connect / 2014

AnonymousGood: LAGood posts 50000 Acts of Good 4 LA2050

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Anonymous Good [AG] is a project of Voices4Freedom

LA gets its Good On - 50K Acts of Good posted on AnonymousGood.org, science shows posting Goods makes us happier, healthier & connected.


Please describe yourself.

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

LA gets its Good On - 50K Acts of Good posted on AnonymousGood.org, science shows posting Goods makes us happier, healthier & connected.

Does your project impact Los Angeles County?

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • South LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South Bay
  • Westside

What is your idea/project in more detail?

Imagine a city where people actually look for ways to help one another. It’s a happier, healthier, more connected, safer feeling place. A place you’d be proud to live. AnonymousGood.org helps make that a reality. We have the Compassion Technology & the brain science behind serotonin. Our project is a cornerstone of a major campaign to aggregate, celebrate & share stories of Good in LA. It’s guaranteed to make participants happier, healthier, better students & better employees. First, we build an app to make it easier to share acts of good, then we work with existing & new partners to reach a broad spectrum of Angelenos. Between non-profits, media, faith communities, youth programs, & business- Angelenos will share 50k stories of LAGood

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

AG launches LAGood posts 50K Acts of Good 4 LA2050 1- AG will work with existing and new partners to create a grassroots campaign that seeds and shares the story of Good in LA creating a ripple effect of good throughout LA. 2- AG will build an app to make it easier for users to post. 3- AG will work with individuals & organizations to use our ‘Compassion Technology’ in ways that work for them; to reach out to their constituents & customers, to build employee engagement, use the stories of good in their community while gathering great metrics. AG has a low bar of entry and its equally available and beneficial to anyone. 4- AG will get the Acts of Good sponsored so anyone who posts becomes an instant philanthropist. We want all of us to feel connected to people in our own communities & to the global community. LAGood will be a collaborative effort (specific partner details in partner section)

  1. Months 1-3: Build a mobile app and strengthen the website to make it even easier for people to post.
  2. Work with current partners (signed up and ready to hit the ground running) to amplify Good & inspire more Angelenos to volunteer formally & informally as they post Acts of Good. o Collaborations with current partners projected to drive 35K Goods in LA • Examples: • Agape Community AG Program. • Jason Mraz- Singer campaign to his 20m social media fans
  3. Finalize partnerships being developed. o 5K acts and posts to emerge from forthcoming partnerships • Big Sunday • Funny or Die • I Am That Girl
  4. Develop new collaborations o Initiate community challenges resulting in 10K Act of Good posted: • Outreach & partnerships with 5 more diverse non-profits • Outreach to 98 Neighborhood Councils – goal 20 councils involved • Outreach to Charter Management Orgs, individual schools & after school programs • Strategy meetings with 3 of LA’s major employers- initiate employee engagement • LA Govt- target elected official’s constituent relations so that Acts of Good being done in government are surfaced. • LA-based brands- brand sponsorship is a pillar of our strength in paying it forward with our Allies4Good

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to CONNECT today? In 2050?

What better way to connect than around doing Good for one another? Scientific research is clear - doing Good impacts individuals & communities in expected & unexpected ways. Imagine what happens when people all over the city really learn that in helping others there is an added benefit of helping yourself! This is the critical beginning of LAGood. We will continue with more partnerships so that story of LA Good will be celebrated everywhere – in schools, faith communities, businesses & on billboards or busses. The work of great non-profits will be amplified as the Good they do is told & shared. LA is the largest microphone & most powerful trendsetter in the world. Let’s use it to inspire local & global Good. This is just the first step in LAGood. AG will continue to grow and iterate with scientific studies of impact in the workplace, the classroom, prisons & other populations often invisible to the general public. OVERALL: Empirical research shows: • Committing conscious acts of kindness makes people happy. ‘200 studies on nearly 275,000 people found that happiness leads to success in nearly every domain of our lives, including marriage, health, friendship, community involvement, creativity, and in particular, our jobs, careers and businesses’. Happy people even have better peripheral vision. Shawn Achor [Harvard], • Consciously recalling & writing a good memory fools the brain into dropping more serotonin. Overall, this leads to greater life satisfaction and meaning. Fun fact: Studies have shown that women who wrote about positive experiences were 40 percent more likely to live to age 94 than their negative peers. Shawn Achor [Harvard]. So for every act you do & post you get a double dose of happiness. • The ‘helper’s high’ experienced when doing good for others boosts the immune system, enhances our feelings of joyfulness, emotional resilience, vigor, and can reduce the unhealthy sense of isolation. • Feeling ‘connected’ or part of a community is the single biggest factor on longevity. AG makes it easy for people to create & build their own communities. • The practice of caring for strangers or establishing an “affinitive connection”– friendship, love, or positive bonding – those emotions translate to immense healing benefits. • AG captures altruism that is already in action. The US Department of Labor reports Americans increasingly describe their sense of responsibility to help those in need. In 2009, 27% or 64 million Americans volunteered.

