I have and the same passion that everyone at Project HOPE has, to do good in these locations. We want to be as transparent as possible so that they feel like they’re an extension of Project HOPE. The true definition of an ambassador.”
Maggie shares that the Project HOPE team doesn’t want to pay content creators and streamers to say positive things about their organization. Instead, they took a creative approach and included them in their mission.
“We don’t want people to fundraise for us if they don’t feel comfortable and they don’t feel like it is a right fit for them. In 2023, moving forward actually… we want to make sure that they feel like a part of Project HOPE. Our CEO Rabih Torbay has said he is excited to come on streams and talk to the viewers, to our supporters, to our ambassadors, to our influencers, to answer questions and be able to be as transparent as possible.”
The team is also looking into providing content creators with overlays, assets, talking points, and other tools to make fundraising even easier for the creator.
Campaigning for Ukraine
One of the platforms Project HOPE has specifically honed in on is Twitch. Maggie shares that she has worked diligently to make Project HOPE a Twitch partner.
In addition, a recent campaign about delivering hygiene supplies to the newly liberated city of Kherson, Ukraine, featured video content that shared the urgent needs of Ukrainians.
Project HOPE also hosts a yearly event called Project Hopemas every December. Many content creators and ambassadors participated in this event and fundraised for it, especially for those in need in Ukraine.
Maggie explains, “It was heartwarming and overwhelming to see the amount of positive outpouring of love that came from that campaign. People came out in force to help those in Ukraine that were in need.”
The Hopemas Campaign
Maggie shares, “We work to support the resiliency, we celebrate the resiliency of those in the countries that we support and we aim to spread awareness about what Project HOPE does. So, instead of having a focused event or crisis that we are responding to for Hopemas. It’s more of a rallying point for people to celebrate the year, to raise money, to do good during the holiday season.”
Hopemas is another excellent opportunity for Project HOPE to raise awareness about their organization and critical global needs.
Maggie shares that they’ve already surpassed their goal of $10,000 raised for Hopemas, and the team is thrilled to see the outpouring of love from others. As of writing this article, they have raised their goal to $100,000 to ‘bring health and HOPE to people around the world this holiday season’ and have raised over $80,000 of this goal.
In addition to working on Hopemas, Maggie shares that Project HOPE has a summer Minecraft program launching next year. This program will have events sponsored by Project HOPE to help raise money.
“We feel like Minecraft is a great fit for the gaming streamers because it’s all about working together and doing something bigger. We also have Hopemas again next year. We will be working on taking influencers and ambassadors to the field to see their direct impact.”