Whom will your project benefit?

Anonymous Good is based on science and common sense – it works for everyone, if they work it. So the universal applications are endless although this may sound overly ambitious, there is even more data to demonstrate who can benefit from AG. We will do strategic outreach to non-profits, youth organizations, faith communities, neighborhood councils, businesses.

General Population: • Doing good, even watching movies of others doing good helps reduce stress. In one study, students were simply asked to watch a film of Mother Teresa’s work with the poor in Calcutta. They had significant increases in antibodies associated with improved immunity – and antibody levels remained high for an hour afterward. AG is getting similar reports of well-being after users read goods posted on the site. [Post. Bioethicist, Case Western Reserve] • Ripple effect – Human behavior is contagious. Our actions extend to people within three degrees. Each of us can ‘infect’ 1,000 people with our acts of good. [Connection, Christakis & Fowler] Youth • In one study, children who did 3 acts of kindness per day for a month were not only happier but became more popular, gaining an average 1.5 friends. • US students, ages 8 to 22, spend 7.5 to 9.5 hrs/day on tech gadgets. AG meets them on the screen where they live, helps them feel good & connected with service & global awareness. • GenY searches for meaning by helping others. They volunteer more than any previous generation. • Social Emotional Learning: Two of the core competencies of SEL are Social Awareness & Relationship Skills. Practicing acts of good off-line then coming on-line to share can create a virtuous cycle that supports SEL. Business | Govt • “Halo Effect” – According to a study by Cone Communications & Echo Research, 82 percent of U.S. consumers consider corporate social responsibility when deciding which products or services to buy & where to shop. • Employee Engagement - Gallup research shows that engaged employees are more productive, profitable, safer, create stronger customer relationships, & stay longer with their company. Doing service projects & good acts for each other increased employee engagement. • A report by Harris Interactive, found that the No. 1 factor that young adults ages 21 to 31 wanted in a successful career was a sense of meaning. • We will strategize with local gov’t officials to implement AG in their offices. Angelenos could read authentic stories of gov’t actually responding to citizens.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

Anonymous Good is anchored in partnerships/collaborations as individuals & groups use AG to reinforce or amplify their own community’s sense of well-being & connectedness. Each partner will do a combination of: 1-Educate & inspire their communities to post on AG & share across social media
2-Invite their communities to join the Campaign for LAGood 50K 3-Serve as thought partners Current Partners- confirmed partners fully onboard and collaborating with AG • Agape Community • Authentic Media Literary Agency- local talent to support LAGood • Archbishop Desmond Tutu- thought partner • Charity Water • Eva Steortz, 20 yr Disney marketing exec, thought partner & connector • Feed America • Jason Mraz, Singer- his social media = 20M+ • Joe Burton, former COO OgilvyOne Worldwide- thought partner • John Kobara, The CA Community Foundation- thought partner & connector • Karla Ballard, Ogilvy- thought partner • Ken Herz, AG’s attorney, advice & music industry connector • Kerry Kennedy – RFK Center for Justice & Human Rights • The Nature Conservancy • NightKAP Ent- Jason Kennedy- thought partner & connector • PropperDaley- Mark Daley- strategies for social impact • Street Relations PR- local & national based earned media with emphasis on media that serves under-represented pockets of LA Good to rep our diverse picture that is LA. • Wesley Farrow, Coro So. CA- thought partner & connector • William Morris Endeavor Agency- represents AG founders, will secure local talent for LAGood • 1440 Foundation- Scott Kriens AG funder & thought partner Finalize forthcoming partnerships- We expect 10K posts to emerge from collaborations being discussed. • Big Sunday- David Levinson, co-founder • Funny or Die- Adam Mckay, co-founder • I Am That Girl- Emily Greener, co-founder New Collaborations- we expect 10K posts to emerge from new collaborations:(prospects culled from current partner connections) • Outreach & partnerships with 5 more diverse non-profits for 1250 Acts of Good posted • Outreach to 98 Neighborhood Councils – goal to get 20 councils involved, post 1000 goods • Charter Management Organizations, Individual Schools & after school programs- post 2500 Goods • Strategy meetings with 3 of LA largest employers- initiate employee engagement for 5000 Acts of Good • LA Gov’t- target elected official’s constituent relations first so Acts of Good being done in government are surfaced. Post 250 • LA-based brand sponsorship is central to paying it forward with our Allies4Good

How will your project impact the LA2050 “Connect” metrics?

  • Rates of volunteerism
  • Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support
  • Participation in neighborhood councils
  • Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)
  • Total number of social media friends (Dream Metric)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

AG launched a beta site in February. We now have 5500+ posts by the AG tribe. Actual posts [below] demonstrate how LAGood will impact the metrics. Volunteerism- AG inspires formal & informal volunteerism as people share & learn from each other on the site & social media. • Last week I volunteered at St. Francis’s food pantry; packing groceries & distributing them to the elderly & homeless on Skid Row. • I volunteer for our school district. I have created a program that now is in its 6th yr Social & emotional support • I gave money to a very hungry looking homeless person. I have noticed I have started giving more in general because I have to keep up with posting good • I noticed a Good that has come to me from posting on this site. Since I started gearing my brain every day to seek out Good I have not had a depressive thought stream or mood.. • I saw an elderly woman with a walker struggling to get down the block,[2 other people stopped to help]. Between the 3 of us, we got her up a step & I thought, “Wow, that was pretty awesome to see the community coming together a bit here in the city.” Travel time- AG won’t improve commute but it can make it better. • On my way home, after staying late at work, I let TWO cars & a motorcycle merge in front of me. I live in LA people, that’s as good as giving gold. • If you have ever been to LA, you will know that what I am about to describe is a miracle. On my way to work, a wonderful human in a silver Volvo allowed me to merge in front of them in traffic THREE different times. Nothing short of miraculous! Totally made my day! Neighborhood Councils & Gov’t- We reach out to neighborhood councils & gov’t offices to surface good & inspire/inform LA • I recently spent a day volunteering with gov’t officials & venture capitalists to create a plan for making California Communities healthy. Housing & jobs- non-traditional, Informal, do what we can • A single mom we just met is working hard to take care of her teenager. She works many jobs & is in college. Their housing situation is bad. Money is tight. We’re helping her find a healthier home. • I hired a young man who claimed he couldn’t get a job with his GED, I told him his GED does not define him. I hired an incredible human being & he doesn’t even know how incredible he is- but he will. Social Media AG tribe increases their social media connections on the site with likes, comments & sharing posts across social media platforms.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

We’ve laid out specific metrics in our plan and will use these as benchmarks to determine if our strategies were sufficient to reach our goals within the year. We will collect both quantitative and qualitative data on the project.

Site and Application goals: • Months 1-3 - Mobile App development & completion • Mobile bounce rate decreases with app. Currently the mobile bounce rate on our responsive site is 64.6% vs a bounce rate of 37.75% from desktops. • Increase users by 100% - we are currently at 7,541 users • Increase in social media shares by 100%

Building LAGood Tribe goals: • 50K Acts of Good posted from LAGood
• Current partners help drive 35K Goods in LA though informal & formal volunteer • Forthcoming partnerships activated & drive 5000 posts • Outreach efforts reach benchmarks • 10K Goods from new collaborations o Five diverse non-profits post 1250 acts of Good o 20 Neighborhood Councils- 1000 goods o Strategy meetings with three of LA’s major employers- 5K Acts of Good o LA City & County Govt- 500 acts of Good posted o School & after school programs- 2500 acts of Good • Earned media on at least 5 different outlets?

Qualitative: • AG tribe self-reporting the impact of AG on their lives with stories posted. • Survey at end of campaign on Tribe member’s experience. • Pivot points – what places did we get it wrong, what was needed to course correct? • What did the tribe continue to teach us during this campaign? • What new opportunities emerged?

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

  1. It is possible to operationalize what brain science is revealing with our Compassion Technology.
  2. AnonymousGood.org works & we need to keep iterating. Members of the AG Tribe are reporting AG makes a positive difference, inspires them, they see and do more good. In their own words: • From a young woman aged out of Foster Care, beat the odds & is in college. She posts most days: ‘It’s ironic that this was presented to me at the time it was because I was going through some internal & mental health battles & then all of a sudden I had to challenge my mind to find good things around me. I was down to try anything to help me increase my serotonin levels while also making people happy. Posting acts of kindness & goods really helped me! Everytime I posted something the feeling of happiness all came back as if I was in the presence of that act of kindness again. Everyday it was easier & easier to channel & see the goods in the world; big ones & small ones! As of today I continue to support anonymousgood.org because it’s helps end slavery, feed the homeless & it helps me cope through my mental health illnesses. I suffer from depression & bipolar disorder, when I go on the website or even do something kind despite of how I feel I end up feeling better in the end.’
    • From an LA leader in the non-profit world. He evangelizes for AG: ‘As I recall an act of good & put it into a post I find myself taking a step away from the rush of life, reflecting, & feeling the standing ovation of joy that can exist when we come together to invite it into our lives.’ • From a therapist in LA. A frequent poster & supports others on the site: ‘Prior to posting on this site I felt that my small acts of good were worthwhile-ish.That thought always zaps my energy & subtly weighs me down. What this site has done for me is many-fold. It has shown me that my small acts of Good do matter, especially when combined with the overall group intention. I realize now that I am a grateful cog in a beautiful wheel of humans striving to make a difference. Despite the usual time responsibilities, posting here has increased my energy to do more Good because I’m inspired. Plus its really a lot of fun to be in the Goodness Bubble. I also feel that this site lifts my spirits first thing in the morning because it’s delightful to read what everyone is doing & posting. It reassures me that magic is afoot & Goodness is, in fact, breaking out all over. Peace & Blessings from the City of Angels.’

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

We will:

  1. Utilize our knowledge of movement building honed over the years in the anti-slavery movement.
  2. Work with our already committed partners who have proven their ability and passion over the last year. These partners came up with, ‘Goodgasm – that all over good feeling you get when doing an act of good.’ Goodgasm makes people laugh & think.
  3. Our track record attracting evangelist/supporters is strong – that will continue as we seek and cement new partnerships.
  4. Use our television experience and connections to help spread the word with earned media across diverse outlets.
  5. We are getting ongoing feedback from current users that gives us confidence in that our stated goals are achievable:. • Educators say it is easy to adapt AG for the classroom to promote character, service learning, empathy & compassion.
    • Faith Community leaders say members already strive to good everyday & this is a great way to make it a daily habit & also feel part of a global solution. • Business leaders want to be known as “ the good guys” in the community as well as build camaraderie among their employees.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

Our challenge is two-fold and both hurdles exist due to lack of necessary funds. Once we have funding to get over these hurdles, we have the expertise, the team and the commitment to fast-track our goals. 1- MOBILE APP & SITE UPGRADE • The AG Tribe is letting us know they want more interaction and ease on the site. In a world where Facebook sets the norm, users have high expectations of sites that allow you to post & share. AG needs to step-up to meet some of those robust demands that seem so basic to folks who don’t understand the functions are very complex & pricey. To guarantee a seamless expansion we must continue to invest in more robust technology, & critical research that is meaningful to site developers, to the Tribe, & to our Sponsors & Investors. 2- MORE STAFF • We need to hire an outreach professional to continue reaching diverse communities. • We are currently hiring a strategic partnerships person to develop co-branding, CSR and employee engagement sponsorships. The money has already been raised for this position.

What resources does your project need?

  • Network/relationship support
  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Community outreach
  • Quality improvement research